If you can say it in plain, accessible language, then this is what you should do. Professionalism may seem like a difficult quality to display when only composing a personal statement. After all, the reader can't see your mannerisms, your personal style, or any of those little qualities that allow someone to appear professional.
Professionalism is about respect for the experience of others on your team or in your workplace. It is displayed when you are able to step back from your own individual position and think about what is best for your colleagues and peers, considering their needs alongside your own. If a story is relevant to why you want to be a physician and demonstrates an example of how you were professional in a workplace setting, then it is appropriate to include in your essay.
One easy way to destroy a sense of professionalism is to act in a judgmental way towards others, particularly if you perceived and ultimately resolved an error on someone else's part. Sometimes students blame another medical professional for something that went wrong with a patient.
They might say something to the effect of, "The nurse kept brushing off the patient's concerns, refusing to ask the attending to increase her pain medications. Luckily, being the empathetic individual that I am, I took the time to listen to sit with the patient, eventually bringing her concerns to the attending physician, who thanked me for letting him know.
There are a couple of things wrong with this example. It seems like this person is putting down someone else in an attempt to make themselves look better. They come across as un-empathetic and judgmental of the nurse.
Maybe she was having a busy day, or maybe the attending had just seen the patient for this issue and the patient didn't really need re-assessment. Reading this kind of account in a personal statement makes the reader question the maturity of the applicant and their ability to move past blaming others and resolve problems in a meaningful way.
Instead of allocating blame, identify what the problem was for the patient and then focus on what you did to resolve it and reflect on what you learned from the whole experience. One last note on professionalism: Being professional does not mean being overly stoic, hiding your emotions, or cultivating a bland personality.
A lot of students are afraid to talk about how a situation made them feel in their personal statement. They worry that discussing feelings is inappropriate and will appear unprofessional. Unfortunately for these students, emotional intelligence is hugely important to the practice of medicine. In order to be a good doctor, one must be aware of their own emotions as well as those of their patients.
Good doctors are able to quickly identify their own emotions and understand how their emotional reactions may inform their actions, and the ability to deliver appropriate care, in a given situation. 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.
So, when writing your personal statement, think about how each experience made you feel, and what you learned from those feelings and that experience. As you can see, there is a LOT of planning and consideration to be done before actually starting your first draft. Properly brainstorming, outlining, and considering the content and style of your essay prior to beginning the essay will make the writing process much smoother than it would be you to try to jump right to the draft-writing stage.
Now, you're not just staring at a blank page wondering what you could possibly write to impress the admissions committee. Instead, you've researched what the school desires from its students and what the medical profession prioritizes in terms of personal characteristics, you've sketched out some key moments from your life that exemplify those traits, and you have a detailed outline that just needs filling in.
As you're getting started, focus on getting content on the page, filling in your outline and getting your ideas arranged on the page. Your essay will go through multiple drafts and re-writes, so the first step is to free write and start articulating connections between your experiences and the characteristics you're highlighting. You can worry about flow, transitions, and perfect grammar in later drafts. The first draft is always a working draft, written with the understanding that its purpose is to act as a starting point, not an ending point.
Once you've completed a draft, you can begin the revising process. The next section will break down what to do once you have your first draft completed. You can also begin looking at things like style, voice, transitions, and overall theme. The best way to do this is to read your essay aloud. This may sound strange, but it is one of the single most impactful bits of writing advice a student can receive.
When we're reading in our heads and particularly when we're reading our own words , it is easy to skip over parts that may be awkwardly worded, or where the grammar is off. As our brains process information differently, depending on whether we're taking in visual or auditory information, this can also help you understand where the connections between ideas aren't as evident as you would like.
Reading the essay aloud will help you begin internalizing the narrative you've crafted, so that you can come to more easily express this both formally in writing and informally in conversation for example, in an interview. Does your narrative sound unique? Is it different than your peers or did you write in a generic manner? Use your narrative to provide a compelling picture of who you are as a person, as a learner, as an advocate, and as a future medical professional.
What can you offer? Remember, you will be getting a lot out of your med school experience, but the school will be getting a lot out of you, as well. You will be contributing your research efforts to your department, you will be participating in the academic community, and as you go on to become a successful medical professional you will impact the perception of your school's prestige. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, so use this opportunity to highlight what you bring to the table, and what you will contribute as a student at their institution.
Let them know what it is about you that is an attribute to their program. Make them see you as a stand out from the crowd. Personal statements are a blessing and a curse for admission committees. They give them a better glimpse of who the applicant is than simple scores. Also, they are long and time-consuming to read. And often, they sound exactly alike.
On occasion, a personal statement really makes an applicant shine. After reading page after page of redundant, cookie-cutter essays, an essay comes along with fluid prose and a compelling narrative, the reader snaps out of that feeling of monotony and gladly extends their enthusiastic attention. Frankly, if the statement is pleasant to read, it will get read with more attention and appreciation. Flow is easier to craft through narrative, which is why you should root the statement in a story that demonstrates characteristics desirable to medical schools.
Fluidity takes time to build, though, so your statement should be etched out through many drafts and should also be based on an outline. You need to brainstorm, then outline, then draft and re-draft, and then bring in editors and listeners for feedback Note: You need someone to proofread your work.
Bestselling authors have editors. Top scholars have editors. I need an editor. You need an editor. Everyone needs an editor. Then, check and double-check and fix anything that needs fixing. Then check again. Then submit. You want this to be a statement that captures the reader's interest by creating a fluid, comprehensible piece that leads the reader to not only read each paragraph but want to continue to the next sentence.
If you give yourself more than one night to write your statement, the chances of grammatical errors will decrease considerably. If you are pressed for time, upload your file into an online grammar website. Use the grammar checker on your word processor, but know that this, in itself, isn't enough. Use the eyes and ears of other people to check and double-check your grammar, punctuation, and syntax.
Read your statement out loud to yourself and you will almost certainly find an error and likely several errors. Use fresh eyes to review the statement several times before you actually submit it, by walking away from it for a day or so and then re-reading it. Start your essay early, so that you actually have time to do this. This step can make or break your essay.
Do not waste all the effort you have put into writing, to only be discarded by the committee for using incorrect grammar and syntax. The most important tip in writing a strong application essay is this getting someone else to read your work. While the tips above are all very useful for writing a strong draft, nothing will benefit you more than getting an outside appraisal of your work.
For example, it's very easy to overlook your own spelling or grammatical errors. You know your own story and you may think that your narrative and it's meaning make sense to your reader. You won't know that for sure without having someone else actually read it. This may sound obvious, but it's still an absolute necessity. Have someone you trust to read the essay and ask them what they thought of it. What was their impression of you after reading it?
Did it make sense? Was it confusing? Do they have any questions? What was the tone of the essay? Do they see the connections you're trying to make? What were their takeaways from your essay, and do these align with your intended takeaways for your reader? 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.
However, any external reader is better than no external reader at all. Avoid having people too close to you read your work. They may refrain from being too critical in an effort to spare your feelings. This is the time to get brutal, honest feedback. If you know someone who is an editor but do not feel that they can be objective, try and find someone else.
Would you like 8 medical school personal statement tips? Check out our video below:. Click here to view the example. Names and identifying characteristics have been changed. Plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements. Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification from the application. So let's help you get started writing your own personal statement. Let's approach this step-by-step. Below you will see how we will outline the steps to creating your very best personal statement.
Your personal statement should tell your story and highlight specific experiences or aspects of your journey that have led you to medicine. If your first exposure or interest in the medical field was sparked from your own medical struggles, then you can certainly include this in your statement.
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. Sometimes students shy away from including their own personal struggles and describing how they felt during difficult times but this is a great way for admissions committees to gain perspective into who you are as a person and where your motivations lie. Remember, this is your story, not someone else's, so your statement should revolve around you.
If you choose to discuss a personal hardship, what's most important is that you don't cast yourself as the victim and that you discuss what the experience taught you. Also, medical schools are not allowed to discriminate against students for discussing medical issues, so it is not looked at as a red flag unless you are talking about an issue inappropriately. For example, making yourself appear as the victim or not taking responsibility.
