Which topic would be the most interesting to read about if you were an ADCOM

  • Topic 1 (lyme disease)

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Awesome Sauceome

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Been reading and working on and off on my personal statement. My original PS was way too long and covered way to much of my life. So I sort of put down what I think were a few major moments in my life that have not only shaped me into a better human being, but that have either directly or indirectly led me to wanting to become a physician. Basically I ended up with 3 different versions of a personal statement. All of them converge on the same idea that there was growth and I found what I want etc so now I want to be a doc, but the introductions and the path that I got there was remarkably different (mostly because they cover 3 different times in my life).

topic 1)
When I was 14 I was diagnosed with lyme disease. Basically I went from being a 200 lb football player, to within the next 3 years I became so weak that I had to become home schooled and was being pushed around in a wheel chair. Obviously I experienced A LOT of the medical field in that time (at Hopkins and University of Maryland). At first I sort of didnt want to even mention to anyone during my med school trail that that happened to me, but I really feel like it has set me up for a level of compassion that I never would have had otherwise. This is nice because I truly understand what it is to be SICK, as well as sort of showing a certain level of growth in finding the positives even through trialing experiences. I absolutely feel that without this, I would not have found that I want to be a doctor (although I would not say it is the REASON I want to be a doctor, this experience more or less just opened a door for me).

topic 2)
I almost didnt graduate high school. Basically once I got better (from the lyme disease) my heart and soul was in music (I had been a drummer since I was 7); so much so that I basically stopped going to school (I stopped going to the courses that I was signed up for at a community college, and I basically stopped doing anything through the home school program I was in- I basically just would not read the book and would circle (A) for all of my exams). My genius plan was to stop doing school so I could do more music and was planning on going pro. Through a series of events I ended up reluctantly deciding on college. Naturally I sucked at first (because at that time I still sort of didnt care) but there is a HUGE upward trend in my grades, experiences, and general work ethic. I really became enamored with school and learning in general and really became a passion for me. Nice things about this topic is that A) it would explain deficiencies in my grades early on, as well as pointing to the nice trend B) I continued to play some music throughout college, I ended up teaching/mentoring music to middle school students for a year, as well as teaching at a summer camp, being involved with a band at several churches etc. So it is an interesting story of growth and really hits on a deep passion of mine (music) while also hitting on my passion for learning and personal growth.

topic 3)
My first really strong interaction with patients outside of shadowing was when I was working on getting my CNA license. There was a woman with end stage parkinsons disease that I took care of every day for a month during my training (there were other patients obviously but this is one that I really connected with). It was an incredible opportunity to have helped this woman (albeit probably little just being a CNA), and I realized here that I have an absolute passion for medicine and helping people, I would have carried that woman up a mountain on my back if I had to. I am just worried because maybe a lot of people hit topics like this? The first two topics feel a bit more unique.

So yup, any advice would be great. Maybe someone has some insight as to whether I should stay clear of one of these topics? Or maybe just what your gut instinct would say to go with. I have sort of been sitting on these three options for like a month now, so I figure I would try and get some feedback. All of these things are important to me but it is pretty much pick one or go over the character limit. I am really trying to focus on what would really catch the eye of the ADCOM. I am a very average applicant grade and MCAT wise, and an extremely strong applicant research and EC wise, so I figured I would really try and focus on my strengths of pushing my character and life experiences. So having a personal statment that really grabs that is actually really interesting to read I think would be best. Thanks a bunch!
 
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pyrrion89

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All of these sound like great experiences. I think a PS should hit on the "why medicine" question, so #2 is out. Both #1 and #3 are the sort of stories that adcomms have heard many times, so I wouldn't use that as a reason to eliminate either one. #3 is more recent and is directly related to serving others, which seems more in line with you wanting to become a physician (i.e., providing service to others).

I'd go with #3, you even say "I realized here that I have an absolute passion for medicine and helping people." Good luck!
 
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Lya

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I think we can mention all three in the PS. I'm still in the PS readers list and will be more than happy to review your PS.

Send me a private message if interested.
 
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Awesome Sauceome

Awesome Sauceome

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All of these sound like great experiences. I think a PS should hit on the "why medicine" question, so #2 is out. Both #1 and #3 are the sort of stories that adcomms have heard many times, so I wouldn't use that as a reason to eliminate either one. #3 is more recent and is directly related to serving others, which seems more in line with you wanting to become a physician (i.e., providing service to others).

I'd go with #3, you even say "I realized here that I have an absolute passion for medicine and helping people." Good luck!
I guess I should add that I can absolutely point to why medicine through all of them. They are all transition pretty smoothly as to how each one has led me to medicine.

I have heard very mixed stuff about writing a PS that is run of the mill, which is the main reason why topic 2 was in there. It would most certainly stand out which is really what it has over topic 1 and 3, which is why it is difficult to decide heh...
 
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Awesome Sauceome

Awesome Sauceome

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I think we can mention all three in the PS. I'm still in the PS readers list and will be more than happy to review your PS.

Send me a private message if interested.
I appreciate it, if I clean them up enough i certainly will. As of now that are still pretty freaking rough around the edges, I figured I would hone in on a topic before I cleaned them up. But once I choose one I will for sure take you up on your offer! Thanks!
 
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I guess I should add that I can absolutely point to why medicine through all of them. They are all transition pretty smoothly as to how each one has led me to medicine.

I have heard very mixed stuff about writing a PS that is run of the mill, which is the main reason why topic 2 was in there. It would most certainly stand out which is really what it has over topic 1 and 3, which is why it is difficult to decide heh...
Use #1 or #3 (or a combination thereof) for your PS. You will have plenty of places to talk about #2 elsewhere on your secondaries.

A PS doesn't have to be mind-bogglingly original; it's goal isn't to be a standout piece of writing, but rather to communicate 'why medicine?'. As long as it does that, all good.
 

LizzyM

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I concur with the above. If you can use #3 but work in briefly that you were in a wheelchair as a young teen and perhaps can easily put yourself in your patient's place when working as a CNA, you'll be all set.
 
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Awesome Sauceome

Awesome Sauceome

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Hmm thank you for the advice. I suppose you are right that I would be able to talk about my passion for music elsewhere. I certainly have been planning on it. So I will try and put in maybe 2/3 from #3 and about 1/3 from #1.

Number 3, as well as other medical experiences that I have done have really confirmed my desire to go into medicine. So I will probably put it as my experience with Lyme introduced me to medicine, but my CNA experiences confirmed my desire.

Seriously thanks a bunch. Even just talking about it helps. I've been hesitant to really talk about it, or show anyone it until is near its final draft. So its just been something I've been stewing on for quite some time. Its good to hopefully get some direction!

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