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Should IMG personal statement include reason for going abroad?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by travelbug5341, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. travelbug5341

    5+ Year Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm in a bit of a unique situation and looking for a little advice on my personal statement....

    I'm an American who went to Hungary to study medicine, after roughly 2 years of undergraduate study. I did not get my undergrad degree, did not take MCAT or apply to US med schools...Basically when I decided medicine was right for me my grades were not good due to lack of goals/motivation, so I figured a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush and went ahead and went abroad without finishing my undergrad.

    I've recently graduated and I'm finishing up my personal statement to submit to ERAS.

    My personal statement as it is now doesn't address why I went abroad without attempting to get into med school in the US, but I'm not sure if I shouldn't add a short paragraph about it, as I feel it's a bit of a unique situation. Is this something PDs will want explained? Or should I leave it as is and focus on what's happened since I began medical school?
     
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  3. DermViser

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    No, I wouldn't explain it.
     
    Brain Bucket likes this.
  4. xffan624

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    It's not. Lots of people mess around in undergrad and then make a bad decision worse by skipping the hard work of getting into a American medical school and go abroad. I don't see much of the point of talking about it. I doubt your decision to not even attempt to finish an undergrad degree can be painted in any light but bad. Focus on what you did in medical school and not your decision to go abroad as it doesn't seem like it was your finest hour.
     
  5. theseeker4

    theseeker4 PGY 3
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    I agree with this. OP, a lot of people have poor performance their first few years, even their entire 4 years of undergrad, and then decide to go into medicine. Many of them buckle down and do the hard work required to repair their GPA, or at least demonstrate their true potential is much greater than that demonstrated by they early work. They are then, many times, successful in gaining admission to US MD and/or DO schools. I don't see how any residency would view you not even attempting this before going overseas as a positive thing.....
     
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  6. Robotman

    Robotman Membership Revoked
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    Did you do any cores or selectives in US?
     
  7. travelbug5341

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    Thanks everyone. I understand it's going to be viewed negatively, which is why I was wondering if it would be best to mention it (as one might with other red flags)....but I guess there's little chance of being able to portray it in any kind of positive light.

    Robotman - I did 2 months of electives in the US.
     
  8. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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    "I went abroad because I couldn't get into medical school in America"
     
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  9. DermViser

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    Without bothering to even apply first.
     
  10. DermViser

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    No need to mention it. They'll already see you went to a foreign school.
     
  11. Brain Bucket

    Brain Bucket Oh man, I forgot to bring the marshmallows.
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    Don't sell yourself short. Over the past 2 years, while travelling and living in the Eu, I have had the opportunity for experiences (educational and otherwise) that I wouldn't have had Stateside. The one thing you can do is highlight them in such a way that the adcom is left wanting to hear more. My Facebook is full of tasteful pictures hinting at many of these experiences (in case they choose to do a little research).
     

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