Avoiding Clichés in Medical School Essays: A Comprehensive Guide

Published on 14/09/2023 by admin

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Last modified 14/09/2023

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Clichés are phrases or ideas that, due to overuse, have lost their originality and impact. While they may seem harmless, they can be a significant problem in medical school essays. When your goal is to stand out from thousands of other applicants, resorting to clichés can make your essay sound generic and unimpressive, reducing your chances of making a memorable impression.

However, it’s essential to emphasize that seeking assistance, such as considering options like “pay for my essay” can have a positive effect if approached responsibly. When done ethically and in collaboration with professional writers or tutors, it can help you gain valuable insights, improve your writing skills, and enhance the overall quality of your essay. This approach can enable you to present a more unique and compelling perspective to admissions officers, increasing your chances of a successful application.

Understanding Common Clichés in Medical School Essays

Clichés in medical school essays are often phrases or narratives that have been overused to the point of losing their original impact. Here are a few common ones.

  1. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.” While this might be true for many applicants, it’s so commonly used that it fails to provide any unique insight about the applicant.
  2. “I want to help people.” This is another phrase that, while noble, is too vague and overused to make an impact.
  3. The life-changing event. Many essays recount a single, dramatic event (often involving a personal or family health crisis) that inspired the applicant’s pursuit of medicine. While these events can be genuine turning points, their frequent use in essays can make them seem clichéd.

These clichés detract from the originality and authenticity of your essay. Instead of showcasing your unique journey and perspectives, they make your essay sound like countless others, reducing its ability to stand out.

Strategies to Avoid Clichés

Avoiding clichés requires a good dose of self-awareness and reflection. Here are some strategies:

  1. Reflect on your unique journey: Spend time thinking about what has led you to pursue medicine. What specific experiences, interactions, or insights have shaped your decision? Use these unique elements to craft your narrative.
  2. Emphasize personal experiences and perspective: Your personal experiences and viewpoints are unique to you. Highlight these aspects in your essay to distinguish it from others.
  3. Be specific and detailed: Instead of relying on broad statements like “I want to help people,” delve into specifics. What aspect of helping people do you find most fulfilling? Is it solving complex problems, providing comfort in difficult times, or maybe advancing medical knowledge? The more specific you are, the less likely you are to fall into cliché territory.

    In essence, the key to avoiding clichés lies in showcasing your unique journey and perspectives. By being self-aware, reflective, and specific, you can craft an essay that is authentically yours.

Writing with Authenticity

Writing with authenticity is crucial in crafting compelling medical school essays. Authentic writing means presenting genuine, personal narratives that reflect your true motivations, experiences, and aspirations. It’s about being honest and real, rather than trying to fit a specific mold or image.

The value of genuine, personal narratives cannot be overstated. These narratives provide a glimpse into your character, revealing the person behind the grades and test scores. They showcase your unique journey, the challenges you’ve overcome, the experiences that have shaped you, and the insights you’ve gained along the way.

Authenticity significantly enhances your essay by adding depth and personality. It allows the admissions committee to connect with you on a human level, making your essay memorable. It shows that you are not only qualified but also relatable and real, qualities that are highly valued in the medical profession.

Revision and Editing for Cliché Removal

Once you’ve completed your first draft, it’s essential to go through the process of revision and editing to remove any clichés. Here are some techniques and strategies:

  1. Identifying clichés: Re-read your essay with a critical eye, looking out for overused phrases or common narratives. Highlight these areas and consider how you can express the same ideas more originally.
  2. Replacing clichés with specific details: Often, clichés are general statements that lack specificity. For example, instead of saying “I want to help people,” you could say, “I am passionate about improving patient care through innovative medical research.”
  3. Revising clichéd ideas: If your essay includes a clichéd narrative (like a single life-changing event that made you want to become a doctor), consider how you can present this idea freshly and uniquely. This might involve focusing on lesser-known aspects of the experience or exploring the ongoing impact of the event on your life.

Remember, the goal of revision and editing is not just to eliminate clichés, but to enhance the authenticity and originality of your essay. By replacing clichés with genuine personal narratives and specific details, you can make your essay truly stand out.

Getting Feedback

External reviewers can be instrumental in spotting clichés. They bring a fresh perspective, allowing them to see clichés that you may have overlooked. Choose reviewers who know you well and can provide honest, constructive feedback—teachers, mentors, or peers can be excellent options.


Avoiding clichés is vital in writing an impactful medical school essay. By focusing on authenticity and individual experiences, you can craft a compelling narrative that stands out from the crowd. Remember, the goal is not just to impress the admissions committee but to give them a genuine insight into who you are and why you’re a perfect fit for a career in medicine. So, embrace your unique journey and write an authentic, cliché-free medical school essay.