Writing a Personal Statement for Medical School

The Graduate School personal statement will show if a student has a cohesive, precise manner of writing, which is also grammatically and logically valid. Sadly nowadays, the writing skills of students are presumed poor until proven otherwise. Handing a personal statement, you demonstrate to the admission board, that you are passionate about the related course and even more, you show your writing skills.

Personal statement hook

The crook has the purpose of grabbing the readers' attention and making them keep reading. So, you should present it in your opening lines. The perfect way is to pose an issue, an unexpected challenge, or change the readers' expectations regarding a particular situation.

Compelling examples

While most people spend their Christmas with their family in malls or on holidays, I choose to be one of Santa's elves at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

The personal statement core story

The "point story" consists of an example from your personal experience, which you can use to explain the "Why medicine?" question. Aim for the "show: don't tell" principle. In opposite to simply stating your strengths or your weaknesses, a core story will reveal your personality by highlighting your observations, and most importantly, your actions.

Compelling example

Let's take Haiti as an example of a very hot and humid country. For the native Canadians getting up to 90-degree weather every day, would be a nightmare. Let's not even mention the 95% of humidity. However, I spent some time in thoughts about it and realized, that the little discomfort I have experienced, was nothing compared to what the Haitian people were experiencing on a daily basis, witnessing the destruction and emotional suffering. The pictures and the stories I read in newspapers on the earthquake's aftermath are the initial reason I have decided to volunteer. What I have faced thereafter interacting with locals, like 8-year old Emmanuel, who cried tears of joy as we showed him his rebuilt home, taught me that helping people on a mental level is just as important as improving their living conditions.

Focus on how the compelling example:

  • The applicant is under a lens (personal background, revelations, specific situation)
  • The plot is more relatable and the narrative (initial discomfort, the change in outlook)
  • An authentic opinion is included (the readers get an honest admittance, concrete examples)

How to Write a Great Personal Statement Essay for Medical School?

Look at it in this way, a personal statement is a three-dimensional self-portrait, which shows that you are a student, who deserves to attend the presented course and study medicine. Moreover, what you include in the statement signals is relevant to you and displays your values.

In other personal statement examples for law school, that you might have seen, you will notice that students have incorporated their personal experiences into their passion for law. You can do the same for the personal medical statement. The purpose of using your own experience is highly encouraged, as it makes the essay unique. After all, you are the person that has experienced it and not somebody else.

Most schools will provide you with a prompt for your statement, and a few other criteria that you have to adhere to. Do not solely rely on these instructions. Get informed and investigate more about the personal statement and how to write it, if you want to create higher quality content, that will guarantee better results.

How to start a personal statement?

As we all know, once you have begun, after that all things fall into place. You will have to select one of the many ideas that you have, and that is a difficult process. You should capture the reader's attention from the very beginning of your personal statement. However, that does not mean you can use misleading information, a sensational approach, or any other tricks, that might backfire and provide a least wanted effect.

Instead of this, you can start the medical school statement by providing a useful tidbit, that will show what makes you choose to study medicine. You can use an anecdote or some other personal information to break the ice, but back to the point immediately afterward.

The structure is pretty straight - start with an introduction, develop the idea further on the paper and include a conclusion. Keep in mind that each paragraph has to present an idea or a purpose. Quality sets apart personal statements. That means you must not write that many pages. Instead, focus on providing value with the content you choose.

Here are some tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind:

  • Do not write a resume. It is quite common that students end up with statements, which look exactly like a resume. The personal statement is not something you return to in order to add more information at a later date.
  • Drop the robotic approach and the standard writing, make your personal statement even more personal by including examples from your experiences. Show, how following experiences molded into your desire to know everything about medicine.
  • If you want to display critical thinking skills, that is not a place where you can write freely about anything that could be considered controversial. If you have to include such a topic, avoid making it sound preachy or dogmatic. You want to be perceived as open-minded. Besides, you always run the risk of losing the attention of those, that do not agree with your political opinion. That's why it would be wise not to include such aspects.
  • You should avoid the poetic expressions, even if you are trying to demonstrate your writing skills. Keep in mind that there are healthcare professionals and professors in the admission board, who value a practical approach in most aspects of life.
  • Apologizing for bad grades in several subjects is a mistake, and you have no reason to offer an in-depth weakness explanation. You may see sense in doing so, but you shouldn't do this. Why? When trying to explain a bad grade on some subjects, the first thought of the readers is to put all their focus on the bad grade. Instead, try to write in a positive tone, and make sure that you pay attention to your strengths.
  • Go ahead and do multiple drafts, be ready to edit them, and choose the one with the highest value. If you can’t make a decision, then let someone read them all and give you an opinion.
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