2+ Year Member
May 3, 2018
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  1. Pre-Medical

Thank you for your time! I am working on my PS and had a question on focus.

I am stuck between two approaches: I've seen examples of the first approach, where applicants heavily focus on bringing up multiple instances of their experience with medicine and explicitly write what they learned from it (versus implicitly setting the reader see it through actions described). The other approach is where I am, where I touch base on the story behind why I want to go into medicine.

In my current draft, I talk about two experiences in high school that really shaped the way I view medicine and have informed my experiences up until this point (one is a story about language and the other about an experience in the ER with a family member). I ran out of space, but believe I got the point across within the 5300 limit.

My concern is, I didn't explicitly (i.e. did not write an example) expand very much on my experience with medicine post-high school (i.e. throughout college/post-college); I only used one paragraph to briefly mention it. I do indeed have experiences in it, which I included in the Work/Activities sections. I believe that my Work/Activities section covers much of my explicit medical experiences during college, but I don't want it to be strange that I primarily speak upon pre-college/high school experiences in the PS.

Could someone please share their thoughts? Should I focus on talking about my experience in specific medical experiences?

Thank you!

P.S. I include the language story because it has influenced the course of my life in such a way that it has guided my direction for the experiences I had in college and post-college. I understand that it isn't a medical experience, but it is personally very important to me!


7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2014
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  1. Medical Student
When I was applying to the place I eventually graduated undergrad from, one of the admissions deans gave us a copy of this essay. It's served me well with every application since, I'd recommend reading it then looking again at that first approach you mentioned. Specific experiences are great but are best when they support a narrative or establish said narrative.

I think it's fine to mention high school experience, especially if you just state the year instead of screaming "when I was in High School!" but it I'd highly recommend following the story to present. Show insight and contemplation on this potential career path.
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Feb 4, 2020
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  1. Medical Student
The traditional advice is to make sure you answer “Why Medicine?”, but I suppose it really should be “why medicine now, after all the experiences that have shown you the good, bad, and ugly?”. Make sure you address this. Whatever honest story of how you got into medicine you use to frame your essay, it should just be the beginning of the narrative you tell. Your essay should not scream “I became fascinated with physicians in personal high school experience so I got all the necessary hours required to apply and never thought twice about if this really was the right profession for me or not”.
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May 23, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
While I am new here, I definitely think there needs to be an evolution in your PS from when your world view changed (ie. when you were in high school) and what has transpired since then. It doesn't need to be as in-depth as the work/activities section but I think there should be a clear growth pattern throughout the essay that encompasses your journey from undergrad to medical school. It is hard to critique without reading the PS but it seems like you might be focusing a little too much on the cause (your world view changing event) and not enough on the effect (how that event made you want to not only pursue medicine but research/volunteer/clubs/etc.)


2+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2018
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  1. Non-Student
I think that describing what first drew you to medicine represents just part of the narrative. Including a few experiences that developed this interest and affirmed your path helps the reader understand the qualities in medicine that most resonate with you. Through a few examples, you can show the insights gained, along with your readiness for medicine.
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