Students are often unsure of how to write a TMDSAS personal statement that will stand out, so in this blog, we'll go over some excellent TMDSAS personal statement examples and discuss what makes them great. Keep in mind that the TMDSAS personal statement essay is limited to 5000 characters, including spaces. If you're applying to dental, veterinary or medical schools in Texas, you'll have to apply through the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service, known as TMDSAS. Check out our blog on the ultimate guide to TMDSAS to find out everything you need to know about applying to schools using this system.
Similar to the AMCAS personal statement and the AADSAS personal statement, the TMDSAS personal statement requires applicants to discuss why they want to pursue a career in a specific field and what makes them a good fit to do so. Review our blogs, medical school acceptance rates and dental school acceptance rates to determine which schools are best suited for you. You can also check out some medical school personal statement examples, dental school personal statement examples, and residency personal statement examples to get an idea of the quality of writing and thought expected from personal statements.
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A lot of students applying to medical, dental or veterinary school in Texas are surprised to find out that Texas uses its own application service, TMDSAS. So why TMDSAS instead of AMCAS? TMDSAS was actually created first, in 1968, as the UT System Medical and Dental Application Center, two years prior to the creation of AMCAS in 1970. It was designed to be a central application service that would benefit both applicants and participating schools. While out-of-state students can apply to Texas medical schools, state legislature limits the number of non-residents who can attend medical school in Texas to 10%. This creates a rich pool of in-state applicants and because of TMDSAS, students can apply to multiple schools at once for a flat fee of $185, making it much cheaper to apply through TMDSAS compared with AMCAS. In a previous blog, we discuss the TMDSAS personal characteristics essay, one of two additional essays required for the TMDSAS.
Our TMDSAS personal statement examples video will go over everything you need to know:
"48° 35’ 20” N, 115° 29’ 28” W – The GPS flashed the coordinates of my workplace for the day, Ross Creek, situated in the heart of Kootenai National Forest. I was in the middle of a summer long project to assess stream health based on the macroinvertebrate population. I dropped my backpack overflowing with bug nets, water filters and granola bars, and basked in the shade of the ancient cedars. When was the last time anyone had ventured this far? I considered myself lucky to see this hidden world suspended in time. This experience ignited my passion for discovery and interest in the unknown.
My curiosity drove me to apply to graduate school. This time; however, the path to success couldn’t be found on a GPS. My first semester challenged me academically. I struggled to balance the amount of reading in my classes with the time required to complete my experiments. I spent endless nights analyzing my flow cytometry results while trying to comprehend the difference in subpopulations of CD8+ T-cells. However, in Dr. Leslie's lab I found my stride. He reignited my desire to seek out the questions without answers. I studied a genetic mutation in CovR/S, a two-component regulatory system, which controls expression of virulence factors involved in Group A Streptococcus (GAS) pathogenesis. By the end of my thesis, my work determined a distinct effect of covS mutation on GAS disease presentation. Although my contribution to science may be, well, microscopic, the impact on my intellectual and personal growth was anything but. I left MSU an independent thinker, a confident and skilled communicator, and hungry for another adventure.
Autonomy is built into my DNA. As one of four children, my parents instilled in me at a young age to be self-sufficient and advocate for myself. I carried this philosophy with me my entire life. It was the cornerstone of my success in graduate school, and, ultimately the reason I left. The thought of a new discovery excited me, but I found the lab bench to be quite a lonely place. My accomplishments felt like mine and mine alone and I needed to feel like part of a team, a group, of anything. Both my parents served in the Air Force and their stories of the people they met and the places they traveled piqued my interest. This was it! The perfect opportunity to satisfy my appetite for exploration while working to achieve a common goal.
As a digital network analyst, I lived on the frontier of the Internet deciphering 1’s and 0’s. The job of national security is not an easy one and certainly can’t be accomplished alone. The chance to work on high priority projects was humbling, but still something was missing. I spent all day trying to understand technology meant to connect us, and yet, professionally, I couldn’t feel more detached. Operating on such a grand scale felt cold and impersonal. I looked for other ways to be of more direct service to people.
In the back of the ambulance, I struggled to hear the first “thud” of his blood pressure above the blaring sirens. The quiet I’d become accustomed to was nowhere to be found. We were dispatched for an 87-year old male patient, complaining of shortness of breath. My partner assessed his respirations while I measured his pulse oximetry. A quick exam revealed his breathing was rapid and shallow and an SpO2 of 88%. We provided oxygen, kept him warm, and transported him to the nearest hospital. By the time we arrived, his breathing had improved and speaking became easier. Our intervention worked! My partner and I functioned independently, but we cared for the patient in unison. We moved our patient to his room and as we left, he gave us a wave and a smile. In that moment, I no longer felt removed from my work. As patients detailed the pain of their worst day, I was an active participant: engaged and fully present. Their outcome depended not on my knowledge of the human body alone but also the bond we formed. A fact highlighted during my time shadowing.
