Writing a personal statement for medical school

But the stakes are higher once you start applying to medical school. You are now entering a pool of candidates who are just as motivated and academically outstanding as you are. This is new, competitive territory. You have every reason to be confident as you enter the medical school admissions process , but remember to take extra care as you apply.


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  • 15 Tips for Your Medical School Personal Statement.
  • The Personal Statement Core Story.

Now is the time to show your best self, and your medical school personal statement a critical part of that effort. You may have known you wanted to become a doctor for years — maybe even since childhood. To learn more about composing a medical school personal statement, we reached out to Kristen Moon, an independent college counselor and Founder of Moon Prep. She specializes in helping college students stand out during the application process, particularly for medical school and direct medical programs. According to Moon, the personal statement is more than just a few sheets of paper.

We asked Moon to outline a few insights on what makes a strong medical school personal statement. Take a moment to review her advice before you sit down to write.

5 Steps to Writing a Great Medical School Personal Statement

Your medical school personal statement is not a place to simply rehash your transcripts or qualifications. Admissions committees are trying to understand what motivates you and what experiences have shaped your perspective on becoming a doctor. If you want your application to stand out, remember these simple guidelines for crafting a noteworthy medical school personal statement. I was a tourist in a foreign land, armed with my Biology text as a guidebook.


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Introduce some unusual comparison, metaphor, or reversal of expectation. Rather than tell the reader your strengths or weaknesses, a core story allows you to show your personality through your observations, and most critically, your actions. When I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Haiti, my eyes were opened and my worldview expanded.

Until that point, I had only heard about the destruction caused by the earthquake years earlier.

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The plot and details of the narrative are not especially relatable unless the reader has also been to Haiti and volunteered. Haiti was hot and humid—no surprise.

Focuses on the applicant throughout personal background, key reflections, concrete moments. Includes a more relatable plot and narrative temporary discomfort, a changed outlook. Contains an authentic voice honest admittance to the reader, specific examples. It should be the main point of the essay: why you want to be a physician.

Writing the Personal Statement For Medical School

Most pre-meds struggle to say it without being cliche. They struggle to find their own compelling reason, but they mostly end up sounding the same. I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. This aspiration stems from my desire to apply the biological sciences towards helping others. It would be incredibly rewarding to improve lives and live a life of service.

A great medical school personal statement is key in the application process

These three elements are foundational to both the content and purpose of your personal statement. Your medical school personal statement should demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about medicine. You must rebut this presumption in your medical school personal statement. You do not need to, and if possible should not, declare outright your passion for medicine - e. In demonstrating your interest in medicine, it is crucial that your interest seems genuine , and that your justifications appear reasonable.

Do not say that you are passionate about becoming a doctor because of your wish to help the downtrodden unless your experiences provide ample support for that explanation. Think about the first time you knew you wanted to be a doctor, and how the commitment grew over time. Think about the significance medicine plays in your life what your biggest concerns in making this decision might be. Alternatively, do not say that you are interested in medicine because you watch the TV show House ; that is a manifestly unreasonable explanation that will make you seem foolish.

As genuine as those motivations may be, they are very common. Talk elaborately with specific examples about how your interest in science or work in medicine-related extracurriculars has helped develop your love in medicine. Talk about how, or what exactly they did, or what in your conversation might have sparked motivation in you to pursue the same field. But what sets your motivations apart? You should think of each of your experiences, achievements, qualities, and skills as providing a separate reason for why you are well suited to the medical field.

Perhaps you have extensive experience with teamwork and collaborative learning, which might allow you to work effectively in a clinical setting; or maybe you are a well-seasoned debater who can quickly digest complex readings and provide thoughtful analysis on them, which will allow you to make meaningful contributions during class or in the lab. If you decide to include a skill or quality in your personal statement, it should be clearly related to a successful career in medicine.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples

You must be conscious of the impressions left by the earlier parts of your application. Did you struggle with your classes freshman year?

Whatever the weaknesses or holes in your application, you must be aware of them, and takes steps to counteract them with a powerful personal statement. Whatever topic you choose for your medical school personal statement , the theme and story must align with the rest of your application.

The narrative which is maintained throughout your application and distinguishes you from other applicants is your application persona - the consistency followed by your extracurricular activities, your research and voluntary experiences and the story you convey in you medical school personal statement. Your application persona could highlight your initiative in carrying out blood drives and creating a mobile clinic to help out the victims of a natural disaster your local community faced.

Med School Personal Statement Examples That Got SIX Acceptances! | BeMo Academic Consulting

When thinking about what moves them toward medicine, students sometimes choose to focus on one of the following:. Your personal statement should feature a story only you can tell. There is of course no wrong answer when brainstorming your medical school personal statement, but keep in mind your application persona and typical themes. Yes, your personal statement needs to tell your story, but you also have to pick the right angle and perfect it.

This can take a while. Jot down the ideas that come to your mind. Try to re-imagine the question behind the essay prompt. Come up with a one-line summary of your motivation to study medicine. Everyone has their own method, but the idea here is just to get the ball rolling.