When it comes to writing your medical school personal statement, it might sound daunting. Once you know what the admissions teams are looking for in your application, then you can be confident that you have included everything they are looking for.

Of course, different medical schools prioritise different things. If you can identify a solid combination of what all of the schools you’re applying to are looking for and make sure that you include it all. If you write to the highest threshold required, then you should have included everything needed to cover all bases.

In our successful medicine personal statement example and analysis we cover step by step what led to that medicine personal statement receiving four offers for medical school. If you require any further information to help you build the perfect application, then you can get in touch with the admissions teams directly.

Remember, it’s highly likely that you are applying to multiple medical schools. So do not mention any university names in your medicine personal statement, otherwise the unnamed schools will think you see them to be back-up options.

Keep it generic, but appeal to the requirements of each of them.

Confidence is Key

If you want the admissions teams to give you a chance, you’ve got to root for yourself! Show confidence in your abilities and stay positive throughout. Don’t put yourself or your abilities down. If you start to write something negative, delete the sentence! Otherwise, find another way to say it with a positive spin.

You’re showcasing yourself as an optimistic, motivated and aspirational trainee doctor, so make sure your words portray that.

Be Honest

Seriously, it is the best way. If you get offered an interview, they will delve deeper into your experience, knowledge and motivations, so make it easy for yourself by being honest about what you have done and learned.

Throughout the application, try to keep some key questions in your head and make sure what you are writing answers them in some way.

When planning your medical personal statement, you could mind-map questions which will link to different parts of it, and jot down key points, experiences and motivations associated with each question.

For example, you could plan your mind mapping around questions like these:

  • Why do you want to be a doctor?

  • What experience of medicine do you have?

  • What qualities do you have similar to those expected of a good doctor?

  • How have you demonstrated commitment to medicine so far?

Be sure to give examples and additional information. For the second and third questions, pick out a few qualities and then think about how they relate to medicine. The final question could be an ideal point to mention if you have proactively attended any related events or conferences, or any extra-curricular science-related things at school or college.

Those bullet points are not comprehensive; they are just to get you started. Remember that you only have 4000 characters, so you need to make every character count.

Stand Out

You’re not expected to be including clever puns and you don’t need a sob story. While it is great that you may have overcome some kind of adversity, try to keep your message positive and focused on why you want to study medicine. Is one of your parents a medical professional, or have you been blessed with an inspirational teacher? Great, but again, the focus is on you so try not to get caught up talking about other people, no matter how fantastic we’re sure they are.

There are other ways to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. Some medical lecturers have even said that you shouldn’t be afraid to include more unusual activities.

So, if you were in a band, you could explain how you formed and led the band. While this may not have a direct link to medicine, it shows dedication, drive, teamwork and leadership. Plus, it’s something to discuss in an interview and might just help you to relax before the more difficult questions come.

If you do have an obscure hobby, or are part of something a little unusual, as long as you can think of a way in which it has developed you as a person, by all means, include it.

Things to Avoid

As mentioned in the previous section, the focus is on you, so try not to get too caught up in talking about who inspired you.

Try to steer clear of clichés. Things like ‘from a young age’ or ‘blood sweat and tears’ and anything in between are overused and have all been seen before. If you have worked very hard, say that. If you wanted to be a doctor since you were little, approach it in a different way, and explain also how your learning has influenced it too.

In addition to speaking about your childhood dreams, try to focus all of your medicine personal statement on the more recent achievements and experiences in your life. These will resonate more with the admissions teams, and make a welcome change from all of the other applicants who have ‘dreamed of being a doctor from a young age’.

Avoid slang. This includes contractions. Your medical personal statement is a formal document and should be free from informal language and grammar. We know it can be tempting, especially when you’re looking for extra characters to remove, but more often than not, there will be some waffle somewhere which can be taken out instead.

This brings us nicely onto our next point; leave out the waffle. It’s as easy as that. Keep in mind those four questions we mentioned earlier and evaluate if each sentence is relevant to answering one of those questions. If not, remove it.

Your Strong Medical Personal Statement

Once you have written your medicine personal statement, if you are over the character count, you can look through our guide on how to reduce the word count of your medicine personal statement for further help.

If you would like a professional to take a look over it before you submit your application, at Medicine Answered, we can help. Our personal statement review service includes review by a professional medical admissions editor and a fully qualified doctor. The doctor will review facts and medicine-related information whereas the editor can suggest any tweaks, making sure that the best content is included in the character count.

If you would like us to review your whole application as well as the personal statement, our 360-degree application review is an alternative option for you.

Feel free to get in touch about any questions regarding your application to study medicine.