Quantcast

Personal Statement Help

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

SarahJC

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
58
Reaction score
0
Since the PS i posted made me sound like an idiot who did not comprehend the English language, here is an entirely different PS. I am still hoping that my fellow SDN'rs can help. I took the comments about being listy with my diverse experiences and narrowed it all down to the one experience that means most to me. ANY CRITIQUES + or - is appreciated. Thanks in advance

As I drew the clear liquid carefully into the syringe, I was petrified that an air bubble would make its way into the plastic cylinder undetected. After tapping the little dispensing bottle along with the needle, repressing the syringe down and up again to get it just right, I drew out the previously determined amount. With my young eight year old brain concentrating extensively, I stuck the minute needle quickly into the rind of the juicy orange sitting on the kitchen table. With all of the water successfully injected into the bright orange fruit, I nervously looked up into the eyes of my onlooker. I was met with a warm expression and smile from my cancer ridden friend. “Perfect”, she said, “you are practically a natural. Just do the same exact thing when it’s the real medicine and my leg you are injecting it into.”
From the days of kindergarten, I painstakingly drew anatomical hearts on my valentine cards rather than the traditional bilobed morphology and used medical terminology when playing Hangman on the blackboard. I cannot remember a time in which I had any wavering idea of the path I wanted to pursue in life in a career in medicine. When a close family friend was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1992, it became my outlet for learning and discovering how I could help someone in need. With the recent death of my grandmother from ovarian cancer and with another loss looming near, I couldn’t let her slip away. With the cancer wreaking havoc on her body, Althea turned to me for help and asked if I would administer her rounds of injections. Her body was on the brink of giving up, everyday being harder than the last, until she just couldn’t will her mind to inject herself. I became her little doctor, even though her team of physicians and nurses peered on with skeptical eyes at the idea of a 1st grader giving her her shots at home. I can vividly remember how proud I was at the ripe age of seven, the first time I successfully drew water into a real syringe and carefully injected it into that orange. With the technique perfected, I got the privilege to administer my friend’s medications and play an active role in her battle for survival. I accompanied her to doctor visits and left an impression on the staff that keeps them asking about me to this day. She has said to me that her pain would disappear when I grasped my little fingers over her pale hands and talked with her, better than if she was given doses of drugs and left to sit alone in the chemotherapy room. It was more than just my suppressing the syringe that I helped her with; I unconsciously was helping heal the wounds that a seemingly terminal disease had opened up in her mind and spirit. After these 13 years, she still refers me as her Doc and the admiration she has for me is something I hold dear to my heart.
 

ShyRem

I need more coffee.
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
9,800
Reaction score
133
Take this to an English professor. Seems to me the punctuation is really wrong in places. Also, "sever" should probably be "severe" and "be d" should be "bed" and "truely" should be "truly". Proofreading is a MUST. (Are diseases capitalized in sentences?)

There is quite a bit that could be reworded, and it seems reading it that you're just listing your accomplishments like a resume. If that's what you're going for, great. I got bored reading it, though. About halfway through I found it difficult to continue reading every word knowing the next sentence was just going to be another bullet point... Also, the last paragraph seems to put you down. The very first phrase says "I'm average and there is nothing spectacular about me".

It seems there is a LOT in there and you've had some really great experiences. Try paring down your "bullet list", choosing one or two points, and talking about them.
 

markshuster

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2005
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
Is English your primary language? You seem to be all over the place without having a common thread to tie the whole essay together. Give it more structure, organize your thoughts into clusters i.e. explain your experiences coherently, then explain how this affected your decision. Revise a bit and I'll re-read it. :)




SarahJC said:
I have having a very hard time with my PS. I was hoping that some of my fellow SDN'rs could help, especially since I feel I have so much to say and the D.O. application is so short!! Here's what I have been working on for the past few months. I know it is over by 152 words but I'm not sure where to cut things out. ANY CRITIQUES + or - is appreciated. Thanks in advance

