When I started volunteering at the shelter, I was unsure about the impact I would be able to have. In other words, which of your qualities do you want to be remembered for? Focusing on experiences in your introduction and body paragraphs that convey your greatest qualities helps you develop a consistent theme throughout your essay. Determined to turn the interaction around, I soldiered on with the application process. Who knew that a savior could look so modest? Part of your essay's body can include a discussion of any discrepancies or gaps in your education, or disruptions in your academic performance. I know now that the price of missing out on a career medicine is greater than the personal sacrifices that inevitably come with such a demanding training process and line of work. An essay about clinical shadowing could start something like this: I used to eat lunch with Felipa on Wednesdays. Similar to crafting strong medical school secondary essays, writing a strong personal statement is a challenging, yet extremely important, part of your MD or MD-PhD programs applications. There are a couple of things wrong with this example. Open your personal statement with the most interesting and fun thing you've done. Dr. Bidin didn’t just look at patients’ symptoms; rather, he considered people as a whole, including their hobbies, to determine a treatment that fit their goals. You want your personal statement to be written so engagingly that it serves as a pleasant interruption to the admissions committee member’s routine. At a high level, this guide will cover the following: A step-by-step approach to producing a memorable personal statement (Part 2), A paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of a top-5 personal statement, Key differences that separate unique vs. cliché personal statements. After seeing mental and physical health intimately intertwine, I plan to incorporate both aspects as a physician for the betterment of my patient’s overall well-being. And since working with each patient constitutes an entirely different experience, I know my medical career will never cease to be fulfilling. Get some feedback early to make sure you are headed in the right direction. My passion for teaching others and sharing knowledge emanates from my curiosity and love for learning. You'll have opportunities to demonstrate several of your great qualities through your AMCAS Work and Activities section, your secondary essays, and even your interviews. During my last summer of high school, I embarked on the CAREERS: Next Generation medical internship. Plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements. The next section will break down what to do once you have your first draft completed. Remember that your complete application includes multiple written sections: your personal statement, Work and Activities section, and secondary application essays. Ideally, this person should have some knowledge of the application process or the medical profession, so that they can say whether you were successful in demonstrating that you are a suitable candidate for medical school. It was exciting to get a glimpse of how food could play a role as a “prescription” in Preventative Medicine. While researching his dysmorphic features and disabilities, other patients with similar deletions, and the possible genes contributing to his symptoms, I stayed up until 4 AM for several weeks, too engrossed to sleep. Thank you! The irony of my childhood nickname is that like Mr. Perhaps the problem was one of engagement rather than a lack of interest since their focus waned when I started using terminology—like vena cava—that was probably gibberish to them. Major points from the above sample introduction could be: dedication and resilience (practicing cooking for hours, and devoting years to undergraduate studies in human sciences), passion and emotional connection (being able to create something that inspired awe in others, and personally connecting with the work of the grandfather's healthcare team), motivation and drive (being inspired by the role physicians play in their patients' lives, participating in volunteer work and extracurriculars, and an enduring fascination with the field of medicine). Let’s look at how you might revise a cliché sentence to come across as more unique: Applicant 1: I developed a passion for helping people by volunteering at the local soup kitchen. I wanted my students to understand that obesity is still a big problem in the United States and especially in Austin’s low-income neighborhoods. Review AAMC Core Competencies: The AAMC Core Competencies are the key characteristics and skills sought by U.S. medical schools. Leave them thinking I have got to meet this person. You want the personal statement to be your friend, and our professionals want to show you that pediatric personal statement writing doesn’t have to be so hard. For the first month, I carried a notebook containing common English phrases written by my father, such as, “Where is the restroom?” and, “Can you tell me how to get to X, Y, Z?” with Chinese translations and transliterations on the side. She described them as condescending and uncaring, making her feel unimportant. What is most important is that you write about what factors or experiences attributed to you deciding that medicine is the right career path for you. The anecdotes chosen demonstrate this individual's response to the common question, "Why do you want to be a doctor?" I was never supposed to become a doctor; that title was meant for my older brother, Jake. Can I repeat experiences in my personal statement and sketch? The perfect personal statement not only shows the admissions committee that you have refined communication skills, but also conveys maturity and professionalism. Get our free guide to help you with every step: Get Into Medical School: 6 Practical Lessons to Stand Out and Earn Your White Coat. I would spend time between lectures—during late night study sessions, on long flights—reading about the various ways food could prevent illness. I was born and raised under a very different education system in Taiwan, which focused on rote memorization and obedience. Read your statement out