Originally from Iran, Amin Sohani is a third year MBBS student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in North West England. These are his top tips for writing your Medicine Personal Statement.
It is crucial for an outstanding Personal Statement to capture the reader’s attention within the first few seconds of reading it. One of the best ways to achieve this is by leading the reader into a personal story, e.g. one that tells them why you are interested in Medicine.
You should be ready to elaborate on what you have mentioned in your Personal Statement during any future interviews, so be honest about what you include. However, being honest should not result in a boring Personal Statement!
What skills do you think should be included in your Personal Statement? Many skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication are important and certainly help in being a good Doctor, but it isn’t very interesting to simply list all of these skills in your Personal Statement with no elaboration.
It’s a good idea to do a bit of research into the Medical Schools you are applying to and finding out which values are most important to them. You should be able to find this information on their websites, through student forums, or by talking to their current medical students.
By doing this research, you will probably recognise differences between how each Medical School prioritises the values of a good Doctor. For example, some universities put more emphasis on the professional manner of Doctors, while others rate communication skills as more important, and some focus mainly on problem-solving and academic abilities. This is often reflected in the interview questions they ask you as well.
It is often said that the last paragraph of your Personal Statement should focus on why you would make a good medical student and a future Doctor. So how should you actually do this?
To address this part of your Personal Statement, think about the realities of Medicine that you have come across during your work experience or volunteering and how your skills would make you a good candidate to work in this type of environment – including difficult aspects of Medicine like dealing with death or working under pressure.
My final piece of advice is to start working on your Personal Statement as soon as possible! Often perfectionism becomes an excuse for procrastination, and this can make it more challenging to focus on UCAT, BMAT (note: UCLan does not require UCAT or BMAT) or interview preparation – which are at least as important as the Personal Statement, if not more.
No matter how good or bad your writing skills are, chances are you will write multiple drafts and edit them several times before submitting your final version – so you might as well write the first draft without expecting it to be perfect.
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