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What do you think of this portion of personal statement?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by PreMedPrincess, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. PreMedPrincess

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    good? bad? horrible?

    Time has to be money and money has to be time. In order for humanity to develop and progress, we have to work hard, and we have to be compensated for the work we put into developing humanity. Production and progress is innate, and it needs to be evoked efficiently. To be content with not producing shows a lack of knowledge and gumption. When I am home, not working and not in school, I feel useless and non-efficient. Contributing as a positive and efficient member of society gives me calm and peace. It gives me the desire to learn more and do more. Moreover, it gives me the desire to sustain life and find out what I can and need to do next. Life is a journey after all, and I can’t afford to halt my journey with absolute contentment. The pursuit of happiness is what we desire. Not happiness itself.
     
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  3. iduwanna

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    It's "other" until you post the rest.
     
  4. LostLost

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    show not tell .... Instead of telling that pursuit of happiness is the dig not happiness itself, show it how you followed that principle.
     
  5. harposnarpo

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    Sorry princess. I would delete the red stuff, and seriously never ever say something like you do in the last red sentence. You're seriously attacking a lot of people.

    The rest would be okay if you mention some time that you did something. Otherwise it's all talk.
     
  6. chad5871

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    It's very generic - any pre-med in the world could have written the same thing. Talk about your experiences - a patient you've met, one of your mentors, an event that taught you a lesson - and elaborate on them.

    And never, ever use "we." It's a personal statement and should be about you and only you.
     
  7. Livingapparatus

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    this is your personal statement?

    it seems like a paragraph out of atlas shrugged
     
  8. RSAgator

    RSAgator Junior Member
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    it´s pretty well written but seems very impersonal for a personal statement. As someone else mentioned, show don´t tell. Talk about your experiences and use your personal statement as an opportunity to say things about yourself you couldn´t say somewhere else on the application. The paragraph may fit in in the context of your entire PS, but it seems very generic and doesn´t say a lot about you. You have a character limit, make every character count.
     
  9. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    Veto. Too much exaggeration and sugary, thesaurus-laden language. Write about YOU and YOUR experiences.
     
  10. ejay286

    ejay286 Member
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    The preceding passage would most like be found in a:

    A. Financial Newsletter
    B. Message Board
    C. Medical School Personal Statement
    D. Blog

    This sounds like a passage from VR to be honest. Not a personal statement.
     
  11. Gut Shot

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    Are you guys kidding? This is gold! Don't change a thing!

    Edit: Seriously, you need to throw this in the trash and start over. It waxes from judgmental proclamations (which are arguable, to say the least) to platitudes. Is someone supposed to give you a seat in medical school to keep you from feeling useless and non-efficient? To give you absolute contentment? And what's wrong with being happy?
     
    #10 Gut Shot, Jun 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  12. brsboarder

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    I agree with the above posters. Its just pretty bad. Sounds awful. So, every time you're not "doing something" you feel like a waste, please don't bother lying like that. Or, why take the next 4 years sitting on your ass studying when you can go try to change politics through a grass roots organization or something. Get personal, realistic. The first sentence seems disconnected from the latter.
     
  13. 8744

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    I wept.
     
  14. Ginzo

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    To the OP, this could be used as an example of a classic bad personal statement. You're doing it wrong. Trash it and write something more, uhh, personal.
     
  15. hoqhuuep

    hoqhuuep says hello!
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    I'm sure many of us feel the same way as OP, but I don't think the personal statement is the place for it.
     
  16. 8744

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    And then I vomited. Are you insane?
     
  17. searun

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    Two big thumbs down. And stop referring to yourself as a princess. The word implies a sense of entitlement that is very annoying.
     
  18. MonkeyChow

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    I would start over. Write a PERSONAL statement. Write about you and convince [insert school here] why they would want to accept you. That paragraph doesn't do anything positive for me.
     
  19. decafplease

    decafplease Medical Student
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    Panda lives!!! Dude, I've been checking the blog regularly to see if you've changed your mind. Come back to us, Panda!
     
  20. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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  21. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    :lol:. I, for one, love it.

    It made my internal fires of hope and joy for the rest of humanity burst forth into an array of fireworks, lighting the night sky with all of the beauty of a youthful revelation.
     
  22. schismal

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    I got bored somewhere in the middle and stopped reading.

    But at least you didn't use contractions.
     
  23. copperfrog09

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    Trash it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  24. rowerlauren

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    Cut it. You are wasting characters.
     
  25. Revilla

    Revilla New Member
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    Okay, guys, she gets the point.

    PreMedPrincess, I think you should start with a story. Paint them a picture of who you are by telling them what you're all about, beyond the philosophical wants. Make it personal and unique to your life experiences. I've already submitted mine and had many people look over it, including current med students and two doctors. I can share it with you, if you like, to better explain what I mean.
     