loud to yourself and you will almost certainly find an error (and likely several errors). Her family was in shambles due to her abysmal condition. Someone who is incapable of identifying their emotions is also incapable of managing them effectively and will likely struggle to identify the emotions of others. In the beginning, I was focused on sharing the benefits of healthy eating with others through a fun, engaging conversation. To help you decide, think about whether or not that bad grade might reflect on your poorly. The two things are more closely related than you think. Of course, this means that writing a great medical school personal statement comes with a lot of pressure. Luckily, Dr. Soo’s door is always open and he has no problem explaining how a complaint of upper back pain led him to order an EKG and d-dimer, ensuring there was no cardiac or clot component. His body was still recovering from the chemo and I could tell the past two years had been difficult for him, but seeing his resiliency and weekly progression was inspiring. However, these other characters must be used to demonstrate your qualities. They may refrain from being too critical in an effort to spare your feelings. I would love nothing more than to dedicate myself to such a rewarding career, where I achieve what those doctors did for my family. Alternatively, you can use one big metaphor or analogy through the essay. Until that time, I may be found Friday mornings in the operating room, peering over shoulders, dreaming about the day I get to hold the drill. As the appointment progressed, I observed her gradually relaxing. In my mind, the steps in between illness and recovery were opaque and unimportant relative to the final patient outcome. Whereas my attraction to the humanistic side of medicine crystallized through patient interactions, my love for its investigative nature developed through research. His wife held back tears as he grimaced and repeatedly referred to “passing on” in muffled tones. As her personal story unraveled, I found out that experiences of racial discrimination had breached every area of her life, including her healthcare—as a result, she felt alienated and left with inadequate treatment. A warm meal is the way we say, “I love you.” Whenever I get sick, my mother prepares a pot of spicy kimchi (fermented cabbage) soup and barley tea. Writing this way will absolutely make your statement stand out from the rest. Medical schools in Canada on the other hand, do not require or accept personal statements. Instead, I asked her to share details about the wonderful interventions she had procured for her son—speech and physical therapy, sign language lessons, special feeds, etc.”), Socially skilled and validating (e.g., “Through our conversations, I realized that she was really looking for reassurance—for doing a great job caring for her son. After, my sister and I held each other crying while she thanked me for being there for her. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the incredible skills you've worked and studied to refine, the remarkable life experiences you've had, and the key qualities you possess in your own unique way. This powerlessness I felt inspired me to pursue medicine to help future patients battle this horrible illness by discovering new treatments. Still, I bet you’ve wondered why so many qualified applicants were rejected, beyond the fact that there were too few spots. Specifically, I want to continue engaging with patients and helping them through life’s difficult moments—with physical treatment and genuine support.”). If you include more experiences, your statement will read like a resume in essay form. Even though Applicant 1 says that they are empathic, you probably picked Applicant 2, even though she never uses the word “empathic” (or a synonym) in her sentence. Finally, it must also serve as a roadmap to the reader, allowing them to understand where the remainder of the story is headed. She approached me, asking for help. 1. When I shadowed Dr. Warren, an endocrinologist, I learned that being a physician means so much more than knowing the physiology of a certain disease state. “A good doctor really is just a good teacher,” said Dr. Bard after I witnessed her teach a pre-diabetic patient effective dieting and exercise routines to manage his blood glucose levels. I validated her efforts and offered relief that there were other families navigating similar difficulties. Where were you born, how did you grow up, and what type of childhood did you have growing up (perhaps including interesting stories about your siblings, parents, grandparents)? I have written, edited, and finalized my document but I keep wanting to change things! Applicant 2: After my sister started to run, she began to lose weight. Being flexible to discover how to best engage my students, in some ways, parallels the problem-solving aspect I love about medicine. Since there is no clear prompt, can I write about anything? So despite my desire to get into the science, I restrained myself from overwhelming her. Children who wouldn’t recover. Always focus on being positive and do not lament on the negative situation too much. If you're choosing between DO vs MD, consider writing why becoming an osteopathic doctor is important to you. I’ll provide an overly simple example to highlight why “telling” your qualities is such a problem: Ever since I was a kid, I have received excellent grades and have excelled at all things related to science. I want you to be part of this latter group so that you can get into the best schools possible. Only in medicine can I employ my unique skills and interests to their fullest potential. I did this math as soon as I found out that my older sister had attempted suicide outside of a shopping mall. In choosing to become a physician, I have found a profession that seamlessly combines my unwavering curiosity for science and medicine with my passion to help others. I have since been volunteering in emergency departments, out-patient clinics, and long term care facilities. Being part of a profession that emphasizes continuous education, and application of knowledge to help people is very rewarding, and I will bring