Sep 5, 2011
58
3
Oregon
Hi All,

Got verified at the start of November, and realizing now I'm having severe issues with writing the secondaries. Writing center at my college is booked until the end of the semester, and so is the interview center. Three weeks till finals, and as my doctor cousin says - my secondaries are subpar at best and will take a lot of time to fix. At this rate, I won't submit my 'acceptable' secondary essays until the end of December, and I'm ready to call it quits because its so late in the cycle. For some reason, I can't convincingly explain why I want to become a physician, why certain events in my life are meaningful, etc.

For those who are still filling out secondaries, how do you guys manage to balance school/work/life and writing these cursed walls of text, and are there any resources out there that help you 'answer the question'? Apparently mine sound very impersonal and more like what you would read in a research paper as opposed to something to sell yourself with.
 

EMDO2018

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Dude honestly, secondaries aren't that big of a deal. If you have the stats you can write a general one and still get interviews. Plus a LOT of schools want you to write about similar stuff and they have very similar PC missions ex, emphasis on primary care, serving the under served, leadership, research, what it means to be an osteopathic physician etc. Just be personal in the secondary, as long as you don't completely blow it by saying something like " I don't care about OMM, I just wanna do Derm and make hella money!" you should be fine.
 

drcollete

Queen of Caffeine
Mar 18, 2013
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2
Somewhere southeast of Alaska
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Pre-Medical
Be genuine and honest about why osteopathic medicine is right for you. I think a big part in the secondaries is illustrating that you would excel in practicing osteopathic medicine (applying the philosophy, etc) as well as showing that you're not applying to DO as a "last ditch effort." Also, emphasize how you're prepared and motivated to demonstrate the mission of the school in clinical practice.

I don't necessarily agree with "if you have the stats you can write a general one and still get interviews." If we're defining stats as GPA and MCAT, those demonstrate scholastic aptitude, rather than ability to write well and express yourself. I look at the secondaries as a hurdle to illustrate two points: 1. The applicant is motivated enough to complete the secondary well (if a person isn't motivated enough to complete secondary, he/she isn't motivated to become a physician), and 2. The applicant can express his/herself enough to communicate well with colleagues and patients.
 
Jun 18, 2013
802
276
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hi All,

Got verified at the start of November, and realizing now I'm having severe issues with writing the secondaries. Writing center at my college is booked until the end of the semester, and so is the interview center. Three weeks till finals, and as my doctor cousin says - my secondaries are subpar at best and will take a lot of time to fix. At this rate, I won't submit my 'acceptable' secondary essays until the end of December, and I'm ready to call it quits because its so late in the cycle. For some reason, I can't convincingly explain why I want to become a physician, why certain events in my life are meaningful, etc.

For those who are still filling out secondaries, how do you guys manage to balance school/work/life and writing these cursed walls of text, and are there any resources out there that help you 'answer the question'? Apparently mine sound very impersonal and more like what you would read in a research paper as opposed to something to sell yourself with.
You should make sure you can explain it well because schools love to ask that question during interviews...
 

Elevencents

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Sep 3, 2011
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Better start doing some self reflection and figure out if this is really what you want to do if you can't come up with a good reason for wanting to be a physician. That's pretty much the gimme question out of all of them.
 
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OP
shinytofu
Sep 5, 2011
58
3
Oregon
Better start doing some self reflection and figure out if this is really what you want to do if you can't come up with a good reason for wanting to be a physician. That's pretty much the gimme question out of all of them.

I just can't give BS reasons why I want to be a D.O.

I can't go and say I'm not interested in derm/other specialties - that gives a negative tone. The extent is I like the philosophy, family medicine aspect, patient-doctor bond. If anything, I'm going with the mindset of exclusively primary care. I can offer some reasons why its a good fit via some personal experiences, but imo it sounds very laundry-list and generic.

I guess, even when I try to write them, it doesn't go beyond " I want to go into this profession because I like [aspect]... I find this appealing because [example].... It interests me because [example]" . I'm not sure how i can show that I can excel in OMM, if I have never personally done it before? because "I think I can do well" just adds a whole level of uncertainty into the essay.

