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Successful med school acceptees: PS question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bozz, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. bozz

    bozz 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    I've been in correspondance with a relative (med student) who's been very successful with the app. process ... and he's been reading all my drafts and has been extremely helpful.

    However, a lot of my essay is showing without telling... or telling briefly. My "thesis statement" is very strong and extremely unique (according to him). However, he feels that by showing so much, I'm not telling enough. I have to tell enough to hammer my point in the reader's mind.

    He admits that it's unfortunate... but that's just how it works with adcomes who spend so little time reading essays. I can't simply show/describe my experiences and expect the adcom to understand the meaning from descriptions alone. To me, it seems a little redundant to keep hammering points 1) 2) and 3) over and over. But according to him, I really, REALLY have to.

    What do you guys think? What did you guys do?
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  3. eagle34

    eagle34 5+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    I agree with this. Even though a lot of your PS should be about showing, I think at some points, you have to come out explicitly and say what you mean. I think it's ok to say "This experience has taught me..." after you describe your experience or "I have understood the compassion of doctors because of this experience." Adcoms do not have enough time to sit there and think to themselves "now what has this experience taught this applicant?"
  4. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet 10+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    My PS is completely non-repetitive and is mostly biographical with relatively little analysis. It seemed to work fine for me.
  5. nontrdgsbuiucmd

    nontrdgsbuiucmd 2+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    my own little world
    I think both posts above are correct depending on one's background; what would NOT work would be to say "I really would love to be a doctor" without the showing part, it would work a lot better to say "I thought becoming a doctor would be interesting because things xyz brought healthcare to my attention. Then I did things ABC to see if I was right. And I particularly liked thing C.

    If your biography is clear & indicates a solid interest in & knowledge of medicine, that may well be enough. For some of us with varied experiences, we may need to pull a couple main ones, explain how they apply to medicine. This is to prevent the adcomms from thinking
    1) we have no clue what we're getting into or 2) our experiences are not relevant to medicine.

    Can't see adcomms very ready to believe someone's words without the actions to back it up, however the info is conveyed.
  6. bozz

    bozz 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    For example, I have a weird/diverse background lol and that's my "strength"

    In one paragraph, I talk about a particular patient... however, I would "market" myself better by actually 'telling' how my diverse background has helped me deal with the patient... rather than describe my experiences with the patient. But in order to market myself, I have to cut out 'warm and fuzzy' descriptions of my experiences with the patient... The vivid warm and fuzzies are an interesting read, but don't directly reveal how my diverse background has helped me deal with the patient.

    Is it worth it to cut them out? I personally like the warm and fuzzies (so do a lot of people who've read my essay). But my relative (who has been involved with admissions) says that I should distinguish myself from the typical volunteer because I can. He says that I have a diverse background and should use it to nail the essay.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  7. flaahless

    flaahless 10+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    I agree. I haven't read your essay but this approach worked for me.
  8. brianmartin

    brianmartin 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Yakima, WA
    Telling is a bigger sin than showing. Unless your experiences aren't really that meaningful in the first place...

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