Rewriting Secondaries

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by HoneyBadgerz, Jul 11, 2018 at 2:57 PM.

  1. HoneyBadgerz

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    I'm a re-applicant who didn't get a single interview after my previous attempt for the class of 2018. I was somewhat surprised, but my pre-med advisor mostly chalked that up to my complete lack of medical experience at the time of application (which I had always intended to get over the gap year). I have spent the last year bolstering my application significantly in a number of ways, and I'm now back to writing secondary essays. I had always planned to just re-write them from scratch, but I have found myself coming back to the same themes for the same prompts. I worked excessively on my secondary essays during the last application cycle and had my mother (a teacher) review each one carefully. We both have some serious doubts that they were part of the problem last year, and I believe that rephrasing the content will weaken most of them because I think they're pretty well-written. So, I'm just curious, do people here think in my case that I can mostly recycle this content if I've made substantial other improvements to my application?

    The most significant improvements/stats:
    -510 MCAT (128/127/128/127) -> 517 MCAT (129/127/130/131)
    -3.65 GPA in nanomedicine engineering at UVa (The same as last time, this is the only old thing I listed here just for reference)
    -EMT-basic certified
    - ~1000 hours of volunteer work for a rescue squad (by matriculation in 2019)
    - ~30 hours of physician shadowing (unfortunately the maximum I was allowed at the local hospital)
    - ~600 additional hours of academic research for UVa (New total of ~1900 hours)
    - ~700 hours of non-clinical/non-research work to pay for my own student loans (Looking to switch over to a job in a hospital ED right now)
    -2 new letters of recommendation from a physician I shadowed and my lieutenant on the rescue squad
    -An updated letter from my research PI that he referred to as a "substantial improvement"
    -Updated personal statement with my new experiences included
    -A much more carefully researched school list of 23 schools (Only 8 are repeats from last year)
    -There is more to my app, but all of it was the same as last time.

    inb4: I know that generally it is always beneficial to review and touch up the essays with any new experiences or information (which I am doing), but I'm curious about my particular case and if I should be totally trashing or rewriting my previous secondary essays.
     
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  3. TheRealCookieMonster

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    IMO:
    I think the conventional wisdom says trash them and restart. You may still end up copy & pasting large parts back in. If you got secondaries and no interview I would HIGHLY recommend someone who is familiar with the process review your apps. Preferably someone who has worked on or closely with an adcom. No offense to your mother, but she should only be used for grammer, syntax, organization, which are inferior to content and voice.
     
  4. HoneyBadgerz

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    That's a good point. Is there anyone on here who is known to be willing to look at secondary essays and who has worked on an adcom? I particularly don't feel strong about my diversity essay. I believe my adversity essay is fairly strong and I don't have too many issues with writing about why I feel like certain programs suit me and miscellaneous other topics/anecdotes.
     
  5. JugglesMed

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    I rewrote all of mine. I also retook my picture I submitted to schools. I think schools will see it like this: "If the applicant is too lazy to rewrite and spend time on our school, why should we invest time into them?"

    Then again, I could be wrong about the whole thought process.
     
  6. DoctorDragon22

    DoctorDragon22 Probationary Status

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    If your essays are quality then you should just restructure them. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
     

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