Ask Dr. Gray: Premed Q&A: How To Pull in the Reader

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Ask Dr. Gray: Premed Q&A: How To Pull in the Reader

Session 73

Help your reader inhabit those important “why medicine” moments with you. Show your experiences through anecdotes and appeal to their senses.

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[00:02] Question of the Day;

How do you write a personal statement in a great way that really shows and drives home that you want to be a physician?

[00:42] Engage the Senses of Your Reader

First things first, check out my book The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement.

So the best way to draw a reader into your personal statement is not just something you do in the beginning and then you don’t hit them hard at the end either. The whole personal statement needs to draw that reader in. It needs to show that reader why it is that you want.

Describe what you see that forces the reader to see what you saw. In that way, you are engaging your reader. You’re engaging their senses – be that the sense of smell, sight, touch, or hearing.

“You want to engage as many senses as possible as you are writing your personal statement.”Click To Tweet

Show, don’t just tell. Show the reader everything that’s happened to you. Show the reader the experiences that you’ve had. Don’t just tell them what those experiences are. And then after you’re done showing them, then you tell them why that experience made you want to be a physician.

[03:08] How to Write a Great Conclusion

Your conclusion doesn’t need to just wrap it in. You need to conclude with why you, why it is that you’re doing this and what you hope to accomplish. If you hope to accomplish world peace and ending world hunger, then great. If your goal is to go work for doctors without borders and do something overseas, great.

Find your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). What is that thing? And not just that you hope to take care of patients or treat patients to the best of your ability. Everybody hopes to do that, but go bigger.

[05:20] When Your Goal Involves Research

If your goal involves research, you don’t need to be a physician to do research. If your goal is to help people, then talk about that from helping the patient standpoint. But beyond that, I wouldn’t dive into the research. If your goal is to do research, I wouldn’t talk about that in your personal statement.

Don’t go down the negative route either and talk about experiences of having psychiatric care for instance.

“Stay positive through your personal statement.” Click To Tweet


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