Welcome to our new blog series, Key Skills for Medicine for 2019 Entry! This series will explore different skills needed for medicine – from scientific interest to people skills – and how to demonstrate them easily.
This blog will focus on developing and demonstrating stress management.
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Stress management is a key skill needed for medicine. Medical school and a career in medicine are very demanding, so you need to show your awareness of this, along with a demonstration of how you, personally, will handle these pressures.
In this blog, I will give you five easy ways you could demonstrate stress management. These are just examples, of course; you may participate in any number of unusual and interesting activities and hobbies, and if so, that’s great! If you’re less certain, this should hopefully give you an idea of things you could write about that you may already be doing, or what you could start getting involved in between now and your application.
Sports are great to write about in personal statements because they show a number of qualities at the same time. Not only is exercise proven to improve your mental wellbeing, as well as your overall health, but is also shows that you are are willing to put some effort in to achieve something!
Regularly taking part in sports requires commitment and dedication, so those are great things too. If it’s a team sport, you can also link it to your people skills, and if you’re very talented at sport, then mention your achievements!
Art requires a lot of patience and ability to concentrate, so this is another great thing to write about. It also takes time, so writing about this shows that you are able to organise yourself effectively in order to do your art as well as your academic commitments. Furthermore, it is demonstration of manual dexterity – perhaps this is relevant if you’re interested in surgery?
Many people enjoy music in various forms, whether it be listening or playing. You could be in a band or orchestra, or simply enjoy playing at home, but be sure to mention it as it is definitely considered to be a method of relaxation.
It also shows skill and talent, which you want to showcase to medical schools! And don’t forget, singing or being in a choir is also relevant and are used by some people as methods of stress management.
Baking is another enjoyable hobby that takes time and patience and shows your ability to juggle academic and other commitments. You don’t have to be a professional chef or go on the Great British Bake Off to write about this! Who knows, they may want you in their medical school so they can try some of your baking…
Writing is one of those things that can either be the bane of your life, or something you truly enjoy and want to do. If you fall into the latter category, mention this! Not only will medical schools like the sound of someone who enjoys writing (there’ll be a fair amount of it on the course!) but again, it shows your creativity and patience, and ability to set time aside from your A-Levels. This could be in the form of a blog/website, or even with creative writing/poetry.
Showing you can balance and enjoy these things alongside your academic commitments will demonstrate to medical schools that you are capable of managing the demands of the course, and have methods of dealing with any future stresses.
Ideally, you should show long-term commitment to these hobbies/activities, as you want them to see that you will continue to be able to manage stress once you start medical school. You could even explicitly write this in your personal statement to make it clear that you’ve thought about it!
Words: Mariam Al-Attar
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