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Any Idea what makes a good personal Statement

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by AngelBear, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. AngelBear

    AngelBear Junior Member
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    Hi guys,

    I am a re-applicant this year and one of my goals is to improve my personal statement. Does anybody out there willing to share an example of some good personal statements ??? I am having trouble trying to figure out how personal it needs to be to be interesting but also balancing it with talking about some of my achievements. I would really love to ready some great PS out there. Also, if anyone doesn't mind critiquing my statements as it is right now that would be great too !!!
     
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  3. taylor92107

    taylor92107 surfing to success
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    I'm not sure if I have a good example of a PS (you can look at mine if you want) but I'll review your if you'd like. :D
     
  4. wizzo

    wizzo Fat, Dumb and happy
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    :laugh: I'll show you mine if you show me yours...although mine is a very non traditional attempt, so I'm not sure if it would do you any good...but I need to get as many eyes on it before the start of next week...PM me if you want
     
  5. taylor92107

    taylor92107 surfing to success
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    Hey wizzo...would you mind reading mine? If you want, I can read yours. :D
     
  6. wizzo

    wizzo Fat, Dumb and happy
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    sent ya a PM
     
  7. dhooppi

    dhooppi Member
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    i'm willing to help out and read your statements.
     
  8. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Your PS is your chance to set yourself above the other applicants. Do not treat it as a resume. It is your chance to show the adcoms why they should chose you over the others. It is your chance to make them want to meet you and get to know you.

    I was told by a dean of admissions.... "Your personal essay is your chance to show us why we whould want to chose you to be our collegue. All of you have good grades, good MCATs lots of EC and good LOR's, but it is the personal essay that will set you apart in our eyes. I have turned down applicants with 38 MCATs and 4.0s because their essays were cold and dry and had no passion for medical profession."

    Make it as personal as you want it. Let your words show the adcoms just who you are and why you truely want to get into medical school. If there was an event in your life that change you forever and made you want to become a doctor, then put that in there. Also talk about any ECs that truely touched you and affected you when you were there and heightened your desire to become a doctor. If someone in your life affected you and that made you want to be a doctor, put that in. If there is something you did and you are really proud of it and it will help you when dealing with patients, put that in.

    If you had a bad mark in your application, such as a bad semester, explain briefly without whinning or making excuses. The adcom I met with siad when they are reviewing applications and see something that is unsual such as a bad semester of a semester with more then 2 W's, she said they immediatly turn to the personal essay to see if it was briefly explained. If it wasn't, she said they question as to why it wasn't touched upon.

    Just be passionate and very clear as to why you want to become a doctor.
    Good luck. If you want me to read through your PS, PM and I will try to help you.
     
  9. BassDominator

    BassDominator Senior Member
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    Other than personalizing your application and making you stand out from the herd, I always felt there were three essential questions to be answered:

    1) Why me?
    2) Why medicine?
    3) Where do I see myself in the future?

    I think the best personal statements tell a story without sounding like a recitation of your resume. For example, you might mention how a series of life experiences progressively shaped your interest in medicine.

    I am always happy to read personal statements. PM me and I will share some of mine with you.
     
  10. AngelBear

    AngelBear Junior Member
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    thanks Guys,

    Great Tips. I'm going to rework my personal statement and I will make sure to pm you guys !!!
     
  11. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    When I served on an ADCOM at an allo school where all the interviewer had in front of them was the PS (blinded to the file during and before the interview), I was told that a "good" PS should answer two questions. First, can the writer "make it" through the program? Second, if they can, why would we want to admit them?

    Generally the "I've wanted to be a doctor since I was three years old. This choice was solidified when my 1)grandmother, 2)father, or 3)pet snake got sick. The people who cared for them were amazing, and I want to be like them" statements got trashed. Why? Glad you asked. They answer nothing about the applicants capacity. Everyone undergoing the long process of applying (especially re-applicants) wants to be a doctor. Re-applying means you want it badly. So we always felt that was a given. Everyone has a story about where that desire comes from, and they all sound the same.

    The best personal statements focused on unique traits of the writer. One that I remember well was written by a bagpiper. He wrote about first practicing the bagpipes and how he was so bad everyone begged him to stop. Then as he improved, people liked to hear him play, but few understood why he chose to. Except other bagpipers. He linked that to medicine (briefly), stating how the hard the learning would be, and how when you are finished people enjoy that you are a doctor, but few understand what that means. He ended with a great paragraph explaining how his mother made him study all about Scotland to "prove" he was serious in his desire to learn the bagpipes. He briefly recounted his academic record (to "prove" he was serious in his desire to learn medicine) and asked the reader for permission. He got in. And no, that was not my PS, I still remember reading it two years later though.

    That example answers the two questions I describe above. I suggest that any applicant have a similar focus. As reapplicant, most have done something with their "off-year". Use that, use your hat collection, use your pet turtle but please, use some device to prove you can make it through and are "interesting enough" to admit.

    If anyone would like, I would be happy to read PSs, but I warn you, I am fairly brutal in my reviews. Feel free to pm me...

    - H
     
  12. jetskigirl

    jetskigirl Member
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    I was in a pre-med class this semester where we all had to write a PS. When the professor asked how people organized theirs, I was the only one who didn't say chronologically. As a psych major, I wanted to make mine reflect my own experiences. So I stuctured my essay following Maslow's heirarchy of needs, giving a story at each step about an EC, why I had a bad semester, my inspiration to be a doctor, anything that seemed relevant. I didn't want to just be another essay; I wanted to be that-Maslow-girl.

    My advice is to pick something you know, something that is very you. Go with that as a central theme for your PS. When schools are reading thousands of essays, you want yours to be memorable.
     
  13. sunflower79

    sunflower79 Plays well with knives
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    Foughtfyr had some excellent points, but allow me to add this:

    When I proofread essays, I want the source of the writer's motivation to be crystal clear. Don't use a bunch of trite expressions to convey this. Instead reflect on your experiences and really try to answer why you want to help people in this particular way, what you get out of it. We want to help people because, in a way, we are helping ourselves.

    When relating your personal experiences, don't make it dry. Try to include enough detail that people can see it in their minds. Then reflect on that description of the experience; say what you think when you look back on it, NOT what you want other ppl to think.

    good luck! email me if you need more help.
    -sunflower
     
  14. Aaron Earles

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I would be willing to read anyone's PS if you are interested. Just email them to [email protected]. Good luck

    Aaron
     
  15. Dr.Wolkower

    Dr.Wolkower the same to you
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    As a member of several admission committes i can tel you that if you have to ask advice about a personal statement when you are interviewed people pick up bs.


    just be yourself and tell the truth good luck
     
  16. Reckoning

    Reckoning Senior Member
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    Anyone still interested in reading personal statements? I am trying to finish mine up in the next week. Pls let me know if you would be willing! Especially those of you with ADCOM exp!
    Thanks.
     

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