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personal statement- how personal?

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blynn

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Hey,

I'm new to the forum.....I was wondering something.......in applying to medical schools, there is a personal statement area in the evaluation packet that a board will review...........should i tell them what i plan to specialize in, or should i just say that i would like to be in family medicine so it is general and doesnt steal glory from that aspect?

thanks,
blynn
 

drmota

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the prompt for the personal statement is why do you want to be a doctor. If the type of doctor you want to be has something to do with your decisions in pursuing a career in medicine, then ya you can talk about what kind of medicine you want to do. otherwise, i would say no. also note that MANY secondaries ask you the question of what kind of medicine do you want to pursue in the SUPPLEMENTAL portion of the application, so don't waste your personal statement space on this.
-mota
 

themadchemist

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blynn said:
Hey,

I'm new to the forum.....I was wondering something.......in applying to medical schools, there is a personal statement area in the evaluation packet that a board will review...........should i tell them what i plan to specialize in, or should i just say that i would like to be in family medicine so it is general and doesnt steal glory from that aspect?

thanks,
blynn

The personal statement is a lot more about what specifically led you to medicine in general than it is about what you want to specialize in. I don't think anyone expects you to know that. Honestly, if you're specific on a specialization, you better have experiences to back it up that you can talk about.

And I'd say family medicine counts when I say specialization, too. Basically, most people will think you're presumptuous to suggest what you're going to be doing unless you really have the experience to show that you've thought it through.

I hope that helps. I suggest that you get one of those books with examples of excellent personal statements, not to copy from by any means, but to get a general idea the kinds of things people say and the way people tend to structure their essays. Reading over them will also help you think about the interesting aspects of your life that would be worth writing about. A lot of times, something in your life might not even be on your radar, but others would find it interesting. That's the value of getting feedback from people, too.

You will have tons of writing to do in this process and I think it's all about "anecdotalizing" your life. Basically, you need to find tons of anecdotes that can help illustrate why you want to practice medicine and why you'd be good at it in this way and that way and the other, without repeating any anecdote in your writing for a particular school.
 
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