Reading over pathology personal statement examples can be of utmost help in composing your own personal statement. You cannot allow the blank page to conquer you, but when you find yourself unable to proceed, taking a look at what others have written will be your greatest boon.
will necessarily include writing the perfect personal statement to send out to programs. Even if you are in one of the , you will still benefit from standing out in every way, including your personal statement.
Even if you already know everything about writing style, tone, and structure, even if you have all of your past accomplishments on hand, it can still be a daunting task to write out a personal statement. It’s a great comfort reading example statements, which is why we present them here for your edification.
I have to assume that most people don’t find their true calling while being covered in blood and surrounded by sundered body parts and organs. But there I was in the pathology lab, after a particularly grueling session, with a smile under my mask, and an understanding that this was where I wanted to be.
Any lab was home to me, ever since I was little my parents gave me a “kid’s science kit”. They are both scientists themselves, and are the ones who spurred my natural curiosity about the world.
When I was a little boy I would ask questions about why moths are attracted to light or what makes a bat come out in darkness. They would rarely give the answer. They would start me on my journey of discovery, and I would move forward to learn. I learned how to set up very rudimentary experiments from them, and I did so often, learning about the natural world.
This paid off when I was enrolled in the gifted program. I was taking high school courses in junior high, and would continue to excel academically.
Unfortunately, I must stress that word, “academically”. I found that a lot of my friends didn’t really like me in the advanced program, and as much fun as I had there, I was – I admit – becoming insufferable. My friends let me know this, and we got into a lot of fights.
After a while, I started to flub my grades in an attempt to just “Be normal”.
My life didn’t get back on track until one evening when I heard that one of my friends – Dale – was in a car accident and was on life support. In his hospital room, I remember thinking how small he looked.
I felt guilty for not being a better friend to Dale, and so I started volunteering at the hospital, hoping to help him as best I could. I found I loved that, too, and had an aptitude for much of the work that was being offered me at the facility.
The day I found the lab, though, was the day that changed my life for the best, and got me back on track. I had to be pried from the lab, and started shadowing the laboratory physicians without even really thinking about what I was doing. They were happy for the assistance and I was happy for the wealth of knowledge that I was receiving from them.
I did a lot of monitoring tubes to make sure nothing boiled over, but it didn’t matter: I had rediscovered my love of the test tube, the Erlenmeyer flask, and the beaker. The next semester of school, I vowed to hike my grades up and get into medical school.
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By the time I was in medical school, I was unstoppable, driven by a fire within me that was boiling my internal chemistry set back into the lab. Scientific medicine was definitely where I wanted to be, and my first-choice clerkships always brought me back into contact with test tubes. Pathology was my favorite of all of the areas I was in, allowing me to fully employ my love of science and my love of medicine to directly affect the outcome of a patient’s critical health.
In keeping with my hospital volunteer work, the volunteer opportunities I pursued in medical school were also largely in the laboratory. I was largely helping with documentation, and did a lot of cleaning up and setting up to help others in their own scientific pursuits. While nowhere near as enjoyable as the thrill I get using the lab for my own inquiries, I got a different, invaluable experience here. Performing these services for others reminded me to stay humble about who I was and to keep in mind that all medical professionals are who we are to serve others. I consider this one of the most important reinforcements I have received at medical school.
Dale was long since recovered, and he and I made up and become fast friends again, and we are best friends to this day.
I still have my kids’ lab kits and chemistry sets, although I mostly “play” with the big ones now.
The lab makes me excited, and that’s why I am applying for a residency in pathology. I love to solve the puzzle, and that is the main aim of pathology. With my degree, I hope to work as a pathologist in a teaching hospital. I feel I ought to give back, since I spent so many years lost and wandering. One of my goals is be to be a doctor, but I also desire to help other people find their own paths in life – to solve their problems as well as solve the problems of illness and disease.
“Five letter word. Neckwear for a highlander.” Ascot. A Scot. That was the first cryptic crossword clue that I ever solved, and I was happier for that small victory than if I’d run a marathon.
