aamartin81

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I am curious to see how much detail most people include about shadowing experiences in their personal statement. My question is whether it needs extensive description, as it is listed next to the PS on the AMCAS application. I realize that a description of what you learned/how you were affected is a very good thing to discuss, but if length is pushing the maximum characters, would you recommend it be the first to go? I imagine that you will be asked to discuss it in interviews regardless.

Thanks,

Adam
 

VPDcurt

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My shadowing experiences, although relatively extensive, were not the primary focus of my PS. I think it all depends on the direction you take with your essay and what you want to focus on in terms of experiences. If shadowing was an extremely important part of your decision in becoming a doctor or whatever else you are discussing, then be sure to mention it. However, don't talk about it the entire time as almost everyone applying has shadowed physicians and it might bore the admissions committee.
 

Larsitron

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Now, I'll be the first to say that I'm no expert and just because I got in doesn't mean that I have any real standing to give advice, but here's my feelings:

I would mention the shadowing and briefly describe it to give people a feel for what you did and learned, but I would argue that you shouldn't make it the centerpiece of your statement. You need to give the committee a picture of who you are, why you're where you are, and what you're doing applying to med school. The most interesting personal statement I ever read was a person who talked about solving puzzles and riddles with her family and then drawing an analogy to what a physician does. She got her clinical experience in there to highlight it, but showed that she was looking at this with some depth.
 
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aamartin81

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I appreciate the quick help, I think it may be a new record in response time! I am of the same position as both of you. I discussed my shadowing only as a reinforcement, but included some detail about three of the experiences which took my essay over the 5300 characters. Since it is not a direct component of my essay's theme, I think I'll start trimming there.

Thanks,

Adam
 

tacrum43

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I spent about half my personal statement talking about something that happened whil I was shadowing, but that was because I got to do CPR and so it was pretty exciting (the patient lived!). However, I didn't mention any of my other shadowing because it wasn't as interesting.
 

AxlxA

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I'm writing about the same thing, cpr..

But the layout of my essay is gonna be that one story, interlaced with reflections and goals... Or should i just start listing other qualities or experiences. i also do research but i dont see the relavance of mentioning that in my essay that would really show anything about me. What do you guys talk about research that links to medicine?
 

tacrum43

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AxlxA said:
I'm writing about the same thing, cpr..

But the layout of my essay is gonna be that one story, interlaced with reflections and goals... Or should i just start listing other qualities or experiences. i also do research but i dont see the relavance of mentioning that in my essay that would really show anything about me. What do you guys talk about research that links to medicine?
I did mine as one long story too. I started with getting my EMT cert in high school and then moved on to my job (medically related) at a summer camp and lastly talked about the CPR. I guess I was trying to show how my experiences with medicine led me to apply to medical school and show my motivations. However, this might not be the best strategy as of today, I still haven't had an interview (but I think that's more a GPA problem). As for research, I didn't do any, so I'm not sure how you might intergrate that.
 

Cheerfulgrrl

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tacrum43 said:
I did mine as one long story too. I started with getting my EMT cert in high school and then moved on to my job (medically related) at a summer camp and lastly talked about the CPR. I guess I was trying to show how my experiences with medicine led me to apply to medical school and show my motivations. However, this might not be the best strategy as of today, I still haven't had an interview (but I think that's more a GPA problem). As for research, I didn't do any, so I'm not sure how you might intergrate that.
I was advised differently - the EC section allows you to list your experiences, so if you essentially do that in your PS, you have wasted space that allows the adcom to see you as someone really interesting. In my PS I started with a description of a glacier traverse I had done, showing how much I believe in team work. I also talked about my admiration for my grandmother - someone who was not in a fancy position in life, but was genuine, and when she died, the church was packed with more than 500 people. Note that my focus is rural and community med, so I wanted to show that I value community life and long term relationships. I did include a story describing an interaction that took place as part of one of my experiences, but I described the actual volunteer job in the ECs.

I don't know if that helps or not. I did get lots of interviews and 4 acceptances before I started withdrawing apps. One interviewer was incredibly complimentary about my PS. This sounds boastful, I'm just trying to show that it does seem like the advice I received was correct.
 

tacrum43

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Cheerfulgrrl said:
I was advised differently - the EC section allows you to list your experiences, so if you essentially do that in your PS, you have wasted space that allows the adcom to see you as someone really interesting. In my PS I started with a description of a glacier traverse I had done, showing how much I believe in team work. I also talked about my admiration for my grandmother - someone who was not in a fancy position in life, but was genuine, and when she died, the church was packed with more than 500 people. Note that my focus is rural and community med, so I wanted to show that I value community life and long term relationships. I did include a story describing an interaction that took place as part of one of my experiences, but I described the actual volunteer job in the ECs.

I don't know if that helps or not. I did get lots of interviews and 4 acceptances before I started withdrawing apps. One interviewer was incredibly complimentary about my PS. This sounds boastful, I'm just trying to show that it does seem like the advice I received was correct.
I did read some PS's like that, but I found them annoying (no offense to you). I guess medical school admission committees don't though. :oops: If I don't get in anywhere this year, then I'm going to try to speak with some Deans about what I need to improve. Congrats on your acceptances by the way.
 

tigress

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Would you put shadowing as an EC if you only shadowed for one day but it was a great experience? I want to include it somewhere in my ap. I'm trying to get a more long-term shadowing thing lined up, but for now that's what I have.
 

Cheerfulgrrl

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tacrum43 said:
I did read some PS's like that, but I found them annoying (no offense to you). I guess medical school admission committees don't though. :oops: If I don't get in anywhere this year, then I'm going to try to speak with some Deans about what I need to improve. Congrats on your acceptances by the way.
Nicest and most agreeable disagreement I've seen! So I looked at your profile, I really hope you get some good news. I think you have an awesome attitude and would be great with people - a great clinical doc - and a great classmate.
 

Cheerfulgrrl

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tigress said:
Would you put shadowing as an EC if you only shadowed for one day but it was a great experience? I want to include it somewhere in my ap. I'm trying to get a more long-term shadowing thing lined up, but for now that's what I have.
No, in that case I think it would look odd as a unique EC (with a start and end date of the same day?). I think you'd be right to discuss it in your PS - then you can talk about it as a great experience, and why, what it means to you, but the details aren't as important. I'm not saying to hide or exaggerate the length - just stress the effect on your life instead, and be ready to answer honestly if asked in an interview for exact details. Alternatively, you could wait and mention it in secondary essays, I guess.