oshanimalia

2+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2015
479
546
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all,
We've all heard the same old catch phrase that "diversity" doesn't just mean race. However, I am very passionate about this topic, as an asian american. Reason being that I come from the midwest and have experienced my fair share of "the outsider" treatment, and when I visit my respective home asian country, I am too "american". I would love to talk about how this exposure and realization that I cannot belong in every group shaped my worldview and has made me the person that focuses a lot on getting to know individuals past their external stereotypes.

Is writing about this cliche/used/inappropriate? Its not that I'm not an interesting person (I am an EMT and have worked in underserved urban areas for thousands of hours), but in terms of appropriateness do any of you guys have a comment about my essay topic? Full disclosure: I submitted quite a few diversity essays about the above subject, but perusing a lot of the threads I keep hearing people condemn "race" being brought up in a diversity secondary. Thanks guys.
 

sovereign0

5+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2014
525
814
Status
Medical Student
Well, your take on using race as a diversity statement is a bit different than some.

My favorite way I've heard this essay described (on this forum, actually) was this - If you were chosen in a random sample of 9 medical students, you would be the only ______. The problem with race in a diversity essay is that I highly doubt you would be the only Asian in a group of 9. You could very well be the only former EMT with thousands of work with the underserved.
 

hayden29

2+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2015
33
7
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't have any practical experience with the admissions process, but I think your story would bode well with many people. Especially since it is crucial to see through external stereotypes to deliver optimal care to your patients. If you can show how your experiences have shaped you and inspired you to go into medicine, then your golden. Good luck!
 
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ac62994

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
170
144
Status
Pre-Medical
You've already written it, so might as well stick with it.

Your take on the subject is definitely one of the better ones if you were to compare it to other applicants with the same topic.
 

oshanimalia

2+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2015
479
546
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the responses guys. I just feel like if I talk about emt and exposure in the underserved area..like..Yeah it showed me very revealing things about how some areas of cities lack basic access to health care and so many preventative things are common issues there, but I feel like that's something I put in my most meaningful essay. It's not about me. -_-
 
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futuredoc331

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2012
504
141
Status
Pre-Medical
Well, your take on using race as a diversity statement is a bit different than some.

My favorite way I've heard this essay described (on this forum, actually) was this - If you were chosen in a random sample of 9 medical students, you would be the only ______. The problem with race in a diversity essay is that I highly doubt you would be the only Asian in a group of 9. You could very well be the only former EMT with thousands of work with the underserved.
I love how that was worded. Thinking about it that way really highlights the things that set us apart from everyone else. Thanks for the share.
 

futuredoc331

7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2012
504
141
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the responses guys. I just feel like if I talk about emt and exposure in the underserved area..like..Yeah it showed me very revealing things about how some areas of cities lack basic access to health care and so many preventative things are common issues there, but I feel like that's something I put in my most meaningful essay. It's not about me. -_-
Understanding those specific situations is something unique. Many prospective med school students have never experienced life in an under-served inner city. Chances are when they are first exposed to it they will not know how to act. They may be uncomfortable themselves and may in turn make their patients feel uncomfortable.
 
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oshanimalia

2+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2015
479
546
Status
Pre-Medical
Understanding those specific situations is something unique. Many prospective med school students have never experienced life in an under-served inner city. Chances are when they are first exposed to it they will not know how to act. They may be uncomfortable themselves and may in turn make their patients feel uncomfortable.
I agree with you. On the other hand..aren't a lot of students involved with such things such as this? I know a good counter to that question is " there a even more Asians applying" But as some have mentioned my justification of using race is a little different and less cliche (anyone please correct me if I am incorrect)
 

Goro

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
59,235
89,057
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
With 1/3rd of all med students being Asian, this simply won't pass muster.

What's cool about you?


Hi all,
We've all heard the same old catch phrase that "diversity" doesn't just mean race. However, I am very passionate about this topic, as an asian american. Reason being that I come from the midwest and have experienced my fair share of "the outsider" treatment, and when I visit my respective home asian country, I am too "american". I would love to talk about how this exposure and realization that I cannot belong in every group shaped my worldview and has made me the person that focuses a lot on getting to know individuals past their external stereotypes.

