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Here’s what you need to know about structuring your Medicine Personal Statement – so you can demonstrate three key things and wow the Admissions Tutors.

Personal Statement Structure

Your Personal Statement for Medicine should be structured so that it covers three key elements:

  • Motivation
  • Exploration
  • Suitability

Start With Motivation

The first part of your Personal Statement should cover your motivation to study Medicine. Think of this as your ‘I want to be a Doctor’ paragraph – but keep it concise.

Tips For Showing Your Motivation

There are two common ways that people choose to show motivation when writing a Personal Statement for Medicine:

  1. “I love studying science and people, so I want to be a Doctor”
  2. “I had a medical experience that led to an epiphany, and now I want to be a Doctor”

Both of these are acceptable motivations – but you need to find a way to be unique.

Think about the following prompts:

  • Why do you love science? Do you have a personal example of this?
  • What is it about caring for people that inspires you? What experience sparked this?
  • How do the two things above fuse together in the career of a Doctor?

If you had an experience that made you want to be a Doctor, you can certainly use that in your Personal Statement. However, don’t feel that you will be disadvantaged if this is not the case. You don’t need to manufacture a medical epiphany if there wasn’t one.

If you truly were inspired by one moment, think about these prompts:

  • What was the experience exactly? What did you learn about Medicine from it?
  • Why did it make you want to be a Doctor?
  • What did you do and where did you go from this point to explore Medicine further?
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Next: Show Exploration

The next thing you need to weave into the structure of your Personal Statement is exploration, which means showing how you’ve explored that Medicine is the right path for you.

This is the part where you focus on work experience, volunteering, community work, and wider reading. Don’t just write a list of things you’ve done though – Admissions Tutors are more interested in seeing how you reflect on your experiences.

You should be clear about what you did, and where you gained your experience. It can be good to write in detail about something specific: what happened and, crucially, what did you learn from it?

When it comes to wider reading, you should only mention texts that you’re actually familiar with and would be capable of discussing at interviews.

Tips For Writing About Work Experience

  • Did you work in multi-disciplinary teams in a hospital, and if so, what did this teach you?
  • Did you witness a GP reassuring a patient, and what did you learn from that?
  • Did you interact with patients in a care home, and how did that make you feel?
  • Did you witness or experience some of the realities of being a Doctor, such as breaking bad news, and how did this affect you?

Whatever work experience examples you cite, you must be prepared to talk about these, and more, at interviews.

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Finish With Suitability

Once you’ve shown that you’re motivated to study Medicine and you’ve explored this option thoroughly, you need to explain why you’re suited to becoming a Doctor.

The best way to demonstrate suitability is to ‘show rather than tell.’ For example, saying “I’m a very empathetic person” is easy to do. And anyone can write that on a piece of paper. It’s better if you can demonstrate it with examples from your work experience or other situations.

There is nothing wrong with using ‘buzzwords’, as long as they are backed up with evidence and you can show that you understand them.

Also, remember that suitability for Medicine requires understanding what Medicine is all about. You can establish this by speaking to Medical Students and Doctors, reading widely, and carrying out relevant work experience.

When To Mention Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities look great on your Personal Statement. In fact, some universities, such as Imperial, place a heavy emphasis on extracurricular activities because it shows that you’re a rounded candidate.

Regardless of what they are, you can find ways to relate your extracurricular activities to your suitability for Medicine. For example, have you been a sports team captain and demonstrated leadership? Have you worked as part of team? Do you have a hobby where empathy is important?

Remember the key rule: don’t just list your experiences. Reflect on what you’ve learned from them and how they’ve helped you develop the skills needed to be a Doctor.

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