At the age of only 7, I helped a friend tackle cancer, giving her multiple injections per day to keep her body striving for life. In watching and participating in her fight, I learned how not only the medicine she took, but the attitude of her doctors and the holistic approach that they had towards her recovery, was what helped her through. She and I are still very close, and I have realized how amazing it must have been for a child to be actively participating since her doctor still asks about me to this day.
Even though I am still young in my 20 years, I have had a diverse range of experiences that have strengthened me as a person and shown me that the person inside is just as important to overall wellbeing as the physiology of it. From waitressing at a car hop in rollerblades to changing adult diapers for the severely mentally and physically disabled, I have grown as a person from what I have set my mind to and tackled. I have worked over the past year as a paraprofessional, working with students ages five to twenty one with sever behavioral and physical disabilities. I saw first hand how hard life can be when dealt such a hand, and I found it to be an enriching experience, amidst the punches sent my way. The first rear end that I ever wiped of another adult happened at that job, and was embarrassing for myself, although the 20 year old male found humor in terrorizing the "newbie" by wiping feces on my cheek. But in the saying "see 1, do 1" is so true, and now I can tackle a messy situation as if it was second nature. I can remember other days where I worked the tobacco fields at a local farm, while the twine tore into my skin and the dirt entered the cuts, but I had a job that I proud of no matter how many bug bites or 95* F days I endured in that sun. Then as a Division 1 rower for UCONN for the 03-04 season, I rolled out of be d at 4:30 am to voluntarily go off to practice and endure workouts that the mind almost convinced you that the human body could not endure. Mind over matter, I used to tell myself, and I know from these experiences that I can take on anything and put forth my best effort at accomplishing it, however insurmountable the task. I currently work as lab technician at UCONN Medical school, working with Diptheriae and also Actinomyces, and enjoy coming into the hospital everyday with hope of discovering something that will impact the world. In looking at only these two strains and a BS in Biology and being an EMT, I truely know little about the human body and the diseases that affect it , but each day brings little snips of information that give me a better insight it its magnificence. Through my time spent as a ER volunteer, EMT basic for Somers, CT Fire Dept, waitress, and friend, I have seen how much a warm hand clasped over a shaking one and a smile sent in a particular direction can change a person's day although it only took an instant on my own effort to make it happen. That one small thing, that simple touch, triggers a ripple affect, with my little kindness spreading to many more than I could hope to meet solely in a day.
I know that I am not the best nor the worst at any particular thing, but the fun in life is gained through epiphanies and new experiences that one doesn't expect or even know could exist. I embrace the imperfections of who I am, and they will tie in to making me a better medical professional, no matter what path I follow down the road.
 

Hoberto

Squirrel Girl
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
8,457
Reaction score
7
I agree with the previous posters. There are some serious grammatical and cohesive problems. You should take this to your school's writing center to get the major issues worked on.

The content is good, but you are trying to mention everything you've done and in the end have explained nothing. The people reading this already know what you've done so you don't need to rehash your CV in the essay. I would recommend choosing a single (maybe two) topics and expand them. For instance, you could talk about rowing. The key is to not only talk about rowing, (i.e. early morning practices), but also to mention what traits and characteristics, such as discipline, leadership and teamwork, you have gained through rowing that will make you a good physician.

You have a lot of good ideas and solid experiences. The chosen anecdotes are nice, too. You have expressed a bit about each experience but I don't feel like I truly understand how those experiences have shaped your desire to become a doctor. Again, try to focus on fewer experiences and beef them up with detail.

I would be happy to read it again after a rewrite.
 

Kevbot

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2004
Messages
236
Reaction score
0
At the age of only 7, I helped a friend tackle DONT USE THE WORD TACKLE cancer,NO COMMA - ADD THE WORD BY giving her multiple injections per day to keep her body striving for life USE A BETTER PHRASE THAN STRIVING FOR LIFE, THAT SEEMS INACCURATE. In watching and participating in her fight, I learned how not only the medicineS she took, but ALSO the attitude of her doctors and the holistic approach that they had towards her recovery, WHICH was what helped her through HER DISEASE. She and I are still very close, and I have realized how amazing it must have been for a child ERASE 'A CHILD' AND PUT 'MYSELF AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE' to be actively participating since her doctor still asks about me to this day.
Even though I am still young in my 20 years IN MY EARLY 20'S WOUDL BE A BETTER PHRASE, I have had a diverse range of experiences that have strengthened me as a person and shown me that the person inside is just as important to overall wellbeing as the physiology of it REWRITE THESE LAST TWO LINES AND MAKE THEM CLEARER-MAKE SURE THE READER UNDERSTANDS THAT WHEN YOUR TALKING ABOUT 'THE PERSON INSIDE', YOU MEAN TO SAY BEDSIDE MANNER. From waitressing at a car hop in rollerblades to changing adult diapers for the severely mentally and physically disabled DISABLED WHAT?, I have grown as a person from what I have set my mind to and tackled REWRITE THIS PAST LINE, BE MORE DIRECT, (IE I HAVE GROWN AS A PERSON AS A RESULT OF _____). I have worked over the past year as a paraprofessional, working with students ages five to twenty one with sever behavioral and physical disabilities. I saw first hand how hard life can be when dealt such a hand, NO COMMA and I found it to be an enriching experience,THIS LAST PHRASE IS CONFUSING TO THE REST OF THE SENTENCE---> amidst the punches sent my way. THIS IS A NEW IDEA AND SHOULD HAVE ITS OWN PARAGRAPH The first rear end that I ever wiped of another adult happened at that job, and was embarrassing for myself, although the 20 year old male found humor in terrorizing the "newbie" by wiping feces on my cheek. But in the saying "see 1, do 1" is so true, and YOU NEED A BETTER CONCLUSION FOR THIS IDEA --->now I can tackle a messy situation as if it was second nature. I can remember other days where I worked the tobacco fields at a local farm, while the twine tore into my skin and the dirt entered the cuts, but I had a job that I WAS proud of no matter how many bug bites or 95* F days I endured in that sun ERASE 'IN THAT SUN'. DIFFERENT IDEA, NEW PARAGRAPH, ALSO YOU NEED A BETTER TRANSITION. HOW DID YOUR VARIOUS WORK EXPERIENCES LEAD YOU TO BECOME A STRONGER ATHLETE AND A BETTER STUDENT?? ---> Then as a Division 1 rower for UCONN for the 03-04 season, I rolled out of be d at 4:30 am to voluntarily go off to practice and endure workouts that the mind almost convinced you that the human body could not endure. Mind over matter <--THIS PHRASE NEEDS QUOTES, I used to tell myself, and I know from these experiences that I can take on anything ANY CHALLENGE WOULD BE A BETTER PHRASE INSTEAD OF ANYTHING and put forth my best effort at accomplishing it, however insurmountable the task. NEW PARAGRAPH I currently work as lab technician at UCONN Medical school, working with Diptheriae and also Actinomyces, and enjoy coming into the hospital everyday with hope of discovering something that will impact the world. In looking at only these two strains and a BS in Biology and being an EMT, I truely know little about the human body and the diseases that affect it <--- START THIS SENTENCE WITH ALTHOUGH, AND THEN END THE SAME SENTENCE BY SHOWING HOW MUCH YOU'VE GROWN. REMEMBER, YOU WANT TO KEEP THIS ESSAY AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE, but each day brings little snips of information that give me a better insight it its magnificence. NEW PARAGRAPH AND THEREFORE NEW IDEA, AND A CONFUSING ONE AT THAT. YOU'VE BEEN FOCUSING SOLEY ON WHAT YOU'VE DONE AND NOW FINALLY AT THE END OF THIS INCREDIBLY LONG RUN ON PARAGRAPH, YOU WANT TO FIND A DEEPER MEANING FOR ALL OF IT AND RELATE IT TO MEDICINE. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN INTEGRATING YOUR BELIEFS THROUGHOUT, AND LEADING ONE IDEA INTO ANOTHER, ONE PARAGRAPH AFTER ANOTHER. YOUR BELIEFS SHOULD BE THE PURPOSE OF EACH PARAGRAPH, AND ALL YOUR VARIOUS EXPERIENCES ARE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE Through my time spent as a ER volunteer, EMT basic for Somers, CT Fire Dept, waitress, and friend, I have seen how much a warm hand clasped over a shaking one and a smile sent in a particular direction can change a person's day although it only took an instant on my own effort to make it happen. That one small thing, that simple touch, triggers a ripple affect, with my little kindness spreading to many more than I could hope to meet solely in a day.
THIS LAST PARAGRAPH IS BS (EXCUSE MY BRUTAL HONESTY), IT DOESNT RELATE AT ALL TO THE REST OF THE ESSAY, AND IT DOESN'T REALLY SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOU. IT ALSO DOESNT LEAVE THE READER WITH SOMETHING TO TAKE HOME. I know that I am not the best nor the worst at any particular thing, but the fun in life is gained through epiphanies and new experiences that one doesn't expect or even know could exist. I embrace the imperfections of who I am, and they will tie in to making me a better medical professional, no matter what path I follow down the road.


THERE ARE A FEW PROBLEMS IN GENERAL WITH YOUR ESSAY

1. HORRIBLE GRAMMAR - FIRST, WATCH YOUR COMMAS. THEY DONT GO BEFORE THE WORD 'AND'. AS FAR AS ORGANIZATION; MY ADVISE IT TO PICK A FEW REASONS YOU WANT TO BE A DOCTOR AND PICK WHICH OF YOUR EXPERIENCES SUPPORT EACH REASON. LIMIT EACH REASON TO EACH PARAGRAPH. PERHAPS A FORUMULA LIKE THIS WOULD HELP:

2ND PAR - REASON #1 FOR BECOMING A DOCTOR. i BELIEVE.... AND SO I HAVE DONE THIS THIS THIS AND THIS....
3RD PAR - REASON #2 FOR BECOMING A DOCTOR. i BELIEVE....
AND SO I HAVE DONE THIS THIS THIS AND THIS

2. YOU DONT REALLY MENTION MEDICINE A LOT. YOU'RE BASICALLY SAYING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY ACTIVE. THATS GOOD, BUT HOW WILL THAT MAKE YOU A BETTER DOCTOR? THAT IS AN INFERENCE THE READERS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO MAKE FOR THEMSELVES.

