International Master in Innovative Medicine Application Essay
There are not enough doctors in the lab and not enough scientists in hospitals. This issue becomes a problem that causes many researchers to end up in the valley of death of translational science and never making its way into clinical use. As a physician, I feel drawn to translational medicine because I want to take part in bridging the gap between basic biomedical research and the unmet medical needs in the community. I want to be involved in translational science so that I can produce work that is more meaningful, applicable, and directly benefits human health.
My main reason to study in the International Masters in Innovative Medicine (IMIM) program is because this program emphasizes collaboration between excellent research institutions and therefore it offers an unmatched networking potential with influential people in the field. I wish to start my first year in Heidelberg because aside from focusing on bench-to-bedside research, the program also focuses on innovative research studies based on clinical observations. I am also particularly interested in one of the university’s research focuses, which is oncology. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally with approximately 70% of deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Most cancer patients in such countries are usually diagnosed in the late-stage of disease because of inaccessible diagnostic and treatment. In 2017, only 30% of low-income countries reported having treatment services available in the public sector compared to 90% of that in high-income countries. This situation urgently calls for innovation and more translational research to be done that can provide more accessible cancer diagnostic tools to help suppress the number of deaths.
I choose to do my second year in Groningen because the curriculum for the second year IMIM students will train me to conduct and design my own research, as well as prepare me for a subsequent PhD program. This, combined with the soft-skill building and industrial perspective offered in spring and summer schools and acknowledgment from EIT Health, will prepare me to deal with any issues that may arise in my professional career and to push the boundaries of medicine and science.
I am a suitable candidate for this program because I am equipped with medical and clinical knowledge and also a translational research experience. I am very driven to do research and while I enjoy clinical medicine, I feel most at home in the lab doing experiments. During my time as research assistant, our work focused on developing an affordable genetic diagnostic tool for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for use in a limited resource setting, and it was published in the journal BMC Research Notes. Our research proved that approximately 20% of our subjects were amenable to exon skipping treatment, which, despite being unavailable in Indonesia, gave hope to treat this currently incurable disease. I also presented our research at the 2nd Annual Meeting of Indonesian Society of Human Genetics, where I was awarded the second-best oral presenter. My research experience has taught me patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness. It has also given me some hard skills in carrying out laboratory experimentation such as multiplex PCR and qPCR, and I am looking forward to expanding my skills through this program.
Being an awardee of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in International Master in Innovative Medicine would be the best way to pursue my plans because I will meet people from different backgrounds that will allow me to develop a globalized point of view for me to apply in my work. I am open-minded and adaptive to change, and interacting with other scientists and doctors within an excellent research environment and culture will elevate my knowledge and ideas to become much more creative and even potentially build a life-long partnership in science which will be invaluable.
Upon completion of this program, I plan to work in the Department of Human Genetics at the Indonesian Medical Education and Research Institute at the University of Indonesia. Within 2-4 years, I plan to continue my training in a doctoral program and afterward I envision myself working as a researcher in biotechnology industry where I can directly apply everything I have learned during my studies. Joining a program that specifically trains me in research will greatly help me reach my goal to become a principal investigator and independently conduct my own research. It will prepare me for the role of leadership in the sciences that will help me maximize my potential and contribution to the scientific community specifically, and the advancement of medicine in general.