Medical schools in Canada on the other hand, do not require or accept personal statements. In lieu of the personal statement, a few of these schools may require you to address a prompt in the form of an essay, or allow you to submit an explanation essay to describe any extenuating circumstances, but this is not the same as the US personal statement.
For example, when applying through OMSAS , the University of Toronto medical school requires applicants to complete four short, words or less, personal essays. Many students struggle with whether or not they should address an unfavorable grade in their personal statement. What one student does isn't necessarily the right decision for you. To help you decide, think about whether or not that bad grade might reflect on your poorly. 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.
If you're addressing a poor evaluation, ensure that you take responsibility for your grade, discuss what you learned and how your performance will be improved in the future - then move on. It's important that you don't play the victim and you must always reflect on what lessons you've learned moving forward. Of course not, just because you didn't wake up one morning and notice a lightbulb flashing the words medicine, doesn't mean that your experiences and journey to medicine are inferior to those who did.
Students arrive to medicine in all sorts of ways, some change career paths later in life, some always knew they wanted to pursue medicine, and others slowly became interested in medicine through their life interactions and experiences. Your personal statement should address your own unique story to how you first became interested in medicine and when and how that interest turned to a concrete desire. While your entire statement is important, the opening sentence can often make or break your statement.
This is because admission committee members are reviewing hundreds, if not thousands of personal statements. If your opening sentence is not eye-catching, interesting, and memorable, you risk your statement blending in with the large pile of other statements. Have a look at our video above for tips and strategies for creating a fantastic opening sentence.
Having your statement reviewed by family and friends can be a good place to start, but unfortunately, it's near-impossible for them to provide you with unbiased feedback. Often, friends and family members are going to support us and rave about our achievements. Even if they may truly think your statement needs work, they may feel uncomfortable giving you their honest feedback at the risk of hurting your feelings.
In addition, family and friends don't know exactly what admission committee members are looking for in a personal statement, nor do they have years of experience reviewing personal statements and helping students put the best version of themselves forward. For these reasons, many students choose to seek the help of a professional medical school advisor to make sure they have the absolute best chances of acceptance to medical school the first time around.
If you have enough time set aside to write your statement without juggling multiple other commitments, it normally takes at least four weeks to write your statement. If you are working, in school, or volunteering and have other commitments, be prepared to spend weeks. Your conclusion should have a summary of the main points you have made in your essay, but it should not just be a summary.
You should also end with something that makes the reader want to learn more about you i. A good way to do this is to include a call-back to your opening anecdote: how have you grown or matured since then? How are you more prepared now to begin medical school? The goal is to show as many of them as you can in the WHOLE application: this includes your personal statement, sketch, reference letters, secondary essays, and even your GPA and MCAT which show critical thinking and reasoning already.
Yes, you can. However, if you used an experience as a most meaningful entry, pick something else to talk about in your essay. Remember, you want to highlight as many core competencies across your whole application. Or, if you do pick the same experience: pick a different specific encounter or project with a different lesson learned.
Once your essay is in good shape, it's best to submit to ensure your application is reviewed as soon as possible. Remember, with rolling admissions, as more time passes before you submit your application, your chances of acceptance decreases. Nerves are normal and wanting to tinker is also normal, but over-analyzing and constant adjustments can actually weaken your essay.
So, if you're thinking about making more changes, it's important to really reflect and think about WHY you want to change something and if it will actually make the essay stronger. If not your changes won't actually make the essay stronger or if it's a very minor change you're thinking of making, then you should likely leave it as is. The reality is, medical school admission is an extremely competitive process.
In order to have the best chance of success, every part of your application must be stellar. Simply because they must have stood out in other parts of the application, such as the personal statement. The ones that honestly made the most impact on you. You'll need to reflect on your whole life and think about which experiences helped you grow and pushed you to pursue medicine.
Ideally, experiences that show commitment and progression are better than one-off or short-term activities, as they usually contribute more to growth. This Ultimate Guide has demonstrated all the work that needs to be done to compose a successful, engaging personal statement for your medical school application. While it would be wonderful if there was an easy way to write your personal statement in a day, the reality is that this kind of composition takes a lot of work.
As daunting as this may seem, this guide lays out a clear path. In summary, the following 5 steps are the basis of what you should take away from this guide. These 5 steps are your guide and sort of cheat sheet to writing your best personal statement. While a strong personal statement alone will not guarantee admission to medical school, it could absolutely squeeze you onto a medical school waitlist , off the waitlist, and onto the offer list, or give someone on the admissions committee a reason to go to battle for your candidacy.
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. Show the admissions committee that you are someone they want to meet. Remember, in this context, wanting to meet you means wanting to bring you in for an interview! Lauren Prufer is an admissions expert at BeMo. Prufer is also a medical resident at McMaster University.
Her medical degree is from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. During her time in medical school, she developed a passion for sharing her knowledge with others through medical writing, research, and peer mentoring. Anything we didn't cover? Have a question? Weekly draws! Easiest Medical Schools to Get into in. Medical School Acceptance Rates in. Blog Resources Scholarship. Blog Medical School. Updated: Jul 13, Article Contents.
Listen to the blog! Let's review another example now before we teach you exactly how to do this on your own: Example 2 I was one of those kids who always wanted to be doctor. Did My Essay Flow and is it Comprehensible? Did You Check Your Grammar? Here are some additional questions you can consider as you go about brainstorming for your essay: What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
What is something you want them to know about you that isn't in your application? 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?
What kinds of early exposure to the medical field left an impression on you as a child? Did you become familiar with and interested in the field of medicine at an early stage of your life? If so, why? What are your key strengths, and how have you developed these? What steps did you take to familiarize yourself with the medical profession? Did you shadow a physician? Did you volunteer or work in a clinical setting? Did you get involved in medical research? What challenges have you faced?
Have these made an impact on what you chose to study? What are your favorite activities? What kinds of extracurriculars for medical school or volunteer work have you done, and how have these shaped who you are, your priorities, and or your perspectives on a career in medicine? What was your "Aha! When did your desire to become a doctor solidify? How did you make the decision to apply to medical school? These are separated into four general categories: Interpersonal Competencies : service orientation, social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, and oral communication.
Answering the Prompt, Without a Prompt Just like the personal statement is, in essence, a prompt without a prompt. The moment your passion for medicine crystallized The events that led you toward this path Specific instances in which you experienced opportunities Challenges that helped shape your worldview Your compassion, resilience, or enthusiastic collaboration Demonstrate your commitment to others Your dependability Your leadership skills Your ability to problem-solve or to resolve a conflict These are personal, impactful experiences that only you have had.
As You Prepare to Begin Writing: Medical School Personal Statement Structure When working toward the initial draft of your essay, it is important to keep the following in mind: The essay should read like a chronological narrative and have good structure and flow. Check out our video to learn how to create a killer introduction to your medical school personal statement: Introduction The introductory paragraph and, even more importantly, the introductory sentence of your essay, will most certainly make or break your overall statement.
Sample Introduction I was convinced I was going to grow up to be a professional chef. Body In the body of your essay, you essentially want to elaborate on the ideas that you have introduced in your opening paragraph by drawing on your personal experiences to provide evidence. Conclusion Your final statement should not be a simple summary of the things you have discussed. Be pretentious. Every applicant is extraordinary, and so are you.
Use your story to imply your excellence; don't hit people over the head with it. Criticize other applicants. This is unprofessional. Use very fancy words to make up for insecurities around writing skills. This is confusing. This shows you submitted it at the last minute. This shows you don't read widely. Describe a time you met a disadvantaged person briefly and use this as a rationale for why you want to be a doctor.
This demonstrates a lack of self-awareness and a limited understanding of the social determinants of health. Cast yourself as a victim. Even if you've been through terrible things, like escaping persecution or violence, the victim narrative is not one that will convince medical schools of your capacity. Cast yourself as an agent in your own life. Submit to the wrong school. Before you submit, triple-check your profile.
