arez10

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I'm applying in the Spring and wanted to start working on my personal statement soon. My initial idea was to write about an EMS call I got last summer that involved me doing CPR on a patient and how it really confirmed my interest in medicine, etc. I thought maybe that would be too cliche, though. I've lately felt a lot of frustration toward fellow premeds who talk about the money and prestige involved with becoming a doctor, and it makes me sick. One friend actually told me that he paid for his EMT certification so he didn't have to ride on our first aid squad! Another friend said she would be devastated if she didn't get into dental school, but only because she wants the money and doesn't have any interest in teeth. I kind of wanted to show in my personal statement that I am the OPPOSITE of this and truly have a passion for medicine and genuinely like interacting with patients and knowing I'm making a difference in their lives. Do you think it would come off more as a rant and not a good essay? I was also thinking of maybe coalescing the two ideas, but not sure yet how I would do that. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

SiR99

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I wouldnt talk about other people being in it for the wrong reasons, I would just stick to why I'm in it for the right reasons.


There are Always going to be people who are doing it for the wrong reasons, but its not like doctors even make that much money to justify the 12+ years of school/training they go through.
 
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stick with your EMS story and show that you have a passion for medicine and helping people but DO NOT mention/rant about anyone else in your PS!

EDIT: and yes, EMS stories are cliche but who cares, they make for awesome personal statements and there are tons of premeds out there that wish they had that kind of hands-on experience. Even I got a bit jealous reading your story about doing CPR and I was an EMT as well.
 
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moab336

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Your story could be good. Although it does seem a bit cliche, most pre-meds don't have that kind of experience. If it's written well it will not seem cliche.

Don't bad mouth other students. Avoid negative statements in general.
 

han14tra

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You have a lot of time left. I would say write it and get someone on SDN to read it. It's impossible to say whether your PS will be too cliche since it all depends on how you write it. Trust me...you will write about 8 drafts of the PS and then realize you hate it. Then, you'll start over and write about 3 more drafts before you get something you like.
 

fizzle

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I'm applying in the Spring and wanted to start working on my personal statement soon. My initial idea was to write about an EMS call I got last summer that involved me doing CPR on a patient and how it really confirmed my interest in medicine, etc. I thought maybe that would be too cliche, though. I've lately felt a lot of frustration toward fellow premeds who talk about the money and prestige involved with becoming a doctor, and it makes me sick. One friend actually told me that he paid for his EMT certification so he didn't have to ride on our first aid squad! Another friend said she would be devastated if she didn't get into dental school, but only because she wants the money and doesn't have any interest in teeth. I kind of wanted to show in my personal statement that I am the OPPOSITE of this and truly have a passion for medicine and genuinely like interacting with patients and knowing I'm making a difference in their lives. Do you think it would come off more as a rant and not a good essay? I was also thinking of maybe coalescing the two ideas, but not sure yet how I would do that. Any advice would be appreciated.
So you plan to show how you confirmed that medicine was right for you, but you haven't told us what drew you to medicine in the first place.
 

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Yeah, I agree with everyone else. You're not responsible for picking the med school class, so leave figuring out other people's motives to the adcomms. Focus on your own experiences and why you want to go to med school. If being an EMT was what turned you on to medicine, then write about it. If interacting with patients is important to you, then give an example or talk about why you think it's so important.
 

cavalier329

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i think its all about how you write it an put it together. Good luck!

did you save her? I had an arrest yesterday and we brought her back. It was a phenomenal experience...she was walking around the hospital today! My 3rd save in 7 years. Its awesome to see you have a passion for EMS. It hard to find among premeds out there.

My only advice to you is to be aware that being an EMT and being a doctor are very very very different fields, which you know. Just don't try and compare them which I have been told is a mistake many make on the PS when writing about EMS.
 

