4 Medical School Personal Statement Examples

The personal statement can be one of the most challenging parts of your medical school application process. You want to show admissions committees the qualities that make you stand out while avoiding cliches. After all, a lot is riding on this essay. Don’t panic. We’ve done our homework, talked to insiders, and gathered firsthand personal statements to help you get started.

Getting Started

Before diving into the personal statement examples, here are some tips on framing your experiences to wow admissions officers.

1. Stick to your real-life experiences. While it’s great to express what you want to do in healthcare in the future, that doesn’t really set you apart. All premed students have goals for what they’ll do in the medical profession, but this often changes after time in medical school. Telling a personal story instead gives admission committee members a look at who you already are and if you have the qualities they deem desirable for med school .

Feel free to mention specialties you’re passionate about and touch on your clinical experience, but make sure the experiences you discuss are unique.

2. Build an in-depth narrative. Nobody wants to read a blanket summary of your research experience. This is your chance to get passionate and demonstrate some communication skills. Explain the driving force behind your desire to work in the medical field.

The old writing rule comes into play here: “show, don’t tell.” You will always capture your reader’s attention more by telling a story than by explaining a circumstance. Medical school admissions committees are no different. Showing them your strong work ethic — or dedication, or whatever personal quality you want — without just saying, “I have a strong work ethic” will have a greater impact.

3. Don’t include metrics. Admissions officers already have access to your GPA and MCAT scores. If they want to know how you did in biochemistry, they can find out. Don’t waste space here. If you’re concerned about those numbers, it’s much more important to nail the personal statement and secure a secondary application and eventual medical school interview.

4. Know the character limits — and try to meet them. Both AACOMAS and AMCAS applications have a character limit of 5,300. You do not necessarily need to use all 5,300 characters, but you also don’t want it to be under 3,000. You want to use as many as possible while staying on topic and being relevant. A too-short essay can look careless.

5. Get comfortable with revising . You’ll do it a lot. Expect your first draft to be just that – a first draft. This writing process will take several weeks, if not months. Once you’re confident in your essay, ask for feedback. Avoid asking family members (unless they’re experts in the field of medicine). Instead, have professors, mentors, and peers read it and offer notes.

|| Read more about capturing readers from the first paragraph with our Medical School Personal Statement Storytelling Guide . ||

6. Use coaching to craft the perfect essay. Personal statements like the ones below only come after countless hours of brainstorming and writing drafts. However, with MedSchoolCoach , you’ll work with professional writing advisors step-by-step to develop an impactful medical school personal statement.

|| Check out more Tips for Writing a Personal Statement ||

Personal Statement Example #1

Our second essay contest winner was a medical student who made their submission an AMCAS personal statement . It serves as a great and effective medical school personal statement example . We also thought it was a good read overall!

A four-letter word for “dignitary.” The combinations surge through my mind: emir? agha? tsar? or perhaps the lesser-used variant, czar? I know it’s also too early to rule out specific names – there were plenty of rulers named Omar – although the clue is suspiciously unspecific. Quickly my eyes jump two columns to the intersecting clue, 53-Across, completely ignoring the blur outside the window that indicates my train has left the Times Square station. “Nooks’ counterparts.” I am certain the answer is “crannies.” This means 49-Down must end in r, so I eliminate “agha” in my mind. Slowly, the pieces come together, the wordplay sending my brain into mental gymnastics. At the end of two hours, I find myself staring at a completed crossword puzzle, and as trivial as it is, it is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

As an avid cruciverbalist, I have a knack for problem-solving. I fell in love with another kind of puzzle in college: organic chemistry. While some of my peers struggled with its complexity, the notion of analyzing mass spectroscopy, IR spectrums, and H-NMR to identify a specific molecule invigorated me. The human body was a fantastic mystery to me in my biology classes. Intricacies such as hormonal up- and down-regulation pulled at the riddler in me; I was not satisfied until I understood the enigma of how the body worked. Graduate school at Columbia was an extension of this craving, and I chose a thesis topic to attempt to elucidate the sophisticated workings of neuro-hormonal balance peri-bariatric surgery.

In non-academic settings, I also pursued activities that would sharpen my intellect. The act of teaching is a form of problem-solving; a good teacher finds the most effective way to convey information to students. So I accepted the challenge and taught in both international and domestic settings. I assumed leadership positions in church because it forced me to think critically to resolve conflicts. In the lab, I volunteered to help write a review on the biological mechanisms of weight regain. It was precisely what I loved: isolating a specific human phenomenon and investigating how it worked.

I believe medicine and puzzles are in the same vein. After participating in health fairs, working at a clinic, and observing physicians, I understand that pinpointing a patient’s exact needs is difficult at times. In a way, disease itself can be a puzzle, and doctors sometimes detect it only one piece at a time – a cough here, lanugo there. Signs and symptoms act as clues that whittle down the possibilities until only a few remain. Then all that is left is to fill in the word and complete the puzzle. Voila!

Actually, it is more complicated than that, and inevitably the imperfect comparison falls through.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a psychiatric patient at Aftercare. He had just revealed his identity as Batman — but it turns out he was also Jesus. During downtime between tests, he decided to confide in me some of his dreams and aspirations. He swiftly pulled out a sketchpad and said confidently, “When I get better, I’m going back to art school.” Any doubts stemming from his earlier ramblings vanished at the sight of his charcoal-laden sheets filled with lifelike characters. “They’re… really good,” I stammered. I was looking for the right words to say, but there are times when emotions are so overwhelming that words fail. I nodded in approval and motioned that we should get back to testing.

Those next few hours of testing flew by as I ruminated on what I had experienced. After working 3 years at the clinic, I got so caught up in the routine of “figuring out” brain function that I missed the most important aspect of the job: the people. And so, just as the crossword puzzle is a 15×15 symbol of the cold New York streets, a person is the polar opposite. Our patients are breathing, fluid, and multi-dimensional. I’ve come to love both, but there is nothing I want more in the world than to see a broken person restored, a dream reignited, to see Mr. Batman regain sanity and take up art school again. The prospect of healing others brings me joy, surpassing even the most challenging crosswords in the Sunday paper.

This is why I feel called to a life in medicine. It is the one profession that allows me to restore others while thinking critically and appreciating human biology. I am passionate about people, and medicine allows me to participate in their lives in a tangible way, aligned with my interest in biology and problem-solving skill.

The New York Times prints a new puzzle daily, and so does the Washington Post, USA Today, and the list continues. The unlimited supply of puzzles mirrors the abundance of human disease and the physician’s ongoing duty to unravel the mystery, to resolve the pain. A great cruciverbalist begins with the basics of learning “crosswordese,” a nuanced language; I am prepared to do the same with health, starting with my education in medical school. Even so, I am always humbled by what little I know and am prepared to make mistakes and learn along the way. After all, I would never do a crossword puzzle in pen.

||Read Our First Essay Contest Winner: Considerations Before Applying to Medical School ||

||Read The Formula For A Good Personal Statement | |

Personal Statement Example #2

Student Accepted to Case Western SOM, Washington University SOM, University of Utah SOM, Northwestern University Feinberg SOM

With a flick and a flourish, the tongue depressor vanished, and a coin suddenly appeared behind my ear. Growing up, my pediatrician often performed magic tricks, making going to the doctor feel like literal magic. I believed all healthcare facilities were equally mystifying, especially after experiencing a different type of magic in the organized chaos of the Emergency Department. Although it was no place for a six-year-old, childcare was often a challenge, and while my dad worked extra shifts in nursing school to provide for our family, I would find myself awed by the diligence and warmth of the healthcare providers.

Though I associated the hospital with feelings of comfort and care, it sometimes became a place of fear and uncertainty. One night, my two-year-old brother, Sean, began vomiting and coughing non-stop. My dad was deployed overseas, so my mother and I had no choice but to spend the night at the hospital, watching my brother slowly recover with the help of the healthcare providers. Little did I know, it would not be long before I was in the same place. Months later, I became hospitalized with pneumonia with pleural effusions, and as I struggled to breathe, I was terrified of having fluid sucked out of my chest. But each day, physicians comforted me, asking how I was, reassuring me that I was being taken care of, and explaining any questions related to my illness and treatment. Soon, I became excited to speak with the infectious disease doctor and residents, absorbing as much as possible about different conditions.

I also came to view the magic of healing through other lenses. Growing up, Native American traditions were an important aspect of my life as my father was actively involved with native spirituality, connecting back to his Algonquin heritage. We often attended Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi ceremonies or Sun Dances for healing through prayer and individuals making personal sacrifices for their community. Although I never sun danced, I spent hours in inipis chewing on osha root, finding my healing through songs.

In addition to my father’s heritage, healing came from the curanderismo traditions of Peru, my mother’s home. She came from a long line of healers using herbal remedies and ceremonies for healing the mind, body, energy, and soul. I can still see my mother preparing oils, herbs, and incense mixtures while performing healing rituals. Her compassion and care in healing paralleled the Emergency Department healthcare providers. 

Through the influence of these early life experiences, I decided to pursue a career in the health sciences. Shortly after starting college, I entered a difficult time in my life as I struggled with health and personal challenges. I suddenly felt weak and tired most days, with aches all over my body. Soon, depression set in. I eventually visited a doctor, and through a series of tests, we discovered I had hypothyroidism. During this time, I also began dealing with unprocessed childhood trauma. I decided to take time off school, and with thyroid replacement hormones and therapy, I slowly began to recover. But I still had ways to go, and due to financial challenges, I decided to continue delaying my education and found work managing a donut shop. Unbeknownst to me, this experience would lead to significant personal growth by working with people from all walks of life and allowing me time for self-reflection. I continuously reflected on the hospital experiences that defined my childhood and the unmatched admiration I had for healthcare workers. With my renewed interest in medicine, I enrolled in classes to get my AEMT license and gain more medical experience. 

As my health improved, I excelled in my classes, and after craving the connections of working with others, I became a medical assistant. In this position, I met “Marco,” a patient traveling from Mexico for treatment. Though I spoke Spanish while growing up, I had little experience as a medical interpreter. However, I took the opportunity to talk with him to learn his story. Afterward, he became more comfortable, and I walked him through the consultation process, interpreting the physician’s words and Marco’s questions. This moment showed me the power of connecting with others in their native language. As a result, I began volunteering at a homeless clinic to continue bridging the language barrier for patients and to help advocate for the Latinx community and those who struggle to find their voice. 

My journey to becoming a doctor has been less direct than planned; however, my personal trials and tribulations have allowed me to meet and work with incredible people who have been invaluable to my recovery and personal development. Most importantly, I have seen the value of compassionate and empathetic care. Though I have not recently witnessed any sleight of hand or vanishing acts, what healthcare providers do for patients can only be described as magic.

I look forward to bringing my diverse background as a physician and expanding my abilities to help patients in their path to healing.

||Read: But I Don’t Have 15 Activities ! | Apply to Med School After 3rd or 4th Year? ||

Personal Statement Example #3

Student accepted to Weill Cornell

My path to medicine was first influenced by early adolescent experiences trying to understand my place in society. Though I was not conscious of it then, I held a delicate balance between my identity as an Indian-American and an “American-American.” 

In a single day, I could be shooting hoops and eating hotdogs at school while spending the evening playing Carrom and enjoying tandoori chicken at a family get-together. When our family moved from New York to California, I had the opportunity to attend a middle school with greater diversity, so I learned Spanish to salve the loss of moving away and assimilate into my new surroundings.

As I partook in related events and cuisine, I built a mixed friend group and began understanding how culture influences our perception of those around us. While volunteering at senior centers in high school, I noticed a similar pattern to what I sometimes saw: seniors socializing in groups of shared ethnicity and culture. Moving from table to table and language to language, I also observed how each group shared different life experiences and perspectives on what constitutes health and wellness. Many seniors talked about barriers to receiving care or how their care differed from what they had envisioned. Listening to their stories on cultural experiences, healthcare disparities, and care expectations sparked my interest in becoming a physician and providing care for the whole community.

Intrigued by the science behind perception and health, I took electives during my undergraduate years to build a foundation in these domains. In particular, I was amazed by how computational approaches could help model the complexity of the human mind, so I pursued research at Cornell’s Laboratory of Rational Decision-Making. Our team used fMRI analysis to show how the framing of information affects cognitive processing and perception. Thinking back to my discussions with seniors, I often wondered if more personalized health-related messaging could positively influence their opinions. Through shadowing, I witnessed physicians engaging in honest and empathetic conversations to deliver medical information and manage patients’ expectations, but how did they navigate delicate conflicts where the patients’ perspectives diverged from their own?

My question was answered when I became a community representative for the Ethics Committee for On Lok PACE, an elderly care program. One memorable case was that of Mr. A.G, a blind 86-year-old man with radiation-induced frontal lobe injury who wanted to return home and cook despite his doctor’s expressed safety concerns. Estranged from his family, Mr. A.G. relied on cooking to find fulfillment. Recognizing the conflict between autonomy and beneficence, I joined the physicians in brainstorming and recommending ways he could cook while being supervised.

I realized that the role of a physician was to mediate between the medical care plan and the patient’s wishes to make a decision that preserves their dignity. As we considered possibilities, the physicians’ genuine concern for the patient’s emotional well-being exemplified the compassion I want to emulate as a future doctor. Our discussions emphasized the rigor of medicine — the challenge of ambiguity and the importance of working with the individual to serve their needs.

With COVID-19 ravaging our underserved communities, my desire to help others drove me towards community-based health as a contact tracer for my county’s Department of Public Health. My conversations uncovered dozens of heartbreaking stories that revealed how socioeconomic status and job security inequities left poorer families facing significantly harsher quarantines than their wealthier counterparts.

Moreover, many residents expressed fear or mistrust, such as a 7-person family who could not safely isolate in their one-bedroom and one-bath apartment. I offered to arrange free hotel accommodations but was met with a guarded response from the father: “We’ll be fine. We can maintain the 6 feet.” While initially surprised, I recognized how my government affiliation could lead to a power dynamic that made the family feel uneasy. Thinking about how to make myself more approachable, I employed motivational interviewing skills and small talk to build rapport. 

When we returned to discussing the hotel, he trusted my intentions and accepted the offer. Our bond of mutual trust grew over two weeks of follow-ups, leaving me humbled yet gratified to see his family transition to a safer living situation. As a future physician, I realize I may encounter many first-time or wary patients; and I feel prepared to create a responsive environment that helps them feel comfortable about integrating into our health system.

Through my clinical and non-clinical experiences, I have witnessed the far-reaching impact of physicians, from building lasting connections with patients to being a rock of support during uncertain times. I cannot imagine a career without these dynamics—of improving the health and wellness of patients, families, and society and reducing healthcare disparities. While I know the path ahead is challenging, I am confident I want to dedicate my life to this profession.

Personal Statement Example #4

Student Accepted to UCSF SOM, Harvard Medical School

Countless visits to specialists in hope of relief left me with a slew of inconclusive test results and uncertain diagnoses. “We cannot do anything else for you.” After twelve months of waging a war against my burning back, aching neck and tingling limbs, hearing these words at first felt like a death sentence, but I continued to advocate for myself with medical professionals. 

A year of combatting pain and dismissal led me to a group of compassionate and innovative physicians at the Stanford Pain Management Center (SPMC). Working alongside a diverse team including pain management specialists and my PCP, I began the long, non-linear process of uncovering the girl that had been buried in the devastating rubble of her body’s pain. 

From struggling with day-to-day activities like washing my hair and sitting in class to thriving as an avid weightlifter and zealous student over the span of a year, I realized I am passionate about preventing, managing and eliminating chronic illnesses through patient-centered incremental care and medical innovation.

A few days after my pain started, I was relieved to hear that I had most likely just strained some muscles, but after an empty bottle of muscle relaxers, the stings and aches had only intensified. I went on to see 15 specialists throughout California, including neurologists, physiatrists, and rheumatologists. Neurological exams. MRIs. Blood tests. All inconclusive.

Time and time again, specialists dismissed my experience due to ambiguous test results and limited time. I spent months trying to convince doctors that I was losing my body; they thought I was losing my mind. Despite these letdowns, I did not stop fighting to regain control of my life. Armed with my medical records and a detailed journal of my symptoms, I continued scheduling appointments with the intention of finding a doctor who would dig deeper in the face of the unknown.

Between visits, I researched my symptoms and searched for others with similar experiences. One story on Stanford Medicine’s blog, “Young Woman Overcomes Multiple Misdiagnoses and Gets Her Life Back”, particularly stood out to me and was the catalyst that led me to the SPMC. After bouncing from doctor to doctor, I had finally found a team of physicians who would take the profound toll of my pain on my physical and mental well-being seriously.

Throughout my year-long journey with my care team at the SPMC, I showed up for myself even when it felt like I would lose the war against my body. I confronted daily challenges with fortitude. When lifting my arms to tie my hair into a ponytail felt agonizing, YouTube tutorials trained me to become a braiding expert. Instead of lying in bed all day when my medication to relieve nerve pain left me struggling to stay awake, I explored innovative alternative therapies with my physicians; after I was fed up with the frustration of not knowing the source of my symptoms, I became a research subject in a clinical trial aimed at identifying and characterizing pain generators in patients suffering from “mysterious” chronic pain.

At times, it felt like my efforts were only resulting in lost time. However, seeing how patient my care team was with me, offering long-term coordinated support and continually steering me towards a pain-free future, motivated me to grow stronger with every step of the process. Success was not an immediate victory, but rather a long journey of incremental steps that produced steady, life-saving progress over time.

My journey brought me relief as well as clarity with regard to how I will care for my future patients. I will advocate for them even when complex conditions, inconclusive results and stereotypes discourage them from seeking continued care; work with them to continually adapt and improve an individualized plan tailored to their needs and goals, and engage in pioneering research and medical innovations that can directly benefit them.

Reflecting on the support system that enabled me to overcome the challenges of rehabilitation, I was inspired to help others navigate life with chronic pain in a more equitable and accessible way. Not everyone has the means to work indefinitely with a comprehensive care team, but most do have a smartphone. As a result, I partnered with a team of physicians and physical therapists at the University of California San Francisco to develop a free mobile application that guides individuals dealing with chronic pain through recovery. Based on my own journey, I was able to design the app with an understanding of the mental and physical toll that pain, fear, and loss of motivation take on patients struggling with chronic pain. Having features like an exercise bank with a real-time form checker and an AI-based chatbot to motivate users, address their concerns and connect them to specific health care resources, our application helped 65 of the 100 pilot users experience a significant reduction in pain and improvement in mental health in three months.

My journey has fostered my passion for patient-centered incremental medicine and medical innovation. From barely living to thriving, I have become a trailblazing warrior with the perseverance and resilience needed to pursue these passions and help both the patients I engage with and those around the world.

Related posts:

  • Why I Picked UC Denver
  • Finding the Perfect Research Project
  • How to Succeed on Medical School Interview Day
  • How to Answer “What is the Biggest Healthcare Problem” During an Interview

Related Articles

A student learning how to prepare for a multiple mini interview

How to Prepare for Multiple Mini Interviews + Sample Questions

Illustration - Stock photography

The Retired Life

Premed Myths

Pre-Med Myths

Image - Poster

A Future Doctor’s Greatest Struggle

MedEdits Logo

Great Medical School Personal Statement Examples (2024-2025) Insider’s Guide

Medical School Personal Statement Tips

A physician and former medical school admissions officer teaches you how to write your medical school personal statement, step by step. Read several full-length medical school personal statement examples for inspiration.

In this article, a former medical school admissions officer explains exactly how to write a stand-out  medical school personal statement!

Our goal is to empower you to write a medical school personal statement that reflects your individuality, truest aspirations and genuine motivations.

This guide also includes:

  • Real life medical school personal statement examples
  • Medical school personal statement inventory template and outline exercise
  • AMCAS ,  TMDSAS , and  AACOMAS  personal statement prompts
  • Advanced strategies to ensure you address everything admissions committees want to know
  • The secret to writing a great medical school personal statement

So, if you want your medical school personal statement to earn more more medical school interviews, you will love this informative guide.

Let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

Medical School Personal Statement Fundamentals

If you are getting ready to write your medical school personal statement for the 2024-2025 application year, you may already know that almost 60% of medical school applicants are not accepted every year . You have most likely also completed all of your medical school requirements and have scoured the internet for worthy medical school personal statement examples and guidance.

You know the medical school personal statement offers a crucial opportunity to show medical schools who you are beyond your GPA and MCAT score .