Violate the character count. This is lazy. Show, Don't Tell The narrative you construct should display some of your most tightly held values, principles, or ethical positions, along with key accomplishments and activities. Display Professionalism Professionalism may seem like a difficult quality to display when only composing a personal statement. Does My Essay Flow and is it Comprehensible? Check out our video below: 18 More Medical School Personal Statement Examples Medical school personal statement example: 3 Click here to view the example.
Medical school personal statement example: 4 Click here to view the example. Medical school personal statement example: 5 Click here to view the example. Medical school personal statement example: 6 Click here to view the example. Medical school personal statement example: 7 Click here to view the example.
Medical school personal statement example: 8 Click here to view the example. Medical school personal statement example: 9 Click here to view the example. I started volunteering at the West Philadelphia Homeless Shelter with this outcome-obsessed outlook, motivated by a grandiose desire to lift people in terrible circumstances out of destitution and into permanent housing.
Over the course of four years as a volunteer and on staff, however, the opportunity to peer into the black box reshaped how I thought about service and medicine. I can say now with utmost certainty that I am committed to becoming a practicing clinician not only because of the opportunity to treat illness but because of the tremendous privilege of building relationships with patients along the road to recovery. When I started volunteering at the shelter, I was unsure about the impact I would be able to have.
As a volunteer and then a staff supervisor, I felt some gratification from the realization that the simple tasks that I was performing like washing dishes and serving breakfast were essential to the operation of the shelter, but it was hard not to feel frustrated at times that I was not actually doing anything to reduce homelessness.
The same guests cycled in and out of the emergency beds at the shelter, week after week. When the opportunity to run the transitional program at the shelter opened up, I took the position, thrilled to finally have the chance to help guests move into permanent housing. I felt like I finally had a real chance to make a difference.
I quickly found out, however, that helping someone transition out of homelessness was no easy task. The first guest that my co-director and I accepted into the program was one of the friendliest men one could imagine, thrust into a horrible situation due to a difficult divorce. I worked with him for a full year straight before we could finally find a stable housing situation for him.
It was an arduous and exhausting process for both of us, filled with moments of hope when it seemed like we had found a suitable apartment and moments of despair when possibilities fell through. At the end of that year, when this particular guest left the shelter for the final time, I found myself at the moment I had been waiting for. After all the anticipation, I had helped a guest reach that perfect outcome, the goal that in my mind was what service was all about.
But I found myself reflecting on a moment that had occurred months earlier. On that night, I had walked down the ramp at the entrance and saw this guest sitting at the computer, eyes glued to the screen. I went over to him ask how he was doing only to find him speechless in shock. After a few moments of silence, he told me that he had just found the obituary of his mother online. I had known that he was estranged from his family, but I could not imagine the devastation he must have felt to discover such tragic news in that manner.
It is hard to find privacy in a shelter, but I remember retreating to the laundry room with him so that he did not have to suffer in front of everyone. I sat with him for hours that night, listening to him reminisce about childhood memories riding horses with his family and listening to him lament losing touch with mother and siblings.
Moments like this one, and so many others that I experienced during the process of building relationships with guests as a case manager, helped me realize that service is not path independent. It is not some race to the finish where the only thing that matters is where one ends up.
Each step along the way is an opportunity to make someone more comfortable. Medicine is no different. I want to become a physician because of the gratification of laughing with a patient when things are looking up but also to try to soften the blow when delivering bad news. Ultimately, I am committed to becoming a clinical practitioner because I cannot imagine a career without that privilege. Karen saw the confusion brewing in my eyes, grabbed the carton from my lunch tray, and pried open the carton lips in one swift motion.
I was overcome with awe on that first day of school in America, having never seen anything like it back in my hometown. In fact, there were many things I would encounter during the next 14 years of my life that would be foreign to me. Nevertheless, as I look back on my childhood, my memory of this moment stands out most vividly.
My friendship with Karen emerged from her act of kindness in that instance. Moreover, that moment represents a starting point from which I made my journey from the familiar bicycle-lined streets of Hangzhou, China to the long, windy stretches of highway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 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.
Karen was my first friend in the U. Her friendship, along with those with teachers, classmates, and neighbors, constantly supported and guided me in school. When I initially entered school,, I did not know a single letter of the English alphabet, let alone how to verbally articulate my thoughts.
I felt completely dependent on others to use the restroom during class or buy lunch in the cafeteria. In response, I immersed myself in the English language to fully master it and regain independence. Reciting vocabulary pronunciations and practicing verb tenses with my ESL teacher paved the way for audiobooks of stories about magic tree houses and shows of Arthur on PBS.
Throughout this process, teacher and classmate encouragement pushed me when I doubted my abilities to succeed. More importantly, Jodi readily supported me, from showing me how to use the monkey bars during recess to helping me study for spelling quizzes. To this day, our friendship resonates with me.
Though we lacked the means to converse freely, our friendship developed through compassion, a universal language that transcended cultural boundaries and social norms. Each patient I met carried his or her own unique story. Strolling down the blue-and-white-tiled hallways of Liberty Hospice in suburban Delaware, I envisioned myself navigating through a storybook where each room presented a vignette.
For example, as a hospice volunteer, I visited L. Like many others receiving palliative care, she struggled to perform daily activities that were once second nature to her. By keeping L. Caring for L. Therefore, I wanted to support her as much as my ESL teachers and classmates had supported me.
Despite L. My interactions with L. Whereas my attraction to the humanistic side of medicine crystallized through patient interactions, my love for its investigative nature developed through research. Though I could offer comforting sentiments to patients, I yearned to understand why L. My curiosity led me to explore the formation of plaques and tangles in 3D human neuronal stem cell cultures, track the lifespan of C. However, though intellectually stimulating, I missed interacting with patients and learning about their journeys.
I wanted to form personal connections beyond the lab bench. The community of people who had helped me grow and succeed, starting from my first day in America, inspired me to do the same for others. Having fully explored the profession, medicine certainly encompasses my two passions: developing relationships and contributing to scientific discoveries.
While the journey ahead will present challenges, my experiences have helped me cultivate the skills necessary to overcome adversity and to help patients in their times of need, just like Karen had done for me. Like this quirky, loveable toy, I have always had a large head. When I was a child, my mother cut the openings of my t-shirts so that she could slip them over my head. Physicians confirmed my head was unusually large—99th percentile in circumference—but normal in function.
Growing up as the youngest of four, I was often teased for my large head. In fact, my siblings dubbed me "Mr. Potato Head. As my body grew, my head became slightly more proportionate. Still, my height remained in the tenth percentile.
Despite my small stature, I excelled in hockey and baseball because I was determined to prove that size does not define athletic prowess or leadership ability. In high school, however, my my tenacious style led me to suffer four concussions by the end of my junior year. My head once again came under scrutiny, but this time for brain injury concerns.
Concerned, I poured time and energy into researching the long-term effects of concussions on the brain. After my fourth concussion in February of my junior year, my pediatrician referred me to an internationally-renowned sports-related concussion specialist, Dr. George Sandhofer. After several visits, Dr. Sandhofer sympathetically advised me to stop playing contact sports.
I had suffered a double blow: one literally to my head and the other figuratively to my ego. Through sports, had I proved that I deserved respect despite my small stature; the reality of having to quit hit me harder than the four head shots combined. From my first visit, I could sense that Dr. Sandhofer was a remarkable physician, and a special person.
His razor-sharp aptitude was obvious, but his patience and compassion, traits that make a truly great doctor, were more heartening. I learned from him the importance of scientific knowledge as well as emotional intelligence in delivering outstanding care. In comparison with some of his other patients, my situation was less severe. Still, Dr. He understood that to me the news was heartbreaking and having to give up sports would be distressing. His humble nature, clear rationale, and genuine care cemented my trust in his advice regarding my future.
Over time, that future started to align with a desire to pursue a career in medicine. Sandhofer sparked my keen interest in becoming a highly skilled yet compassionate physician who readily serves others. I plan to immerse myself in medicine—clinically and through research—and communicate with patients, no matter their age, sophistication, or background, in a way that individually demonstrates how much I care.
