Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

the personal statement: writing it early...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by glia25, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. glia25

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    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!
     
  2. Brushfire

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    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.
     
  3. funkymunkytoes

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Remember, 5300 characters includes spaces.
     
  4. glia25

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    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?
     
  5. rjf

    rjf
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    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!
     
  6. glia25

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    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?
     
  7. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,803
    Likes Received:
    8
    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.
     
  8. gujuDoc

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    13,877
    Likes Received:
    35
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    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"
     
  9. gujuDoc

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    13,877
    Likes Received:
    35
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    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.
     
  10. glia25

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    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!
     
  11. shaggybill

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    40
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    So did you find out about the application time? Is that for 2009 matriculation or 2010?
     
  12. glia25

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    seems like no one has replied to that yet...anyone want to take a stab?
     
  13. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,686
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    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.
     
  14. Ibn Rushd

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    4
    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.
     
  15. Brushfire

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You're right.
     
  16. shaggybill

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    40
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think you're right, according to the second sentence in this pdf.

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

    So for the 2010 entering year, the application will probably be available in May '09.
     
  17. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,686
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    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...)
     
  18. cast128

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    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.
     
  19. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    32
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    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)
     
  20. thegetupkid

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    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.
     
  21. Sleight

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    0
    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!
     
  22. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,686
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    15 ECs/awards/achievements

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

    JJMrK J to the J
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    13,092
    Likes Received:
    318
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    That's my understanding as well.
     
  24. gujuDoc

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    13,877
    Likes Received:
    35
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    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.
     
  25. gujuDoc

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    13,877
    Likes Received:
    35
    Status:
    Medical Student, Resident [Any Field]
    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.
     
  26. Sleight

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    0
    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!)
     

Share This Page