Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Call It Like You See It!

Here's my personal statement. It's just under the character limit. My biggest concern is whether this is the best place to explain my "C" in Physics1. My advisors told me I definietly should explain it and this is really the only chance I get to. I didn't feel like I had to leave anything out in order to fit it into my statement.

I started college undecided between touchy-feely, subjective psychology and cold, hard, “we’re right, you’re wrong” biology. Fortunately though my freshman advisor had a stroke of divine intervention and placed me in Human Biology and that is where the stress began. But I knew that this was where my true passion lied; not with theories saying that all my problems are because of my mother, but with theories blaming them on my genes – only half my mother’s fault. This doesn’t mean that I was considering applying to medical school. I had simply decided that I didn’t want to coast through college.

Later on my freshman year I realized that I loved applying what I knew to problem solving situations. I guess it gives me a sense of satisfaction taking what I have learned in the classroom and using it to answer someone's questions or explain to someone what is going on in their own body. Medicine started to seem like a good fit for me the more I thought about it. It would provide me a problem solving based job that I find interesting, challenging and most importantly, satisfying.
The summer following my freshman year I started to get some clinical experience to see if medicine was what I envisioned. My dermatologist offered me the opportunity to shadow her in the office to see what a typical day was like. After the first day I was hooked. I loved going in to see patients and hearing about their problems, while also trying to figure out in my head what was going on and what treatment plan would help them. That summer I learned that medicine was definitely the field I wanted to pursue. I also realized that I would probably want to go into a primary care field because they would see the widest variety of pathology, as opposed to specializing.

After freshman year I found myself becoming more fascinated by the many different aspects of medicine. Immunology alone increased my knowledge of medicine by well over 100%, and at the same time made me aware of much I have to learn. But even during my Emergency Medicine internship I found myself able to apply what I learned to my case studies. For instance, when one patient came in with a foot that was swollen and red the physician approached the situation as a clot in the leg or foot, but I asked if could also be an allergic reaction since it was localized. He said that it was definitely something worth looking, which got me overly excited even though it was such a minor suggestion and most likely in the back of his mind anyway.

Another thing I learned about myself during my internships is that I like working with people. Meeting complete strangers and listening to their problems is something I enjoy. I would often find myself asking lots of follow up questions. I like getting to know the patients and their lives, because not only does it give your more information to work with, but it also helps the patients feel more comfortable in what can often be a stressful situation. I have even had patients and physicians compliment me on bedside manner, especially the elderly patients who look to me as the good guy, as opposed to the physician, but I probably just remind them of their grandchildren.

Ever since I decided on pursuing medicine I've been doing research on what to expect in medical school, residency and beyond. As of now I could see myself going into a primary care field such as Internal Medicine and working as a hospitalist, but I've learned there is much about medicine that I do not know about that I'm open to anything. I feel I have a thorough understanding of what medical school and residency entails and the dedication that is required, but I think that as long as I go in with the right intentions and mindset, then it is all worth the effort and something I can succeed at.

I would like to take this time to explain one of the grades on my transcript. The reason that I had taken Physics I at ********* University was because I anticipated a heavy course load my junior year with Organic Chemistry I+II, Physics I+II and the MCAT, so I wanted to lighten my load. Unfortunately, ********* University's pre-medical students take algebra-based physics, as opposed to *My School*'s required calculus-based physics. The calculus-based physics at ********* is intended for their engineering students, and is closer to an applied calculus class, than the physics found on the MCAT. So I would like to highlight the "A" that I received in Physics II at *My School*, which was designed to prepare the students for the physics on the MCAT.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. Wannabe,

I'm actually going to be starting at a DO school this August, so I'm glad to see you're going through with the AACOMAS app... I remember what a pain it was, but next July when you're getting ready to move away for med school..it'll all be worth it! *knock on wood haha*

Just my opinion on your ps..(and, you can take it with a grain of salt if you want)..but after reading it I still didn't really have a clear impression of who you are. You've done an excellent job telling me about your experiences in the hospital and at school, but I don't know anything about you outside of these avenues. What makes you stand out? How are you different from the thousands of other students applying and have similar health care related experiences? What special talents do you have, what activities are you interested in; what have you learned from these that could be applied to your future career as a physician?

Anonymous said...

hmmm very good point. i really am just regurgitating what is already on my application. ugh, i'm not special though. I should just give them a link to my blog.

but is it also important to show that you're different, as opposed to someone who just obviously dedicated?

the whole angle i was going for was i'm dedicated this is what i want and i know what i'm getting myself into, as opposed to the sob stories that i know some many people write.

God, listen to me try to make excuses for not making myself interesting....

Anonymous said...

Please listen to alhe, I think the stuff you write on your blog is much better then your ps. Try to be yourself when writing. the ps you submitted sounded like another person. Good luck sorry to be negative im really rooting for you to get in some where.

Anonymous said...

uggggggggggh. i don't know what i'm suppose to say about myself. I am anything but exceptional. There was no motivating factor for me to go into medicine, like an ill family member, helping sick children blah blah. I just have a genuine passion for medicine. i guess i'll try to work something out.