  26. mednoob

    mednoob I ask noobish questions
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    i think it's pretty good, but u made one spelling mistake though...

    it's "pursuit of HAPPYNESS" not "pursuit of happiness" :D
     
  27. WinterLights

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    So many insulting words from so many posters. It'd be interesting to see some of their personal statements. OP, you should avoid cliches and any talk of monetary compensation in your personal statement. Being frank is not something that you should be doing while writing it, you should write with the mind of a used car salesmen. I think that the last half of the segment is interesting and could actually be used after a few revisions. I'm referring to this part:

    When I am home, not working and not in school, I feel useless and non-efficient. Contributing as a positive and efficient member of society gives me calm and peace. It gives me the desire to learn more and do more. Moreover, it gives me the desire to sustain life and find out what I can and need to do next. Life is a journey after all, and I can't afford to halt my journey with absolute contentment. The pursuit of happiness is what we desire. Not happiness itself.

    Also make sure to always tie what you are talking about back into medicine. I hope this helps.
     
  28. bcat85

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    :laugh:

    But seriously, OP, what is that? I don't really envision that you could ever, EVER connect that to yourself. Write something more... I don't know... human maybe?

    There is no reason to make an adcom wade through all of that nonsense. Let me condense it for you:

    I want to be compensated for what I do. This will make me want to work hard, and giving doctors a lot of money will make all of them work hard. I feel useless when I don't work hard, but I want to work hard because it makes me happy. Working hard also makes me want to do more science and stuff. I can't live if I don't work hard, so I feel that inserting a cliche' phrase ("life is a journey after all") will allow me to convince you that I need a seat in your class so that I can work hard, because otherwise I will off myself upon the receipt of your rejection letter.
     
  29. admitER

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    Frankly OP, I am going to have to agree with ejay on this one.

    However, I (believe) I understand what you are trying to get across. You're trying to say that you like being busy, and you like filling your time with activities that leave you feeling fufilled, right?

    Maybe you could give examples of how your ECs and employment during undergrad exemplified this never-stop attitude you have, and then tie it into medicine by explaining how you think this characteristic of yourself will help you as a physician.

    Just suggestions. As previous posters have stated, it is best to explain to them by example (i.e. talk about your interests, ECs, a class you took, etc) than to eloquently explain philosophy behind your decision to apply to med school?

    PM me if you need help - I submitted my PS a couple of weeks ago, and I understand the struggle. Good luck!
     
  30. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    I disagree. First off, I don't think anyone's trying to insult the OP. Trust me, they're better off not sending this to med schools than getting their feelings slightly hurt on an anonymous internet forum. Second, I don't think the used car salesman tactic as you described it is a good idea. It's important that you be VERY frank and honesty in your PS, as most people reading it can see through it otherwise.

    The problem with this paragraph isn't the sentiment; it's that the prose is very awkward and forced, and it's a tangent that takes away from the discussion of the applicant's personal experiences.

    For that matter, ANY sentence in your PS that does not directly reference a tangible experience OR tie this reference into your interest in medicine is a waste of space.
     
  31. Maxwell Edison

    Maxwell Edison Majoring In Medicine
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    My personal opinion is that if you're going to include philosophy in your PS, it needs to be one of two of these:

    1) Historically sound (i.e., an offshoot of an existing school of philosophy)
    2) Something that you passionately believe and can explain simply and quickly.

    I don't think this falls into category #1, and you will have a hard time putting it into category #2, if only because you don't sound passionate about it.

    My advice: don't try to write something that you imagine will the the topic of conversation at a brandy-sniffing and beard-stroking adcom after-dinner party. It won't be.
     
  32. searun

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    The OP requested feedback on her personal statement. Frankly, it is terrible and we are doing her a favor by persuading her to rewrite it, if she really wants to get admitted to med school. I doubt anybody is simply trying to hurt her feelings.
     
  33. WinterLights

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    Did you read through the thread? There is certainly some unnecessary flaming going on. What is the point in making someone feel terrible about something that they are working on? If someone has no desire to be constructively critical, then they should probably just move along to the next thread.

    Being frank/honest for most of pre-meds would result in talk of monetary compensation, prestige, and financial stability. Pointing out only the positives that are looked favorably upon by admissions committees is what you must do. And if there is a negative that has to be pointed out, you have to spin it so that it in essence becomes a positive. Are these not used car salesman tactics? I think you are confusing the term "used car salesman" with "bad liar."



    That is your opinion and I respect it. I evaluated that paragraph based on the assumption that it comes after talk of experiences. If it doesn't tie into any particular experience, then yes, it cannot be used. I still think that the OP had some decent ideas in the part of the paragraph that I pointed out; but it needs to be revised.
     
  34. Revilla

    Revilla New Member
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    I think we need to consider that writing is a very personal thing for many people. Yes, I agree, it's better that we be honest with her, but there's no need to hurt her feelings. Obviously, she wasn't sure about the passage or else she wouldn't have posted it. She didn't post to get praise. She posted for constructive criticism. While some of the posts in this thread have been constructive, several were just plain insulting. There's just no need for that. She's a human being who was asking for advice. If you have some to give, then give it. Otherwise, why bother replying just to make her feel like crap?
     
