Shadowing a Doctor

November 16, 2013

Your personal statement is a crucial part of your medical school application. You know that medical schools take personality and leadership traits into accounts when making their final decisions and this is the first chance you have to give the school’s admissions authorities a better glimpse into who you are beyond your academic scores. You want your personality to shine through in your personal essay and more than showing the school that you are a good test taker, you want to show them that you are a good person.  However, you have only a limited amount of characters for your essay. So how can you possibly write an essay that captures your personality and character in such a short space?   

The following few tips that will help you write a killer medical school personal statement that is sure to pique the interest of anyone reading it.

Holding a new born baby for the first time after observing the C-section


Spend Time Brainstorming

Your personal statement should feature points that do not appear anywhere else on your application. A good way to do this is to ask yourself a few questions and use those answers to create your essay. Here are a few questions that will help you kick start your brainstorming session:

  • Why did you choose this particular profession?
  • What is your motivation for wanting to study medicine and help patients?
  • What are the personality traits you possess that will make you a good physician?
  • What makes you different from the other applicants?
  • What experiences good or bad, have you had in the medical field?
  • Have you had any particular hardships that you have to overcome in your life?

You may already have great answers for some of these questions whereas you may not have thought about some of the others before.  This is the time to brainstorm your ideas and write them down.

Think Of The Main Theme of Your Essay

For a personal statement to create the most impact, it is important that it is focused around one central theme. Persona statements that ramble on and on, jumping from one topic to another can be confusing and will not impress anybody.

You can choose to use a personal experience in medicine or perhaps a hardship you have had to overcome, a story or a medical mission trip that you went on as the theme of your essay. As you brainstorm, you might hit upon a few more ideas about your main theme.  At this point, you should pick a theme and only use those brainstormed ideas that fit into your theme. This will form the basic framework for your personal statement!

You’re Ready To Write Your Essay

Now that you have a basic outline of the topics for your personal statement, it’s time to write!  There are a few things that you will need to keep in mind at this time:

  • Be sincere about everything you say in your personal statement
  • Make sure that you have an interesting introduction that will make the reader want to keep on reading. The goal is to make the admissions counsellor interested in wanting to know more about you.
  • Check, re-check and re-re-check the statement for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Nothing brings down a good personal statement like a careless mistake.
  • Don’t just talk about your passion for medicine and helping others. Show it instead by talking about the things you’ve actually done to help others and to prove your passion. Did you perhaps volunteer at a local healthcare centre? Did you do a medical placement at a local hospital or a hospital overseas? Actions speak louder than words and doing something concrete that is related to the profession is a much more effective way of making an impression.

That’s it!  Keep these points in mind and you should be well on your way toward crafting a sincere and captivating personal statement.