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Personal Statement Take 2

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Shades McCool

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Ok people after the first attempt at writing a personal statement I have come up with a ROUGH draft for a new angle. Please let me know what you think of this. Does it sound too much like an autobiography? Please just let me know what you think.


I could tell you I played doctor with a toy stethoscope and my sister?s Raggedy Ann doll ? but that wouldn?t be true. I never had a plastic doctor?s kit or a sister with an ailing doll. My earliest memories of incidents that have influenced my career path to medicine are a little more graphic.

Our family?s black cat, Batman, apparently didn?t have his super powers engaged the day he was run over by a car in the busy intersection a block from our house. Even though I was four only years old, I can remember insisting that I be allowed to see his lifeless body and severe head injury before my Dad buried him in the backyard behind the garage. I wanted to know what happened and why Batman had died.

When a teammate in pre-school soccer scraped a patch of skin from his knee in a hard piece of ground near the sideline, I ran over to see the injury and to try to help. Later I helped classmates pull their ?baby? teeth and never shuttered.

Curiosity gave way to fascination in middle school and high school. I couldn?t learn enough about this incredible machine called the human body. I tracked down television programs that featured doctors, real-life surgeries and trauma rooms. Nothing was too graphic or disturbing because, in the end, lives where saved and patients were restored.

After I tore my left ACL in a ninth grade football game, nationally known surgeon Dr. James Andrews repaired it using a patella tendon graft. Being a patient and learning how much a talented surgeon could do to make a person complete again confirmed that medicine was for me.

I had learned a lot about the physical therapy aspect of my procedure before and after my operation. The next summer, at age 15, I used what I had learned first hand as a patient while working at a local rehab center. By the end of my summer job, I was assisting in administering several of the procedures because the full-time staff knew I understood the process from the technical and patient points of view. Later that year a local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Charles Hartzog, who cared for my occasional sports-related injuries, let me come to the hospital to watch several operations.

During my high school years, in addition to lettering in three sports and participating in a full slate of extra-curricular activities, I soaked up textbook chapters and illustrations - memorizing body parts and their functions. For me, biology, anatomy and chemistry classes were enjoyable steps in the process of learning as much as I could about the human body.

Today, with the benefit my college experience, my fascination has turned into passion. Hours in the genetics lab pass quickly. Work in the lab doing DNA research - while frustrating in the sense of never breaking through - never made me have second thoughts about my career choice. Now, midway through my junior year I have been in the hospital operating room observing more than 30 surgeries - thanks to Dr. Clay Harper, a general surgeon at East Alabama Medical Center who understands my passion for medicine.

Now I feel my passion manifesting itself in a new found focus and dedication that comes with a complete and sincere commitment to a medical career. Simply put, I want to learn more, see more and eventually do more with the human body.


Any comments are welcome.
 

Newquagmire

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Originally posted by Shades McCool
Our family?s black cat, Batman, apparently didn?t have his super powers engaged the day he was run over by a car in the busy intersection a block from our house.

Does it make me a bad person if I laughed at this?

Shades: Better, but I feel like you're doing a lot of telling and not showing--like you're trying to include so many points that your purpose (of each particular point) gets a little lost.
 

felipe5

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my PI gave me a good suggestion to avoid putting other people's names in your PS (Dr. James Andrews , Dr. Charles Hartzog, Dr. Clay Harper, etc)........the only name you want them to remember is YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!!

also, this PS doesn't tell me anything about you besides your interest in medicine.....elaborate on your passions outside of academia (ex. sports), and paint a better picture of yourself!

:horns:
 

bubbajones

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sounds like u were bragging that u knew all these docs...who the hell cares if he was nationally recognized. focus on yourself and elaborate more on who you are.
 

tBw

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I think it's a vast improvement over the prior version. The main points (other than some grammar and spelling eg shutter vs shudder)

1. This portrays someone with a cold clinical intellectual fascination for medicine. Not however someone who seems to care about any of the patients. Maybe you do but it doesn't come across - even in the telling of your cat being run over you seem more concerned with seeing it's crushed head than feeling crushed yourself!

2. "Nothing was too graphic or disturbing because, in the end, lives where saved and patients were restored." Hmmm. Just sounded a little idealistic/naive as medicine really isn't like that. In reality, unless you're in peds, often the outcomes can be negative, depressing or limited.

3. It does sound a little 'list' like. Pick one or two of the events and describe yourself in more detail so we can see an emotional as well as an intellectual response.

4. Whoever reads it is unlikely to be impressed by name-dropping. Being academics they will often think they are smarter than who you mention ( :rolleyes: ) and besides what if they are "arch-enemies" :laugh: . This info can be covered in your 'extra-curricular' activities description anyway so there's no need to waste word-usage here reproducing it.
 

Megalofyia

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I do actually like the first paragraph. In fact, if it wasnt' for that first paragraph I wouldnt have kept reading.
 

LaurieB

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Condense the first 7 paragraphs into one and focus your essay on the last two. The more you talk about who you are and why you want to be a doc in the here and now, the stronger your statement will be.
 

TTSD

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I agree with the above posters. It has too much a "list" feel to it and not enough personality. I want to see who you are, not who you knew, how many sports you played in high school, etc.

