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'A better physician / Communication in research' for Northwestern Medical school

reader2011 4 / 9  
Oct 22, 2009   #1
Describe the personal characteristics that distinguish you from other applicants and tell us how they predict success as a Feinberg School of Medicine medical student and as a future physician.

I believe what distinguishes me from other applicants is my perseverance. I have been waiting and pressing toward this moment for a long time. I refused to give up on my dreams because of road blocks and pit falls. Sure, I will not tell you that it was easy because it most definitely was not. I worked hard and long and sometimes to no avail, but I kept on going. I helped, encouraged and seen my friend go on to medical school. Sometimes I thought, was it really worth the tears, heart ache, disappointment and discouragement, but every time any of the former tried to take over my life, something on the inside would tell me to keep on going. All my life I have been going against the odds, and each time I came out on top. If you would have told me when I when I graduated from college that I would be doing research at one of the top children's hospital in America, I would not have believed you, but yet here I am at Children's Memorial Hospital working for the Division Head of Neurology. My road to this point has not been what I expected or dreamed it would be. At 31, I honestly thought I would be a doctor by now, but that was not the case. I see now that I needed time to mature and become a stronger individual. I really needed to grow up. Even though my life did not turn out the way I planned when I was in High school, I am grateful for the road I have taken because I know without a shadow of doubt that it will make me a better physician than if I had become a doctor earlier. So I have learned to keep pushing even against the odds and not to just settle for the obvious. I believe this attribute will be of great benefit to my future patients because when the situation seems bleak, I have learn not to just give up and let be, but keep on going and just maybe something will work out and if it does not work out at least all of the options were exhausted.

(Limit your response to about 400 words)
Describe how you coped when confronted with a difficult personal (non-academic) situation.
When confronted with a difficult personal situation, I cope with the problem by talking to someone and praying. After experiencing the lost of love ones and difficult obstacles in life, I have learned that I have to communicate, preferably with someone that is older and wiser than I am. Many times that person is my mother. Whenever I am confronted with a problem or have to make important decisions, I talk to her because I know that she will tell me the truth. Many times the truth hurts, but I know that is what I need to hear. If it is not my mother, I find individuals who will tell me what I need to hear not what I want to hear. Another method I use to cope with difficult situation is prayer. I pray to the Lord that he leads and guides me to make the right decisions, to behave myself appropriately and that I do not speak unadvisedly. Both of these methods have gotten me through some really tough times in my life. I now understand that keeping things bottled up can be detrimental to your health and social life.

(Limit your response to this space or about 400 words.)
Describe your experiences away from traditional educational pursuits, such as travel or time spent in the work force (other than summer or part-time employment). Specify the time frame. If you have been in school continuously, then describe a non-academic activity which has been formative.

Research for me has been a beacon of light that has illuminated a path in my life I never fathom would occur. Growing up I had one set of directions in which I would live my life. I planned on going to school, graduating and becoming a doctor. Those goals are still my main focus, but along the way I found a companion to keep me occupied until I finally reach my destination of becoming a physician. Research has been an outlet for me since I decided not to pursue a master's degree. Research keeps me busy by allowing me the opportunity to work in the field of science and provide beneficial information to help someone else. Every day I go to work; I am potentially making a change in someone's life. I get to ponder the unknown and search for answers. I think of myself as a detective on the prowl for a most wanted criminal. Working in research has enhanced my social, verbal, and mental abilities. Socially, I am surrounded by individuals of different cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds. I am grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to such a diverse group of people. In medicine a physician must be able to get along with other individuals and I am glad for the exposure before I got to medical school.

In research communication is crucial. What good are results if no one can understand the importance of my findings? Because of presentations at conferences, lab meetings, and journal clubs, I was forced to stand in front of educators, colleagues and students and present my work. Mentally, I have changed since entering the field of research. I believe that I am a stronger individual than I was prior to research. I would often feel that I was not capable of doing certain things. I was often afraid of failure and was always trying to be and do everything perfect. However, research showed me that I could do everything perfect and the results still may come out bad, wrong, or contaminated. I learned to deal with failure and fear. Fear of the unknown was also eradicated because every day there was something new. A protocol that worked today may be of no use tomorrow. In the process, I have learned to be patient because everything is not going to go my way all the time.

(Limit your response to about 400 words.)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 23, 2009   #2
Sure, I will not tell you that it was easy because it most definitely was not. This sentence is not necessary; you'll show them that with your description.

I helped, encouraged and watched as my friends went on to...

In the beginning, after you assert that you are distinguished by perseverance, you should immediately give a powerful example of a success against the odds -- one that required resilience. Then, later on, show how this perseerence is necessary for someone in med school.

...a path in my life I never believed would occur.

Use one paragraph for research, another for social activities, and another for the mental changes research brought.

At the start of essay #2, introduce research as the topic and then tell the reader that it affected you academically, personally, socially, and mentally -- so that the rest of the essay will be an explanation for what you introduced. Then, give it a conclusion at the end -- a conclusion in which you reflect on research you hae done and... make a connection to your current academic aspirations...

Good luck!

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