Finding Your Voice: How to Write Your Medical School Personal Statement

Posted February 2, 2022 by in Career
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Securing admission into one of the country’s top medical schools is no easy task. Every year, hundreds of aspiring applicants are rejected despite having done all they believe they were required to do. 

You have probably come across someone who worked hard to get great GPA and MCAT scores. In addition to this, they have acquired some volunteer experience with credible organizations.

Yet they somehow fail to make the cut. 

One of the reasons is the quality of their personal statement. A well-written statement has the power to make your application stand out from those of other similarly qualified candidates.

So as you collate your personal achievements for your med school application, remember to also take time to craft a compelling personal statement:

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is essentially a blank canvas on which you can paint a picture of who you are and what motivates you. As a prospective medical school student, you will want to use the word limit given to describe your history in medicine.

You will be expected to highlight key personality traits that make you suitable to be a medical professional. For example, you can talk about having the physical and mental fortitude to deal with the demanding workload while giving actual examples of this.

The essays that usually grab the attention of the evaluators are those that have a personal touch. For this reason, you will want to write yours in a conversational tone. This will help the evaluators get a feel for your voice and increase their understanding of you as a person, not just a med school applicant.

What else should you include to make your personal statement weightier?

Tips For a Compelling Personal Statement

  • Conceptualize Your Story – All good stories are centered around a strong theme and flow from a beginning to a fitting end. Develop the concept of your story such that the events and achievements you wish to highlight build sequentially into each other leading to a strong conclusion.
  • Highlight Defining Traits – Identify the desirable traits in medical professionals and try to remember times in your life when you showcased them. Examples of these traits include eagerness to learn, good listening skills, a positive attitude, resilience, and compassion.

Pick a few of these instances and retell them in an engaging way, also indicating how these characteristics will help you reach your goals in the medical profession. Ensure these anecdotes fit in well with the overall flow of your essay.

  • Reflection on Past Experiences – Talk about work you’ve done in the past that positively highlights your aptitude for work as a medical professional. It may have been work that was not related to the provision of medical care but as long as it brings out these traits, mention it.
  • Begin early – Don’t push writing your personal statement to the last moments of your application. As you seek out the best MCAT tutoring services in preparation for that assessment, you should begin piecing together or at least visualizing the layout of your statement.

What Not To Do When Writing Your Personal Statement

  • Don’t Summarize Your Resume – Resist the temptation to simply summarize the contents of your resume and present that as your personal statement. Neither should you treat it as an extension of your application. It is a separate part of your application that should stand on its own.
  • Avoid Spelling, Grammatical, and Syntax Errors – Such oversights can taint an otherwise brilliant personal statement. Besides going over your essay a few times, it’s wise to give it to a professional editor to weed out any such errors you may have overlooked.
  • Don’t Include Negative Comments About Other People – The tone of your personal statement should be positive. Painting other candidates in a bad light won’t do you any favors. Telling the evaluators how you’re better than others could have a counterproductive effect. Focus on showing them how your own qualities make you a suitable med school student.
  • Don’t Brag – Talking about your qualities should not come off as bragging. Harping on and on about your brilliance won’t bode well for your application. One of the appealing attributes evaluators look for is humility. Dedicating paragraphs to your intelligence might give them the wrong impression of you.

Take The Time

To produce a personal statement that will catch the eye of evaluators for the right reasons, you need to be deliberate about writing it. Don’t treat it as a by-the-way or a box you should hastily check to complete your application. Dedicate enough time to outline and create a personal statement that will bring out your suitability in a creative way.

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