Tips To make a Personal Statement

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Web 2.0 and Medicine
http://web2097.blogspot.com
interesting presentation a found on the web about some helpful tips to make a personal statement
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/hpao/documents/Essay.ppt.

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Tips To make a Personal Statement

  1. 1. Writing the Personal Statement
  2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>Provides the committee a “picture” of you </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates unique qualifications for and commitment to medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Your chance to “SELL” yourself beyond the MCAT & GPA numbers </li></ul>
  3. 3. Possible Topics (Pick only a couple!!) <ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why a physician? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why NOT a teacher, nurse, scientist, etc? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Family Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What individuals or incidents shaped your life? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extracurricular Activities and Work/Volunteer Experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How did you contribute to getting the job done? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How have you matured as a result? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future Plans (long/short term) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain/Clarify any outstanding issues </li></ul>
  4. 4. Keys to Success <ul><li>Focus on a few illustrative incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Unite with a theme or thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Outline what you want to say and the order </li></ul><ul><li>BE SPECIFIC! Use concrete examples and experiences that distinguish you from others </li></ul><ul><li>Write about what interests & excites you </li></ul><ul><li>End your essay with a conclusion that refers back to the lead and restates the thesis. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Personal Statement Should: <ul><li>Use one or two specific incidents to show what has been learned from these experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the experiences, people and events that influenced your decision to become a physician or prepared your to enter this field. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss your motivation for medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what you have learned from extracurricular and work accomplishments. Describe these clearly and succinctly . </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss any disciplinary actions during college </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how have these experiences provide for personal growth </li></ul><ul><li>Explain what makes you uniquely suitable for this professional school. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Start and End with a Bang <ul><li>I – lead </li></ul><ul><li>II – thesis </li></ul><ul><li>III – body </li></ul><ul><li>IV – conclusion (but no “in conclusion” – don’t waste words) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Things to Remember <ul><li>No inconsistencies between essay and interview </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t re-list things that are on AAMCAS or other application. </li></ul><ul><li>Use specific incidents to show what has been gained and will be brought to program. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary essay provides supplementary details; ties into themes and activities; answers specific questions if any; add to what was on application </li></ul>
  8. 8. Most Common Errors <ul><li>I was born… or my parents came from… </li></ul><ul><li>Autobiographic, itinerary, or resume prose </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive vocabulary, verbose, complex words </li></ul><ul><li>Generic statements and platitudes </li></ul><ul><li>NO Prevarication !! </li></ul>
  9. 9. More Possible Errors <ul><li>Too many I’s may indicate arrogance </li></ul><ul><li>No sense of direction </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use Robert Frost “The Road Less Traveled”!! </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to writing guides (but do not copy!): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing for success - Jackson and Bordot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elements of Style - Strunk and White </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others (first year English, Biology Sophomore Seminar, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Helpful Hints <ul><li>Revise, revise, revise, hone to as near perfection as you can get, eliminate as many useless filler words to have space for the important words. </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully check spelling, punctuation, grammar. </li></ul><ul><li>Make an effort to make it interesting by good use of language, a literary effort yet meaty. </li></ul>
  11. 11. NOW! LET’S GET STARTED! <ul><li>List the things that you have done that illustrate your: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire to help people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of your profession </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outline a draft of a potential personal statement </li></ul><ul><li>Write a couple of paragraphs </li></ul>

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