An Example of a Successful Medicine Personal Statement

Here is an example of a strong Medicine personal statement which the Medicine Answered team helped to improve. This Medicine personal statement gave the applicant four interviews at four different medical schools. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. There are various medicine personal statement examples online, however, remember that a Medicine personal statement is unique to you. UCAS use sophisticated plagiarism detection software to see how similar your personal statement is to those previously submitted and those publicly available. It detects paraphrasing and other attempts to hide plagiarism.

The purpose of posting this Medicine personal statement is to provide some inspiration and demonstrate things that have been done well. The candidate is well experienced. Their medicine personal statement does an excellent job of illustrating what skills they have gained from the activities they have done, instead of just describing a list of activities and achievements. This is a difficult thing to achieve under the word constraints of a UCAS personal statement. This was a particular challenge for this candidate as they had a lot of achievements to list. Failure to illustrate what a candidate has learned is a classic mistake in many Medicine personal statements. This skill of illustrating points is also something you will need to excel in to succeed in your Medicine interview.

Your Medicine personal statement is an integral part of your Medicine application and is a platform for you to be asked questions in your Medicine interview. A limited number of medical schools have started using the Medicine personal statement less in their initial medical school application process – screening them to make sure they are suitable but not necessarily scoring them when deciding who to invite to interview.

Manchester Medical School asks all candidates also to fill in a non-academic information form. This is very similar to a personal statement but provides a bit more space. It contains headings which are the same types of topic you would discuss in a Medicine personal statement. The headings are “Experience in a caring role” “Hobbies and interests” “Teamwork” and “Motivation for Medicine”.

For reference, the UCAS word limit for all personal statements including Medicine personal statements is 47 lines of text or 4000 characters. This equates to roughly 500 words. The personal statement has to be sent online in the UCAS form. Further information about writing UCAS personal statements can be found on the UCAS website.

UCAS UK Medicine personal statement example which received four offers for interview

“I wish to study medicine as I have always had the ambition to pursue a career that would help others and contribute to the community. As a carer for my grandmother, who has severe arthritis, I have seen how much of a difference good healthcare can make to her life. Shadowing a GP and witnessing the reassurance and help given to patients reinforced this and strengthened my ambition to study medicine.

A Medlink lecture on psychiatry sparked my interest, so in college I co-founded and led a mentoring group. Using cognitive behavioural therapy, I mentored students with low self-esteem or who were having problems at college. I taught after-school lessons on topics such as dealing with failure, stress and goal setting. Selecting a team, delegating work and organising meetings strengthened my leadership skills, while working to strict deadlines improved my organisation. We presented our work to an NHS psychologist, who gave us valuable feedback. We are currently filming our programme to make it available online and in other colleges.

I undertook a residential stay at a holiday home for disabled people, where I took guests on day trips and helped to feed and toilet them. Many guests were completely reliant on carers and could not communicate verbally. At times, they would become violent. At first, I found this intimidating, but during the two weeks I learnt how to deal with these situations. I also volunteered at a summer playscheme where several children had learning disabilities. Being responsible for groups of children increased my confidence in caring for others: I found dealing with quieter children and including them in group activities to be rewarding. To develop my understanding of the children I read several books about how learning disabilities affect peoples’ lives.

Teamwork is vital in all aspects of medicine, which I find very appealing. I witnessed a live scoliosis surgery, during which I saw how the outcome depended on the skill and dedication not only of the surgeon but also of every other member of the team. At the GP, I learnt how the clerical staff and nurses were vital in the running of the practice.

Medicine is a dynamic profession that will continue to undergo major advances in the next few decades. These developments will require a commitment to lifelong learning and I find the prospect of this exciting. I have attended lectures on topics such as premature birth and pharamacogentics. During a lecture on RNA Interference (RNAi), the lecturer stated RNAi could be the most important development in medicine since antibiotics. I researched this claim by completing a 2500 word essay on RNAi and its impact on medicine. It was a challenging topic, but I found that I enjoyed using post A-level books and medical journals, which improved my research skills.

Next year, I will be travelling through Asia and Europe. I have secured work at a Romanian orphanage and will start a placement at ______________ hospital this October. I have also applied for a 10-week development and teaching project in Africa.

I am currently learning Thai Boxing and sign language and taking courses in self-development and memory improvement. I participate in basketball tournaments and play tennis. I play the violin to grade 3 and find music helps me to relax. I gained a 200-hour Millennium Volunteers award, a v50 award and I am currently completing a Gold DofE award. I am part of a focus group for a national volunteering organisation. We organise events and promote benefits of voluntary work to individuals and organisations.

My experiences have made me absolutely committed to becoming a doctor, and I believe that they have also prepared me to cope with the demands of studying medicine. I realise that the long hours and often stressful situations which doctors work in are daunting, but it is a challenge I am willing to meet because of the satisfaction that I find in making a difference to peoples’ lives.”

Analysis of this personal statement

The overall structure of this Medicine personal statement.

Medicine Personal Statement AnalysisYou will notice that each paragraph has a clear theme. The reason for this is that grouping multiple points together in succession reinforces each point. It makes the overall message that the author is trying to convey to the reader more obvious and memorable than if the author scattered these points and examples throughout their statement. It also gives the Medicine personal statement structure. This is why in our edited version which you see here we took different scattered points throughout the document and grouped them into themed paragraphs giving the medicine personal statement structure and flow and making it easier to follow.

PARAGRAPH 1

Notice that this Medicine personal statement opening paragraph has one central theme: doctors can help people > the author has seen this for himself > this fuels his desire to study medicine.