Is writing about this cliche/used/inappropriate? Its not that I'm not an interesting person (I am an EMT and have worked in underserved urban areas for thousands of hours), but in terms of appropriateness do any of you guys have a comment about my essay topic? Full disclosure: I submitted quite a few diversity essays about the above subject, but perusing a lot of the threads I keep hearing people condemn "race" being brought up in a diversity secondary. Thanks guys.
 
Jun 1, 2014
22
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Of the list below, can you tell me what stands out most?

socio-econoimic disadvantage due to my single mother becoming permanently disabled when I was 9.
how we were treated because of this,
what we dealt with living in a medically underserved city
how it has made me want to help disadvantaged and disabled
I've been her caretaker since 2013 when she moved in with me
I;m a nontraditional student, graduated 2009 with degree in Egyptology minor in classical civilization, then decided to go the medical route in 2012. finished pre-medical certificate in 2013.
dealing with abuse from my step mother, taking a restraining order out on my father, and my mom getting custody of me at 10 ( i dont know if I should ever write about this at all)
dad is from south africa, mom's parents are immigrants
ive traveled to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and lived in Italy for 1 month for a study abroad.
work as a medical scribe working with the underserved
living the first 6 year and last 10 years in los angeles, the heterogenous community melting pot that it is
exposure to different cultures: mom's Indian boyfriend, Polish Catholic Godparents (my babysitters), mom's Brazilian best friend and her family

With 1/3rd of all med students being Asian, this simply won't pass muster.

What's cool about you?
 
Last edited:
Apr 2, 2015
364
391
30
Topeka, Kansas
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Of the list below, can you tell me what stands out most?

socio-econoimic disadvantage due to my single mother becoming permanently disabled when I was 9.
how we were treated because of this,
how it has made me want to help disadvantaged and disabled
I've been her caretaker since 2013 when she moved in with me
I;m a nontraditional student, graduated 2009 with degree in Egyptology minor in classical civilization, then decided to go the medical route in 2012. finished pre-medical certificate in 2013.
dealing with abuse from my step mother, taking a restraining order out on my father, and my mom getting custody of me at 10 ( i dont know if I should ever write about this at all)
dad is from south africa, mom's parents are immigrants
ive traveled to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and lived in Italy for 1 month for a study abroad.
Snowflake
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
24,215
37,325
Status
Academic Administration
Of the list below, can you tell me what stands out most?

socio-econoimic disadvantage due to my single mother becoming permanently disabled when I was 9.
how we were treated because of this,
what we dealt with living in a medically underserved city
how it has made me want to help disadvantaged and disabled

Go with this, it is just what adcoms will be looking for.


I've been her caretaker since 2013 when she moved in with me
Keep this under your hat. It could plant seeds of doubt about your ability to devote the time needed to be successful in medical school.

I;m a nontraditional student, graduated 2009 with degree in Egyptology minor in classical civilization, then decided to go the medical route in 2012. finished pre-medical certificate in 2013.
This is on your application already. What they are looking for with this prompt isn't diversity of college majors.
dealing with abuse from my step mother, taking a restraining order out on my father, and my mom getting custody of me at 10 ( i dont know if I should ever write about this at all)
I tend to recommend the avoidance of anything that could be seen as bad mouthing anyone. Keep that kind of information confidential, just as you would if you heard it about a patient.

dad is from south africa, mom's parents are immigrants
ive traveled to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and lived in Italy for 1 month for a study abroad.
Immigrant grandparents & parents aren't unusual, believe it or not. Extensive travel turns off some adcoms as -- accurate or not-- they see it as a mark of privilege.

work as a medical scribe working with the underserved
living the first 6 year and last 10 years in los angeles, the heterogenous community melting pot that it is
exposure to different cultures: mom's Indian boyfriend, Polish Catholic Godparents (my babysitters), mom's Brazilian best friend and her family
Where you've worked and the community you grew up in and where you live now is already on your application.
 
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Goro

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
59,235
89,057
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
See bold.

