glia25

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi all,

I am working on my personal statement right now and am a bit unsure if I should be registering for an AMCAS account because they only have 2009 up and I will be applying for entrance in fall of 2010. Does 2009 imply applying in 2009 or for entrance in 2009?

Also, if I do not make an account, can someone copy/paste the wording of the personal statement section?

Thanks!
 

Brushfire

10+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2008
25
0
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Medical Student
Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school. The available space for your response is 5300 characters, or approximately one full page. You will receive an error message if you exceed the available space. For additional assistance, click "help" on the tool bar at the top of the screen.
 

funkymunkytoes

10+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2008
639
1
Status
Medical Student
Remember, 5300 characters includes spaces.
 
About the Ads

glia25

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
one other question, i know applicants are discouraged from using experiences from before college, but what if those experiences are essential to my interest in medicine and my college experiences merely solidify my medical aspirations?
 

rjf

10+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
52
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't see a problem with using experiences that happened during high school in your personal statement. Many people talk about things that happened when they were children...doesn't really matter what you include but just make sure it has something to do with your journey or decision to become a doctor. With that being said, I would not use any (unless they are spectacular/very unique) high school ECs as activities to put down in your actual AMCAS application.

Also, if you wanted to, state your high school experiences on here and I am sure that you will get plenty of replies dealing with what you should or should not include in your app. Good luck!
 

glia25

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
thanks to everyone who has replied to far...i was a swimming instructor for handicapped children for the 6 years leading up to my freshman year of college, this on top of being an EMT for my local squad led me to realize i wanted to pursue a career in pediatric medicine...i currently am on my college's squad (and have been for the past 3 years), but i fear this personal statement topic may come across as cliche...

is it all in the way it is written?
 

EpiPEN

Aegis of Immortality
10+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2008
1,801
8
La Jolla
Status
Medical Student
A cliche story:

I was inspired to be in the field of science since an early age. I may even have had a relative or friend who showed me how important health care providers are. I pursued science class in school and discovered an interest in medicine. I volunteered to gain clinical experience and decided that I love it. I am now finishing my BS degree and I want to go to med school.


Your story = not cliche (maybe the EMT thing is a pretty common theme though)


And aint' nothing wrong with cliche btw.
 

gujuDoc

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
37
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
one other question, i know applicants are discouraged from using experiences from before college, but what if those experiences are essential to my interest in medicine and my college experiences merely solidify my medical aspirations?
Using experiences from highschool are ok if they tell your story of what prompted you to consider a career in medicine. However, you might want to support the idea further by then giving an example or two of things you did in college.

The personal statement and secondary essays are some of the few places where you can talk about your influences and not just college extracurriculars. In the PS is where people consider putting experiences caring for an ill loved one or dealing with a severe illness themselves during their youth In the PS is where people consider the first time they thought about medical careers which for many was in highschool or middle school in some cases.

The main thing about the personal statement is that you be able to support the idea of "Why Medicine as a Career"
 

gujuDoc

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
37
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
thanks to everyone who has replied to far...i was a swimming instructor for handicapped children for the 6 years leading up to my freshman year of college, this on top of being an EMT for my local squad led me to realize i wanted to pursue a career in pediatric medicine...i currently am on my college's squad (and have been for the past 3 years), but i fear this personal statement topic may come across as cliche...

is it all in the way it is written?
Almost everything may have been used at some point or another by someone.

Almost everyone has either a sick relative or an illness they themselves have had to deal with, a talent to which they make analogies to in terms of describing medicine, came from a disadvantaged background or underpoverished country, gone to a developing nation to work on medical mission trips, etc.

So after awhile everything may come off as cliche. The important thing is how you approach your essay and that you convey your own personal story, not whether or not there may be someone else who has had similar experiences.


If you write from your heart what brought you to your decision that is what is important. And from the looks of it you have some significant experiences that have steered you in that direction. Just convey it effectively and you will be ok.
 

glia25

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
thanks for all of the feedback, i am trying my best to make this an effective read...as you can see i'm also doing my part to procrastinate...damn studentdoctor.net sometimes!
 

glia25

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
134
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
seems like no one has replied to that yet...anyone want to take a stab?
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,808
1,631
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Early Life experiences are important in decisions to become a physicians. You shouldn't spend your whole essay talking about playing doctor in the 3rd grade, but indicating early interest in medicine shows that you have been actively contemplating and pursuing the field for a long time. It shows dedication and that you aren't being impulsive about it. That doesn't mean that deciding you want to be a doctor later in life is a bad thing, but neither is citing early life experiences. Growing up with medical parents and following my dad around ED's in multiple states was a cornerstone of my interest.

Next years AMCAS won't be up for months.
 
About the Ads

Ibn Rushd

10+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2007
373
4
Los Angeles
Status
Medical Student
I'll be applying for a 2010 acceptance as well, and to the best of my knowledge, the application for our cycle won't open until May/June of next year, that is, 5-6 months from now. If I'm misinformed, I hope someone who knows for certain can correct me.
 