compassion, a hard work ethic and an attitude that is always focused on bettering patient outcomes. Ever since my middle school robotics days when a surgeon invited us to LAC+USC Medical Center to unwrap Tootsie rolls with the da Vinci surgical system, I’ve felt that a physician’s role goes beyond serving patients and families. My head once again came under scrutiny, but this time for brain injury concerns. Keep in mind, however, that the same event can be written about in a boring or engaging way. Years of empty lawn chairs at soccer matches and unattended music recitals had convinced me early on that medicine was simply not for me—that my physician parents had been afflicted with a predisposition for self-destructive altruism that had graciously skipped over me. I began to picture myself in this medical environment, as it had many parallels to sports I played. In fact, medicine is intertwined and collaborative. Combining these qualities will allow me to succeed as a physician. All of my experiences have taught me a great deal about patient interaction and global health, however, I am left wanting more. Her questions about her condition were labeled foolish by one doctor. Dance Marathon sparked my interest in pediatric disorders, so in my sophomore year, I shadowed multiple physicians at the UF Health Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic. The variable mental state of my second patient was a significant factor in the quality of our interactions. I wanted to change that, so I began actively approaching my students instead of waiting for them to ask questions. Leila made me aware of the unprofessional treatment delivered by some doctors. My questions never stopped. Having a clear timeline makes it easier for the reader to follow along.). Our results demonstrated that one of the drugs we tested on the rats may have significant promise for treating Alzheimer’s disease. More importantly, it helps maximize your odds of admission in an increasingly competitive process. If you think it will then it's best to address the academic misstep head-on instead of having admissions committees dwell on possible areas of concern. For example, rather than just call the mother “anxious,” the applicant first describes how she avoided eye contact and clutched her son tightly. I witnessed compassion’s power in medical settings when bringing water to patients in the ER or distributing warm blankets to patients receiving chemotherapy. One morning, while out on a mobile trip in a remote village, a middle-aged man came into one of the hot metal shacks where the doctor and I were seeing patients. Up to that point, I had only heard about the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina 9 years earlier. My time spent shadowing reinforced my desire to pursue medicine. The most boring essays are those of applicants listing their accomplishments. The introduction is the first part of the personal statement medical … I want to become a doctor for them. Due to infants’ inability to express themselves through words, I was intensely curious to dig deeper into their often underestimated knowledge of language. Therefore, the story or topic you choose is less important than how you pull it off. I was given the opportunity to spearhead a translational research study on Infantile Spasms. It’s fun to make conversation with the families as I fill their prescriptions at the farmer’s market. I do not want to miss this chance to further hone my skills and knowledge, in order to provide better care for my patients. As a medical school applicant, you must convey a “people first” attitude. Without the first element, your application likely won't be very strong because you won't meet schools' expectations for extracurricular activities. Over time, that future started to align with a desire to pursue a career in medicine. I want to understand the mechanisms behind treatments in order to assist patients in choosing the best treatments. 4 Points to Include in Every Med School Personal Statement For a compelling essay, prospective medical school students should share their passions beyond medicine. The relationships I have formed with peers and community members along my transition shape the core of who I am today, and form the basis behind my desire to pursue medicine. 14. Well, science captivated my attention in 11th grade and hasn’t let go. I will continue to advocate for patient equality and fairness. An appreciation for this reciprocal relationship built through communication is what excites me for the dynamic connections between colleagues and patients in healthcare. Unsatisfied with my answer, he repeated his question eight more times until I caved and answered with my ethnicity. Working under him, I have noticed that, even after practicing for 20 years, he constantly reads up on medical literature to add to his arsenal of skills and to stay current with the new advancements in the field. I want to be that physician. Should I write about my own medical issues? I’ll first describe the cliché approach and describe why it’s problematic. Although psychiatry requires establishing a good rapport in order to deliver an appropriate treatment, it can also be applied in emergency situations. On the other hand, the Compelling example: Keeps the spotlight on the applicant throughout (e.g., references being from Oregon, discusses her reflections, interacting with Jermaine), Has a relatable plot (e.g., temporary discomfort, changing perspectives), Is authentic (e.g., provides an example of how she lifted spirits), (Note: This section applies to all aspects of your essay.). When I began working at the Dell Seton Medical Center, however, my idealism about patient-centered care was quickly put to the test when I was regarded with cynicism due to my own identity. My interactions with L. reaffirmed my motivation to pursue medicine; its patient-centered focus and humanistic nature captured my heart. I gained confidence in my choices and learned to effectively communicate with the public. Doctors conducted themselves more casually around patients and fostered a lax attitude towards the profession as a whole. 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