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Is it unwise to give personal reasons for why you want to go to a certain med school?


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I'm only in my second year of my undergrad, but I've wanted to be a doctor for years. I've done tons of research about each of the different Ontario schools and I can't wait to finally apply in a couple years (and hopefully be accepted!).


My current top med school choice is Western. The way their program is structured seems to be the best fit for me, my family is from London, and I've heard only good things about Schulich.


However, there are also a couple personal reasons why I want to go to med school at Western. My beloved paternal grandfather was a bricklayer and helped to build some of the medical school buildings in the 1950s and '60s. He also died at University Hospital this past summer after a brief illness, the same hospital where he received emergency heart valve replacement surgery 6 years ago. I've spent so much time visiting him in this hospital, learning first-hand about medicine and interacting with Western med students and residents. A couple Western residents that I met while visiting my grandfather in the hospital stick out in my mind as people I would like to emulate; they are the type of doctors that I want to be. This summer at University Hospital I watched my grandfather die a horrible and painful death. I watched the doctors treat him medically and handle the emotional side of things. I learned first-hand about major ethical dilemmas (I won't go into details) and what doctors can and cannot do. I also saw how the doctors and nurses do their best to help a patient, but ultimately have to let go when the patient passes away. I learned more this summer about medicine than I could have by reading a book or taking a class. I saw the ugly, tragic side of medicine, and I wasn't scared away. I am more motivated than ever to become a doctor and provide comfort in difficult situations.


I think that all of these experiences have contributed to my desire to become a doctor, and whenever I visit the Western campus all of these memories and emotions come flooding back, and I am reminded why I want to become a doctor.


If I am ever asked, at an interview for example, why I want to choose Western, should I mention any of these personal details or should I stick with the safe and boring reasons???

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Your second paragraph gives perfectly strong reasons for Western. These reasons don't need to be unique, as long as they make sense for you.


I think talking about personal reasons is fine, but I'd be somewhat selective in which parts of your story to use, depending on the question asked. The part about your grandfather's illness would be good for why medicine. The part about your familiarity with the hospital and people would be good for why Western. You want to avoid giving the impression that you're choosing Western mainly for sentimental reasons.

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