November 16, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
When writing out your personal statement for medical school, make sure you avoid the following mistakes that could negate your otherwise remarkable and impressive application:
Admissions authorities go through several hundred applications and essays every week. It’s impossible to remember them all especially when they all tend to say the same thing – “I spent my time shadowing a doctor and I learnt a lot about medicine during that time”. A personal statement written along those lines will soon be forgotten. To make yours memorable, be a little more specific.
When talking about a medical related experience that influenced you, talk about how or why the experienced left its mark on you. It should intrigue the reader enough that they will want to call you for the interview and meet you in person. Being called for the interview is your very first step towards medical school.
Don’t be repetitive. Your personal essay is your opportunity to provide deeper insight into who you are and what made you want to pursue this profession. Don’t simply repeat the same facts that you’ve written in your resume.
While your personal statement does not need to be written in an ultra-formal tone, it is a professional document and needs to be treated as such. Keep it subtle and restrained. Don’t use the same tone that you use in your personal blog. Avoid slang terms and other casual expressions and definitely avoid outrageous statements no matter how funny you think they are. If you want to inject a humorous tone into your essay, proceed extremely carefully and get someone else to read it and give you their honest opinion. Humor in a personal statement is something that only very few people can pull off successfully.
Politics is always controversial, no matter what the setting and when applying to medical school, any reference to politics could be treading dangerous waters. As a medical professional, you are expected to be committed to preserving human life no matter what the politics involved. Medical schools will always give preference to students who demonstrate this level of commitment.