Your Personal Statement for Medicine is your chance to tell Medical Schools why you want to study Medicine and become a Doctor. With a successful Medicine Personal Statement, you’ll really stand out from the pool of other applicants.
What is a Medicine Personal Statement?
Your Personal Statement supports your UCAS Application. It’s designed to help Medical Schools choose the best candidates.
It gives you the chance to tell Admissions Tutors about the skills or qualities you have that are relevant to studying Medicine and being a Doctor – and write about your motivation to study Medicine.
Have a look at our Medicine Personal Statement examples from current Medical School students to get an understanding of the content and structure.
How Important Is It?
Medical Schools use Personal Statements in different ways.
You’ll find that some Medical Schools won’t pay much attention to it, while some will use it to shortlist candidates for interview. Some will also use it to form the basis of interview questions, so make sure your PS is interview-proof and doesn’t include anything you can’t justify or elaborate on.
If a Medical School is struggling to decide between two candidates, they may use the Personal Statement as a deciding factor.
You can learn more in our guide to how Medical Schools use your Personal Statement.
How Long Should My Personal Statement Be?
Your Medicine Personal Statement needs to be 4,000 characters – which is around 500 words – over 47 lines.
What Should My Personal Statement Include?
Medicine Personal Statements should cover the following elements, so that Medical Schools can get to know you.
- Motivation — Why do you want to study Medicine and become a Doctor?
- Exploration — What have you done to learn about Medicine? For example: work experience, volunteering, wider reading or research
- Suitability — Why are you a good fit for Medicine?
Reflection should be a big part of your PS. When you’re writing it, don’t just list your work experience placements, academic achievements and extracurricular activities — reflect on key learning points and link everything back to qualities that are important for Medicine.
For more specific advice about what to include when you’re applying for Graduate Entry Medicine, check out this blog.
What Should My Personal Statement NOT Include?
When you’re writing your Personal Statement, try to keep it concise and avoid unnecessary information. After all, you only have a limited number of words!
Some common PS mistakes include:
- Giving a generic or clichéd reason for wanting to become a Doctor
- Writing about what you did for work experience, without offering any reflections on what you actually learned from the experience
- Claiming that you have a certain quality (e.g. empathy) without backing it up
- Listing all of the extracurricular activities you do, without mentioning the skills they helped you to develop which are relevant to Medicine
Of course, it’s also important to check your PS for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Get it checked by someone else for a second opinion too.
When Should I Start Writing My Personal Statement?
Personal Statements need to be submitted before the UCAS deadline, which is typically a date in October for Medicine.
Don’t leave it until the last minute! It’s a good idea to start working on it during the summer break – perhaps after you’ve got your UCAT out of the way. If you leave it all until September or October, remember that you’ll be writing it alongside A-Level work and BMAT revision if you’re planning to sit the BMAT.
Start by reading some Medicine Personal Statement examples for inspiration. Then note down everything you can think of to cover your Motivation, Exploration and Suitability for Medicine. Perhaps check this content plan with someone like a parent to see if you’ve missed out anything important. After you have a clear plan, you can start writing your first draft.
How Should I Structure My Personal Statement?
The structure of your Personal Statement is a matter of personal preference, but we advise you to follow a format that covers the following points:
- Why you want to study Medicine and become a Doctor (Motivation)
- Work experience and/or volunteering – and what you learned from it (Exploration)
- Wider reading and study beyond your school curriculum (Exploration)
- Skills from extracurricular activities which are relevant to a Doctor’s skill set, e.g. leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork, etc (Suitability)
- Conclusion (Motivation)
What Is Changing In The Future?
UCAS has announced that Personal Statements will be changing in the future. To make the writing process more structured, there are plans to provide applicants with a series of questions to answer.
These questions have not been confirmed yet, but UCAS says they are likely to cover areas such as:
- Motivation for the course
- Preparation for the course through learning and through other experiences
- Preparedness for student life
- Preferred learning styles
- Extenuating circumstances
According to UCAS, the changes will be introduced no earlier than 2024, for candidates applying for 2025 entry. Find out more here.
How Can I Get Help?
Getting feedback on your Personal Statement for Medical School is incredibly important.
You could ask a relative to read it, give you feedback on how it reads, and let you know if you’ve forgotten any big accomplishments that they can remember. Another option is to ask a friend or a teacher to have a read and tell you if it makes sense and gives a good impression.
You might also like to get professional help with your medical Personal Statement, since it’s such an important piece of writing.
Of course it’s important that you write it yourself, but getting advice and getting it reviewed can be incredibly beneficial. Some of the best options include: