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PHD Clinical, Child, Pediatric Neuropsychology

April 7, 2013

The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to improve the quality of life of children who have suffered brain damage. To this end I want to devote my professional life to research in the area of pediatric neuropsychology.  I knew immediately that neurophysiology was the right career path for me when I saw how it could be combined with pediatrics. And I have been fortunate to work with one of the most distinguished professors and authorities in the field, Dr. XXXX, from whom I have learned a great deal. As a pediatric neuropsychologist, I hope to make scientific advances in the field that will help to increase the quality of life of brain damaged children and their families, helping them to better understand and cope with neuropsychological disorders.  

 I find research to be tremendously exciting. As I stood in the operating room that day not long ago, for example, observing a Wada test, I felt the overwhelming urge to pinch myself to make sure that this was really happening. I observed a variety of important neuropsychological tests at the University of XXXX and this has set me on a professional course for the rest of my life, solidifying my desire to pursue a lifelong career in pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. XXXX helped me to gain broad exposure to the practice of neuropsychology in the hospital setting. And I especially enjoyed working on a research project with graduate student XXXX on the test-retest reliability and validity of various neuropsychological tests.

 This past summer, I was 1 of 25 students chosen from around the country to attend the XXXX Summer Neuroscience Institute at the University of XXXX. This opportunity enabled me to attend dozens of lectures by experts in related areas and to learn my way around the  many labs associated with neuroscience, especially the brain lab. I have also been heavily involved with the National Symposium on Child Abuse where I was honored for a paper that I wrote and was able to participate in various roundtable discussions.

 I have worked under the supervision of Dr. XXXX, at psychology professor at XXXX University who studies the Impact of Childhood Factors on Various Aspects of Neurological development. She serves me as a role model as I also want very much to specialize in the area of affects of parenting styles, abuse, etc.  Last year, in 2009, I had the opportunity to learn a great deal from XXXX, a physiotherapist with whom I performed an observership of multiple sessions lasting between 60 and 90 minutes and was exposed to the practice of pediatrics in the community setting assessment and discussion regarding normal development, neuro-developmental handling techniques, treatment planning, and goal setting. The University of XXXX is my first choice for graduate school since I hope to study under Dr. XXXX because I am also very much interested in pediatrics, learning, and leukemia are closely related to my own. I believe that my GPA suggest that I am capable of excelling in your program, despite my low GRE scores, since I am on track to graduate with honors in May with a B.S. in Counseling Psychology. My profound love for children is my perennial and most critical source of inspiration.

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