I seem to be tying myself in knots over this essay. I'd appreciate any sincere feedback on the structure and form of this essay and tips on improving it.
thnx in advance
I am applying for the Ph.D. Program in Bio Health Informatics at University of Washington for the fall of 2010 as I would like to pursue a career in the research, development and teaching of methodologies, processes and tools that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of information flow as well as usage in the healthcare setting. I would like the output of my work and research to have significant influence towards improving patient care outcomes whilst reducing information costs in the entire healthcare ecosystem. My focus areas are:
a) Clinical Informatics b) Personal Health Informatics
I am currently working with the [Institute Name] at University of Washington to address de-duplication issue of Patient data: one of my interests aligned with my focus are of Clinical Informatics. I hope to gainfully contribute to the project and establish it as the cornerstone to pursue my PhD and research at University of Washington. I believe my Bio-medical training, my work at a technology company as well as a hospital and finally my research background will help me succeed in my endeavors
My passion and motivation for further study and research in Bio Health Informatics is driven by intellectual curiosity and my latest work experiences at [Name of Company], an e-commerce startup in the education space and [Hospital Name]Hospital, one of the nation's top research hospitals in the field of orthopedics. At the [Hospital Name], I worked as a Research Engineer supporting treatment design for patients with Neuromusculoskeletal diseases. In this role, while performing analysis, I noticed that patient data was duplicated multiple times due to concerns over HIPAA privacy regulations. This caused an inordinate amount of time, money and resources spent on data cleansing rather than leveraging data for decision support and analytics that improve patient outcomes. Intrigued by this experience, I researched the market only to conclude that in an industry where having patient information instantly accessible and at fingertips in an easy-to-use format are paramount, technology solutions simply haven't been as convenient, portable or reliable as needed. Also, today, in the United States roughly 85 percent of healthcare providers still rely on paper-based tools for record keeping. A typical U.S. hospital has multiple different information systems, most of which don't work together very well and hence there is redundancy and duplication of data across all these systems. This experience helped me identify a huge opportunity to leverage information technology in order to improve the efficiency of health care system.
Armed with this interest in the power of Information technology, I took up a job as Quality Assurance Engineer with an internet startup company that was aiming to solve a similar information flow problem in the sphere of US K-12 education. It was mind boggling for me to note the similarities in operations as well as issues between the education space and the healthcare industry. Both these industries are regulated with funding support and heavy involvement from the government, both of them have fragmented IT solutions that function in silos and not together in a seamless fashion and finally in education industry too there is significant opportunity to improve student outcomes and teacher effectiveness just as in healthcare with patient outcomes and provider effectiveness using technology. My role involved supporting the development of an integrated technology platform that caters to the information needs of TAPS (Teachers, Administrators, Parents and Students) ecosystem in education. I gained significant experience in application design, development and lifecycle testing of enterprise software solutions. This role provided a unique opportunity to apply my problem solving skills and my design experience as well as translate the learning of information ambiguity in the Healthcare industry to the education space.
My research work started with my education, Masters in Mechanical Engineering Design at [Name of University]. I worked on identifying and designing an alternate material to replace steel in worm gears. I was successfully able to apply the theory of Mechanical engineering learnt during my undergraduate as well as graduate work to complete the project that resulted in a thesis paper I had co-authored with my research guide Prof. [Professor Name] that was published in [Journal Name].
Subsequently, the challenge of applying the concepts of engineering design to the human body fascinated me and I ended up completing another Masters in Bio-Medical Engineering from [Name of University] under the auspices of Dr. [Professor Name] and Dr. [Professor Name]. Simultaneously I worked as a research engineer at the [Institute Name] where I had the opportunity to work with Orthopedic Surgeons, Academicians, Biologists and Scholars on innovative methods to treat knee ligament injuries. This was a multi-faceted role where I was not only involved in grant writing and establishing research protocols but also experimentation and data analysis. My work resulted in four research projects funded by NIH and two research papers in [Journal Name] and [Journal Name]. In the course of my graduate work I was honored with two fellowships and an honor society membership for academic excellence.
