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TOPIC: Personal statement question

Re: Personal statement question 8 years 6 months ago #18999

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A couple books I've flipped through said that part of a plain and sane personal statement is to talk about your goals in terms of what you intend to do you in your career. I don't know I would want to sub-specialize in at this point and I don't know whether I'd be primarily interested in academic or private practice. How important is it to include this kind of information in your personal statement?

I've seen quite a few of your posts here on orthogate and the best advice I can give you if you want to match is to chill out. The large majority of your posts, this one being a prime example, focus on the most trivial details that really don't matter much, if at all. Your energy would be best spent at just learning anatomy, working hard, staying late, being enthusiastic, and just acting like a normal person who is easy to get along with.

Why get a book to tell you how to write a personal statement then worry whether or not to include their potential career goals 40 years from now? Write something that actually is important to you and not something scripted from a how-to book.

For those of you wondering what to write about for a good PS, the best advice I can give is to write a story about yourself and why ortho would be a good fit for you. We dont want to read solely about your competetive grades, board scores, etc. like a modified CV, and we also dont want some random story that has no relationship to orthopedics. Tell us who you are in a way that captivates our attention and why you are interested and why you will be successful in this field. Remember, we will be flipping through hundreds of these, so you want to make yours memorable. Finally, have everyone you know proof read it for you and make corrections/suggestions...family, friends, classmates, mentors, anyone. The more people the better.

Oh, and one thing that has come up in years past is length - I would recommend 1 page, no longer.

*cough ** cough *.. ROL.. you haven't even started intern year yet, and you're referring to orthopaedics as "us" and "we" and blah blah..

You crack me up dude (or dudette)


Anyway, I agree with ROL. Iserson's and first aid suck, and don't really apply to ortho, at least, that's my humble opinion. It's too methodical (sp?) and application reviewers see right through it.

Hell, my story includes me getting hit by a car, being in the icu for a few weeks, missing a year of school, having 7 operations, scars all over..a half dozen broken bones,.. and i was looped in with "that's the typical ortho story".. really? it is.. I didn't think so, but nevertheless, that is HOW I got interested.

You have to write your statement as a who narrative of who you were, how you got here, and if you so dare.. some of your career aspirations. Yes, statistically, it is not the best to say you want to do SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS.. or whatever.. but I'm sure you have thought about either being a communopod or academiapod in a large town, city, or small burb, or way-out mid-west town.

Be honest.
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Re: Personal statement question 8 years 5 months ago #19144

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Anyway, I agree with ROL. Iserson's and first aid suck, and don't really apply to ortho, at least, that's my humble opinion. It's too methodical (sp?) and application reviewers see right through it.

Hell, my story includes me getting hit by a car, being in the icu for a few weeks, missing a year of school, having 7 operations, scars all over..a half dozen broken bones,.. and i was looped in with "that's the typical ortho story".. really? it is.. I didn't think so, but nevertheless, that is HOW I got interested.

You have to write your statement as a who narrative of who you were, how you got here, and if you so dare.. some of your career aspirations. Yes, statistically, it is not the best to say you want to do SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS.. or whatever.. but I'm sure you have thought about either being a communopod or academiapod in a large town, city, or small burb, or way-out mid-west town.

Be honest.

I'm applying this year, and I have to admit I'm hesitant to be completely honest. Sure honesty is great and all, but isn't matching the ultimate goal?

For example, I see myself doing private practice ortho in the future in suburbia somewhere, not academics. But, won't saying so hurt me in the eyes of programs who are academic? Sure, I'd rather go to a program that suits me best, but if its between matching at an academic institution thats research heavy and not matching at all, the choice is easy.
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Re: Personal statement question 8 years 5 months ago #19152

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A couple books I've flipped through said that part of a plain and sane personal statement is to talk about your goals in terms of what you intend to do you in your career. I don't know I would want to sub-specialize in at this point and I don't know whether I'd be primarily interested in academic or private practice. How important is it to include this kind of information in your personal statement?

...We dont want to read solely about your competetive grades, board scores, etc. like a modified CV, and we also dont want some random story that has no relationship to orthopedics. Tell us who you are in a way that captivates our attention and why you are interested and why you will be successful in this field...

*cough ** cough *.. ROL.. you haven't even started intern year yet, and you're referring to orthopaedics as "us" and "we" and blah blah..

You crack me up dude (or dudette)...

LMAO, nice catch Iliz!! Although I like the enthusiasm of being part of the ortho community, there's no need to mis-represent yourself. Your comments make it seem like your one who has been on the selection side of things for years (forgive me if you actually have been!) but having just finished my intern year, I have yet to even crack open even one application from the reviewer side of things...

My take on this whole issue is to not rock the boat. I think the best thing is to say that you don't know as of yet and that you'll let your experience as a resident guide your decisions in the future. Now, I know that some people think its not the most "honest" answer, especially if you "know" that you want to go into "so-and-so" or are going to join a "such-and-such" practice. The truth is you don't know for 100% sure and even if you are pretty sure, things can change over the next 5 years. Someone who "knew" they were going into private practice, may actually realize they would like to have residents around to take care of things and ease the workload while they're on-call. The fact of the matter is that you don't fully know what a career in ortho entails until you go through residency, so why not just state that fact and not turn off any community or academic programs by stating that you "know" want to go into one or the other...

just my 2 cents...

AS
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Thanks for the replies. I 8 years 5 months ago #19153

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Thanks for the replies. I decided to just leave it generic, say I don't know whether I'm interested in private practice or academics at this point.
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Don't write a generic essay. 8 years 5 months ago #19154

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Don't write a generic essay. Write a unique one. Here is my advice on how to get started;
Write down why you want to do ortho in outline style or venn diagram or whatever...just write stuff down. Then, combine all the reasons into two or three main ideas. At that point you have pretty much created a generic, crappy essay listing the same reasons that everybody wants to go into ortho. However, to make it unique, think about the other things you like to do and things you've done and experienced so far and, using your Danielle Steel writing skills, relate your hobbies and life experience to your motivation for doing ortho. Pick meaningful topics, though. Homebrewing beer, although awesome and something that will make you popular with the residents, is not really that meaningful. However, if you started a microbrewery you should write that into your essay (and also plan on talking only about that during all of your interviews, seriously) because it is interesting.

Anyway, that is just my input. On that note, the best piece of advice I got was from a resident who said people on Orthogate rarely know what they are talking about and will blatantly lie to you if it is in their best interest.
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Don't write a generic essay. 8 years 5 months ago #19158

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Don't write a generic essay. Write a unique one. Here is my advice on how to get started;
Write down why you want to do ortho in outline style or venn diagram or whatever...just write stuff down. Then, combine all the reasons into two or three main ideas. At that point you have pretty much created a generic, crappy essay listing the same reasons that everybody wants to go into ortho. However, to make it unique, think about the other things you like to do and things you've done and experienced so far and, using your Danielle Steel writing skills, relate your hobbies and life experience to your motivation for doing ortho. Pick meaningful topics, though. Homebrewing beer, although awesome and something that will make you popular with the residents, is not really that meaningful. However, if you started a microbrewery you should write that into your essay (and also plan on talking only about that during all of your interviews, seriously) because it is interesting.

Anyway, that is just my input. On that note, the best piece of advice I got was from a resident who said people on Orthogate rarely know what they are talking about and will blatantly lie to you if it is in their best interest.

Really the only part of my PS that is generic is the short part where I say that I'm not interested in a particular subspecialty at this point and I don't know whether I want to eventually practice in the private sector or in academia. I then address those uncertainties afterwards. The rest is very unique in my opinion. Thanks for the input though
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