  35. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    The PS is for you to describe why you want to go into medicine. It's not a self-evaluation. You're not expected to highlight the positives. You shouldn't be trying to sell yourself at that point in the application. Why? Because that doesn't answer the question "Why Medicine?"

    The biggest problem I've seen people with PSs is that they don't answer the question that is asked. They convince themselves that they need to justify why they will be a good doctor or med student. You don't have to do this, and honestly no one at that point really has the credentials to describe what constitutes a good doctor. It's a much better idea to let your application and experiences speak for themselves, and instead use your PS to tell the story of what becoming a doctor means to you personally and your motivations behind it.

    You will have an opportunity to discuss your self-determined strengths and weaknesses during your interview.
     
  36. Dulcina

    Dulcina =)
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    the beginning strikes me too strongly. I feel like I'm being lectured to, and no one likes that feeling. Show me how YOU followed this philosophy of "improving the world" but don't be judgmental to those who don't.
     
  37. WinterLights

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    I agree with some of what you said. But in order to describe why you want to go into medicine you have to evaluate yourself. Then you have to only include experiences, or attributes that you see as being applicable in a medical context. I have yet to see a PS that points out any of the author's negative characteristics (unless there is spin attached). No one talks about their desire to make a decent amount of money. No one talks about going into medicine to satisfy their families. Both of those are very real reasons for why some go into medicine; but of course they will only discuss acceptable reasons. The personal statement is at best a half-truth based advertisement chronicling your experiences and why they have driven you towards medicine.

    I agree completely about not specifically discussing what will make you a good doctor.
     
  38. BoredMD

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    :laugh:

    Seriously, get rid of it. It seems really awkward/generic to me.
     
  39. bozz

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    To be honest, it feels like I'm reading a boring english literature analysis of something. Adcoms will get extremely frustrated if they read something like that. They want the JUICY STUFF about you... not your analysis of life or the life of a physician.. or whatever
     
  40. LikeClockWork

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    Wow. The wall of hate hit this poor girl hard.

    Just work on rewriting it and let us know how it turns out, okay?

    SDN isn't really that scary of a place. Honest.
     
  41. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Junior Member
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    Look on the bright side. No one in their right mind is ever going to steal that from you. On second thought, not even a crazy person would steal that from you.

    We are all being so harsh because you are so far off track it isn't even funny. You need to change how you think of this 180 degrees. I am sure you will thank us later.
     
  42. JulyMorning

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    Just a general suggestion: if anyone would like a critique of their personal statement, please PM a reader on SDN (please search for the official reader list for 2009). This way you are more likely to receive constructive criticism that will assist you in remodeling your PS as soon as possible.
     
  43. carlyMD

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    What do you expect? Its not like its the class of 2013 thread or anything ;)

    To the OP, you might try using the personal statement readers list, they would hopefully more constructive than most of these comments.

    Good Luck!
     
  44. gates_2

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    to the OP:

    From a more technical point of view, you use the sequence... It gives me.... three times in succession. A technique like this can have impact if each successive phrase has more weight and impact. Here, I didn`t get that sense from your claims. Just something to watch out for as you rework your statement.


    Also, be careful of defining too much. Instead of saying this is that, try to explain how this being that affected you/changed something, or more simply, more active versus passive voice.

    Best of luck
     
  45. searun

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    "Time has to be money and money has to be time?" Anyone want to defend this or steal it and use it as your first line in your personal statement in your med school application? If so, explain.
     
  46. bcat85

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    This has turned into an awesome thread at the expense of the OP. :laugh:
     
  47. searun

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    You are right. But the number one first rule of writing personal statements, is do not use the word, "money," in the first line of your personal statement, even if you mean to imply, that you do not give a crap about money. DO NOT MENTION MONEY IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT, AND NEVER EVER MENTION MONEY IN THE FIRST SENTENCE.
     
  48. PreMedPrincess

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    Hey guys,

    WOW! talk about a bashing :(. I agree the former part of that paragraph is pointless and not useful. However, It will only be a small portion of the PS, and was a bit of a tangent that I wanted to tie in. I was unsure of how personal philosophy would come across on my PS. clearly not well.

    other than the fact that it is completely pointless, would you say the latter sentiments are clear and interesting? or should i forget it all together.
     
  49. handbanana

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    I've tried a few times to get through the whole paragraph, but it's just so awkwardly phrased I can't do it.
     
  50. PreMedPrincess

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    HEY! not everyone is as articulate as Panda Bear! I definitely shouldn't become a writer!
     
  51. searun

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    Princess, you need to go on a vacation for a week, erase this from your hard drive, think long and hard about who you are, and start over from scratch. You cannot salvage this. So think about yourself, go backpacking for a week, sleep with the bugs and the stars, and then start over.
     

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