The first paragraph of your Medicine Personal Statement should give Admissions Tutors an insight into why you want to study Medicine and become a Doctor. Try to avoid giving a generic or clichéd reason that lots of other applicants might give. Be specific about what sparked your interest in Medicine – was it a particular experience you had, or something you observed during work experience or volunteering?
When writing about work experience and/or volunteering in your Personal Statement, it’s vital that you reflect on what you learned from these experiences. Don’t just write a list of what you did, because Medical Schools are a lot more interested in your reflections. What did you learn? What skills did you develop? What did the experience teach you about a career in Medicine?
You might have forgotten about your extracurricular activities, or assumed they weren’t relevant, but they’re an important part of your Personal Statement. Medical School can be stressful, so Admissions Tutors want to know that you have ways to relax and will not burn out under pressure. Hobbies and outside-of-Medicine interests also show that you are a well-rounded individual and will make a valuable contribution to the university as a whole.
This might seem obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check your grammar before the final submission. Printing out your Personal Statement and reading it on paper will help you to see it through new eyes – and you might spot mistakes that you didn’t notice before. Reading it out loud can also be an useful exercise. It’s a good idea to get it checked by someone else too, because they might pick up on things that you missed.
Think about the qualities that are needed to be a Doctor (empathy, ability to work as part of team, etc) and make sure your Personal Statement demonstrates that you have these qualities. Don’t just simply list the qualities, or state that you possess them without providing any evidence. Use specific examples from your work experience, volunteering experience, extracurricular activities or other areas of your life to back up what you claim.
Some Medical Schools will use your Personal Statement to formulate interview questions. This means you should never write about something in your PS (e.g. a book/article you’ve read or an area of Medicine you’re interested in) that you would struggle to talk about at interview. You don’t want to get stuck or caught out! To check that your PS is interview-proof, try giving a copy to someone like a friend or family member and get them to ask you questions about it.
Go through your Personal Statement and think about what each sentence is conveying. Does it tell the reader something about you, or about something you have learned? If not, consider taking it out. For example, there’s no point in writing ‘I observed the GP in a consultation where she referred a patient with diabetes to a specialist at the hospital’ without then following it up with something that this experience taught you.
In your Personal Statement, you should acknowledge that a career in Medicine is a challenging one. This will show Admissions Tutors that you are well-informed, have done your research, and are not pursuing Medicine with unrealistic expectations.
Your final paragraph/conclusion should sum up why you think you’re a good candidate for the course and why you would be suited to a career in Medicine. Try not to include any new examples here – summarise and refer back to what you’ve already written previously.
To be as objective as possible, read through your PS three times and each time think about one of these three key things that it needs to demonstrate:
Try scoring your PS out of 5 for how it shows Motivation, then Exploration, then Suitability. Be critical and make changes where you think they are necessary.
Check out these real Medicine Personal Statement examples to get some inspiration.
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