If you are applying to medical school, you will have to include a personal statement along with your UCAS form. The reason for it is to convince the person reading your personal statement as to why you are a good candidate to study Medicine.
The medicine personal statement is an opportunity for you to sell your skills to the prospective medical school. By providing your selling points, it will give you an edge over other applicants. Many students end up underestimating the power of personal statement and end up regretting it.
At some medical schools, personal statement accounts for a large amount of the total admission score. Since medical schools offer admission to students who are not just intelligent, but also empathetic and communicative, you can use your personal statement to create a good impression on the admission officers
Admission officers read hundreds of personal statement during the admission process. Your medicine personal statement is the best shot at ensuring that your essay is remembered by the admission officer and you receive recommendations when the officers meet to finalize the list of students for the interview invitation.
Here are some do’s and don’ts that you should follow when writing your personal statement for medical school –
DO ensure that the statement addresses two essential points
Two critical points that you should address are the reason(s) why you want to pursue medicine and why you are a good candidate for medical schools. Most students end up answering just one of them, mostly the first one and it is not enough. Admission officers are looking for personal statements that offer an insight into the qualities of the applicant, and you should be able to provide it through your statement to avoid getting overlooked.
DO give yourself enough time to write your medicine personal statement
You should allow yourself at least six months of writing and revise the personal statement before you submit it. Create a draft first by making notes for different sections in your structure. Even if you are writing too much, you can always edit it later. Remember to save all your drafts so that you do not miss something important during the editing process. Review the draft and ensure that the final draft is written in an appropriate writing style. When you start working on it early, you will have time to re-work later on and do not have to rush into completing it at the last moment.
DO be original and treat humor with caution
It is essential that your personal statement is written by you and not have someone else write it for you. Most admission officers use fraud detection software to check for cheating, and it can have serious consequences. All you need to do is show your passion for medicine and not be pretentious as admission officers can easily identify which ones are genuine and which are fake.
DON’T pick a subject matter only because you think it is what the admission officers want
Admission officers have already read thousands of personal statements that reflect on subject matter like “I want to make a difference in the world”, “I want to help people”, etc. They are looking for personal statements that offer a more personal story about their growth as a person and experiences that you will be able to share during the interview. However, it is best that you avoid controversial subjects as you might not know who is reading your essay.
DON’T just list your skills and accomplishments in your personal statement
Many students end up writing a list of skills and accomplishments without backing it up. A great way to do this is by providing an example and reflecting on it. For example, rather than say something like “I have good communication skills” it is more powerful to share a specific experience and mentioning how you used your communication skills then reflecting on what you learned. Personal statement allows you to show the side that is not reflected in your application or your recommendation letters. Instead of telling the officer about your skills, you need to show it to them using appropriate narrative to show your traits that make you a great candidate for the medical school.
DON’T rely on your computer to check for spellings, grammar, and punctuations
Spelling and grammar mistakes in your personal statement can be a turn off for the admission officers. You need to pay attention to the spellings and proofread it multiple times before submitting it. You can also have someone else proofread for you for mistakes that you might not notice.