Sunday, May 19, 2013

Personal Statement

This, I'm sorry to say, has absolutely nothing to do with fiction. I know I'm way behind on doing anything remotely related to my creative writing, but I blame school. I've had more time recently to do stuff, but I've also been trying to study for the second biggest exam of medical school. Only a couple more of these things and I'll actually be able to practice medicine.

Anyway, I'm working on my application for residency. Getting letters of recommendation, writing a personal statement...

Stop there for a moment. Personal statements. The free-flowing words that's supposed to describe absolutely everything you want to convey to an admissions committee. Or in my case, a residency director. For medical school, the whole point of the essay was to describe why I wanted to be a physician. Easy enough, once I got started. Now, I'm going to be a physician regardless. Maybe not licensed, if I can't land a residency, but a doctor none-the-less. So I have to start from scratch. And describe why I want to go into my specialty of choice.

It's hard. Because it's not good enough to say that I feel at home, or I'm just happier when I'm in my specialty of choice. No, I have to explain why. This essay has seriously taken up probably 30 hours of my life so far. I've written three drafts. Hopefully I'm close to the finished product now. I've submitted the most recent draft to my advisor for feedback. We'll see what she says.

A couple of my friends have said that since I'm a writer, this should be an easy task for me. Let me tell you... writing fiction and writing about yourself are two completely different things. I suck at writing about myself. I'm not too great at writing fiction either, because my language isn't very flowery, but I at least manage to get my thoughts down on the page and do a fairly good job at describing what I see in my mind's eye. Editing is what is used to refine something, not the initial writing. I'm awesome at writing rough drafts. I suck at editing.

In a couple weeks, I should have all the stuff I need for residency taken care of. At least for a little while. So when I have a week off and then head off to camp for a few weeks, I'm either going to write or edit. I'm determined to finish at least one book before I finish med school. Heaven knows I probably won't have time to write, let alone edit, one after med school's over.

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