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Personal Statement quick question. Please help!

krabbypattychef

Full Member
May 16, 2019
19
13
36
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi,

Hope everyone is staying safe. I wanted to get everyone's input, namely adcoms about if I should talk about COVID in my essay and if so, how much? I worked as a scribe at a major hospital in NYC for 2 months and talked about it extensively on my PS, as recommended by my advisor, but I have seen other advice saying not to talk about this because most people will be talking about it. Right now, my PS is mainly on one activity and my scribe job during COVID. If anyone has any input on whether to talk about my scribe job mainly or not to and instead focus on other activities, I would really appreciate it. applying do/md.

Thank you in advance and wish you all good health!
 

Kumorebi

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2017
1,229
1,825
126
  1. Medical Student
Hi,

Hope everyone is staying safe. I wanted to get everyone's input, namely adcoms about if I should talk about COVID in my essay and if so, how much? I worked as a scribe at a major hospital in NYC for 2 months and talked about it extensively on my PS, as recommended by my advisor, but I have seen other advice saying not to talk about this because most people will be talking about it. Right now, my PS is mainly on one activity and my scribe job during COVID. If anyone has any input on whether to talk about my scribe job mainly or not to and instead focus on other activities, I would really appreciate it. applying do/md.

Thank you in advance and wish you all good health!
Was it only covid that inspired you to pursue medicine? PS should be about what lead you to want to pursue medicine. Some people focus talking about experiences the helped solidify their decision. I would say talking about it is fine, but don’t make it the bulk of your essay.
 
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Sky138

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2019
396
570
136
  1. Medical Student
Not trying to completely derail you, but I’m in the camp that a good personal statement shouldn’t be an extended version of an activity. If I were you I’d keep things personal because you run the risk of being remembered for scribing and Covid 19, both of which aren’t exactly that unique.
 

GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,107
2,271
226
  1. Medical Student
Your PS is the single largest space you will have on primary and secondary applications to tell your story: your passion for medicine, desire to serve others, and the traits/perspectives/experiences that you bring to the table that make you an excellent candidate. Your PS needs to be about more than 1 very common experience (scribing). Save scribing for one of your three meaningful experiences section of the application. Elaborate on it in secondary applications and certainly if asked during an interview. But your PS is your chance to try to convince schools that you are: 1. interesting 2. dedicated to becoming a physician and 3. are worth using valuable time and resources on by inviting you to an interview.

A few key principles I encourage all applicants to keep in mind:
1. Put the thesis at the beginning of your essay. Don't save the Aha moment, or your summation of why you'll be an excellent doctor for the end of your essay - it usually doesn't work well and if you're reader is bored/confused/doesnt have the time, they might not read till the end (see point 2).
2. Assume your reader will spend between 2-5 minutes on your PS total. They will not reread confusing sections. They will not have the benefit of knowing much about you and will have difficulty piecing bits of information together unless it is laid out clearly.
3. Sell yourself: attributes, experiences, perspectives, etc. Include details but don't lose the forest for the trees. You have a finite amount of space to tell your story coherently.
4. As my favorite graduate student used to tell us: save something for the second date. In this context, it is ok not to delve as fully as you might like to in a PS about any particular activity. It is OK to save some additional details for the interview. This does not mean that it is ok for something to be confusing for the reader but rather that it is ok if the reader wants to know more about something.

Good luck!
 
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