It provides an opportunity to express who you are as an individual, the major influences and background that have shaped your interests and values, what inspired you to pursue medicine, and what kind of a physician you envision yourself becoming.

However, with so much information online, you are not sure who to trust. We are happy you have found us!

Insider Knowledge and Expertise

Because the vast majority of people offering guidance are not former admissions officers or doctors , you must be careful when searching online.

We are real medical school admissions insiders and know what goes on behind closed doors and how to ensure your medical school personal statement has broad appeal while highlighting your most crucial accomplishments, perspectives, and insights.

With tight limits on space, it can be tough trying to decide what to include in your medical school personal statement to make sure you stand out. You must think strategically about how you want to present your personal “big picture” while showing you possess the  preprofessional competencies  med schools are seeking.

When a medical school admissions reviewer finishes reading your medical school personal statement, ask yourself:

  • What are the most important things you want that person to remember about you?
  • Does your medical school personal statement sum up your personality, interests, and talents?
  • Does your medical school personal statement sound as if it’s written from the heart? Is it authentic?

It’s pretty obvious to most admissions reviewers when applicants are trying too hard to impress them. Being authentic and upfront about who you are is the best way to be a memorable applicant.

“After sitting on a medical school admissions committee for many years, I can tell you, think strategically about how you want to present your personal “big picture.” We want to know who you are as a human being.”

The Biggest Medical School Personal Statement Mistakes

The most common medical school personal statement mistake we see students make is that they write about:

  • What they have accomplished
  • How they have accomplished it

By including details on what you have accomplished and how, you will make yourself sound like every other medical school applicant. 

Most medical school applicants are involved in similar activities: research, clinical work, service, and social justice work. 

To stand out, you must write from the heart making it clear you haven’t marched through your premedical years and checking boxes.

We also strongly discourage applicants from using ChatGPT or any AI bot to write their medical school personal statement. Writing in your own voice is essential and using anything automated will undermine success.

The Medical School Personal Statement Secret

MedEdits students stand out in the medical school personal statement because in their personal statements they address:

WHY they have accomplished what they have.

In other words, they write in more detail about their passions, interests, and what is genuinely important to them. 

It sounds simple, we know, but by writing in a natural way, really zeroing in on WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO, you will appeal to a wide variety of people in a humanistic way. 

Why? How is that possible? They all have a few things in common:

  • They write a narrative that is authentic and distinctive to them.
  • They write a medical school personal statement with broad appeal (many different types of people will be evaluating your application; most are not physicians).
  • They don’t try too hard to impress; instead they write about the most impactful experiences they have had on their path to medical school.
  • They demonstrate they are humble, intellectual, compassionate, and committed to a career in medicine all at the same time.

Keep reading for a step by step approach to write your medical school personal statement.

Medical School Personal Statement Example

Learn the 2024-2025 Medical School Personal Statement Prompts ( AMCAS , TMDSAS , AACOMAS )

The personal statement is the major essay portion of your primary application process. In it, you should describe yourself and your background, as well as any important early exposures to medicine, how and why medicine first piqued your interest, what you have done as a pre med, your personal experiences, and how you became increasingly fascinated with it. It’s also key to explain why medicine is the right career for you, in terms of both personal and intellectual fulfillment, and to show your commitment has continued to deepen as you learned more about the field.

The personal statement also offers you the opportunity to express who you are outside of medicine. What are your other interests? Where did you grow up? What did you enjoy about college? Figuring out what aspects of your background to highlight is important since this is one of your only chances to express to the med school admissions committee before your interview what is important to you and why.

However, it is important to consider the actual personal statement prompt for each system through which you will apply, AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS, since each is slightly different.

Need help with your Personal Statement?

Schedule a free 15 Minute Consultation with a MedEdits expert.

Medical School Personal Statement 7 Simple Steps

2024 AMCAS Personal Statement Prompt

AMCAS Personal Statement

The AMCAS personal statement instructions are as follows:

Use the Personal Comments Essay as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Consider and write your Personal Comments Essay carefully; many admissions committees place significant weight on the essay. Here are some questions that you may want to consider while writing the essay:

  • Why have you selected the field of medicine?
  • What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  • What do you want medical schools to know about you that hasn’t been disclosed in other sections of the application?

In addition, you may wish to include information such as:

  • Unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
  • Comments on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in your application

As you can see, these prompts are not vague; there are fundamental questions that admissions committees want you to answer when writing your personal statement. While the content of your statement should be focused on medicine, answering the open ended third question is a bit trickier.

The  AMCAS  personal statement length is 5,300 characters with spaces maximum.

2024 TMDSAS Personal Statement Prompt

TMDSAS Personal Statement

The  TMDSAS  personal statement is one of the most important pieces of your medical school application.

The TMDSAS personal statement prompt is as follows:

Explain your motivation to seek a career in medicine. Be sure to include the value of your experiences that prepare you to be a physician.

This TMDSAS prompt is very similar to the AMCAS personal statement prompt. The TMDSAS personal statement length is 5,000 characters with spaces whereas the AMCAS personal statement length is 5,300 characters with spaces. Most students use the same essay (with very minor modifications, if necessary) for both application systems.

2024 AACOMAS Personal Statement Prompt

AACOMAS Personal Statement

The  AACOMAS  personal statement is for osteopathic medical schools specifically. As with the AMCAS statement, you need to lay out your journey to medicine as chronologically as possible in 5,300 characters with spaces or less. So you essentially have the same story map as for an AMCAS statement. Most important, you must show you are interested in osteopathy specifically. Therefore, when trying to decide what to include or leave out, prioritize any osteopathy experiences you have had, or those that are in line with the osteopathic philosophy of the mind-body connection, the body as self-healing, and other tenets.

Medical School Application Timeline  and When to Write your Personal Statement

Most medical school personal statements can be used for AMCAS and AACOMAS.

Know the Required Medical School Personal Statement Length

Medical School Personal Statement Characters

Below are the medical schools personal statement length limits for each application system. As you can see, they are all very similar. When you start brainstorming and writing your personal statement, keep these limits in mind.

AMCAS Personal Statement Length : 5,300 characters with spaces.

As per the AAMC website :  “The available space for this essay is 5,300 characters (spaces are counted as characters), or approximately one page. You will receive an error message if you exceed the available space.”

AACOMAS Personal Statement Length : 5,300 characters with spaces

TMDSAS Personal Statement Length : 5,000 characters with spaces

As per the TMDSAS Website (Page 36): “The personal essay asks you to explain your motivation to seek a career in medicine. You are asked to include the value of your experiences that prepare you to be a physician. The essay is limited to 5000 characters, including spaces.”
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Skills
  • Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communication
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Capacity for Improvement
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Written Communication
  • Scientific Inquiry

2. Why do you want to be a doctor?

This may seem pretty basic – and it is – but admissions officers need to know WHY you want to practice medicine. Many applicants make the mistake of simply listing what they have done without offering insights about those experiences that answer the question, “Why medicine?” Your reasons for wanting to be a doctor may overlap with those of other applicants. This is okay because the experiences in which you participated, the stories you can tell about those experiences, and the wisdom you gained are completely distinct—because they are only yours. 

“In admissions committee meetings we were always interested in WHY you wanted to earn a medical degree and how you would contribute to the medical school community.”

Medical school admissions committees want to know that you have explored your interest deeply and that you can reflect on the significance of these clinical experiences and volunteer work. But writing only that you “want to help people” does not support a sincere desire to become a physician; you must indicate why the medical profession in particular—rather than social work, teaching, or another “helping” profession—is your goal.

3. How have your experiences influenced you?

It is important to show how your experiences are linked and how they have influenced you. What motivated you from your experiences? In what ways did they influence your other activities? How were your future goals shaped by these experiences? Medical school admissions committees like to see a sensible progression of involvements. While not every activity needs to be logically “connected” with another, the evolution of your interests and how your experiences have nurtured your future goals and ambitions show that you are motivated and committed.

4. Who are you as a person? What are your values and ideals?

Medical school admissions committees want to know about you as an individual beyond your interests in medicine, too. This is where answering that third open ended question in the prompt becomes so important. What was interesting about your background, youth, and home life? What did you enjoy most about college? Do you have any distinctive passions or interests? They want to be convinced that you are a good person beyond your experiences. Write about those topics that are unlikely to appear elsewhere in your statement that will offer depth and interest to your work and illustrate the qualities and characteristics you possess.

Related Articles:

  • How to Get into Stanford Medical School
  • How to Get into NYU Medical School
  • How To Get Into Columbia Medical School
  • How To Get Into UT Southwestern Medical School
  • How To Get Into Harvard Medical School

Complete Your Personal Inventory and Outline (Example Below)

Highlighting valuable experiences, experience-based personal inventory exercise, creating your personal inventory.

  • List Important Experiences: Write down a list of the most important experiences in your life and your development. The list should be all-inclusive and comprise those experiences that had the most impact on you. Put the list, which should consist of personal, extracurricular, and academic events, in chronological order.
  • Identify Key Experiences: From this list, determine which experiences you consider the most important in helping you decide to pursue a career in medicine. This “experience-oriented” approach will allow you to determine which experiences best illustrate the personal competencies admissions committees look for in your written documents. Remember that you must provide evidence for your interest in medicine and for most of the personal qualities and characteristics that medical school admissions committees want to see.
  • Reflect on Influences: After making your list, think about why each “most important” experience was influential and write that down. What did you observe? What did you learn? What insights did you gain? How did the experience influence your path and choices?
  • Create Illustrations: Then think of a story or illustration for why each experience was important.
  • Evaluate for Significance: After doing this exercise, evaluate each experience for its significance and influence and for its “story” value. Choose to write about those experiences that not only were influential but that also will provide interesting reading, keeping in mind that your goal is to weave the pertinent experiences together into a compelling story. In making your choices, think about how you will link each experience and transition from one topic to the next.
  • Plan Your Outline: Decide which of your listed experiences you will use for your introduction first (see below for more about your introduction). Then decide which experiences you will include in the body of your personal statement, create a general outline, and get writing!

Crafting Your Narrative

Craft a compelling personal statement introduction and body.

You hear conflicting advice about application essays. Some tell you not to open with a story. Others tell you to always begin with a story. Regardless of the advice you receive, be sure to do three things:

  • Be true to yourself. Everyone will have an opinion regarding what you should and should not write. Follow your own instincts. Your  personal statement  should be a reflection of you, and only you.
  • Start your personal statement with something catchy.  Think about the list of potential topics above.
  • Don’t rush your work. Composing thoughtful documents takes time and you don’t want your writing and ideas to be sloppy and underdeveloped.

Most important is to begin with something that engages your reader. A narrative, a “story,” an anecdote written in the first or third person, is ideal. Whatever your approach, your first paragraph must grab your reader’s attention and motivate him to want to continue reading. I encourage applicants to start their personal statement by describing an experience that was especially influential in setting them on their path to medical school. This can be a personal or scholarly experience or an extracurricular one. Remember to avoid clichés and quotes and to be honest and authentic in your writing. Don’t try to be someone who you are not by trying to imitate personal statement examples you have read online or “tell them what you think they want to hear”; consistency is key and your interviewer is going to make sure that you are who you say you are!

When deciding what experiences to include in the body of your personal statement, go back to your personal inventory and identify those experiences that have been the most influential in your personal path and your path to medical school. Keep in mind that the reader wants to have an idea of who you are as a human being so don’t write your personal statement as a glorified resume. Include some information about your background and personal experiences that can give a picture of who you are as a person outside of the classroom or laboratory.

Ideally, you should choose two or three experiences to highlight in the body of your personal statement. You don’t want to write about all of your accomplishments; that is what your application entries are for!

Write Your Personal Statement Conclusion

In your conclusion, it is customary to “go full circle” by coming back to the topic—or anecdote—you introduced in the introduction, but this is not a must. Summarize why you want to be a doctor and address what you hope to achieve and your goals for medical school. Write a conclusion that is compelling and will leave the reader wanting to meet you.

Complete Personal Statement Checklist

When reading your medical school personal statement be sure it:

Shows insight and introspection

The best medical school personal statements tell a great deal about what you have learned through your experiences and the insights you have gained.

You want to tell your story by highlighting those experiences that have been the most influential on your path to medical school and to give a clear sense of chronology. You want your statement always to be logical and never to confuse your reader.

Is interesting and engaging

The best personal statements engage the reader. This doesn’t mean you must use big words or be a literary prize winner. Write in your own language and voice, but really think about your journey to medical school and the most intriguing experiences you have had.

Gives the reader a mental image of who you are

You want the reader to be able to envision you as a caregiver and a medical professional. You want to convey that you would be a compassionate provider at the bedside – someone who could cope well with crisis and adversity.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples Checklist

Not true. The vast majority of  personal statements  do not have themes. In fact, most are somewhat autobiographical and are just as interesting as those statements that are woven around a “theme.” It is only the very talented writer who can creatively write a personal statement around a theme, and this approach often backfires since the applicant fails to answer the three questions above.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples and Analysis for Inspiration

example of medical school personal statement, medical school personal statement examples

AMCAS Medical School Personal Statement Example and Analysis #1 with Personal Inventory

We will use Amy to illustrate the general process of writing an application to medical school, along with providing the resulting documents. Amy will first list those experiences, personal, extracurricular, and scholarly, that have been most influential in two areas: her life in general and her path to medical school. She will put this personal inventory in chronologic order for use in composing her personal statement.

She will then select those experiences that were the most significant to her and will reflect and think about why they were important. For her application entries, Amy will write about each experience, including those that she considers influential in her life but not in her choice of medicine, in her application entries. Experiences that Amy will not write about in her activity entries or her personal statement are those that she does not consider most influential in either her life or in her choice of medicine.

  • Going with my mom to work. She is a surgeon — I was very curious about what she did. I was intrigued by the relationships she had with patients and how much they valued her efforts. I also loved seeing her as “a doctor” since, to me, she was just “mom.”
  • I loved biology in high school. I started to think seriously about medicine then. It was during high school that I became fascinated with biology and how the human body worked. I would say that was when I thought, “Hmm, maybe I should be a doctor.”
  • Grandmother’s death, senior year of high school. My grandmother’s death was tragic. It was the first time I had ever seen someone close to me suffer. It was one of the most devastating experiences in my life.
  • Global Health Trip to Guatemala my freshman year of college. I realized after going to Guatemala that I had always taken my access to health care for granted. Here I saw children who didn’t have basic health care. This made me want to become a physician so I could give more to people like those I met in Guatemala.
  • Sorority involvement. Even though sorority life might seem trivial, I loved it. I learned to work with different types of people and gained some really valuable leadership experience.
  • Poor grades in college science classes. I still regret that I did badly in my science classes. I think I was immature and was also too involved in other activities and didn’t have the focus I needed to do well. I had a 3.4 undergraduate GPA.
  • Teaching and tutoring Jose, a child from Honduras. In a way, meeting Jose in a college tutoring program brought my Guatemala experience to my home. Jose struggled academically, and his parents were immigrants and spoke only Spanish, so they had their own challenges. I tried to help Jose as much as I could. I saw that because he lacked resources, he was at a tremendous disadvantage.
  • Volunteering at Excellent Medical Center. Shadowing physicians at the medical center gave me a really broad view of medicine. I learned about different specialties, met many different patients, and saw both great and not-so-great physician role models. Counselor at Ronald McDonald House. Working with sick kids made me appreciate my health. I tried to make them happy and was so impressed with their resilience. It made me realize that good health is everything.
  • Oncology research. Understanding what happens behind the scenes in research was fascinating. Not only did I gain some valuable research experience, but I learned how research is done.
  • Peer health counselor. Communicating with my peers about really important medical tests gave me an idea of the tremendous responsibility that doctors have. I also learned that it is important to be sensitive, to listen, and to be open-minded when working with others.
  • Clinical Summer Program. This gave me an entirely new view of medicine. I worked with the forensics department, and visiting scenes of deaths was entirely new to me. This experience added a completely new dimension to my understanding of medicine and how illness and death affect loved ones.
  • Emergency department internship. Here I learned so much about how things worked in the hospital. I realized how important it was that people who worked in the clinical department were involved in creating hospital policies. This made me understand, in practical terms, how an MPH would give me the foundation to make even more change in the future.
  • Master’s in public health. I decided to get an MPH for two reasons. First of all, I knew my undergraduate science GPA was an issue so I figured that graduate level courses in which I performed well would boost my record. I don’t think I will write this on my application, but I also thought the degree would give me other skills if I didn’t get into medical school, and I knew it would also give me something on which I could build during medical school and in my career since I was interested in policy work.

As you can see from Amy’s personal inventory list, she has many accomplishments that are important to her and influenced her path. The most influential personal experience that motivated her to practice medicine was her mother’s career as a practicing physician, but Amy was also motivated by watching her mother’s career evolve. Even though the death of her grandmother was devastating for Amy, she did not consider this experience especially influential in her choice to attend medical school so she didn’t write about it in her personal statement.

Amy wrote an experience-based personal statement, rich with anecdotes and detailed descriptions, to illustrate the evolution of her interest in medicine and how this motivated her to also earn a master’s in public health.

Amy’s  Medical School Personal Statement  Example:

She was sprawled across the floor of her apartment. Scattered trash, decaying food, alcohol bottles, medication vials, and cigarette butts covered the floor. I had just graduated from college, and this was my first day on rotation with the forensic pathology department as a Summer Scholar, one of my most valuable activities on the path to medical school. As the coroner deputy scanned the scene for clues to what caused this woman’s death, I saw her distraught husband. I did not know what to say other than “I am so sorry.” I listened intently as he repeated the same stories about his wife and his dismay that he never got to say goodbye. The next day, alongside the coroner as he performed the autopsy, I could not stop thinking about the grieving man.

Discerning a cause of death was not something I had previously associated with the practice of medicine. As a child, I often spent Saturday mornings with my mother, a surgeon, as she rounded on patients. I witnessed the results of her actions, as she provided her patients a renewed chance at life. I grew to honor and respect my mother’s profession. Witnessing the immense gratitude of her patients and their families, I quickly came to admire the impact she was able to make in the lives of her patients and their loved ones.

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine as my mother had, and throughout high school and college I sought out clinical, research, and volunteer opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of medicine. After volunteering with cancer survivors at Camp Ronald McDonald, I was inspired to further understand this disease. Through my oncology research, I learned about therapeutic processes for treatment development. Further, following my experience administering HIV tests, I completed research on point-of-care HIV testing, to be instituted throughout 26 hospitals and clinics. I realized that research often served as a basis for change in policy and medical practice and sought out opportunities to learn more about both.

All of my medically related experiences demonstrated that people who were ‘behind the scenes’ and had limited or no clinical background made many of the decisions in health care. Witnessing the evolution of my mother’s career further underscored the impact of policy change on the practice of medicine. In particular, the limits legislation imposed on the care she could provide influenced my perspective and future goals. Patients whom my mother had successfully treated for more than a decade, and with whom she had long-standing, trusting relationships, were no longer able to see her, because of policy coverage changes. Some patients, frustrated by these limitations, simply stopped seeking the care they needed. As a senior in college, I wanted to understand how policy transformations came about and gain the tools I would need to help effect administrative and policy changes in the future as a physician. It was with this goal in mind that I decided to complete a master’s in public health program before applying to medical school.

As an MPH candidate, I am gaining insight into the theories and practices behind the complex interconnections of the healthcare system; I am learning about economics, operations, management, ethics, policy, finance, and technology and how these entities converge to impact delivery of care. A holistic understanding of this diverse, highly competitive, market-driven system will allow me, as a clinician, to find solutions to policy, public health, and administration issues. I believe that change can be more effective if those who actually practice medicine also decide where improvements need to be made.

For example, as the sole intern for the emergency department at County Medical Center, I worked to increase efficiency in the ED by evaluating and mapping patient flow. I tracked patients from point of entry to point of discharge and found that the discharge process took up nearly 35% of patients’ time. By analyzing the reasons for this situation, in collaboration with nurses and physicians who worked in the ED and had an intimate understanding of what took place in the clinical area, I was able to make practical recommendations to decrease throughput time. The medical center has already implemented these suggestions, resulting in decreased length of stays. This example illustrates the benefit of having clinicians who work ‘behind the scenes’ establish policies and procedures, impacting operational change and improving patient care. I will also apply what I have learned through this project as the business development intern at Another Local Medical Center this summer, where I will assist in strategic planning, financial analysis, and program reviews for various clinical departments.

