January 25, 2020
For Medical School
Many students start off by mentioning a personal experience or a meaningful quote that’s related to their goals. The most important part of the personal statement is that it truly reflects you as a person. Avoid using a generic template or checklist. Show the admissions committee that you’re not just another cookie cutter student – highlight what makes you special and what sets you apart from the other applicants. Chances are you’ll be writing more than one personal statement. Write out one personal statement for one school first and then modify it to meet the requirements of the other schools.
Before you start writing, go over your CV to brainstorm what you’ll write about. Look at your extracurricular activities, volunteering, jobs, and research. Think about which of these experiences are a good fit for your personal statement, which ones demonstrate the qualities or skills the school is asking you to touch on. Don’t forget to also include that special experience or those special moments that shaped your goal to enter medicine. Did a kind physician help you out in your time of need? Were you able to help someone else out in their time of need? Do you come from a long line of physicians? Do you come from a strong research background and love the medical sciences? Write about what makes you stand out. And be honest – you never want to be caught in a lie.
Use Real-Life Examples
Give Your Statements More Weight
The reason why you want to use real-life examples is because it gives your statements more weight. Compare the following two examples:
- I am a hard worker who strives to achieve excellence. My perseverance and commitment to my goals makes me suited for a career in medicine.
- When I was in high school, I was involved in a car crash that caused brain damage. I was told I’d never be able to complete university because I wouldn’t be able to handle the mental workload. But I refused to let that accident shape my future. I worked twice as hard and never gave up. It took me an extra year, but I graduated and was valedictorian. This experience taught me that if I put my mind to it and persevere, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish.
Take Home Points
Applying To Medical School
- Take time to reflect on your past experiences.
- Select the experiences that relate to qualities suitable for medicine (e.g. perseverance, hard working) or fit what the school is asking for.
- Avoid generic, broad statements.
- Highlight the experiences that make you unique.
- Keep it honest. Don’t make things up.
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