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Rough draft of personal statement

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college!!

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Hi everyone, this is my first post. I think I'm on the right track with my statement, but let me know if it gets bogged down anywhere, or if there is some point where you stop reading please tell me where that was.

Thanks


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COLLEGE I, HISTORY: I was 18 years old, right out of high school. I arrived on campus with vague notions about learning who I was and who I wanted to be and about becoming a responsible member of society. Mainly, I was excited to play college soccer, and I went because I was expected to go. Academics were not my priority.

I majored in History and loved my courses in Greek and Roman art and archaeology, medieval Europe, African-American History, and athletic training. I spent a great semester at the Smithsonian, helping to build a permanent exhibit that I hope my kids will see some day. I learned things that I think will make me a good doctor, and I grew in ways that probably can't be quantified by a letter or percentage. I learned to see things holistically and to think analytically. I learned to listen. I learned to work and live with diverse people and to appreciate our differences. I learned that nearly all issues are complex, and I began to see life as a fascinating, unfolding process, replete with opportunities and the challenge to make the most of them.

CHOOSING MEDICINE: My mom is a doctor, a dermatologist. I've worked in her office off-and-on for three years. I love what she does, working with people, helping people, not the vague, indirect way of politics or most civil service, but the concrete "Thank you, Dr. Jacobsen, for making me better." Still, I didn't think it was for me, and I really couldn't handle blood, not even fake TV blood, after falling off a cliff at age nine.

I suppose a two-step reaction changed my mind. I remember the exact moment. With a warm sea-breeze on my face, I gazed out at the immense blackness of a Caribbean night, thinking about what I wanted to do after college. It occurred to me that I wanted to answer the question of what I did for a living with pride, not with an excuse. I wanted to make a difference, and I knew I could do that as a doctor.

The second step began months later on a bright fall afternoon. The sun was shining, and the grass was a deep green. Coach of a high school soccer team, I watched from the sideline as a nightmare unfolded. Our star player and senior team captain lay on the ground, tripped from behind and struggling to stand up without the aid of his now useless left arm. Far surpassing my concern about wins and losses, sectional match-ups, or regional rankings, I just wanted Noah, my little brother and best friend, to be okay. I wanted to make my brother's pain go away.

Dr. Ken Renner's son played on our team. Dr. Renner cared for Noah's shattered collarbone and invited me to join him in the OR to watch surgeries and to overcome my fear of blood. After the first visit I was hooked. The early mornings and long years of schooling ahead seemed totally worth it as I watched Dr. Renner use his hands to make broken bodies whole: knee replacements, hip replacements, rotator cuff repairs, each procedure so amazing in its precision and acceptance by the body. I'd always enjoyed working with my hands, building and fixing things from LEGO blocks, model airplanes, and fishing line to guitar strings, leaky toilets, and jammed sailing gear at sea. Now, with sudden clarity, I saw that the same dexterity I'd been using all along for more mundane pursuits could be used to mend the human body. I drove home exhilarated, singing out loud.

I chose then to work toward medical school, to garner the knowledge I would need to put my hands to work. I want to apply my skills, wits, and hands to solve problems and make people's lives more livable. Doing that, I think I'll feel good about the impact of my life (who knows, maybe even when I'm on call).
And that was enough to get me going, full speed ahead.

COLLEGE II, PRE-MED: I returned to college to take nine pre-med courses. This time college was different. I had focus and a concrete goal: to do all I could to become a doctor, not just any doctor, but the best doctor I could be. Nights of memorizing reactions and solving problem sets became standard events in my life, entered into with excitement and interest, not because I had to, but because I chose to. I learned to expect excellence of myself in the classroom: always prepared, always inquisitive, and always ready to attempt an answer.

This spring, as I was walking home from a day volunteering at Yale Med School, it dawned on me that I had become the kind of student that I had occasionally envied and always admired: on top of things and full of enthusiasm. "How does she know that?" I would think, or "Where does he find time to do all of the readings?" I've found the answer, my answer at least, and it's pretty simple. After I made my future in medicine my goal, the top priority in my day-to-day life, there was always time to do the readings . . . and I found them more interesting, more engaging, than I ever would have guessed.

EPILOGUE: Death. Recent events provide powerful daily reaffirmations of my goal. Two people gone, one seemingly timeless, the other seemingly invincible, both so full of joy, passion, and life. In their absence, I am constantly reminded of how awesome it is to be alive. If through my work, I can add good years or evendays to the lives of those who want to live, I know I will walk away fulfilled.
 

gujuDoc

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I'm going to cut and paste what you wrote and put how I would edit it, and then send you a pm to give me your email. The ideas you want to convey are good, but you need it to tie in a way that makes everything flow smoothly.
 