Through my mother’s career and my own medical experiences, I have become aware of the need for clinician administrators and policymakers. My primary goal as a physician will be to care for patients, but with the knowledge and experience I have gained through my MPH, I also hope to effect positive public policy and administrative changes.

Paragraphs 1 and 2: Amy started her personal statement by illustrating a powerful experience she had when she realized that medical caregivers often feel impotent, and how this contrasted with her understanding of medicine as a little girl going with her mother to work. Recognition of this intense contrast also highlights her maturity.

P-3: She then “lists” a few experiences that were important to her.

Paragraph 4: Amy describes the commonality in some of her experiences and how her observations were substantiated by watching the evolution of her mother’s practice. She then explains how this motivated her to earn an MPH so she could create change more effectively as a physician than as a layman.

P-5: Next, she explains how her graduate degree is helping her to better understand the “issues in medicine” that she observed.

Paragraph 6: Then, an exceptional accomplishment is described, highlighting what she has learned and how she has applied it.

P-7: Finally, she effectively concludes her personal statement and summarizes the major topics addressed in her essay.

As you can see, her statement has excellent flow, is captivating and unusual, and illustrates her understanding of, and commitment to, medicine. Throughout her application entries and statement, she exhibits the personal competencies, characteristics, and qualities that medical school admissions officers are seeking. Her application also has broad appeal; reviewers who are focused on research, cultural awareness, working with the underserved, health administration and policy, teaching, or clinical medicine would all find it of interest.

Amy's Medical School Personal Statement Example Review

Osteopathic Medical School Personal Statement

Example and Analysis #2

Medical School Personal Statement Example Background:  This is a nontraditional applicant who applied to osteopathic medical schools. With a 500 and a 504 on the  MCAT , he needed to showcase how his former career and what he learned through his work made him an asset. He also needed to convey why osteopathic medicine was an ideal fit for him. The student does an excellent job illustrating his commitment to medicine and explaining why and how he made the well-informed decision to leave his former career to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine.

What’s Good About It:  A nontraditional student with a former career, this applicant does a great job outlining how and why he decided to pursue a career in medicine. Clearly dedicated to service, he also does a great job making it clear he is a good fit for osteopathic medical school and understands this distinctions of osteopathic practice.. 

Working as a police officer, one comes to expect the unexpected, but sometimes, when the unexpected happens, one can’t help but be surprised. In November 20XX, I had been a police officer for two years when my partner and I happened to be nearby when a man had a cardiac emergency in Einstein Bagels. Entering the restaurant, I was caught off guard by the lifeless figure on the floor, surrounded by spilled food. Time paused as my partner and I began performing CPR, and my heart raced as I watched color return to the man’s pale face.

Luckily, paramedics arrived within minutes to transport him to a local hospital. Later, I watched as the family thanked the doctors who gave their loved one a renewed chance at life. That day, in the “unexpected,” I confirmed that I wanted to become a physician, something that had attracted me since childhood.

I have always been enthralled by the science of medicine and eager to help those in need but, due to life events, my path to achieving this dream has been long. My journey began following high school when I joined the U.S. Army. I was immature and needed structure, and I knew the military was an opportunity to pursue my medical ambitions. I trained as a combat medic and requested work in an emergency room of an army hospital. At the hospital, I started IVs, ran EKGs, collected vital signs, and assisted with codes. I loved every minute as I was directly involved in patient care and observed physicians methodically investigating their patients’ signs and symptoms until they reached a diagnosis. Even when dealing with difficult patients, the physicians I worked with maintained composure, showing patience and understanding while educating patients about their diseases. I observed physicians not only as clinicians but also as teachers. As a medic, I learned that I loved working with patients and being part of the healthcare team, and I gained an understanding of acute care and hospital operations.

Following my discharge in 20XX, I transferred to an army reserve hospital and continued as a combat medic until 20XX. Working as a medic at several hospitals and clinics in the area, I was exposed to osteopathic medicine and the whole body approach to patient care. I was influenced by the D.O.s’ hands-on treatment and their use of manipulative medicine as a form of therapy. I learned that the body cannot function properly if there is dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system.

AACOMAS Personal Statement Example Review

In 20XX, I became a police officer to support myself as I finished my undergraduate degree and premed courses. While working the streets, I continued my patient care experiences by being the first to care for victims of gunshot wounds, stab wounds, car accidents, and other medical emergencies. In addition, I investigated many unknown causes of death with the medical examiner’s office. I often found signs of drug and alcohol abuse and learned the dangers and power of addiction. In 20XX, I finished my undergraduate degree in education and in 20XX, I completed my premed courses.

Wanting to learn more about primary care medicine, in 20XX I volunteered at a community health clinic that treats underserved populations. Shadowing a family physician, I learned about the physical exam as I looked into ears and listened to the hearts and lungs of patients with her guidance. I paid close attention as she expressed the need for more PCPs and the important roles they play in preventing disease and reducing ER visits by treating and educating patients early in the disease process. This was evident as numerous patients were treated for high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes, all conditions that can be resolved or improved by lifestyle changes. I learned that these changes are not always easy for many in underserved populations as healthier food is often more expensive and sometimes money for prescriptions is not available. This experience opened my eyes to the challenges of being a physician in an underserved area.

The idea of disease prevention stayed with me as I thought about the man who needed CPR. Could early detection and education about heart disease have prevented his “unexpected” cardiac event? My experiences in health care and law enforcement have confirmed my desire to be an osteopathic physician and to treat the patients of the local area. I want to eliminate as many medical surprises as I can.

Personal Statement Writing Help

Texas Medical School Personal Statement Example and Analysis #3

Medical School Personal Statement Example Background:  This applicant, who grew up with modest means, should be an inspiration to us all. Rather than allowing limited resources to stand in his way, he took advantage of everything that was available to him. He commuted to college from home and had a part-time job so he was stretched thin, and his initial college performance suffered. However, he worked hard and his grades improved. Most medical school admissions committees seek out applicants like this because, by overcoming adversity and succeeding with limited resources, they demonstrate exceptional perseverance, maturity, and dedication. His accomplishments are, by themselves, impressive and he does an outstanding job of detailing his path, challenges, and commitment to medicine. He received multiple acceptances to top medical schools and was offered scholarships.

What’s Good About It:  This student does a great job opening his personal statement with a beautifully written introduction that immediately takes the reader to Central America. He then explains his path, why he did poorly early in college, and goes on to discuss his academic interests and pursuits. He is also clearly invested in research and articulates that he is intellectually curious, motivated, hard working, compassionate and committed to a career in medicine by explaining his experiences using interesting language and details. This is an intriguing statement that makes clear the applicant is worthy of an interview invitation. Finally, the student expresses his interest in attending medical school in Texas.

They were learning the basics of carpentry and agriculture. The air was muggy and hot, but these young boys seemed unaffected, though I and my fellow college students sweated and often complained. As time passed, I started to have a greater appreciation for the challenges these boys faced. These orphans, whom I met and trained in rural Central America as a member of The Project, had little. They dreamed of using these basic skills to earn a living wage. Abandoned by their families, they knew this was their only opportunity to re-enter society as self- sufficient individuals. I stood by them in the fields and tutored them after class. And while I tried my best to instill in them a strong work ethic, it was the boys who instilled in me a desire to help those in need. They gave me a new perspective on my decision to become a doctor.

I don’t know exactly when I decided to become a physician; I have had this goal for a long time. I grew up in the inner city of A City, in Texas and attended magnet schools. My family knew little about higher education, and I learned to seek out my own opportunities and advice. I attended The University with the goal of gaining admission to medical school. When I started college, I lacked the maturity to focus on academics and performed poorly. Then I traveled to Central America. Since I was one of the few students who spoke Spanish, many of the boys felt comfortable talking with me. They saw me as a role model.

The boys worked hard so that they could learn trades that would help them to be productive members of society. It was then I realized that my grandparents, who immigrated to the US so I would have access to greater opportunities, had done the same. I felt like I was wasting what they had sacrificed for me. When I returned to University in the fall, I made academics my priority and committed myself to learn more about medicine.

TMDSAS Personal Statement Example Review

Through my major in neuroscience, I strengthened my understanding of how we perceive and experience life. In systems neurobiology, I learned the physiology of the nervous system. Teaching everything from basic neural circuits to complex sensory pathways, Professor X provided me with the knowledge necessary to conduct research in Parkinson’s disease. My research focused on the ability of antioxidants to prevent the onset of Parkinson’s, and while my project was only a pilot study at the time, Professor X encouraged me to present it at the National Research Conference. During my senior year, I developed the study into a formal research project, recruiting the help of professors of statistics and biochemistry.

Working at the School of Medicine reinforced my analytical skills. I spent my summer in the department of emergency medicine, working with the department chair, Dr. Excellent. Through Dr. Excellent’s mentorship, I participated in a retrospective study analyzing patient charts to determine the efficacy of D-dimer assays in predicting blood clots. The direct clinical relevance of my research strengthened my commitment and motivated my decision to seek out more clinical research opportunities.

A growing awareness of the role of human compassion in healing has also influenced my choice to pursue a career in medicine. It is something no animal model or cell culture can ever duplicate or rival. Working in clinical research has allowed me to see the selflessness of many physicians and patients and their mutual desire to help others. As a research study assistant in the department of surgery, I educate and enroll patients in clinical trials. One such study examines the role of pre-operative substance administration in tumor progression. Patients enrolled in this study underwent six weeks of therapy before having the affected organ surgically excised. Observing how patients were willing to participate in this research to benefit others helped me understand the resiliency of the human spirit.

Working in clinical trials has enabled me to further explore my passion for science, while helping others. Through my undergraduate coursework and participation in volunteer groups I have had many opportunities to solidify my goal to become a physician. As I am working, I sometimes think about my second summer in Central America. I recall how one day, after I had turned countless rows of soil in scorching heat, one of the boys told me that I was a trabajador verdadero—a true worker. I paused as I realized the significance of this comment. While the boy may not have been able to articulate it, he knew I could identify with him. What the boy didn’t know, however, was that had my grandparents not decided to immigrate to the US, I would not have the great privilege of seizing opportunities in this country and writing this essay today. I look forward to the next step of my education and hope to return home to Texas where I look forward to serving the communities I call home.

Final Thoughts

Medical school personal statement help & consulting.

If all this information has you staring at your screen like a deer in the headlights, you’re not alone. Writing a superb medical school personal statement can be a daunting task, and many applicants find it difficult to get started writing, or to express everything they want to say succinctly. That’s where MedEdits can help. You don’t have to have the best writing skills to compose a stand-out statement. From personal-statement editing alone to comprehensive packages for all your medical school application needs, we offer extensive support and expertise developed from working with thousands of successful medical school applicants. We can’t promise applying to medical school will be stress-free, but most clients tell us it’s a huge relief not to have to go it alone.

MedEdits offers personal statement consulting and editing. Our goal when working with students is to draw out what makes each student distinctive. How do we do this? We will explore your background and upbringing, interests and ideals as well as your accomplishments and activities. By helping you identify the most distinguishing aspects of who you are, you will then be able to compose an authentic and genuine personal statement in your own voice to capture the admissions committee’s attention so you are invited for a medical school interview. Our unique brainstorming methodology has helped hundreds of aspiring premeds gain acceptance to medical school.

MedEdits: Sample Medical School Personal Statement, Page 1

JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., is a former faculty member and admissions committee member at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is the founder and chair of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of the MedEdits Guide to Medical Admissions and The Medical School Interview which you can find on  Amazon . Follow Dr. Freedman and MedEdits on Facebook and  YouTube.

  • Website Disclaimer
  • Terms and Conditions
  • MedEdits Privacy Policy

phone

  • (888) 381-9509
  • [email protected]
  • Book a Meeting
  • student login
  • Student Login
  • Our Services
  • Our Story How it started
  • Our Team Meet Our Advisors & Tutors
  • Our Services How we can help you
  • Our Difference Learn why we stand out
  • Success Stories & Testimonials Hear the stories
  • For Parents Learn why you should trust us
  • In the News Read Our Stories
  • Frequently Asked Questions Find answers
  • MCAT Tutoring One-on-One Personalized Help
  • MCAT Go An Audio Learning Experience
  • MCAT Practice Exams Boost Your Score
  • MCAT Prep App Videos, Flashcards & Q-Bank
  • MCAT CARS Mastery Top-Rated CARS Video Course
  • Pre-Med Coach Early High School Roadmap Planning
  • College Admissions 11th & 12th Grade Pre-Med Consulting
  • Direct Med Advising BS/MD Application Support
  • Interview Preparation BS/MD Candidates
  • Pre-Med Coach Pre-Application Development
  • Application Advising Med School Admissions Support
  • Personal Statement Editing Refine Your Narrative
  • AMCAS Editing Application Editing
  • Secondary Editing Secondary Application Editing
  • Interview Preparation Realistic Practice
  • CASPer Preparation Simulation & Coaching
  • Ontario Application Support OMSAS Application
  • Residency Advising Complete Match Support
  • Residency Interview Preparation
  • ERAS Personal Statement Refine Your Story
  • USMLE STEP 1 Maximize your scores
  • USMLE STEP 2 Shine on your boards
  • USMLE STEP 3 Conquer your final hurdle
  • COMLEX LEVEL 1 and 2 Score higher
  • Institutional Partners Enhance your student offering
  • Organizational Partners Provide value to your students
  • Virtual Shadowing Explore Medical Specialties
  • Extracurricular Activities Apply now!
  • Under the Stethoscope Admissions Video Course
  • Research Roadmap Master Clinical Research
  • MSC Score Calculate Your Chances
  • Guidebooks Comprehensive Guides
  • Med School Explorer Find Your School
  • MCAT Review Videos, Questions, Notes

The Medical School Personal Statement: How To Stand Out

medicine personal statements

Posted in: Applying to Medical School

medicine personal statements

Impressive GPAs and MCAT scores, research experience, physician shadowing, and meaningful volunteer work are only one part of a successful medical school application . You may meet all other medical school requirements , yet face rejection.

One thing can help you stand above the rest : A compelling personal statement.

The medical school personal statement is important because it highlights your hard work, your pre-medical school accomplishments, and why you’re a better candidate than everyone else. 

In other words: Who are you, what makes you unique, and why do you deserve a spot in our school?

We’ve helped thousands of prospective medical students increase their odds at acceptance with better personal statements. Now, we’ll show you exactly how to do it. 

Working on your personal statement? Speak with a member of our enrollment team who can walk you through the step-by-step med school application process from start to finish.

Table of contents, what’s in a great med school personal statement.

An excellent medical school personal statement should contain:

  • Passion for an area of the healthcare field.
  • Storytelling that captures the reader’s attention from the first sentence.
  • Emotion and personality to show (not tell) admissions committee members who you are.
  • A unique answer to the question, “Why do you want to be a doctor?”

A powerful personal statement shows that you are the kind of candidate who will make an exceptional physician and be a valuable asset to the school during your medical education. Additionally, it helps to distinguish your application from the many other students with similar MCAT scores and GPAs.

A weak personal statement would, in turn, have the opposite effect.

Not only does the personal statement weed out unqualified candidates, but it also serves as a foundation for many interview discussions and questions . 

Admission committee members often only have a few minutes to review an application. Personal statements provide them with the right amount of information. Since it’s possible this is the only part of your application they’ll read, it needs to be perfect .

When writing your personal statement, you’ll also want to note the AAMC core competencies that are expected of all medical professionals. Some, if not all, of these competencies should shine through in your application essay.

The AAMC premed competencies include: 

  • Professional competencies:  Factors like communication skills, interpersonal skills, commitment to learning and growth, compassion, dependability, and cultural awareness and humility
  • Science competencies:  Understanding of human behaviors and living systems, both of which are best demonstrated in data-driven measures like research, MCAT scores, and science GPA (in other words, not things that necessarily need to be displayed in your personal statement)
  • Thinking & Reasoning competencies:  Critical thinking, reasoning, scientific inquiry, and written communication

A MedSchoolCoach review for personal statements, secondary essays, and interview preparation.

It’s important to show passion for something specific — a group of underserved people, a type of patient, the benefit of a particular area of medicine, etc. Your passion should be evident, non-generic, and authentic. Ask yourself, “What makes a good doctor?”

It’s crucial to avoid cliches in your personal statement, like claiming you want to become a doctor “to help people.”

Dr. Renee Marinelli, Director of Advising at MedSchoolCoach, warns that certain cliches may not truly represent meaningful experiences that influenced your decision to pursue medicine.

You may have decided to become a doctor from experiencing a kind physician as a child, but that personal experience doesn’t convey genuine passion. Your enthusiasm for medicine doesn’t need to originate from a grand experience or sudden revelation.

Your interest in medicine probably developed gradually, perhaps when you fell in love with psychology during college and volunteered at nursing homes. You don’t need a lifelong dream to demonstrate passion and become an outstanding doctor.

2. Storytelling

A memorable personal statement captures the reader’s attention from the first sentence, which you can do with an interesting personal story or anecdote. Including some creativity, ingenuity, humor, and character.

Immersing the admissions committee in your personal statement allows you to show , not just tell , how your experiences have impacted your journey to medicine.

Don’t repeat the data your admissions committee can read on the rest of your application — SHOW the passions and experiences that have led you to this field using a narrative approach.

Consider the following examples of statements about a student’s volunteer experience at a food pantry:

"“Through my work at the local food pantry, I came to understand the daily battles many individuals face, and it allowed me to develop deeper empathy and compassion.” “When I saw Mr. Jones, a regular at the kitchen, struggling to maneuver his grocery cart through the door, I hustled over to assist him. My heart sunk when I saw he was wearing a new cast after having been assaulted the night prior.”

Which do you think performed better in terms of conveying personal characteristics? Your personal statement is a deep dive into one central theme, not about rehashing all of your experiences. 

3. Emotion & Personality

An engaging personal statement allows your unique personality and real emotions to shine through.

As Dr. Davietta Butty, a Northwestern School of Medicine graduate, avid writer, pediatrician, and MedSchoolCoach advisor, puts it,

“I think the best personal statements are the ones that showcase the applicant’s personality. Remember that this is your story and not anyone else’s, and you get to say it how it makes sense to you.” 

This is why storytelling is such an important part of personal statement writing. Your writing process should involve quite a bit of writing and editing to express emotion in a relatable, appropriate way.

A Note On Writing About Tragedy

One way you can show who you are is by expressing an appropriate level of emotion, particularly about challenging or tragic experiences. (But don’t worry — not everyone has a tragic backstory, and that’s perfectly fine!)

If you are discussing a tragedy, don’t go into an extended explanation of how you feel — show emotion and your personality while sticking to the plot.

Personal tragedies, such as the death of a loved one, can powerfully motivate a personal statement. In a field where life and death constantly clash, experiences with death might appear impressive qualifications; however, approach them cautiously.

Focus on the reasons behind your motivation, rather than the details of the tragedy. Explain how the experience impacted your medical career aspirations, including skill development or perspective changes.

How have you applied these new skills or perspectives? How would they contribute to your success as a medical student?

4. Why You Want To Be a Doctor

Becoming a doctor is no small feat. What journey brought you here?

Writing things like “I want to help people” or “I want to make a difference” won’t set you apart from all the other students applying for medical school .

Knowing who you want to serve, why you want to help them (in story form), and where you’d like to end up will show admissions officers that you are serious about your medical career.

After all, this career doesn’t just involve many years of post-graduate education — you need a significant motivation to see this career through. That’s what admissions committees are looking for!

Read Next: Medical School Interviews: What To Do Before, During & After  

How long is a personal statement for medical school?

Your statement is limited to:

  • 5,300 characters (including spaces) on the AMCAS application ( MD programs )
  • 5,000 characters on the TMDSAS (Texas MD programs)
  • 5,300 characters for AACOMAS ( DO programs )

That’s roughly 500-700 words, or 3 double-spaced pages of text.

We typically suggest our students divide their personal statement into about 5 full paragraphs — an intro, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Pro tip: Do not type directly into the text box — if something goes wrong, you’ll lose all of your work. Write in another program first, then copy and paste the edited copy into the application text box.

Use a text-only word processing tool (TextEdit on Mac devices or Basic Text Editor on Windows), or type the essay into Microsoft Word or a Google Doc. Just remember to save the file as a *.rtf. This will eliminate formatting issues when you copy and paste the essay into the AMCAS box.