My work experience, ability to apply and translate relevant concepts to diverse settings and my passion to engage in seminal research coupled with my engineering skills will help me succeed in the domain of Healthcare informatics. On the clinical informatics front I would like to work on address issues related to data duplication and redundancy as well as develop process streams that are in compliance with HIPAA without increasing data entry efforts while reducing costs of patient data management. Since I've started working with [Institute Name], I am interested in working with Dr.[Professor Name] and Dr.[Professor Name] in this regard. On the personal health informatics, I am keen on developing tools that will drive an understanding of factors contributing to childhood obesity and overweight and subsequently design a user-friendly interface to guide them to a healthy lifestyle. Having worked earlier with Dr.[Professor Name] on the effect of low health literacy on healthcare care costs in the diverse populations, I hope to continue the association and learn design strategies for data collection and analysis in public health organizations from her. The "Common Ground" project is highly interesting because it is close to my research interests as it aims to develop the information system. Dr. .[Professor Name] work also interests me a lot as I hope to learn concepts of Cognitive Work Analysis and how to integrate use of computers in healthcare settings.
The Bio-Medical Health Informatics PhD program at University of Washington is uniquely positioned at the cross roads of Information technology and Healthcare Industry. Hence, I believe it is the best academic setting to help me reach my goal of contributing towards the creation of a knowledge driven healthcare by turning a fragmented system into an integrated and informed network of providers and consumers.
This is some very strong writing!
I feel like something might be mising when you say this---> I would like the output of my work and research to have significant influence towards improving patient care outcomes whilst reducing information costs in the entire healthcare ecosystem ------ it is a complex sentence that is intelligently articulated, but it is so general. "Improving outcomes is general, and when you say you hope to reduce costs, it makes me want to know what you have in mind.
Like I said, it is already strong writing, but maybe in the intro paragraph you can give an idea about what you have in mind for achieving these lofty goals. I see that you refer to some important concepts in the essay, so maybe these are the ones you should mention in the intro as you make this claim to have this aspiration.
This concept should be given more focus---> ...work on addressing issues related to data duplication and redundancy as well as develop process streams that are in compliance with HIPAA without increasing data entry efforts while reducing costs of patient data management.---- it is a long, complex sentence, but it is great, because it expresses a specific idea.
I am applying for PhD in Health Informatics / Health Information Management in various Canadian Universities. Today I read your PS which you drafted in 2010, and hopefully you maybe in the ending part of your PhD.
As a senior in this entirely new field (Health Informatics), I need your advise, suggestion, and guidance before starting my PhD. I am a medical doctor by profession, and did Masters in Health Informatics in 2010, since then I am working in a university in Middle East (HIM Department) but now I realize that in order to further continue career in University, I need to upgrade myself by doing PhD.
I would be very thankful to you if you can write some words to further broaden my vision and thinking in pursuing PhD in HI.
Sample Personal Statement for Management Information Systems
“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” What Benjamin Disraeli has said reveals an essential truth, not only encouraging me to make persistent efforts toward greater academic excellence but also distilling in me the conviction that to make maximum contributions to the mankind through the full exercise of one’s mental and physical faculties and of one’s willpower is the only correct approach to the fulfillment and the joy of life. Now, on the verge of completing my undergraduate program, I again and again ask myself two questions—what is the purpose of my life and how can I be constant to my purpose? The answers seem not too difficult to come. As I have chosen to specialize in Management Information Science as an undergraduate, it is natural that I continue to tap my potential in this field and develop myself into a leading specialist on this subject in the future. As to how to be constant to this purpose, the answer is equally simply, to pursue a first-rate further education from the one of the best universities in the United States. As an indication of my constancy, I have relinquished an opportunity offered by my university for a direct graduate program. Instead, I am determined to apply for your esteemed university. I believe that your university has much better faculty, research facilities, and academic environment, all of which will be vital to my academic success.
At present, I am a senior student at XX University, majoring in MIS at the Department of Management Information Systems (enjoying a leading academic reputation in China), School of Economics and Management. In this key polytechnic university of the country, my persistent efforts to improve my academic performance has paid off—I was merely average in the first semester as a freshman but now I am ranked top third in my class. Apart from my perseverance, my deep love for this specialty and my incessant perfecting of study methods have contributed to this improved performance, which has further convinced me of my unmistakable potential in this area. As a scientific discipline, MIS comprehends management science, information science, systems science, behavioral science, computer science and communication science. This interdisciplinary nature underlies my deep interest in MIS. Through the study of MIS, I have not only learned useful knowledge in a great variety of fields but also have come to the realization concerning human knowledge—that man can solve his target problems most effectively and efficiently through a comprehensive application of knowledge in related fields.
