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You are encouraged to compose your essay in a text-only word processor (e.g., Notepad), review your essay for errors, then cut and paste the final version into the text box above. Click the Save button and then return to the Personal Essay to review the formatting of your text. You are limited to approximately 1 page (4500 characters, including spaces). Some formatting characters used in programs like Word (angled quotes, accents, special characters) will not display properly. Take care to review your final text and to make the necessary corrections to the format.

Part 1: What is the personal essay?

As another dimension of credibility that should be displayed in your essay, remember that within the health fields the focus is always on providing excellent service to patients; on the caregiver-patient relationship; on effective rapport-building and communication within that relationship; on working effectively with other healthcare professionals on behalf of your patient; and on patient advocacy. Some aspect of this patient-centric approach should play a role in your personal essay. In other words, not to put too fine a point on it, but it's not all about what the profession can do for you (though certainly you want to find your career personally fulfilling), it's about the patient.

Part 2: Tips for writing a personal essay

Your personal essay should give direct and specific answer to the following questions:

A personal essay that is developed with a series of general observations about life is usually a boring essay. The detail is where the real interest lies. In the personal essay, show the reader what something was like; don't tell. Consider the following paragraphs; one that finds a once, and one that does not: