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June

The Personal Statement The Analysis

The Personal Statement:

I have not always wanted to be a physician like many people who apply to medical school; instead my decision to enter medicine has been the culmination of experience and self-discovery. When I was fifteen I was stricken with a cryptic illness. After several years of suffering and many doctors visits I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythramatosis. The Lupus diagnosis would changed my life in almost every aspect and was the beginning of the path that has led me towards medicine.

It was hard for me to deal with the diagnosis and even harder to learn my body's limitations. Every waking moment was a reminder that I was sick, and there was no comfort to be found in the medical world as there is still no cure for the disease. By this point in my life I had considered going into medicine. I had been a patient enough to know what it takes to be a good doctor. During the period before my diagnosis I had a few good doctors but I had also been faced with doctor's who didn't listen, who had no bedside manner, and who made incorrect assumptions. I knew that I would be better at these things for having suffered them. Unfortunately, at this point in my life I also knew that I was not healthy enough to be capable of withstanding the stressful years of medical school. I wanted to work near the human body, and my own personal research about lupus led me to seek out a degree in public health.

I've spent the past year going to school, working, and volunteering and I've learned through various ways that medicine is not only a path that I'm capable of, but one that I want more than anything in the world. As a full time student I have successfully taken many challenging courses. I have been working part time in a psychobiology lab learning how to perform research first hand. It was here that I discovered that although I love research, in many ways it is too disconnected from the people it is helping to be my ideal career. I spend a great deal of time in the clinics and the hospital at Boston University Medical Center and there I have observed the patient-doctor interaction and realized that I want to be involved with the people I'm helping. My volunteer work, which involved bring healthcare access to the homeless was also important in that it showed me just how much as a doctor you truly can make a difference in someone's life. By far though, the most important realization that I've taken away from this year is that I am capable doing whatever I set my mind to. Whether through maturity I now recognize and respect my body's limits, or because I have gone into remission, my Lupus has not been a major factor in my life or in my performance at school or work.

There was a point in my life where Lupus was making decisions for me, but now, my experiences with the illness are helping me to make the decisions. I know that I am capable of the work mentally as well as physically. I also know that my experience as a patient would bring a whole different level to my abilities as a physician- greater understanding, and certainly more empathy. My experiences have made me certain that my place in this world is as a physician.

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The Analysis:

Good first run! Overall: (1) no contractions in formal writing; (2) I still don't feel that you have shown many of the important characteristics related to being a doctor: leadership, self-directed learning, a short story about a compassionate experience, hobbies, academic achievement, etc. Show them that there's much more to you than Lupus.

P1: (1) S L ErythEmatosUs; also, consider using SLE as the short form instead of Lupus; (2) visitS to doctorS or doctor visitS; (3) . . . would change . . .

P2: (1) "...there is NO comfort..." is a very strong statement, it suggests that compassion is never a replacement for cure; (2) ...been a patient long enough...; (3) ...suffered under them...; that is also a strong statement; (4) I would delete "I wanted to...body, and"; My own ... seek a degree...(i.e. delete "out").

P3: (1) The sentence beginning with "My volunteer work, . . ." needs to be reconstructed; (2) ...capable of doing...

Good Luck!

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