The medical profession is undoubtedly a respectable one. Healing people and saving lives, it is the health care workers who fight against pandemics as deadly as the COVID-19, from the frontlines. People belonging to the profession of medicine are among the most significant members of society and that is why getting into a medical school is the dream of many students across the globe.
To help you reach that dream of yours, we’re here with tips that could help you write a strong personal statement for medical school. A well-written statement of purpose can increase your chances of getting into the medical school of your dreams as it is a very important part of your application. Let us help you succeed and achieve your dreams!
What is a Personal Statement?
For those of you who don’t know, a personal statement is a sort of an admission or application essay. In this statement you state your reasons for applying to the specific field of study or department that you’ve chosen.
Most admission committees give a lot of weightage to your personal statement since it helps them decide which students deserve the admission. However, it is important to note that your academic performance will also be taken into account. Nonetheless, writing a very strong Medical School personal statement will increase your chances of getting into the college of your dreams!
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Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement for Medical School
Now that you know the importance of a good personal statement, let’s take a look at the tips that could help you get into medical school.
1. Write Down All Your Qualities:
First things first, before you begin writing the personal statement, sit down, and think of the strongest qualities that you possess. List them down somewhere, so you have a clear map in your head of what you will be talking about in the statement.
Getting a clear picture of what you’re going to write about will help you avoid the ‘staring blankly at the screen, thinking about what to write’ scenario. You could even jot down a relevant life experience that you think could help you make a stronger case.
The point is, list down everything that you think is important and would like to mention in the statement. Take your time while making this list so you don’t leave anything impactful out.
Try to come up with qualities that are a little unique, if you’re going to write the same qualities that the rest of the applicants are, your statement won’t stand out.
2. Make the beginning interesting:
It’s safe to say that the admission committee will be reading hundreds, if not thousands, of personal statements during the admission time period. You should make sure that your personal statement stands out amongst the other. How can you do that? By engaging the reader from the very beginning. Start in a way that catches the attention of whoever is reading that statement.
You could start with an interesting life event that helped you figure out that medicine was your passion or an event where you demonstrated a quality that will be of great use to you in the medical profession. Whatever it is, make sure it is interesting.
However, that does not mean you should start writing as if you’ve taken part in a creative writing competition. Dragging on something unnecessarily will not help your case at all.
Also make sure that your personal statement is not one of those that start off great but lose the charm somewhere in the middle. You need to find that perfect balance between too much and too little, only then will your statement be good enough to impress the people reading it.
3. Answer the ‘Why’:
Although it is no secret, yet something that you must NEVER forget if you’re going to write a strong Medical personal statement is answering the big question; Why medicine?
Never forget to tell the admission committee why you decided to pursue this noble profession. It could be the death of a loved one due to a disease or simply the compassion you have for helping people, whatever your reasons are, be sure to state them loud and clear.
Answering the why is super important because it can help the committee see who is in it for the long run and who has the tendency to lose motivation after a while, so make sure that you state your reasons in a way that answers the big ‘why’.
4. Don’t Overglorify Yourself:
While listing your qualities is an important part of your statement, remember not to overdo it. Do not make yourself sound like a total angel, because let’s face it, we all have flaws.
A statement that goes on and on about how amazing and passionate and perfect you are will come off as pretentious and truth be told, it most probably is.
So steer clear of too much self-praise. Find a middle ground, one that lets you state the positive aspects of your personality but does not sound like an essay written on how great a person you are.
5. Keep it Simple:
A commonly made mistake when it comes to personal statements is that students use a vocabulary that requires a normal person to consult a dictionary in order to understand. While having a good vocabulary is important, making use of overly complicated words is not recommended.
Keep it simple is the golden rule. Write the statement in a formal tone with a formal vocabulary but not one that is over flowery.
As mentioned before, it really is important that you find a balance between the two. Your personal statement needs to be impressive but not something that is over the top.
6. Avoid Slangs Like the Plague:
Keep in mind that the people who will be reading and assessing your personal statement will be highly educated and probably among some of the most respected in their fields. Do not make use of slangs and jargons since a personal statement is a formal part of your medical school application, not a letter to a friend.
Ensure that your statement is penned down in a tone that is respectable and formal. If you use words like ‘kudos’ and ‘lit’, you’re throwing any chance you had at writing a strong personal statement for medical school out the window, literally.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that using slang will make you appear ‘updated’ or ‘cool’ because they will do the exact opposite of it.
7. Recheck Your Statement:
Once you’re done, make sure that you recheck the statement, once, twice, thrice, or even more. You could have made some common silly mistakes while you were writing and if you decide to send the statement without checking it at least once, well then you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
Also make sure that your statement is free of any grammatical errors and that you haven’t mixed up ‘your’ and you’re’ or even ‘there’ and ‘their’. A personal statement that is grammatically incorrect or contains spelling mistakes will leave a bad impression on the committee.
Sometimes autocorrect changes some words or you may have mistyped something by accident, so it is significant that you read the statement at least once before you send it. Rechecking will not just help you avoid those mistakes but will also let you see whether or not your writing is in a flow.
If your statement looks like a combination of different paragraphs that are not linked to one another, well then, that is bad news. You need to make sure that all the paragraphs of the statement are linked to the next one, one way or the other so that your statement has the required flow that any well-written piece of writing must-have.
Our recommendation is that you all use Grammarly, it is the best software for mobile, desktop, and even for a web browser.
Grammarly is absolutely free, but the paid version offers full access to everything.
So, there you go. We’ve summed up some of the most important tips for writing a strong personal statement for medical school. Other tips would include being humble, concise, and not cramming the statement with too much information that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
Sometimes the medical school you’re applying to will provide you specific guidelines or will ask you to answer specific questions in your personal statement. It is important that you remember to address all the required questions.
We wish you all the best and are here to answer any queries you might have.
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How long should my Personal Statement be?
You should always check the guidelines set by the college that you’re applying to, in order to know what is the preferred length of the personal statement. However, 5300 characters or 500 words (approximately) is usually considered a length that is good enough.
What format should I follow for my personal statement?
A good format for your personal statement would be the following: 1. Introduction/beginning – 4 to 5 lines . 2. Main body – consisting of either 3 or 4 paras. Make sure the paragraphs are not too long. 3. Conclusion- This paragraph should briefly summarize everything important in the statement