Sample Medical School Admissions Essays (Courtesy of EssayEdge)
Med School Essay OneAs a potential medical student, I will strive to be a tremendous asset to The Chicago Medical School by devoting all my time and life to becoming an excellent physician. I believe that I am obligated to use my talents in a constructive manner, in a manner that benefits society. The medical career gives me the unique opportunity to express my many talents while benefiting human life.
B. Berston M.D. once said: “ ... a funny thing happens to medical students on their way to becoming physicians: they forget how to hold a conversation.” I believe that my ability to communicate makes me well suited to pursue a medical career. While I possess the strong science background necessary for success in the profession, I also consider myself a “ people” person. As a waiter and bartender, I dramatically improved and expanded my communication skills since I was constantly meeting new people and discussing different topics. Because people constantly disclosed their personal issues to me as a bartender, I learned to become not only a good conversationalist, but also an excellent listener.
In medical school, I also plan to pursue side work educating students and serving as a resource to the public. One of my most rewarding experiences has been tutoring high school students in math, physics, and biology, and helping people in my choir learn Byzantine music. Always able to develop a good rapport with students, I believe I possess a talent for teaching others in a friendly manner and in a manner that helps them to grasp difficult concepts easily. As part of my medical career, I will aim to continue teaching and to provide information to the public on the prevention and treatment of ailments and diseases.
Undoubtedly my cultural diversity will be a great contribution to The Chicago Medical School. Being raised in a Greek family in Canada, visiting different countries, and now living in the United States, I have experienced the similarities and differences among many diverse cultural groups and geographical areas. This allowed me to relate to different types of people by understanding their ways and beliefs, a quality that will help me work well with other medical students and help me serve my patients better in the future.
Highly motivated to succeed, I dramatically improved my grades following a time of confusion and immaturity in 1990 and 1991,which was brought on by family illness and turmoil. Once I realized what goal I wanted to pursue in life, I worked hard to succeed, and my remaining five years of schooling are truly indicative of my intellectual capacity and motivation for success. My strength as a candidate to The Chicago Medical School lies mostly in the objectives that I plan to fulfill upon becoming a physician. They are, in no particular order of importance, as follows:
1) To provide excellence in comprehensive care by using my acquired skills as both a competent professional and also as a compassionate human being.
2) To cultivate my leadership role both in the community of my practice and in the nation to formulate and maintain health care principles and advancements.
3) To employ the latest knowledge and techniques in detection and prevention of disease, and the restoration of health.
4) To develop and employ methods to take care of an aging population.
5) To show reverence for human beings by giving excellent care to all
6) To forever expand my knowledge through experience, continuing education courses, and research.
I have been diligent in my pursuit of medicine as a career because I am convinced that medicine offers me the opportunity to live a fulfilling, rewarding life dedicated to helping others. I will enter medicine eager to learn and thirsting for the knowledge to help my fellow human beings. Attending The Chicago Medical School would be one of the greatest rewards for my motivation and persistence for success. I swear to uphold and exceed all that is expected of a future physician while promoting the progress of medicine and humanity.
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The Gustavus tennis coaches helped instill my first core value, full effort. They demanded focus every second, which translated to the unparalleled opportunity for improvement. Our team adopted this philosophy, pushing each other toward our greatest potential. This was best exemplified by fitness, which we viewed as a healthy intra-team competition. I brought this attitude into all aspects of my life. As a chemistry tutor, full effort was essential. My students had a variety of needs, but one stands out. She struggled most with the laboratory component. One night, we spent three hours combing over a complex experiment. She left our session not only comprehending the lab, but also with a renewed vigor to tackle next week’s experiment. In short, full effort entails inspiration of others. This is certainly appropriate within medicine, where patients are in trying situations. As a physician, I will inspire my patients to their greatest potential through full effort.
The thesis is truly the roadmap for the personal statement. That is why the ideas introduced there become the body paragraphs. My first core value was full effort, thus this paragraph is about full effort. I discuss where it was fine-tuned, the tennis court, and then delve into an example of utilizing it elsewhere. We often say show, don’t tell in our critiques. Here is what we mean by that. I show my full effort with my student, spending hours with her, as well as the positive impact this had. It is much more powerful than merely saying I am hard working. Last, I relate full effort back to medicine, discussing how I will inspire future patients. This is something that is often left out with closing sentences to body paragraphs. Don’t forget to bring everything full circle!
