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persumas

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Just having some doubts about my approach to the diversity secondary topics.. thought I would seek a second opinion from y'all :)

My undergraduate and graduate school background is in business information systems -- which essentially covered a broad scope of things from databases, enterprise systems, a bit of programming, and a ton of data analytics/mining. I actually decided to pursue this route because of the applications it has to healthcare, because I enjoy how technology when implemented correctly can really enhance not only hc provider efficiency, but trickles down to patient care as well.

I've been approaching my diversity essays from this perspective, and kind of discussing how this shapes my approach to medicine. It's also opened up a few interesting opportunities like data mining in a clinical research setting and now beginning work at an EMR company to implement EMRs into their orgs.

Is this a solid/reasonable approach? This part of my application is one thing I didn't feel I had the opportunity to address well in my PS or ECs, so I thought it might mesh well with this diversity topic. Unless med schools are strictly looking for something socioeconomic or cultural.

Thanks!
 

UlahSnackbar

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They are looking for your interpretation of the question. You made some good points about your past major and how it relates to medicine. It is different than what most people put down, so I think it is good. Keep up the good work!
 

phunky

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I have a similar approach to my diversity essay.

I am interested in how technology can be better incorporated into clinical settings to inform patients and mesh better among healthcare providers (which I did discuss in my personal statement), and I think I will hammer the point home in my diversity essay.

If they're strictly looking for cultural/socioeconomic stuff, I am SOL. I really don't know what else I would say as an upper-middle class white dude.
 
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kyamh

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Your diversity essay prompts can be reworded: how will your unique previous experiences/viewpoints help you contribute to your medical school class?

An URM can't just write, I'm black/native american/hispanic/etc and hit submit, everyone has to think about what they will actually bring to the class.
 
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persumas

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I have a similar approach to my diversity essay.

I am interested in how technology can be better incorporated into clinical settings to inform patients and mesh better among healthcare providers (which I did discuss in my personal statement), and I think I will hammer the point home in my diversity essay.

If they're strictly looking for cultural/socioeconomic stuff, I am SOL. I really don't know what else I would say as an upper-middle class white dude.

Sweet! Thanks for the feedback.

Haha white boys have culture too! :) although I can't speak from experience..

I have always wondered how an awareness of privilege essay wold be portrayed.. probably a bit too controversial of a topic that could easily make you sound entitled
 

persumas

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Your diversity essay prompts can be reworded: how will your unique previous experiences/viewpoints help you contribute to your medical school class?

An URM can't just write, I'm black/native american/hispanic/etc and hit submit, everyone has to think about what they will actually bring to the class.
Thanks. That is a really helpful wording of the question.

Yup. For sure. I think for any of us our culture plays a big role in that sincertain it is so ingrained in who we are is all
 

LizzyM

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When you are in a small group discussion in a medical school class on topics as diverse as vaccines for kids, behavior change, and access to care in rural/urban areas (and a million other topics), what are the life experiences that you bring to the table that might otherwise not be represented?

Last year an Asian student brought the perspective of a Indian-American and his father's experience as an adult who immigrated to the US.
 

DokterMom

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I have always wondered how an awareness of privilege essay wold be portrayed.. probably a bit too controversial of a topic that could easily make you sound entitled

N=1, but it appears to have gone over quite well in at least one instance. The prompt asked specifically for disadvantages or obstacles overcome, and the applicant actually had a pretty good set of circumstances. What s/he did was the following:
  • I suppose I could claim my parents' divorce as an obstacle, but the reality was that instead of growing up in one dysfunctional household, I grew up in two very different but supporting homes where my parents and step--parents brought a variety of perspectives into play and resolved their differences creatively and positively.
  • Of course, the death of my grandmother was a difficult circumstance. But being able to spend more time together during the last few years of her life was truly a privilege. Knowing her time was short, she shared her life experiences and wisdom with me much more fully than she might have done otherwise, and her decisions to choose palliative care instead of desperate treatments that would probably have been futile were an inspiration to me.
  • Helping care for a disabled family member was, in some ways, difficult. But again, I gained so much more from the experience than I would have had this person not been disabled. S/he truly showed me how a person's worth and lovability were not in any way related to their capabilities or intelligence. From him/her, I internalized the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity, and saw how easy that can be for some people to forget.
  • Being of mixed race did cause a few challenges, but again, was really as much of an opportunity as a challenge. In my area, neither race is disadvantaged, so it was merely an interesting talking point, and something I was able to use to bridge social groups and disprove some of the stereotypes that sometimes floated around about each group. Being bi-racial gave me the perfect 'pulpit' to speak out about these issues without being accused of being racist about either of my races.
  • In short, I'd have to say that my circumstances were much more of an advantage than a disadvantage. Instead of being an obstacle to overcome, my family provided me an example to live by, and set a standard that I hope I can live up to.
 
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LizzyM

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The overcoming a difficult situation essay is different than the diversity essay. There the key issue is how do you deal with whatever comes your way? They are looking for evidence that you are resilient and resourceful and not easily crushed when adversity or disappointment comes along. Show me how you've demonstrated those characteristics when faced with a difficult situation.

This isn't a pissing contest to see who has had the saddest life and judge them as most worthy of medical school admission. Don't treat it that way.
 
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doctologist

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Le Bump.

The worst bit of adversity I've overcome deals with interracial dating and parents who hated me without knowing a thing about my personality.

This messed up my self-image for at least a year, required some therapy (wouldn't mention in the IIs). Long after the relationship ended and I've come to understand that somethings are out of my control; some people can't be swayed.

I assume this is something unique and not experienced by hundreds of thousands of premeds. But is this too personal and too controversial?
 

DokterMom

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Le Bump.

The worst bit of adversity I've overcome deals with interracial dating and parents who hated me without knowing a thing about my personality.

This messed up my self-image for at least a year, required some therapy (wouldn't mention in the IIs). Long after the relationship ended and I've come to understand that somethings are out of my control; some people can't be swayed.

I assume this is something unique and not experienced by hundreds of thousands of premeds. But is this too personal and too controversial?

I think this has the potential to be an attention-grabber, because I do agree that it's an uncommon situation, and one that would absolutely be painful. The trick is going to be writing about it in a way that shows maturity and wisdom gained while not getting bogged down in the pain. Yes, it's very personal, because experiencing prejudice like that can cut deep into our cores. But the ultimate realization that his/her parents' attitudes had absolutely nothing to do with you personally can diffuse it a bit.

Maybe make yourself a worksheet with positive takes on one side and negative takes on the other, then build your statement with 80% from the positive side, ending on an upnote.
 

doctologist

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@DokterMom Thanks for the reply!

Hopefully others chime in because I'm struggling with the adversity and diversity questions on secondaries. I don't want to use a topic that people some ADCOMs may not enjoy reading about.
 

ThisCouldBeYou

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The overcoming a difficult situation essay is different than the diversity essay. There the key issue is how do you deal with whatever comes your way? They are looking for evidence that you are resilient and resourceful and not easily crushed when adversity or disappointment comes along. Show me how you've demonstrated those characteristics when faced with a difficult situation.
I realize that my personal statement which explains so much about who I am may come off as an essay about the obstacles I've overcome and challenges I faced, but truth is, I never thought of my story as anything but a story about who I am and why I chose medicine. I don't dwell on those negative aspects, other than to say they exist. Mentioning these things in my ps wasn't my focus, but I sure hope adcoms don't read it as such either.
 
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