Flying Penguin

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I am thinking of addressing the adversity/challenge prompt with one or more from the following topics:
  1. The immigrant experience, overcoming language and cultural barriers. I had a unique upbringing in that I was born in China, my family moved to Japan when I was six, moved back to China after two years, and then moved to the U.S. three years later. As a kid I never maintained a stable social circle until we settled in the States and I grew confident in my English and social skills. Adapting to changing environments challenged me to be flexible and always learning about my surroundings. I also cherish connections and know how difficult it can be to feel isolated. (I wrote about this in my personal statement, but I can elaborate)
  2. Taking care of a family member with diabetes. My family has a history of diabetes. After my last year of high school, I helped take care of my grandpa for about half a year in China. During that time he underwent multiple amputations and became blind, eventually passing away. I learned about supporting people through debilitating illnesses when it seems like there was not much I could do, and the importance of patient dignity. Navigating the healthcare system also prompted me to think about the differences in healthcare systems of China and U.S., and accounting for patients’ backgrounds. (Have not written this story anywhere else because I am not sure how stories about family members would be received)
  3. Working with a special needs patient. I worked for Child Life, helping pediatric patients cope with hospitalizations and procedures. I worked with a patient who was developmentally delayed and non-verbal. Initially, I could not communicate with her and led to her emotional outburst one time. I sought advice from her nurses, and overtime I learned what forms of communication she does well with and which activities she liked. I learned that working with patients might not go well in the beginning, but it is important to not be afraid of mistakes, keep a growth mindset, and keep learning. (I also mentioned this story in my personal statement but I can write it from the “challenge” angle)

I think if the prompt lean towards "adversity" I can go with 1, and if they ask for "challenge" I can use 2 or 3. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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I agree that topic #1 is really the clear front runner for any 'adversity' topic. For the 'greatest challenge' prompt, I would pick #2 strictly because it is a topic you haven't covered yet. I don't think there is any inherent bias against writing about a family member in need.
 

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Thanks!
For the diversity essay, I was thinking of writing about my language abilities and cultural competency as a result of my immigrant experience:

I am fluent in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English; I still maintain fluency and engage with the Japanese and Chinese cultural media. I was naturalized last year and am committed to engage with social problems in the U.S. as a citizen. When I first came to the U.S., I remember struggling to navigate the unfamiliar healthcare system and feeling reluctant to communicate with my physician due to the language barrier. As a result, I understand the importance of cultural sensitivity and providing culturally safe care for immigrants and minorities. I plan to write about wanting to stay humble and curious about each patient's story and to not make assumptions about their challenges.

Would this be appropriate? @Goro @Catalystik @LizzyM if you are not burnt out with secondary questions!
 
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LizzyM

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Your diversity idea in post #3 sounds fine. There is no shortage of medical students and physicians who speak Mandarin but perhaps fewer who have lived in China and Japan and are fluent in both, plus English. It's what you've got to work with.

For the challenge... I'd go with the challenge of working with a child with whom you could not communicate and who caused you great frustration, as well as the pain you felt at seeing her own frustration and discomfort due to her interactions with you. Then you can go into how you met the challenge and what you learned from it which I think that you have articulated well. Just remember that the challenge was how you were challenged, not the child's physical and emotional challenges.
 

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Your diversity idea in post #3 sounds fine. There is no shortage of medical students and physicians who speak Mandarin but perhaps fewer who have lived in China and Japan and are fluent in both, plus English. It's what you've got to work with.

For the challenge... I'd go with the challenge of working with a child with whom you could not communicate and who caused you great frustration, as well as the pain you felt at seeing her own frustration and discomfort due to her interactions with you. Then you can go into how you met the challenge and what you learned from it which I think that you have articulated well. Just remember that the challenge was how you were challenged, not the child's physical and emotional challenges.
Thank you, and I agree; I will be careful in how I frame it as my challenge.
 
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Your diversity idea in post #3 sounds fine. There is no shortage of medical students and physicians who speak Mandarin but perhaps fewer who have lived in China and Japan and are fluent in both, plus English. It's what you've got to work with.

For the challenge... I'd go with the challenge of working with a child with whom you could not communicate and who caused you great frustration, as well as the pain you felt at seeing her own frustration and discomfort due to her interactions with you. Then you can go into how you met the challenge and what you learned from it which I think that you have articulated well. Just remember that the challenge was how you were challenged, not the child's physical and emotional challenges.
Agree with my always sage colleague.
 
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Flying Penguin

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Your diversity idea in post #3 sounds fine. There is no shortage of medical students and physicians who speak Mandarin but perhaps fewer who have lived in China and Japan and are fluent in both, plus English. It's what you've got to work with.

For the challenge... I'd go with the challenge of working with a child with whom you could not communicate and who caused you great frustration, as well as the pain you felt at seeing her own frustration and discomfort due to her interactions with you. Then you can go into how you met the challenge and what you learned from it which I think that you have articulated well. Just remember that the challenge was how you were challenged, not the child's physical and emotional challenges.
Another idea I had for the diversity essay was discussing my unique cultural experiences at each of the places I lived. For example, living in Japan, whose culture emphasizes responsibility and humility, I developed the habit of being very punctual (usually arriving 15 minutes early before appointments) and being mindful of respecting mentors. We lived in the countryside and Japanese elementary schools emphasized having kids engage with nature. I grew to love gardening, growing the most cherry tomatoes out of my elementary school class.

I can talk about how I stood out in different cultures and lessons I learned. It would be a more entertaining essay to write and read.
 
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