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Essay about switching careers and applying to a Post Bacc PreMed Program -feedback


A1MBand 1 / -  
Mar 28, 2012   #1
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum. I'm applying to multiple Post Baccalaureate Premedical Programs. (A "post bacc" is usually a two-year program that gives college graduates and professionals the opportunity to take the prerequisite courses (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics) for admission to medical school.) Since I was an Economics and Computer Science major in college, I never took any of these prerequisites. Thus, this is the perfect type of program for me!

Anyway, I've been struggling with my personal statement for quite some time, and really have no writing center to get feedback from. I would be seriously grateful for anyone's feedback on this website.

Some background on me: After college I worked temp jobs as a data analyst and then took up an interest in healthcare later on (as I explain in my essay). (I felt the need to explain why I left one field to ultimately pursue another, i.e. medical school.) I also had a bad sophomore year which brought my GPA down to a 3.0, so I feel the need to show how I've grown into a much more focused and mature student since my early days in undergrad ten years ago. Please give my essay a read and let me know what I can do to improve it :) If nothing, is it good enough for submission already?


PROMPT> Why do you want to prepare for a career in a medical field?
or
PROMPT> Please provide an essay concerning decision to enter the health professions

The following essay is under 1,000 words (per application instructions)

ESSAY RESPONSE>
My favorite childhood puzzle, Marble Run, dared me to construct a coherent racetrack by assembling an assortment of jumps, funnels, and chutes. The challenge was to find a creative yet efficient combination of pieces that would form a connected path to support the marble's trajectory. Along the journey, the marble had to overcome obstacles that would slow its inertia, yet take advantage of gravity to accelerate it toward the finish line. When the marble traversed its goal, I experienced a surge of fulfillment in knowing my engineered creation succeeded in its purpose. I have grown to rely on logic to solve life's puzzles as I chase that same satisfying sense of accomplishment. Just like in Marble Run, I aim to navigate life's steep arcs with the same persistent yet analytic approach to bring me one step closer to my goal line.

As an undergrad, I took an interest in computer science for its use of logical constructs to decode a puzzle and generate a useful product. Applying algorithms to scientifically concatenate modules of a computer program fulfilled me just as linking marble tracks to form a balanced course once did. Similarly, my first contract jobs after college taught me that maintaining harmonious relationships between databases would yield effective datasets. Soon, however, my life's trajectory would evolve beyond number crunching.

I began to reconsider my life's course when my grandfather succumbed to the grips of dementia. I felt powerless by my inability to alleviate his suffering so I aggressively researched his condition to understand its cause. I became increasingly fascinated with the medical literature I had been exploring. The health-affirming, regulatory mechanisms between organ systems reminded me of the cooperative algorithmic relationships essential to the functioning of computer software. My grandfather ultimately passed away, but this loss personalized my developing interest in medicine. Over time, the fascination I derived from the study of living beings outweighed my prior interest in manipulating inanimate software.

Though my grandfather's passing was a catalyst for my track-change toward medicine, volunteering in the Stamford Hospital Emergency Department gave that choice momentum. Emergency codes punctuate routine hospital care in the ER, and the chance to participate in a vast spectrum of experiences was awe-inspiring. Whether assisting CPR to a cardiac patient in full code or calming another patient's fright with a warm smile as I took their vital signs, I felt gratified in knowing that these small acts could have a significant impact on another's well being. The emotional truths of the ER impressed upon me a tangible element of humanity that gave my countless hours navigating medical texts a new context and dimension. At last, my "marble" had found its true course, and I felt completely natural in my decision to follow it.

While my volunteer experience had certainly taught me the humane aspect of medicine, my surgical externship brought my decision to pursue medicine into focus by introducing me to the realities of clinical practice. Shadowing residents as they examined post-operative patients, I participated in the history taking and patient assessment strategies inherent in community healthcare. I found this opportunity to be exhilarating! Following along on consults, observing dozens of surgeries in the OR, and asking questions not only fueled my insatiable curiosity, but also shed light on a typical day in the life of a medical student and of a resident. My appreciation of the devotion and lifestyle rigors required to be successful medical student, and ultimately a physician, has validated my decision to become one.

To test my aptitude for medical study in the classroom, I completed an intensive EMT course. Armed with a clear sense of purpose and maturity, I now had the academic confidence to be a more focused and improved student than I had been in college years ago. Indeed, superior study habits and passion for the material propelled me to the top 10% of my EMT class. My path now leads in one direction, and I go forth resolute and self-assured.

Whether constructing a marble roller coaster, algorithmically programming a computer module, or understanding a disease process, I appreciate the rewards of using logic to find creative solutions to challenging puzzles. Just as a marble's advancement depends on the clever way tracks interrelate, success in both my past career maintaining database relationships and my future career in medicine relies on critical thinking and teamwork. My initial ventures into a computer science career underscored my affinity for scientific reasoning, but a firsthand exploration of a physician's work have taught me how to apply such reasoning to directly benefit the lives and wellness of human beings. Although I haven't taken a traditional route to medicine, I consider every twist and turn of my life's post-collegiate course a funnel, directing my "marble" to its natural conclusion. This journey has matured me with a well-rounded perspective of my inner motivations that now fuels a strong work ethic. I am confident that I have the intellectual potential, intention, focus, and readiness to commit my life to medicine. Endurance and tenacity power the inertia to overcome the future challenges of medical school, while passion and dedication energize the gravity accelerating me toward my goal. I ask for the education - the tools - to empower me with the knowledge and skill-set necessary to use my life toward the betterment of others.

lak23 1 / 4  
Apr 1, 2012   #2
Hello,

I believe your essay demonstrates your mature passion and dedication to this field. You have done a marvelous job in conveying your atypical route through your analogy. I personally believe that your essay is more than suffice for the purpose of the prompts.


The only sentence I would change:

While my volunteer experience had certainly taught me the humane aspect of medicine, my surgical externship brought my decision to pursue medicine into focus by introducing me to the realities of clinical practice. Shadowing residents as they examined post-operative patients, I participated in the history taking and patient assessment strategies inherent in community healthcare. I found this opportunity to be exhilarating! THIS OPPORTUNITY WAS EXHILARATING! (Both of these sentences are in passive voice, but the one I offer eliminates an "I").

You have an excellent essay and story. Whichever program you enroll in, is very fortunate to have you as a member of their team.


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