MSHQ 038 : How to Write Personal Statements with Dr. Vineet Arora

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Session 38

Dr. Vineet Arora is a an Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Dean of Scholarship & Discovery at the Pritzker School of Medicine for the University of Chicago. She blogs at FutureDocs and is very active on Twitter at the handle @FutureDocs.

We go over do’s and don’ts about writing personal statements. Have you ever wondered if you should include a quote in your residency personal statement? What about talking about your struggles during medical school? A big question many people have is whether or not to talk about a diagnosis of depression or other mental health issues.

Dr. Arora thinks that red flags need to be carefully placed, or maybe not included at all.

We also hit on how non-traditional students have a little bit of a harder time tying all of your experiences together.

I asked Dr. Arora about the most memorable personal statement she’s read – she couldn’t remember one. She almost always remembers the really bad ones. Don’t be one of the bad ones!

The overriding message that Dr. Arora shares about the personal statement – it’s supposed to be a positive message and end on a high note!

We also talk about rotating as a medical student. Dr. Arora says she actually doesn’t recommend students do away rotations, specifically for internal medicine. Her point – you’re only giving more data points to the programs to judge you by. If your scores are good enough to get an interview, let them speak for yourself and show yourself off during the interview. If you are doing an away rotation, you are on a month long interview – 24/7. That can be stressful!

Links and Other Resources

FutureDocs Blog

University of Chicago Department of Medicine

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Very useful information — 5 stars
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The Drs. Gray offer up some very useful and intriguing information. Definitely worth a listen and subscription for any pre-med. Keep up the great work!

Knowledgeable Insight — 5 stars
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by tu chile from United States on Aug 11, 2013
I am a non traditional student, I started may years ago on the path to med school and lost my way. Now that I have found my path once again things have changed and with Doc Ryan at the helm of this podcast with his guest helped me really gain traction and perspective on what is ahead I feel more informed and better empowered towards the end goal. If you are a high school student or a non traditional student this is the podcast for you. Doc is highly involved in this to help you, take some time and listen subscribe, you will not be disappointed.

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by Comet34 from United States on Aug 11, 2013
I cannot say enough good things about this podcast. I am a college senior preparing to take the MCAT and apply for medical school and Dr. Gray and his guests have made a tremendous impact on me from the very first podcast session. The amount of reliable and unbiased resources for aspiring pre-meds are few and far between. Dr. Gray has not only broader my overall knowledge of the path to becoming a physician, but he also restored the enthusiasm that I felt I had lost after 3 years of difficult classes. This podcast not only gives you the information listeners valuable information, but it has referred me to other trustworthy pre-med resources online.Whether you are an unconventional pre-med, a medical student or even in residency, this podcast will enrich your understanding of what it takes to practice medicine.Thank you so much, Dr. Gray!

Great Podcast! — 5 stars
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by Basketball&Medicine23 from United States on Aug 7, 2013
Ryan and Allison are great! They are so informative and helpful with anything and everything related to medical school and the path to get there. I’m a second year undergrad premed student so naturally, I have tons of questions!Ryan and Allison, though both are MDs, I love how personable they seem. They aren’t arrogant about their successes and are a genuine help!I hope they touch on how they attacked organic chemistry during undergrad in future podcasts because that’s what I’m about to embark on this year!A must-listen to any premed student!

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