This article will give you advice and tips that will help you write an excellent Medicine personal statement. Specifically, it lists seven things which every Medicine personal statement must include and why. We explain why admissions tutors are specifically looking for these things. We then give an example of a strong Medicine personal statement which has all seven of these things. As a result, it allowed the candidate to receive interviews at all four of the medical schools they applied to (and subsequently receive all four offers). We analyse this statement paragraph by paragraph and explain precisely why each paragraph is effective.

1) A medical school personal statement must show strong, well-considered reasons why a candidate wants to study Medicine and crucially provide evidence to back these statements up

In particular admissions tutors want to see evidence that a candidate’s motivation and interest in Medicine is robust and has been present over a sustained period, rather than a recent hasty decision which may be short-lived and fall apart under some adversity. The reason this is so important for admissions tutors is that Medicine is a long degree and a challenging career with heavy workloads. Candidates who have genuine, sustained motivation and interest in studying Medicine are significantly more likely to be able to complete the degree and have a successful career, overcoming any challenges that they may face on the way.

Don’t mistake this for thinking that you need show the admissions team a weird and wonderful story for why you want to be a doctor. You don’t. In fact, most successful candidates have very typical reasons for wanting to study Medicine and do not have a fascinating anecdote how they came to know Medicine was the career for them. What you need is robust and well-thought-out reasons for studying Medicine and evidence for your claims. Evidence includes things like having work experience in a caring or medical role over either a long period or instead several shorter experiences but over an extended period. Depending on what your work experience was, this would show evidence that you have researched medicine, are committed, have a desire to work with and help others etc.

2) Excellent examples of work experience in caring and/or medical roles and an insight into what was learned from these experiences

Admissions tutors look for this for several reasons. As discussed above it provides evidence for a genuine interest in Medicine. It also means you are more likely to have a more realistic view of what being a doctor entails than somebody with no work experience. It can show critical traits which are required to study Medicine such as empathy, good communication skills, personal organisation, reliability, personal responsibility, self-reflection and more.

3) A medical school personal statement must include the insights and meaning gained from activities and not just lists and descriptions of activities.

This is one of the most critical things that a personal statement must have. This is what separates an excellent medical school personal statement from a good or weak medical school personal statement. Admissions tutors do not want to simply see a list of work experience, extracurricular activities or achievements. The insight and meaning that you gained from these things is even more important than what you actually did.

Describing what you did in your work experience or the facts of an event, achievement or award is necessary to some degree as the reader needs to understand what you are discussing and needs the context. However, this is only the first step, the next step is illustrating the description. In this vital step, you describe what insights and meaning you derived from the event and/or what attributes you demonstrated or developed. This is what excellent personal statements do. This would include things such as what motivated you to do these things? Did you have to overcome and challenges to succeed? What have you learned about yourself and others? How do these experiences show that you have the traits to be a good doctor such as intellectual curiosity; personal responsibility; reliability; commitment; empathy etc.?

4) A medical school personal statement must clearly show evidence of personal attributes which would make an applicant suitable to study Medicine

It is important that you show you have these traits rather than just say you have them. For example, describing how sustaining a particular job during your studies shows your personal responsibility and organisation skills is better than merely claiming you have these traits. You can show you are a reflective person by reflecting on your work experience or another matter in your personal statement rather than simply claiming you are self-reflective.

5) Excellent examples of extracurricular activities and outside interests

Extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests are vital for medical school applications. This is more so than in some other courses where outside interests can sometimes just be mentioned in passing. Doctors interact with the public and work in teams, so it is beneficial if they are well-rounded individuals. Outside hobbies also help to combat stress. They are another way besides things like work experience to show many of the attributes needed to be a good doctor such as organisation, problem-solving, responsibility, leadership, teamwork, excellence in a field etc.

6) A logical and consistent structure

This means a good introduction and a conclusion for the personal statement. For the main body of text do not scatter examples of work experience or achievements throughout the personal statement; try to group them where possible. As long as the grouping is logical you have multiple options in how to do this. For example, in the successful personal statement we use as an example at the end of this article, the paragraphs follow themes; e.g. motivation for medicine, academic ability and intellectual curiosity, teamwork, extracurricular activities etc. You will notice that the candidate mentions the same work experience (at a GP surgery) in two different paragraphs, but this still works as each mention matches the theme of that paragraph so has a logical reason for being in two separate paragraphs.

7) Excellent punctuation and grammar.

This is an absolute minimum requirement for a Medicine personal statement. Anything less is unacceptable.

A Medical school personal statement which includes all 7 of these things

We have provided a detailed analysis of a successful medicine personal statement which the Medicine Answered team worked on to perfect all seven of these things. This statement led to four offers for the interview and subsequently four offers to study Medicine. We analyse the statement paragraph by paragraph and explain some of the improvements we made.

How can Medicine answered help you in your Medicine personal statement?

Medicine Answered offer one of the highest quality Medicine personal statement review services available. A professional editor and a fully qualified doctor, who themselves received all four UCAS offers to study Medicine, will check and correct your personal statement. This is unlike many other providers who use untrained students or people with no medical or admissions background and who do not have professional proof-reading skills. We go beyond the typical reviews of just grammar and structure. We discuss the overall strength of your entire Medicine application and ways to improve it. We anticipate what you may be asked at interview, suggest areas to brush up on and more.