Personal Statement Suitability
There are certain qualities that Medical Schools look for in personal statements to indicate whether you will be a good medical student and, in the end, a good doctor. This is about showing that you are suitable for a medical career.
You need to demonstrate that you know what these key qualities for a doctor are, and that you possess them. This page explains how to do both of those things, in particular through the use of your extracurricular activities.
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Personal Statement Suitability: What Makes A Good Doctor?
Doctors need to possess a balance of many different skills and qualities. In your personal statement, you need to demonstrate that you possess these. Some of them are as follows:
- Genuinely helpful and caring
- Confident and composed
- Trustworthy and truthful, with integrity
- Good communicator (listening and explaining)
- Emotionally strong
- Hard working with stamina
- Intelligent diagnoser
Personal Statement Suitability: How Can I Demonstrate That I Have The Right Qualities For Medicine?
The best way to do this isn’t just to name check the qualities. Good writers often abide by the expression: ‘show rather than tell.’
Saying ‘I am a very empathetic person’ is easy to do. And anyone can write that on a piece of paper. So, it’s better if you can show. For example:
‘I worked for one year at my local care home. During this time, I formed a close relationship with an elderly lady with little in the way of friends and family. After some initial timidity, she spoke to me about the loss of her husband and how difficult it had been for her. Just by listening and understanding her point of view, I was able to form a close relationship. This helped me appreciate the value of empathy in a medical setting. ’
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.
Personal Statement Suitability: How Should I Use Extracurricular Activities In My Personal Statement?
Extracurricular activities look great on your personal statement. They show:
- That you are social and proactive
- That you have a wide range of interests
- That you can organise your time effectively
- That you have a range of strengths
Again, avoid simply listing extracurricular activities you take part in. Make sure you use them to demonstrate strengths. Being captain of a rugby team shows leadership, for instance.
A lot of universities, like Imperial, place a heavy emphasis on extracurricular activity in its own right. It shows you are a rounded candidate.
But you should also see it as a way of stressing why you are suitable for Medicine.