THE GOOD PART ABOUT YOUR ESSAY IS THAT YOU LIMIT IT TO YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES AND YOU HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT. YOU COULD HAVE AN INCREDIBLE ESSAY IF YOU JUST FIX IT UP AND PUT IT INTO A A FORMAT THAT IS EASY TO READ AND CONVEYS YOUR PASSION FOR MEDICINE. GOOD LUCK
 

LT2

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
801
Reaction score
1
"Diptheriae and also Actinomyces"

Diphtheria (notice spelling change) is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, i would either call both by their disease (ie diphtheria and actinomycosis) or by the name of the organism (C. diphtheriae and Actinomyces....). you want to have this straight for your personal statement and even more importantly, your interviews, especially if YOU are researching it!!! :(

also, C. diphtheria is a species, not a strain and Actinomyces is a genus, not a species or a strain. if you study a specific species of actinomyces, you might want to specify this.

i would be wary of including research efforts unless you have a real grasp or understanding of what you're doing. i don't ask this to be mean, but do you research or prepare solutions etc (as a tech)? you don't want to put up a false front... just my opinion
 

markshuster

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2005
Messages
60
Reaction score
0
much better! it made me want to keep reading it!
 

Hoberto

Squirrel Girl
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
8,457
Reaction score
7
Yes, this is MUCH better!! Definitely draws the reader in and keeps their interest. I think that you depress a syringe, so check that out. Otherwise, this is great! Given the small word limit for AACOMAS you've done a great job explaining one part of your life and how it has lead you into medicine. I made a few changes below but none are absolutely required. The chang are bolded and are only what sounds nice to me personally. Mostly I tried to make it more active and somewhat less repetitive. I would add some sort of connecting sentence in the last paragraph between talking about kindergarten and the orange incident. Maybe something like, "Even now, I as I learn about new procedures and research in the biological sciences, my curiosity continues to draw me into this profession"

As I drew the clear liquid carefully into the syringe, I was petrified that an air bubble would make its way into the plastic cylinder undetected. After tapping the little dispensing bottle along with the needle, repressing the syringe down and up again to get it just right, I drew out the precise amount. With my young seven year old brain concentrating extensively, I stuck the minute needle quickly into the rind of the juicy orange sitting on the kitchen table. With all of the water successfully injected into the bright orange fruit, I nervously looked up into the eyes of my onlooker. I was met with a warm expression and smile from my cancer ridden friend, Althea . “Perfect”, she said, “you are practically a natural. Just do the same exact thing when it’s the real medicine and my leg you are injecting it into.”

When Althea was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1992, it became my outlet for learning and discovering how I could help someone in need. With the recent death of my grandmother from ovarian cancer and with another loss looming near, I couldn’t let Althea slip away. With the cancer wreaking havoc on her body, she turned to me for help and asked if I would administer her rounds of injections. I became her little doctor, even though her team of physicians and nurses peered on with skeptical eyes at the idea of a 1st grader giving her her shots at home. With the technique perfected, I had the privilege of administering my friend’s medications and playing an active role in her battle for survival. Accompanying her to doctor visits, I left an impression on the staff that keeps them asking about me to this day. She told me her pain vanished when I grasped my little fingers over her pale hands and talked with her, better than if she was given doses of drugs and left to sit alone in the chemotherapy room. It was more than just my suppressing the syringe that I helped her with; I unconsciously was helping heal the wounds that a seemingly terminal disease had opened up in her mind and spirit. After these 13 years, she still refers me as her Doc and the admiration she has for me is something I hold dear to my heart.

From the days of kindergarten, I painstakingly drew anatomical hearts on my valentine cards rather than the traditional bilobed morphology and used medical terminology when playing Hangman on the blackboard. Remembering how proud I was at the ripe age of seven, the first time I successfully drew water into a real syringe and carefully injected it into that orange, reminds me that I have always been on the path to a career in medicine.
 

ShyRem

I need more coffee.
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Messages
9,800
Reaction score
133
much better. agree tho that a nice little wrap up would be nice - bring it forward to present day.
 
Top