Kaustikos

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You have a lot of time left. I would say write it and get someone on SDN to read it. It's impossible to say whether your PS will be too cliche since it all depends on how you write it. Trust me...you will write about 8 drafts of the PS and then realize you hate it. Then, you'll start over and write about 3 more drafts before you get something you like.
and STILL hate it :laugh:
 

slowbutsteady

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I was a lurker all last cycle and learned so much from SDN posters. So I would really like to repay the favors to the next generation -- you 2009 cyclers!!

The SDN view on the importance of personal statements varies, but my experience makes me believe that they can be very important.

I lived with a family and worked in a rural hospital in South Asia right after college: shadowing doctors all day and teaching an English class for doctors and nurses at night. My PS talked about my experiences and many interviewers told me how interesting it was to them. The key, I think, was to tell a story that revealed things about me rather than simply STATING things about me.

If people are interested, I would be happy to share more.
 

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I opened my personal statement with a humorous story about an EMT call on which I participated when I was a volunteer EMT basic on an island in rural southeast Alaska. The patient had been constipated for a week or so and had decided to try to unimpact himself with a fork. He was suffering from a rectal bleed, nothing too serious, but we decided to transport him. We were all very serious at first but one of the other EMTs riding in the back with me finally asked the obvious question ("Sir, if you were going to try this, why not a spoon?" or something along those lines) and the patient actually laughed and then we all sort of laughed with him at that point and the mood lightened considerably. I did, of course, participate in many dramatic calls, calls associated with death or near-death situations....I thought about using one of those for my statement. I thought too that it might be a risk to make light of a patient's plight on a personal statement, but ultimately I decided the adcoms would be able to see both the humor in that situation and my empathy. At least four adcoms were, I'm not sure about the others.
 

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("Sir, if you were going to try this, why not a spoon?" or something along those lines)
Sorry, but how is that funny?:confused:
 
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All personal statements are cliche.

If you think you're being clever, you're not.

Sorry. What you write is of no importance, and rarely interesting.
 

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Superman78

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You really think most people applying to med school say it's about the money, and you're going to be different?

I guarantee you most people in the interviews talk about how money doesn't matter to them, and the adcoms roll their eyes about that later. Of course money is important. It's naive to think otherwise. When you're 300K in debt and you meet a girl and want to start a family, your plans are going to change. Maybe you'll decide that dermatology has the best pay and hours even though you never before gave any thought about being a dermatologist.
It's also naive to think that you'll get rich by being a doctor. Unless your Sanjay Gupta, you're not going to be very rich. I think money in general is a bad topic to talk about.
 

justdoit31

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Just stay positive- use your story but also try to use other stuff to frame you. I started mine with a story about begging my mom to pull the car over and do CPR at a car wreck unfortunately I was only 5 and my mom didn't let me.

I went on to discuss some other experiences including a poignant story about my time in an African orphanage and why I wanted to be a physician. I had interviews at both my interviews comment on the stories and I turned down a 3rd interview and withdrew from all other schools so who knows if I would have heard anything else
 

vasca

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I vaguely remember my PS when I wrote it years ago. I said something along the lines that it sucks that people were such nimwits on killing black cats because of superstitions that eventually led to the rise of rats -> fleas -> bubonic plague -> massive death and how I thought killing black cats was a stupid thing to begin with. (I think superstitions are stupid and cross under ladders all of the time. Haven't been hit with a car yet). :laugh:

The lady looked at that part and thought I was some sort of cat lover nut with some weird political ideas. Didn't really mention anything relevant about the rest of my PS (I don't even remember what I put into it). Thinking back, how in the hell did I get accepted into my med school with such a hilarious (and unusual) application in the first place?
 

slowbutsteady

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All personal statements are cliche.

If you think you're being clever, you're not.

Sorry. What you write is of no importance, and rarely interesting.
That is true 95% of the time. But if you are in the 5%, it will help your application a lot.

I had a 3.4/33 and got into 5 med schools, including 3 top 20. my personal statement (and some other things) helped.
 
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Narmerguy

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After awhile everything has been done from EMS stuff to overseas mission trips.
So true. There's simply very little left that someone can do that will surprise an ADCOM. While that doesn't mean that what we achieve may not be viewed as impressive, it's unlikely you won't be cliche in some fashion. I think, rather than striving to be extremely unique, you should strive to come across as genuine and impressive as possible. That, in itself, is unique.
 

