intimidated after seeing PS in books: Barron's best PS's, and "essays that worked"

ssingh0

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HAs anyone seen some of the PS's in these books...

Essays That Worked for Medical Schools: 40 Essays from Successful Applications to the Nation's Top Medical Schools

or Barron's Essays That Will Get You into Medical School


:scared: :scared:
 

Haemulon

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ssingh0 said:
HAs anyone seen some of the PS's in these books...

Essays That Worked for Medical Schools: 40 Essays from Successful Applications to the Nation's Top Medical Schools

or Barron's Essays That Will Get You into Medical School


:scared: :scared:
Thats why I havn't looked. I was happy with mine and don't want to be depressed. :laugh:
 

jackieMD2007

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Yeah, I have the essays that will get you into medical school book.

I think it is helpful in that you see how serious this essay has to be. It isn't any scarier than looking at MCAT prep books or practice MCATs or anything else. I think it is interesting to read through 5 of them and decide which person you like the best.
 

HairyCow

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"Intimidated" by their writing ability or their accomplishments? I read Essays that Worked, but not until after I had already written my PS since I didn't want to get too influenced beforehand. Some essays were written well, but some I were disappointed in. Also, I started snoozing after a while (I bet a lot of adcom members do, too). Besides, it seems SDNers are doing a lot of the same things that the sample writers wrote about. To tell you the truth, reading these forums and MDapp profiles is way more intimidating. :eek: :D
 

CavalierMD

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I have the "Essays That Will Get You In..." by Barrons. I lived by that thing when I was writing my PS... and I do think it's helpful to see exactly how to go about writing a successful essay. As far as their writing ability... I didn't see anything too outstanding. As far as their accomplishments... yeah, there were quite a few essays about African babies... but you have to think about the numbers: 125 allo schools. average say, 100 seats per class. 12,500 seats. you read 40 essays. do you really think the other 12,460 were like those too? doubtful. I'd say a solid 11,000 of those seats go to everyday pre-meds who just wanna be a doctor, dammit! :luck: :luck:
 

sentrosi

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I can't imagine that it would hurt...but I never used any examples.

Everyone is different, your personal statement doesn't have to be like examples you read to be good for your specific situation.
 

NYMC MD 2B

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I personally would avoid those books...and certainly do not allow them to intimidate you!!! You don't want to write some canned, totally packaged ps that sounds like one out of those books. Besides, all of them look pretty much the same to the ADCOMs. The only way to stand out is to have overcome some amazing obstacle, or have achieved some amazing accomplishment, and these types of things are a function of the life you have lived, not HOW you write your PS. Just make sure it is clear, well written, and that it conveys the all important message of why you want to be a doctor.
 

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braluk

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I love writing, and i think these books were more helpful then harmful. I wrote mine about spoken word and how it helped me through some rather difficult times. The essays here definitely helped me structure how a personal statement should sound like. I was about to flal into the trap about structuring an essay around a signiicant research experience (i worked at Mayo in cardiac surgery) but i doubt adcoms want to read a linearlized resume in prose.

I would suggest this book to anyone as a learning tool, not as a comparison tool
 

braluk

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Johnny_one_eye said:

haha I remmeber reading that and laughed at its sheer gutsiness. I doubt too many people are gutsy enough to write something like that unless its a secnodary essay to a college that you probably have very low chance of getting into.

I also heard back then the rumor that a student, as an answer to Harvards Undergraduate Secondary Question of "What is courage", had replied with "This is courage." and had gotten in.

I wonder if gutsy moves like that really pays off.
 

Hednej

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Yeah I have the 40 essays book. Those are really good essays and I was seriously intimidated at first too. But the trick is that you have to start something even though your essay might compare to be crap. It will get better, I promise. By the end of the process, I felt like my essay was better than a lot of the ones in that book. You just have to feel comfortable with your own PS.
 

persephone1

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I have the 40 essays book as well. I really liked it. They take different approaches to writing the PS. I think it's at least worth reading as a way to brainstorm what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Gets those creative juices flowing, ya know? :idea:
 

TinyFish

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Hednej said:
...You just have to feel comfortable with your own PS.
You also have to feel comfortable with your own BS. :D

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Sadly, in many cases, it's true.

I don't have much to add because everyone's covered everything already, but: don't be intimidated. I think I leafed through those books when I was writing my PS, and just ended up getting annoyed. No worries...very few people have had amazing, mind-blowing experiences by the time they graduate from college. The best thing you can do, unless you're one of the chosen few who have had those experiences, is take something that is important to *you," and build a sincere and personal case around it. The key words being sincere and personal.

(although African babies are good, too...)
 

jackieMD2007

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TinyFish said:
You also have to feel comfortable with your own BS. :D

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Sadly, in many cases, it's true.
That, my friends, is the quote of the day. :laugh: :thumbup:
 

etf

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nothing intimidates me more than the student doctor network. you guys are all superstars, and make me look like a scrub (that won't get to wear scrubs any time soon)
 

Dr. Pepper

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braluk said:
I love writing, and i think these books were more helpful then harmful. I wrote mine about spoken word and how it helped me through some rather difficult times. The essays here definitely helped me structure how a personal statement should sound like. I was about to flal into the trap about structuring an essay around a signiicant research experience (i worked at Mayo in cardiac surgery) but i doubt adcoms want to read a linearlized resume in prose.

I would suggest this book to anyone as a learning tool, not as a comparison tool
This is good advice.

Also, I believe that perusing a few classics by authors with good writing styles (Dostoyevsky and Conrad come up) is great for developing a good writing style yourself. (I don't think people account for writing style enough in their PS...just my opinion).

I've seen some of those books. After reading some of those books, my BS detector reaches dangerous levels and my mind becomes contaminated with stories of grandmothers, african babies and glorified stethoscopes.
-Dr. P.

P.S.: No need to be intimidated. Envy is ignorance (thank you RWE).
 

Haemulon

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braluk said:
haha I remmeber reading that and laughed at its sheer gutsiness. I doubt too many people are gutsy enough to write something like that unless its a secnodary essay to a college that you probably have very low chance of getting into.

I also heard back then the rumor that a student, as an answer to Harvards Undergraduate Secondary Question of "What is courage", had replied with "This is courage." and had gotten in.

I wonder if gutsy moves like that really pays off.
Wow. Now that is a powerfull response. Wish I could come up with something bold like that.
 

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etf said:
nothing intimidates me more than the student doctor network. you guys are all superstars, and make me look like a scrub (that won't get to wear scrubs any time soon)

I assure you that you do not have to be an academic superstar to get into medical school...or have developed a vaccination program in a Eulopotamia.

All other things being equal you have a 50/50 chance of getting in somewhere and this does not take into account the people who have no chance at all (based on grades, extra-curricular activities) but who apply anyways.

It's not that hard. Certainly if you have to go to Harvard or nowhere you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. I think they get three or four thousand applicants a year for 70 or so spots. They turn down a lot of "superstars."

P. Bear, MD
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Kicked Out of College Before Many of You Were Born
 

ADeadLois

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I bought the Barron's book. I found it useful for the little quotes they had from the admissions people. Those were very helpful. Also, I took a lot of stylistic risks in my PS and wanted to know if there was a precedent based on the other essays in the book.