Postbac application help -- essay and relevant experience?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by antipova, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. antipova

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    Hi all, newbie here. I've looked through the archives to see if someone else has asked this question before, but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so here goes...

    I just graduated college this past June (English/East Asian studies major), and after some prolonged soul-searching that I won't delve into here, I've realized I want to apply to some premed postbac programs and be a doctor. My GPA was 3.77 and my SAT scores were 800/740/800 (V/M/W) so I think my stats are decent, and I haven't taken any of the premed requirements.

    So I'm wondering: what exactly are programs looking for in the essay besides motives for applying? I'm currently flirting with pursuing psychiatry; is it necessary to mention this interest, even if there's a chance I'll change my mind down the road? Also, I was a research assistant with my school's psychology department for two years, but I have no relevant medical/scientific research experience. Would this hurt me in the application process?

    Thanks for the help.
     
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  3. betterlate

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi Antipova:

    Number one, I think you should touch base with the premed advisor and/or the alumni career counseling center at your alma mater. They will hopefully be able to offer you some concrete assistance (including editing a personal statement) with your application to postbacc programs.

    While I don't think it is necessary to have an interest in a specific field of medicine to apply to a postbacc program, I do think it is important to explain/justify your interest in changing fields. Adcoms are looking for people who are most likely to succeed in their program, successfully apply to medical school, and then succeed in medical school and beyond. You want to present a picture of you that is consistent with that - you want to make your motivations clear and have sufficient experience with medical situations to suggest you won't get to med school and suddenly discover that you hate people, or something.

    So, I think you need to ideally address the questions, 'why medicine,' and 'why now.' Whether or not you specifically talk about psychiatry is up to you, as long as you are able to demonstrate a clear motivation for changing careers.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Jelloh

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    Glad you posted this, I'm having a little trouble with my essay too. I'm familiar with, say, college admissions essays -- where they want you to be all cute and "show-don't-tell" about your personality and so on. But I'm finding a more straightforward answer to "why medicine" and "why now" is kind of difficult without sounding stiff and boring.

    What has been successful for everyone else? Do you give anecdotes, talk about your work experience? Is there anywhere to view excerpts from successful essays?
     
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet
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    I think you can talk about how your interests in psych motivated you to go into medicine, but I wouldn't talk about specific fields so much, esp in amcas, Don't talk about how you're going to go into a specific field because you're most likely going to change your mind anyways.
     

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