Medical School Essay: Tips from 2 Research Experts

Medical School Essay: Tips from 2 Research Experts

A medical research paper is a formal academic document that student writes for a medical school course.  There are many medical school courses for which a student may need to write a formal medical research paper, including first-year courses and specialization courses.  In order to write a medical research paper, a student needs to research a particular subject related to the medical field in order to produce the document.

In many cases, students in medical school are able to select their own topics about which they will write the medical reference project.  Many students, therefore, select topics that are very specific to the area of medicine that they wish to practice.  For example, a student who may wish to pursue surgery may write a medical research paper about an area of surgery that interests him or the most.  

Medical research papers are similar to other types of academic writings.  However, because they are for medical school, learners will be required and expected to make the report as thorough as possible.  Professors are looking not only for well-formulated ideas, but they also want to see that the medical student has taken the time to thoroughly research the subject about which he or she is writing the document.  

All medical reports should begin with background information about the topic that the student is focusing on in his or her research.  This background information can be as detailed as the student would like to make it.  The introduction, therefore, can take up many pages.  

The body of the document will include specific information about the medical topic.  Medical research papers often not only have to focus on the research at hand, but also on related medical subjects that may influence the patient or the particular subject at hand.  

The conclusion to the medical research paper will tie together all of the ideas that the student expressed over the course.  In many cases, because medical research papers clearly state facts and information related to a medical condition, the conclusion of the medical research papers do not necessarily draw any new conclusions, but merely recap any research that the student uncovered.  

A medical research paper is different than scientific research papers in some ways, though the two are similar in many ways.  Medical research papers will often address the scientific issue related to a particular medical area, but the medical research paper will also address related medical conditions that may influence one particular condition.  

Scientific research papers will often only discuss one issue at a time and may not draw conclusions between several different scientific issues.  Therefore, medical research papers often take a more holistic approach to the medical condition and treatment.  Scientific research papers are often one-dimensional.

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Viewpoint of Author #2
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A medical school essay is a brief and analytical text composed to fulfill a course or degree requirement for medical school.  Medical school essays will most likely appear on medical school exams, but it is possible that medical school essays may also be assigned for course credit.  They are often written under time constraint, requiring the student to be clear and comprehensive, yet concise.  This concision is what makes a medical school essay different from a take-home essay that a student may have to write for his or her undergraduate courses—there is no space or time for elaborate explanations, flowery language, or perfect finesse.

A medical school essay written for an exam will be composed in response to a very specific prompt.  This prompt will typically be unknown to the student before the exam begins.  Many students—especially students who have anxiety about test taking—panic when they read essay prompts.  This is because the prompt will often be lengthy and complex, which makes many learners want to rush through the reading and thinking aspects of the composition process and get straight to writing.  This should be avoided, as smart writers spend significant time thinking and planning before starting to write.  Once a writer has a plan in mind and points to make, the writing itself will flow much more easily and naturally.  If a student rushes to begin writing without critically considering his or her plan, the article is more likely to be jumbled and incomplete.  Therefore, the best way to approach a medical school essay is to first spend considerable time carefully reading and rereading the report prompt.  If possible, the student should highlight or underline the primary directions in the prompt so that he or she is perfectly clear on what the report prompt is demanding.  Next, the student should spend a few minutes brainstorming and planning the document.  This requires pausing to consider multiple angles of approach rather than launching into or committing to an idea right away.  A few minutes spent critically analyzing the varying ideas one could explore in a medical school essay are well worth the logical and well-planned result they produce.  All of these ideas—even the ones that will be eventually discarded—should be written down on a scrap piece of paper so the pupil can return to them during the outlining and writing process if necessary.

After the student has generated several ideas and has thought them through, the student should then spend a minute or two sketching a rough outline.  This outline should simply list the main points the writer wishes to make in the order in which he or she wishes to make them.  This way, the writer will have an exact plan for the report, and will be able to begin writing without worrying about the article's structure or direction.

After the outline is complete, the student should begin writing while carefully allotting his or her time so that each point is developed equally.  Once the writing is complete, the student should reread the report to check for grammar and spelling errors.

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