Use a real doc's name in essay?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JennaB4MD, May 30, 2002.

  1. JennaB4MD

    JennaB4MD Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys, I just have a question. I am writing my AMCAS personal statement, and I am talking about one of my doctors and what I have learned from him, etc. I was wondering if I should use his real name, or just say "Dr. G" or "Dr. Frank". The only reason I'm hesitating is because he once told me that if he could do it all over again, he wouldn't become a doctor, and I talk about that experience in my P.S. I'm not sure I want to make that public to the world! Thanks for the advice :)
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. dynamic02

    dynamic02 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi!

    There are a couple of things you could do... I would first talk to that doctor that you are going to put in your essay and ask him/her... sometimes people mind and sometimes they don't.

    Also, another approach you could take is mention how you met this doctor and how the friendship/mentorship has grown over the years... Did you meet him/her growing up, college years, through a research opportunity?... I think if you describe your "relationship" with him/her, then there may be no reason to mention his/her specific name... I would say that admissions committes are looking more for the impact and reasons why this has helped you decide to want to pursue medicine, rather than a name of a particular doctor...

    Hope that helps! :)
     
  4. The Philosopher

    The Philosopher Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Jenna,

    I'd keep his name anonymous. It's nice to respect patient confidentiality, but his experience to you should be confidential as well.

    There are a ton of personal statements who refer to a particular patient or physician as a motivating factor, and people use their first names or just an anonymous letter. I don't think admissions would even blink at which option you choose, but I think it's always best to keep everything respectfully anonymous.
     
  5. PersephoneInSneakers

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jenna,
    If it was me, I'd DEFINITELY NOT include his full name, or frankly, any identifying information, if you haven't cleared it with him first. Maybe he wouldn't care, but maybe he would...I wouldn't take the chance if I were you.

    Good luck!
     
  6. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    0
    In what context are you mentioning that if he could do it over again he wouldn't do medicine?

    Be careful not to speak negatively of people you've worked with, even if it serves a good example.
     
  7. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    7
    I talked in my personal statement last year how a particular doctor I shadowed was my role model. I used his full name. No problems at all. What are you gonna say instead? I respected Dr. A's approach to patients?
     
  8. JennaB4MD

    JennaB4MD Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the advice! In response to jmejia1's question, he has told me that if he could go back to his younger years and choose a different career path, he would pick something different just knowing what he knows now about medicine and in what he has seen change (i.e. managed care, decreased autonomy, etc) I feel bad for the guy, to be 60 years old and to feel like he didn't make the right choice about what he did with his life...
     
  9. JennaB4MD

    JennaB4MD Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also don't say anything bad about this doc...I just talk about what I have learned from someone who has been there, done that, and still wishes he had gone a different route.
     
  10. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    0
    How can you possibly use this guy in your PS and make it come out good then?

    Use his real name or just use "dr. G" or something....b/c he'll prolly be in your EC list page anyways....
     
  11. lola

    lola Bovine Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,848
    Likes Received:
    3
    i'm wondering the same thing... are you going to say you managed care and decreased autononmy are good things??? i'm sure you know what you're going to say, but just make sure you get it read by several people to make sure it's a positive essay. it sounds like not the greatest thing to say from the small amount of info you've given us.
     
  12. JennaB4MD

    JennaB4MD Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you to everyone for all of the help. I will probably just leave him anonymous. And I definitely see where Scooby Doo and Lola are coming from...I haven't given too much info to make it sound like it will be positive! But I'm not going to dwell on this one guy the whole essay, and I'm using him briefly because he has talked to me a lot about medicine in the time that i have known him, and his comments have really made me think SO MUCH about why it is I really want to do this (which is what the large chunk of my essay is about). I am thinking that it will turn out positive, and I'm absolutely going to have it read by a bunch of folks to be sure. Thank you all again.
     
  13. STi555

    STi555 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can see how you could work a doctor in that wishes he had done something else. You can say something to effect that he pointed out some of the cons and it made you really think about your choice, but you still want to do medicine even though you know some of the bad stuff.

    On the name thing I hadn't planned on omitting doctor's names. I only had good things to say about them. Is there a reason I shouldn't use their real names?
     
  14. JennaB4MD

    JennaB4MD Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think I would hesitate to use his real name if I were talking about how much he loves medicine. I just feel like it's something he might be sort of uncomfortable with...I don't think he goes around admitting to people that he wishes he never became a doctor. I wouldn't feel right broadcasting something he may have told me in confidence. But if you're talking about doctors who you've worked with and stuff, that shouldn't be a problem.
     
  15. The Philosopher

    The Philosopher Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think it really matters. Admissions prolly won't care, but I would just be anonymous because you always want to respect confidentiality, the same way as you respect a patient's life.

    If you use the real name instead of a letter, then it's no big deal. But maybe if you use a letter, as small as that one little piece of punctuation is, it says a lot about your ability to respect your professional relationship with your patients and your fellow professionals.

    That doctor (or patient) tells you about him and his own life, and trusts you as well. He may or may not regret what he's doing with his life at the moment, but he trusts that you would be respectful, and without his permission, it's probably not best to tell anyone and make a bad impression on him.

    It's up to you, and admissions committees are more concerned about your MCATs/GPA/etc...this is so minor. It's just a preference, but I'd remain anonymous.
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    7
    I think using my doctor's real name in my personal statement was the reason I got rejected from HMS. He graduated there so you never know. Good thing, because I thought it was my un-spectacular grades and lack of extracurriculars.
     
  18. sorrento

    sorrento Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't use the doctor's name for other reasons. After reading a bunch of essays in a PS workshop, those that used names (of doctors and patients alike) actually came off as a little corny. I think it's better to just say "the doctor" or "the patient" or "my mentor" or something like that. The exception would be if it were something like "After meeting Dr. Christian Barnard on an airplane when I was 5 ..." Assuming you're not just name-dropping, using a name makes sense in the context. Otherwise, I think adcoms are kind of like, why is he using this person's name? Are we supposed to know him? (and in the case of patients, it comes off as condescending).
     

Share This Page