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How to write "why medicine" for my 2 experiences in my PS

Open_Main

Full Member
May 9, 2020
22
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Hello,
I'm having a bit of troubling writing the "why medicine" part of in PS where I talk a bit about these two experiences I had. When I write it ends up coming off either too cheesy, or too preachy or not getting the point across. .
1) I volunteered as an orientation leader to help first-years transition to university. I talk about how one of my students was in crisis bc they failed a midterm and I helped them through their situation. I want to convey that the happiness and joy I felt from being able to help someone was vulnerable was why I wanted to go into medicine because I can help patients who are also vulnerable
2) I worked in a clinical research lab with seniors. I talk about one senior who didn't have the financial means to afford transportation to his appointments, which made accessing healthcare difficult. It impacted me because this is where I first hand got to see the impact of inequity in our healthcare system. And I want to become a physician, so I can help people who may have barriers in attaining healthcare.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Can you come up with one more example of helping people? I love the five paragraph essay where you go state your case in paragraph 1, give examples in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, and make a summary statement in paragraph 5.
Thus far I see your "why medicine" as being a means of helping people through difficulties including those who are in emotional turmoil and those who face barriers to accessing care. Have you had any experiences of clinical care of people with illnesses or injuries (even a situation of providing first aid in a crisis) that could form the basis for a third "helping people" that would related to the clinical reasons people most often seek a physician?
 
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Detective SnowBucket

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Generally the other point to cover is a scientifically curious mind. Definitely talk about helping people but I feel that this point gets forgotten and underplayed. That should help you find something more to write about.
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Generally the other point to cover is a scientifically curious mind. Definitely talk about helping people but I feel that this point gets forgotten and underplayed. That should help you find something more to write about.

That could get appended to a paragraph about helping in an emergency. Curiosity about how blood cells work together to form a clot that stops bleeding or how bones knit together after a fracture or why women are more likely than men to suffer ACL tears. Anything like that would bring in the scientific curiosity angle while still making it about wanting to help people.
 
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Detective SnowBucket

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That could get appended to a paragraph about helping in an emergency. Curiosity about how blood cells work together to form a clot that stops bleeding or how bones knit together after a fracture or why women are more likely than men to suffer ACL tears. Anything like that would bring in the scientific curiosity angle while still making it about wanting to help people.
Absolutely, if you can find a way to tie the curiosity part to to medicine through a concrete/clinical example, it will be even more effective than what I was able to string together.

If not OP, your PS won't be a failure, I just talked about the relationship I formed with a professor because of how I was genuinely curious about the material (and how he would tease me about it lol) to show adcoms I can get excited about something purely academic (important if they're deciding how successful they think you'll be regarding success in their school). Nothing clinical or even related to medicine, just orgo.
 
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Open_Main

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May 9, 2020
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Can you come up with one more example of helping people? I love the five paragraph essay where you go state your case in paragraph 1, give examples in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, and make a summary statement in paragraph 5.
Thus far I see your "why medicine" as being a means of helping people through difficulties including those who are in emotional turmoil and those who face barriers to accessing care. Have you had any experiences of clinical care of people with illnesses or injuries (even a situation of providing first aid in a crisis) that could form the basis for a third "helping people" that would related to the clinical reasons people most often seek a physician?
So the other experience I was going to be talking about was my mothers tumor and how her physicians ultimately helped her get through a difficult time. This isn't me helping anyone but this was the first time I was exposed to a hospital and saw first hand the power a physician had in being able to heal someone physically and mentally. Do you think I could talk about that as one of my experiences to tie in with my idea of "why medicine"?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Personally, I'm not a fan of stories about family members... if it is you taking care of them, well, of course you'd take care of your mother but it would be different if you were taking care of my mother who is a complete stranger to you. If it is a clinician who did a wonderful job of taking care of her it comes across as hero worship (I want to be just like that wonderful doctor!) and if the doctor did not do a good job and you are sure you would do better -- just don't go there.

Even if you were to use your mother's cancer as a demonstration of your curiosity, it might come across as cold and a little weird that your mother was suffering and you were wondering about the role of t-killer cells you'd learned about in school and curioius to learn more about how they work.


Writing about caring for your mom, being interested and curious about what the doctors told your family and wanting to learn more and to be of service as this doctor has been of service to your family might work.
 
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kfcchikin

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Dang, I based mine on Dr. Gray's PS advice to not include loving science, and instead focus on 3 clinical experiences centered around helping patients, with how each of those brought something different into my desire to practice medicine.

I save the sciencey stuff for activities. I have pubs, PI LoR, etc so I didn't feel I needed to "make my case" there so much. Do you think it's important enough to go back and include a section on that? Or is it more of a personal preference?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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Dang, I based mine on Dr. Gray's PS advice to not include loving science, and instead focus on 3 clinical experiences centered around helping patients, with how each of those brought something different into my desire to practice medicine.

I save the sciencey stuff for activities. I have pubs, PI LoR, etc so I didn't feel I needed to "make my case" there so much. Do you think it's important enough to go back and include a section on that? Or is it more of a personal preference?
Don't worry about it. If you are happy with the way it tells your story then that should be the way you leave it.
 
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Open_Main

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May 9, 2020
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Personally, I'm not a fan of stories about family members... if it is you taking care of them, well, of course you'd take care of your mother but it would be different if you were taking care of my mother who is a complete stranger to you. If it is a clinician who did a wonderful job of taking care of her it comes across as hero worship (I want to be just like that wonderful doctor!) and if the doctor did not do a good job and you are sure you would do better -- just don't go there.

Even if you were to use your mother's cancer as a demonstration of your curiosity, it might come across as cold and a little weird that your mother was suffering and you were wondering about the role of t-killer cells you'd learned about in school and curioius to learn more about how they work.


Writing about caring for your mom, being interested and curious about what the doctors told your family and wanting to learn more and to be of service as this doctor has been of service to your family might work.
Thank you!!
 

Open_Main

Full Member
May 9, 2020
22
1
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Absolutely, if you can find a way to tie the curiosity part to to medicine through a concrete/clinical example, it will be even more effective than what I was able to string together.

If not OP, your PS won't be a failure, I just talked about the relationship I formed with a professor because of how I was genuinely curious about the material (and how he would tease me about it lol) to show adcoms I can get excited about something purely academic (important if they're deciding how successful they think you'll be regarding success in their school). Nothing clinical or even related to medicine, just orgo.
Thank you for the tip!
 
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