How To Write a Personal Statement For Medical School

Your personal statement is an opportunity to showcase your passion for medicine and your unique experiences. Be genuine, focused, and concise; your personal statement will leave a lasting impression on medical school admissions committees.

Some questions you may want to consider while writing your personal statement are:

  • Why have you selected the field of medicine?
  • What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  • What do you want medical schools to know about you that has yet to be disclosed in another application section?

In addition, you may wish to include information such as unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits. Comment on significant academic record fluctuations not explained elsewhere in your application.

With thousands of students, we’ve developed a nine-step process for how to write a personal statement that’s sure to get noticed. Follow these steps in order to uplevel your personal statement writing.

1. Choose a central theme.

Sticking to one central theme for your personal statement may sound tricky, but sticking with a central theme can give your statement more of a rhythm.

Here are a few examples to use when thinking of a central theme:

  • What is an experience that challenged or changed your perspective on medicine?
  • Is there a relationship with a mentor or another inspiring individual that has significantly influenced you?
  • What was a challenging personal experience that you encountered?
  • List unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits.
  • What is your motivation to seek a career in medicine?

2. Choose 2-4 personal qualities to highlight.

Keep this part brief and highlight the strengths that will make you an exceptional doctor.

What sets you apart from others? What makes you unique? What are you particularly proud of about yourself that may not be explained by a good GPA or MCAT score?

Here are a few examples of quality traits great doctors possess:

  • Persistence
  • Reliability
  • Accountability
  • Good judgment under pressure
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Leadership skills

3. Identify 1-2 significant experiences that demonstrate these qualities.

In this section, you should include that these experiences exemplify the qualities above and outline your path to medicine.

The top experiences college admissions seek are research projects , volunteer activities, and mentorship.

Here are a few ways to narrow down what makes an experience significant:

  • Which experiences left you feeling transformed (either immediately, or in retrospect)?
  • Which experiences genuinely made you feel like you were making a difference or contributing in a meaningful way?
  • Which experiences radically shifted your perspectives or priorities?
  • Which experiences have truly made you who you are today?

Pro tip: If you’re still in your third year of pre-med and want to participate in more experiential projects that will support your future medical career, check out Global Medical Brigades . We partner with this student-led movement for better global health, and brigades are a transformative way to begin your medical career.

4. Write a compelling introduction.

Your personal statement introduction is the first thing the admissions committee will read. The first paragraph should be a catchy, attention-grabbing hook or story that grabs the reader’s attention and sets up the main point of your essay.

Check out this webinar for more examples of what makes a great introduction.

5. Use storytelling to write the body paragraphs.

Since the goal is to achieve depth rather than breadth (5,000 characters isn’t a lot!), focus on key experiences instead of discussing everything you’ve accomplished. Remember, you’ll have the Work & Activities section to share other relevant experiences.

Use the following five-step formula to elaborate on important experiences in the body paragraphs of your personal statement:

  • Discuss why you pursued the experience.
  • Mention how you felt during the experience.
  • Describe what you accomplished and learned.
  • Discuss how your experience affected you and the world around you.
  • Describe how the experience influenced your decision to pursue medicine.

The best personal statements tell a story about who you are. “Show, don’t tell,” what you’ve experienced — immerse the reader in your narrative, and you’ll have a higher chance of being accepted to medical school.

6. Create an engaging conclusion.

Your goal is to make the person reading want to meet you and invite you to their school! Your conclusion should:

  • Talk about your future plans.
  • Define what medicine means to you.
  • Reflect on your growth.
  • Reiterate how you’d contribute to your school’s community and vision.

7. Use a spellchecker to proofread for basic errors.

Misusing “your” instead of “you’re” or misspelling a few important words can negatively impact how your personal statement is received. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be perfect on your personal statement.

Use Grammarly or a similar spellchecker to check for errors before completing your personal statement. You can also use an AI tool like ChatGPT for proofreading, although it’s more likely to make sweeping changes.

8. Edit your draft.

Editing your personal statement a few times over will benefit you in the long run. Give yourself time to write, edit, reread, and re-edit your personal statement before submitting it with your application.

You can use AI technology like ChatGPT for small edits or to help you add in information where you might feel stuck, but don’t rely too much on it.

9. Ask a few trusted people to read your draft.

Have at least one friend, family member, and at least one person who’s a medical professional review your draft. A  professor in your pre-med program would be a great person to review your draft.

Be willing to receive as much feedback as your trusted people are willing to give. Don’t get caught up in obsessing over one statement you really like if all three of your readers suggest cutting it.

If you’d like a professional eye on your personal statement, consider a personal statement editing service. Our editors are medical professionals, often who have reviewed personal statements and applications submitted to admissions committees.

We’d love to help you craft a personal statement that’s sure to stand out.

30 prompts to inspire your personal statement.

Here are 30 prompts to inspire your personal statement: 

  • Describe a defining moment in your life that solidified your desire to pursue a career in medicine.
  • Discuss a challenging situation you faced and how it shaped your perspective on healthcare.
  • Reflect on a time when you made a meaningful impact on someone’s life through your actions or support.
  • Explain your motivation for wanting to become a physician and how it has evolved over time.
  • Describe a personal quality or skill that will contribute to your success as a medical professional.
  • Discuss the importance of empathy and compassion in the medical profession and share a personal experience demonstrating these qualities.
  • Reflect on a specific medical case or patient that inspired you and how it influenced your future goals.
  • Share a story about an interaction with a mentor or role model who has inspired your path in medicine.
  • Describe a time when you overcame adversity or faced a significant challenge in your journey to medical school.
  • Explain how your background, culture, or upbringing has influenced your perspective on healthcare.
  • Discuss a medical issue or topic you’re passionate about and why it’s important to you.
  • Describe your experience working or volunteering in a healthcare setting and the lessons you’ve learned.
  • Reflect on a time when you had to adapt or be resilient in a challenging situation.
  • Discuss how your interest in research or innovation will contribute to your career as a physician.
  • Share a personal experience that has shaped your understanding of the importance of teamwork in healthcare.
  • Describe a leadership role you’ve held and how it has prepared you for a career in medicine.
  • Discuss the impact of a specific medical discovery or advancement on your decision to pursue medicine.
  • Reflect on your experience with a particular patient population or community and how it has influenced your perspective on healthcare.
  • Share your thoughts on the role of social responsibility in the medical profession.
  • Explain how your experiences with interdisciplinary collaboration have prepared you for a career in medicine.
  • Describe a time when you advocated for a patient or their needs.
  • Share your experience with a global health issue or project and how it has impacted your perspective on healthcare.
  • Discuss your interest in a specific medical specialty and why it appeals to you.
  • Reflect on a time when you encountered an ethical dilemma and how you resolved it.
  • Describe an experience that demonstrates your commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth.
  • Share a story about a time when you had to think critically and problem-solve in a healthcare setting.
  • Discuss how your experiences with diverse populations have informed your approach to patient care.
  • Describe an experience that highlights your ability to communicate effectively with others in a medical setting.
  • Reflect on a time when you demonstrated your commitment to patient-centered care.
  • Share your thoughts on the importance of balance and self-care in the medical profession and how you plan to maintain these practices throughout your career.

Avoid These Common Personal Statement Mistakes

A review of MedSchoolCoach's personal statement and secondary essay services.

Avoid these 5 common mistakes students make when writing their personal statements: 

  • Clichés : “I just want to help people,” “from a young age,” “I’ve always wanted to,” and “for as long as I can remember,” are just some of the overused phrases in personal statements. Other clichés we’ve seen often include saying that you’ve wanted to be a doctor for your whole life, using overly dramatic patient anecdotes, or prideful-sounding stories about how you saved a life as a pre-med student. Eliminate clichés from your writing.
  • Typos/grammatical errors: We covered this already, but the grammar in your statement should be flawless . It’s hard to catch your own typos, so use grammar checking tools like Grammarly and ask your readers to look for typographical errors or grammar problems, too.
  • Name-dropping: At best, naming a prominent member of the medical community in your statement sounds braggadocious and will probably be brushed off. At worst, an adcom reader may think poorly of the person you mention and dismiss you based on the connection. If you do know a well-known and well-respected person in the medical field and worked closely with them, request a letter of recommendation instead.
  • Restating your MCAT score or GPA : Every character in your personal statement counts (literally). Don’t restate information already found on your application. If your application essay is being read, an algorithm has already identified your prerequisite scores as being worthy of reviewing the rest of your application.
  • Using extensive quotes from other people: This is your chance to show who you are. Quoting a philosopher or trusted advisor in these few precious characters takes away from the impact you can have. A single short quote might be okay if it’s highly relevant to the story you’re telling, but don’t go beyond that.

Should you use ChatGPT to help you write?

ChatGPT is a great AI tool to help you get your personal statement off the ground. However, since this is your personal statement, ChatGPT won’t be able to effectively write transitions or tie your personal statement together.

Only you can effectively convey what being a doctor means to you. Only you carry the experiences in your mind and heart that have compelled you to pursue this competitive profession. Don’t rely on artificial intelligence to fake those experiences — it will show, and not in a good way.

We’ve found that ChatGPT can help speed the processes of ideation , editing, and grammar-checking. If you’re not using it to emulate human experiences but just treating it as a helpful assistant, go for it! 

When should you start writing your personal statement?

Begin writing your personal statement early enough to have months of reflection and editing time before your application cycle begins. We recommend writing your personal statement as the first step when applying to medical school , starting in December or January before applications open.

As you progress, anticipate revising multiple versions of your draft. Spend time reflecting on your life experiences and aspirations.

Dr. Katzen, MedSchoolCoach Master Advisor and previous admissions committee member at GWU, recommends starting your personal statement in December/January if you plan to apply in May/June (you should!). 

This gives you plenty of time to have others review it or to get professional personal statement editing services. It also gives you time to write multiple drafts and be 100% satisfied with your final essay.

9 Personal Statement Examples That Led To Med School Acceptance

We’ve included some of our favorite medical school personal statement examples below. Each of these was written by a student who was accepted at one or more programs of their choice.

1. Embracing Diversity: Healing Through Cultural Connections

Student Accepted to Case Western SOM, Washington University SOM, University of Utah SOM, Northwestern University Feinberg SOM

With a flick and a flourish, the tongue depressor vanished, and from behind my ear suddenly appeared a coin. Growing up, my pediatrician often performed magic tricks, making going to the doctors’ feel like literal magic. I believed all healthcare facilities were equally mystifying, especially after experiencing a different type of magic in the organized chaos of the Emergency Department. Although it was no place for a six-year-old, childcare was often a challenge, and while my dad worked extra shifts in nursing school to provide for our family, I would find myself awed by the diligence and warmth of the healthcare providers.

Though I associated the hospital with feelings of comfort and care, it sometimes became a place of fear and uncertainty. One night, my two-year-old brother, Sean, began vomiting and coughing non-stop. My dad was deployed overseas, so my mother and I had no choice but to spend the night at the hospital, watching my brother slowly recover with the help of the healthcare providers. Little did I know, it would not be long before I was in the same place. Months later, I was hospitalized with pneumonia with pleural effusions, and as I struggled to breathe, I was terrified of having fluid sucked out of my chest. But each day physicians comforted me, asking how I was, taking time to reassure me that I was being taken care of, and explaining any questions related to my illness and treatment. Soon, I became excited to speak with the infectious disease doctor and residents, absorbing as much as I could to learn more about different illnesses.

In addition to conventional medical settings, I also came to view the magic of healing through other lenses. Growing up, Native American traditions were an important aspect of my life as my father had been actively involved with native spirituality, connecting back to his Algonquin heritage. We often attended Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi ceremonies or Sun Dances, for healing through prayer and individuals making personal sacrifices for their community. Although I never sun danced myself, I spent hours in inipis, chewing on osha root, finding my own healing through songs. In addition to my father’s heritage, healing came from the curanderismo traditions of Peru, the home of my mother, who came from a long line of healers, which involved herbal remedies and ceremonies in the healing of the mind, body, energy and soul. I can still see my mother preparing mixtures of oils, herbs, and incense while performing healing rituals. The compassion and care she put into healing paralleled the Emergency Department healthcare providers.

Through the influence of these early life experiences, I decided to pursue a career in the health sciences. Shortly after starting college, I entered a difficult time in my life as I struggled with health and personal challenges. I suddenly felt weak and tired most days with aches all over my body. Soon, depression set in. I eventually visited a doctor, and through a series of tests, we discovered I had hypothyroidism. During this time, I also began dealing with an unprocessed childhood trauma. I decided to take time off school, and with thyroid replacement hormones and therapy, I slowly began to recover. But I still had ways to go, and due to financial challenges, I made the difficult decision to continue delaying my education and found work managing a donut shop. Unbeknownst to me, this experience would lead to significant personal growth by working with people from all walks of life and allowing me time for self-reflection. I found myself continuously reflecting on the experiences in the hospital that defined my childhood and the unmatched admiration I had for healthcare workers. With my renewed interest in medicine, I enrolled in classes to get my AEMT license to get more experience in the medical field.

As my health improved, I excelled in my classes, and after craving the connections of working with others, I became a medical assistant. In this position, I met “Marco,” a patient who came from Mexico for treatment. Though I spoke Spanish while growing up, I had little experience as a medical interpreter. However, I took the opportunity to speak with him to learn his story. Afterwards, he became more comfortable, and I helped walk him through the consultation process, interpreting the physician’s words and Marco’s questions. This moment showed me the power of connecting with others in their native language. As a result, I began volunteering at a homeless clinic to continue bridging the language barrier for patients and to help advocate for the Latinx community and those who struggle to find their voice.

My journey to become a doctor has been less direct than planned; however, my personal trials and tribulations have afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with incredible people who have been invaluable to my recovery and personal development. Most importantly, I have seen the value of compassionate and empathetic care. Though I have not recently witnessed any sleight of hand or vanishing acts, what healthcare providers do for patients can only be described as magic. I look forward to bringing my diverse background as a physician and expanding my abilities to help patients in their path to healing.

2. The Calling to Heal From the Battlefield

Student Accepted to Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Medical School, Yale SOM

I’ll never forget his screams of pain.

It was the first time I had heard a man cry for help, and it shook me to my core. It had been a long night of training in South Korea for me and my fellow Army Rangers. We were reaching the end, heavy with exhaustion, when my friend took the direct impact of an explosive to his leg. The shockwave momentarily rattled my sense of balance. Struggling to see in the dark, I switched on my headlamp. In that instant, all I could focus on was his face. His eyes darted back and forth, sweeping the surroundings for any semblance of help, but all I could do was stand there and watch as our medics treated him.

No amount of training prepared me to see a friend in pain. As I watched the helicopter fly him away, I couldn’t help but think— even though I’d gone through some of the best military training in the world, in that moment, I could do nothing for him. Fortunately, he is okay, but had there been no medic available, the situation could have ended with tragedy. That night, I realized that through a career in medicine, I could be more than just a bystander to suffering— I could be in the position to not only reduce unnecessary pain but to also help those affected by conflict and trauma be restored to the fullness of life.

Upon returning home from this deployment, I shifted my focus to developing my skills in trauma care. I completed various trainings on caring for casualties in a combat environment and preparing non-medic Rangers to provide self-aid or buddy-aid in the absence of a medical provider. In a final scenario-based training lane, I helped lead my team in the treatment and packaging of a trauma patient for evacuation, setting a record time in our company and earning a military medal. This achievement, however, was only the beginning. These trainings and my successes served as a foundation that I built upon to ensure I could provide life-saving care in combat situations.  I continued to hone this skillset over my next two combat deployments as a machine gunner to Afghanistan, where, I was prepared to use these critical abilities to decrease mortality on the battlefield. In medicine, like in the army, the actual practice of one’s craft may be life or death. Therefore, evolving both dependability and proficiency during training is imperative in preparation for that final test, both in war and in medicine.

After leaving the military, confronting injury and trauma continued to be a reality. A year after exiting the service, two Army Ranger leaders whom I knew were critically injured on a mission overseas. One was my former team leader, who was shot in the neck, and the other was caught in an explosion that later resulted in a triple amputation. The relentless efforts of doctors and nurses is the reason why both of these brave men are alive today. Recognizing that without the diligent care of these medical professionals, these men would not have survived, I became ever more dedicated to serving others.

While in college, this dedication pushed me to routinely visit the West Haven VA Hospital to provide a community of support for the older, disabled veterans there. I first began visiting this hospital for my own medical care but witnessing the suffering of the other veterans at the hospital spurred me to return repeatedly not as a patient, but as a friend to my fellow veterans.  As a veteran and student, seeing and hearing about the pain and loss of function experienced by many other veterans reminded me of the importance of advocacy in healthcare: to understand, to care for, and to fight for those who are unable to do so themselves.

I continued to see these effects of conflict while volunteering as a tutor to individuals from the Middle East who were affected by the very war I served in. Alaa lives in Syria and dreams of becoming a surgeon. Together, Alaa and I discussed chemistry, biology, and math. Despite his love of learning and dedication, the instability of his community, which was plagued by violence, often barred him from focusing on his studies and committing to a routine tutoring schedule. Although I’ll never intimately know the reality of growing up in a war-torn country, working with Alaa taught me to keep the bigger picture of healthcare in mind. It reminded me that a career as a physician would provide me with the capability to help those like Alaa who are affected by conflict.

When I reflect on medicine, I draw many parallels to my life in army special operations. The training is intense, the hours are long, and the structure is hierarchical. The mission, above all else, is to provide the best outcome for those around you. On my journey to a career in medicine, I plan to continue to add to what I’ve learned from my experiences so far: humility, empathy, dependability, communication, teamwork, and leading from the front. For over four years I lived by the Ranger Creed, and I plan to imbue the same ethos in serving as a physician— to keep myself mentally alert and morally straight, to shoulder more than my share of whatever task presents itself.  In crossing from the path of a warrior to that of a healer, I hope to continue a life of service to improve the human condition and reduce unnecessary suffering in the world one person at a time.

3. Community-based Health and Empathy: Serving Underserved Communities in Crisis

Student Accepted to Weill Cornell

My path to medicine was first influenced by early adolescent experiences trying to understand my place in society. Though I was not conscious of it at the time, I held a delicate balance between my identity as an Indian-American and an “American-American.”

In a single day, I could be shooting hoops and eating hotdogs at school while spending the evening playing Carrom and enjoying tandoori chicken at a family get-together. When our family moved from New York to California, I had the opportunity to attend a middle school with greater diversity, so I learned Spanish to salve the loss of moving away and assimilate into my new surroundings.

As I partook in related events and cuisine, I built an intermixed friend group and began to understand how culture influences our perception of those around us. While volunteering at senior centers in high school, I noticed a similar pattern to what I sometimes saw at school: seniors socializing in groups of shared ethnicity and culture. Moving from table to table, and therefore language to language, I also observed how each group shared different life experiences and perspectives on what constitutes health and wellness. Many seniors talked about barriers to receiving care or how their care differed from what they had envisioned. Listening to their stories on cultural experiences, healthcare disparities, and care expectations sparked my interest in becoming a physician and providing care for the whole community.

Intrigued by the science behind perception and health, I took electives during my undergraduate years to build a foundation in these domains. In particular, I was amazed by how computational approaches could help model the complexity of the human mind, so I pursued research at Cornell’s Laboratory of Rational Decision-Making. Our team used fMRI analysis to show how the framing of information affects its cognitive processing and perception. Thinking back to my discussions with seniors, I often wondered if more personalized health-related messaging could positively influence their opinions. Through shadowing, I had witnessed physicians engaging in honest and empathetic conversations to deliver medical information and manage patients’ expectations, but how did they navigate delicate conflicts where the patients’ perspectives diverged from their own?

My question was answered when I became a community representative for the Ethics Committee for On Lok PACE, an elderly care program. One memorable case was that of Mr. A.G, a blind 86-year-old man with radiation-induced frontal lobe injury who wanted to return home and cook despite his doctor’s expressed safety concerns. Estranged from family, Mr. A.G. relied on cooking to find fulfillment in his life. Recognizing the conflict between autonomy and beneficence, I joined the physicians in brainstorming and recommending ways he could cook while being supervised. I realized that the role of a physician was to mediate between the medical care plan and the patient’s wishes in order to make a decision that preserves their dignity. As we considered possibilities, the physicians’ genuine concern for the patient’s emotional well-being exemplified the compassion that I want to emulate as a future doctor. Our discussions emphasized the rigor of medicine—the challenge of ambiguity and the importance of working with an individual to serve their needs.