What is done well in this edited opening paragraph is that an event is described and this is followed up by explaining the reason why this makes the author want to study Medicine. The candidate says how he was a carer for his disabled grandmother, and he shadowed a GP. In the unedited version, this was all he wrote. These are just statements and don’t say why that would want to make you study Medicine. Plenty of people look after a disabled relative but do not want to be a doctor so why does the author? However, in the edited personal statement, we added the reason why his grandmother and the GP work experience caused him to want to study Medicine. Of course, the space is so limited in a personal statement that you cannot expand on points very much.

Note that the reasons for studying Medicine and examples used in this opening paragraph are not original. There is no unique Medicine personal statement opening line. This is a relatively typical Medicine personal statement opening paragraph. However, that is completely fine. These are solid reasons for studying Medicine and are true for the candidate.

PARAGRAPH 2

The edited version of the paragraph above does an excellent job of succinctly explaining an unknown project to the reader without becoming verbose or complicated. It demonstrates what skills the candidate has learned, and they are perfect for studying Medicine, so this is a great example to use. Very few characters are wasted on describing the contents of the lecture or attending Medlink as the other content in this paragraph is far more impressive and important to write. For this reason, it was edited in this way as the unedited version was verbose and wasted many characters on explaining things such as “I attended the Medlink residential course which had various lectures including ….etc.” These do not add anything to enhance the authors’ accomplishments and are not needed for narrative purposes either. The assessor already knows what Medlink is.

PARAGRAPH 3

These are two good examples of caring role work experience, and in the unedited version, the candidate gave some insightful thoughts on things he learned. However, it was mixed in with lots of unnecessary content which diluted the strength of the good points. In this edited version, this is a powerful paragraph because the writer omits the extra material. This causes the remaining text to be more powerful, and it now shows that the candidate has excellent self-awareness and insight. He can extract solid learning points from his experiences.

Essentially the candidate is saying he was acutely aware of how he felt during the experiences. He knew that it was challenging to deal with people who had limited communication skills, who could become violent (he even used the word intimidating) and when he was responsible for groups of children. Despite this, he persisted with these experiences and learnt from. This demonstrates that he is a self-reflective learner. The statement about doing further reading shows how he is an independent learner. He can identify his own learning needs and knows how to pursue them. Being a self-reflective and independent learner is essential for studying Medicine particularly in PBL courses. The candidate is showing he has these skills as well as a lot of maturity and self-awareness in this paragraph.

PARAGRAPH 4

Notice how this paragraph also has a theme – teamwork. Again, we took various examples scattered throughout the unedited statement and grouped them into this paragraph about teamwork. This gave the entire personal statement more structure and conveyed the message of teamwork more powerfully. Notice how the paragraph mentions the GP work experience but in the context of teamwork. This is unlike how we discussed the GP work experience in paragraph 1, which was in the context of reassuring patients. This shows that it is ok to put the same work experience in different parts of the Medicine personal statement as long as there is a logical reason for doing so.

You will notice the things mentioned in this paragraph are very routine things to put into a Medical personal statement and are very passive in nature (i.e. the candidate is not actively doing anything, he is just watching a procedure, he is watching the GP staff). In the unedited version, it very much read like this. In the edited paragraph, however, it becomes more active and unique. Look how once again the author describes an event and then explains a learning point or gives a reflection. Notice how only a few of the words in this paragraph describe what the candidate did. Most of the words describe what the candidate learned and his reflections on the experiences. This is far more powerful than just listing the steps of the operation or the activities of the admin staff.

PARAGRAPH 5

This paragraph is themed around the author’s keen scientific curiosity and passion for learning. He describes attending lectures and doing activities which are clearly outside of his A-level curriculum. He cleverly words this paragraph to make use of the limited character count by not wasting words on how or where he attended these lectures or stating that they are in addition to his A-levels. It is self-evident that they are extracurricular and he does not need to waste words to spell this out. The topics the author writes about are things that he needs to understand well as they can be brought up in the Medicine interview.

He once again demonstrates that he is a self-reflective and independent learner by talking about various lectures he attends, and how he explored one lecture further by writing an essay on the topic. Note that the author in paragraph two also states how a Medlink talk sparked his interest and he developed things further. This is an individual with curiosity and a desire to understand things further. He once again shows self-reflection when he says that it was challenging to use post-A-level books and medical journals but he enjoyed the challenge and looks forward to the academic challenges of the ever-evolving field of Medicine.

PARAGRAPH 6 + 7

The theme here is gap year activities and extracurricular activities. A personal statement does not give you much space to expand on points. Notice how this paragraph almost “name drops” things. However, this is simply due to a lack of space. Despite this the paragraph achieves its purpose by demonstrating that the candidate is very well rounded. He has many extracurricular activities and achievements which are impressive and utilise many skills which are directly transferable to Medicine. He does not necessarily need to spell this out. As with the previous paragraph, the candidate was instructed to be very knowledgeable about all of their extracurricular activities, and this indeed did come up in the interview

How can Medicine Answered help you with your medicine personal statement

Medicine answered can help you at any stage of your medicine application process. We offer a 360° application review service. We look at your personal statement and other information you choose to supply to us such as your UKCAT score, academic achievements or CV. A professional proofreader will analyse your statement for tone, grammar, structure and more. All changes will be fully visible in Microsoft Word. We will run your Medicine personal statement through a plagiarism detector that looks at 8 billion different web pages and gives you a plagiarism percentage score. Next, a fully qualified doctor, who received all four UCAS medical school offers, will review your Medicine personal statement and other documents line by line. They will comment on the strength of your entire application and provide you with a plan on how to strengthen your application based on how much time you have left. They will suggest organisations, contacts and ideas to help increase your experience. They will also suggest things which may be discussed at interview based on your statement.