Feedback on ideas for Diversity Essay?

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zakimran23

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Hello everyone, hope you are doing well.

I am currently drafting my diversity/what will you contribute to our class essay and was hoping to get some feedback on topics that could be relevant. I feel like many of us get stuck in the trap of trying to be as "unique as possible" when in reality adcoms have seen it all. There are a lot of meaningful things I have been involved in, however, it is definitely difficult to narrow it down to a few points to hit in an essay.

1. I grew up in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual household (my father spoke to me in six different languages) and my parents were always trying to teach me about my own and other cultures.

2. I attended an international school for a year and was able to meet people from all over the world and learn about them and their backgrounds. I also had the opportunity to talk to so many people about being the "other' in society as a minority and it how it was comforting to know that I wasn't the only one who felt different.

3. In college I was involved in multiple leadership positions and even started an internship program at my school. Leadership and having a direct role in in shaping outcomes and affecting change within my own organization is something that I have come to appreciate, is important to me, and that I want to continue to do in the future in medicine.

4. I won't say too much away so I don't dox myself, but I had some incredible research opportunities that I am extremely grateful for and really shaped my interest in becoming a physician-scientist.

5. I've worked full time as a medical assistant for over three years and have learned a lot in both the clinical and administrative aspects. Having so much direct time with patients has only furthered my interest in pursuing medicine for a multitude of reasons. I could write an entire essay just about this.

6. I had the opportunity to study abroad for six months on scholarship. Living in a new country was definitely scary, especially when I didn't speak the language, but it pushed me to step out of my comfort zone while helping me improve my spanish.

7. I helped to start a free clinic that travels to different parts of the city to serve marginalized communities. There are things you don't understand about the difficulties many of these people go through until you are face to face with them. Its definitely something I want to continue in the future ad I could easily write an entire essay on this as well.

8. For my other impactful experiences essay I talked about struggling to make ends meet during COVID to the point that I had to get medicaid and food stamps to survive. That really opened my eyes to how difficult life can truly be for economically disadvantaged patients and how lucky I am that these types of services are available, but even then I am only scratching the surface of situations that people go through. I feel like this would be more of a COVID essay though.


Like I said, that's a lot of stuff and I have no idea which of these to talk about. I am also not sure if I should end the essay by relating it to medicine or perhaps relating it directly to the school, but then that could fall into the "why us" category. Apologies for the extremely long post. I appreciate the feedback.

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I think the first one is great, if you can speak and understand 6 languages (even if you are not fluent).
 
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1,2, 6, and 7 all speak to some extent about your interactions with those different from yourself and I think you could take some combination and gel it under that one theme.

I like 1 but it's one of those things that you describe in a couple sentences and shift to something else (like 7 which you say you could write a whole essay about!)

Pick the one that feels most pivotal to shaping you.
 
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What's the prompt?

Yes, we've seen pretty much everything when it comes to answering for "diversity." And yes, some answers are better than others. As long as you answer the prompt.

What will you contribute to the class? Your suggested themes don't really address this.
 
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What's the prompt?

Yes, we've seen pretty much everything when it comes to answering for "diversity." And yes, some answers are better than others. As long as you answer the prompt.

What will you contribute to the class? Your suggested themes don't really address this.
This is just one of many but "Explain how your unique background, identity, interests, or talents will contribute to the MCW learning community."

Another is "Please specifically discuss how, if admitted to our program, your admission would contribute to the diversity of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science community."

That is really what I am struggling with. The transition from these are my experiences and from those experiences I will contribute to x, y, z to your medical school community.
 
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Having experienced x, y and z, I bring to the class a perspective on a, b, and c that is, perhaps, unique and will contribute to conversations as we explore the relationship of d to e.

Your things could be that having lived in a country where you did not speak the language and having struggled financially during the pandemic, you have a perspective on the experience of being in a position where you can't communicate easily with others and have difficulty meeting one's daily needs. "These experiences are similar to those experienced by many patients and I hope that I will be able to contribute to conversations with fellow students and other members of the care team to approach such patients with patience, empathy, and humility." Just my thoughts.
 
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@LizzyM states one of the best ways you can address how your diversity contributes to the learning environment of the school. We really want to see how you leverage your identity to connect with diverse patients, peers, and communities.

I am more impressed in an answer reflecting on when you have leveraged this. (That's all I'm going to say.)

Now that I have more time:
1) Of course that's fair game.
2) Great answer for prompts where they ask about a time when you have been excluded or your advice was not taken.
3) As described, it doesn't answer the prompt.
4) Can't comment, but if you are that unique, you should be able to determine whether your answer is appropriate.
5) As described, it doesn't answer the prompt.
6) Sounds like a cool story: "tell me about a time when..."
7) Sounds like an accomplishment you're proud of.
8) Maybe... I need a better link to how this is something to contribute to the diversity of the learning community though.
 
This is incredible feedback. I honestly can't believe you guys do this for free. Thank you so much!
 
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@LizzyM states one of the best ways you can address how your diversity contributes to the learning environment of the school. We really want to see how you leverage your identity to connect with diverse patients, peers, and communities.

I am more impressed in an answer reflecting on when you have leveraged this. (That's all I'm going to say.)

Now that I have more time:
1) Of course that's fair game.
2) Great answer for prompts where they ask about a time when you have been excluded or your advice was not taken.
3) As described, it doesn't answer the prompt.
4) Can't comment, but if you are that unique, you should be able to determine whether your answer is appropriate.
5) As described, it doesn't answer the prompt.
6) Sounds like a cool story: "tell me about a time when..."
7) Sounds like an accomplishment you're proud of.
8) Maybe... I need a better link to how this is something to contribute to the diversity of the learning community though.
If I may ask a couple follow-up questions, how do you and LizzyM feel about relating the secondary question to medicine at the end? Is it secondary specific or something I should always do? For example a question about working in a team or dealing with a challenge.

Second, how do you feel about restating the question in the answer? Is it just a waste of characters? Thank you for all the feedback!
 
No need to re-state the question, and no need to relate the anecdote to medicine if it is not a clinical anecdote.
 
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