personal statement - now i'm kinda worried

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by justapremed, May 29, 2008.

  1. justapremed

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    As I'm googling for more tips on the PS, I'm getting more concerned. Everywhere, I read the same: that they don't want to read another "I love science. I want to help people and that's why I want to be a doctor."

    But reflecting back on my PS, that IS pretty much the reason why i want to pursue medicine. Sure, I have a creative non-medical theme that overarches my PS, I have experiences to back it up, and didn't quite blatantly state it as quoted above, but all in all, that IS my "answer" to the prompt. Hm, should I be worried :(
     
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  3. WinterLights

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    An interesting story that works into your explanation is what schools are looking for, not just a straight forward statement. That is essentially what you have to avoid. If you are going into medicine because you love science, then eloquently describe a situation that helped you come to this conclusion. There is nothing wrong with your reason, you just have to make it seem interesting.
     
  4. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Probably not, as long as you're showing instead of telling.
     
  5. chad5871

    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm going to echo what the previous two users have posted. I was once told by a physician that medical schools actually WANT to see that you enjoy science and that you want to help people. Just make sure that they "see" this and are not "told" this. Be creative, interesting, professional, and true to yourself with your personal statement, and you'll be fine.

    Don't stress out too much!
     
  6. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    You're PS should imply this, but not directly say it. It's a challenge of writing skill. Those who have multiple reasons for going into this profession are going to have more at their disposal in order to make their personal statement sound amazing. People who want to go in for singular reasons will have personal statements that lack depth.

    In fact, this writing challenge the reason I think that the MCAT writing score is unimportant. The personal statement is FAR harder in terms of not making it sound like crap.
     
  7. justapremed

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    Hm okay. Right, I never said that so directly and blatantly, but it was supported and I would hope that it's more entertaining than reading "I love science. I want to help people and that's why I want to be a doctor."

    and yeah, this is really hard :(

    TheRealMD: Though I'm not pursuing a PhD, I love the phd comics!!!!!
     
  8. Textuality

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    Haha, you think it's hard now, wait till you get asked "Why medicine?" at the interviews, and have to figure out a way to answer that in a few sentences without sounding overly trite or overly rehearsed :p
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Don't sweat it. Pretty much everyone's personal statement reads the same. All you can do is write well and hope your experiences you're describing are more original than the next guy's.

    I'm not sure if they sell a book about this or something, but in efforts to be "different", pretty much every Personal Statement I've read in an application follow the exact format.

    1. "No $hit, there I was". Opens with a story that is rich in imagery and sense adjectives. Often a tale from the ER, inner city, outdoor trip, or time abroad. Then segues into...
    2. "Here's how I got here". Timeline of experiences that lead you to pursue medicine. Then segues into...
    3. "Meanwhile back at the ranch". Conclusion jumps back to the experience in #1 and wraps up.

    Seriously, this format is the norm. If I ever read one that doesn't follow this format, it jumps out at me.
     
  10. punkindrublic

    punkindrublic calls shenanigans

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    Haha, damn.

    I've been all smug thinking my personal statement was original and creative.

     
  11. LikeClockWork

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    Is it bad that I used those actual quotes?
     
  12. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    If I ever read a personal statement that literally begins with the words, "No $hit, there I was...", I'd accept the applicant on principle.
     
  13. HanginInThere

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    Speaking of books, I'd really recommend picking up a personal statement book for some tips on how to approach the writing process and for lots of examples of [all very different] successfull personal statements.

    I found this one (Barrons) very helpful.
     
  14. LikeClockWork

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    Okay, but which is more formal: sh!t or $hit or sh1t? I don't want to offend the grammar nazi's on the adcoms.
     
  15. justapremed

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    Oh I've been fearing that! some people did ask me in the past, obviously less important than a med school interview, but still it was kinda hard to explain in that it wasn't very straight forward and i didn't have a great moment that made me want to become a physician.
     
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  17. justapremed

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    I do have that book, read through some essays, and they just made me worry more. They seemed like all such accomplished students with amazing things to write about! After reading those, I got worried that my material itself wasn't fascinating enough to read about :p
     
  18. EyEnStein 07

    EyEnStein 07 Senior ΙΈ Member

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    im only in high school and quite honestly, my personal statement for colleges would in my opinion, be great for medical schools as well. I would just say be a little open minded is helping people and love of science the only reasons why you want to be a doctor? if so what is going to make you different from any other physician? Think about themes that intertwine with the idea, but themes of course that you can relate to from your past.

    but agreeing with "notdeadyet" i would say in a way, mine is of similar format.
     
  19. HanginInThere

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    Yeah, those personal statements are clearly by people with amazing backgrounds. Don't worry too much about being as strong as them - most of us aren't. What I found most helpful about the book was the first half, with its suggestions about what to think about and how to approach the process.

    The nice thing about the sample essays, aside from the intimidation factor, is that you can see a wide variety of approaches people took in writing about themselves. Don't use them as a yardstick or as a template to plug your story into, but as inspiration or starting points to get you thinking about how you might tell your own story.
     

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