@Elevencents - I doubt that just because some people can't articulate their desire to wanting be a physician means that they should question if its what they really want to do. For me, I just can't explain it well enough.
 
Jun 18, 2013
802
276
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I just can't give BS reasons why I want to be a D.O.

I can't go and say I'm not interested in derm/other specialties - that gives a negative tone. The extent is I like the philosophy, family medicine aspect, patient-doctor bond. If anything, I'm going with the mindset of exclusively primary care. I can offer some reasons why its a good fit via some personal experiences, but imo it sounds very laundry-list and generic.

I guess, even when I try to write them, it doesn't go beyond " I want to go into this profession because I like [aspect]... I find this appealing because [example].... It interests me because [example]" . I'm not sure how i can show that I can excel in OMM, if I have never personally done it before? because "I think I can do well" just adds a whole level of uncertainty into the essay.

@Elevencents - I doubt that just because some people can't articulate their desire to wanting be a physician means that they should question if its what they really want to do. For me, I just can't explain it well enough.
Have you shadowed a DO before? You can use your experience as one of the reasons why you want to do DO.
 

Elevencents

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Sep 3, 2011
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No need to be a unique snowflake. And I didn't mention OMM in any of my secondaries. Remember, they're reading 1000+ secondaries so there's a good chance yours will sound very similar to someone else's no matter how hard you try.

I want to be a physician because...I want to help people? The science appeals to me? I like the job security? PCP's are in need for an aging population? Just pick the big reasons you want to do it and run with it.

They don't need to be literary masterpieces. Just put your thoughts down on paper in an articulate manner.

Sorry for thinking you should reevaluate your position, it's just hard for me to understand how someone who is going into medicine can't at least put something down on paper for such a huge life decision.
 
OP
shinytofu
Sep 5, 2011
58
3
Oregon
@bionerd I shadowed a MD in the ER once, didn't like it much. I can't imagine myself being in a high tension career. Sure, the satisfaction of saving someone's life is rewarding, but that's a super heavy responsibility.

I shadowed a DO for a few months in their family practice clinic, and totally loved it. Relatively less stressful, less fast-paced, but still helping patients. I did include this shadowing experience in a few secondaries, but I feel like the way I wrote it made it seem besides liking FM, it was more because of admiration for the DO's work ethic and daily routine in the practice rather than because it was a good fit for me.

@Elevencents Good point. thanks for the suggestions, it really helps me focus my thoughts a bit more.
 
Jun 18, 2013
802
276
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@bionerd I shadowed a MD in the ER once, didn't like it much. I can't imagine myself being in a high tension career. Sure, the satisfaction of saving someone's life is rewarding, but that's a super heavy responsibility.

I shadowed a DO for a few months in their family practice clinic, and totally loved it. Relatively less stressful, less fast-paced, but still helping patients. I did include this shadowing experience in a few secondaries, but I feel like the way I wrote it made it seem besides liking FM, it was more because of admiration for the DO's work ethic and daily routine in the practice rather than because it was a good fit for me.

@Elevencents Good point. thanks for the suggestions, it really helps me focus my thoughts a bit more.
I agree with Elevencents, just choose some of the typical reasons and go with it. As long as your stats are good, they will most likely grant you an ii. I think there are a few schools out there that like to focus more on the whole applicant, but majority do like gpa and mcat first.
 

TXKnight

Better Known as TXK
7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2010
1,052
191
Georgia
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Medical Student
I just can't give BS reasons why I want to be a D.O.

I can't go and say I'm not interested in derm/other specialties - that gives a negative tone. The extent is I like the philosophy, family medicine aspect, patient-doctor bond. If anything, I'm going with the mindset of exclusively primary care. I can offer some reasons why its a good fit via some personal experiences, but imo it sounds very laundry-list and generic.

I guess, even when I try to write them, it doesn't go beyond " I want to go into this profession because I like [aspect]... I find this appealing because [example].... It interests me because [example]" . I'm not sure how i can show that I can excel in OMM, if I have never personally done it before? because "I think I can do well" just adds a whole level of uncertainty into the essay.