LadyBulldog

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....the guju Doc will take care of you ;) ......

i really like your writing style, and some of your ideas and anecdotes. The lay-out style is unusual but creative--i don't know enough about this process to say if that's a plus or a minus though so....

r u a yalie too, btw? :)
 

gujuDoc

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Hey to the original poster,

One of the things, I noticed as I read your statement is that I think you could perhaps make it tie together if you expand on your dream of being a soccer player in your intro, and use that as a unifying team through out your essay. For instance, talk about sportsmanship, team work, and other lessons you learned as a soccer player, and unite that back with your experiences at the Smithsonian and at your mom's office. Then bring it back to the day of your brother's accident and unify how those lessons you learned earlier on, would come back and help make you the person you are now, and how you believe those things will bring you the skills necessary to be successful as a physician.

Also, don't try to make it sound like some big epiphany. Make sure they know when you realized you were sure medicine was your path, but without making it sound like an epiphany. I can email you a copy of a friend's personal statement, whom is now in med school and whom I know wouldn't mind if I shared with you what his was like. he had 4 interviews last year and 2 waitlists, one acceptance. It might help you to get some perspective. And I'll look over yours and try to put some input if I can help edit it any.
 

pufferfish

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gujuDoc--I just wanted to say that you rock. I'm new to posting to this board, but have read forums for quite some time. It's refreshing to see someone step up to bat to help the pre-med peeps. Your a 180 from some of the uptight ba$***** I've dealt with in the past. props to you.
 

lfesiam

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alright..i'm glad this is your rough draft, I will be truthful here:

- your tone and writing style is a bit overwhelming, you have no flow...focus on a theme and stick to it... reading your essay is like watching 10 different channels at once...
- focus evenly on why you choose medicine, wheter death of love ones, observing in the OR (i think that is where you can really shine), organize your plot and stick with it.
- you are way to wordy...go to the main points

i suggest you get a book on succesful applicant essays and glance through it... eventhough all the sucessful essays are different, they are all straightforward, unique, concise, and sincere. When I read your essay, I can't really relate or see the author behind it. It's like reading mad lib. Sorry for being so blunt but I hope my suggestions help.
 

gujuDoc

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lfesiam said:
alright..i'm glad this is your rough draft, I will be truthful here:

- your tone and writing style is a bit overwhelming, you have no flow...focus on a theme and stick to it... reading your essay is like watching 10 different channels at once...
- focus evenly on why you choose medicine, wheter death of love ones, observing in the OR (i think that is where you can really shine), organize your plot and stick with it.
- you are way to wordy...go to the main points

i suggest you get a book on succesful applicant essays and glance through it... eventhough all the sucessful essays are different, they are all straightforward, unique, concise, and sincere. When I read your essay, I can't really relate or see the author behind it. It's like reading mad lib. Sorry for being so blunt but I hope my suggestions help.


This is what I was trying to say too. Since your sib's soccer accident was the main deciding and turning factor, and you start with going to college to play college soccer, why don't you focus on your love for athletics and the things you learned from there, and how that leads into the story of the turning point in your life???? I need some more details, to be able to properly edit it, but I'll look over it when I have some time this weekend, since I'm not too busy right now.
 

DoctaJay

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Wassup college!!. I agree with the previous posters that your ps doesn't flow very well, but I think you wrote it to be in sections, so that may not be bad. I like how did it; showing your original passion for history and then revealing how that was changed to a passion for medicine, but you didn't elaborate on some important things:

1) I think you should develop your decision to pursue medicine further. Right now, it just seems like it was some sort of epiphany that occured while you were on vacation. There are many fields that one be proud of that at the same time help others. Like nursing, a public defender, etc. You really need to develop further why you chose medicine out of all the others. I really like the way you linked your brother's injury to your decision to pursue medicine. Maybe you can elaborate this more, and faze out the "gazing into the carribean sea" angle.

2) I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what your "epilogue" section was talking about. It was a very abstract and vague paragraph. You need to describe in more detail how the deaths of different loved ones has influenced you.

Overall it just needs to be tightened up, but I really like the style you are going for. It shows the different chapters in your life, and how you've grown into this premed role. If you could just transition from section to section a little better I think everything would be fine. Good luck man!!!
 

JimiThing

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college said:
if there is some point where you stop reading please tell me where that was. . .

. . . I went because I was expected to go. Academics were not my priority.

Honestly, I initially stopped reading right there. Try to find a another way to phrase that. It makes you sound wishy-washy, in a "I do what I'm told" kind of way.

college said:
I majored in History and loved my courses in Greek and Roman art and archaeology, medieval Europe, African-American History, and athletic training. I spent a great semester at the Smithsonian, helping to build a permanent exhibit that I hope my kids will see some day. I learned things that I think will make me a good doctor, and I grew in ways that probably can't be quantified by a letter or percentage. I learned to see things holistically and to think analytically. I learned to listen. I learned to work and live with diverse people and to appreciate our differences. I learned that nearly all issues are complex, and I began to see life as a fascinating, unfolding process, replete with opportunities and the challenge to make the most of them.

Vary your sentence structure!!! Every sentence in this paragraph starts with I, and repeats "subject, verb, noun." It makes for tedious reading. (you do a better job of this later on :thumbup: ).
 
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