Dr. John's clinic served as more of a classroom than an exam room. As many of his patients were living with HIV, he educated his patients on their illness and listened intently as they asked questions. Nothing was off limits. His openness allowed his patients the freedom to discuss difficult and embarrassing topics. The trust he established facilitated a better experience and gave his patients the tools necessary to take care of themselves. He empowered his patients to take control of their health. This experience showed me the interconnection between patient and provider and how one depends on the other.
Medicine allows me a glimpse inside the most intimate of human events. I feel a closeness that I’ve yet to experience sitting behind a computer or a microscope. No longer analyzing my subject from afar but up close and personal. Armed with a GPS, I navigated the trails of Montana easily. In medicine, the path isn’t as clearly marked which is why I’m applying to medical school. I’m eager to learn more, do more, and explore uncharted territory."
- This statement example is great because it checks off all of the critical points a personal statement should include such as a creative opening, personal experiences, and a great flow. The opening paragraph is quite unique, starting with GPS coordinates, as a reader you're instantly intrigued to find out where the location is and where the story is going. It's very descriptive and interesting, allowing for full submersion.
- Personal experiences are well demonstrated as the applicant does a great job of using specific examples, such as working in Dr. Leslie's lab, as a digital analyst, and as a paramedic to showcase different qualities and skills. The fact that the applicant chose to discuss experiences that are completely different and unique, both in their roles and responsibilities, is an excellent approach for showing flexibility and adaptability.
- The essay flows extremely well and takes the reader on a chronological journey through the applicant's life. Additionally, the connection the applicant makes to the opening in the end really brings the paper together. It is clear that the applicant has strong motivations for pursuing medicine. This is shown through the applicant's continual drive to learn more, explore, and find the path to doing something they are truly passionate about.
"Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” In order to understand what makes a great doctor, it is essential to view high-quality healthcare from a variety of angles to gain insights into the many complex layers of healthcare operations. I have had the privilege to see this high level of healthcare exemplified from multiple different perspectives, which has guided me to a career in medicine and fostered a dedication to the lifelong pursuit of knowledge for the betterment of society.
From a young age, I have always said that I wanted to be a doctor. This desire stemmed primarily from seeing my father’s undeniable passion for his work as an ophthalmologist. However, it was not until one unfortunate situation during my junior year of high school that I saw firsthand the impact that doctors have on individuals and families from a patient’s perspective. My mother was visiting my sister at her college and attending a wedding shower when she suddenly collapsed and was rushed to a nearby hospital. A quick scan discovered a ruptured brain aneurysm on the posterior communicating artery. Thankfully, she was saved by a skilled neurosurgeon and the phenomenal medical team accompanying him. Witnessing the neurosurgeon perform at the highest level in this life or death situation helped me appreciate many aspects of treatment that I had not even considered, such as the dedication to the training required to master such a complex procedure specifically for situations like these. The emotional maelstrom of this alarming experience led me to the realization that I need to become a great doctor that makes a profound impact on the lives of not only the patients seeking treatment but also their families and friends.
Wanting to learn more about how the physician-patient interaction I witnessed fits into the larger clinical operation led me to a position as an ophthalmic technician at my father’s practice that summer. Becoming an employee in the healthcare industry allowed me to see patient care from another point of view: the provider perspective. Not only was I able to gain valuable experience interacting with patients, taking histories, and dilating pupils, I was also able to see yet another compassionate physician – my father – take pride in his work. In fact, my favorite part of my position was seeing post-op patients the morning after their cataract surgery when they realized that they could see the eye chart with 20/20 – 20/25 vision! I now understood why patients walked up to him in restaurants or at baseball games when I was only a child exclaiming how much better they could see after their surgery. While I was inspired by the swift treatment surgeries can provide, I appreciated the role doctors play in the prevention and management of chronic diseases when my father would counsel his patients on the importance of controlling diabetes to preserve vision. Playing an active role in a healthcare team cemented my desire to become a physician and to one day provide empathetic care to patients of my own.
In addition to seeing healthcare from both patient and provider perspectives alongside hard-working physicians, I have had the opportunity to see healthcare from another perspective: the policy perspective. As a freshman in college, I was offered a job which allowed me to learn more about our political system along with a wide variety of issues affecting the state. Seeing my mentor advocate for patients and for public health motivated me to strive to play an active role in resolving issues as pervasive as the national opioid epidemic. My invaluable mentor helped show me complicated policy issues surrounding healthcare and the impact that doctors could potentially have on legislation. My experience in that position has been pivotal in my continuous development as an aspiring physician and leader in healthcare.
A wide variety of perspectives have taught me that two of the most important traits for being an exceptional doctor (like my father and the neurosurgeon that saved my mother) are the utmost level of professionalism and determination toward enhancing the quality of life for patients. I am pursuing a career in medicine with these undertakings as my primary goals. Becoming a true advocate for patients requires a lifelong dedication to learning and an unrelenting tenacity to solve problems. My dynamic experience in the medical field has offered me countless learning opportunities, and I look forward to identifying issues and providing solutions both in the clinic and in public health backed by strong medical knowledge."
