Saturday, June 4, 2016

Personal Statements - Tips & Tricks

While the post could be about everything that has been written everywhere else (tell a story to show how a shadowing opportunity affected you and inspired you to become a doctor; explain a bit about why you got such poor grades so long ago - required for non-trads carrying baggage from years, if not decades prior to now).

I'm avoiding that here.  That info is well versed on many forums, websites, blogs, reddit, SDN, among others.  I think even my twitter feed has the info tagged to retweet automatically.

What you should know is this:

1.  People who offer their time to edit your PS are doing so of their own free will and are not paid for it.  PLEASE don't monopolize that or demand.

For the past 2 months, I've been reading and editing PS's.  Most of them are pretty well written, one was superb.  I thought mine was pretty stellar and then I read that one.  All I could do was bow and salute.  Here's to you hopeful pilot - you got this!  Can't wait to high-five you next year when we BOTH start!

Overall, I've read close to 100 of these personal stories, letters, vignettes of lives.  It has been an amazing honor to do so.  Privileged that people - especially the hyper competitive lot that comprised 100% of premeds - trust me with their material.

Everyone of those who sent me their life story was polite, gracious and kind.

Then I got another one AFTER I posted that I was not taking any further PS's for review.  I simply do not have the time.  With a client that I work 50+ hours for, physics 2, and MCAT prep - I'm buried.  Sleep evades me most nights and often, I run on 5 - 6 hours at most.

PLEASE, if someone states they are NOT able to take any more PS's for review, don't waste their time asking.  It's another intrusion into their lives.

FOR THOSE OF YOU who were in first, and I offered to review subsequent editions, that doesn't apply to you.  It only applies to those who I've never spoken, written or responded to.

2.  My opinion is just that.  It was free.  You get what you pay for.  While yes, I was a nationally published editor at one point in my life, that doesn't mean that whatever I write is gospel.  It's simply my opinion.

So don't be offended, don't write me back with snotty remarks, don't PM me that you think I suck.  Pretty sure that advice goes for everyone who reviews PS's.  Just like you guys talk amongst yourself at who is a good editor, we editors do too.  Think about that.  :)

Each PS takes me about an hour to go through.  I take my time.  I rearrange sentence structure so the PS flows, change grammar and often times, substitute more suitable words.

There's an old saying: take what you like and leave the rest.  At the end of the day, I edit like I do to HELP YOU because the end game is the same for all of us: Med School admission.  Right?

Am I tough?  Yes.  Am I good?  Probably.  Am I perfect?  No.  (Hell no, actually!)

3.  Know that on average, the adcoms spend less than 30 second gleaning every little morsel they can from the PS.  It stinks that we spend hours if not days and months worrying about this little thing that describes "WHY MEDICINE" and they spend 30 seconds on it but do we care?

No.  Again, the end game is the next hoop in our journey to hopeful med school admission.

Finally, go nail this application cycle which opens in less than 3 days.

LETS GO! And good luck to all of you!

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