By Octavio Morales
So you not only didn’t go Pre-Med in undergrad, you didn’t opt for Biology or Physics, either. You only fulfilled the basic medical school requirements in science and math and focused all your electives around French literature or medieval theatre arts. Anyone who looked at your transcript wouldn’t think that becoming a doctor was a top priority, including the admissions committee. Your medical school personal statement is a great place to clear up any misunderstandings about your passion for acquiring an MD.
Why do you want to be a doctor? Why did you choose ancient Israeli anthropology as your major if you wanted to be a doctor? Your answer – passion. Unrivaled, dedicated interest. Alongside good grades, this creative and personable side of you is a great asset in showing the admissions committee that you are not only more qualified to well in their MD program than a General Science BS but that you will make a better doctor. People skills and multi-dimensional personality should not be underrated in the profession. Use your medical school personal statement to show how these apply to you.
No matter what you studied, you learned. It’s inherent to the game, right? So it’s not like you spent the past four years messing around playing volleyball and drinking beer with your fingers crossed hoping to get into med school. A liberal arts degree imparts knowledge and skills which can apply to many different aspects of med school. Empathy, listening skills, mentoring, memorization, research skills, communication, heavy deadlines, working under pressure – all these things can be related to your future career and spotlighted as assets in your medical school personal statement.
Having demonstrated how passionate you are about this other subject and shown what strong skills you have through studying something other than science and math, next you need to explain why you would want to leave something that you are so good at to pursue a career as a doctor. Don’t say ‘I want to help people’. You’ve demonstrated your creative and emotional side, the side that studied something outside of your chosen career out of passion. Now demonstrate your critical thinking and practicality in the second half of your medical school personal statement.
Don’t skimp on the images. You have to establish yourself as a liberal arts student to be remembered. Bring as much color and honesty to your medical school personal statement as possible.
You know the challenges and hardships of going to med school, being a resident, and becoming a doctor. You know the risks to your family and how dedicated you will have to be to a subject that you have all but ignored through college. Relate your expectations for the future. Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years. Why do you think this could happen? Using realism and specific examples, show your commitment to the field and sincerity in having thoroughly considered your career options and chosen this school as your path to achieving that goal.
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