With COVID-19 ravaging our underserved communities, my desire to help others drove me towards community-based health as a contact tracer for my county’s Department of Public Health. My conversations uncovered dozens of heartbreaking stories that revealed how inequities in socioeconomic status and job security left poorer families facing significantly harsher quarantines than their wealthier counterparts. Moreover, many residents expressed fear or mistrust, such as a 7-person family who could not safely isolate in their 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment. I offered to arrange free hotel accommodations but was met with a guarded response from the father: “We’ll be fine. We can maintain the 6 feet.” While initially surprised, I recognized how my government affiliation could lead to a power dynamic that made the family feel uneasy. Thinking how to make myself more approachable, I employed motivational interviewing skills and even simple small talk to build rapport. When we returned to discussing the hotel, he trusted my intentions and accepted the offer. Our bond of mutual trust grew over two weeks of follow-ups, leaving me humbled yet gratified to see his family transition to a safer living situation. As a future physician, I realize I may encounter many first-time or wary patients; and I feel prepared to create a responsive environment that helps them feel comfortable about integrating into our health system.

Through my clinical and non-clinical experiences, I have witnessed the far-reaching impact of physicians, from building lasting connections with patients to being a rock of support during uncertain times. I cannot imagine a career without these dynamics—of improving the health and wellness of patients, families, and society and reducing healthcare disparities. While I know the path ahead is challenging, I am confident that I want to dedicate my life to this profession.

4. Creating a Judgment-Free Zone with The Power of Acceptance in Healthcare

Student Accepted to George Washington SOM and Health Sciences, Drexel University COM

Immigrating into a foreign country without speaking a word of the language is a terrifying task for anyone. My mentee at Computers4kids, Sahil, came to the United States at seventeen and had been struggling to integrate with society due to the language barrier. Although I was born in the United States, I can empathize with the struggle he encounters daily, since both my parents and many members of my family have dealt with the same issues. Often, these barriers exacerbate mundane issues the immigrant population faces as they have difficulty finding people who can understand and care for them. Since I am bilingual in Farsi, when Sahil approached me with his driving instructions manual written in Dari, I thought I could teach him the rules of the road with no issues. I asked him to read the first sentence, but he diverted his gaze and mumbled that he did not know how to read. As I realized he seemed embarrassed by his illiteracy, I placed my hand on his shoulder and assured him that he could learn. I increased my weekly hours at the site to spend an equal amount of time on the rules of the road and on phonetics and reading. Within a few months, he was more comfortable greeting others around the Computers4Kids site and participating in interactive projects. Upon reflection, I appreciate the importance of creating a judgment-free zone that encourages learning and reciprocal care. Once Sahil noticed that I saw him no differently after learning of his illiteracy, he was ready and willing to work on the basics of language and reading, instead of solely memorizing words.

I did not realize how pivotal a judgment-free zone in a medical environment is until I worked at the University of Virginia Emergency Department as a medical scribe. Although I had scribed at a smaller hospital before, I had always strived for a position at a high-volume healthcare center and level one trauma center. Close to the end of a long shift, I walked into the room of a patient with the chief complain of ‘Psychiatric Evaluation’.  A male patient with schizophrenia was hyperventilating and speaking through tears as he described seeing his deceased wife and daughter everywhere he looked. Between short breaths, he mentioned he was going to Florida to attack the person who “murdered his family”. The resident diffused the situation by acknowledging the patient’s feelings and suggesting that he stayed for psychiatric help instead of flying to Florida. Eventually, the patient agreed and was admitted. Seeing the resident create this judgment-free environment was eye opening, as the previously distressed patient was now accepting counseling. The powerful influence of acceptance can lead to valuable insights about patients’ lives, potentially increasing the range of care one can administer.

I decided to transition to primary care in the most recent fall season because I would be able to build a more personal relationship with families in my community. I began working at Union Mill Pediatrics and was finally able to serve the community I grew I up in. I was given the responsibility of acting as the primary contact for a few families with children who have autism. Dr. Maura and I perused the plan of care for one of these children, Ayaan, determined by the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), to ensure that set therapeutic goals were reasonable and generalizable. When I asked Salwa, Ayaan’s mother, about some of the goals set by her BCBA and the school, she mentioned they would repeat exercises he already knew how to complete. I informed Salwa of her right as a patient to bring up her concerns with Ayaan’s teachers. I was overjoyed when she updated me that she instructed Ayaan’s teacher to continue putting his hearing aid in despite Ayaan’s constant cries. Salwa explained that the tantrums would curb after two days, which proved to be true. Similarly to how I encourages Salwa to advocate for her son, I will advocate for my patients and help them develop confidence to speak about their needs. After finding her voice as the patient’s guardian, Salwa gained the confidence to ask about a support group as she faces difficulties raising Ayaan alone. After some research, I found a few active groups to send her. By proving to Salwa I had her best interests in heart, she opened up to me about her mental health issues, which enabled me to extend the appropriate resources her way.

I have witnessed the potential that physicians have at work to forever change a family’s quality of life by being open-minded and remaining judgment-free. As a physician, I will aim to provide for my community through attentive healthcare and community service. I will advocate for my patients with cultural, language or socioeconomic barriers to healthcare. Building a trusting relationship with my future patients can result in a more productive office visit and enhance my ability to administer holistic care. My goal is for patients to leave their visit with not only a reasonable plan of care, but also a greater appreciation of their health and their rights as patients.

5. The Intersection of Medicine and Creativity

Student Accepted to Hackensack Meridian SOM, Nova Southeastern CoOM/KPCOM

Growing up, I inherited a deep admiration for medicine. From my grandfather’s chilling stories as a forensic psychiatrist assessing mental fitness, to my father’s heroic accounts as a pediatric dentist operating on toddlers with severe tooth decay, I was enamored with the honor of healing. These exposures nurtured my natural curiosity and innate aptitude for the sciences. Yet my mother, who had studied dance and theatre, instilled in me a fervent love of the arts and creative practice. Following in her footsteps, I took up multiple musical instruments, attended a high school for the arts, and earned a degree in art history coupled with a dance minor. Still, my dream was to pursue medicine, and though it seems counterintuitive, my love of art has only facilitated my enduring love of science, reinforcing why pursuing a career as a holistic, health-centered physician is my deepest aspiration.

My affinity for the health sciences began in the dance studio, where I devoted many hours of my adolescence. Dance, insidious in its promotion of grotesque health practices, demanded that I limit my calories to 1,200 a day counting everything from ibuprofen to a stick of gum, and to dance through a severe hamstring tear. My conceptions of health were severely warped until college dance came to my rescue. These new progressive teachers uplifted dancers of all physical and cognitive abilities, distributed scientific journals on effective warm-up techniques, and abandoned conventional dance norms. I was disturbed by all the unlearning I had to do, but eager to reacquaint myself with my body and disseminate new knowledge. Thus, I was honored when dance again presented an opportunity in health, as I was hired to teach dance at my childhood summer camp. Here, I could separate my curriculum from unreasonable physical expectations and interpersonal competition. I found a fierce sense of joy and fulfillment from being an advocate for physical and emotional health, and I knew I wanted to continue helping others heal while also deconstructing my own negative health experiences.

These formative experiences in the arts profoundly supported my intellectual development, allowing me to thrive in science-based settings and ultimately prompting me to seek out colleges with robust research programs. At the University of Michigan, I had the privilege of participating in a campus research lab, undoubtedly resulting in my most valuable college experience. The world of scientific inquiry can be intimidating, but after a year of reading dozens of papers and learning novice lab protocols, I began my own independent investigation of zebrafish retinas. My goal was to uncover the mechanisms of retinal regeneration in fish, thus addressing vision loss. The excitement I felt in utilizing challenging lab techniques, working with animals, witnessing the culmination of my efforts through image analysis, and being a part of such life-altering research was unmatched. What once seemed like magic was now tangible; I was an artist helping craft the solutions to science’s unanswered questions. In the context of my multidisciplinary interests, my research reinforced the creative, humanitarian side of science, and that science was where I felt compelled to take action and build a career.

Art continued to deepen my passion for and understanding of medicine. The revolutionary approaches of my dance teachers modeled the importance of critique as it pertains to health. This was not a new concept to me; my high school art teachers had urged us to challenge institutional weaknesses. It was not until college, however, that I realized how this line of thinking intersects with medicine. Studying art history, I repeatedly encountered artists whose work tackled issues in health. Keith Haring confronted the AIDS crisis when society had turned on the gay population, and Marc Quinn confronted the disease of addiction in his self-portrait sculptures, made entirely of his own frozen blood. Art, I learned, is so often a response to disease, be it physical, mental, or sociological. These artists had been champions of health in light of its stigmas and politics; art thus fostered new intentions, instilling within me an ardent goal of social activism through medicine.

Art has contributed to my journey, and while it is not my ultimate goal, I hope to incorporate my artistically based insights into my work in science and medicine as a health and social justice advocate. I am driven to continue exploring these intersections, having compiled an entire portfolio on the connection between dance and science, researched disability in the arts, and pursued my personal interest in LGBTQ+ health advocacy by connecting with and shadowing a variety of gender care physicians. My intention to pursue medicine is personal, fulfilling, and pressing, and I take seriously the responsibility I will have as a physician to be a mogul for change in areas of healthcare that compromise the human experience. Further, my natural inclination towards science and involvement in academic research has instilled in me the confidence and skills necessary to be an effective medical practitioner. With this balanced mindset, I know I will contribute to a more ethical and well-rounded approach to healthcare.

6. Innovation in Medicine and a Quest for Discovery

Student Accepted to Johns Hopkins SOM, Washington University SOM, Hofstra Zucker SOM

As a notoriously picky nine-year-old with a penchant for grilled cheese, I was perplexed when I learned that my younger sister, Rachel, had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I felt a sting of betrayal knowing my comfort food was the culprit for Rachel’s terrible stomach aches. Yearning to understand how my favorite food was poisoning my favorite person, I developed an insatiable desire to discover the “why” behind Celiac. As Rachel’s doctor explained her disease, I was both fascinated that a simple protein could cause so much damage and inspired by the doctor’s compassion. He described every detail in a way Rachel would understand, addressed her every concern, and held her hand when she was scared. I wanted to be just like Rachel’s doctor so that I too could use science to decipher medical mysteries while also reassuring my patients that I would be their advocate and help them heal.

My interest in medicine drove me to learn more about what it meant to be a doctor. As a freshman in high school, I arranged a shadow day with Dr. M, a cardiologist. He taught me about echoes, showed me a pacemaker implantation, and in the midst of a cardioversion, even beckoned me over to press the button that discharged the defibrillator. I could not contain my excitement recounting how much I had learned during my first day in a clinical setting. From there, my curiosity skyrocketed and I embarked on a relentless pursuit to explore the spectrum of the medical field. I was moved by the supportive atmosphere of the NICU, struck by the precision involved in ophthalmology, absorbed by the puzzle-like reconstruction of Mohs surgery, and awed by the agility of cardiothoracic surgery. Between high school and college, I shadowed over a dozen physicians, cementing my interest and furthering my passion for a future medical career.

My college classes allowed me to immerse myself further in the study of the human body. Following my fascination with cancer, I secured an internship working on a melanoma immunotherapy clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health. I savored the stimulation, grasping new experimental techniques and developing assays; but my work took on even greater meaning when I learned that my grandfather had been enrolled in an early-stage immunotherapy trial himself while battling mucosal melanoma. Although immunotherapy did not heal my grandfather, I was immensely proud to be advancing the science years later. Through long nights and evolving experiments, I gave the trial its final push through an FDA approval checkpoint; ultimately, my contributions will help more grandparents go into remission. The most fulfilling moments came every Monday when I accompanied the leading physician scientists on their rounds. As I met patients, listened to their stories, and celebrated their improvements, the pulsating blister on my thumbpad from endless pipetting became akin to a medal of honor. Reflecting on these encounters, I wanted to continue driving scientific innovation, but I also wanted a more active and personal impact in the patient’s experience.

My desire to connect with patients brought me to Alliance Medical Ministry, a clinic serving uninsured, disadvantaged communities in North Carolina. I stepped up to lead efforts to organize a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic, communicating personally with every eligible patient and arranging vaccine appointments for over a thousand people across the hardest hit areas of Raleigh. The experience became even more rewarding when I trained to administer vaccines, becoming a stable, anchoring presence from the beginning to the end of the process. One memorable patient, “Amy,” had not seen a doctor in years because of the associated financial burden. When she came to the clinic suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, she was not even aware of her diabetes diagnosis. While I waited with her for transportation to the ER, she expressed her fears about contracting COVID at the hospital. However, she emphatically dismissed my suggestion about receiving a vaccine. I listened intently to all her concerns. Not only was she worried about the vaccine infecting her with the virus, but also her history of being denied healthcare due to her socioeconomic status had instilled fears that she would not be taken care of should she have an adverse reaction. I took her hand in mine and reassured her of the clinic’s mission to provide care regardless of ability to pay. I further explained everything I knew about how the vaccine worked, its safety and efficacy, and how my body reacted when I received my own injection. I could not help but beam behind my N95 when days later, Amy returned, sat in my chair and confidently rolled up her sleeve for me to give her the protective shot.

I have grown by exploring the multifaceted world of medicine through shadowing, pioneering research to advance patient care at the NIH, and cultivating trusting relationships with patients from the vaccine clinic. As a doctor, my desire to be an innovative thinker and problem solver will fuel my unrelenting quest for discovery throughout a lifetime of learning. Most importantly, I aspire to use my medical knowledge to improve lives and establish meaningful patient partnerships, just as Rachel’s doctor did with her.

7. Transforming Pain into Purpose: Inspiring Change in the Field of Medicine

Student Accepted to UCSF SOM, Harvard Medical School

Countless visits to specialists in hope of relief left me with a slew of inconclusive test results and uncertain diagnoses. “We cannot do anything else for you.” After twelve months of waging a war against my burning back, aching neck and tingling limbs, hearing these words at first felt like a death sentence, but I continued to advocate for myself with medical professionals. A year of combatting pain and dismissal led me to a group of compassionate and innovative physicians at the Stanford Pain Management Center (SPMC). Working alongside a diverse team including pain management specialists and my PCP, I began the long, non-linear process of uncovering the girl that had been buried in the devastating rubble of her body’s pain. From struggling with day-to-day activities like washing my hair and sitting in class to thriving as an avid weightlifter and zealous student over the span of a year, I realized I am passionate about preventing, managing and eliminating chronic illnesses through patient-centered incremental care and medical innovation.

A few days after my pain started, I was relieved to hear that I had most likely just strained some muscles, but after an empty bottle of muscle relaxers, the stings and aches had only intensified. I went on to see 15 specialists throughout California, including neurologists, physiatrists, and rheumatologists. Neurological exams. MRIs. Blood tests. All inconclusive. Time and time again, specialists dismissed my experience due to ambiguous test results and limited time. I spent months trying to convince doctors that I was losing my body; they thought I was losing my mind. Despite these letdowns, I did not stop fighting to regain control of my life. Armed with my medical records and a detailed journal of my symptoms, I continued scheduling appointments with the intention of finding a doctor who would dig deeper in the face of the unknown. Between visits, I researched my symptoms and searched for others with similar experiences. One story on Stanford Medicine’s blog, “Young Woman Overcomes Multiple Misdiagnoses and Gets Her Life Back”, particularly stood out to me and was the catalyst that led me to the SPMC. After bouncing from doctor to doctor, I had finally found a team of physicians who would take the profound toll of my pain on my physical and mental well-being seriously.

Throughout my year-long journey with my care team at the SPMC, I showed up for myself even when it felt like I would lose the war against my body. I confronted daily challenges with fortitude. When lifting my arms to tie my hair into a ponytail felt agonizing, YouTube tutorials trained me to become a braiding expert. Instead of lying in bed all day when my medication to relieve nerve pain left me struggling to stay awake, I explored innovative alternative therapies with my physicians; after I was fed up with the frustration of not knowing the source of my symptoms, I became a research subject in a clinical trial aimed at identifying and characterizing pain generators in patients suffering from “mysterious” chronic pain. At times, it felt like my efforts were only resulting in lost time. However, seeing how patient my care team was with me, offering long-term coordinated support and continually steering me towards a pain-free future, motivated me to grow stronger with every step of the process. Success was not  an immediate victory, but rather a long journey of incremental steps that produced steady, life-saving progress over time. My journey brought me relief as well as clarity with regard to  how I will care for my future patients. I will advocate for them even when complex conditions, inconclusive results and stereotypes discourage them from seeking continued care; work with them to continually adapt and improve an individualized plan tailored to their needs and goals, and engage in pioneering research and medical innovations that can directly benefit them.

Reflecting on the support system that enabled me to overcome the challenges of rehabilitation, I was inspired to help others navigate life with chronic pain in a more equitable and accessible way. Not everyone has the means to work indefinitely with a comprehensive care team, but most do have a smartphone. As a result, I partnered with a team of physicians and physical therapists at the University of California San Francisco to develop a free mobile application that guides individuals dealing with chronic pain through recovery. Based on my own journey, I was able to design the app with an understanding of the mental and physical toll that pain, fear, and loss of motivation take on patients struggling with chronic pain. Having features like an exercise bank with a real-time form checker and an AI-based chatbot to motivate users, address their concerns and connect them to specific health care resources, our application helped 65 of the 100 pilot users experience a significant reduction in pain and improvement in mental health in three months.

My journey has fostered my passion for patient-centered incremental medicine and medical innovation. From barely living to thriving, I have become a trailblazing warrior with the perseverance and resilience needed to pursue these passions and help both the patients I engage with and those around the world.

8. Overcoming Bias, Stigma, and Disparities in Medicine

Student Accepted to University of Florida COM

Growing up as a Black woman, my family’s experiences with racial bias in medicine were central to my perception of doctors. From my grandmother’s forced electric shock therapy in the Jim Crow South that resulted in severe brain damage, to my father’s ignored appendicitis that led to a near-death infection after rupturing, every trip to the doctor came with apprehension. Will these strange men with sharp tools heal me or hurt me? This question repeated in my head as I prepared to undergo my first surgery to remove suspiciously inflamed lymph nodes at age 11. I woke up groggy from anesthesia with a negative cancer diagnosis but a blistering third degree burn. The surgeon had successfully removed the malignant masses but had left the cauterizing iron resting on my neck in the process. Today when I look in the mirror and see the scar, I am reminded of the troubling reality that myths such as black people having thicker skin and less sensitive nerve endings are still pervasive in the medical field. By challenging the systemic disparities in medicine that disadvantage minority populations, I vow to my inner child that I will be a different kind of doctor, a doctor who values the patient as much as the procedure.

My experiences with a variety of communities, minority and majority, stem from growing up in a military household that came with frequent relocations. I was exposed to a wide range of communities from an early age—rural Oregon to tropical Hawaii, industrious Japan to politicized D.C, sunny San Diego and finally to radical Berkeley where I  began my pre-medical education. I chose to view medicine from an anthropological lens while at Cal and supplemented my coursework with community service.  As co-coordinator of UC Berkeley’s chapter of Peer Health Exchange, my 9th grade students were, at first,  mistrusting –even with my Angela Davis-esque afro, I was clearly not from Oakland and not quite old enough to be lecturing them. But it was the Good Samaritan Law lecture, during which students learned they would not face police penalty for calling 911 if a friend was in trouble, that I finally gained their trust. One student shared, “I always worried that I wouldn’t be able to call for help because I’m undocumented.”  Later as a health advocate at UCSF, I encountered the same sentiment from families in the pediatric clinic who worried that accessing healthcare for a sick child might put their immigration or legal status at risk. I learned that to get to the root of barriers to access, trust is invaluable. Navigating marginalized spaces with cultural competency is an asset that I pride myself in.

I carried this foundation into my research and clinical work on HIV, a disease that disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities and is often left untreated by the stigmas surrounding medicine for these communities. As an HIV PreP Navigator at the Oasis clinic, I was on rotation when a thirteen-year-old girl was referred to the clinic after testing positive for HIV. We analyzed her T cell count and viral load, and discovered she fit the AIDs criteria.   In the following weeks, we worked on medication adherence, and as the girl’s CD4 count rose, so did her spirits and mine. Medicine is more than just a diagnosis and prescription—it is active compassionate treatment. It is holding steady when the entire ground seems to shake with the magnitude of an illness. It is being able to look a patient in the eye and truly see them despite the myriad of differences.

