To start with, you’ll need to explain why you want to study Medicine and train to become a Doctor. As a Graduate Entry applicant, it doesn’t matter if you developed a passion for Medicine at a young age, or if it’s something that came to you during your degree – as long as the motivation is strong and you explain it clearly.
Think about what’s unique or personal about your motivation for Medicine. Was it sparked by an experience you had? Did a particular moment during a work experience placement confirm that Medicine was the right path for you? And how have you pursued this passion since you had the initial spark? Being specific in your Personal Statement will help you to stand out and avoid clichés.
It’s also important to show that you understand the realities of a career in Medicine and the challenges that come with it. This could be something you gained while shadowing Doctors and/or doing work experience in healthcare settings.
If you’re a candidate who applied for Undergraduate Medicine when you were at school and didn’t get a place, it might be tempting to revisit your Personal Statement from that time and rewrite it.
However, this isn’t advisable because you’ll probably be better off starting fresh. After all, you’ve gained plenty of life experience since you left school!
Of course, if you did some valuable work experience, volunteering or extracurricular activities while you were at school, you can certainly still discuss these things in your GEM Personal Statement. But don’t waste words writing about what you studied at A-Level. Medical Schools will be a lot more keen to hear about what you’ve done recently than in what aspects of the A-Level Chemistry syllabus interested you several years ago.
If you’ve completed a life sciences degree (e.g. Biomedical Science), aspects of the syllabus will likely be relevant to Medicine. However, you shouldn’t just list the modules or topics that you’ve studied. Remember that lots of GEM applicants will have a similar degree, so you need to think of things to include in your Personal Statement that will make you stand out!
Was there an element of your degree which interested you so much that you did extra work around it? This could include a dissertation, research (if you’ve had any work published, now is the time to mention it) or work experience/volunteering in a particular area.
If you’re applying for Graduate Entry Medicine with a non-sciences degree, which is possible at certain Med Schools, write about activities you’ve done which demonstrate your enthusiasm for pursuing Medicine. You could discuss anything from work experience and volunteering, to attending talks or events and reading books about Medicine.
Med Schools are looking for students who won’t just work hard, but will also make a valuable contribution to university life. As a Graduate Entry applicant, you’ve already completed one degree – which means you can provide solid evidence of the contribution that you would make.
Use your Personal Statement to discuss extracurricular activities you’ve been involved with during your time at university. And this doesn’t mean listing all of the taster sessions you tried out in freshers’ week! Think about any societies or sports clubs that you’ve been a key member of – or maybe you even started a new society of your own.
When talking about your extracurricular activities, make sure you reflect on what you learned from them. It’s a good idea to highlight how you used and developed skills such as teamwork and leadership, because these are essential skills for any Doctor to have.
When it comes to writing a Personal Statement, Graduate Entry Medicine has the same word count as Undergraduate Medicine – even though you’re a few years older so it’s likely you’ll have a lot more to write about.
This means you need to be selective. Write a first draft with everything that you would like to include, and then be ruthless! Cut out unnecessary words, and think about whether some experiences are more unique or relevant than others to mention. Make sure you also pay special attention to your spelling and grammar.
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