I am a puzzle-solver. Crossword puzzles are my favorite ones to crank out, and I cannot consume enough of them. Much of my spare time is devoted to puzzle-solving, and when it came time to choose a path in life and a vocation, I wanted to solve puzzles. “Puzzle solver” isn’t on any of the forms, though, and so I was stumped as to this puzzle: what should I do with my life?
To make some money for university tuition I was a lifeguard. I remember being mostly bored, often doing a crossword puzzle nestled beside me in the lifeguard seat. Fourteen-down, seven letters… Then a splash moved my eyes from the page. It was a “wrong” splash. I can’t explain it, but it wasn’t like the others. Maybe it was the commotion around the splash, but I knew it was wrong.
If it sounded wrong, boy did it look wrong. Red was in the water, floating like crimson mist, and I dove into the pool. Forget the whistle, just dive. I lost track of time, I think, and remember only dragging the boy out of the pool, his head bleeding, his eyes closed, water seeping from his mouth, and my CPR and first aid training took over. I was counting and pumping and breathing, and finally – finally – after an agonizing time, I saw him cough and splutter and sit up. His mother had been shouting the whole time, but I hadn’t heard her; I was focused and in the zone.
I saw her bright embrace of the boy, and I knew I wanted to save lives.
Medical school came next, and there was always, lingering in the back of my mind, the sense that I had been beaten by that puzzle: how to be a puzzle-solver for a career. I was enjoying my classes, my labs, learning about aspects of medicine, shadowing physicians, but nothing was really solving that itch. I resigned myself to being a weekend puzzle-solver and a doctor by day.
Nine letter word; an aspect of medicine concerned with the study of tissues. PATHOLOGY.
I encountered a fellow puzzle-solver: a pathologist named Dr. Claire Barton, and she had me hooked from day one. I found a world I had never seen before in the study of pathology, and I started doing as much extra credit as I could.
Dr. Barton showed me how to use clues contained in tissues, how to investigate and discover, and how to handle the technical aspects of the ins and outs of her profession. I know this is what I want to do.
With my work and education under Dr. Barton, I shared my crosswords and Sudokus and murder mystery novels, and she and I found new insights in applying puzzle solving patterns to our lab work. Treating it almost like a game helped our minds relax and work faster.
Dr. Barton and I worked one case – in perinatal pathology – where we put in extra hours to find the root cause of a patient’s miscarriages. It turned out that she had a rare autoimmune condition which was affecting her pregnancies. Months later, Dr. Barton showed me a picture of a baby, and told me it was sent to us by our patient. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life.
Someday, I hope to be a physician working to solve problems faster. I want to solve the problems of solving problems, and my ambition is to refine pathology methods into a superior state. My dream job would be to work in a laboratory and ferret out the best methods for identifying and disposing of illnesses. I would also like to write materials, text books, that combine my two loves to make pathology more accessible – teaching the discipline through a series of puzzles and games. That would be a tremendous project and undertaking.
The real goal, though, at the end of the day, is to always give out more of those bright-eyed hugs – the welcome-back embraces of that mother to her child. Puzzle solving is fun, but saving lives is the goal, and that’s what I want to do. Wherever I do it, however I do it, that’s the principle and purpose of my four-letter-word for existence.
They were panicking. They didn’t know where the campsite was and they had the compass calibrated all wrong. Even worse: they knew it wasn’t quite right, but nobody could remember how to fix it. I did, but I was waiting to see if they figured it out. It was funny because we weren’t really lost, had plenty of food, and I knew there was no real danger.
My first foray into guiding was as a boy scout, and I was in my teenage years leading some campers on their first-ever canoe trip.
Don’t worry, I only let them panic for about five minutes before giving them some pointers on how to calibrate their compass. That’s the thing, I don’t want people to just have answers handed to them. I had that happen to me; I had a grade school teacher who would just give us the answers, and that was never satisfying to me. I wanted to figure it out myself – just a few hints. So that’s how I taught: here’s how to calibrate the compass, hold the map like this, now figure it out. The best part? They did.
I had other teachers who challenged me the way I liked to challenge others. I think we learn best when we do that.