@Elevencents - I doubt that just because some people can't articulate their desire to wanting be a physician means that they should question if its what they really want to do. For me, I just can't explain it well enough.
Don't tell them why, show them why. Be honest along the way too. Do some soul searching man, why do you feel medicine? D.O? Don't find appealing, don't find interesting...feel passionate about it, medicine for many is akin to a calling. Also, stop trying to prove you can excel in OMM. The best you can do here is showing why you are interested and your motivation to learn it. In my opinion, if you frame it like "I will excel in OMM because ..." sounds kinda artificial. Anyway, what helped me write my essays is sitting down one night, thinking, and going beyond the usual explanations. Why do I REALLY want to devote my life to treating/talking/touching,etc patients that may even be rude or don't even care about their health like you do. Anyway...good luck.
 
OP
shinytofu
Sep 5, 2011
58
3
Oregon
Don't tell them why, show them why. Be honest along the way too. Do some soul searching man, why do you feel medicine? D.O? Don't find appealing, don't find interesting...feel passionate about it, medicine for many is akin to a calling. Also, stop trying to prove you can excel in OMM. The best you can do here is showing why you are interested and your motivation to learn it. In my opinion, if you frame it like "I will excel in OMM because ..." sounds kinda artificial. Anyway, what helped me write my essays is sitting down one night, thinking, and going beyond the usual explanations. Why do I REALLY want to devote my life to treating/talking/touching,etc patients that may even be rude or don't even care about their health like you do. Anyway...good luck.
Er well, my approach was to tell them what aspects of osteopathic medicine that really resonates with me, and show (give?) them an example of how i demonstrated that in a past experience. But like you said, I had some problems framing it to show them why i REALLY WANTED to be a doctor, why it is THE CAREER PATH for me :(.

@yulrfuiljian , sush, I know its late :dead:
 

Carl Seitan

Best poster ever
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Feb 25, 2013
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OP, for what it's worth, I couldn't convincingly say I wanted to be a DO because of the "focus on the person, not the symptom" or any of the "holistic" philosophy typically ascribed to Osteopathic Medicine because I saw myself using that approach whether an MD or DO was after my name. I'm pretty convinced what sealed the deal for me was explaining some specific, practical situations in which being a DO would enable me to provide more comprehensive care to my future patients.

My interviewers asked me where I saw myself in 10-15 years and why DO. I answered that by saying that if I had to choose today what speciality I'd practice, it would either be peds or OB, but most likely OB. I followed by explaining how the shared experience of my wife's pregnancies informed my choice, and one of the most common complaints I've heard from my wife, as well as her friends who have had kids, are the headaches and back pain/sciatica that occur during pregnancy. As a DO, I'd be able to address both of those complaints for my patients rather than refer them elsewhere, which would cost them both time and money.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you're having trouble pulling some "why DO" answer out of the air, look at it in purely practical terms. Think about what you seeing yourself doing as a physician, and how being a DO could affect the way you practice.

HTH
 

stlrams22

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Jun 1, 2011
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I just can't give BS reasons why I want to be a D.O.

I can't go and say I'm not interested in derm/other specialties - that gives a negative tone. The extent is I like the philosophy, family medicine aspect, patient-doctor bond. If anything, I'm going with the mindset of exclusively primary care. I can offer some reasons why its a good fit via some personal experiences, but imo it sounds very laundry-list and generic.

I guess, even when I try to write them, it doesn't go beyond " I want to go into this profession because I like [aspect]... I find this appealing because [example].... It interests me because [example]" . I'm not sure how i can show that I can excel in OMM, if I have never personally done it before? because "I think I can do well" just adds a whole level of uncertainty into the essay.

@Elevencents - I doubt that just because some people can't articulate their desire to wanting be a physician means that they should question if its what they really want to do. For me, I just can't explain it well enough.
You don't want to give a BS reason. Just be honest and everything will take care of itself. Don't put pressure on yourself like you need to write the world's best essay. Tell them about yourself, goals, and experiences. Tie those together and you'll have a good essay. I think the secondaries were used in deciding if I got an interview (maybe, who knows?), but not one of my interviewers ever referred to my secondary or asked me questions about it.