A vital and often the most challenging part of your application is the writing of your personal statement. Your personal statement must stand out from the crowd and distinguish you in some way from the thousands of other high-quality students applying.
Consider the aims of your personal statement before you begin writing. Firstly, you need to demonstrate you have the attributes to be a great medical student. Secondly, the ability to develop into a competent member of the medical profession. This requires, not just good personal attributes and good experiences, but more importantly, an understanding of the reality ahead, a passion to learn more and the ability to develop into the best possible doctor you can be for your patients. It may seem daunting but it is exciting too and gives you the chance to really draw together and summarise your motivations.
This is the starting point of your journey to a medical career. It is about compiling the skills, experiences and achievements you have gained over the last few years and relating them to your aims, giving solid evidence and justification to your statements. Try to demonstrate insight from your experiences and your excitement about studying medicine. Maturity is important and you need to show commitment to the challenges of the course and vocation ahead.
Your personal statement can be a maximum of 47 lines and 4000 characters. This is not much space for summarising your life so far, so use it wisely to give an effective summary of who you are and why you should be invited to an interview.
Remember that your personal statement is just that: personal. The admissions panel want to see bright and independent thinkers; you do not need to follow any particular template to secure success. Invest in explaining the relevance and the value of the skills and activities you have undertaken and your understanding of what medicine entails.
Besides the advice given on this and the next page, Medify offers more extensive guidance on completing your personal statement. See the Personal Statement Writer & Course and Personal Statement Reviews.
The personal statement serves a few main purposes:
Medical schools will differ in their methods of marking a personal statement. However, each school’s markers will use fixed marking criteria to ensure applicants are fairly marked. This means the marking criteria can be predicted.
Good things do not always come to those who wait. Preparing a good personal statement takes time and repeated re-drafts. With applications for medicine being due in October, you should start drafting your personal statement in the summer before Year 13, perhaps after your UCAT exam. It may take several drafts to refine your statement, and the earlier you start, the more time you will have to make improvements.
Personal statements can be hard to write, we have all experienced writer’s block, so start by listing all the things you want to mention and work from there.
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