The disparities and differences in patient circumstances has been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this disproportionate effect of the virus on minority communities, I worked at a COVID-19 testing facility in one of the most underserved and impoverished communities in the Los Angeles’ area. Assuring patients of the safety of Covid testing measures was a big part of the job. “Have you done it?” They would ask. “What about Tuskegee?”  Being Black, I felt the burden of responsibility that came with these questions. How could I have such faith in medicine knowing the traumatic past? My response was simple, “I believe in the science. I can explain PCR testing to you if you like.” By eradicating some of the mystery surrounding these lab techniques, people felt more comfortable.  The opportunity to serve as a trusted community leader by directly interacting with patients and working on a team with doctors, EMTs, and nurses amid an international crisis reaffirmed my journey into medicine.

Zora Neale Hurston once wrote, “mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.” As an aspiring physician, these words have served as a motivating mantra. To “get off the ground” for me means to become the first medical doctor in a lineage of sharecroppers and farmers. Medicine has been my “sun” for as long as I can remember; its promise to bring light has kept me jumping at every opportunity. Like my grandmother, my father, and so many others, I have experienced disparity in medicine. The scars that mar our bodies are my constant reminder that there is much work to be done. I see medicine as the ability to directly enact that change, one patient at a time.

9. Navigating Personal Struggles to Become a Compassionate Physician

Student Accepted to Touro CoOM, Nova Southeastern CoOM/KPCOM

I fight the heavy sleepiness that comes over me, but before I know it, I am out like a light. Forty-five minutes later, I wake up with a sore throat, watery eyes, and an intensely cold, painful feeling plaguing my entire right leg. Earlier, my parents and I arrived at the Beckman Laser Institute for another treatment of my port-wine stain birthmark. Despite my pleas to not undergo these procedures, my parents still took me twice a year. As I was rolled into the cold, sterile operating room on a gurney, I felt like I was experiencing everything from outside of myself. Despite my doctor’s and nurses’ best efforts to comfort me, I felt my heart racing. Feelings of apprehension and fear of the unknown flooded my senses at the sight of beeping machines and tubes that seemed to go everywhere. As the anesthesiologist began to administer the “sleepy juice,” I felt sad, realizing that my birthmark was a permanent resident on my leg and that I would have to receive this treatment for the rest of my life.

As an adult, I am grateful my parents continued to take me to the laser institute. Starting treatment so early aided in the lightening of my birthmark, which did wonders to improve my self-confidence. However, I suffered daily, feeling like I constantly had to hide something about myself. I kept my secret from everyone except my parents. Despite there being several medical doctors in my family, I knew that any sign of illness or disease would be held against me socially amongst other Egyptians. My secrecy was made even more difficult by the advice of my doctor to avoid certain physical activities, as they could worsen the underlying pathology of the veins in my legs. On his advice, I only wore long pants and would not run with other children during recess and gym class. This all added to the isolation I felt growing up, not knowing anyone with a similar condition to mine. Even as a child, no amount of explaining or encouragement could make me understand the benefit of those painful laser treatments.

What eventually changed my perspective was the team of compassionate doctors and nurses who have been caring for me since I began this journey. I was particularly touched when one of my doctors shared with me that she had also undergone a procedure that she would be performing on me. In that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Not only was she a specialist in the field, but her empathy for what I would soon go through became a source of instant comfort and ease for me. I knew that what she said was heartfelt, and not simply an attempt to convince me to undergo a procedure. I realized then that one of the reasons I had felt so afraid was because I had been alone in what I was going through.

A few years later, I attended a conference held by the Vascular Birthmark Foundation, where a variety of specialists convened to discuss port-wine stain birthmarks and other related conditions. Once we arrived at the hotel where the conference would take place, I met a woman who had a facial port-wine stain birthmark. As we began sharing stories about our experiences with our condition, we connected over how difficult it had been to receive treatment. We both knew what it felt like to be told that the birthmark was simply a cosmetic issue, and that any form of treatment we received would have no corrective purpose, if it was even considered treatment in the first place. There was a certain sense of freedom that I felt in finally being able to talk about my illness with someone I could trust to understand. Thinking back to the doctor who connected with me over a procedure she had also experienced as a patient, I felt truly called in that moment to pursue my goal of becoming a vascular physician. My goal would be to become a source of comfort and familiarity for patients who struggle as I have, to give them the same relief that I experienced from finally being understood.

Despite the pains I went through, I now realize that the experiences I have had as a patient can help me better understand what it means to be a physician. By being an excellent listener and openly sharing my experiences with receiving treatment, I can foster an honest and safe physician-patient relationship. I believe this approach will not only comfort my patients, but also help them make informed decisions about their treatment. My commitment to this approach has also led me to choose a DO path for my medical career. Having researched the holistic treatment approach that a DO delivers, I realized that being treated by a DO would have done wonders for my self-confidence and overall health as a young patient. The aspects of my port wine stain that were always left untreated were the emotional and social side effects of my condition. As a DO in the dermatology or interventional radiology specialty, I hope to gain the tools to provide empathetic and comprehensive care to my patients that reassures them that they are not alone in their journey to better health.

Want to read a few more great samples? We also broke down the things that make these 3 personal statements excellent and compelling.

Other Resources For Personal Statement Writing

Do you want to learn even more about personal statements? Dive into these great resources!

FREE MEDICAL SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENT WEBINARS

Preparing Your Personal Statement For Medical Programs : Hosted by MedSchoolCoach Director of Writing & College Advising, Jennifer Speegle.

Creating the First Draft of Your Medical School Personal Statement : Hosted by MedSchoolCoach advising and writing advisors, Ziggy Yoediono MD and James Fleming.

Where to Begin When Writing Your Personal Statement : Hosted by MedSchoolCoach Associate Director of Writing and College Advising, Jennifer Speegle, Associate Director of Advising, Ziggy Yoediono MD, and Writing Advisor, Carrie Coaplen Ph. D.

The Medical School Personal Statement – What Makes a Great Intro and Why It’s Important : Hosted by Director of Advising, Dr. Renee Marinelli, MD, Master Advisor, Dr. Ziggy Yoediono, MD, and Founder of MedSchoolCoach, Dr. Sahil Mehta, MD.

THE PROSPECTIVE DOCTOR PODCAST

Episode 2 – The Personal Statement

Episode 42 – Writing Your Personal Statement

Episode 76 – How to Tackle the Medical School Personal Statement

Should you hire a pro to help write your personal statement?

Yes, the best personal statement results will happen when you have a seasoned professional on your side. schedule a meeting with our advisors to get help with writing and editing your personal statement..

headshot of Dr. Renee Marinelli (Former admissions committee member at the University of California)

See How We Can Help

Search for:, recent posts, dr. ziggy yoediono, medschoolcoach, recent blog posts.

How Can I Help My Kid Get Into Medical School

How Can I Help My Kid Get Into Med School?

As a parent, you naturally want the best for your child, and if your child is considering a career in[...]

April 25, 2023

man playing chess

What Top Tier Medical Schools Look For in Applicants

In 2007, nearly 70% of high school students who graduated went onto college. But, getting into a great school is[...]

March 21, 2019

high school student deciding on a medical school

15 Best Pre-Med Schools in the US in 2024 & How to Choose One

If you want a career in healthcare, it’s never too early to start looking at your options for college. There[...]

February 12, 2024

The Pre-Med Journey

The Pre-Med Journey: What it Takes to Get into Medical School

Thinking about applying to medical school? Discover what high school students need to know about obtaining a career in medicine.

Successfully Planning for the USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK

Successfully Planning for the USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK

Get ready for the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 with this free guide to study planning and resource utilization.

100 MCAT Study Tips

100 MCAT Study Tips

Taking the MCAT? These 100 tips and tricks will help you ace the MCAT.

Call us at (888) 381-9509

Call Us Now

Or, Schedule a Meeting Below

medicine personal statements

Happy April Fool’s Day from MedSchoolCoach!

While mastering sleep-learning is still a dream, mcat go helps you study for the mcat while you are awake. listen to mcat go for free (a $99 value) by entering your email below to receive an exclusive discount code. this ain’t no joke..

medicine personal statements

Guides & Info

Medicine Personal Statement Examples

Last updated: 29/6/2023

  • Is Medicine Right for Me?
  • What do Doctors do?
  • The Daily Life of a Doctor
  • How to apply to medical school
  • Different Routes into Medicine
  • Factors to Consider
  • Medicine at Oxford and Cambridge
  • Your Fifth UCAS Choice
  • Getting Your Grades
  • Extra-curricular Activities
  • What is the UCAT?
  • Preparing for Your UCAT Test Day
  • After Your UCAT
  • BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
  • Work Experience and Dental Schools
  • NHS Work Experience
  • Personal Statement
  • Medicine PS Examples
  • Dentistry PS Examples
  • UCAS References
  • Medical and Dental School Interviews
  • Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
  • Medical School Interview Questions
  • Dental School Interview Questions
  • Graduate Entry Courses
  • Foundation and Access Courses
  • International students
  • Taking a Gap Year
  • Medicine in Australia and NZ
  • Medicine in Ireland Medicine in Eastern Europe
  • Other Roles in Healthcare
  • What Our "Plan B" Looked Like
The personal statement is changing to a series of free text questions for 2026 entry onwards, however it remains unchanged for 2025 entry. Keep an eye on our live updates page for guidance on these changes.

Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to showcase the skills, attributes, and experiences which make you suited to studying medicine. This can be quite a daunting prospect, especially when you have to boil all that down to just 4,000 characters, or 47 lines. 

In this article, we will:

  • Examine examples of strong and weak medicine personal statements (interested in dentistry? Check out dentistry personal statement examples )
  • Help you learn what you should and shouldn't include in your medicine personal statement
Want to explore more examples? Our Personal Statement Course has over 100 personal statement examples to help you find your voice.

Student looking at personal statement examples on a tablet

What you'll find in this article:

Personal statement example 1 – introduction

Personal statement example 2 – introduction, personal statement example 1 – main body, personal statement example 2 – main body, personal statement example 1 – conclusion, personal statement example 2 – conclusion, strong personal statement example, weak personal statement example, what should your personal statement include.

To get into medical school , your personal statement should:

  • Demonstrate meaningful insight into the profession, in the form of work experience or independent research. This could be partly based on medical books or podcasts when medical work experience is not possible
  • Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and experiences
  • Mention your extracurricular activities
  • Discuss your academic interests and achievements
'At the moment I am working towards A-Level Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I achieved my AS-Level in Spanish but decided to drop it to focus on my more medically relevant subjects. I’ve been dreaming of studying medicine since I was a young child, and this was only reinforced when I contracted measles during my primary school exams. This affected my performance, but I found that this motivated me rather than discouraged me. A particularly inspiring doctor was heavily involved in helping me deal with the pressure. I was inspired by her to become a doctor myself and help others in a similar way. I am particularly interested in science and as such the practical side of medicine interested me. I’ve always enjoyed chemistry and biology the most, and have best learned when trying to link the pure science I learn in school back to it's practical and useful real-world applications. This is what is particularly interesting about medicine to me - you can apply pure, evidence-based science in a clinical and practical setting to have an obvious positive effect. Inspired by this interest, I invested in a subscription to the New Scientist magazine. I’ve read about a huge number of fascinating discoveries and how they’ve been applied in medical settings.'

This introductory section has some promising features, but there are areas the author could improve:

  • The introductory sentence doesn’t catch the reader’s attention or hold much relevance for a medical personal statement. This sentence would be better suited to a subsequent section on the author’s academic achievements, and it would need to be supplemented with a suitable explanation as to why the chosen subjects are relevant for medicine. 
  • The author uses an anecdote to illustrate why they first developed an interest in medicine. This is a good idea, but the anecdote they've chosen is not the most suitable. It references ‘primary school exams’, which uses the cliché of wanting to do medicine from a young age. This is not only overused, but is also underdeveloped. 
  • The applicant mentions feeling under pressure for these primary school exams. This won’t fill the reader with confidence that the author will be able to cope with the demands of medical school and a career as a doctor. 
  • The introduction should open with the anecdote rather than academic achievements. A strong and memorable opening line will catch the admission tutor’s attention, and gives the student an opportunity to summarise why they want to study medicine.
  • It is far too long. A good introduction should be around 4-6 lines.

There are some parts of the introduction that are more effective:

  • The part discussing why they enjoy chemistry and biology is useful – it links their love for pure science back to the passion they mentioned earlier for helping people. This demonstrates the blend of empathy and interest in science that medical schools will be looking for. 
  • The same part also introduces the candidate’s reading of medical literature, which they could choose to discuss in more depth later in the statement, or which might be something that interviewers could choose to examine in more detail.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example 1

'From a young age, my real fascination in life has been science - in particular, the incredible intricacy of the human body. My passion to discover more about its inner workings fuelled my motivation to study medicine, and the challenging yet rewarding nature of the job leaves me certain that I want to pursue it as a career. I think that my chosen A-Levels have only made me more determined to become a doctor, while simultaneously allowing me to develop and improve my skills. I have become a better problem-solver by studying physics and maths, while also learning the importance of accuracy and attention to detail. I’ve particularly enjoyed chemistry, which has again helped me improve my problem solving skills and my ability to think rationally and logically. Throughout my chemistry and biology A-Levels, I’ve been required to engage in practical work which has taught me how to design and construct an experiment. I’ve also become better at communicating with other members of my team, something I witnessed the importance of during my work experience in A&E. During recent months, I’ve started reading more medical publications such as the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. I’ve been particularly interested in how this evidence-based science can be applied to clinical practice to really make an impact on patients.'

This introduction contains some useful reflection and demonstrates some insight, but is quite jumbled. The main areas of weakness are as follows:

  • The content is good but much of it would be better suited to a later section and should be explored in more detail while being linked back to medicine (for example, the whole second half could be included in a longer segment on academia). 
  • The applicant mentions that they improved their problem-solving skills. How did they do this? Why is this important in medicine? 
  • They say that medicine is demanding but that this attracts them to the job. What experiences have they had to show the demanding nature of it? Why does this attract them to it? 
  • The author also briefly mentions a stint of work experience in A&E, but the rushed nature of the introduction means that they can’t go into detail about the experience or reflect on what exactly they learned from it. 
  • Similar to example 1, this introduction includes some clichés which detract from the author’s overall message. For example, that they have wanted to do medicine from a young age or that they love science (with no further explanation as to why). 
  • It is far too long. Again, an introduction should be a succinct summary of why you're interested in medicine, and not a brief account of all of your experiences.

The stronger parts of this introduction include the following:

  • The author does demonstrate that they can reflect on the skills they’ve improved through experience. For example, the analytical and problem-solving skills they gained from chemistry.
  • The candidate shows an understanding of the link between evidence-based science and clinical application when discussing how they did further research around their physics course. This shows a good level of curiosity and insight.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example

'I first became interested in studying medicine when I carried out a work experience placement with my father an elderly care specialist. I really enjoyed the experience and it gave me a deeper insight into the challenges doctors face. I now believe that I better understand the resilience - both mental and physical - that doctors need to cope with the heavy workload and emotional challenges. A few months ago I was given the opportunity to attend work experience in St Mary’s hospital in Manchester where I visited and observed many different specialties and areas of the hospital like A&E and the labs and witnessed how doctors carried out their jobs. For the past year I’ve been doing some other volunteering work too, such as, taking meals around to patients on the ward, asking them about their experience in the hospital and just chatting with them about how they’re feeling. They’re often delighted to have someone to talk to especially during Covid when they weren’t allowed to receive visitors. I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients. I spent a few days working in the same hospital, shadowing doctors and Allied Health professionals in the stroke ward. I became much more familiar with the process doctors used for treating stroke patients, and developed an understanding of the role that physiotherapists and occupational therapists have in their rehabilitation. On top of that I organised a placement with the emergency medicine doctors and spent time in the haemapheresis unit at St Mary’s.'

This example does contain some of the features we look for in a complete main body section but could definitely be improved: 

  • The main issue with this is the list-like presentation, which goes hand-in-hand with a general lack of reflection or insight. Although it is good to discuss your work experience in your personal statement, it would be far better if the candidate focused on just one or two of the experiences mentioned, but went into far more detail about what they learned and the insight they gained. For example, after mentioning the role of Allied Health Professionals in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, they could go on to discuss how they came to appreciate the importance of these healthcare workers, and how the contribution of all these individuals within the multidisciplinary team is so important to achieving good outcomes.
  • Statements like ‘I [...] witnessed how doctors carry out their jobs’ make it seem as if the candidate really wasn’t paying attention. They need to explain what they mean by this. Were they impressed by the doctors’ effective teamwork and communication skills, or perhaps by their positive attitude and morale? Did they seem well-trained and effective? What did they learn from this that might help them in the future?  ‍
  • Similarly, the student simply states that they saw the effect of empathy on patients: ‘I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients.’ This adopts a ‘telling’ approach, when the student needs to adopt a ‘showing’ approach. Simply telling us that they saw something does not adequately demonstrate an understanding of why those qualities are important, or what they actually mean. What does it mean to have empathy? What does that look like in real terms? How did they use it? What was the effect? Showing the tutor that you are empathetic is important, but simply saying it is disingenuous and shows a lack of understanding.
  • The candidate spends a number of characters name-dropping the exact hospital they visited and its location, which isn’t the best use of valuable space, as it has no real impact on the message they’re trying to convey.
  • Generally, it isn’t a good idea to talk about work experience with family members. Of course, this might be the reality, but try to have some other placements that you’ve organised yourself so that it doesn’t appear as if your family are doing all the hard work for you. At the very least, you could simply leave this information out.
  • There are a few grammatical errors here, especially regarding the use of commas. It’s important to use a spell checker or to ask an English teacher to check your work for you before submitting your statement.

The better features of this example are:

  • The candidate does show some insight into the role of a doctor when they talk about the resilience required by doctors to cope with the hard hours and challenging conditions. They just need to reflect in this way in other parts of the section, too.
  • The author has clearly done a lot of work experience and is right to discuss this in their personal statement. Just remember that you don’t need to squeeze in every single little placement.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example main body

'I was pleased to be appointed as head boy in my last year of school, and as part of this role I headed up the school safety office. I carried out inspections of the dormitories, roll calls and helped in the running of school festivals and activity days. The office I was in charge of needed to ensure the safety of every student in the school and I helped plan and lead drills to prepare the students for storms, floods and fires. This role has made me a far better leader, and I also believe that I am now far more calm and logical when working under pressure or in uncertain situations. I’ve been an editor on the online school blog for over 2 years now and the experience has taught me how to work effectively in a team when under time pressure. In order to meet my deadlines I needed to remain motivated even when working independently, and I think that the diligence and work ethic I’ve developed as a result will be incredibly useful to me as a medical student. I took on the role of financial director for both the table tennis club and Model United Nations at my school. At first I struggled with the weight of responsibility as I was in charge of all of the clubs’ money and expenditures. However, I am now a far more organised individual as I came to appreciate the value of concise paperwork and of keeping a record of my actions. I not only manage the funds of the table tennis club but am also a regular member of it. I often play independently, and the lack of a specific coach means that I have to identify my own strengths and weaknesses. I am now far better at being honest about my weaknesses and then devising strategies for working on them. The sport has also allowed me to demonstrate my ability to work well in a team, but also to get my head down and work independently when necessary.'

This example is generally well written and showcases some of the features of a good main body section. However, there are some areas that can be improved:

  • This section would benefit from the ‘show, don’t tell’ approach. Instead of explaining specific situations or events through which the candidate demonstrated certain attributes, they simply state them and then link them vaguely to a more general role or activity.
  • The bigger problem, however, is that the author mentions a wide range of skills but falls short in linking these back to medicine.  ‍ For example, after reflecting on their role in the school safety office and the leadership skills they developed as a result, the author could talk about the senior role that doctors have within the multidisciplinary team and the importance of good leadership in a medical setting.  Similarly, the author mentions their ability to work independently but should really round this off by describing how this would benefit them in medical school, as the ability to progress your learning independently is crucial to success there. The student mentions an understanding of and proficiency with paperwork and recording their actions. Doctors must constantly do this when writing notes for each patient, so the candidate should really try to mention this in their statement to explain why their skills would be useful. The mention of teamwork could be followed by an explanation of why it is important in a medical setting and how the applicant witnessed this during their medical work experience. Finally, when the student talks about being able to identify and work on their weaknesses, they could use this as an opportunity to demonstrate further insight into the medical profession by discussing the importance of revalidation and audit in the modern NHS, or talking about how important it is for doctors to be able to work on their areas of weakness. 

