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Anyone else having a hell of a time with Vanderbilt's secondary?! I just finished Pritzkers and submitted it... and now that one seemed like a piece of cake compared to this Vanderbilt secondary. One of the essays, the autobio, has a 2000 word limit!! That's twice as long as my PS!! Ugh!! :confused:
 
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jot

seriously - whats up with that. i hadn't planned on writing my memoirs for another couple years -- i'm going to do it in bullet points

* 1982 - Conceived
....
 
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Sounds good to me...

* 1987 lost my first tooth ...
 
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lola

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I was born a poor black boy...

Remember "The Jerk"? That was hilarious!
 

Cydney Foote

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The secondaries are your best opportunity to flesh out the image you presented in your AMCAS essay. Can you write about any research or volunteer activities that you didn't have time to bring out before? Any independent research or thesis where you can let your expertise shine?

With 2000 words, you'll also want to develop a theme for your essay. Your theme should tie things together and give your essay some direction. If you're writing your memoirs, like Jot jokingly suggested, then you have to think about the main factors that shaped your life. Was it your family background? An inspirational event? A dedicated mentor? A passion for bug collecting? Whatever it is, it's the personal details that support the theme that make a memoir interesting. It's the same with a secondary.

Good luck -- I know this kind of writing is unusual, and most people don't do it until they're famous (and can hire ghostwriters). There's a great chapter in William Zinsser's "On Writing Well" called "Writing About Yourself." I'd highly recommend it if you need a jumpstart in your writing.
 
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The problem with Vanderbilt is this.... the first essay is an autobio, right? Fine.... so I could give an overview of my life and then talk about research and volunteering and all that... but then the next essay asks me to specifically talk about research and clinical experience. So now, this means I can't really talk about research and clinical experience much in my autobio because then I'd just be repeating myslelf in the next essay.

Now... I can maybe write 1000 words about my life up to college... but that's about it. What am I going to do for the other 100 words? My life before college really wasn't that interesting... and if you ask me, pretty irrelevant.
 
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jot

regarding the autobio - i don't think i was even planning on talking about research/clinical that much - my life hasn't been a vessel headed for clubmed ever since whenever, especially if there is another section for it like you mentioned rp. i also hardly feel obilgated to fill all 2000 words - there is another essay on one of my apps with a 20,000 character limit!!! needless to say ... the 10% rule will be put in effect.
-jot
 
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Wait... what's the 10% rule?
 
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jot

haha - i was referring to the character limit - i'll write 10% of what ever the limit is. and as an added bonus, and just because i know you through sdn, i was joking. bon chance.

"It's a good way to un-stress yourself, but I wouldn't go around spouting that as your philosophy of life during admissions season...


So, Joe Applicant, are you going to answer 20% of your pages when on call? How will you decide which pages to answer? Admit to the hospital only the 20% of people you can make 80% better? Or operate only on the 20% of people who will get 80% benefit from the operation?"
and its "Jot Applicant" not Joe ;)

:laugh:
 

Samoa

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:D I know you're joking. But I can just SEE some interviewer asking that question. This whole process is just so obnoxious. If it weren't the only way to get into medical school, nobody would put up with it.
 

rs3

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Does anyone know if Vandy screens applications before sending out secondaries? I don't want to start working on it if I'm not even going to be able to send it in! Thanks ;)
 

Mr. H

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ARe any of you just not going to do the secondary, I'm seriously contemplating just screwing it and using my time elsewhere. What do you guys think? Is it that good of a scchool to fork over the time and money to send it in?
 

BrainDrain

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On my Vandy secondary last year, I just copy and pasted my AMCAS personal comments and added a couple more details here and there to give them a better picture of certain experiences that I felt needed to be emphasized. That's all. I guess it was okay since I did get an acceptance.
 
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shamthis

Vanderbilt. Done, 12:03 AM 7/25. Arguably my first choice. 2100 word autobiography. Drawn-out, poor-flow. Typos. But good.

...hehe 1 done 18 to go.
 

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Originally posted by BrainDrain
On my Vandy secondary last year, I just copy and pasted my AMCAS personal comments and added a couple more details here and there to give them a better picture of certain experiences that I felt needed to be emphasized. That's all. I guess it was okay since I did get an acceptance.
probably too many people like you did that last year, so now they changed it for us. Is anyone writing their autobio like a story, or are you just doing the traditional, "I was born in a small fishing village.." approach?
 
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jot

i'm going to try to make mine a bit creative - "i was born in a womb with a view ..." hah - not too cutesy but enough to make more interesting than a point by point regurgitation of my life so far. but i guess to do this i would have to start writing it. right.
 

Mr. H

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Screw Vande, I',m not wasting my time on this. Its in Tenn., what the hell was I thinking applying?
 

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Originally posted by Mr. H
Screw Vande, I',m not wasting my time on this. Its in Tenn., what the hell was I thinking applying? I don't want to be delivering in-bred siamese twins anyhow!
Um..your location says north ill..is there really much of a difference? :D
 
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Woo hoo! 2 down, one to go....

Shamthis... 2100? but the limit was 2000. You better be careful... some schools just cut off anything over the limit. Just a warning ;)
 
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Oh yeah!! It's done!! Woo hoo! Finally... after 10 days... geez... that's the longest I've taken to return a secondary!

:clap: :clap: :D :D
 

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RP, you are a paragon of determination. ! :eek: this is a good reminder about what I should be doing right now...
 
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