An important experience of learning came when I studied the course The Principle and the Application of Database. In order to create various diagrams in the database, various limitations of the Normal Form had to be considered in order to avoid redundancy and inconsistency in data. The verbal descriptions of those forms were easy to comprehend but only when I actually started to design the database did I really realize that difficulty to create the diagrams that could both conform to the requirements of the Normal Form and satisfy the needs of the clients and the database operations. I have always tried to effect a parallel development between the study of theoretical knowledge and the improvement of my hands-on abilities. For example, in the course project of The Principle and the Application of Database, I compiled a database application program that could help a power supplier calculate various statistics regarding the consumption of electricity and the payment of fees by different consumers. In the course project of Computer Network and Application, I designed a plan for the installation of a certain company’s LAN, including the procurement of the necessary equipment and the laying of lines. Such hands-on opportunities have always enabled me to discover the disparities between theory and practice and to rectify my incorrect understandings. My teacher made very positive comments on the results that I achieved.
As a new scientific discipline, Management information systems was developed in the 1980”s in the United States and it has been playing an increasingly important role in all the fields it has been applied to, greatly enhancing the efficiency of management and reducing cost. While the United States boasts of very advanced theories and technologies in MIS, we have to acknowledge so far China has considerably lagged behind the international standards in the theoretical and technical development of MIS. The failure to communicate and manage information effectively between different functional departments of an enterprise has led to low-efficiency operation and to low customer satisfaction, which has further affected the development of the country as a whole. However, present-day underdevelopment itself also implies greater space for future development. The introduction of advanced information management technology will significantly improve the operation efficiency of Chinese enterprises. My greatest wish in applying for undertaking a Master’s program in MIS at your esteemed university is to command the latest knowledge in this field and bring this knowledge back to my country to facilitate the popularization and development of MIS in China.
In my future degree program, I expect to receive systematic education and training in MIS, with special emphasis on relevant information management technology. In this regard, I have a good foundation. I have done some coursework in E-Commerce at XX University and I designed a simulation e-commerce website (which was put on show in my class as Excellent Design). I have developed a basic understanding of how e-commerce is operated and a special interest in many technical issues of information management such as the design of the order management system, logistics distribution information system, online payment system, network security and maintenance. I believe that the study of those issues and many other related technical issues and management patterns will comprehensively cover the knowledge of MIS and at the same time enable me to concentrate on specific areas. In my future studies, I will try to obtain as many technical practices as possible to extend my study method of learning through practice as MIS is essentially an applied science.
I deem myself well-prepared for your well-respected program. Apart from the sound academic foundation I have laid in my specialty, I am most proud of my practical ability to perform specific projects and apply management. In addition to my well-received performance in the project designs in such courses as E-Commerce, The Principle and the Application of Database, Software Development Tools and Computer Network and Application, I have also participated, as part of my extracurricular activities, in the development of MIS for the XX Company in which I was responsible for preparing the diagrams of the company’s business procedures and for the optimization of the company’s existing system. For my important contributions, I received warm praises from both my teacher and the relevant users. At another company—XX Precision Equipment Co. Ltd, I took part in the project to develop the management system of the customer relationship. I was specifically in charge of developing three subsystems—sales automation, marketing management, and customer service and support and I applied Sybase Power Builder and Microsoft SQL Server for system setup. The development of my management skills came from my experiences of working as a student leader in the Students Union and of leading a team in our university’s Contest of Simulated Enterprise Competition in which we won the Best Creativity Award. Those experiences enhanced my decision-making skills, teamwork, and creativity apart from my legal awareness, market analysis, human resource management and overall coordination.
In this age of increasing digitalization, the collection, communication and management of information has become an integral part of an enterprise’s competitiveness. I feel lucky that my education in MIS coincides with the very development of the science of MIS in China and that my future will be as promising as the application of this science in China. It is my sincere hope that my application could be most seriously considered because your decision will definitely produce a far-reaching impact on my future.