As much as I enjoy teaching students and guiding them, I never really wanted to purely be an educator. It’s a fine field, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like I wanted something different. Medicine seemed just right.
How did I arrive at medicine? Well, let me give you some pieces.
My mother was a nurse and used to complain about a lack of good doctors. She said they were few and far between.
I had gotten a few high grades, high enough that I started to think the sky was the limit when it came to educational opportunities.
I wanted a field where I could teach, guide, and help, but not where I would just be a teacher.
It’s obvious that I decided on medicine. What really clinched it for me, though – good as those reasons were – was when I went with my mother on career day into the hospital and watched her first-hand care for patients. I saw what she dealt with and the impact she made.
I’ve always been close to my mother, and she taught me well. She was the first to hint-teach, and maybe that’s why I prefer that method over all others.
She needed my help when she caught the coronavirus at work, too. She isolated, but I had to care for her and the household, and keep on top of my studies. I had already expressed an interest in pursuing medicine, and at the end of the fortnight of caring for her she asked, “So, you still want to be a doctor?”
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So I enrolled in medical college and started trying everything. Pediatrics wasn’t for me, although it was almost what I wanted. Pathology wasn’t even on my radar until I took a course and then as a research assistant for the instructor in the next semester. Teaching pathology students was special because a lot of them liked learning how I liked learning. A couple expressed an interest in piecing answers together rather than having them presented.
I had many excellent experiences working with pathologists, and I found I had an aptitude for it. I helped diagnose a bone condition in one patient, for instance, that let us solve a long problem he had. He had a history of fractures, and since the patient was in his 60s, his doctor had thought that this was just age. Still, he wanted samples tested in the pathology lab, and we discovered that the patient had a medical condition which affected his bones – outside of just age. That patient is now receiving treatment that will help combat his fractured condition.
I loved working with that team so very much, and I knew this was the specialization for me. I want to work as a physician and a teacher, even if only a class or two at a local medical college or high school, but that is my main goal and what I hope to accomplish. Someday I would like to create educational programs that more closely operate within my ideal educational methods, but that’s the far future. The next step is to study further and find more students who love the question and the answer as much as I do.
1. How long should my personal statements be?
Between 700 and 800 words, or about a page.
2. Are personal statements graded?
Not with a letter grade, no, but they will absolutely affect your chances of acceptance.
3. What is the purpose of a personal statement?
It’s the best way that the applications committee can get to know you. These statements move beyond , , transcripts, and and , and let the committee know the kind of person you are, the values you have, and the growth you have experienced.
4. Should I address any of my shortcomings in my personal statement?
Yes, if you can show your growth and strength of character in overcoming obstacles and learning from past mistakes. You can’t just say that you’ve failed a class or have a problem with procrastination. Instead, you need to explain why failing a class once made you a stronger student and why you’ll never procrastinate again. Use specific examples.
5. People say “show, don’t tell,” all the time. What does that writing advice mean, exactly?
It means that you can’t just list off your accomplishments or abilities, you have to make the reader understand them.
It’s the difference between saying, “I never give up and fight for the underdog,” and telling a story of how you championed a weaker person, faced adversity head-on, got “knocked down”, but never quit, and kept trying.
The story will communicate those qualities (perseverance and helping out people weaker than yourself) without ever needing to say them directly.
That’s how to show instead of tell.
6. Are the word limits strict?
Residency applications are looking for one page, keep it to one page.
Keep in mind that these readers are going through a stack of applications, so you don’t want to bog them down by being overly verbose. Better to say something quickly and effectively than simply with a lot of empty ink.
7. I don’t know what to write about. How do I fight writer’s block?
By the time you’ve hit residency application, odds are very good that you’ll have a stack of experiences as long as your leg – or longer. The trick can be figuring out which to use.
Pick your two or three best qualities and stories that illustrate those. You will also want to pick qualities and stories that highlight your appropriateness for the discipline to which you are applying. Specializing in pathology means you pick stories that highlight how good a pathologist you’ll be.
8. What should my statements never include?
Never lie, never brag, and never be unprofessional – including putting anybody down.