Northwestern: "Distinguishable Characteristics"

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Looque

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Northwestern's secondary application poses three essay questions, one of which asks for the applicant to describe the distinguishable characteristics (non-academic) they possess and how they will be of benefit in a career in medicine. Overall, it's a decently fun prompt.

Among a couple other personal traits, I'm strongly moved to briefly discuss my sleep/wake pattern in that I frankly don't have one. I require very little sleep and sleep sporadically. In my four years of college, I'm sure I've had about 200 instances where I didn't sleep in a given 24 hour period, not to mention regular all-nighters (and a couple semesters when I operated on a straight nocturnal schedule). Neither my body nor mind show any signs of suffering from the utter lack of a schedule (otherwise I would obviously change my habits). As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most beneficial traits a person can have for getting through medical school and residency, and later, as an on-call physician. However, I'm concerned that it would come off to the committee as strange and irresponsible, especially if I described it in this detail.

Any thoughts?

Edit: Ha...I actually said "unresponsible." Wow.
 

CavalierMD

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I'd say this completely depends on your writing ability. If you can convey this with a little humor behind it while still keeping with the formal nature of med school essays in general, I think it could be a really brilliant essay. As far as seeming irresponsible... I don't really think it is... I mean, adcoms know we're college kids and do college kid things... and if your GPA is solid and you're healthy, who cares? To cover all your bases... you could even spin it an aknowledge that you realize your habits may have to change as you get older... just to show that you're not just another silly college kid... Good Luck, man.
 

Depakote

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My morbid obesity is overshadowed only by my distinct body odor which has been described, in print, as "a cross between rotten chicken and the kind of urine you have after drinking Mountain Dew". This will serve me well in emergency medicine. My patients will not feel self conscious irregardless of how poor their hygiene is. I will be able to draw their attention away from their own problems... they will focus solely on me and my repugnant stench. That will allow me to build a rapport and address their problems.
 
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Depakote said:
My morbid obesity is overshadowed only by my distinct body odor which has been described, in print, as "a cross between rotten chicken and the kind of urine you have after drinking Mountain Dew". This will serve me well in emergency medicine. My patients will not feel self conscious irregardless of how poor their hygiene is. I will be able to draw their attention away from their own problems... they will focus solely on me and my repugnant stench. That will allow me to build a rapport and address their problems.

I about lost it when I read this! :laugh:
 

ADeadLois

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Looque said:
Northwestern's secondary application poses three essay questions, one of which asks for the applicant to describe the distinguishable characteristics (non-academic) they possess and how they will be of benefit in a career in medicine. Overall, it's a decently fun prompt.

Among a couple other personal traits, I'm strongly moved to briefly discuss my sleep/wake pattern in that I frankly don't have one. I require very little sleep and sleep sporadically. In my four years of college, I'm sure I've had about 200 instances where I didn't sleep in a given 24 hour period, not to mention regular all-nighters (and a couple semesters when I operated on a straight nocturnal schedule). Neither my body nor mind show any signs of suffering from the utter lack of a schedule (otherwise I would obviously change my habits). As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most beneficial traits a person can have for getting through medical school and residency, and later, as an on-call physician. However, I'm concerned that it would come off to the committee as strange and irresponsible, especially if I described it in this detail.

Any thoughts?

Edit: Ha...I actually said "unresponsible." Wow.

That's a good idea if you use the right tone.

Also, can you share what the LOR requirements? Like, what sort of info do we have to fill out about the writers, and what is the deadline? Thanks.
 

Looque

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ADeadLois said:
That's a good idea if you use the right tone.

Also, can you share what the LOR requirements? Like, what sort of info do we have to fill out about the writers, and what is the deadline? Thanks.

From the time Northwestern contacts you and grants you access to the secondary application, you have two weeks to finish and submit the application, and three weeks for them to receive your letters of recommendation.

Instructions to give to the individuals writing your letters are here, though a committee letter would pretty much take care of it. However, on the application, there is no area where you need to enter information about those writing the letters on your behalf.
 

ADeadLois

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Looque said:
From the time Northwestern contacts you and grants you access to the secondary application, you have two weeks to finish and submit the application, and three weeks for them to receive your letters of recommendation.

Instructions to give to the individuals writing your letters are here, though a committee letter would pretty much take care of it. However, on the application, there is no area where you need to enter information about those writing the letters on your behalf.

Thanks! Just one last question, did NU send you your secondary when you were verified, or only after they saw an application was being processed? In other words, does the 2-3 week deadline start post-verificaton or before?
 
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