Better aspects of this example:

  • The applicant doesn’t simply list the activities they have been a part of, but also explains what they learned from these and the skills and attributes they developed as a result. This reflective ability is exactly what assessors will be looking for.
  • The tone of the section is appropriate. The applicant doesn’t appear arrogant or over-confident, but at the same time, they manage to paint themselves in a good light, highlighting their range of skills relevant to medicine.
  • This example uses the character count effectively. Unlike the earlier examples, almost all of the sentences serve a purpose and are succinct.
  • They demonstrate a wide range of skills, most of which are very relevant to medicine.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example 2

' I am a resilient and empathetic individual and I think that I have the qualities to thrive despite the social and academic challenges of university. Through my work experience I’ve gained an insight into the difficulties doctors face but this has not dampened my enthusiasm. My placements and voluntary work have only strengthened my commitment and dedication to studying medicine.'

The effectiveness of a conclusion depends on the rest of the statement before it, so it is hard to judge how good a conclusion is without seeing what the candidate has mentioned in the rest of their statement. Assuming this follows on logically from the statement, however, we can say that this conclusion is generally good for the following reasons:

  • It is brief, to the point, and highlights that the student holds some of the skills doctors need (this would of course need to be backed up with examples in the rest of the statement). 
  • The author doesn’t introduce any new ideas here, as that would be inappropriate, but rather reiterates their determination, which is exactly what admissions tutors want to see. 
  • The author demonstrates a balanced understanding of the demands of a medical career, illustrating this is a decision they have made rationally while considering the implications of their choice. 

As is always the case, this conclusion could still be improved:

  • The mention of the social challenges of university is a bit too honest, even though these exist for everyone. Mentioning them could give the impression that the student struggles socially (which is not something they would want to highlight), or that they intend to dive into the social side of university at the expense of their studies. 
  • If the candidate really insists on mentioning the social side, they should at least do this after discussing academics, and they should do it in the body of the statement, where they have space to explain what exactly they mean.
  • The student describes themselves as empathetic. This should be avoided, as it should be evident from the statement itself.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example 1

'Over the years I have built up a large and extensive set of medical work experiences and volunteering opportunities. These have allowed me to demonstrate my ability to communicate effectively and work in a team, and they will allow me to become a more diligent student and effective doctor. I think that this, alongside my ability and strength of character mean that I should be considered for this course. I am excited to get started and begin to put my skills to good use.'

This is a reasonably strong conclusion. It provides a to-the-point summary of why the author believes they should be selected to study medicine and shows their excitement for starting this journey. However, there are some parts of this example that could be improved: 

  • The author mentions 'ability' and 'strength of character.' These are nebulous terms and not specific to medicine or a medical degree in any way.
  • The mention of a 'large and extensive range of medical work experiences' indicates overconfidence. Medical applicants are not expected to have any medical ability or any 'large and extensive range' of medical experience, nor is it probable that this candidate actually does (otherwise they wouldn’t need to go to medical school in the first place). Rather, medical students need a suitable set of skills and attributes in order to make the most of their medical education and become an effective doctor.
  • On a similar note, the applicant says that their range of medical work experience will make them a better student and doctor, but this is only true if they can reflect on their experience and learn from it. Impassively watching an operation or clinic without properly engaging with it won’t make you a better doctor in the future.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example

We’ll now go on to look at an example of a strong personal statement. No personal statement is perfect, but this example demonstrates a good level of reflection, engagement and suitability to study medicine (we know this because the writer of this statement went on to receive four offers). 

It goes without saying that plagiarism of any of these examples is a bad idea. They are known to medical schools and will be flagged up when run through plagiarism detection software. 

Use these as examples of ways you could structure your own statement, how to reflect on experiences, and how to link them back to medicine and demonstrate suitable insight and motivation. 

'It is the coupling of patient-centred care with evidence-based science that draws me to medicine. The depth of medical science enthrals me, but seeing complex pathology affecting a real person is what drives home my captivation. As a doctor, you are not only there for people during their most vulnerable moments but are empowered by science to offer them help, and this capacity for doing good alongside the prospect of lifelong learning intrigues me. In recent years I have stayed busy academically - despite my medical focus I have kept a range of interests, studying Spanish and German to grow my social and cultural awareness and playing the violin and drums in groups to improve my confidence when working in teams and performing. This is similar to the team-working environment that dominates in medical settings, and I have found that my awareness of other cultures is a great help when interacting with the hugely diverse range of patients I meet during my volunteering work. The independent projects I am undertaking for my A-levels teach me how to rigorously construct and perform experiments, process data and present findings, developing my written communication. My work experience showed me the importance of these skills when making patients’ notes, and of course, medical academia must be concisely written and well constructed and communicated. Maths teaches me to problem-solve and recognise patterns, vital skills in diagnosis. Over the past two years, I have actively sought out and planned work experience and volunteering opportunities. My time last year in Critical Care showed me the importance of communication in healthcare to ensure patients understand their diagnosis and feel comfortable making decisions. I saw the value of empathy and patience when a doctor talked to a patient refusing to take her insulin and suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis. They tried to understand her position and remain compassionate despite her refusal. My experience deepened my insight into the realities of a medical career, as we were at the hospital for more than ten hours a day with breaks and lunches cut short by bleeps or calls from the ward. This helped me understand the physical resilience required by staff as I also came to appreciate the immense emotional burden they often had to bear. Despite this, the brilliant staff remained motivated and compassionate which I found inspirational. The Brighton and Sussex Medical School work experience and Observe GP courses I completed put emphasis on the value of holistic, patient-centred care, introducing me to specialities I had not previously considered such as geriatrics and oncology. Inspired by my experience I explored a variety of specialisms, reading memoirs (Do no harm) and textbooks (Oxford handbook of clinical medicine) alike. I investigated medical politics with my English persuasive piece, discussing the ethics behind the junior doctor strikes of 2016. I have been volunteering in a hospital ward since January, which helps improve my confidence and communication skills when talking to patients and relatives. I showed my ability to deal with unexpected situations when I found a patient smoking whilst on oxygen, and acted quickly to tell nurses. Over lockdown I felt privileged offering lonely patients some tea and a chat and seeing their mood change - it taught me that medicine is about treating patients as individuals, not a diagnosis. My work on the hospital door taught me to stay calm and interact assuredly with visitors, vital skills in public-service jobs like medicine. I coach tennis at a local club, planning and running sessions for younger children. I am responsible for players' safety and must manage risk while showing leadership qualities by making the sessions fun and inclusive. As a player, I am part of the self-run performance team, which forces me to better my ability without coaching. This means developing self-reflection and insight into my weaknesses, which I know to be integral skills for medics. One of the doctors I shadowed during my work experience was just starting her revalidation process and I saw the importance of self-awareness and honest reflection in meeting her targets and becoming a better doctor. I achieved my Gold Duke of Edinburgh certificate of achievement (and the Bronze and Silver awards), exhibiting my commitment and ability to self-reflect and improve. On our Silver expedition, we experienced severe rain, showing resilience by continuing when our kit was wet from day one. My diligence and academic ability will allow me to thrive in medical school, and I have the prerequisite qualities to become a compassionate and effective doctor. Despite the obstacles, I am determined to earn the privilege of being able to improve peoples' health. This is something that excites me and a career I would happily dedicate my life to.'

Strong personal statement example analysis

Introduction.

This statement is a good example of how a personal statement should be constructed and presented. The introduction is short and to the point, only dealing with the candidate’s motivations to study medicine while also demonstrating an insight into what the career involves. 

They demonstrate their insight briefly by mentioning that medicine involves lifelong learning. This is often seen as one of the challenges associated with the career but here they present it as an advantage which makes them seem more suited to the career. It also show they're a curious and interested individual who enjoys learning. 

The introduction's final sentence offers an opportunity for interviewers to probe the candidate further, to explore their curiosity, and ask them to explain what exactly attracts them to lifelong learning. An astute candidate would recognise this and try to think of a suitable answer in advance.

Paragraph 2 

The second paragraph opens the body of the statement by exploring the author’s academic interests. As with some of the previous example body paragraphs, the writer shows their reflective ability by explaining what each of their subjects taught them, and the skills they developed and demonstrated as a result. They improve upon this further by linking these skills back to medicine and explaining why they are important for doctors. 

This paragraph demonstrates the author’s work-life balance by showing their varied interests in languages and music, all without wasting characters by saying this directly. They also mention the diverse range of patients they encountered during their volunteering, which again implies an empathetic and conscientious nature while showing an insight into a medical career (particularly regarding the vast diversity of the patient cohort treated by the NHS). 

Their explanation of the relevance of maths could be more detailed, but again this could be something the applicant is hoping to be questioned on at interview. The candidate comes across as thoughtful and multi-talented, with the ability to reflect on their decisions and experiences, and with a suitable insight into how their strengths would play well into a medical career. 

In this particular paragraph, there isn’t much explanation as to how they drew their inferences about what a medical career entails from their volunteering and work experience (and what exactly these entailed), but these are explored in more detail later in the statement.

P aragraphs 3 and 4 

The next two paragraphs discuss the candidate’s work experience, beginning with a single work experience placement in detail. This is a better approach than the large lists of placements seen in the previous example body paragraphs. The author talks about a specific scenario and shows that they paid attention during their shadowing while also illustrating their ability to reflect on these experiences and the precise skills involved. 

The skills they mention here – communication, empathy, resilience – are skills that they specifically talk about developing and demonstrating through their activities in other parts of the statement. This shows that they have taken their learning and used it to inform the focus of their personal development. They also not only state that these skills are important for medics, but also explain why this is. For example, they explain that communication is important in helping patients relax and engage with their healthcare, and that resilience is required to deal with the antisocial hours.

In this section, the applicant briefly mentions a specific medical condition. This shows that they were engaging with the science during their placement and also provides interviewers with an opportunity to test the applicant’s scientific knowledge. Knowing this, the candidate would likely research diabetic ketoacidosis in order to be able to impress the panel. 

The author mentions some other virtual work experience opportunities they’ve been involved with and sets themselves up to discuss what these placements taught them. They then go on to explain the actions they took as a result of this, showing that they really engaged with the virtual placements and could identify what they learned and their areas of weakness. This is linked well to further reading and research they carried out, which illustrates their curiosity and engagement with medical science and literature. 

The reference to the junior doctor strikes at the end shows that they have engaged with medical news as well as the ethical side of medicine, which is something that many medical schools place a lot of emphasis on at interviews. Ideally, this section would explain how exactly they explored these different specialties and illustrate what they learned and how they developed their learning from the books mentioned.

Paragraphs 5 and 6 

These paragraphs discuss the applicant’s hospital volunteering and other extracurricular activities. The applicant doesn’t just state that they’ve volunteered in a hospital but goes into depth about the precise skills they developed as a result. They include an anecdote to illustrate their ability to react quickly and calmly in emergency situations, which is a great way to show that they’ve been paying attention (though this should really be backed up with an explanation as to why this is important in medicine). 

The candidate also shows their patient-centred approach when discussing how they cared for demoralised patients (again illustrating empathy and compassion). This style of healthcare is something that the modern NHS is really trying to promote, so showing an awareness of this and an aptitude for applying it practically will really impress your assessors. 

The author demonstrates another core attribute for medical students when talking about how their work on the front door of the hospital improved their confidence in communication, and they once more link this back to medicine. This last section could benefit from further explanation regarding the nature of their work on the hospital door and exactly how they developed these skills. 

In the second of these sections, the candidate simultaneously reflects on the skills they learnt from their tennis and explains how these apply to medicine, showing insight into the profession by mentioning and showing awareness of the process of revalidation. This will show assessors that the candidate paid attention during their work experience, reflected on what they learned, and then identified a way they could work on these skills in their own life.

The author name-checks the Duke of Edinburgh Award but then goes on to explain how exactly this helped them grow as a person. They link back to resilience, a skill they mentioned in an earlier section as being important for medics.

The conclusion is succinct and direct. Although clichéd in parts, it does a good job of summarising the points the candidate has made throughout the statement. They demonstrate confidence and dedication, not by introducing any confusing new information, but rather by remaking and reinforcing some of the author’s original claims from the introduction.

The following example illustrates how not to approach your personal statement. Now that you’ve read through the analysis of previous example passages and a complete example statement, try going through this statement yourself to identify the main recurring weaknesses and points for improvement. We’ve pointed out a few of the main ones at the end. You can even redraft it as a practice exercise.

' ‍ The combination of science with empathy and compassion is what attracts me most to a career in medicine. However, I wanted to ensure that the career was right for me so I attended a Medic Insight course in my local hospital. I enjoyed the course and it gave me new insight - the lectures and accounts from medical students and doctors helped me realise that medicine was the career for me. I was also introduced to the concept of the diagnostic puzzle which now particularly interests me. This is the challenge doctors face when trying to make a diagnosis, as they have to avoid differential diagnoses and use their skills and past experiences to come to a decision and produce the right prognosis. In order to gain further insight into both the positives and downsides of being a doctor, I organised some work experience in my local GP’s surgery. I managed to see consultations for chest pain, headaches, contraception and some chronic conditions which was very interesting. I also sat in on and observed the asthma clinic, which proved to be a very educational experience. During my experience, I tried to chat to as many doctors as possible about their jobs and what they enjoyed. I recently took up some work volunteering in a local elderly care home. Many of the residents had quite complex needs making it arduous work, but I learned a lot about caring for different people and some appropriate techniques for making them feel comfortable and at home. I became a better communicator as a result of my experience Nevertheless I really enjoyed my time there and I found it fulfilling when the patients managed to have fun or see their family. I appreciated how doctors often have high job satisfaction, as when I managed to facilitate a resident to do something not otherwise available to them I felt like I was making a real difference. My academic interests have also been very useful in developing skills that will be crucial as a doctor. I chose to study Physics and business at a-level and these have helped me develop more of an interest in scientific research and understanding; I’ve also become a more logical thinker as a result of the challenging questions we receive in physics exams. I know how important communication is as a doctor so I chose to study Mandarin, a language I know to be spoken widely around the globe. I was the lead violin in my school orchestra and also took part in the wind band, showing that I was willing to throw myself into school life. I really enjoyed our school’s concert, in which I had to perform a solo and demonstrate that I could stay calm under pressure and cope with great responsibility and i think that I’m now a better leader. This skill has also been improved in roles within my school on the pupil council and as form captain, which have improved my self-confidence. I needed to work hard in order to achieve my bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and have dedicated much of my time outside school to this endeavour over the past few years. I endured weekly sessions of Taekwondo, worked voluntarily in the charity shop Barnardo’s and took part in violin lessons.  As I’ve demonstrated throughout this statement I have an affinity for music, and so at university I plan to get involved with orchestras and bands. I also want to widen my horizons and discover new interests and hobbies, while trying to make new friends and cultivate a good work-life balance. I’m also keen to hike in the university’s surrounding territories. If I were allowed to study medicine, it would not only allow me to achieve one of my life goals, but to prove to you that I can become an effective, and successful doctor. I am absolutely dedicated to the study of medicine and know that I have the prerequisite skils and qualities to thrive in medical school and become a credit to your institution.”

Weak personal statement example analysis

  • This personal statement does have some promising features, but overall it isn’t well structured and lacks appropriate reflection and insight. You can see this by comparing it to the strong example above. The author in this weak example very rarely describes what exactly they learned or gained from an experience and rarely links this back to medicine. 
  • It reads quite like a list, with the candidate reeling off the experiences they’ve had or activities they’ve taken part in, without going into any real depth. They also use some vocabulary that implies that they really weren’t enjoying these experiences, such as when they speak of ‘enduring’ their time doing taekwondo, or of caring for residents being ‘arduous’ work. You don’t have to enjoy every activity you take part in, but implying that caring for people (a huge part of the job you are applying for and claiming to enjoy) is something you consider a chore isn’t a great start. This statement also has some questionable grammar and punctuation errors, which raises a red flag. Don’t forget to proofread your statement carefully before you submit it.
  • The candidate often starts off their sections in a promising way. For example, by stating that they started volunteering in a local GP practice to gain more insight into the profession, but they rarely actually follow through on this. You never find out what insight the candidate actually gained or how they used this to inform their decision to apply for medicine. 
  • Such lack of explanation and specificity is a theme throughout the statement. In the introduction, they say that personal accounts and lectures confirmed their wish to become a doctor, but they don’t actually explain how or why. They mention that their school subjects have helped them think more logically or improved their communication skills (which is good), but then they never go on to explain why this is relevant to medicine. They talk about leadership and self-confidence but again don’t link this back to the importance of self-confidence and the prominence of leadership in a medical setting.

To create an effective medicine personal statement, you need to provide plenty of detail. This includes concrete experiences demonstrating qualities that make a good doctor. If you can do this authentically, humbly and without selling yourself short, your personal statement will be in very good shape.

‍ ‍ If you're looking for more inspiration to craft a compelling medicine personal statement, check out our Personal Statement Online Course . It has over 100 personal statement examples, in-depth tutorials, and guidance from admissions experts, to help you create a ready-to-submit personal statement in just three days.

Lost for words?

Need a helping hand?

Create a ready-to-submit PS in 3 days

Find your voice with medify’s ps course.

Personal Statement for Medical and Dental Schools

Personal Statement Examples for Dentistry

—Get into Medical School

online courses

Guides & information, useful links & resources.

medicine personal statements

  • Medical School Application

Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got 6 Acceptances

Featured Admissions Expert: Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got 6 Acceptances

These 30 exemplary medical school personal statement examples come from our students who enrolled in one of our application review programs. Most of these examples led to multiple acceptance for our students. For instance, the first example got our student accepted into SIX medical schools. Here's what you'll find in this article: We'll first go over 30 medical school personal statement samples, then we'll provide you a step-by-step guide for composing your own outstanding statement from scratch. If you follow this strategy, you're going to have a stellar statement whether you apply to the most competitive or the easiest medical schools to get into .

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free initial consultation here <<

Listen to the blog!

Article Contents 36 min read

Stellar medical school personal statement examples that got multiple acceptances, medical school personal statement example #1.

I made my way to Hillary’s house after hearing about her alcoholic father’s incarceration. Seeing her tearfulness and at a loss for words, I took her hand and held it, hoping to make things more bearable. She squeezed back gently in reply, “thank you.” My silent gesture seemed to confer a soundless message of comfort, encouragement and support.

Through mentoring, I have developed meaningful relationships with individuals of all ages, including seven-year-old Hillary. Many of my mentees come from disadvantaged backgrounds; working with them has challenged me to become more understanding and compassionate. Although Hillary was not able to control her father’s alcoholism and I had no immediate solution to her problems, I felt truly fortunate to be able to comfort her with my presence. Though not always tangible, my small victories, such as the support I offered Hillary, hold great personal meaning. Similarly, medicine encompasses more than an understanding of tangible entities such as the science of disease and treatment—to be an excellent physician requires empathy, dedication, curiosity and love of problem solving. These are skills I have developed through my experiences both teaching and shadowing inspiring physicians.

Medicine encompasses more than hard science. My experience as a teaching assistant nurtured my passion for medicine; I found that helping students required more than knowledge of organic chemistry. Rather, I was only able to address their difficulties when I sought out their underlying fears and feelings. One student, Azra, struggled despite regularly attending office hours. She approached me, asking for help. As we worked together, I noticed that her frustration stemmed from how intimidated she was by problems. I helped her by listening to her as a fellow student and normalizing her struggles. “I remember doing badly on my first organic chem test, despite studying really hard,” I said to Azra while working on a problem. “Really? You’re a TA, shouldn’t you be perfect?” I looked up and explained that I had improved my grades through hard work. I could tell she instantly felt more hopeful, she said, “If you could do it, then I can too!” When she passed, receiving a B+;I felt as if I had passed too. That B+ meant so much: it was a tangible result of Azra’s hard work, but it was also symbol of our dedication to one another and the bond we forged working together.

My passion for teaching others and sharing knowledge emanates from my curiosity and love for learning. My shadowing experiences in particular have stimulated my curiosity and desire to learn more about the world around me. How does platelet rich plasma stimulate tissue growth? How does diabetes affect the proximal convoluted tubule? My questions never stopped. I wanted to know everything and it felt very satisfying to apply my knowledge to clinical problems.

