September 21, 2016
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Your medical school application includes information on your grades, MCAT scores, extracurricular activities and more. While good grades and high tests scores are needed to get into med school, they don’t tell the whole story. As part of the application process, you’ll have the chance to write a personal essay. Your essay is a chance to set yourself apart from other candidates and standout.
Essays are included in a primary and secondary application. Although both types of essays give you the chance to paint a picture of who you are, they are little different. After submitting a primary application, schools that are interested in you may ask you to complete a secondary application. On a secondary application essay, you’ll respond to specific questions. A primary application essay does not require you to answer certain questions. Instead, it involves writing a personal statement to show your personality and explain why you would make a great doctor. Keep the following tips in mind:
One of the first things to consider is your writing style. Your statement should showcase your personality without being too informal. Use a conversational tone but avoid clichés.
Avoid using language you think will impress an admissions panel. Big words and complicated phrasing is difficult to read and can make you come across as stiff. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Write in a style you’re comfortable with.
When you are writing your statement, don’t just restate your qualifications. Keep in mind, you want to write an essay that’s engaging and relevant to why you are choosing a career in medicine.
Writing about something that is meaningful to you is your best bet when it comes to your personal statement. If you had an experience that shaped your interest in medicine, consider writing about it. When you write from your heart, it will come across as sincere and helps the reader connect with you.
You should also relay information about your skills and unique strengths and explain how they will help make you a good physician. For example, if you developed strong communication and leadership skills while volunteering or working in student government, consider sharing your experience. While it’s acceptable to highlight your skills, you are also attempting to show who you are, not just what you have accomplished.
Be sure to follow the instructions on writing your personal statement. You will probably be limited to a specific number of words or characters. Failing to follow instructions makes a bad impression.
Keep in mind, your introduction should be strong and engage your reader. You want to have your reader hooked and wanting to know more about you. Consider starting with a story, famous quote or a question. The point is to get your reader interested in what you are saying.
Lastly, make sure you proof your essay more than once. Ask someone you trust to take a look at what you have written and give you honest feedback.