Anyone else getting disjointed secondary prompts?

freak7

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So I'm a reapplicant and I'm really trying to focus my essay answers on answering the questions directly and elaborating on that. However, this is proving to be a difficult task when I get a prompt like this:

Here at XSOM, we're committed to serving patients in more ways than just physical wellbeing and we value relationships to support our patients. Please describe your unique experiences and how you would benefit the class as a whole.

The first half gets you thinking "oh ok how am I committed to serving the patient as a whole and not just their physical condition," and then out of nowhere it becomes a diversity/uniqueness essay. Anyone else getting these?

Maybe it's just me and I'm interpreting it wrong, who knows?
 

DrMantisTobogganMD

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I think that's exactly what this is. How are you different/unique and how would that contribute to the class? Did it make you a better learner, accepting, understanding? How can you connect with people besides giving them a pill?
 

gonnif

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So I'm a reapplicant and I'm really trying to focus my essay answers on answering the questions directly and elaborating on that. However, this is proving to be a difficult task when I get a prompt like this:

Here at XSOM, we're committed to serving patients in more ways than just physical wellbeing and we value relationships to support our patients. Please describe your unique experiences and how you would benefit the class as a whole.

The first half gets you thinking "oh ok how am I committed to serving the patient as a whole and not just their physical condition," and then out of nowhere it becomes a diversity/uniqueness essay. Anyone else getting these?

Maybe it's just me and I'm interpreting it wrong, who knows?
you are reading the question incorrectly. The first part is a very general statement of the mission of the school/education; the second part, which is actually the question, is what experiences, education, skills, knowledge, background, SES, ethnicity, personal characteristics , etc, that make you "unique" (read :make you an individual) that would be applicable to that mission. It is NOT asking for you to make any direct connection between the first part of the question and second part. Indeed, I would advise applicants in this case to stay away from any effort that requires "strain" to connect the two or even making the attempt. You dont have show me how they would connect the characteristics to the mission

In short, what unique things do you have that would be applicable to such a mission
 
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freak7

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you are reading the question incorrectly. The first part is a very general statement of the mission of the school/education; the second part, which is actually the question, is what experiences, education, skills, knowledge, background, SES, ethnicity, personal characteristics , etc, that make you "unique" (read :make you an individual) that would be applicable to that mission. It is NOT asking for you to make any direct connection between the first part of the question and second part. Indeed, I would advise applicants in this case to stay away from any effort that requires "strain" to connect the two or even making the attempt. You dont have show me how they would connect the characteristics to the mission

In short, what unique things do you have that would be applicable to such a mission
So then I guess my next question would be: Why put the first part in the prompt in the first place? Is it just filler?
 
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So then I guess my next question would be: Why put the first part in the prompt in the first place? Is it just filler?
Sometimes I thought it served an almost literary purpose, to get you in the mindset of the question asker/reader who will evaluate the response.
 
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freak7

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Sometimes I thought it served an almost literary purpose, to get you in the mindset of the question asker/reader who will evaluate the response.
Yeah that may be it. I'll go with that, thanks guys!
 

gonnif

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So then I guess my next question would be: Why put the first part in the prompt in the first place? Is it just filler?
Sometimes I thought it served an almost literary purpose, to get you in the mindset of the question asker/reader who will evaluate the response.
Forgive the sarcasm, but I am assuming that both of you did do remotely OK on CARS or am I assuming too much?

1) Its not a simple literary purpose; it specifically sets the criteria of which they will evaluate the response. Direct and clear framing
2) The mistake that applicants always make is because of the first part, they must specifically and clearly connect the first part to second or, even more so, come up specific examples only connecting to patient care or mission or whatever.
3) If they asked simply, "what unique characteristics do you bring the class?," and you write about your ability to juggle, gargle in tune, and did a marathon binge watch of "Big Bang Theory" without sleep, it would be, what I call a Microsoft answer: "Perfectly Accurate and Completely Useless"

Hence the framing of questions
 
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Forgive the sarcasm, but I am assuming that both of you did do remotely OK on CARS or am I assuming too much?

1) Its not a simple literary purpose; it specifically sets the criteria of which they will evaluate the response. Direct and clear framing
2) The mistake that applicants always make is because of the first part, they must specifically and clearly connect the first part to second or, even more so, come up specific examples only connecting to patient care or mission or whatever.
3) If they asked simply, "what unique characteristics do you bring the class?," and you write about your ability to juggle, gargle in tune, and did a marathon binge watch of "Big Bang Theory" without sleep, it would be, what I call a Microsoft answer: "Perfectly Accurate and Completely Useless"

Hence the framing of questions
"Sets the criteria" "gets you in the mindset" "clear framing" "potato" Potato"
 

summergirl

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lol, it's the Georgetown secondary isn't it? It's not that bad really. Wait until you get to the Pritzker one.
 
