How cheesy is it to reference my father as a doctor?

My dad is a doctor, a psychiatrist to be exact. Is it terribly tactless and unprofessional to reference this in essays and interviews for MED school? Especially when I want to be a psychiatrist too?

most 1st draft of essays that I have been asked to review typically have the same flaw. That is students write them worrying about how the audience will react instead of simply writing that first draft from the heart. Now matter how much you edit, revise, polish, if the initial words do not come from the heart, then they will still ring hollow or formalistic when the members of the adcom review it.

I suggest that if you feel your dad was a prominent influence and motivator for going into to medicine that you should write an essay saying that. Perhaps the first draft may seem cheesy and need to be revised, but that core of truth will show thru as the essay is polished for submission.

As Judy Colwell, who has 20 years experience on the adcom at Stanford Medical School, the essay should make your eyes dance

write your essay about how you were inspired to be a doctor. Let them know that you did not just follow someone else’s dream but took your time to discover what will fufill you. You thought about what will give meaning and satisfaction to your life and you can’t imagine doing anything else.

  • gonnif Said:

As Judy Colwell, who has 20 years experience on the adcom at Stanford Medical School, the essay should make your eyes dance.

Ah, Rich, you give me double the credit that I deserve. :-) Only 10 years at Stanford, and 10 years after that doing med school admissions consulting.



All that experience and you’re still only the same age as Jack Benny…

Meeting with several deans of admissions for various med schools, I had the same question about the personal statement! What they DON’T want to hear about is how somebody in your family suffered from blah blah, or how volunteering at a hospital helped you learn blah blah about yourself, and whatnot. Be original - they read every single personal statement that comes in and some of them separate them into (what one of the deans called it) their ‘Blah’ stack, their ‘Interesting’ stack, and their ‘Reject’ stack. With the amount of applications they get, you can pretty much assume that the ‘Blah’ stack is basically the same as the ‘Reject’ stack.

Thank you for your advice! It was very helpful!