Personal Statement Topic: Science is not my strongest passion in life

recycledpaper

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Jul 20, 2010
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Hello all,

I'm currently writing my personal statement and I'm trying to convey my feelings and thoughts about what I love in life and how its reflected in my undergraduate grades and test scores. Don't get me wrong, I love the sciences. But I love working on start-ups as well, if not more. I started an e-commerce business my second year in college and continue to run it to this day. I'm also about 1-2 months away from launching a food truck business in LA.

Even with all that, I want to pursue a career in medicine. I guess my question is I'm having a hard time deciding what to put in my personal statement. The way I have it right now identifies me as an individual who did not decide on medicine until half-way through undergrad and that the reason I decided medicine was right for me is because of my great passion for things outside of science but are still very much ingrained in medicine. Medicine is about people, collaboration, and a lifetime of learning. I have great passion for these things, whereas my passion for the sciences is "sufficient" for the profession. I identified with these passions through both traditional (volunteering, clinical work) and non-traditional (my online business, my soon-to-be-launched restaurant "truck" business) work. Nevertheless though, these interests are a huge part of my character.

Members of SDN, is this appropriate for me to write? A part of me feels that although honest and appropriate, adcom members might read it in the wrong light and regard me as someone who doesn't have their priorities straight. I've been told that passions in things other than medicine/science is important and adds overall appeal but I am not sure. I am seeking advice. Please help! Thank you.
 

transfec

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Jun 24, 2010
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Hello all,

I'm currently writing my personal statement and I'm trying to convey my feelings and thoughts about what I love in life and how its reflected in my undergraduate grades and test scores. Don't get me wrong, I love the sciences. But I love working on start-ups as well, if not more. I started an e-commerce business my second year in college and continue to run it to this day. I'm also about 1-2 months away from launching a food truck business in LA.

Even with all that, I want to pursue a career in medicine. I guess my question is I'm having a hard time deciding what to put in my personal statement. The way I have it right now identifies me as an individual who did not decide on medicine until half-way through undergrad and that the reason I decided medicine was right for me is because of my great passion for things outside of science but are still very much ingrained in medicine. Medicine is about people, collaboration, and a lifetime of learning. I have great passion for these things, whereas my passion for the sciences is "sufficient" for the profession. I identified with these passions through both traditional (volunteering, clinical work) and non-traditional (my online business, my soon-to-be-launched restaurant "truck" business) work. Nevertheless though, these interests are a huge part of my character.

Members of SDN, is this appropriate for me to write? A part of me feels that although honest and appropriate, adcom members might read it in the wrong light and regard me as someone who doesn't have their priorities straight. I've been told that passions in things other than medicine/science is important and adds overall appeal but I am not sure. I am seeking advice. Please help! Thank you.
I wouldn't recommend approaching your PS like that, but that's just me. Just because you're not being driven by science doesn't mean you have to go this far. I can definitely see others reading into this the the wrong way, as you mentioned. This also comes off like you're trying too hard to sound unique in your PS.
 
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Isoprop

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Your personal statement should be positive. Don't make disliking something a focus of your essay.

Example
"While I enjoyed my science courses in college, my real interest sparked in medicine when..."
 
Jan 20, 2010
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Your personal statement should be positive. Don't make disliking something a focus of your essay.

Example
"While I enjoyed my science courses in college, my real interest sparked in medicine when..."
yeah that's about it. think positive. think how you'll use your science to better your patient care. there's no room to be a negative nancy on a one page essay. I really wish I could rewrite mine.
 

n3xa

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Just vomit out whatever comes to mind. THEN edit later.

It's so much more painful sitting there debating over every single word you type.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I went a pretty ballsy route with one of my secondaries and basically said that I don't plan on giving 100% of my life to medicine because I'd rather not define myself by a profession. I said some stuff about wanting to be a whole person, etc. My interviewer ate it up...he said he even read my essay to his wife.

That being said, that was a secondary essay for a school that I was confident would accept me. I think pulling that sort of thing for a primary essay might get you in trouble at more traditional schools.

So basically, save the controversial stuff for the secondaries so that you can tailor it to individual schools and withhold information that you think might hurt your chances.
 

streudels

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I went a pretty ballsy route with one of my secondaries and basically said that I don't plan on giving 100% of my life to medicine because I'd rather not define myself by a profession.
i'm glad i'm not the only one who believes the above ^^.
 

wanderer

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Agreed with the above. Don't make your personal statement negative if at all possible.
+1 (2?). A cliched positive personal statement will almost always be picked over a unique negative personal statement. The PS is supposed to give you a chance to say why you should be a doctor, not to give the reader doubts as to whether or not you are qualified for this field.
 

badb100d

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Medicine is about people, collaboration, and a lifetime of learning.
If you build your essay around this I think you will be fine. Use your various start-up experiences to show how they will help you be a better doctor. I don't even think you need to mention science anywhere, rather focus on what in medicine excites you. This will be a more interesting PS than just droning on about how much you "love science". Of course, I'm guessing you're not trying to get into MD/PhD, in that case you might want to show science some more love. :laugh:
 

Ursa

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Talk about how your experiences and other passions will translate into your medical career. What you've learned so far will probably have a huge impact on how you practice as a physician. It's very unique, so play up how it will relate to medicine.