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freak7

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Forgive the sarcasm, but I am assuming that both of you did do remotely OK on CARS or am I assuming too much?
:laugh: No offense taken. I did very well on CARS, I'm just having a long day (getting to the end of my shift and my brain is quickly becoming mush, please forgive me).

I guess here's what's so darn confusing to me, maybe you can make it clearer:

1) Its not a simple literary purpose; it specifically sets the criteria of which they will evaluate the response. Direct and clear framing
Here's what goes through my head when I read that:
"Ok since I know they will be evaluating this through the lens of part 1 of the statement, I better make sure my answer to the question (part 2) takes this into account"

But then:
2) The mistake that applicants always make is because of the first part, they must specifically and clearly connect the first part to second or, even more so, come up specific examples only connecting to patient care or mission or whatever.
This makes me think:
"Wait what? Ok... maybe I should keep it strictly diversity and ignore part 1 altogether"

But then:
3) If they asked simply, "what unique characteristics do you bring the class?," and you write about your ability to juggle, gargle in tune, and did a marathon binge watch of "Big Bang Theory" without sleep, it would be, what I call a Microsoft answer: "Perfectly Accurate and Completely Useless"
This makes me think:
"Oh, I guess it can't be a strictly 'diversity/uniqueness' question either so I guess I'll have to make some sort of hybrid statement that involves part 1 and part 2"

... Which brings me full circle back to where I began after you made point 1.

Am I way off base here? I feel like I'm missing something right in front of my face.

Edit: Thanks @gonnif btw, I know it takes a ton of patience dealing with someone this dense :laugh:
 
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freak7

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lol, it's the Georgetown secondary isn't it? It's not that bad really. Wait until you get to the Pritzker one.
BUSTED. ;)

Good thing I didn't apply to Pritzker haha.
 

Goro

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This is a good preparation for Board-style questions. Often the vast bulk of the question is irrelevant, except for the very last line!


So I'm a reapplicant and I'm really trying to focus my essay answers on answering the questions directly and elaborating on that. However, this is proving to be a difficult task when I get a prompt like this:

Here at XSOM, we're committed to serving patients in more ways than just physical wellbeing and we value relationships to support our patients. Please describe your unique experiences and how you would benefit the class as a whole.

The first half gets you thinking "oh ok how am I committed to serving the patient as a whole and not just their physical condition," and then out of nowhere it becomes a diversity/uniqueness essay. Anyone else getting these?

Maybe it's just me and I'm interpreting it wrong, who knows?
 
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freak7

freak7

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This is a good preparation for Board-style questions. Often the vast bulk of the question is irrelevant, except for the very last line!
I think what I'm going to do is prioritize the content of my response like this:

1) Answer the question
2) Keep in mind that they framed the question a certain way so keep it relative to what would interest an adcom (not Big Bang Theory binging like @gonnif said).
3) Connect the two parts of the prompt only if relevant and necessary

Does that look good @gonnif & @Goro

Seriously, thanks for your help guys.
 

Goro

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Sounds like a plan!

I think what I'm going to do is prioritize the content of my response like this:

1) Answer the question
2) Keep in mind that they framed the question a certain way so keep it relative to what would interest an adcom (not Big Bang Theory binging like @gonnif said).
3) Connect the two parts of the prompt only if relevant and necessary

Does that look good @gonnif & @Goro

Seriously, thanks for your help guys.
 

Crayola227

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I don't think it's wrong to keep the first part in mind.

So my example might be (totally crap phrasing just describing my approach and with some real and fake autobio details),

"My diversity will add to the class and caring for the whole patient because of my unique experiences. I have spent time living on the streets, which has given me insights into some of the struggles impoverished or homeless patients face that is beyond the medical. That experience taught me unique problem solving strategies for this patient population that I could share with pateints and colleagues. I am also trans and a LGBT advocate. My love of post modern art gives me blahblha blah perspective on blah ablah. I also enjoy rock climbing and would like to reach out to other students for outings, or to teach those interested in learning."

So basically with these I tried to cover both bases. Basically, what Goro says, what's cool/interesting about you that you contribute to the class and makes you fun to hang out with, but also touch on what some of the more traditional categories of diversity where it applies to you and how that can help you connect to patients.

Some of these essays don't have to be an either/or proposition. You can make a case for being diverse, connecting to the "whole patient" in special ways, and also that you're cool.

That would be my approach when it's not exactly clear what the prompt wants, or where it's appropriate to do anyway. Because why not make the case for yourself for all 3?

