Ah, spring. The flowers are blooming, the robins are chirping in the leafy trees, and the weather’s finally getting warm enough to peel off those hats and gloves. It’s the season for something else too: yes, it’s medical school application time. If you’re aiming to attend medical school next year, chances are you’re getting ready to look that AMCAS application square in the face and fill it out like you were born to do it. Maybe you’re thinking of enlisting one of our awesome editors to help you brainstorm, write, and put the finishing touches on your essays. Of course, as an aspiring medical student, writing may not be your favorite thing in the world. Crafting a great essay doesn’t have to be like brain surgery, though. In fact, you’ve already got everything you need to do it.
Want to save time in the editing process and increase your chances of writing a great essay from the start? Here’s a sweet tip: it’s all in the details.
Just think about it: you know yourself backwards and forwards. As you write your essays, it may not seem important to name the year in which you shadowed your first physician, the purpose of the student medical association you founded, or what it really felt like to volunteer at that clinic in Nicaragua (and where the clinic was, and who you were treating there). It’s easy to overlook these things when it seems like your task is to convince your reader how accomplished, dedicated, and fantastic you are. However, it’s precisely these details that will make your essay—and, therefore, you—memorable.
Working on a first draft that you’ll revise a few times? Working with an editor to craft and hone your essay? Try starting out with what feels like too many details than too few. You (and your editor) can always pare down excess words later. You’ll be glad, though, that you started out with too much rather than too little.
While the rest of your application will be mostly comprised of facts and forms, your essay is where you can really tell your story—to share your experience, reflections, and goals with your readers as only you can. Details are what make that story vivid in a reader’s mind. They’re also what make an essay compelling and memorable—just like you.
Ivy Eyes Editing