Through the Walker Vascular Institute internship program last summer, I confirmed my motivation to apply to medical school. I had an incredible experience working on the potential digital analysis of pulse volume waveforms in the diagnosis of deep vein thromboses. Through reviewing thousands of patient data points, I concluded that the digital readings from this new technology are analyzable. Researching vascular medicine, collaborating with highly skilled health professionals, and shadowing several surgeons taught me that medicine has a steep and constantly evolving learning curve that I am excited to take on.
I recognized that research and the larger medical field promotes open problem solving in a collaborative environment. This aspect perhaps most draws me to a career as a physician. Throughout the internship, our multi-disciplinary team was forced to troubleshoot aberrations in the data collection process. It was remarkable to me that although I was an intern, my superiors helped me troubleshoot possible explanations and mechanisms while valuing my contributions and ideas.
They knew of my intentions to become a physician, and spent valuable time with me teaching, discussing, and listening. Similarly, I commit to constantly learning and teaching others. The irony of my childhood nickname is that like Mr. Potato Head, medical professionals make adjustments and are regularly transformed by forces beyond their control.
Potato Head has been able to entertain for generations because he has advanced with the changing entertainment environment through applications and online interfacing. My concussions prompted me to embrace a change in hobbies, broadened my outlook, deepened my character, and provoked my interest in medicine, which I hope to pursue in medical school.
Bard after I witnessed her teach a pre-diabetic patient effective dieting and exercise routines to manage his blood glucose levels. This simple statement reaffirmed my choice in medicine. As a lifelong learner and tutor, Dr. During my tenure in the lab, I have participated in several poster presentations and published a research paper on stress pathways in the brain.
Through my experience, I have come to value the wide reaching impact of research as the genesis of scientific understanding. While the potential of discovery is appealing, I am fascinated by the application of these discoveries to deliver medical treatments to patients. Similar to research, physicians analyze results and teach patients their findings in order to help them improve their health.
I find the human interaction and care involved with medicine as well as the ability to witness the improvement of health in patients to be incredibly fulfilling. By shadowing Dr. Bard, I discovered a passion for medicine and patient interaction. In order to further my knowledge, I began volunteering in emergency medicine at my local county hospital. One morning, I was asked to help with wound care of a patient who had fallen off a ladder.
He was shrieking in anguish as I tried to assuage him while simultaneously positioning the basin and his arm in place for the nurses to irrigate the wound. The intensity of this situation taught me how to establish a genuine relationship with a patient while still providing effective care. Despite the chaos of the ER environment, I noticed many doctors still strived to connect with their patients and develop a relationship during treatment.
To observe dedicated physicians serving all their patients with the utmost level of care reaffirmed my decision to pursue medicine. I knew that one day I wanted to apply my medical knowledge to make the same emotional impact on people. Teaching is a catalyst through which strong relationships can be forged and beneficial outcomes can be achieved.
Walking in, I noticed the Ramirez family was living with the bare minimum. As I brought in the guitar, I saw 5 year-old Edgar waiting eagerly at the front door, with his eyes wide open and a massive smile across his face. I offered to teach him how to play a few chords and he quickly agreed. The feeling of teaching Edgar was very similar to how I felt observing the doctors I shadowed help their patients. As he started to pick up the different fingerings, his sense of joy became palpable, and I was elated knowing my efforts had benefitted him.
It was deeply rewarding to contribute to a positive change in this child. During my tenure, I returned to a middle school where I gave a presentation on nutrition. As I entered the auditorium, I saw some familiar faces looking relieved to be missing class for my presentation. I was shocked and elated that someone had actually remembered my lesson from the previous year. Throughout the presentation, I noticed several students remembered bits and pieces of information about the 5 food groups.
In that moment, I got a glimpse of how Dr. Bard felt with her pre-diabetic patient. Although all of my experiences vary from one another, each experience has similarly impacted me by further developing my ability to establish relationships and influence people to live a healthy lifestyle.
I have learned that health care occurs through several different modalities, such as preventative care, secondary care, or health outreach and instruction. All of these different components of health care have broadened my view of what it means to be a medical professional and how vital it is to have this holistic mindset.
This newly developed mindset coupled with my fascination of learning and understanding biological phenomena has confirmed my decision to pursue a career as a medical doctor. I had just finished packing my suitcase for my first trip to see snow when the phone rang. She cried out hysterically and looked over helplessly at my father, who nodded solemnly at her, as if he already knew. It was at this moment that my sunny, snow-tipped Utah mountains turned into the gloomy reality that my father had a brain tumor.
It was devastating to imagine losing my father, my idol, at the mere age of eleven. Tremendous despair loomed over us for months, until we made our way to Richmond, Virginia. The encounter that followed helped tame the tornado that my life had become over the past six months.
Who knew that a savior could look so modest? The surgeon, Dr. Roberts, assuaged our worries and assured us that the future was brighter than expected. He seemed unfazed by our endless barrage of questions, handling the situation with the compassion and empathy that was vital for our fragile states at the time.
This was probably just another day at the office for him, but it had a profound impact on me—my hero, my father, would continue to walk this earth. I longed to leave a similar everlasting impression on others and commenced my journey towards a career in medicine. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a five-year-old presenting with a fever of and neck pain would evolve into a situation where I would be able to emulate Dr. She presented to the office of Dr.
Mitchell Soo, where I have served as a medical assistant for nearly two years now. Her family was in shambles due to her abysmal condition. Soo, being the thorough, persistent physician that he is, provided me the opportunity to keep tabs on her progress. This consisted of daily phone calls with her parents, followed by persistently checking in on the preliminary blood culture results and relaying updates to Dr. Soo for feedback. Fast-forward to about six months down the road, when this patient returned for her Well Child Check.
During the work-up, she was full of energy, going from toy to toy, grinning so big that an outsider would have thought it was Christmas morning. Seeing the stark improvement in the child made our previous encounter that much more rewarding. Most importantly, this job has offered me an avenue to see into Dr.
Luckily, Dr. Furthermore, through my incessant prying, I have gained invaluable practical knowledge, from why he primarily starts with lisinopril to combat hypertension to what indicates possible ischemia on an EKG to why protein may be found in urine. 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.
On an otherwise relatively quiet Thursday afternoon, I found myself in a position where I needed to expand my own knowledge. One of the patients called in a frenzy because his INR was down to 1. Due to an upcoming Orthopedic injection, he needed to bring his INR down to 1. That night, with questions still looming from this encounter, I decided to do some of my own research to better serve patients if this question came about in the future.
I read articles explaining how the INR value was calculated, the various target ranges for different types of patients, and when a Lovenox bridge is applicable. In hindsight, this extracurricular activity served me well, as the patient called again the next day because his INR was still too high and Dr. This newly acquired knowledge allowed me to keep up with her and get this patient the answers he needed before the weekend.
Despite my modest role in their care, the patients genuinely appreciate my approach and dedication to the job. Throughout college I juggled various cooking jobs on top of my rigorous premedical class schedule. For centuries, Indian culture has placed a high value on holistic health. Despite growing up in rural Arkansas, far from my extended family in India, this emphasis on health defined much of my upbringing. A grocery store trip often turned into a social event, with my mother stopping to catch up with numerous patients or their family members.
I passed up Saturday morning cartoons to follow my mother through rounds at the hospital, amazed by the trust patients place in their doctor. From a young age, I was drawn to medicine because of my desire to form meaningful relationships with people from all walks of life within my community, and to work together to care for their health. At Vanderbilt, I was excited to continue my journey to becoming a doctor.
Yet, my premed courses did not emphasize the human aspect of medicine—the integral element to which I was attracted. I wanted to engage with patients and learn about healthcare from their perspective. So, I enrolled in a study abroad program in Mexico where I conducted community-based public health field research. I explored the attitudes surrounding chronic diseases in Guerrero, a state with the second highest poverty rate in the country.
While I understood diabetes to be a manageable disease in the U. Without basic knowledge of diabetes, the community members equated it with amputated limbs and blindness. But explaining that people with diabetes could live long lives with the proper medications and a healthy diet was not enough. Tierra Caliente, a rural region where I spent several weeks, was a food desert and residents lacked access to healthy foods.
