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What to Include in a Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine Personal Statement

It’s nearly that time of the year again when many students will be applying to study medicine. If you’re considering applying, you might be already be thinking about getting an early start on writing your medicine personal statement.

The big question is what exactly do you include in those 4000 characters?

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You will have more to write about than you realise

Firstly, note that 4000 characters is not a lot to work with and you will probably have more to write about than you can fit in. It’s important to write concisely about activities you have done and why you would make a good doctor – being succinct is an art.

The aim of a personal statement is to communicate to universities why you would like to study medicine with them and what makes you an ideal candidate.

Since being a doctor is about much more than outstanding grades, medical schools do take the time to read personal statements, as they can communicate the more ‘human’ side to applicants; they can really make you stand out from the crowd if done well.

Read How Universities Use Your Medicine Personal Statement

What should I include in the introduction of my medical personal statement

The first question to answer will come up many times throughout your overall application, from writing your personal statement to explaining your choices to interviewers; why would you like to study medicine? 

This question of motivation is one that’s really important to address from the start and makes the perfect introduction. It’s also a question that many candidates find surprisingly difficult to answer directly and can often come up with similar answers to. Coming up with something unique is a good way to stand out from the beginning.

Read How to Write About Your Motivation for Medicine

How to discuss work experience in your medical personal statement

Your medicine personal statement is also the place to discuss any work experience you’ve completed and, even better, show what you have learnt from the experience. This can help to demonstrate why you are a ‘good fit’ for a medical course.

Even if the experience wasn’t strictly medical, you may have learnt how the NHS operates, how much doctors actually interact with and rely on other health professionals and the importance of teamwork.

Your medicine personal statement is also a good place to mention volunteering and any interpersonal skills you feel you have gained.

Read 5 Tips on Writing About Work Experience

Don’t be afraid to be specific in your medical personal statement

Look at the universities you are applying to. Do they all have something in common? Writing about similarities and specific details can show universities you have fully researched the courses and that they are a top choice and can make your personal statement appear more personalised.

Perhaps the medical schools you’re applying to all offer full body dissections as part of anatomy teaching or have the option for you to do an iBSc; you could write about why these are of particular interest and how important they are to you in your future studies.

Read 10-Step Checklist for Your Medicine Personal Statement

What else can I do to stand out in my Medical personal statement?

Since admissions tutors read through many of these medicine personal statements, writing a memorable one is extremely important but takes practice.

Think about whether you have done any unique activities in the past or have learnt skills through volunteering that the average applicant has not. Even if you haven’t done something you deem particularly ‘exciting’, you might have learnt something about the activity or yourself in the process – perhaps people feel comfortable opening up to you as you’re a good listener, this is an important skill for a doctor to possess.

To demonstrate interest in medicine, writing about any medical-related books or articles you’ve read, or any extracurricular work you may have done or lectures you may have attended.

Read 5 Tips for Writing a Stand-Out Personal Statement

Even though it is not that long, you must make a good impression within those 4000 characters. You need to make whoever is reading your medicine personal statement interested in your application.

There is another reason why being concise is important when putting together your medicine personal statement – you can leave selected information up your sleeve to impress with during interviews.

Not revealing everything allows you to elaborate on what you have done and add to what you’ve already said in your personal statement. This means you will have even more to say and so will stand out even more.

Words: Nafisa Barma

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