Medical School EssayOctober 25, 2013
Medical School admissions can be extremely competitive and only the brightest, most empathetic and communicative people will usually make it through the many stages of the selection process. Interestingly, most schools are not just interested in seeing the academic scores of the students who apply for admission. They are more interested in knowing who you are and what makes you passionate about a medical career. Your essay/personal statement is the very first chance you get to tell the medical school you have applied to, more about yourself and what you believe in.
What Is A Medical Essay?
This essay is a part of the application that you submit to AACOMAS or AMCAS. They will give you certain topics that you can consider writing about and there are a variety of approaches to choose from. You can write about any experience that changed or challenged your perception about medicine, a work relationship with a mentor or any inspiring individual or even any challenging situation that you have faced maybe. Alternatively, you can write an essay about your academic life or even your life story. Some applicants take a different route and give their insight into what think medical practice is all about.
In addition to the main essay, you will also have to write another essay or two when you are submitting any secondary applications to other individual schools. These essays are different from the one that you have first written, in that you are required to respond to some specific question/s. Admissions committees then review the entire application and the subject matter you choose should ideally complement the original essay.
The Majority Vote
Sometimes there may be just a handful of members on a medical school admission committee, while at other times; you might find up to 2 dozen members. These members are generally a mix-and-match of faculty, full-time admission staff, doctors an students. All decisions are made via vote and every applicant generally received proper consideration.
At least one member of the committee will read your essay in entirety. All the aspects of your application will be considered and if they really like what they perceive and see, they will extend an interview invitation to you. Committee members generally spend anything from 3 to10 minutes reading each essay and the impact has to be quick and strong.
You must know that they will end up reading 40 to 50 essays every day, during the time around admission, which is why your essay has to be outstanding so it can make a mark in that short span of time that it is reviews.
Here are some quick tips for you to keep in mind when crafting your medical school essay:
- Focus– Select a theme and stick to it, right through the essay. Provide relevant examples and be concise.
- Write simply– Do not use any complicated language or complex words. Be direct and clear. The essay should be simple to read and comprehend
- Relevance– The theme, example and flow of the entire essay has to be relevant to the medical profession. If it is about a non medical related experience, indicate how it changed your life or how it made you veer towards the medical field.
- Formatting– Stick to basic formatting rules and do not experiment with odd margins and funny fonts. Be professional.
- Uniqueness– This is a very important point. What you say about yourself in the essay has to be vastly different from what the next applicant says in his/her essay. Be unique.
- Maintain equilibrium– It is critical not be to over-congratulatory about yourself nor excessively self-deprecating.
- Feedback– Run your essay by a mentor or friend and ask for feedback on writing, verbiage, concept and style.
Keep in mind that your essay is a portrayal of who you are as a person, what your aspirations are and what motivates you. Do not be casual about writing the essay and do not consider it to be a weekend chose. Consider this as an opportunity to show the school that there is much more to you than numbers and grades.