I helped the woman make more informed diet choices given the options, while recognizing that she was already at a disadvantage due to socioeconomic factors, such as her inability to afford insulin. My group and I also helped form a support group where women with chronic diseases gather to share their health problems and also to discuss personal and social challenges facing their community.
Addressing these sociocultural factors, by having the community pool their resources and share their enhanced knowledge of diabetes, was crucial in helping them manage the previously mysterious disease. Through my work in Mexico, and later in North Carolina and Virginia, I have learned that exploring local understandings of health, to discover systemic factors that affect individual patients will be an important part of my work as a doctor, though not the only one.
I must also employ this knowledge to provide patients with the social support they need to navigate the health system confidently, which, in turn, will increase favorable health outcomes. I attempted to apply this approach while working as a medical scribe in Virginia, where I met a heavily tattooed, muscular patient who apologized for what might be a long visit, as he had not seen a doctor recently.
His blood pressure was sky high and he was at an immediate risk for a stroke; he had run out of his medication months ago. When the doctor left the room to call his pharmacy, I stayed behind to review his medical history. I inquired about his past surgery. He further disclosed that his life was devoid of fear, even after a year prison sentence and homelessness. In this vulnerable moment, my instinctive reaction was to reassure him that he would be okay, as he was in good hands.
After the visit ended, I took a few extra minutes to explain where he could get his medications, an X-ray, and a follow-up appointment, as he was not familiar with navigating a healthcare environment. This small amount of support went a long way for this man who was estranged from his family and struggling financially.
I could sense his relief as he walked out of the clinic, visibly transformed, with the newfound self-confidence that he could care for his health and forge a new life. As a doctor, I will diagnose symptoms and give my patients the necessary treatment they need. But more importantly, I will practice with compassion and work to uncover the hidden sociocultural factors that may be underlying their diagnoses. This concept of holistic health is rat the heart of my desire to become a doctor.
As a doctor, I will immerse myself in my community, get to know my patients personally, and advocate for their health. I partly grew up in Bangkok, a city in which there are more shopping malls than there are psychiatrists. I did this math as soon as I found out that my older sister had attempted suicide outside of a shopping mall. The stigmatization of mentally illness is still widespread in Thailand and as a result, the hospital and my family treated her case as anything but a suicide.
At the time, I was reading The Yellow Wall Paper in school, a story about inadequately treated postpartum depression in the s. I saw parallels, as my sister had begun to look gray after the birth of her daughter. I repeatedly voiced my concern, but no one listened to me. No one was addressing her health from a broader perspective, and as a result, she was left to fend for her own mental health.
She was powerless, and I felt powerless too. This blindness for mental wellbeing in my society confounded me, so I chose to study it further at UT Austin. 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. One afternoon, a diabetic patient approached me for assistance in applying for food stamps.
Although he was visibly in discomfort, he refused the chair I pulled out for him. While we gathered information, he gruffly asked me where I was from. Unsatisfied with my answer, he repeated his question eight more times until I caved and answered with my ethnicity. Following this, he grew impatient and kept insisting he could complete the process with another shift. But I knew arranging transport would be difficult and costly.
Determined to turn the interaction around, I soldiered on with the application process. I uncovered that he had a daughter, and I inquired after her interests. He grew animated as he talked lovingly about her, and I completed my work. Commuting home in the dark, I beamed; I was able to build rapport and assist someone who did not initially believe in me.
I strove to supplement my education with parallel experiences in research and volunteer work. In a course about stigma and prejudice, I discovered that minority status was a marker for increased IL-6 inflammation, and that individuals primed with stereotypes about race, sex, or disease suffer greatly, but often invisibly.
Walking out of lecture, I planned out how I could implement these findings in my own work. During data collection for a community sleep study, I applied my renewed perspective on the phone with a participant. I sensed exasperation in her voice, so I sincerely thanked her for her time. Suddenly, she began to wail into the phone. 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.
When she expressed thoughts of suicide, I began to panic. But I kept my voice composed, reinforced her resilience, and gained a verbal confirmation that we would speak the next day. But this time, I was equipped with my education. The more I learned about the social determinants of health, the clearer it became that healthcare was inherently social. This solidified my interest in medicine and motivated me to pursue research in social psychology.
As I trained on how to code facial expressions for my honors thesis, I shadowed Dr. Sekhon, a geriatric psychiatrist, at an assisted living facility. One of his patients was an injured former athlete who was having trouble standing. Instead of altering medications or suggesting tests, he encouraged his patient to stand for 10 seconds longer each day.
There was a shift in the room, and I could measure it by the expressions on their faces. The way a physician could read facial expressions to address what the patient did not verbalize was incredibly powerful—I was awestruck. Inspired by this observation, I wrote my honors thesis on the relationship between power and health outcomes. Experiences of disempowerment and of illness magnify one another—but a doctor can empower someone in their most vulnerable moments by connecting with them.
Much like my sister, many patients need clinicians that address both physical and invisible hardships. I am eager to be part of a new generation of healthcare providers with sensitivity to the diverse ways that people communicate distress and wellbeing. One patient at a time, we can shift archaic mindsets deeply rooted in our communities, and ensure that every life we touch receives socially and culturally competent care.
For me, studying medicine means being part of something bigger by empowering others—and myself along the way. Elijah is a 12th grader in the South Bronx who has no less promise than I did. And yet, he had no plans on attending college. I met Elijah through a mentorship program at his high school; he was steps ahead of his peers.
When asked about college, he looked despondent. He explained that his housing project, built during World War II and notorious for lead poisoning, would be demolished by the end of the year with no promise of housing afterwards. During our conversation, he looked away and lowered his voice as he muttered that he could not even consider starting college when he was unsure if he would even have a home in July.
Elijah was later forced to move to an even cheaper project, continuing a damning cycle of poverty. Having worked closely with the underserved populations of New York City, I am acutely aware of the inequality in education and health that many face. The fact that every social determinant of health I witnessed was preventable was deeply disconcerting. Determined to learn how community health can drive change, I joined a free clinic in the Bronx. In the clinic, a young woman named Alicia showed me how NY is truly a tale of two cities; neighborhoods just a few miles apart reflect grossly disproportionate access to care.
As I guided Alicia through the stations at a health fair, her anxiety showed, especially when I offered a flu vaccine. Her continued reluctance with preventative care showed me that helping the underserved goes far beyond the delivery of care; it involves building a more intimate relationship with the community served and developing prolonged trust. The health inequity propelled me to improve healthcare through a social lens in communities most in need.
My exposure to direct care through the clinic motivated me to pursue a career in using clinical medicine to address social determinants of health. To further explore this idea, I spent time conducting prostate cancer research at the Shanghai International Hospital in China. I conducted patient interviews to investigate why the vast majority of men forgo early detection screenings. No doctor ever told me.
At the same time, I felt motivated to pursue medicine and directly change thousands of lives. I left knowing that preventative health education is as much in the hands of physicians as it is of the education system, and direct, culturally competent work with patients in the clinic is paramount. In the clinic, I observed the role of social class and race in prostate cancer treatment outcomes.
Through patient interviews, we found that the majority of early stage symptoms went unrecognized due to a lack of information on the disease, both in the patient and medical communities. Subsequently, we created and implemented educational techniques to bridge the gap in medical knowledge of prostate cancer, for which I presented my findings to a medical audience at a conference. I understood that to confront the health disparities I witnessed in New York in the most tangible way possible, I would need to focus my efforts such that the clinic functions as a classroom.
In New York, the magnitude of health disparities has shaped my passion to pursue medicine. I am determined to take a more comprehensive approach to medicine by investing in community- level health programs while working in the clinic to stay in touch with the populations I aspire to treat. Identifying educational disparities, the clinical outcomes they drive, and engaging them directly will be the template for my career.
