Medical Which topic should I use for diversity essay? [idea/writing help]

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Goro

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Hey guys!
I wanted your input on which of my 2 diversity essays would be better. I know that this comes up often on secondaries so I want to make sure that these essays have strength. I wrote up the first one but then thought writing about race/ethnicity as an answer would be overused, especially as a South Asian student. A week later, I wrote up the second idea which calls upon my experience being underweight in high school. I know the second one can be easily morphed into an adversity essay, but I hope that I spun it into a good diversity one. Let me know what your thoughts are/how I can improve the flow (or if this isnt the correct place to post this sort of help).

1:
As a South Indian American, and a Muslim, I have constantly straddled multiple identities and operated within multiple communities. However, I have faced struggles fitting into both - the Muslim community around me consists of few people from Indian backgrounds, and the Indian community around me consists of few Muslims. Most Muslims around me are Pakistani, and while I do speak Urdu like most Muslims here, I have found that my local dialect is difficult for others to understand. As a result, I have faced the occasional uninformed remark asking me if I actually speak Urdu. Through interactions like these, I have realized that my feelings of occasionally being an outsider within a community stem from the labels we are so apt to apply to both ourselves and others. I have found that these cultural labels often blend into each other, when I go from attending Friday prayers and celebrating Eid, to attending Indian dances, and observing Hindu religious ceremonies at the homes of my family friends. Here, I have found many aspects of the Indian experience to be rooted in Hindu traditions, at times being a stark contrast to the Islamic beliefs that I grew up with. However, I have found it valuable to be able to experience this breadth of cultural traditions. My experiences as a South Indian and a Muslim-American student have made me intimately aware of the homogeneity a single label can imply, and more understanding of the individual experiences hidden underneath those labels. I further refined this understanding when I had the unique opportunity to intern alongside a deaf student at "summer research internship". At the end of the week, when our group would participate in team-building activities, "Anna" would teach us American Sign Language so we could learn to communicate with her directly. Our facial expressions and body language were key in communicating between individuals who are deaf and hearing. Although Anna is deaf, she is also Deaf. In other words, she is also part of the Deaf community, which has its own history and culture behind it. This label of 'deaf' extends to a whole culture that is often overlooked and underserved. My experiences learning from, and interacting with “Anna” underscore the role that “Deaf” as a label plays in my perception of her. I hope that these experiences have informed my own cultural competence, and will improve the way that I treat the diverse patient population in SOM City, and work with fellow SOM students, with a need to recognize the individual person behind the labels we subconsciously apply.

2:
Growing up as a very skinny child surrounded by media promoting weight loss has served as a strange dichotomy in terms of my body image. This left me questioning myself as to if being an underweight high schooler was really problematic or not. I would see ads for weight watchers or specialty diets, and I would see news media reporting on the rising obesity crisis in America. All of this left me feeling alone, and occasionally feeling lucky to be on the opposite side of this situation. However, late in high school I realized that this was indeed a legitimate issue as I explored fitness communities online. I realized that being underweight, while relatively uncommon, was not healthy. I discovered calisthenics and bodyweight fitness, which was highly appealing to me due to its versatility and focus on functional movements. I began diving into both the theory and practice of the discipline, with books like Steven Low’s “Overcoming Gravity. I also explored communities focused on gaining weight, which opened a door to individuals with similar struggles to mine. During this time, friends would joke with me, almost annoyed, asking to “trade” some of the weight they gained over a summer, or tell me that I “have it easy”, being able to eat so much with “no repercussions”. As I pushed through these uninformed comments, and considered my life surrounded by weight-loss focused media, I realized that my path, despite being uncommon, runs parallel to some of my friends seeking to lose weight. Seeing overweight people in the gym, and comparing them to myself may seem like a disjointed comparison, with little we share on the surface. However, as I focused on things like better eating habits and counting calories, I realized the common ground and the shared struggle that we face in trying to regain control over our bodies, and in trying to make tangible, long-term changes in our daily habits. While the two struggles appear to be antagonistic, I know I can still relate to those looking to lose weight. The media that I was initially confused by, and subsequently brushed off may not focus on my specific goals, but it does not make them less legitimate. My experience in weight gain taught me to look deeper into an issue, to dig for the common ground beneath the labels that we use for ourselves and our goals. I hope to bring these experiences to SOM as I connect with students, faculty and patients that present opposing viewpoints, with a need to recognize the individual motivations and mentality behind the labels we apply.
Nope, neither will do.

# could apply to about 15% of all med students.

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I think #1 could work, but I would focus less on how being yourself has made it difficult to fit into the muslim community and more on how being muslim may have influenced your views. Many Muslim people experience discrimination due to their religion, so I can see a wonderful essay in my head about how your experiences might help you be a better physician provided you can write about it intelligently.
 
#1 is more promising than #2 for a diversity topic but your approach really doesn't give me any insight of your ability to address it in the context of diversity issues. Yes I know Asians experience discrimination so what stories about your experience as (pick your identities) are important for your classmates or your patients to understand to help build a trust that you are not just culturally competent but culturally engaged as a health care provider, especially when you don't have anything in common?
 
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