Blue smacks of privilege (teaching moment)

red: too much drama

Of the list below, can you tell me what stands out most?

socio-econoimic disadvantage due to my single mother becoming permanently disabled when I was 9.
how we were treated because of this,

what we dealt with living in a medically underserved city
how it has made me want to help disadvantaged and disabled
I've been her caretaker since 2013 when she moved in with me
I;m a nontraditional student, graduated 2009 with degree in Egyptology minor in classical civilization, then decided to go the medical route in 2012. finished pre-medical certificate in 2013.
dealing with abuse from my step mother, taking a restraining order out on my father, and my mom getting custody of me at 10 ( i dont know if I should ever write about this at all)
dad is from south africa, mom's parents are immigrants
ive traveled to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and lived in Italy for 1 month for a study abroad.
work as a medical scribe working with the underserved
living the first 6 year and last 10 years in los angeles, the heterogenous community melting pot that it is
exposure to different cultures: mom's Indian boyfriend, Polish Catholic Godparents (my babysitters), mom's Brazilian best friend and her family
 
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Doug Underhill

5+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2011
1,874
1,393
The South
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
How did someone who was socioeconomically disadvantaged travel to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy? My family was too poor to take me on a trip to another U.S. state other than the one of my birth, and while we were poor, we still lived more comfortably than the bottom 15% or so of Americans. I didn't visit any other states or travel by plane at all until age 21, when an employer paid to interview me.
 

Holmwood

WOW
2+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2014
1,800
1,547
How did someone who was socioeconomically disadvantaged travel to Thailand, Peru, France, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy? My family was too poor to take me on a trip to another U.S. state other than the one of my birth, and while we were poor, we still lived more comfortably than the bottom 15% or so of Americans. I didn't visit any other states or travel by plane at all until age 21, when an employer paid to interview me.
Military background.

Or by boat (if this was 19th century, lol).
 

Doug Underhill

5+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2011
1,874
1,393
The South
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm thinking that they were at least middle-class and traveled a lot until Mom became permanently disabled and had to leave her lucrative career, resulting in a tremendous drop in income. It's an interesting story if you can talk about the changes it made in your life and how you grew as a result.

Personally, my mom started out as a cashier in a big-box retailer and ended up making about $70,000/year in insurance by the time I was in my early twenties. I'd like to think she did so via work ethic, although social programs were important too.
 
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oshanimalia

2+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2015
479
546
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm thinking that they were at least middle-class and traveled a lot until Mom became permanently disabled and had to leave her lucrative career, resulting in a tremendous drop in income. It's an interesting story if you can talk about the changes it made in your life and how you grew as a result.

Personally, my mom started out as a cashier in a big-box retailer and ended up making about $70,000/year in insurance by the time I was in my early twenties. I'd like to think she did so via work ethic, although social programs were important too.
All in all, I understand the importance of checking yourself, but I am also wary of the witch hunt like skepticism just because someone traveled while supposedly lower in socioeconomic status. Idk. Feels weird.
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
24,215
37,325
Status
Academic Administration
Do keep in mind that this is a non-trad applicant who may be of higher SES now although raised in a lower SES household. The point is, having had the experience of travel to Europe, Asia and South America is not something that is that unusual or that could be considered to be something adding to the diversity of the class. Sometimes it is just a marker of having had the means and inclination to travel whether this was thanks to one's parents in childhood, during a study abroad semester (which can be less expensive than a semester at your home institution), or on the job or as vacations as a grown-up.
 
Jun 1, 2014
22
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes most of that travel was as an adult, with my own money, and with financial aid for semester abroad. Or with my friend who worked for the airline. FOr exmple going to peru cost $56.

Thank you for sticking up for me.


Do keep in mind that this is a non-trad applicant who may be of higher SES now although raised in a lower SES household. The point is, having had the experience of travel to Europe, Asia and South America is not something that is that unusual or that could be considered to be something adding to the diversity of the class. Sometimes it is just a marker of having had the means and inclination to travel whether this was thanks to one's parents in childhood, during a study abroad semester (which can be less expensive than a semester at your home institution), or on the job or as vacations as a grown-up.
 
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