My experiences with disadvantaged communities in the clinic and classroom have helped me such that the next time I meet an Elijah or Alicia in the clinic, the interaction is comprehensive, culturally competent, and combats the source of their inequity. I am privileged to have the chance to pursue medicine to gain the necessary tools in conjunction with my own experiences to be able to better provide holistic healthcare and education attuned to the communities I hope to serve.
Each time I acquire a new language, I rewire my mind. Japanese, Spanish, and American Sign Language each introduce a unique set of grammatical structures, tones and prosodies, and idiomatic expressions. If the mental gymnastics of acclimating to new linguistic mechanics are not challenging enough, truly communicating with a native speaker is an entirely separate difficulty.
Years of intensively studying Japanese bred a sense of proficiency, but even a whole summer of immersive learning at the University of Tokyo only scratched the surface of authentic communication. Though challenging, my experience there reaffirmed why I love learning languages; it connects people. Similarly, connections are made through medicine, a different kind of language.
In medicine, I can communicate support and forge bonds through my passion for healthcare. Similarly to when practicing language, flexibility, perseverance, and empathy enhance my ability to pursue medicine, steering not only my education and interests, but my desire to become a physician. Effective communication, in both linguistics and medicine, is crucial for effective leadership.
This was evident when I led a seminar and week-long immersion trip to New Orleans to experience and work to improve the environmental and economic climate of the area. Intending to support the construction of new homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, our plans fell through when a miscommunication led us to arrive without the appropriate tools.
This prompted last minute improvisation, and as the leader, it was mine to design. We found ourselves participating in unexpected tasks, such as marking cemetery graves. Initially disappointed by the mix-up, further reflection revealed how our flexibility and unexpected interactions established a unique understanding of people and culture.
Mutual engagement gives meaning to service, whether in a hospital, or dilapidated cemetery. An appreciation for this reciprocal relationship built through communication is what excites me for the dynamic connections between colleagues and patients in healthcare. I explored language from a developmental perspective in my research at the Child Development Lab. Under Dr. Kirkland I investigated factors contributing to, and downstream effects of early language abilities.
Maintaining a level of intellectual curiosity is a necessary component to successful learning, and is something I have fostered not just in research, but in my premed studies. This curiosity pushes me to go beyond what I see and learn, to find deeper connections between science and its applications. I am excited to foster and fuel this curiosity as I delve deeper into the medical field.
Unfortunately, common language does not necessitate perfect communication. I witnessed this firsthand while volunteering at the county hospital. My responsibilities of taking vitals, rooming, and stocking taught me much about the operations of a medical clinic. In a clinic focused on the underserved, a recurrent theme was how often patients would fail to comply with prescriptions or appointments. Being exposed to such unfortunate, yet common problems in healthcare, I found myself rededicated to the field.
Only in medicine can I employ my unique skills and interests to their fullest potential. I do not yet have the qualifications necessary to completely treat patients, but I look forward to increasingly being able to heal patients, especially those whose healthcare is obstructed by language and other barriers.
Unobstructed language can be a powerful tool for positivity, which was made apparent when serving as a counselor at Camp Stevens, a summer camp for children whose parents have been affected by terminal illness. I experienced success in showing inexplicit support one day when I saw a camper sulking. When persuasion to join a Camp game failed, I just talked to him.
I was surprised by how well this 9 year old and I connected. He eventually perked up, and joined a game of football. While happy to find success here, I cannot help but think of the effect I can have on future patients. Whether in giving a diagnosis, or assessing options with a patient, unspoken support is critical to effective medical practice, and is a facet I look forward to exploring more as a clinician.
While I have a fascination for languages, I am less interested in the tongues themselves as much as the connections they create. And while all languages can communicate compassion, medicine encapsulates the essence of compassion. Physicians have the unique ability and responsibility to both treat, and communicate support to their patients. Connecting to, and conveying support to others is my defining goal, both in learning new languages, and in working to become a great physician.
While I continue studying new languages, medicine is the primary tongue I wish to master, as I focus my skills and passions on forging connections through healing. At eight years old, I was certain that close run-ins with death were the stuff of movies—nothing more than an obstacle for a fictitious protagonist to overcome. She recovered within a few weeks of medical supervision, but this event planted in me an interest in the medical profession that has only continued to grow.
Since then, I have nurtured and explored this interest in medicine throughout my undergraduate studies and extracurricular endeavors. As a student, I have devoted the majority of my time at UT Austin to understanding the biological, physical and chemical processes of the world we live in.
To satisfy my intellectual curiosity, I decided to apply the knowledge that I had mastered in the classroom by getting involved with research. At the Bio Sciences Lab, I used molecular biology, analytical chemistry and microbial genetics to help discover and characterize an important group of genes involved in the biosynthesis of vitamin B Like a detective, I uncovered clues with each set of experiments I conducted.
Each clue slowly revealed how this group of genes function together to synthesize a molecule central to human metabolism. In many ways, medicine is no different. When I shadowed Dr. In medicine, just like in research, a physician uses all of the tools at his or her disposal to uncover clues that will ultimately help diagnose and treat the patient. My experiences as an undergraduate researcher have continuously reaffirmed my desire to choose a career that is intellectually challenging and grounded in the sciences.
Warren, an endocrinologist, I learned that being a physician means so much more than knowing the physiology of a certain disease state. Being a physician means having a patient trust you to insert needles into their neck to biopsy a suspicious thyroid nodule.
It means dealing with the frustrations of patient non-compliance and the exhaustive amount of paper work, which follows each patient encounter. But more than that, I learned that being a physician means having the privilege to build a relationship with that patient and the responsibility to leave that individual in better health than when they first entered your clinic.
I look forward to one day building these sorts of relationship with patients of my own as I progress through my journey to become a physician. Although many of the experiences I had while shadowing physicians have been educational, motivational and at times even humbling, my most direct exposure to medicine has been through my volunteer work at St.
As a volunteer, what I did was important, but I wanted to do more for my community and I refused to wait until I was a physician to do so. Most of my students were Economics or Business majors who had never taken a Public Health course, so I saw this as an ideal opportunity to impress upon them the importance of this issue. From this teaching experience, I learned to take complex ideas about biology and public health and make them approachable and relevant to a group of individuals coming from many different backgrounds.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to volunteer and to learn from my professors, research mentors and the physicians who I have shadowed—but I am equally as grateful for the opportunities I have had to teach others. 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.
Although I understand that the journey to becoming a physician is long and demanding, my experiences have assured me of my choice; I cannot imagine for myself a profession as personally gratifying and intellectually fulfilling as medicine. As a bacterium that thrives in a pH of 2. Yet in the fall of , this microorganism was responsible for sparking a change of heart in a high school senior who had previously been determined to avoid pursuing a career in medicine.
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.
The story of Dr. Barry Marshall infecting his own body to prove that this bacterium caused gastric ulcers resonated with something deep inside of me. I considered this stirring example of self-sacrifice and was moved by the notion that Dr. Marshall must have experienced a profound pride in knowing his work had positively influenced the lives of others.
I began my journey towards a career in medicine with hopes of experiencing such a sense of fulfillment. I have been fortunate enough to get a taste of this feeling in my time at Stanford. I can recall this warm, simple sense of shared happiness and achievement contrasting with the more ephemeral satisfaction that comes with individual accomplishments.
It is my experiences in the hospital that have convinced me that I will find even greater contentment as a physician. In my time shadowing Dr. Robert Martin in San Francisco, he continually insisted that there was no work more rewarding than caring for a fellow human being. I could see the sincerity behind his words when I observed how warmly he would pat his patients on the back at the end of an appointment.
And I can still vividly recall the clarity I saw in his eyes when he told me the best part of his job — telling a patient that he does not have cancer. My time shadowing physicians has also allayed my high school concerns about being able to integrate medicine with my love of the humanities, particularly my fondness for analyzing literature, film, and poetry.
I observed Dr. In addition to the human aspect of the field, I believe that a career in medicine would also allow me to indulge in my evolving passion for science. My time in the lab has taught me how to be thorough and precise in my experimentation and thinking. Most importantly, my frustrations, setbacks, and successes have fostered both a profound appreciation for science and a hunger for a greater understanding of how life works.
