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Personal Statement - With A Free Essay Review



Sweat running down the forehead, frost hitting my eyes, and tip of my fingertips I cannot feel are all typical things that one can expect on a cold Canadian morning. Eighteen years old, getting accepted into Royal Canadian Air Force, what more can one ask for. The same year, twelve amongst seventeen hundred were chosen for the piloting program and after my acceptance I felt like I was on top of the world. My future was set and to be honest at that point I could never predicted that medicine is something I would do. Eighteen years old and getting ready to fly a F-17 raptor, traveling around the world, what more can one ask for.

It was a routine exercise, boom; I hear a grenade explosion in the distance. Time to move in. the group gets closer and amidst the smoke nothing can be seen. We hear a cry, a man, someone familiar but I cant tell whom due to helicopters flying in and out of the base. I get closer, its Ryan, a guy who I became friends from the Air Cadets. I couldnít believe it. A car hit him and from the looks of it his left leg suffered a heavy damage. Never in my life I hear someone cry in such an agony, I felt the excruciating pain in his body.

I enter a room smelling of chloroform and stench of urine does not seem to leave my nose. As a child visitng my dad at the hospital brought back the same memories. To this day, I remember what he went through as a war veteran in Azerbaijan. From the inadequate Soviet healthcare to recovery, I witnessed the agony my father went through and now all of it was coming back.

There lays Ryan, hopeless, with a visible sadness in his eyes. He knew it was over. All these years giving his best and one careless mistake took his future gals away. But it could have been worse. Doctors projected that he will walk in the near eight months and that was a miracle but nothing can bring happiness knowing that you cannot get your wings. The aura in the room has been instilled in my heart to this day and I felt like I went through what Ryan did. I visited him for three months straight and everyday I was amazed what I saw in the wards. Lives and futures were being saved day by day. Fathers were given chances to see their children, wives were being saved from being called widows, and parents were given chances to sit on a dinner table again. It hit me, medicine has always been there for me and itís because of it that I get to experience marvelous things that made who I am at that time. I was having second thoughts about my air force career. How come something that I dreamed of actually may not be what I truly want deep inside?

Two weeks passed and after researching a bit, I reserved a place where I can view an open-heart surgery. Confused and not knowing what to expect I sat in the room. With awe I spent the whole eight hours with amazement. From every meticulous task to the most elaborate one, I sat there astonished. Suddenly, a fire started to burn inside my heart, a new desire, something that I havenít experincied since high school. The surgery made me sit at my desk for days and think about my future. Confusion and plans about future dominated my agenda. How come an immigrant from Azerbaijan who got into one of the most elite Air force programs in the world did not want to stay there? I could not answer it. Notwithstanding my fathers defiance I quit my air force program for something that I truly want to do. I gave up a sound future, one of the coolest jobs, and all that I worked for during high school for the love of medicine.

Even though, the stress of four jobs and annual tuition bills put a roadblock for my dreams, I never gave up on medicine. Everyday, I strive hard and try to succeed. To my professorís amazement, I go above and beyond even though there are days I donít sleep. But itís this hard work and burning desire to be a health professional that keeps me going through.

Through working in the OR with the anesthesiologist or seeing people pass away in the ER, I find new intriguing things about medicine and consider myself lucky to experience these amazing things. Throughout the day working with children who have learning disabilities, or DJ-ing at a popular nightclub, or answering questions as a teaching assistant I get to see many aspects of human interactions. I believe that it is these interactions that allow me to interact with patients of various backgrounds. May be its because I speak four languages, or may be because I can relate to some hardships of living under the poverty line, or spending tremendous hours in the lab but there is something deep inside that tells me that medicine is for me and it keeps me going when the going gets tough.

I have given up great deal for my passion and its these past experiences that have reassured me that if you truly want something then sky is the limit. True that I did not have much fun throughout undergraduate years like my peers but the stress taught me that I am actually a great DJ. From being a local star to international recognition, have all been found through passion. From a karate instructor to European champion are just some of things that I offer. My dedication and hard work coupled with my social skills, I believe will make an ideal doctor who will treat patients with respect and humility.

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ESSAY REVIEW

You seem to be trying to write your personal statement in the form of a literary memoir. I think that is a mistake because you do not have an adequate grasp of English grammar and syntax to write convincingly in that fashion. The essay is also poorly organized so that it's not always clear exactly what event you are talking about. You start off talking about a cold Canadian morning, but nothing ostensibly happens on that morning. I'm not sure if you are talking about the morning you got accepted into the RCAF or the time Ryan was injured or some other time altogether. That lack of clarity, and the lack of transitions between paragraphs, and the lack of context (because you jump, in literary mode, right into the middle of things: boom!), and the grammatical problems - all of that make it difficult to piece together the threads of your personal narrative. The whole thing is unfortunately a bit incoherent.

I suggest, then, that you begin again with a slightly different aim. Tell your story in a simple, straightforward way, such that your essay might be summarized like this:

"When I was eighteen I joined the RCAF because [X]. Then one day my friend was injured. During that time I decided that I wanted to be a doctor because [Y]. Since that time I have therefore done the following ..."

Note the presence of words like "because" and "therefore"; including words like that will force you develop your story in a logical rather than a literary manner, and it will allow your reader more easily to appreciate the progression of your essay (and of your life). It will help if, before you begin your revision, you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish with the personal statement. You need to know what questions you are trying to answer, because if you know that, then you can answer them directly.

And one of the things you don't need to accomplish is a demonstration of your literary talent. Of course it's fine to tell the story about Ryan, because you should explain your decision to become a doctor, but tell that story simply and briefly, with a view to getting quickly to the point: Over the course of Ryan's rehabilitation, you became more interested in medicine than in the air force. But don't rely on the telling of this story, or the telling of stories generally, to communicate why you want to be a doctor. Include simple, straightforward statements of this kind: "I want to be a doctor because ... "; "I think I am qualified to pursue this career path because ... ."

Note, by the way, that your answer to the last question, as implied in the current draft of your essay, doesn't say much about your interest in science. You speak vaguely about how working in the OR and seeing people die in the ER (that's probably not the best way of putting things) allows you to encounter "intriguing" or "amazing" things, but beyond that you speak only of your human interest in the field. Medicine, as you know, is not just about making nice with the patients; it is a difficult, intellectually challenging pursuit. So tell us about your training and your intellectual interests, not just about DJ work or karate (you can include that stuff too, but as an aside: "When I'm not studying, I like to kick people ...").

Best, EJ

P.S. Avoid cliches, especially the egregiously platitudinous ones (when you truly want something, the sky is the limit).
Submitted by: feredun
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