What do you think of this advice from Dr. Gray re: W&A section descriptions

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

stayathomemom

Now with 100% more Stay At Home™!
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
510
Reaction score
894

Members don't see this ad.


Basically, don't write it like a job description or resume, but similar to the PS using anecdotes/stories and using that to "show, not tell."
On one hand, that seems clever, but on the other, I figured the app reader would want to facts and not stories they have to draw their own conclusions from.

Edit: also, he says not to list shadowing as a most meaningful experience because it's too passive and the MME's have to be what impacted you as a person, not what was impactful in your journey to choose medicine. Not sure I'm inclined to agree with that either.
 
Last edited:

darth_chonker

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
102
Reaction score
321
n=1 but I was pretty factual in the 700 (?) characters for activities and used the most meaningful spaces to tell stories
 

yogglo

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
142
Reaction score
165
n=1 but I was pretty factual in the 700 (?) characters for activities and used the most meaningful spaces to tell stories
i did this too and it worked for me. Agree with shadowing thing tho
 
D

deleted1032897

Sry, didn’t get to whole video, but quickly chiming in to say that the best advice I got for my W&A section was to get across what you LEARNED from it and/or how it changed you in addition to what you did. Who cares what you did or what anecdotal stories you have if you didnt become a more mature, thoughtful, efficient, compassionate, resilient, indirectly more qualified future physician from it? Success in effectively relating self-awareness (your good, your bad, your evolution) will get you far. Dig DEEP. And not just the “This helped me know I wanted to be a physician even more”. How and why is what I want to know!!! Keep asking yourself those questions after you read your drafts until you’ve reached a real conclusion specific to each activity. It took me a few rounds of really thinking about, but worth it come interview time.

TL,DR: Yes, don’t write it just like a resume! Write it more like a professional journal (best I got?? Haha)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
26,947
Reaction score
49,030
Maybe I'm the exception but when I have 20-30 minutes to review your application, I want the facts, plain and simple. Don't make me work for it. Your personal statement and the interview are the time for stories. Leave me having read the application with the feeling that I'd like to meet you (interview you) and not that I know everything that there is to know about you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

hellanutella

Only 100 cal/tbsp!
10+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
1,324
Reaction score
3,800
Depending on the complexity of the activity, I liked the 75:25 mix of objective (roles, responsibilities, outcomes) to subjective (what you learned, how it impacted you) in the base 700 charas. For something more self-explanatory and well-known to adcoms, like scribing, maybe a 50:50 mix can be more appropriate. Heck, some really singular experiences may need more space just to factually explain what it is you did. For most meaningful activities, there's also the opportunity to use all 700 of the base for the objective info and then the character supplement for a powerful anecdote + reflection.

Some statements I've reviewed have sacrificed really impressive objective info at the expense of a compressed story. 700 characters is not much real estate to shine. When you say things like "lead 5 junior researchers and was responsible for coordinating weekly lab meetings," that's resume-esque info, but it's stuff that was frequently brought up by the committee to support leadership and team-working ability.

Would agree that shadowing as a most meaningful is a sacrifice of the additional characters – I want to know about the interesting things you have accomplished, not the fascinating case/interaction you hovered in on. No particular shadowing experience has ever turned a candidate into a "must have."
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
Top