Applicants should seek feedback on their draft essays from their classmates, physician mentors, college guidance counselors, and friends or family members with strong editorial skills, he says.
Some students take this process a step further by seeking professional help with their statements. Pham is not opposed to students’ enlisting help from private admissions consultants and essay editors as long as the personal statement reflects the applicant’s own words, insights and experiences.
“The applicants will write in very generic terms about how they want to help people, and you don’t see where this comes from,” she says.
“They don’t give their background story, and they don’t provide examples.” Dr.
Hoverman, an assistant professor of family medicine and global health at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Yakima, Washington.
“An essay that reflects someone else’s skill set is misleading.” But those who provide essay-editing services argue that they help future physicians become better, more reflective communicators.The final part of the essay should explore the candidate’s interest in osteopathic medicine.“Don’t just say, ‘I shadowed an osteopathic physician,’ ” urges Dr. “Explain what you learned from the experience and how you might incorporate osteopathic philosophy into your future practice.Vagueness and a lack of illustrative stories are the death knell of many personal statements, says medical school admissions consultant Cynthia Lewis, Ph D. Maybe the candidate decided to pursue medicine because of experiences in the Peace Corps, hardships overcome, a community service project, a family member’s battle with a disease or any other life-changing situation. “Does it have a good story line and tell me a lot about the person and whether he or she is really dedicated to medicine?“What I tell my applicants is that only one half of one sentence in a paragraph should be ‘This is what I did.’ The rest needs to be a reflection on why you did something,” says Dr. “Does the personal statement engage me from the get-go? ” Applicants to osteopathic medical school are limited to 4,500 characters (including spaces), roughly 700 words, for their personal statement, so it must be concise and to the point. Lewis recommends that candidates divide their personal statements into three components.“You need to pick one key experience or interest and talk about it,” Dr. “This will say a lot about you, what you care about and how you think.” The second part of the personal statement should describe the applicant’s journey to medicine, she says.The candidate should explain in a couple of paragraphs what initiated his or her interest in becoming a physician, what has sustained that ambition over time, and why he or she feels ready to apply to medical school.Students are encouraged to pursue a career in medicine because of their strong interest in the practice of healing, and not for other reasons. Most medical schools use the AMCAS service to process your application.Shadowing is an ideal way for students to determine if a career in medicine is right for them. Applying to schools can be costly, time-consuming and stressful.Forums are frequently an excellent place to ask and answer questions.However, remember that information you read on forums is not necessarily true- you should independently verify information you read on these forums.