The following is the PS that got me an interview with sub-standard stats (format and all). After not even getting an interview my first cycle I tweaked my application reapplied and had interviews at multiple schools.
My experiences aren't that unique. Anyone can draw on their own experiences with the same sincerity.
My thread about the rest of my application
Moments after arriving at the front desk the words "CODE BLUE in the ER" came across the hospital loudspeaker. I had come in with my daughter for a late night fever and, as I would find out, a lesson in the reality of medicine. As my wife filled out papers a commotion outside caught my eye through the windows of the ambulance entrance. Gurney wheels had just hit the ground. Next to the gurney was a large statured medic collapsing the bloody chest of an unfortunate young man. Once we were checked in a preoccupied nurse came in and gathered bits of information, but I was interested in what was happening outside of our room. It was a chaotic scene of coats, scrubs, blood filled towels, and weeping parents. At some point, as the inevitable conclusion unfolded, I had a thought. This is medicine. My desire to become a physician has never been affirmed so profoundly.
My introduction to medicine
I first experienced the desire to become a doctor as a young athlete. I wanted a career that would keep me close to sports. At the time, as luck would have it, my youth group mentor was a doctor. He told me that orthopedic surgeons were commonly part of professional sports teams. After seeing my interest he introduced me to the world of medicine in my first unofficial shadowing experiences. At a young age I gained a deep admiration for doctors and a desire to become one. Since then my interest in medicine has grown.
Why I want to be a doctor
Not much is needed to provoke feelings of compassion and empathy in me. Like others I consider the image of children suffering without quality medicine a personal call to action. However I do not have to look that far for motivation. My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at fourteen. She remained remarkably able until her fifth and final pregnancy after which her illness began a rapid progression. My mother has learned to smile in pain bearing her burden quietly. In a way I bear this burden with her. I experience a great amount of empathy for her and others like her. My moral imperative is to, as a physician, help her, those like her, and the children suffering for lack of good medicine.
What makes me different
I have had great success as an athlete due to good fortune, commitment, and my insatiable appetite for victory. For me sports were more than games. They were, collectively, a training ground for life. The situation is not always ideal, there is a constant need to adjust, and the work is endless. My years of athletic experience have prepared me for the challenges that lie ahead. Fully realizing my dream has presented its own unique challenges. I have learned to overcome and persevere. Furthermore, I have gained the confidence to undertake new endeavors. I believe I share this quality in common with all doctors.
Before stepping in to observe heart surgery I had the opportunity to speak openly with the surgeon. He was a former college football player. He explained to me why athletes make great physicians. Successful athletes have developed attributes which lead to success and have learned to perform under pressure. As the operation began the confidence and skill of the surgeon allayed all the apprehension I had during this surreal experience. I left the hospital that day, after watching a doctor and his team prolong the lives of three people, confident that I could one day do the same.
What I will bring to medicine
I have developed characteristics that allow me to be an effective altruist. I recognize that my capacity to help others is further enabled through learning, hence, I devote a great deal of my free time to doing so. As a result I have spent the last years at the top of my class tutoring my peers and assisting in progressive research. I have an assiduous curiosity which is directly linked to my innovative ability. In turn, I have come to be known as someone who will complete any task and elevate the standard in the process. Also I have been able to help people in dire need with proactive problem solving. All of these traits have been inspired by my mentor the doctor and are part of what makes him an outstanding physician.
In the next few days I will decide whether or not my infant son will undergo major surgery. This decision is influenced by my trust in his doctors. I have complete faith in them because I believe they are people like me: attentive, compassionate, intelligent, inquisitive, and committed. I have been refined by unique experiences and I have no doubt in my ability.
My success gives me audacity. I will be a successful doctor.