In this blog, we cover four things which you should usually avoid including in your UCAS Medicine personal statement. There are, of course, exceptions to most rules so use your judgement, but for most candidates, it will be best to avoid including the following things in your Medicine personal statement.

Avoid controversial or divisive topics

Or at the very least be very careful how you discuss them. If you do include something controversial then certainly avoid being dogmatic or preachy in your discussion because these are not good traits in a future doctor. You also do not want to risk alienating the reader who may not share your views.

Do not say you have done things which you have not yet done

Candidates sometimes include things in their Medicine personal statement which they have every intention of doing by the time their interview comes around, but they have not yet done so. For example, they may mention a book; a course; or future travel/work experience plans. If you intend to do these things in the future, then phrase them in this way. Do not try to mislead assessors into thinking that you have done something that you have not yet done so even if you intend to do them in time for a potential interview date. This would be dishonest and not a good way to start a future medical career.

Also remember, that you do not know what may happen in the future – you may not get around to reading a particular book; work experience or a course may be cancelled, or you may become ill on the day; travel plans change. Anything you mention in your personal statement can be scrutinised and questioned by the panel at your interview. It will be very damaging for your application if it emerges on further questioning at your interview that you have not been entirely forthcoming in your personal statement.

Avoid any form of plagiarism

A personal statement is meant to be personal to you. Reading other personal statements can be a good way to get some inspiration but do not in any way plagiarise anybody else’s work. UCAS use sophisticated software to detect similarities to previously submitted personal statements and other available works.

Avoid long lists with no reflection

Assessors are not looking for long lists of achievements or experiences. They are looking for the meaning you derived from such activities; your motivations for pursuing them; what you liked or disliked. Why did you choose to do a particular extra-curricular activity? How have these experiences or achievements changed you? What have you learned? Why does this make you a better candidate to study Medicine?

Writing your Medicine personal statement?

Medicine Answered can help. We offer an application review service where your Medicine personal statement will be checked by a professional proof reader and also by a doctor. You can find more information under our services section, or feel free to contact us directly.