- This essay has a great flow with excellent transitional sentences to the following paragraphs. Each paragraph serves its purpose and allows the reader to follow along on the applicant’s journey in chronological order. The student does a great job of describing their initial interest in medicine, and throughout the essay, we see how this interest grows and evolves to become passion and dedication. Most importantly, this essay does what it promises. In the opening paragraph, the applicant states that they have had the opportunity to experience healthcare from multiple different perspectives, throughout the essay, we see each of these perspectives discussed.
- Through examples, the applicant demonstrates their ability to self-reflect, a desirable skill the admissions committee will be interested in. For example, although the applicant discusses an unfortunate event that they witnessed, they don't play the victim. Instead, the applicant immediately discusses what they appreciated and learned from the situation.
- Another great aspect of this personal statement is that the applicant demonstrates their ability to look ahead to set and achieve future goals, an important quality the admissions committee will be assessing.
Motivation is the synergistic culmination of connections, beliefs, and experiences that drives us to exceed our limitations. At the most basic level, I am motivated by my love and respect for human life. I am driven by the fact that as humans, we can truly enjoy the experience of life. We put value and meaning to the people we meet and the connections we make. As humans, we all have something or someone who makes us happy. However, health issues often impede one’s ability to fully enjoy life. My goal is to pursue my passion to heal, educate, and connect with others so that they may continue to do what makes them happy.
Being raised as a second-generation immigrant in Belize has taught me many life lessons. My parents grew up with very few resources but worked hard to ensure my siblings and I have the best lives possible. Still, they remained an integral part of society by volunteering at community events, granting scholarships to kids in need, and supporting charities. They modeled a life of virtue, values, and morals. My parents’ story has been a constant reminder that through hard work, dedication, and compassion, I can attain the seemingly unattainable.
Although my parents encouraged me to go to professional school, they still saw the value in manual labor. During school vacations, I would work in my grandfather’s store. I did every job from lifting boxes in the warehouse to verifying financial records. These jobs have taught me how to overcome mental sets, be resourceful, and communicate with diverse people. Most of all, I learned humility. Even in his late life, my grandfather was in the store sweeping the floors and making sure everything was in order. He taught me to always remember where we started as we can easily lose ourselves in the success. We are not entitled to anything, but rather we are here to serve. This message is contiguous in my family.
My uncle was the first doctor I was able to shadow. As a family physician, he was presented with many chronic illnesses and addictions. He listened intently and exuded a sense of empathy and wisdom as he spoke. He explained that it is crucial to not only educate, but also to make them understand that they can overcome their battle. I learned that a doctor’s job has always been two-fold; to heal the body and educate the mind.
During my undergraduate career, I joined Timmy Global Health (TGH) with the hope of contributing to global equity in healthcare. My brigade traveled to Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Clinic days highlighted the importance of flexibility. We faced each day prepared for the expected and adapting to the unexpected. One day, a woman went into labor and another day, a woman presented with a gangrene foot and multiple cutaneous abscesses. When patients like these came in, teamwork was necessary to redistribute tasks and ensure that they get the care they need while still maintaining the clinic flow for the other patients.
Research is a major part of my college career. I have worked under the direction of Dr. Smith at the IU School of Medicine since August 2016. I am investigating CaMKK2 inhibition as a dual strategy to decrease the propensity of bone-metastatic prostate cancer and its treatment-induced bone loss. I had the privilege of presenting my work at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research annual conference and working on a review article published in Frontiers Journal in Endocrinology. Due to the nature of my research, some of my experiments can span months at a time so errors can be unforgiving. Therefore, I have learned that it is crucial to plan and understand each step in an experiment. Most of all, critical thinking is essential. It is important to first think about how each reagent or drug will affect the results and to evaluate alternatives. Similarly, doctors must understand the actions of drugs and critically evaluate their decisions to best heal their patients.
While research has been my undergraduate passion, I long for a career that can pull together my interest in the human body, value for human life, and thirst for human connection; medicine. I believe that the skills and traits I have developed through my experiences will be a great addition to your medical school. My family has showed and instilled in me the importance of hard work, morality, and humility. My volunteer experience has revealed to me the power of flexibility, education, and human connection. Research has provided me with the mental preparation and tools necessary for a life in medicine. Most importantly, my philosophy provides an unwavering foundation on which to center my life’s work. All of these culminate in my motivation to improve myself in the hopes of providing quality care to others. I recall the words of a prayer I heard every morning in high school. “If I can make someone’s day just a little better, it will all be worth it.” If I can live this philosophy as a physician, I will be fulfilled and it truly will all be worth it.
- This essay does a wonderful job of showcasing the students unique skill-set through concrete examples. The student discusses their shadowing experience, medical volunteering abroad and lab research which makes the reader value their varied experiences in the medical field.
- It's nice to see family importance, values and the applicant's desire to heal throughout the essay. The opening paragraph is general, and as the essay progresses, we learn of the applicant's specific experiences and how they are deeply connected to a career in medicine.
- The conclusion, in particular, is very strong. Instead of just altering the introduction, the applicant provides an in-depth summary that ties together all the aspects we already saw demonstrated in earlier paragraphs. The applicant also does a good job of demonstrating self-reflection, in particular, what they have learned from each experience previously discussed. They leave the reader with a lasting feeling that they are truly motivated to be the best version of themselves and provide the best care possible.
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