Positive attitude, my second core value, was best exemplified by Steve Wilkinson, one of my tennis coaches who recently succumbed to metastatic cancer. From the onset of his terminal diagnosis, he sported an ear-to-ear grin and palpable optimism. Only minutes in his presence would lift anyone’s spirits. Living far beyond his six month prognosis, he is a reminder of the power of medicine in preserving life, but also the devastation of disease. Steve was never unrealistic about his health, but eternal positivity allowed him to live in the moment for his final years. Inspired by Steve, I have used this mindset countless times. On one occasion, friends rushed my girlfriend to the local ER due to her life threatening food allergy. I quickly followed. Nora was almost unrecognizable, covered from head to toe in red, blotchy hives. She was panicking, and given her already labored breathing I knew I had to try and calm her down. I grabbed her puffy hand and watched her slowly relax as I reiterated that she was in very capable hands. Experiencing medicine from this perspective has taught me to never underestimate the power of positivity. I am excited to be a beacon of positive energy within the lives of my future patients.
The second element of my thesis, positive attitude, becomes the second paragraph. Another critique we find ourselves writing when reviewing personal statements is to utilize active examples, not passive examples. An active example highlights you doing something spectacular or a particular trait native to you! Passive examples are where you watch someone else being great. They are not as powerful and do not do as much to make you stand out as an applicant. Passive examples are fine, but should be followed up with an active example, showing that you internalized the trait. That is what I did here. I talk about learning the power of positivity from my coach and then how I embodied this when my girlfriend wound up in the emergency room. Again, I close the paragraph by relating this to medicine, how I will embody this for future patients as well.
Empathy, my final core value, was built upon by Dr. Koepke, an ER physician I shadowed for several years. An ER is the first line of defense against trauma and illness. Well aware of this, Dr. Koepke proceeded with boundless compassion when one gentleman fell off a ladder and severely dislocated his shoulder. Despite pain medication, he was in agony. Dr. Koepke caringly and reassuringly grasped his good shoulder, telling him everything was going to be okay. Ease washed over the patient’s face and relocation alleviated much of his pain. Working in the memory care unit of a local nursing home as a CNA, empathy was essential. Each shift I was responsible for up to ten residents. I devotedly mastered their care plans, embedded with idiosyncrasies. I knew that Carol preferred a different lotion brand on certain body parts, while Evelyn desired her stuffed animal to receive grooming before herself. Incorporating these details, I darted from resident to resident the duration of my shift. As a physician, I will care for my future patients in this manner.
You have no doubt glimpsed the pattern here. This third paragraph is devoted to my third core value, the third idea laid forth in my thesis. Similar to the second paragraph, I lead with a passive example, viewing Dr. Koepke’s empathy first hand, but then switch gears with an active example.
Working for physicians as a scribe at TCO has given me further insight into the profession. For instance, the full effort of physicians encompasses their role as educators. Working with Dr. Riggi, a Gustavus graduate himself, I have observed him meticulously explain diagnoses with models, staying in the room until certain patients and family understand. Furthermore, I have seen how a physician’s positive attitude can have a tremendous impact on a patient’s recovery. Dr. Johnson, another physician I work with, certainly realizes this and inspires his patients to their full potential. Finally, trusting doctor-patient relationships begin with compassion. Since the physicians are immediately privy to intimate details, perhaps not even knowing the patient, empathy is vital to earning his or her trust. Numerous TCO physicians I work for internalize this, building rewarding dynamics with their patients. I aspire to deliver the same standards of care.
The final idea in my thesis was how working at Twin Cities Orthopedics reaffirmed my desire to pursue medicine. Therefore, it becomes my fourth paragraph. Unfortunately working as a scribe did not offer the opportunity for much direct patient care, thus I did not have any active examples to fall back on. Nonetheless, I thought it was very powerful that I saw my own core values being practiced by physicians on a daily basis. Therefore, I thought it was fitting to close with this body paragraph.
My experiences continue to cement my desire to become a physician. I know medicine is my calling because of its vigor in treating physical ailments, but also its special role as a medium for emotional care, namely through my core values: full effort, positive attitude, and empathy. As a provider, my care will center around these, one patient at a time.
The concluding paragraph should be the easiest to write. You do not need to introduce any new ideas, simply touch on everything that has been put forth already. I loop back around to my core values, restating my thesis with the second sentence.