MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Thursday, May 21, 2009

AMCAS Personal Statement

Recently I read a personal statement from a medical school client that was nearly flawless and required almost no revision. Now, understand, this is quite unusual for me since I find most clients don't know what aspects of their experiences are important and many take the "tell all" approach -- writing about their research, clinical experience, volunteer experience and anything else they think admissions officers "want to hear." This client was able to write about her observations and insights regarding medicine eloquently and cohesively. The client produced an essay on her own that was unlike any first revision I have ever read.

This client's advice: "It seems that a lot of people spend so much time accruing these amazing experiences and then leave it at the last month or two (or less, eek!) to process them, and then they have a difficult time verbalizing and synthesizing them when they need to. I'm one of those people who wanted to be a doctor since I was a little kid running around in the nurses station at my mom's work drawing pictures--how could I possibly process 15 years of my motivations and life experiences and write it all out for the most important application of my life thus far in less than a month?"

When I start working with clients who are one year or more away from applying to medical school, I encourage them to keep records of their experiences by documenting their key interactions and insights since these may be difficult to recall from a distance. The client referenced above kept a journal and suggested that applicants keep a blog. I thought this was a brilliant idea. Good writing takes time and, the longer you allow your written work to simmer, the better the final product is likely to be.

I am actively working with medical school applicants for the 2009/2010 season. Be sure to submit your AMCAS application early!

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