Your Personal Statement for Medicine should be structured so that it covers three key elements:
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.
There are usually two ways that people show motivation when writing their Personal Statement for Medicine:
Both of these are acceptable motivations – but you need to find a way to be unique.
Think about the following prompts:
If you had an experience that made you want to be a Doctor, you can certainly use that. 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, try these prompts:
The next thing you need to weave into the structure of your Personal Statement is exploration, which means showing how you’ve explored that this is the right path for you.
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, how and — crucially — what did you learn?
And when it comes to wider reading, you should only mention texts that you’re familiar with and capable of discussing at interviews.
Whatever work experience examples you cite, you must be prepared to talk about these, and more, at interviews.
Once you’ve shown you’re really motivated to study Medicine and you have explored this option thoroughly, you need to show 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 show with examples from work experience or other situations.
There is nothing wrong with using ‘buzzwords’, as long as they are backed up. You need to demonstrate that you understand them – and that you have shown them in practice.
Remember, also, that suitability for Medicine requires knowing what Medicine is all about. You can establish this by speaking to Medical Students and Doctors, reading widely and carrying out work experience.
Extracurricular activities look great on your Personal Statement. A lot of universities, like Imperial, place a heavy emphasis on extracurricular activity in its own right because it shows you’re a rounded candidate.
But you should also see it as a way of stressing why you are suitable for Medicine – and find ways to relate this to suitability.
Is there a way to show you’re suitable to Medicine that references an extracurricular activity? For example, are you a sports team captain and have demonstrated leadership? Do you have a hobby where empathy is important?
Remember the key rule: don’t list your experiences. Instead, focus on how they can show that you’ve explored Medicine or you’re suitable to becoming a Doctor.
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