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Most Personal statements are clichéd?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by samsunimomo, 07.19.12.

  1. samsunimomo

    samsunimomo

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    I’m known as a prolific writer at school, so many seniors have asked me to look over their personal statements. Invariably, I run across how their volunteering/research/experience as a patient/death of a loved one “changed their life.” Add a combination of self-deprecation (“At first, I wanted to be a doctor only because I loved science”) and self-importance (“I want to change the world/make people’s lives better”), and you have the typical essay. Now, I want to ask: are most other personal statements like these as well? Is there a way to escape the cookie-cutter monotony?
  2. SpacemanSpifff

    SpacemanSpifff

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    The personal statement is sort of its own genre, so there are certain required elements. These elements seem to vary depending on which person you ask, or which school's website you consult, but (like you noticed) the nature of the statement lends itself to repetition. I have read a few statements on SDN to try to help with flow and such, but I never offer any tips about what to include or not include unless something is blatantly out of place (i.e. 3/4 of the piece is dedicated to the writer's seventeen cats).
    As for making a statement stand out, I think unique reasoning and superb writing are really the only ways to accomplish that. I suppose you could try to break the norm and go for some sort of novelty approach (i.e. a short story format), but that could prove risky. In my opinion the best way to write an effective statement is to really make sure you are present, in the sense that it reflects your personal motivations very clearly.
  3. blizzah

    blizzah

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    Yes, most PS are pretty generic / cookie-cutter.

    It's hard to escape the cookie-cutter-ness simply because most everyone has similar experiences and came from middle-class backgrounds. Some PS can be better structured, or better worded. Aim for that above being totally unique.

    Giving a totally fresh PS can be done but it may be more trouble than it is worth.
  4. DietSexy5000

    DietSexy5000

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    It's how you write the personal statement that will catch the eye of someone reading it among dozens of others like it. Most are written with these ideas because they're most relevant to candidacy for medical school. The best ones are written in a gripping, thought provoking and sincere manner. The less enticing ones are, well, plain.
  5. sinombre

    sinombre withoutaname Gold Donor

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    Is it really necessary to make this sort of claim?
  6. seahawks2013

    seahawks2013

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    i'm know as a prolific foot caretaker
  7. samsunimomo

    samsunimomo

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    Yes. It was absolutely necessary.
  8. dmf2682

    dmf2682

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    Summary of the original post:

    I'm such a good writer everyone asks me for help. Their essays suck and I was wondering if all your essays suck too. Thanks!
  9. cherahla

    cherahla

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    "People know me. I'm kind of a big deal around here."

    But in response to your argument, I think it might be a matter of the undergrad you attended. It's probably majority white, upper to middle class, early twenties science majors from the same state. Furthermore, they were all probably advised by the same collection of mentors. Statistically speaking, you are not reading from a random sampling of applicants.
  10. Yonko Shanks

    Yonko Shanks

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    Thank God I came on a boat to this country and that helped me choose medicine. I bet no one in the history of ps statements will ever come to close to that experience.
  11. cherahla

    cherahla

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    Yes. Good personal statements exist, even in white, rich America.

    I think the biggest mistake people make on their PS is they frame their path to medicine as a solitary journey. Experiences are iterative (as there exist certain requirements to apply), but the relationships are unique and revealing. Personal relationships with patients, physicians, and/or the patient-physician relationship you observe were the prime focus of winning personal statements, IMO. They came across as sincere and interesting.

    And no, you don't need to face extreme poverty or put yourself in danger to come up with a successful PS.
  12. Geebeejay

    Geebeejay

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    He was the real brains behind 50 Shades of Grey
  13. sinombre

    sinombre withoutaname Gold Donor

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    Haha... have you read it? I got a kick out of reading all of the reviews on Amazon.
  14. serendipity007

    serendipity007

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    Hahah if he/she has, then BUSTED :D Btw, did you like it, geebeejay?
  15. samsunimomo

    samsunimomo

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    You *can* find my work on Amazon, but "50 Shades" is actually a ridiculously fun/sexy series Don’t be hatin’ ;)
  16. Frazier

    Frazier turtle in a rabbit race Lifetime Donor

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    lol :thumbup:
  17. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    I'd love to see a PS that says that "50 Shades of Gray" inspired the applicant to be a physician. :laugh: "Mountains Beyond Mountains" is a cliche in med applications.
  18. FattySlug

    FattySlug

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    I think if you show the adcoms your nasty/condescending/boastful personality, you would have a very unique PS.
  19. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

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    We were all given a copy of Mountains Beyond Mountains at my freshman orientation. Didn't bother going more than a few pages into it as even the book itself gave me that impression.

    How would you feel about someone claiming they were inspired to become a gynecologist after watching Teeth?
  20. samsunimomo

    samsunimomo

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    In seriousness, being boastful/condescending was pretty ubiquitous in the Personal Statements that I looked over. Plus, are you really judging an anonymous person after reading a few posts?

    [​IMG]
  21. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers SDN Advisor

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    I would have to google "Teeth TV" and hope it wasn't NSFW. :scared:
  22. Neurosis

    Neurosis

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    it's kind of hard to sound humble/modest when you have to sell yourself as bigger than jesus for admission.

    also i'm confused as to how a person can be condescending when writing their PS.
  23. sinombre

    sinombre withoutaname Gold Donor

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    Lol... how about someone wanting to be a plastic surgeon after watching The Human Centipede?
  24. TheWeeIceMan

    TheWeeIceMan And like that... *poof*... he's gone.

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    challengeaccepted.jpg
  25. fengsoir

    fengsoir

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    Oh come on - you can't possibly blame pre-meds for writing corny personal statements. That's like blaming prostitutes for dressing slutty.

    Okay, what I am saying is that it is a society-driven phenomenon.
  26. samsunimomo

    samsunimomo

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    One of the more memorable personal statement called his/her personal doctor incompetent. :/
  27. ShenanigansMD

    ShenanigansMD Gryffindor

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  28. Geebeejay

    Geebeejay

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    No haha, but trust me, it's not because I don't want to. I'd never pass up some good literary smut
  29. saveourpens

    saveourpens

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    I think you're looking at the PS the wrong way.
  30. 374018

    374018 Filet Mignon

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    Honestly, there maybe many people with the same reasons that draw them to medicine but a PS is still a PS. It is still that persons story. Regardless if other peoples stories are somewhat similar, they are still unique to that person and give the reason why they wanted to go to medical school. IMO, as long as the story is told well/written well, that is all that matters.
  31. syoung

    syoung MS-1

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    I'm curious to see what an Adcom would write as their PS to medical school... Would it be unique, fresh, and sincere??? They know what to expect, so...
  32. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Daisy the Dog

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    100% agree. The PS isn't about selling yourself. It's about clearly articulating the experiences and events that have led you to medicine. You aren't bragging, you're explicating.
  33. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    All personal statements are cliched.

    But SDN personal statements are fresh and exciting, just as all SDN LORs are amazing and all SDN GPA/MCATs are >3.8 / >36.

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