Writing med school personal statement

To prepare a good med school personal statement, demonstrate that you’ll make a good doctor or nurse. But sharing your experience, don’t press on pity too much. According to experts, a shock tactics in motivational writing won’t be effective. It happens that the applicant describes how someone at his work somewhere in the forest accidentally sawed off his foot, or something similar. It’s better not to start the text in this way.

Requirements for a statement to the med faculty

Some med schools regard statements more strictly, while others are pretty chill about them. For instance, in the universities of Leeds, Cardiff, and Kiel, the facultative elements of the application are evaluated in accordance with the official criteria, while in the Imperial College and Oxford, the essays assist the admission commission to get a general idea about the candidate and see if he has the required qualities.

Be that as it may, the statement gives the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate what experience and knowledge he has already gotten and showcase the qualities necessary for this field. Your statement will demonstrate that you possess the most serious intentions and no difficulties will push you from your path.

You can persuade the admission commission by describing the existing experience in the area – it will be a sign that you have no illusions about your potential profession. Experts warn that it is not sufficient to name the vacancies you occupied without any understanding of the experience gained.

Sometimes the representatives of the admission committee get statements that look like a list for shopping. But if you’re applying for the med faculty, you need, for example, write about the patient you looked after. You can also write about:
  • If you helped the hospital attendant in the hospital
  • If you watched the work of the leading clinician

Give examples of what you did rather than talking about your studies, what skills you got. Some participated in the scouting movement or were a counselor, helped in the parochial support group, or received a prize from the Duke of Edinburgh.

How to emphasize your personal statement

Don’t be shy describing things that you like to do, even if they are unusual– with their help you can stand out.

  • If you’re a part of a rock band, state that you have created the band and now you’re leading it determining the path of its development. It would seem, what is the link with medicine? But, this experience shows that you’ve a strong will, know how to be a part of the team, and how to act as a leader.

Med colleges differently advise on how to design a good med school personal statement, or features that they’d like to see in their students. So, it’s not easy to satisfy several educational institutions with one statement. To create a statement so that it is in line with the criteria of all the faculties you have selected is about as difficult as going through the minefield. It is better to write a personal statement, focusing on the highest requirements of each of the universities.

If you submit applications to several colleges, find out which requirements are the same and which are not. There’s a certain percentage of the game here. One can find a formulation that will satisfy the requirements of several universities.

Define the structure of your statement

Think about which sections/paragraphs will be included in your statement, how these sections will be linked. Don’t forget to include the introduction and findings. Think it over and, perhaps, present it for yourself, about what you will write in each of the paragraphs of your statement.

Here is a basic organization of the statement, successfully tested by many students enrolled in foreign universities:
  • Foreword
  • Career goals for entrance to the program
  • A plan for your career – how you’re going to reach the goals
  • Which qualities needed for the career plan described above you have, and which of them need to be developed?
  • How the program you are applying for will help you develop the relevant qualities and achieve the career goals outlined above?
  • How you can be interesting/useful to college and fellow students
  • The conclusion

If you are not confident in writing, it may be more convenient for you to write your personal statement in with someone who has a lot of experience in writing and can help you present your thoughts on paper in an attractive way.

How to start a medical personal statement

So, you have determined what you will write about in the personal statement. The next difficulty is where to start. Some teachers advise the following:
  • To proceed immediately to the second paragraph and write the statement to the end
  • Then pull out an interesting statement or quotation from the text and use it as an introduction

In any case, it’s always better to write the first paragraph at the very end. The first paragraph is often the weakest, so start with the second one – in the description of your experience, a bright phrase can appear, which can easily be moved to the beginning when editing text.

What can be skipped in the introduction? The worst personal statements begin with the words: “I want to become a doctor because my grandfather was seriously ill”. The representative of the admission committee will probably have doubts about the applicant, who was pushed to medicine by personal reasons, in which case it is more logical for a person to become a junior medical worker, not a doctor.

The statement must be necessarily well-written and logically consistent but be careful with complex words. Do not try writing a personal statement, make it smarter with a dictionary. When you write not the way you usually talk, it’s immediately noticeable.

What are the difficulties in preparing a medical personal statement?

Another difficulty in preparing a statement to the medical faculty is to introduce yourself in a better light and not seem like a braggart. Statements where you loudly indicate that you’ll be a great doctor are not necessary.

Ask for help from the elders – teachers or relatives, if you need it, but don’t take too many advisers. The admission committee wishes to hear the voice of an applicant, not his/ her parents. Write that you want to change the world – when else will you talk about it, if not at eighteen?

Be sincere. Mention how you fell in love with medicine and why you’ll be able to go through all the difficulties that may arise during studies. Your objective is to get to one certain college. If you are accepted into other colleges too, it’ll be a pleasant bonus. When submitting applications, save a copy of the statement and be ready to prove everything that is mentioned there – some colleges use these details during interviews.

General requirements for applicants to medical schools

The general requirements of medical schools for applicants are as follows:
  • Bachelor’s degree with compulsory study of biology and chemistry. Some schools also require the availability of hours for a number of liberal arts, English, mathematics, and natural sciences.
  • Good results of MCAT – a mandatory test for admission to medical schools in the United States. If necessary, the results of other standard tests – GRE, GMAT, LSAT – are indicated.

In addition, the applicant should carefully read all the requirements of the university, which often will differ from the standard. Perhaps, additional tests, examinations, and interviews will be required, which will be conducted directly by the university representatives.

Submission of applications

Students submit standardized applications to all US medical schools through the AMCAS – American Medical College Application Service. The application system is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The applicant fills in a standard form, including:
  • Personal information about him and his family
  • All educational institutions he attended
  • Studied subjects
  • Assessments
  • Activities directly related to medicine
  • Available letters of recommendation

Then the entrant indicates the medical universities in which he plans to send an application. After that you need to add a personal statement – from one to three, depending on the program and level of training. Applicants to M.D. programs. or PhD are required to submit a personal motivational essay, applicants for master’s or doctoral studies have to submit an M.D./PhD. essay, as well as an essay describing the student’s existing research experience.


The study at the US Medical School lasts 4 years, continues with the training in residency from 3 to 7 years. After that, those who want to expand or deepen their specialization, strengthen practical skills there are additional programs that last from one to four years and do not lead to the awarding of degrees. Students should be prepared for huge and diverse workloads – many hours of classes in classrooms, laboratories and anatomical theater, practice in clinics.

To obtain a medical diploma, students must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), or the Board exam, consisting of three levels:
  • The first exam is passed at the end of the second year of medical school
  • The second exam is passed during the fourth year of training
  • The third exam is passed after the first year of residency

These exams vary in structure and content, but collectively they ensure that the knowledge and skills of the young specialist meet the standards of American medical education.

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