I saw this manifest itself in my leave term work at ahealth care information company when I stumbled upon an article on the gut microbiome being a potential treasure trove of cures for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. At this moment, I recalled holding a colon in my hands in Dr. I found myself itching to contribute to our understanding of this incredibly promising and fascinating body system.
I am indebted to H. 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. My experiences at Stanford have convinced me that understanding the human body and taking care of people are my life callings. I am uncertain about whether I can convey this to my future children so that they may take a less circuitous route to understanding my choice of career, but I do know that my experiences have left me well prepared for the challenges that await me.
She had kind eyes and laugh lines that framed her smile; she reminded me of my grandmother. But after a few minutes, I noticed that her hands were trembling in her lap. It was my second summer shadowing Dr. Patel at the neurology clinic, so I already knew the motor coordination tests he was going to perform. The woman submitted to the tests reluctantly, as if she knew that she would fail. First, he asked her to balance a pen on the back of her hand, but it fell to the ground in a matter of seconds.
When she attempted to hold a glass of water, the uncontrollable shaking expelled most of it. Finally, she tried to write her name on a sheet of paper, but the pen jolted and skittered off the page. Ten minutes later, she balanced the same pen flawlessly and wrote her name without hesitation. In high school, I had my first real clinical experience shadowing a pediatrician, observing routine check-ups punctuated by the occasional ear infection or case of the flu.
On one occasion, I watched as Dr. Debra used her stethoscope on an infant, when her expression changed completely. She motioned for me to come closer and gave me her stethoscope. As the pediatrician spoke to the parents, I could see the panic rise in their flushed faces as they realized the gravity of the situation. I desperately wanted to know what was going on so that I could be of some service. Instead, I just stood there, feeling useless. I resolved to pursue a medical education in hopes of arming myself with the knowledge that would allow me to help the next time I found myself in a similar circumstance.
As a neuroscience major in college, I became fascinated by how our nervous system connects to nearly every function in our bodies and how changes at the smallest level affect our overall behavior. Clocks, houses, and flowers were only half-composed, and the people who drew them could not comprehend what was wrong. From then on, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to understanding disorders like these.
My neuroscience courses were the first of my college classes where my excitement for the subject seemed to inform every aspect of my life outside the classroom. When I started shadowing a neurologist in college, I was thrilled to see how the science I learned about in lectures and textbooks was used to help patients on a daily basis. Shadowing Dr.
The more time I spent at his clinic, the more motivated I was to dig deeper into the topics I learned about in class, which in turn gave me more knowledge to understand the cases I saw while I shadowed. My shadowing experiences in college were markedly different from my experiences in high school, because I now had the knowledge to fully appreciate the treatments being prescribed.
As the old woman who once struggled to hold a pen wrote her name for the first time in years, her whole family started tearing up. The woman had just undertaken a procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are placed at the thalamus and are connected to a device placed in the chest.
Once activated post-operatively, the device sends electrical pulses to the thalamus, inhibiting the very signals that cause the tremor. It was medicine. The first hint of my interest in medicine came from seeing a mouse model of gallstones from my uncle as a year-old kid. Hearing about his daily hospital experience and the history of drug development in medicine certainly helped as well.
It was in college, however, that my aspiration for becoming a physician truly developed through my studies of human physiology from molecular to holistic perspectives. As a biomedical engineering major, my passion for the connection between the physical and biological sciences has inspired me to learn about the human body in ways that make me yearn for more. In addition to my love of learning inside the classroom, I found a deep passion for exploring science as it applies to medicine.
I found my first opportunity to contribute to the development of new techniques when a physical therapist told me about the imprecision of current muscle spasticity measurements. With a team of students, I invented and patented a device that accurately quantifies muscle spasticity. Realizing that we had the potential to change the lives of patients with cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury was an immensely rewarding experience that cemented my determination to pursue a career as a physician.
I know that medical school will allow me to thrive in a culture of discovery and innovation where I can continue to contribute to the growing medical knowledge that inspires so much passion within me. Although scientific inquiry is where my interests in medicine originated, it was experiences interacting with people very different from myself that truly propelled my passion forward. Through volunteering to tutor adults for the G.
Everyone, I realized, has different strengths and weaknesses, and it was my job to cater toward the individual and personalize my instruction. One, a maintenance worker, found the work much more enjoyable once I had developed a personal connection with him through jokes and casual conversation. For another, who excelled in reading but struggled with adding fractions, I broke the concepts down into a formulaic approach, which he then applied to solve any problem of this type.
Through working with different individuals, I learned that medicine is so much more than simply making a diagnosis or prescribing a medication; it involves forming a deep human connection with every patient that walks through the door. My desire to develop strong personal relationships to help others only further compounded upon my decision to become a physician.
It was my experience with a free health clinic in my city that made me acutely realize the challenges that many patients face and how badly effective, socially-aware care is needed. As a clinical outreach volunteer, I saw patients who had hypertension but were unaware simply because they had not been tested; many did not even have a primary care physician. Because it is a free clinic, most who work there are volunteers.
One doctor in particular inspired me through her relentless passion to bring care to the underserved. One patient in particular stood out in my mind because by the time we diagnosed his stage 2 hypertension, we found that his heart function had been irreversibly damaged by arrhythmia.
For me, it is truly a tragedy to see how small, preventable health problems can lead to such fatal consequences when not treated early. Through these moments, I was constantly reminded of the lack of access to quality healthcare that I grew up accustomed to. The limitation of resources for patient care often prevents the basic human right to quality health care from being met. I long to one day take on a role of increased responsibility to contribute to the greater community health.
Although my interests in science have been long withstanding, it is the experiences I have had working with those in my community that leaves me without a doubt that medicine is a field I want to pursue wholeheartedly. I know medical school will give me the opportunity to delve deeper into the pathophysiology of the human body, explore its connections in the basic sciences through the ever-changing world of research, and one day use my knowledge and desire to give back to as many people as I possibly can.
The American dream manifested into a flower shop for my parents, whose tongues carried the weight of heavy accents and expectations. I spent the first 12 years of my life enclosed by its walls, which I learned to know better than the place labeled home.
If we were lucky, we were home by 9pm. Rain or shine, Christmas Eve or Saturday morning, the flower shop was all we knew. It was also responsible for my first exposure to medicine.
My entire life, until 3 years ago, had been spent working my way up in Jordan, breaking boundaries and forging ahead. I always respected her and have tried to make my entire family proud of me. I am the first person from my working class family to go to college, and while I am proud of accomplishing this goal, which was by no means easy financially or emotionally, my career path after graduation has not been as fulfilling as I was hoping it would be The field of osteopathic medicine has a strong draw for me because I have been able to witness first hand the total effects of a physical ailment on someone very close to me: my father.
He has always suffered from a liver condition, but this affects far more than just the affected organ. His entire personality has been altered by his battle, and therefore every aspect of his mind and body must be considered when treating his physical ailment Question: Please discuss your expectations as a future physician max words Having a mother who is a physician has given me a unique insight into how challenging, and rewarding, a career in medicine can be.
Question: What significant accomplishments or life experiences make you unique? My family is Indian, but we have lived for long stretches of time in several places, most significantly in Spain, Germany, and now the United States. Being embraced by these colorful, and sometimes very disparate, cultures has given me an ability to relate to people from many different backgrounds because I know what it feels like to recently arrive in what seems like a new world and have to find some common ground with the people around you quickly If you never stop learning, life will always be interesting and filled with new opportunities.
When I tell people that I am a massage therapist they often assume that my days are filled with massaging pampered women in day spas, and while I have done my share of work in such places, this is not what drove me into the field initially and not what makes up the bulk of my current clientele. My clients these days are in need of my services because of their various medical conditions and I take great pride in the fact that I am doing something to help them lead more comfortable, independent, and satisfying lives Growing up in a family filled with esteemed professionals, ambition was expected of us.
