Chelsee Furukawa’s Essay

Living in Hawaii means lots of fun in the sun. In the four years that I’ve attended Konawaena High School, sports have been a large part of my life. Playing in the twelve o’clock games in scorching heat running up and down the soccer field or across the tennis courts, are a disastrous combination for any teenage girl trying to get that flawless skin flaunted in commercials. I remember a few years back, the night before prom, I’m busy redoing my nails for the 3rd time and I notice a pink bump on the tip of my nose. After using half the bottle of the latest guaranteed pimple-free face wash, I realize it wasn’t going away, AND, it’s getting bigger. The morning of prom comes and I should be getting my hair done, but instead I’m busy staring in the mirror at the huge pimple taking over my entire nose. Well, to make a long story short, this is just one of the various occasions in my life that led me to pursue a career as a dermatologist. I want to help save the day for all future proms, first dates, picture days, and any other teenage disasters just waiting to happen.
Kona’s high cost of living is no secret, you read about it in the daily newspaper, which lists the median price for a home at $629,000. Medical specialists are in such great demand in Kona because most aren’t able to afford the cost of living in paradise. Time and time again, practitioners have left the Big Island to return to the mainland where there are many available resources and a lower cost of living. Being born and raised in Kona makes me different in the fact that my roots run deeper. After attending college in California, I want to return to Kona to open up my own practice as a dermatologist. This is what I consider to be my personal contribution to the community I called home for 18 years. Currently, there are only two practicing dermatologists on the Big Island; one in Kona and the other in Hilo. Needless to say, it takes six weeks to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist on the Big Island. For a teenager, having to wait a month and a half for an appointment in order to treat a pimple may seem like waiting for the rest of lives. But for a patient
that unknowingly has malignant melanoma, a month and a half may very well be fatal. These types of diseases don’t wait for the availability of an appointment. They need to be diagnosed as soon as possible, in order for us to have the best chance to save the patient. I want to dedicate my life to saving the lives of family, friends, and all those who call Hawaii home.
Recently, I’ve been accepted into the college of my dreams, Chapman University. The cherry on top of it all came when I got word that I received the Dean’s Scholarship, which includes $12,000 each year, renewable for four years as long as I maintain a 2.6 GPA. While at Chapman, I plan to pursue
a major in pre-med. I also plan to stay active in the community through H.E.L.P. club, which is quite similar to Hawaii’s 4H system, in that it builds leadership skills and provides community service.
After graduation, I am looking to move to Los Angeles where intern opportunities will be much more abundant. Although I plan to stay in California for a while to build up experience, I know that I will ultimately return home to Kona to open up a practice in Kealakekua. I’ve chosen Kealakekua specifically because I know that in ten years, Kailua will be a mess and I will ultimately become like Dr. Macalroy, the current dermatologist in Kona. I want an open practice that is easy to access and basically located where I’ve grown up because my roots run deeper.