Personal Statement Hacks
Here it is! The one specific principle that can take an “average” medical school application and make it outstanding — even riveting — to the people who read it:
In the personal essays, use the space available to create a flawlessly well-reasoned ARGUMENT in your own behalf.
I use the word “argument,” but of course I would never want you to sound ARGUMENTATIVE. (I want you to sound warm, and personal, and human — of course!) “Argument” just means that when someone gets done reading your personal statement or any other essay on the application, their natural reaction is to say: “Oh my gosh. This makes absolutely perfect sense . . . I don’t even have a question about this. It’s completely clear to me that this person should be in med school.” If the essay you have now is not getting this reaction, you have missed the boat.
This principle — of using the science of ARGUMENT to write something powerful and convincing and compelling — can help clarify for you exactly what you should be writing about in the personal statement. It can give you clear direction on what exactly which stories to tell, which personal experiences you should emphasize, and which things about you you had best bury and downplay. It can help you to explain clearly and with confidence (not arrogance) why you want to be a doctor, and it can keep you from falling back on over-used cliches such as: “I want to help people.” Plus it can help with every other aspect of the application process, from letters of recommendation to interviews.
So how do you create a powerful, extremely well-reasoned argument in your own behalf?
First off — you’re going to have to throw that old “introduction — body — conclusion” essay structure they taught you in English Comp 101 right out the window. Sorry, but that’s an informative essay structure, and it just flat doesn’t work for persuasion. You need a structure that’s far more multi-layered, far more elegant.
Second, you’ll search your OWN SOUL for the most compelling reasons that you, (not 100 other people) should be in medical school. Then you’ll organize and express that information using the exact same principles that a lawyer uses when arguing a case in court. It’s by using these very old, time-tested principles that we can get a reader to say: “Wow. This makes absolutely perfect sense!” Trouble is, they don’t usually teach you the advanced principles of argument in undergrad . . . you don’t usually learn them unless you reach the third year of law school.
If you’re creating application essays on your own, you might learn these time-tested principles of argument by 1) asking a logic professor at your college or university to explain the principles to you (be sure to ask him or her, if you do this, about the THREE COMPONENT PARTS OF ARGUMENT that must be in perfect balance in order for an argument to be flawlessly convincing). You could 2) get a textbook on argumentation from your college bookstore, or — I can help you.
If you would like clear instruction from me on exactly
* how to construct a flawlessly logical argument in your own behalf in your med school application, including the brilliant essay structure that succeeds where “introduction — body — conclusion” fails
* how to catch and hold the reader’s fascinated attention throughout the entire thing and
* how to make the reader FEEL STRONGLY as well as THINK that you should be in medical school
— you can get my personal help for your individual situation. Just click on GET HELP NOW. You can get real practical help from me for as little as $99.00, and then buy more help from me later if that makes sense in your situation. I am here to help. Best of luck to you as you create a stunningly well-reasoned argument in your own behalf in your medical school application!
“With my academic record, I was worried that I would never get in to med school. Jeannie was a great help though; she actually helped me structure my AMCAS essay so it looked like academic ability was one of my greatest strengths! Most amazing though, was the day I called her to say I’d been accepted. ‘Wow!” she said. “I helped four people apply to that school this year, and with your call I’m finding out that all four got in!’ The really stunning thing about this is . . . . that school had had 1680 applicants for only 42 slots. Jeannie, I owe you a lot.”
“Jeannie, as you know I applied to med school last year with top grades from Northwestern University and an awesome MCAT score, and still I didn’t get into med school anywhere. I was devastated. This year you helped me, and I can honestly say that without your help my personal statement and secondary applications would never have been as strong and impactful as they ended up to be. You not only helped me put my qualifications on paper, you also helped me define and express some of my greatest passions and motivations behind my decision to pursue medicine. The confidence you gave me before interviews was invaluable as well! I can proudly say I was accepted to a top 20 medical school this week and I am thrilled!! I could not have done it without you!”
— A.M., Chicago, IL