It was assumed that each of us had the intellect and drive to achieve great things, and that it was incumbent upon all of us to use those skills to somehow make the world a better place. For quite some time, I have struggled to place my finger on a career that would nurture my capabilities and interests, allowing me to make invaluable contributions to a field Blog About Us Help Center. Law School. Getting into the right medical school can seem like pure chance. Why do some people get into the school of their choice ahead of other applicants with similar grades and test scores?
Perhaps not surprisingly, I plan to return to Maine after residency. I want to raise a family and establish my medical practice here. We certainly could use more doctors! Even though Maine is a terrific place to live, the state is facing a significant doctor shortage.
Today, we are meeting less than half of our need for primary care providers. To make matters worse, many of our physicians are close to retirement age. Undoubtedly, Maine is in need of young doctors who are committed to working long term in underserved areas. As my primary career goal is to return to my much adored home state and do my part to help fill this need, I have a vested interest in learning more about rural medicine during medical school.
I was raised in Cumberland, Maine, a coastal town of 7, just north of Portland. With its single stoplight and general store where it would be unusual to visit without running into someone you know , Cumberland is the epitome of a small New England town. It truly was the perfect place to grow up.
Recently rated Maine's safest town, Cumberland is the type of place where you allow your kindergartener to bike alone to school, leave your house unlocked while at work, and bring home-cooked food to your sick neighbors and their children.
Growing up in such a safe, close-knit, and supportive community instilled in me the core values of compassion, trustworthiness, and citizenship. These three values guide me every day and will continue to guide me through medical school and my career in medicine.
As a medical student and eventual physician, my compassion will guide me to become a provider who cares for more than just the physical well-being of my patients. By also demonstrating my trustworthiness during every encounter, I will develop strong interpersonal relationships with those whom I serve. My citizenship will guide me to serve my community and to encourage my classmates and colleagues to do the same.
We will be taught in medical school to be healers, scientists, and educators. I believe that, in addition, as students and as physicians, we have the responsibility to use our medical knowledge, research skills, and teaching abilities to benefit more than just our patients. We must also commit ourselves to improving the health and wellness of those living in our communities by participating in public events i.
As a medical student and eventual physician, my compassion, trustworthiness, and citizenship will drive me to improve the lives of as many individuals as I can. Cumberland instilled in me important core values and afforded me a wonderful childhood. However, I recognize that my hometown is not perfect. For one, the population is shockingly homogenous, at least as far as demographics go. As of the census, Only 4.
Essentially everybody who identified with a religion identified as some denomination of Christian. My family was one of maybe five Jewish families in the town. Efforts to attract diverse families to Cumberland is one improvement that I believe would make the community a better place in which to live.
Diversity in background and in thought is desirable in any community as living, learning, and working alongside diverse individuals helps us develop new perspectives, enhances our social development, provides us with a larger frame of reference, and improves our understanding of our place in society. Surprised, I briefly explained the influenza vaccine and its purpose for protection. My connection to children and their health extends to medical offices, clinics and communities where I have gained experience and insight into medicine, confirming my goal of becoming a physician.
My motivation to pursue a career in medicine developed when my mother, who was diagnosed with Lupus, underwent a kidney transplant surgery and suffered multiple complications. I recall the fear and anxiety I felt as a child because I misunderstood her chronic disease. This prompted me to learn more about the science of medicine. In high school, I observed patients plagued with acute and chronic kidney disease while briefly exploring various fields of medicine through a Mentorship in Medicine summer program at my local hospital.
In addition to shadowing nephrologists in a hospital and clinical setting, I scrubbed into the operating room, viewed the radiology department, celebrated the miracle of birth in the delivery room, and quietly observed a partial autopsy in pathology.
I saw many patients confused about their diagnoses. I was impressed by the compassion of the physicians and the time they took to reassure and educate their patients. Further experiences in medicine throughout and after college shaped a desire to practice in underserved areas. While coloring and reading with children in the patient area at a Family Health Center, I witnessed family medicine physicians diligently serve patients from low-income communities.
At one impoverished village, I held a malnourished two-year old boy suffering from cerebral palsy and cardiorespiratory disease. His family could not afford to take him to the nearest pediatrician, a few hours away by car, for treatment.
Overwhelmed, I cried as we left the village. Many people were suffering through pain and disease due to limited access to medicine. One physician may not be able to change the status of underserved communities, however, one can alleviate some of the suffering. X, my mentor and supervisor, taught me that the practice of medicine is both a science and an art. As a medical assistant in a pediatric office, I am learning about the patient-physician relationship and the meaningful connection with people that medicine provides.
I interact with patients and their families daily. Newborn twins were one of the first patients I helped, and I look forward to seeing their development at successive visits. A young boy who endured a major cardiac surgery was another patient I connected with, seeing his smiling face in the office often as he transitioned from the hospital to his home.
I also helped many excited, college-bound teenagers with requests for medical records in order to matriculate. This is the art of medicine — the ability to build relationships with patients and have an important and influential role in their lives, from birth to adulthood and beyond. In addition, medicine encompasses patient-centered care, such as considering and addressing concerns. While taking patient vitals, I grew discouraged when parents refused the influenza vaccine and could not understand their choices.
With my experience in scientific research, I conducted an informal yet insightful study. Over one hundred families were surveyed about their specific reasons for refusing the flu vaccine. I also learned the value of communicating with patients, such as explaining the purpose of a recommended vaccine. I hope to further this by attending medical school to become a physician focused on patient-centered care, learning from and teaching my community.
Children have been a common thread in my pursuit of medicine, from perceiving medicine through child-like eyes to interacting daily with children in a medical office. My diverse experiences in patient interaction and the practice of medicine inspire me to become a physician, a path that requires perseverance and passion. Physicians are life-long learners and teachers, educating others whether it is on vaccinations or various diseases.
This vocation also requires preparation, and I eagerly look forward to continually learning and growing in medical school and beyond. To learn more about what to expect from the study of medicine, check out our Study Medicine in the US section. Sign in to Your Account Done. Sign in. Don't have an Account? Register Now! Prompt: What makes you an excellent candidate for medical school?
Why do you want to become a physician? AMCAS essays are limited to characters—not words! This includes spaces. Make sure the information you include in your essay doesn't conflict with the information in your other application materials.
Look at the essay as an opportunity to tell your story rather than a burden. Keep the interview in mind as you write. You will most likely be asked questions regarding your essay during the interview, so think about the experiences you want to talk about. When you are copying and pasting from a word processor to the AMCAS application online, formatting and font will be lost. Avoid overly controversial topics. Revise, revise, revise. Have multiple readers look at your essay and make suggestions.
Go over your essay yourself many times and rewrite it several times until you feel that it communicates your message effectively and creatively. Make the opening sentence memorable. Admissions officers will read dozens of personal statements in a day. You must say something at the very beginning to catch their attention, encourage them to read the essay in detail, and make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Character traits to portray in your essay include: maturity, intellect, critical thinking skills, leadership, tolerance, perseverance, and sincerity. Additional Tips for a Successful Medical School Essay Regardless of the prompt, you should always address the question of why you want to go to medical school in your essay. Try to always give concrete examples rather than make general statements.
If you say that you have perseverance, describe an event in your life that demonstrates perseverance. There should be an overall message or theme in your essay. In the example above, the theme is overcoming unexpected obstacles. Make sure you check and recheck for spelling and grammar!
Turn potential weaknesses into positives. As in the example above, address any potential weaknesses in your application and make them strengths, if possible. The below essay samples were provided by EssayMaster. Prompt: What diversity will you bring to medical school?
The essay accomplishes its key goal of demonstrating the kind of diversity this applicant will bring to medical school. With a non-traditional background, yet one firmly entrenched in biology, the candidate simultaneously makes the case for candidacy and yet demonstrates a rare perspective. Furthermore, the applicant presented international experience with sophistication. Prompt: Tell us more about who you are. Prompt: Describe the community in which you were nurtured or spent the majority of your early development with respect to its demographics.
In eloquent prose, the applicant explores her rural upbringing, and she correctly identifies the rural need for Primary Care Physicians to be high. Finally, the applicant shows how her values will make her a humanitarian physician.