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Activities and PS

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sleeper11

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Have two questions:

1. most of my volunteering hours are quite scattered. I have about 20-30 hours in different organizations, although they all are quite similar in their principles. Would this hurt me by not showing long-term commitment?

2. I wanted to add as an extra point in my PS something about how pursuing medicine allows me "better myself." Both my parents never went to college, we've always been financially constrained. Throughout hs, we lived in a one bedroom apartment and it was often very difficult. I'm not an ethnic minority, and I've never really tried to convey to others about my financial situation, most of even my closest friends don't even know the extent of it. But I felt that I had to somewhat mention it because it has played a large part of who I am today and my goals. Although I didn't want it to come off as only wanting to be a doctor "for the money" because it isn't. How do you think this point would come off?
 

gobigorgohome22

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Hey buddy,

I am in a similar situation as you with the financial aspect (not as bad though and both of my parents are well educated). I chose not to discuss this in my personal statement. If you feel that it has had a big impact on why you have chosen medicine, I would add a sentence or two (nothing more). They should be something along the lines of: Medicine not only provides me with......but will also help stabilize my family's financial situation. Having grown up in ..........., medicine will.......to better myself.

Dont know if that was helpful or not.


As far as your first question, I think you will be fine as long as you have long term of a specific type (even if its with different organizations). For example, if you have clinical volunteering with 5 different hospitals with 50hrs each from 2010-2013, you will be fine.
 

VictorAlpha

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Have two questions:

1. most of my volunteering hours are quite scattered. I have about 20-30 hours in different organizations, although they all are quite similar in their principles. Would this hurt me by not showing long-term commitment?

2. I wanted to add as an extra point in my PS something about how pursuing medicine allows me "better myself." Both my parents never went to college, we've always been financially constrained. Throughout hs, we lived in a one bedroom apartment and it was often very difficult. I'm not an ethnic minority, and I've never really tried to convey to others about my financial situation, most of even my closest friends don't even know the extent of it. But I felt that I had to somewhat mention it because it has played a large part of who I am today and my goals. Although I didn't want it to come off as only wanting to be a doctor "for the money" because it isn't. How do you think this point would come off?

1. It won't hurt you but it may not help as much as having significant depth in fewer activities. I am writing this next sentence assuming that you are someone who is interested in becoming a doctor enough that you wouldn't blink at having to go through more cycles. As you continue with your applications I would continue your activities. If you are spread too thin, then I would recommend picking just a couple or one in particular you can really get into and spend more time on for a longer stretch. This was my experience and it worked out for me. It's obviously not a hard and fast rule. Many qualified applicants will get accepted with all sorts of EC experiences.

2. I would be super careful about this. If I were you, anything I say should be brought a step back and talked about more generally with an attitude more like, "I am determined and focused and you don't run from challenges". Emphasize your determination and drive. If I was an ADCOM member, it wouldn't be all that compelling for me to read something like that because it might seem you are looking for another feather in your cap, the letters after your name, or w/e. If you want to say "better yourself", you could try and emphasize how you see your medical education expanding your capacity to help others based on what you have learned through your EC's. I don't know, I would just be cautious with how you put it. It might be something that, if worded correctly, would be an awesome connection with a reader; but maybe not.

Just my opinion. Good Luck! (also, will read if you want, pm)
 

okokok

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I'm not sure if you've looked at the printable pdf file of your AMCAS yet, but it lists there your parents' income and education level. It will say "SES Disadvantaged". This means "socioeconomic status disadvantaged" (kind of stung me to see it, personally, as I also don't really like anyone to know that kind of thing about me...but I guess in this case it can only help). So my point is, medical schools can see that information and extrapolate that you're trying to better yourself. I wouldn't waste PS space on this topic unless you don't have anything else to talk about or it's a huge, huge factor for you. Otherwise, I think it may come across as your wanting to be a doctor as a path toward upward mobility and social prestige.
 

sleeper11

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the advice, brought up some issues I didn't anticipate, and I may just leave it off the PS for now until I finish up the rest of the PS, then decide whether to add it in or save it for a secondary.
 

Mt Kilimanjaro

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Secondaries have "greatest challenge" questions where you can mention the impact of growing up in a low-income household. Even if you did not recognize it during your life, you faced numerous disadvantages in comparison to your well-heeled competitors in this process.

There's a reason why SAT and MCAT scores correlate quite nicely with household SES.
 
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