What makes you the type of person that will make a good DOCTOR, not scientist (distinction between the two).
 

Sherif

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I don't know if anyone felt this but when i read the essay, i thought it was a bunch of ideas and he wanted us to tell him which idea is better. It just seems to go everywhere
 

enigmata

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shades,

i think this a good a structural framework from which you can build upon. rather than describing every interaction and experience that relates to the medical field, you want to focus on specific ones that were of particular importance to you, that may have affected your understanding of medicine, maturity in general, etc, etc? it seems like you want to these stories to serve as a testimony to your passion for medicine, but try to show this with vivid descriptions rather than passive sentences. also, the first paragraph seems unnecessary. but overall good start! hope this helps! :)
 

Lochmoor

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I think you have a lot of very good experiences that you can use. However, I agree, it is a bit scattered. You may want to start with your own person experience--the ACL story.

Start with a little football commentary, then to your injury and recovery and what you learned.

Then in 2nd paragraph condense all of your childhood experience. Like: "From a young age I was always interested in learning about how to heal people and animals.....(your experiences)"

Try to keep your 2nd hand experiences to a minimum. I think the personal statement is YOUR opprotunity to sell yourself. However, you need to balance it and not seem to cocky.

You're moving along very nicely. You have very good experiences and ideas. Try to come up with a couple more experiences (research, volunteer) and I think you've got your content of your PS. Keep it up! Best of luck!!
 

efex101

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I thought that this PS was a joke, am I missing something here? are your for real?
 

ASDIC

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hi shades...i PMed you some advice.

hope it helps.
 

MErc44

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Originally posted by Shades McCool
Our family?s black cat, Batman, apparently didn?t have his super powers engaged the day he was run over by a car in the busy intersection a block from our house.



You should only attempt humor or humorous stories if you are actually funny. This isn't. Sorry to be mean but it's just well informed advice compiled from several people.
 

care bear

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really? i thought it was funny. in fact i laughed out loud at that sentence, and not in a mean way or anything. in fact, i don't think any of the essay was bad. . . maybe people are seeing something that i'm not.

i would also say that it might be a good idea to mention something about wanting to actually care for patients, as opposed to simply having an intellectual curiosity abt medicine.

but, i'll be the first to say good job. :)

edit: except for grammar, etc. . .but i'm sure you're already planning to go back and fix all that.
 

ptanpit1

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Shades, I love you man but your PS is TERRIBLE. No punches here.

1) Your cat dying at 4 has no relevance to medicine. If you want to know why he died, ask your dad.

2) How exactly "in pre-school" did you help? Did you understand how to bandage at 4???

3) Pulling teeth is masochistic.

4) Watching ER, Nip-Tuck, and Scrubs is not medicine.

5) I wouldn't brag about doing orthopedic surgeries at 15. One, I don't believe it. Two, if it's true, there's a lawsuit brewing...

6) If you tell them you memorized biology and chemistry, what if they asked you to recount some of it? I mean, they are doctors...

7) Paragraph on research seems like a cheap way of justifying unproductive research...

8) I don't think you ever really answered the question of why you want to become a doctor.
 

DrBodacious

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My criticism (wholeheartedly meant to be constructive) is that you don't talk enough about recent accomplishments. You have seven paragraphs about events taking place before college, one about college, and one conclusion paragraph!

I think that your recalling a single event from childhood, such as your cat, would sufficiently give the reader a feel for you as a youngster. Note: Paragraph one and two should be one paragraph.

Then, move on to mentioning your football injury (for example)and in this paragraph just simply list the events concerning the exposure to medicine that you sought out in high school. Just expressing that you were involved and motivated from early on is the important part. Your reader will not particularly care about the details what you saw, and I agree with others, who your doctors you've had contact with. Not that details wouldn't be nice but space must be used wisely...

Then, talk about how you've matured during college. Elaborate on what you've gotten out of research and the other experiences you've had. "DNA research" sounds simplistic to me. No need to get overly technical but you should convey that your research aims had some depth.

I'm not saying that you should restate you ECs that you will describe on your AMCAS. What recent accomplishment makes you most proud? Elaborate on that. Or maybe you are proud of your ability to manage time and amass a large number of accomplishments. Med schools will want to know that you are currently headed in the right direction.

You wright well and your statement was easy and fun to read. I think the balance of the content lacks a little... sophistication, for lack of a better term. Or... it needs a greater essence of maturity. Don't worry though, you've started early, and I think going through the application process is one of the most maturing college experiences, but it would be silly to write a personal statement about that.

my 2c
 

Sherif

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say something that influnced you like if you have a person that you know has some type of disease and you want to find a cure or that just helped you reinstate that you want to become a doctor and nothing is ever going to stop that dream
 

JohnHolmes

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I agree a lot with what's been said here. I'll consense some ideas:

1) Don't name drop or brag.

2) Descriptions are too graphic. They made me wince.

3) Scale back on the "science" scale up on the "humanism."

4) Don't even entertain the idea that you would/could lie in the first paragraph, but chose to tell the truth. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Not good.

5) Add an anecdote about your first keg stand. Ad Com's love that.

:love:

CCW :)
 
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