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Personal Narrative Question 1

mcgill medicine premed cvpn personalnarrative cegep mcgill university

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#1 aspiringpremed

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 06:34 AM

How have your life experiences to this point helped shape and prepare you for making decisions in situations of uncertainty or ambiguity?

 

Since the question is in plural form, are we expected to discuss MORE THAN ONE life experience?

 

Also, should I focus more on the specific life experience and how I made decisions regarding it or should I focus more on how that life experience helped me for other decision-making?



#2 Bambi

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:50 AM

Doctors often have to make decisions on incomplete information, in situations of uncertainty or ambiguity. Are you thus capable and if so, validate it by linking examples from your own life experience. It is a judgment call on your part whether or not there is one or more life experiences that have brought you to this point in your life.

 

As to your last paragraph, I would focus more on how that/those life experience(s) helped me for other decision-making. In the limited character space, you need to convincingly demonstrate to the reader that you have the requisite maturity and decision making ability to deal with such issues. Remember, the reader is rapidly reading very many replies and will instantly have a sense of whether you hit the nail on the head and make overall sense.   

 

I would be happy to review what you consider to be your final work product after you have seriously grappled with this and/or other questions.  :P


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#3 RedLily

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:03 PM

imo better answers tend to focus on one example that's really fleshed out so that you can make strong points and be sure you answer the question fully within that one example. You don't want to end up just listing experiences, run out of space, and lack explanation as to how these apply to decision making in uncertain/ambiguous situations (and miss out on actually answering the question).


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#4 judyhopps

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:13 PM

I'm not sure how to explain how our life experiences or what kind of life experiences help us make uncertain decisions... Can someone give an example of what it means please?

#5 SpeedyPotato

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:16 PM

I actually changed my mindset on this question from what I did last year. I decided to not list any particular example and focused more on the "How", i.e. what is the process that leads me to a decision in different situations. With 250 words, I felt like I didn't have enough space to list experiences and since the question is more about your ability to make decisions in difficult situations, I decided to focus on that. I don't know how they'll view it. 



#6 Haribo7173

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:37 PM

I picked a situation and I described how I processed it, what I made use of, how I got through it and then linked that to how those approaches would be applicable to a career in med.

#7 Bambi

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:49 PM

I'm not sure how to explain how our life experiences or what kind of life experiences help us make uncertain decisions... Can someone give an example of what it means please?

You have developed expertise in soccer or another sport through dedication, focus, patience and lots of practice. In the process you also learned team work, collaboration. When playing, new situations are created in a split second and you need to react swiftly and circumstances are constantly changing with new information. You are a great scorer, taking advantage of changing circumstances. Or, you do research where results are not as anticipated and you need to self-reflect and change your approach to achieve success, etc. 


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#8 judyhopps

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:18 PM

Thank you Bambi! Also, is it more important to focus on the life experience or rather to talk about your thought process in making a decision? Would it be better to talk about one experience or two in particular? Or elaborate on multiple experiences and say quickly how each experience helped you make decisions?

#9 Bambi

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:56 PM

It's about what you learned how you are able to apply this to new circumstances of ambiguity or uncertainty. You use your experience as a springboard as to how you apply the lessons learned in circumstances of uncertainty and ambiguity. Doctors routinely need to deal with uncertainty or ambiguity in determining a course of treatment based upon incomplete or changing information. You want the reader to clearly understand that you have developed or are developing the requisite skills to navigate problems in uncertain or ambiguous circumstances. In the limited words available, you want the reader to have a positive impression of you under these circumstances, especially compared to others who are also answering this question. Back in the day, for my Narrative, I worked hard on numerous drafts over time.


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#10 Papillon

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 02:11 PM

im having a hard time with this question ! How do you even define uncertain or ambiguous. It can vary so much from one person to the next .

#11 Ab Ahmad

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 03:19 PM

I answered to this question as if they were asking me how do I make good decisions when it comes to Big décisions that would change your life.



#12 caribou

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:51 AM

im having a hard time with this question ! How do you even define uncertain or ambiguous. It can vary so much from one person to the next .

 

 

I think that's the point  :) Interpret it however you'd like... surely you've been in a situation in which you weren't sure of what to do, or in which you felt torn between doing two different things. Take them through that thought process. I brought up 3 situations in which I used the same thought process (or "theme") to make a decision in an ambiguous situation. In all 3 situations, the ambiguity referred to entirely different things, but the considerations as I approached them were the same. Whatever you choose, I think it's important to have a narrative thread to your answer, whether that's by focusing on a single example and fleshing it out thoroughly, or by finding a common theme to multiple examples and using those to illustrate your main theme. 


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#13 Papillon

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 02:58 PM

I think that's the point :) Interpret it however you'd like... surely you've been in a situation in which you weren't sure of what to do, or in which you felt torn between doing two different things. Take them through that thought process. I brought up 3 situations in which I used the same thought process (or "theme") to make a decision in an ambiguous situation. In all 3 situations, the ambiguity referred to entirely different things, but the considerations as I approached them were the same. Whatever you choose, I think it's important to have a narrative thread to your answer, whether that's by focusing on a single example and fleshing it out thoroughly, or by finding a common theme to multiple examples and using those to illustrate your main theme.


Thank you for your reply ! This is really helpful !

#14 aspiringpremed

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:20 AM

I think that's the point  :) Interpret it however you'd like... surely you've been in a situation in which you weren't sure of what to do, or in which you felt torn between doing two different things. Take them through that thought process. I brought up 3 situations in which I used the same thought process (or "theme") to make a decision in an ambiguous situation. In all 3 situations, the ambiguity referred to entirely different things, but the considerations as I approached them were the same. Whatever you choose, I think it's important to have a narrative thread to your answer, whether that's by focusing on a single example and fleshing it out thoroughly, or by finding a common theme to multiple examples and using those to illustrate your main theme. 

if you dont mind me asking, what was one of your situations? i have plenty of ideas but not sure which one to pick :P



#15 aspiringpremed

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:23 AM

the deadline for cegep students is next week and im really torn for the first question... im not sure my example is ambiguous enough



#16 Papillon

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:45 AM

the deadline for cegep students is next week and im really torn for the first question... im not sure my example is ambiguous enough


You have until march 7th to upload your supporting documents !

#17 Papillon

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:11 PM

You have until march 7th to upload your supporting documents !



Sorry please ignore that it's MARCH 1ST. !!! March 7 th is for law applicants !

#18 caribou

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:15 AM

if you dont mind me asking, what was one of your situations? i have plenty of ideas but not sure which one to pick :P

 

 

My situations are quite personal and I'm not comfortable sharing them publicly. If you have ideas, roll with them - draft the answer using different examples, and see where they take you. Get feedback from other people to see what works best. 


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#19 Al22

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 04:13 PM

I wrote about how my research experience prepared me to make decisions when there is not enough resources or time to take into account all the aspects of a problem (i.e. when there is uncertainty).


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BSc Sciences Biomédicales uOttawa2014

MSc Sciences Pharmaceutiques uLaval2016

PhD Sciences Biomédicales UdeM2020

Entrevue MD et DMD à Mcgill






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