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Thinking back, how in the hell did I get accepted into my med school with such a hilarious (and unusual) application in the first place?
Sorry, that's not really unusual. Lots of people take that tack, to the point you will find that strategy in books on "How to Write a Personal Statement".

But it's cute that you thought you were being original.
 

236116

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Sorry, that's not really unusual. Lots of people take that tack, to the point you will find that strategy in books on "How to Write a Personal Statement".

But it's cute that you thought you were being original.
1. There's a book? WTH.

2. You used the word "cute". Are you sure you aren't mellowing? Did I miss a life-changing post-hold?

I hate school essays. :mad:
 

Tired

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2. You used the word "cute". Are you sure you aren't mellowing? Did I miss a life-changing post-hold?
I haven't been on post-hold in some months. Did you know that if even if you've had a mess of post-holds in the past, if you wait long enough, they just send warnings again for little bit before you go back on hold?

Your concern is touching, but the "cute" was derisive. Not all backhands have to be 'in your face'.
 

236116

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I haven't been on post-hold in some months. Did you know that if even if you've had a mess of post-holds in the past, if you wait long enough, they just send warnings again for little bit before you go back on hold?

Your concern is touching, but the "cute" was derisive. Not all backhands have to be 'in your face'.
Oh thank god.

That's good to know, I suspect my tendency to get pre-allo's collective knickers in a twist is going to produce a stunning blowout.
 

scrubsaresexy

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Fair warning: Someone WILL ask you "If you love EMS so much, why not become a paramedic and work for a career department?" So just make sure you have a good answer :) It's not a difficult question, but the first time someone asked me that, it was hard for me to verbalize and I got flustered.
 

cavalier329

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after 7 years....i can go on all day about why i dont want to pursue a career in EMS hahaha

especially after being swung at yesterday...wtf!?
 
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Sorry, that's not really unusual. Lots of people take that tack, to the point you will find that strategy in books on "How to Write a Personal Statement".

But it's cute that you thought you were being original.
This makes me wonder what you would think makes a strong PS. I understand it's kind of lame that everyone attempts to do something 'unique' or 'witty' that rarely turns out very unique or witty at all, but it seems almost necessary for an applicant to make an attempt at standing out in their personal statements. How else should we go about this? When the time comes I would really like to write a personal statement that is memorable, but not at the risk of coming across as cheesy or overly dramatic.
 

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This makes me wonder what you would think makes a strong PS. I understand it's kind of lame that everyone attempts to do something 'unique' or 'witty' that rarely turns out very unique or witty at all, but it seems almost necessary for an applicant to make an attempt at standing out in their personal statements. How else should we go about this? When the time comes I would really like to write a personal statement that is memorable, but not at the risk of coming across as cheesy or overly dramatic.
There's the rub: I don't think there are any particularly strong personal statements. The nature of the questions they ask create a situation where there are a finite number of responses. Some are okay, some are hideous, but in general none are what you could consider "good".

I believe that a personal statement is like a spouse: they're either going to have a minimal impact on your application, or they're going to get really wasted and hit on the Dean at the welcome dinner and tank your application.

I'm sure LizzyM will jump in shortly to say that I'm wrong, but whatever, she also argues that being a well-rounded person makes you a better potential doctor.
 

slowbutsteady

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There's the rub: I don't think there are any particularly strong personal statements. The nature of the questions they ask create a situation where there are a finite number of responses. Some are okay, some are hideous, but in general none are what you could consider "good".

I believe that a personal statement is like a spouse: they're either going to have a minimal impact on your application, or they're going to get really wasted and hit on the Dean at the welcome dinner and tank your application.

I'm sure LizzyM will jump in shortly to say that I'm wrong, but whatever, she also argues that being a well-rounded person makes you a better potential doctor.
just wondering, other than your own, how many personal statements have you read?
 
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