It may sound silly, but imagine being faced with a pile of hundreds of personal statements and being given just a few seconds to scan through each one. What would make you put one on the ‘interview’ pile and another on the ‘rejection’ pile? Read through your work and consider whether you would want to find out more about the person who wrote it. Would you want that person in your teaching group? Would you want that personal to become a future doctor? Does this person sound honest, realistic about a medical career and driven enough for the challenge ahead?
Your personal statement is a valuable opportunity to talk directly to an admissions tutor. It may also form the basis for many of the questions you will be asked in your interview.
4 main areas:
- Why medicine?
- What have you done so far that makes you suitable?
- What have you done that would contribute to the course and make you an interesting, unique member of the community?
- Do you have a realistic understanding and commitment to the course and the end career goal?
Express your drive to succeed and your resilience in the face of challenges.
Remember that there is no single template that is correct for your personal statement. A good personal statement matches the selection criteria of the medical schools applied to, is well written, and is reflective.
A detailed account of important experiences in a healthcare setting can demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and engagement and gives you the opportunity to show off your communication skills. Use any challenging or unpleasant experiences to show how well informed you are about the reality of medicine, as well as your analytical skills about the difficulties and rewards of the career ahead.
Try to demonstrate your empathy by reflecting on your own personal encounters. Having spent time with a lonely patient in your local nursing home or with an anxious teenager who was waiting for an operation are valuable experiences. Consider including information about a particular scientific interest or a highly charged ethical issue if it’s important and interesting to you — really do your research and spend time considering both sides of the argument. Finally, ensure that what you have written is logical, flows well, and is a true reflection of who you are and hope to become.