Consider These Topics For Your Personal Statement

May 1, 2014

Potential Topics For Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement is what helps medical school authorities make that final call on whether to invite you for an interview or not. Medicine is a highly competitive field and all students applying to medical school are expected to have strong academic profiles and outstanding letters of recommendation. When faced with so many applications, all of which meet the very stringent requirements, medical school authorities will use your personal statement as the final deciding factor.

So how do you create a statement that is compelling enough to get you an invite to an interview?

Your personal statement should address these few points; display a good understanding of what a career in medicine involves, justify your reasons for choosing medicine, and prove your commitment to medicine.

To do this, consider writing about these topics;

Knowledge About Medicine

You need to convince the admissions authorities that you have done your research and have a pretty good idea of what it will be like to study at a medical school and also what a career in medicine entails. You know that the curriculum can be rigorous but you are prepared to work hard to achieve your goals. 

Work Experience & Transferable Skills

Write about all your work experiences to date, be it a work placement, voluntary work, an internship or a temporary job and explain how it has helped your development. A variety of healthcare-related work experience can be particularly important for demonstrating your interest in discovering more about a career in healthcare. Whether you’ve spent time at a medical placement abroad or shadowing a medical professional in a local hospital, state clearly what you learned from the experience and also mention the transferable skills that you gained during that time. People skills, communication skills, leadership skills and time-management skills are crucial transferable skills for a medical professional and these are some of the attributes the authorities will be looking for. Don’t just list the skills. Talk a little bit about how you think these skills will be useful and state clearly what you have learned from these experiences and how you have demonstrated you possess the qualities a doctor needs to have.

Your Commitment to Medicine

One of the things that admissions authorities want to know is why you are interested in becoming a doctor. What is it that steered you towards this career? Is it just the money or is it something else?  Talk about what inspired you in the first place and then explain what exactly you find interesting about this career path. You should be reflective and show that you have some insight as to why you feel you are suited to medicine.

Interests Outside of Medicine

It would be a mistake to just focus on your health-care related interests. Medical schools prefer well-rounded students with achievements beyond academic work so do mention your leisure and sport interests and demonstrate how these activities have helped shape your personal development. Do not lie or even exaggerate about your accomplishments – there’s nothing worse than being caught out at the interview.