A Humorous AMCAS Essay

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    Getting into medical school may seem a life-and-death matter until you are caught in a Himalayan blizzard with your pants down (a fate decidedly worse than a rejection letter). Barring the latter eventuality, we think you should lighten up and thus are providing you with a paradigmatic essay (see below) which despite your best efforts, you won't be able to match, unless you are Siamese Triplets leading separate lives but endeavoring to get into medical school on a single application. If you think you don't measure up to the following, don't despair- relax. We can help you climb the mountain while strategically planting oxygen bottles along the way.

    The Ultimate AMCAS Essay by Daniel Guttman

    I felt fortunate to awaken from my weeks-long life-threatening coma in the Zimbabwe orphanage in which I was raised from infancy, until I realized the building was ablaze. After evacuating all the inhabitants including any stray insects who were drawn to the flames, I doused the fire with a water pump I had improvised from an old accordion bellows (on which I often played Bach fugues a la Albert Schweitzer) and a bamboo-like plant I had discovered in the jungle. I named the plant Medusa Abandona after my now forgiven American born mother, who forsook me in my cradle, only after it turned out to be an unknown genus and promised to have exciting anti-cancer medicinal qualities as well. When I was convinced that everyone in the orphanage was safe, I escaped the holocaust in the solar powered wheel chair I had developed to give myself more mobility after the unfortunate accident I had as a child, breaking my seventh vertebra while wrestling a lion that had terrorized the village.

    When I was seven, the only doctor within a 300 mile radius took me under his wing. I shadowed him for ten years, which was quite difficult when you consider the dense jungle foliage and lack of sunlight at ground level. The fact that he was a witch doctor should in no way denigrate his skills nor the efficacy of his spells. If you accept me into your next medical class, I intend to teach my fellow students a series of hexes that will eliminate the need for Viagra, Allegra, Grecian Formula and Formula 409.

    Most of my adolescence I spent draining swamps, eliminating mosquitoes and generally reducing the malarial plague in three contiguous countries in equatorial Africa. It was only after saving the lives of tens of thousands of people that I decided to become a doctor in hope that over the course of my career I might be able to save just a few more. The journey to medicine was difficult. It was a choice between being a doctor and being a shoemaker, but after I taught everyone in my village how to make their own shoes there was no need to pursue this noble profession.

    Harvard was reluctant to let me go after I got straight "A"s as the first graduate in their new correspondence bachelors degree program but with five majors and 12 books to my credit they finally acknowledged (see attached letter) that they had nothing left to teach me. My economics honors thesis was entitled "Grade Inflation at Harvard: The Great Hoax."

    Given my academic prowess, imagine then how mortified I was to receive only a 44 aggregate AMCAS score. Those of you at AMCAS reading this, who may have contributed to writing the April exam, should be ashamed of yourselves. In the passage on "Halitosis" you referred to the sufferer as having "bad breadth." The patient could certainly be circumferentially challenged but I assumed a typo had been committed and that you meant he had "bad breath" and answered accordingly. My fellow hapless examinees' incorrect answers to question 39 should be stricken and the exam be recalibrated accordingly.

    In short, becoming a doctor may seem humdrum and a come down compared to my life so far, but I am willing to unlearn a few things so I won't be so far ahead of my fellow medical classmates. And don't worry about my disability; I can still perform an angioplasty and thread several needles while doing 500 one-armed finger pushups.

    This essay was written by Daniel Guttman, a long-suffering parent of a medical school applicant, and is reprinted here with his permission. 


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    I hope all is well. It's been too long and I just wanted to update you on my med school application process. I'm extremely happy to tell you that I was accepted at three schools and decided to attend Northwestern University. I interviewed at all three schools back in October and was very surprised to hear back within two weeks of being there. Now comes the challenging part of finding a place to live in Chicago.

    In addition, I wanted to thank you for your guidance and advice during this whole application process. You were so positive and encouraging that I never doubted I would be in the position I am today. I really appreciate your understanding and hard work. Thank you so much!

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