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Having trouble choosing a Personal Essay angle

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by STACM, May 25, 2008.

  1. STACM

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm kinda having a hard time deciding what angle to write my personal essay since I didn't take the usual pre-dent route.

    Basically, I graduated spring 07 with a business major. During my first two years of undergrad I planned on going to law school (i did get involved in health in high school, but in college just wasnt confident enough I could be a dr), but eventually found out it really was not for me. After some deep thinking and experiences I decided I really wanted to be a surgeon, so beginning in my junior year i started taking all the pre-reqs, which resulted in me staying at school for an extra year (5 years total). Since junior year to when I graduated, I volunteered at 4 hospitals (1 which I stayed involved with for around 2 years) at numerous departments (ER, trauma ER, burn center, peds ER), volunteered at a clinic, and shadowed a few surgeries . During this time I didn't do anything that had to do with dentistry. However, within the past year, I became really interested in dental surgery (which still is surgery as I had planned in the past, but a type I like alot more now that I've been exposed to it). Also, my father is a dentist which has helped inspire me to be a dentist even more. I've just started going to his office which I plan to do for a while.

    So my big question is, when I write my personal essay, do I really have to go out of my way to explain all these path curves, or should I just write it as though dentistry and/or surgery has always been my focus?

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. CycleCali

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    No! Don't shortcut your path to dentistry. Dent schools have heard the "I've always wanted to be a ..." a million times - how did you KNOW you wanted to do that? Well, you know because you tried other things so you had something to compare to dental surgery. How would you know you really liked dental surgery if you never saw anything else? I think it's great to lead them on your curvy path to finding the perfect career for you. It proves you really want to do it, not just following in your Dad's footsteps. : )

    Good luck!
     
  4. doc toothache

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    When interested in starting a new courtship do you feel compelled to talk about your old flames?
     
  5. Hybridtavo

    Hybridtavo Dr Ortegon
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    I could say Im in the same shoes as u r Dentistry was never my focus, computers were both of my parents are dentist and well I realize 2 yrs ago that dentistry is my thing so IMO u can talk about both things, write about how surgery was ur passion and how through the years and experiences u got to dentistry. In my PS im writing how dentistry became my passion even though it wasnt in my plans through my personal experiences.
    Hope it helps mate :thumbup:
     
  6. STACM

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    not really sure what you mean by that, i would think applying to dental school is alot different then trying to get a wife
     
  7. STACM

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    Yea I'm trying to do that, just having trouble making it concise and to the point rather than a storybook journey of my life from business to dentist
     
  8. STACM

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    I tried doing an essay explaining the curvey path, but its so long because I feel compelled to write in depth for each curve
     
  9. Hybridtavo

    Hybridtavo Dr Ortegon
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    Mine sounds kind of a like a story, but Im including how things from my childhood and teen ages (working w my hands), my experiences through my military service and volunteering at UF Hospital (dental clinics) plus research, etc etc etc has help me realize that dentistry is the path I should follow.
    Try to connect it, I know is kind of hard but just pick the critical points. So u r a business mayor, Surgery interest (as a medic), what made u change ur mind to dentistry (family or cases u have seen). Hope it helps Mate
    Well if someone has any comment on how my PS is formatted PLZ do
    Thank you :thumbup:
     
  10. Physics Guy1421

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    Have a very similar situation to you. Graduated may 2007 with a BS in math and physics. I applied once and didn't get in. The personal statement I used discussed my "curvy" path. At first I thought it was well written and I used it. As I'm getting ready to reapply for the 2009 cycle, I've had more people read it. One common response I'm getting is that I spent too much time talking about the other things I tried before I found dentistry. The problem being that I spent to much time talking about the other professions rather than dentistry. So for this cycle I'm gonna abandon that angle.

    I feel your pain...but I would only dedicate a paragraph at most to the path you followed. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. DMD-2-B

    DMD-2-B Senior Member
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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: Ok I don't really have three thumbs, but if I did they would all be up. Take this advice!!! One paragraph tops dedicated to what your past interests were and why you realize they were not right for you. In this paragraph you can mention what drew you to consider dentistry. Other paragraphs should be dedication to what exactly it is about dentistry that makes it the perfect career for you and experiences that relate to and reflect upon that.
     
  12. doc toothache

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    You are turning your attention to your new found fancy (dentistry) but you are more interested in discussing (ad nauseum) your past interest in your other loves. First law, then medicine, then surgery and now you want to bypass dentistry altogether and go straight to dental surgery.
     
  13. Brownstain

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    I had a similar situation, but with med school. Other than the fact that I disclosed it on the application where required I never mentioned it in the essay let alone was never asked about it in 8 interviews. I honestly don't think anyone reads those things, why do you think they make you write essays now at half of your interviews? I wrote a pretty comical piece about my dog and my love for Mexican food. Not one person mentioned it during an interviews and it didn't seem to get in the way of being accepted to all the schools at which I interviewed.
     
  14. OMFS08

    OMFS08 Tooth Extractornator
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    Wow, sorry to hear your dilemma. From listening to you it seems to me that you are an indecisive individual but thats my opinion. It is not good to appear indecisive to adcoms, I would say you need to focus on what traits about yourself make you suited for a career in Dentistry and oh yeah please make sure you evoke an emotion from readers, anger, sorrow or laughter is fine. Writing a long story about your journey and numerous detours seems pretty boring if you ask me. But hey thats just me. Good luck buddy.
     
  15. STACM

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    When I said dental surgery, i meant dentistry...as it is D.D.S aka...doctor of dental surgery
     
  16. STACM

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    I wouldnt say indecisive, not everyone is born knowing they want to be a dentist. Its more like going through different things and now finally finding out what best fits
     
  17. STACM

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    Do you think it was the essay that got you rejected? Or were there other things that could have done it?
     
  18. Physics Guy1421

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    By no means am I suggesting that it was my personal statement that got me rejected. My GPA is on the lower side, 3.3 (but then again my double major in math and physics accounts for this somewhat) and I put my application in late. But I certainly think my statement can be strengthened by cutting or condensing my "curvy path" section. I plan to cut it all together. Good luck!
     

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