Plus a follow-up question from the same reader:
sorry it is me again XD sorry to ask, who did you ask to get your references as well :P !!!!! happy easter!!!
Well, Whooping Crayon, I had to dig around in my paper files for a while before I finally found it, but here it is: my med-school application personal statement. Despite containing some rather naive viewpoints on child psychology and parenting, I think it also conveys a little of the Ol’ Cranquis Attitude, even way back then! (Obviously, I ended up going into family medicine and urgent care, instead of child psychiatry — but that’s because my 3rd-year child psychiatry rotation quickly convinced me that, should I go on to become a child psychiatrist myself, I would rapidly end up in prison for using a 3-ring binder to assault stupid parents. This just goes to show that your imagined “future specialty” can shift wildly as you go through your medical training.) Anyways, enjoy — and don’t forget to spell my name correctly if you decide to quote me in YOUR personal statement. It’s “Cranquis” with a “Q”, no accent marks.
Dr. Cranquis’ Med-School Application Personal Statement (yes, I got accepted with this)
The last day of summer camp was always the hardest for me. Parents would come to pick up their kids after a week of fun outdoors adventures, and I, as a camp counselor, would watch “my” kids reunite with their parents. I would cringe as I watched young boys who had been happy and outgoing all week suddenly withdraw into themselves as their moms and dads approached. “My” campers always introduced me to their folks, and I always dreaded the frequent question: “So, just how naughty did Johnny (or Paul or Ben) behave this week?” I would try to expound on how wonderful these boys, “my” boys, had been all week, but the parents never heard me. They’d apologize profusely for how “terrible” and “sneaky” their sons must have been, and then drag their cowed children away.
I grew up in a home where children were valuable members of the family. I naturally assumed that all homes were this way, until I started making friends with other kids around me. As I discovered the abundance of “bad” homes and families around me, I also noted that many of these dysfunctional families blamed their children as the cause of the family’s problems! Titles like “troublemaker,” “ADHD,” and “delinquent” were tossed around to explain how a family’s problems were the child’s fault. However, from my viewpoint, I saw that the actions of my “bad” friends, while sometimes ill-thought-out and poorly-planned, were often caused by poor parenting and disciplining. Furthermore, as I began to study children with behavioral problems during my psychology training in college, I realized that many psychologists and psychiatrists have been relying on similar labels plus quick medication remedies to diagnose and “fix” these troubled children.
I believe that the very practice of labeling children with a “disorder” or “syndrome” allows them to feel that they are not in control of their lives, and therefore not responsible for their behavior either. Also, I think that parents are too quick to treat their children as victims, as “patients” who just need the right combination of drugs in order for them to finally obey. This is very detrimental to the child-parent relationship; parents become mere “zookeepers” over their kids, and expect their children to mess up often and spectacularly — and the children are happy to meet those low expectations. This obviously does not provide the children with the emotional and moral support which they so desperately need during their formative years at home.
My goal has become to reach out to children and parents in a way which will help them to solve the behavioral problems of the children while also addressing the relational problems of the parents. Through conversations with my father, a psychotherapist, along with other people in the psychological field, I have discovered that there are many professionals who wish they could implement programs and counseling structures through which they could reach out to the many children who are being treated simply with psychotropic medications, instead of with parental care and loving discipline; unfortunately, these professionals’ desire for change is hindered by the pecking order which places psychiatrists above psychologists. So, I have decided that I will be most capable of carrying out my goal by first obtaining as much technical and practical knowledge as I can through proper psychiatric training in medical school, then utilizing the expertise and status which accompanies that training in order to design a program to help “mislabeled” children like my childhood friends.
I must warn you, readers of this statement, that my true goal is not to get into medical school. Medical school, its trials, challenges, and rewards carry no inherent attraction to me; rather, they have all become a means to an end. I intend to use the training I receive, whether in medical school or elsewhere, to increase and enhance the assistance which is made available to children and their parents. “My” kids, the campers I have cared for and the millions of mislabeled children like them, are the focal point of my scholastic and professional efforts.
As for my application references, I think I listed my psychology advisor/professor, the director of my summer camp, and the chairman of my college’s pre-med club.
***Pending Cranquis-Mails: 27***