Mandy Harvey is a Patient Heroine in my mind, and her story will help you in so many ways! She shares hope and inspiration and wonderful perseverance! She’s totally WOW! Plus her story provides an important opportunity for talking about “Removing the Rose-Colored Glasses” when you write your personal statement and interview. Give me a few, and I’ll explain everything. :0)
First, my hands are up, waving/shaking in the air in my most heartfelt Deaf Clap for Mandy Harvey. I’ve only just learned about her and her amazing gifts and talents from seeing her America’s Got Talent video on Youtube. Wow, just WOW!
From Mandy’s words, she has a connective tissue disorder, and when she was 18, she got sick, and her nerves deteriorated. When that happened, she went from being able to hear to being deaf. And although she went through a period of being lost after losing her hearing – which to me is 100 bazillion percent understandable!!! Losing one of your major senses is a life changer – she has since grabbed a hold of her life and is singing her heart out!!! Watch the video and learn more. Visit her website MandyHarveyMusic.com. Hear or read her story and be inspired and amazed and proud. I hope I get to meet her someday. We need all the beautiful souls in this world we can get, and she seems simply wonderful! (And I love her voice, and her songs!)
When people go through a health ordeal that changes their life forever and find a way to come out the other side with positive will power and determination, they become Patient Hero/Heroines to me! WTG Mandy Harvey! Way to Be Awesome-Inspirational-Wonderous!!!
(photo credit: http://www.creativ.com/mandy-harvey-gallery/)
So how does Mandy’s story help you to make your personal statement for applying to med school (or dental or other healthcare school) stronger? Well, one of the most common mistakes students make in trying to present themselves as competitive candidates is to NOT remove their rose-colored glasses. And they present their misguided intentions in both their personal statements and their interviews, and it undermines their competitive status. Mandy’s story is an example of a real person with real feelings and real dreams and real challenges and real hardships who faced a medical moment in which she wasn’t able to be healed or cured or fixed. She had her hearing, and then she didn’t. And from what I understand of her story, medical science wasn’t able to stop that from happening. And as a result, Mandy’s life changed. (Again, read her story to appreciate fully just how wonderfully real she is, and imagine the devastation she must’ve went through that made her feel lost … and then how she found her voice again and is traveling a new path, that according to her AGT’s song, she’s Trying! And Wowing while she’s doing it!!! Go Mandy!)
So what does this mean for you? Well, when students are applying to medical school (or other healthcare schools), they are compelled to set themselves apart, to be noticed, to do what it takes to Get In, and one of the first things they do is hop on the “Healthcare is Freaking Awesome and Amazing” bandwagon!!! It’s the most amazing, powerful, and important way to serve people bandwagon. And there is inherent issue with this gushing perspective. It forgets that the practice of medicine (and healthcare) is not perfect. It doesn’t show that you know, comprehend, and understand that medicine has its limitations (at least so far). There are so many reasons and factors that contribute to these limitations. Current technology and scientific understanding as an example of one reason comes racing to mind. Money, politics, policy, humanity, and more are additional factors.
When you state so boldly that you want to help people get well again, or that you want to return them to health, or any variation thereof, without acknowledging that sometimes that’s not always possible, you present an under-informed perspective. It’s called wearing rose-colored glasses, or having a romanticized/fantastical vision of what healthcare is and can do. So you have to be careful in your wording. You need to approach your stated intentions and goals with a mature and informed anticipation of what a career in healthcare means, is, does, and can accomplish. It doesn’t mean that you can’t look highly upon your chosen career field and hold with pride the amazing things that medicine and healthcare can do … certainly, you should do that. Medicine and healthcare can do some incredible things. It just means you need to be cognizant of the fact that medicine and healthcare are not all powerful and have limitations, and those limitations affect real people’s lives … and some of those people may very well be your future patients.
How does this knowledge inform you? How does it make you feel about what you will be able to do? How does it make you feel for the people you may not be “able to return to health”? Know the answers to these questions, and you can remove your rose-colored glasses.
For more about the many, many Common Mistakes students make when writing their personal statements for medical school (and dental or other healthcare schools), and to learn how to write a statement free from these common mistakes, see my book How to Write the Best Medical School Personal Statement, EVER!
This book is included as part of your membership (in video book form) along with many amazing other need-to-knows for applying and interviewing. Check out The Best You PAL Academy here to learn more!
Before I sign off for this week, I just want to give one more GIANT HUG and Thank You to Mandy Harvey for being wonderful and awesomely-special, and certain insight into helping you Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine in your application, personal statement, and interviews, so you can be a fabulous future healthcare provider to all your future patients!!! Mandy, you are an inspiration and joyful light!!! Be well always and best of luck to you with your singing, AGT, and life!!!