Brushfire

10+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2008
25
0
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Medical Student
I'll be applying for a 2010 acceptance as well, and to the best of my knowledge, the application for our cycle won't open until May/June of next year, that is, 5-6 months from now. If I'm misinformed, I hope someone who knows for certain can correct me.
You're right.
 

shaggybill

15+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2004
656
82
38
The Sunny South
I'll be applying for a 2010 acceptance as well, and to the best of my knowledge, the application for our cycle won't open until May/June of next year, that is, 5-6 months from now. If I'm misinformed, I hope someone who knows for certain can correct me.
I think you're right, according to the second sentence in this pdf.

http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2009apptips.pdf

For the 2009
entering year, the application will become available on or about May 6, 2008. 2)
So for the 2010 entering year, the application will probably be available in May '09.
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,808
1,631
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, don't bother making an account. It doesn't roll over, so you will have to start over anyways (I suppose you could copy and paste your EC descriptions...)
 

cast128

10+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
255
1
Status
Medical Student
I wouldn't hesitate to use high school experiences. I used two experiences from high school, one of which I continued throughout college and I have faired ok this application cycle.
 

Rabbit36

Lagomorphadelic
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2008
110
32
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yeah, don't bother making an account. It doesn't roll over, so you will have to start over anyways (I suppose you could copy and paste your EC descriptions...)
Yeah that's right. The application opens up some inexact time in early June. You can copy and paste, just keep track of your characters (including spaces as mentioned) and keep in mind that sometimes characters are counted slightly differently (if you have 5299 characters in MS Word, it may be a few over on AMCAS and you'll have to change a few words)
 

thegetupkid

10+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2008
188
0
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Pre-Medical
ABSOLUTELY use your high school experiences if they are a huge part of your current life. People wondered why I put high school cross country and Piano playing when I was a kid in my application -- but they were essential activities in forming the person I am today.

Having said that, if you have to choose between a similar activity x in college and activity y in high school, you should probably put the college experience.

Word to the wise, take the advice of pre-meds with a grain of salt. I would say that the advice of current medical students and people that have succeeded in the current application cycle have much more valid advice.
 

Sleight

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
574
0
Anchorage, Alaska
Status
Medical Student
I have a question regarding the application too...since it doesn't open until May 1st (I think) is there a document or some sort of information page that will show us exactly what we will need to have (sort of like how it says 5300 character limit for personal statement etc) I am wondering specifically for volunteer/clinical experience but I can't seem to find an outline of exactly what they will expect us to fill out. Any suggestions? I want to get it all together since I will be extremely busy in May...Thanks!
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,808
1,631
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have a question regarding the application too...since it doesn't open until May 1st (I think) is there a document or some sort of information page that will show us exactly what we will need to have (sort of like how it says 5300 character limit for personal statement etc) I am wondering specifically for volunteer/clinical experience but I can't seem to find an outline of exactly what they will expect us to fill out. Any suggestions? I want to get it all together since I will be extremely busy in May...Thanks!
15 ECs/awards/achievements

I think there is a 1000 character limit in explaining each.
 

JJMrK

J to the J
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2007
13,088
321
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'll be applying for a 2010 acceptance as well, and to the best of my knowledge, the application for our cycle won't open until May/June of next year, that is, 5-6 months from now. If I'm misinformed, I hope someone who knows for certain can correct me.
That's my understanding as well.
 

gujuDoc

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
37
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
seems like no one has replied to that yet...anyone want to take a stab?
As others already pointed out the new AMCAS isnot up until sometime in early May. The first day of actual submission is then early June sometime.

That said it is never too early to start thinking about how you want to write the essay or what you want to put in your 15 activities.

15 Activities section has 1325 characters for descriptions. That said, some adcoms prefer you to be short and to the point.

At USF one admissions person has said that you should state what you did, why you did it, and what you learned.

LizzyM, an adcom member on here, says that you should be able to tell what you did concisely. Or so that's what I gather from her numerous posts on this issue. She says not to make it too wordy.

Activities sections may include the following tabs:

Paid employment non military
Paid employment military
Volunteer medical
Volunteer nonmedical
Other (which can include things like shadowing)
Artistic Endeavors
Athletics
Poster/Presentation
Conferences attended
Awards
Leadership not listed elsewhere
Extracurriculars/Hobbies/Avocations

Those are the ones I can think of.

So that's that.

onto the issue of PS:

5300 characters
Characters include line spaces between paragraphs. I couldn't put any lines between paragraphs for this reason as I was tight on space and didn't want to delete more out of my statement.

there is no indentations between paragraphs either.
 

gujuDoc

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2004
13,864
37
Status
Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
15 ECs/awards/achievements

I think there is a 1000 character limit in explaining each.
It is 1325 max character limit but I would advise people to make it less and short sweet and to the point. That's what adcoms want. they want concise descriptions not wordy ones.
 

Sleight

10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
574
0
Anchorage, Alaska
Status
Medical Student
So I emailed my pre-health advisor and she sent me a link to this outline of EVERYTHING about the AMCAS with word limits and everything...I figured it would be helpful so here it is...
http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/amcas2009instructionmanual072808.pdf

it answered quite a few of my questions...but it is 120 pages long (at least there is a table of contents!)
 
About the Ads