Goro and Gonnif can tell me if I'm wrong with this approach. Just sharing the way that I skinned the cat of prompts like these.
 

gonnif

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"My diversity will add to the class and caring for the whole patient because of my unique experiences. I have spent time living on the streets, which has given me insights into some of the struggles impoverished or homeless patients face that is beyond the medical. That experience taught me unique problem solving strategies for this patient population that I could share with pateints and colleagues. I am also trans and a LGBT advocate. My love of post modern art gives me blahblha blah perspective on blah ablah. I also enjoy rock climbing and would like to reach out to other students for outings, or to teach those interested in learning."
The whole point of the opening part one was to frame how it would be reviewed and what your answers should be directed . It was, in sense, to keep people from having to directly express how their uniqueness will connect to patient care. Or, as a high school student does, repeat the question in an essay exam. All the items in red, as far as I am concern, are not necessary. Dont tell me how me how it will connect to patients. Tell me about the experience. Tell me about what characteristics, values, behaviors, skills, knowledge, etc it gave you. What did you learn from it? What unique problems does it present? what problem solving strategies did you acquire? what things do you understand about this population? what view can you share with your incoming class?
 
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freak7

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The whole point of the opening part one was to frame how it would be reviewed and what your answers should be directed . It was, in sense, to keep people from having to directly express how their uniqueness will connect to patient care. Or, as a high school student does, repeat the question in an essay exam. All the items in red, as far as I am concern, are not necessary. Dont tell me how me how it will connect to patients. Tell me about the experience. Tell me about what characteristics, values, behaviors, skills, knowledge, etc it gave you. What did you learn from it? What unique problems does it present? what problem solving strategies did you acquire? what things do you understand about this population? what view can you share with your incoming class?
@gonnif I had my wife explain to me what you meant last night since I was having such a hard time figuring it out. She basically said that what you meant wasn't that you should ignore the first part completely, but rather not just OVERTLY connect the two parts ie: the experience should speak for itself. For instance don't waste saying "blah experience makes me diverse and that is why I fit into the mission." Basically connect them with the experience not with the text.

Your post just now of course makes it very clear.
 

gonnif

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@gonnif I had my wife explain to me what you meant last night since I was having such a hard time figuring it out. She basically said that what you meant wasn't that you should ignore the first part completely, but rather not just OVERTLY connect the two parts ie: the experience should speak for itself. For instance don't waste saying "blah experience makes me diverse and that is why I fit into the mission." Basically connect them with the experience not with the text.

Your post just now of course makes it very clear.
"Behind every successful man, there stands a surprised woman."
--Maryon Elspeth Pearson (wife of 14th p)rime minister of Canada)
 
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I thought the same exact thing about some of my secondaries, especially VTC:

"VTC is committed to strengthening the diversity of its community. Through interactions with a heterogeneous population, people broaden their knowledge about other cultures and ultimately develop the ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with others. Tell us about how your life experience has broadened your perspective of the world and relate how you would add to the diversity of your class, if admitted to VTC."

I really struggled relating my perspective-broadening-experiences to how I would diversify the class.
 

gonnif

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I thought the same exact thing about some of my secondaries, especially VTC:

"VTC is committed to strengthening the diversity of its community. Through interactions with a heterogeneous population, people broaden their knowledge about other cultures and ultimately develop the ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with others. Tell us about how your life experience has broadened your perspective of the world and relate how you would add to the diversity of your class, if admitted to VTC."

I really struggled relating my perspective-broadening-experiences to how I would diversify the class.
what are you like? what have you done? what interests do you have? have you been anywhere? It can be complex or seemingly small. I read one about some taking care of his young nephew and nieces for a weekend, how he never understood both the responsibility of taking care of a child as well as fascinated on how they looked at the world. It doesnt need to be earth shattering, but stuff that you think is inside you that is part of you.
 
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freak7

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what are you like? what have you done? what interests do you have? have you been anywhere? It can be complex or seemingly small. I read one about some taking care of his young nephew and nieces for a weekend, how he never understood both the responsibility of taking care of a child as well as fascinated on how they looked at the world. It doesnt need to be earth shattering, but stuff that you think is inside you that is part of you.
So one thought that has been going through my head all day is: how does this answer the question of "how will this contribute to diversity of the class." It seems like the answers to these questions, @gonnif would be better suited to a prompt that read "what makes you diverse?" or something. I agree that restating the prompt is a bad idea as well as overtly referring to "part 1" of the prompt and "forcing" the essay, but I can't think of how to answer "how" without bringing the whole thing back to patient care etc.

Am I still way overthinking this?