Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plagiarism In Application Essays????

A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine noted that 5.2% of a single center application pool was plagiarizing personal statement essays.  The study demonstrated that non US graduates, previous residents or fellows, lack or research experience, lack of volunteer experience and lack of publication, low USMLE step 1 score and non AOA status were all associated with increases chances of students attempting to go to plagiarism.

This is alarming. A lot of this might be as mentioned in the article due to internet boom.  There are many websites that use sample essays for even medical profession and students can be cutting and pasting to their "personal" statement. It isn't personal anymore is it?  Some students don't view using cyber methods as plagiarism but some refer to it as "cyber" plagiarism.  All specialities involved- internal medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, anesthesiology and emergency medicine saw similar findings in this study.

The ACGME views professionalism as one of the core competencies. Plagiarism is not being professional.
Students, residents, physicians, writers should not resort to it.  A personal statement is personal and should come from within you and from your experiences and not of " cyber" experiences. If you need help, there are individuals out there to help you write a statement that reflects yours thoughts and views.  The editorial rightly states in the same journal to be more vigilent about these tactics as program directors and reviewers of applications.

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