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Obstacle essay- Reinvention?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by IlyaR, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. IlyaR

    2+ Year Member

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    Wondering if this is an appropriate answer. The way I phrased it is that my greatest obstacle was my initial shortcomings in undergrad, and I had to try to overshadow that tarnish by doing great on my MCAT, final 65 credits in college, and SMP.

    I don't want it to come off as hubris (afterall overcoming would be getting an acceptance)
    At the same time I feel like I can showcase myself and focus on my strengths (learned from mistakes, determinedness, etc

    What do you guys think?
     
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  3. steelersfan1243

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    To add onto this, why is it when a question asks for your biggest obstacle, it is not looked favorably if you talk about reapplying to medical school, but something such as setting up a family BBQ could work. Isn't the stigma against using reapplying to medical school because it brings up the question, "that's really your biggest obstacle?" Why doesn the family bbq bring about the same thing?

    I believe it was @gonnif who posted about this

    Also IIyaR, I believe the answer is to think of something else, since you want something you accomplished and already has a positive ending.
     
    Alkaloid and IlyaR like this.
  4. beeboops

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    I disagree. Although I know a lot of people say to stay away from grades, I talked about this for some of my greatest obstacle/accomplishment I am most proud of essays, and it hasn't stopped me from getting IIs (at least at one school this time around, heh). Though your ultimate goal is to get into medical school and you have yet to do that, I don't think you should talk down the such a huge accomplishment as doing well on the MCAT + acing your last 65 credit hours + acing an SMP. I would definitely include what attributes you've gained or what coping mechanisms or skills you've learned though.
     
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  5. gonnif

    gonnif Only 770 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    Rule 2: Trust Your Gut

    what adcoms want to see is something that gives them insight into you. Many applicants look at this from an external content point of view, such as the OP here in repairing his/her academics to reapply. But what does that say about you, how did you feel when not being able to apply, what values, internal qualities that he/she engage within themselves to face and overcome this obstacle. So my "fable" about the family BBQ was about bringing members of a tension filled, somewhat broken family back together, not how itself how to make good burgers.

    As to the OP here, while the story of repairing yourself and the internal obstacles in doing so could lend itself to this, it raises another issue. You are laying bare your direct academic faults and negative factors for the adcom. That tends perhaps to be a bit more of gamble than other topics but it begs the question: do you sweep the dirt under the rug or do you take your skeletons out of the closet and dance with them. I actually tend to the latter but the only way to do figure this out is to write it up for yourself and see if it works. You can always decide to go another route but if you go this way, be completely bold, do not try to minimize, do not try to write thinking about what the committee will think but only how you want to express it. For this to be effective it must read true, passionate, motivated and committed. This should feel right to you if you go this route.
     
  6. beeboops

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    @gonnif has some great points. I'm definitely more of a "take the skeletons out of the closet and dance with them" person, and my so-called reinvention was a huge part of my life because it really did make me a better person. I really felt like I couldn't apply to medical school without talking about it. If you're the same kind of person and if your grade reinvention had as huge of an impact on your life and you can write about it sincerely and honestly, I would go for it.
     
  7. DokterMom

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    @gonnif also makes the very important point that "For this to be effective it must read true, passionate, motivated and committed."

    To do that, write it up like you are trying to explain it to your friend. Then remove the inappropriate/slang words (but NOT the plain ones - those are honest) and make it a little more concise. For this essay, do not use any words a middle-schooler wouldn't use because if the words are passionate, it's highly likely that in this context, they will also be cringe-worthy. Sincerity is often not particularly eloquent; for this essay, sacrifice the eloquence.
     
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  8. gonnif

    gonnif Only 770 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    Coherent, concise and compelling as the good @DokterMom says
     

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