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TheGoldenSmartie

Essay: Do I have to EXPLICITLY mention why I would be a good doctor?

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Hi all,

 

I'm writing the first draft of my essay for McGill's Med-P program, and here is the prompt:

 

"Reflecting on the experiences that appear in the CV and responding to the following questions:

1. How have these experiences helped shape and prepare you for a career in medicine?

2. What do you think could be strengthened or improved?

3. Tell us something about you that DOES NOT appear in your CV, but which you believe is pertinent to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your candidacy."

 

My question is, do I actually have to explicitly mention the reasons why my experiences prepared me for a career in med, e.g. "I am a generous person, [insert anecdote], and I think this quality will make me a good doctor"? I feel that the best essays (the most captivating and profound ones) are those that are "show, don't tell"; won't my essay be much more concrete if I give an actual life experience similar to what doctors live, and how I handled the situation, instead of just rambling about my qualities and activities and re-stating what I wrote in my CV?

 

Also, what experiences are we supposed to cover in our personal narrative? Someone told me that it's important to talk about your hobbies (to show how they are important to you); is this true?

 

Thanks in advance for your replies! :)

x

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Personally, answering the first prompt with something along the lines of "I am [insert quality], because of [insert action], therefore I am fit to be a good physician." passes off as a bit amateurish. I don't pretend to know the correct way to answer that question, but something along the lines of your "show, don't tell" style should work wonderfully, keeping in mind to somehow link it to the non-academic criteria McGill is looking for (link here).

 

Re: hobbies in personal narrative. Yes, you can talk about your hobbies, especially if it reflects the desirable qualities you want to portray (e.g. leadership, self-learning, initiative) or if it has positively impacted others.

 

Sceptical

 

Hi all,

 

I'm writing the first draft of my essay for McGill's Med-P program, and here is the prompt:

 

"Reflecting on the experiences that appear in the CV and responding to the following questions:

1. How have these experiences helped shape and prepare you for a career in medicine?

2. What do you think could be strengthened or improved?

3. Tell us something about you that DOES NOT appear in your CV, but which you believe is pertinent to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your candidacy."

 

My question is, do I actually have to explicitly mention the reasons why my experiences prepared me for a career in med, e.g. "I am a generous person, [insert anecdote], and I think this quality will make me a good doctor"? I feel that the best essays (the most captivating and profound ones) are those that are "show, don't tell"; won't my essay be much more concrete if I give an actual life experience similar to what doctors live, and how I handled the situation, instead of just rambling about my qualities and activities and re-stating what I wrote in my CV?

 

Also, what experiences are we supposed to cover in our personal narrative? Someone told me that it's important to talk about your hobbies (to show how they are important to you); is this true?

 

Thanks in advance for your replies! :)

x

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Hi all,

 

I'm writing the first draft of my essay for McGill's Med-P program, and here is the prompt:

 

"Reflecting on the experiences that appear in the CV and responding to the following questions:

1. How have these experiences helped shape and prepare you for a career in medicine?

2. What do you think could be strengthened or improved?

3. Tell us something about you that DOES NOT appear in your CV, but which you believe is pertinent to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your candidacy."

 

My question is, do I actually have to explicitly mention the reasons why my experiences prepared me for a career in med, e.g. "I am a generous person, [insert anecdote], and I think this quality will make me a good doctor"? I feel that the best essays (the most captivating and profound ones) are those that are "show, don't tell"; won't my essay be much more concrete if I give an actual life experience similar to what doctors live, and how I handled the situation, instead of just rambling about my qualities and activities and re-stating what I wrote in my CV?

 

Also, what experiences are we supposed to cover in our personal narrative? Someone told me that it's important to talk about your hobbies (to show how they are important to you); is this true?

 

Thanks in advance for your replies! :)

x

 

You want to demonstrate your CanMEDS competencies. See

http://

http://www.royalcollege.ca/portal/page/portal/rc/canmeds/framework

http://www.royalcollege.ca/portal/page/portal/rc/common/documents/canmeds/framework/the_7_canmeds_roles_e.pdf

 

Here are two of my old posts that may be pertinent:

 

The other day, a competitive Cegepien applicant referred me to the below:

http://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/what-we-look

and asked me if in writing the Narrative, should he answer these questions that I am listing below:

 

1. Can I handle the rigorous and intense academic program that is required in order to become a physician?

 

2. Do I have a passion for the profession of medicine, and am I ready and willing to dedicate and commit myself to be of service to others?

 

3. Do my life and work experiences demonstrate that I have prepared myself in the best ways available to me for a career in medicine?

 

He did not know where to start, how to begin a Narrative.

 

I suggested that he Read the question for the Narrative carefully and drop the pebbles that brought him toward med, showing that he had those characteristics sought of physicians.

 

I indicated that he would want to discuss those life experiences that demonstrate his abilities necessary for doctors. I suggested he discuss any activity where he may excel, a particular sport or musical skill for example and explain what was involved, comparing the attributes and skills he acquired to those needed for doctors, e.g., lets say he has developed great expertise, perhaps public performances, competitions and/or medals, travelling across the province, Canada or beyond. This takes perseverance, practice and discipline to achieve what otherwise would be impossible, overcoming fear and other obstacles. These such experiences would have had a ripple effect on other aspects of his life and his confidence, communication skills, etc.

 

I suggested then perhaps a story or two about volunteering and how he developed as a result. What has he learned, what is his internal growth. Show how he has become respectful of others, etc.

 

The above three questions need not be answered as such, rather the Narrative should cover the information they are looking for above by leading the reader to conclude he is an excellent candidate.

 

Over 4 days, he showed me 3 drafts that went from 2300 words to 1250 words to being within the limit. I guided him on this writing journey and his final product is excellent.

 

He still has a long way to go on other aspects of the application. Other competitive applicants have taken many weeks to finish their Narratives.

 

Apparently, the Combined CV and Personal Narrative consists of 3 sections:

 

Part 1: Structured curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)

 

Part 2: List of verifiers (maximum 1 page)

 

Part 3: Structured personal experiences narrative (maximum 1 page) reflecting on the experiences that appear in the CV and responding to the following questions:

 

How have these experiences helped shape and prepare you for a career in medicine?

 

What do you think could be strengthened or improved?

 

Tell us something about you that DOES NOT appear in your CV, but which you believe is pertinent to the Admissions Committee’s consideration of your candidacy.

 

Consider doing your personal statement as 3 CV Highlights, touching also upon your weaknesses and going out of your CV as per italics above. Make it one page using whatever font and margins are required.

 

Good Luck guys! :P

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