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Essays That Will Get You into Medical School Paperback – Aug 1 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Cue feelings of inferiority complex! Oct. 11 2010
By Shermel B. Sherman - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book has great pointers, but it is difficult to read these sample essays and not reflect on how un-interesting your life and purpose for applying to medical school is. Some of the experiences are super random and most of the people were applying to ivy-league schools and lived the lives you would expect of extraordinary students. They gave an example of a student who was exactly like me in the chapters about writing, but then when I searched for the was not one of the model essays. None of the students seem "average" either. It seems like you have to be a 25+ year old applicant with years of life experience. As in you must have experience in finding mice in a random field and reviving them, time spent in West Africa, Brazil, France, and Asia doing medical internships, your parents must both be physicians, a physician must have saved your life or your little brothers... stories like that. It's difficult to be an average student with no heart breaking stories to tell about experiences in medicine.

As a 20 year old applying to medical school. I realize that research, getting ready to be published, high MCAT, okay grades, 1000+ hours of clinical experience, awesome recommendations, and other extra-curricular activities is not enough to get into medical school. After reading this book, I feel like I basically have to save someone's life by performing a solo heart surgery in the middle of a flash flood for a committee to even consider my application.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Incredible Helpful, key to my medical school acceptance!!! Oct. 19 2012
By TheSchnugg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help me with my primary statement for my medical school application. This was my second time applying and while I felt there were some other things wrong with my first application, I believe my primary statement the first time around really did not set me apart. I have a mediocre/low GPA, pretty good MCAT score, but lots of life experience and extracurricular activities so I felt the primary statement was my best bet to really show medical schools who I am. I must have written a pretty good essay because I received 5 interview invitations within the first 2 months after submitting my primary and was recently accepted into one of my top choice medical schools.

The first couple of chapters of this book address what medical schools are looking for in an essay and how to make your own life story come across in the primary statement. It helps you organize your thoughts and experiences, guiding you through structuring an essay that show some real emotion. I found that working through the brainstorming activities was key in developing my essay and I strongly suggest that everyone why buys this book does so as well. The final parts of the book are example essays of past admitted medical students. This is where I think the book is a little lacking. Most of the essays are from students who were accepted into Yale, Harvard, Johns get the picture. Obviously the other parts of the applications for these students, such as MCAT and GPA, must have been very outstanding as well. I believe that most of these students would have been accepted into medical school regardless of their primary statement. Even though many essays described experiences that the average applicant cannot relate to, I believe the thought process highlighted of why these experiences make the student a good candidate for becoming a doctor were the real key here. I found many hidden gems and inspirations among some of the essays and they allowed me to see how a successful essay should be structured.

I believe this book was they key why I was so incredibly successful in my application process and I highly recommend it to anyone working on their application to medical school!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent advice for the personal statement Dec 12 2012
By LM - Published on
Format: Paperback
For me, the personal statement was the hardest part of the application, and this book really helped me brainstorm and organize my thoughts. It was useful to see how others have written statements.
your best bet is to have a lot of life experience July 31 2014
By AstralMan - Published on
Format: Paperback
From what I've read in this book, your best bet is to have a lot of life experience. By this I mean: if you've volunteered in another country giving aid to poor third-world country dwellers, GREAT! If you've spent all of your short life grinding through school as hard as you can for that perfect GPA, better luck next time. If you survived a life-threatening illness such as cancer or have had a dear relative die of cancer and want to be a doctor to fight such illnesses, GREAT you're a shew-in! If you don't have nothing major happen in your life except for your stellar academic record (like so many other applicants), then sucks-to-be-you. Obviously not everyone has inspiring events in their lives that drive them towards a career in medicine. Medical schools want a source of motivation that makes the applicant stand apart from the others... even if that means a sappy heart-sob story about your head cancer! The reason why I added another star instead of giving this book just one is that it gives the reader the idea: hey, maybe I can lie my @$$ off on my essay... I know right? It definitely burdens an applicant's honesty.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
quality writing Aug. 11 2010
By Aaron - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is written by the people you would want to ask about your essays, and they have asked the people you wouldn't dare ask about your essays: the people reading the essays. After a few tips on how to make your essay good and how to determine if you want to be a doctor, there are 35 sample essays that are dissected and open for you to learn about. Pros and cons, strong points and weaknesses. It's pretty interesting to read and hopefully inspiring as well.