Make a list of the most important things you learned from your work experience before you actually start writing your Medicine Personal Statement. Ideally you should have kept a work experience diary, so you can revisit this now to come up with your key learning points.
Consider the skills that are essential for working in Medicine, such as teamwork, communication, empathy and leadership skills, and think about where you saw these skills in action during your work experience. Admissions tutors don’t want to just see a list of your work experience activities in your Personal Statement – they want to hear about what you observed and what it taught you about the realities of a medical career.
It’s likely that you will be asked to talk about your work experience at Medical School interviews too – so coming up with key learning points for your Personal Statement is also useful interview prep.
You only have 4,000 characters for your Personal Statement, so try to be concise and focus on the important details. Remember that your Medicine Personal Statement structure needs to balance Motivation, Exploration and Suitability. Work experience is a significant part of it, but it isn’t the only thing you should write about!
You can always write a first draft Personal Statement that’s too long and then cut it down later. If you’re struggling with this, ask someone else if they can read it to get a fresh perspective.
Don’t worry if you know other people who are applying to Medical School and it seems like their work experience is more ‘impressive’ than yours.
The quality of your reflection on work experience is a lot more important than what you actually did. You won’t get extra credit for shadowing a renowned surgeon at a prestigious hospital. In fact, certain Medical Schools even say in their work experience requirements that they consider practical, hands-on work experience to be more valuable than workplace shadowing.
As long as you have some form of work experience that you can relate to Medicine, link to a Doctor’s skill set and reflect on, this is all that matters.
If you’re invited to interview, some Medical Schools will use your Personal Statement to formulate interview questions. This means that whatever you write about work experience in your Personal Statement, you could be asked to elaborate on – and they will be able to tell if you’ve claimed something that isn’t true!
It might be tempting to exaggerate in your medical Personal Statement when you’re trying to prove your strength as a candidate to study Medicine. But remember that you’re only at the beginning of your journey into a medical career and you aren’t expected to know everything. Medical Schools just want to know that you have done some work experience to explore your interest in Medicine and learn more about the realities of being a Doctor. Be honest and don’t make bold claims that you can’t back up.
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