Friday, June 29, 2007


I don't like this one either. But it might give a better sense of who I am. Personal statements blow ass. This is a rough rough rough draft. Someone please just let me borrow your life story cause mine is boring and uneventful and I have nothing extraordinary to offer the world.

I started college undecided between touchy-feely, subjective psychology and cold, hard, “we’re right, you’re wrong” biology. Fortunately though my freshman adviser 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 lay; 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 didn’t mean that I intended on applying to medical school. I had simply decided that I didn’t want to coast through college.

The following semesters I found myself in the School of Science, a place filled with anxious students and the signs of sleep deprivation covering their faces. I soon looked liked them too. The classes were unlike the others I had taken. Here you sat in a room and had theories, mechanisms and formulas driven into your head for 75 minute increments. Half of me hated it because there were never any class discussions or chances to apply our knowledge to real life scenarios. But the other half loved it because what I was learning was so fascinating and made me much more aware of the world around me. It was just a matter of figuring out what to do with this knowledge.

The summer after freshman year I was invited to shadow my dermatologist. I figured I’d try it out to see what medicine was all about. Before this I had never considered medicine. Medicine was for the Type A gunner students who effortlessly memorized the sedimentation values of antibodies and structure of intermolecular bridges in proteins. While shadowing I saw a marble sized hemangioma removed from a little girl’s head, basal cells sliced off and warts attacked by liquid nitrogen and acid. It was love at first sight. Even the mundane diagnosis and treatment of eczema awed me. This was what I needed to do. Not necessarily dermatology, but take my love for biology and apply it to real life problems.

School started again and I was no longer a pathological masochist. I had a purpose for the pain, and it was medical school. I was determined to do whatever it took to get there. To get through my classes I would focus on the clinical aspects of my classes to get through them. Even in classes like organic chemistry I wouldn’t try to memorize reactions. Instead, I would analyze what needed to be done, consider the conditions needed to accomplish it and work my way through from there. And for better or worse, it worked.

Still I needed to get my fix of the real stuff. Seeing patients was like a drug addiction. To fill this need I continued getting any clinical experience I could. The summer after sophomore year I worked with an orthopedist and during junior year I worked at the local ER and a family medicine practice. Going in and hearing a patient’s problem got my brain working in ways that that the classroom never did. And I was surprised that I was actually able to make sense of the situations and ask the physicians intelligent questions. It was nice to see that performance in a didactic lecture class didn’t necessarily predict my clinical abilities. I also loved getting to know the patients. I would ask them plenty of questions, which not only provided me with more information to work with, but would also to them to ease. Many of the patients seemed to gravitate towards me, as opposed to the doctors, especially the elderly women brought to the ER against their will.

So here I am ready and willing. There is no story about saving children in Africa, or watching a loved one battle a chronic illness. It’s simply me. I’m the guy who will talk your ear off the second he hears you’ve got a cough. I’ve done my research and know what’s required of me in medical school, residency and beyond.


Anonymous said...

Okay, well, it's better. The very last paragraph is wonderful, and this draft has better flow and reads more like a story than the last one (which is a good thing).
However, it seems like you're putting yourself at a disadvantage during the middle sections because you seem a bit focused on how you don't excel in a traditional academic environment. The first few years of medical school are still primarily lecture based, so I'm wondering if openly divulging your disinterest in this academic area is perhaps the best idea? Just something to think about. good luck with your applications!

Anonymous said...

hmmm, well that was encouraging. I definetly agree with your thoughts on the middle section. i wasn't sure what to do about it. it's a little long so maybe i'll just shorten it up and merge it with another paragraph.

thanks a ton!

Anonymous said...

Much better, the last paragraph was really good. I like were you are going with it. I don't have much time now but I will reread your ps again and try to give you some more helpful advice

Anonymous said...

wow, i thought the last line was so cheesy, but at the same time accurate. thanks so much for the help.