Shadowing physicians further taught me that medicine not only fuels my curiosity; it also challenges my problem solving skills. I enjoy the connections found in medicine, how things learned in one area can aid in coming up with a solution in another. For instance, while shadowing Dr. Steel I was asked, “What causes varicose veins and what are the complications?” I thought to myself, what could it be? I knew that veins have valves and thought back to my shadowing experience with Dr. Smith in the operating room. She had amputated a patient’s foot due to ulcers obstructing the venous circulation. I replied, “veins have valves and valve problems could lead to ulcers.” Dr. Steel smiled, “you’re right, but it doesn’t end there!” Medicine is not disconnected; it is not about interventional cardiology or orthopedic surgery. In fact, medicine is intertwined and collaborative. The ability to gather knowledge from many specialties and put seemingly distinct concepts together to form a coherent picture truly attracts me to medicine.

It is hard to separate science from medicine; in fact, medicine is science. However, medicine is also about people—their feelings, struggles and concerns. Humans are not pre-programmed robots that all face the same problems. Humans deserve sensitive and understanding physicians. Humans deserve doctors who are infinitely curious, constantly questioning new advents in medicine. They deserve someone who loves the challenge of problem solving and coming up with innovative individualized solutions. I want to be that physician. I want to be able to approach each case as a unique entity and incorporate my strengths into providing personalized care for my patients. Until that time, I may be found Friday mornings in the operating room, peering over shoulders, dreaming about the day I get to hold the drill.

Let's take a step back to consider what this medical school personal statement example does, not just what it says. It begins with an engaging hook in the first paragraph and ends with a compelling conclusion. The introduction draws you in, making the essay almost impossible to put down, while the conclusion paints a picture of someone who is both passionate and dedicated to the profession. In between the introduction and conclusion, this student makes excellent use of personal narrative. The anecdotes chosen demonstrate this individual's response to the common question, " Why do you want to be a doctor ?" while simultaneously making them come across as compassionate, curious, and reflective. The essay articulates a number of key qualities and competencies, which go far beyond the common trope, I want to be a doctor because I want to help people.

This person is clearly a talented writer, but this was the result of several rounds of edits with one of our medical school admissions consulting team members and a lot of hard work on the student's part. If your essay is not quite there yet, or if you're just getting started, don't sweat it. Do take note that writing a good personal essay takes advanced planning and significant effort.

I was one of those kids who always wanted to be doctor. I didn’t understand the responsibilities and heartbreaks, the difficult decisions, and the years of study and training that go with the title, but I did understand that the person in the white coat stood for knowledge, professionalism, and compassion. As a child, visits to the pediatrician were important events. I’d attend to my hair and clothes, and travel to the appointment in anticipation. I loved the interaction with my doctor. I loved that whoever I was in the larger world, I could enter the safe space of the doctor’s office, and for a moment my concerns were heard and evaluated. I listened as my mother communicated with the doctor. I’d be asked questions, respectfully examined, treatments and options would be weighed, and we would be on our way. My mother had been supported in her efforts to raise a well child, and I’d had a meaningful interaction with an adult who cared for my body and development. I understood medicine as an act of service, which aligned with my values, and became a dream.

I was hospitalized for several months as a teenager and was inspired by the experience, despite the illness. In the time of diagnosis, treatment and recovery, I met truly sick children. Children who were much more ill than me. Children who wouldn’t recover. We shared a four-bed room, and we shared our medical stories. Because of the old hospital building, there was little privacy in our room, and we couldn’t help but listen-in during rounds, learning the medical details, becoming “experts” in our four distinct cases. I had more mobility than some of the patients, and when the medical team and family members were unavailable, I’d run simple errands for my roommates, liaise informally with staff, and attend to needs. To bring physical relief, a cold compress, a warmed blanket, a message to a nurse, filled me with such an intense joy and sense of purpose that I applied for a volunteer position at the hospital even before my release.

I have since been volunteering in emergency departments, out-patient clinics, and long term care facilities. While the depth of human suffering is at times shocking and the iterations of illness astounding, it is in the long-term care facility that I had the most meaningful experiences by virtue of my responsibilities and the nature of the patients’ illnesses. Charles was 55 when he died. He had early onset Parkinson’s Disease with dementia that revealed itself with a small tremor when he was in his late twenties. Charles had a wife and three daughters who visited regularly, but whom he didn’t often remember. Over four years as a volunteer, my role with the family was to fill in the spaces left by Charles’ periodic inability to project his voice as well as his growing cognitive lapses. I would tell the family of his activities between their visits, and I would remind him of their visits and their news. This was a hard experience for me. I watched as 3 daughters, around my own age, incrementally lost their father. I became angry, and then I grew even more determined.

In the summer of third year of my Health Sciences degree, I was chosen to participate in an undergraduate research fellowship in biomedical research at my university. As part of this experience, I worked alongside graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, physicians, and faculty in Alzheimer’s research into biomarkers that might predict future disease. We collaborated in teams, and by way of the principal investigator’s careful leadership, I learned wherever one falls in terms of rank, each contribution is vital to the outcome. None of the work is in isolation. For instance, I was closely mentored by Will, a graduate student who had been in my role the previous summer. He, in turn, collaborated with post docs and medical students, turning to faculty when roadblocks were met. While one person’s knowledge and skill may be deeper than another’s, individual efforts make up the whole. Working in this team, aside from developing research skills, I realized that practicing medicine is not an individual pursuit, but a collaborative commitment to excellence in scholarship and leadership, which all begins with mentorship.

Building on this experience with teamwork in the lab, I participated in a global health initiative in Nepal for four months, where I worked alongside nurses, doctors, and translators. I worked in mobile rural health camps that offered tuberculosis care, monitored the health and development of babies and children under 5, and tended to minor injuries. We worked 11-hour days helping hundreds of people in the 3 days we spent in each location. Patients would already be in line before we woke each morning. I spent each day recording basic demographic information, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, weight, height, as well as random blood sugar levels, for each patient, before they lined up to see a doctor. Each day was exhausting and satisfying. We helped so many people. But this satisfaction was quickly displaced by a developing understanding of issues in health equity.

My desire to be doctor as a young person was not misguided, but simply naïve. I’ve since learned the role of empathy and compassion through my experiences as a patient and volunteer. I’ve broadened my contextual understanding of medicine in the lab and in Nepal. My purpose hasn’t changed, but what has developed is my understanding that to be a physician is to help people live healthy, dignified lives by practicing both medicine and social justice.

28 More Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got Accepted

What my sister went through pushed me to strengthen my knowledge in medical education, patient care, and research. These events have influenced who I am today and helped me determine my own passions. I aspire to be a doctor because I want to make miracles, like my sister, happen. Life is something to cherish; it would not be the same if I did not have one of my four sisters to spend it with. As all stories have endings, I hope that mine ends with me fulfilling my dream of being a doctor, which has been the sole focus of my life to this point. I would love nothing more than to dedicate myself to such a rewarding career, where I achieve what those doctors did for my family. Their expertise allowed my sister to get all the care she needed for her heart, eyes, lungs, and overall growth. Those physicians gave me more than just my little sister, they gave me the determination and focus needed to succeed in the medical field, and for that, I am forever grateful. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #3","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #3"}]" code="tab4" template="BlogArticle">

I came to America, leaving my parents and friends behind, to grasp my chance at a better future. I believe this chance is now in front of me. Medicine is the only path I truly desire because it satisfies my curiosity about the human body and it allows me to directly interact with patients. I do not want to miss this chance to further hone my skills and knowledge, in order to provide better care for my patients. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement #4","title":"Medical School Personal Statement #4"}]" code="tab5" template="BlogArticle">

The time I have spent in various medical settings has confirmed my love for the field. Regardless of the environment, I am drawn to patients and their stories, like that scared young boy at AMC. I am aware that medicine is a constantly changing landscape; however, one thing that has remained steadfast over the years is putting the patient first, and I plan on doing this as a physician. All of my experiences have taught me a great deal about patient interaction and global health, however, I am left wanting more. I crave more knowledge to help patients and become more useful in the healthcare sector. I am certain medical school is the path that will help me reach my goal. One day, I hope to use my experiences to become an amazing doctor like the doctors that treated my sister, so I can help other children like her. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #5","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #5"}]" code="tab6" template="BlogArticle">

My interest in the field of medicine has developed overtime, with a common theme surrounding the importance of personal health and wellness. Through my journey in sports, travelling, and meeting some incredible individuals such as Michael, I have shifted my focus from thinking solely about the physical well-being, to understanding the importance of mental, spiritual, and social health as well. Being part of a profession that emphasizes continuous education, and application of knowledge to help people is very rewarding, and I will bring compassion, a hard work ethic and an attitude that is always focused on bettering patient outcomes. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example # 7","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example # 7"}]" code="tab8" template="BlogArticle">

Medicine embodies a hard science, but it is ultimately a profession that treats people. I have seen firsthand that medicine is not a \u201cone-treatment-fits-all\u201d practice, as an effective physician takes a holistic approach. This is the type of physician I aspire to be: one who refuses to shy away from the humanity of patients and their social context, and one who uses research and innovation to improve the human condition. So, when I rethink \u201cwhy medicine?\u201d, I know it\u2019s for me \u2013 because it is a holistic discipline, because it demands all of me, because I am ready to absorb the fascinating knowledge and science that dictates human life, and engage with humanity in a way no other profession allows for. Until the day that I dawn the coveted white coat, you can find me in inpatient units, comforting the many John\u2019s to come, or perhaps at the back of an operating room observing a mitral valve repair \u2013 dreaming of the day the puck is in my zone. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #8","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #8"}]" code="tab9" template="BlogArticle">

When I signed up to be a live DJ, I didn't know that the oral skills I practiced on-air would influence all aspects of my life, let alone lead me to consider a career in the art of healing. I see now, though, the importance of these key events in my life that have allowed me to develop excellent communication skills--whether that be empathic listening, reading and giving non-verbal cues, or verbal communication. I realize I have always been on a path towards medicine. Ultimately, I aim to continue to strengthen my skills as I establish my role as a medical student and leader: trusting my choices, effectively communicating, and taking action for people in need. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #9","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #9"}]" code="tab10" template="BlogArticle">

\u201cWhy didn\u2019t I pursue medicine sooner?\u201d Is the question that now occupies my mind. Leila made me aware of the unprofessional treatment delivered by some doctors. My subsequent activities confirmed my desire to become a doctor who cares deeply for his patients and provides the highest quality care. My passion for research fuels my scientific curiosity. I will continue to advocate for patient equality and fairness. Combining these qualities will allow me to succeed as a physician. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #10","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #10"}]" code="tab11" template="BlogArticle">

Medical school personal statement example: #11

Medical school personal statement example: #12, medical school personal statement example: #13, medical school personal statement example: #14, medical school personal statement example: #15, medical school personal statement example: #16, medical school personal statement example: #17, medical school personal statement example: #18, medical school personal statement example: #19, medical school personal statement example: #20, medical school personal statement example: #21, medical school personal statement example: #22, medical school personal statement example: #23, medical school personal statement example: #24, medical school personal statement example: #25, medical school personal statement example: #26, medical school personal statement example: #27, medical school personal statement example: #28, medical school personal statement example: #29, medical school personal statement example: #30.

Please note that all personal statements are the property of the students who wrote them, re-printed with permission. Names and identifying characteristics have been changed. Plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements. Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification from the application. ","label":"NOTE","title":"NOTE"}]" code="tab2" template="BlogArticle">

As one of the most important  medical school requirements , the personal statement tells your story of why you decided to pursue the medical profession. Keep in mind that personal statements are one of the key factors that affect medical school acceptance rates . This is why it's important to write a stellar essay!

“Personal statements are often emphasized in your application to medical school as this singular crucial factor that distinguishes you from every other applicant. Demonstrating the uniqueness of my qualities is precisely how I found myself getting multiple interviews and offers into medical school.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

But this is easier said than done. In fact, medical school personal statements remain one of the most challenging parts of students' journeys to medical school. Here's our student Melissa sharing her experience of working on her personal statement:

"I struggled making my personal statement personal... I couldn't incorporate my feelings, motives and life stories that inspired me to pursue medicine into my personal statement" -Melissa, BeMo Student

Our student Rishi, who is now a student at the Carver College of Medicine , learned about the importance of the medical school personal statement the hard way:

"If you're a reapplicant like me, you know we all dread it but you have to get ready to answer what has changed about your application that we should accept you this time. I had an existing personal statement that did not get me in the first time so there was definitely work to be done." - Rishi, BeMo Student

The importance of the medical school personal statement can actually increase if you are applying to medical school with any red flags or setbacks, as our student Kannan did:

"I got 511 on my second MCAT try... My goal was anything over median of 510 so anything over that was honestly good with me because it's just about [creating] a good personal statement at that point... I read online about how important the personal statement [is]... making sure [it's] really polished and so that's when I decided to get some professional help." - Kannan, BeMo Student

As you can see from these testimonials, your medical school personal statement can really make a difference. So we are here to help you get started writing your own personal statement. Let's approach this step-by-step. Below you will see how we will outline the steps to creating your very best personal statement. And don't forget that if you need to see more examples, you can also check out our AMCAS personal statement examples, AACOMAS personal statement examples and TMDSAS personal statement examples to further inspire you!

Here's a quick run-down of what we'll cover in the article:

Now let's dive in deeper!

#1 Understanding the Qualities of a Strong Med School Personal Statement

Before discussing how to write a strong medical school personal statement, we first need to understand the qualities of a strong essay. Similar to crafting strong medical school secondary essays , writing a strong personal statement is a challenging, yet extremely important, part of your MD or MD-PhD programs applications. Your AMCAS Work and Activities section may show the reader what you have done, but the personal statement explains why. This is how Dr. Neel Mistry, MD and our admissions expert, prepared for his medical school personal statement writing:

"The personal statement is an opportunity for you to shine and really impress the committee to invite you for an interview. The personal statement is your chance to be reflective and go beyond what is stated on your CV and [activities]. In order to stand out, it is important to answer the main questions [of medical school personal statements] well: a bit about yourself and what led you to medicine, why you would make an ideal medical student and future physician, what attracts you to [medicine], and what sets you apart from the other candidates. The key here is answering the last two questions well. Most candidates simply highlight what they have done, but do not reflect on it or mention how what they have done has prepared them for a future medical career." - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD

“my essay also focused on volunteering in the local health clinic during the many summer breaks. volunteering was more than just another activity to tick off my bucket list for my medical school … i volunteered because i wanted to view medical practice through the lenses of already qualified doctors, not because i needed a reason to be a doctor. i understood that the admissions committee would be more interested in how i was motivated.” – dr. vincent adeyemi, md.

A personal statement should be deeply personal, giving the admissions committee insight into your passions and your ultimate decision to pursue a career in medicine. A compelling and introspective personal statement can make the difference between getting an interview and facing medical school rejection . Review our blogs to find out how to prepare for med school interviews and learn the most common medical school interview questions .

As you contemplate the task in front of you, you may be wondering what composing an essay has to do with entering the field of medicine. Many of our students were surprised to learn that medical school personal statements are so valued by med schools. The two things are more closely related than you think. A compelling personal statement demonstrates your written communication skills and highlights your accomplishments, passions, and aspirations. The ability to communicate a complex idea in a short space is an important skill as a physician. You should demonstrate your communication skills by writing a concise and meaningful statement that illustrates your best attributes. Leaving a lasting impression on your reader is what will lead to interview invitations.

A quick note: if you are applying to schools that do not require the formal medical school personal statement, such as medical schools in Canada , you should still learn how to write such essays. Many medical schools in Ontario , for example, ask for short essays for supplementary questionnaires. These are very similar to the personal statement. Knowing how to brainstorm, write, and format your answers is key to your success!!!

You want to give yourself as much time as possible to write your statement. Do not think you can do this in an evening or even in a week. Some statements take months. My best statement took almost a year to get right. Allow yourself time and start early to avoid added stress. Think of the ideas you want to include and brainstorm possible ways to highlight these ideas. Ask your friends for ideas or even brainstorm your ideas with people you trust. Get some feedback early to make sure you are headed in the right direction.

“I wrote scores of essays at my desk in those few weeks leading up to application submission. I needed it to be perfect. Do not let anyone tell you to settle. There was no moment when I had this shining light from the sky filtering into my room to motivate me. The ultimate trick is to keep writing. It is impossible to get that perfect essay on the first try, and you may not even get it on your fifteenth attempt, but the goal is to keep at it, keep making those edits, and never back down.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

All personal statements for medical school, often start by explaining why medicine is awesome; the admission committee already knows that. You should explain why you want a career in medicine. What is it about the practice of medicine that resonates with who you are? Naturally, this takes a lot of reflection around who you are. Here are some additional questions you can consider as you go about brainstorming for your essay:

  • What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  • What is something you want them to know about you that isn't in your application?
  • Where were you born, how did you grow up, and what type of childhood did you have growing up (perhaps including interesting stories about your siblings, parents, grandparents)?
  • What kinds of early exposure to the medical field left an impression on you as a child?
  • Did you become familiar with and interested in the field of medicine at an early stage of your life? If so, why?
  • What are your key strengths, and how have you developed these?
  • What steps did you take to familiarize yourself with the medical profession?
  • Did you shadow a physician? Did you volunteer or work in a clinical setting? Did you get involved in medical research?
  • What challenges have you faced? Have these made an impact on what you chose to study?
  • What are your favorite activities?
  • What kinds of extracurriculars for medical school or volunteer work have you done, and how have these shaped who you are, your priorities, and or your perspectives on a career in medicine?
  • What was your "Aha!" moment?
  • When did your desire to become a doctor solidify?
  • How did you make the decision to apply to medical school?

You shouldn't try to answer all of these in your essay. Try only a few main points that will carry over into the final draft. Use these to brainstorm and gather ideas. Start developing your narrative by prioritizing the most impactful responses to these prompts and the ideas that are most relevant to your own experiences and goals. The perfect personal statement not only shows the admissions committee that you have refined communication skills, but also conveys maturity and professionalism. It should also display your motivation and suitability for medical practice. Here's how our student Alison, who was a non-traditional applicant with a serious red flag in her application, used her brainstorming sessions with our admissions experts to get a theme going in her medical school personal statement and her overall application package:

"I think it was during my brainstorming session that we really started talking about... what the theme [was] going to be for my application. And I think that was really helpful in and of itself. Just [reflecting] 'Hey, what's your focus going to be like? How are we going to write this? What's the style going to be?' Just to create an element of consistency throughout..." Alison, BeMo Student, current student at Dell Medical School 

After brainstorming, you should be able to clearly see a few key ideas, skills, qualities, and intersections that you want to write about. Once you've isolated the elements you want to explore in your essay (usually 2-4 key ideas), you can begin building your outline. In terms of structure, this should follow the standard academic format, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

As you begin thinking about what to include in your personal essay, remember that you are writing for a specific audience with specific expectations. Your evaluator will be familiar with the key qualities desired by medical schools, as informed by the standards of the profession. But keep in mind that they too are human, and they respond well to well-crafted, engaging essays that tell a story. Here's what our student Alison had to share about keeping your audience in mind when writing your personal statement:

"Make it easy for the reader to be able to work [their] way through [your personal statement]. Because, at the end of the day, I think one thing that helped me a lot was being able to think about who was going to be reading this application and it's going to be these people that are sitting around a desk or sitting at a table and [go] through massive numbers of applications every single day. And the easier and more digestible that you can make it for them, gives you a little bit of a win." - Alison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

The admissions committee will be examining your essay through the lens of their particular school's mission, values, and priorities. You should think about your experiences with reference to the AAMC Core Competencies and to each school's mission statement so that you're working toward your narrative with the institution and broader discipline in mind.

The AAMC Core Competencies are the key characteristics and skills sought by U.S. medical schools. These are separated into three general categories:

You are not expected to have mastered all of these competencies at this stage of your education. Display those that are relevant to your experiences will help demonstrate your commitment to the medical profession.

Review the school's mission statement: Educational institutions put a lot of time and care into drafting their school's vision. The mission statement will articulate the overall values and priorities of each university, giving you insight into what they might seek in candidates, and thus what you should try to display in your personal statement. Echoing the values of the university helps illustrate that you are a good fit for their intellectual culture. The mission statement may help you identify other priorities of the university, for example, whether they prioritize research-based or experiential-based education. All this research into your chosen medical schools will help you tremendously not only when you write you personal statement, but also the rest of your medical school application components, including your medical school letter of intent if you ever need to write one later.

Just like the personal statement is, in essence, a prompt without a prompt. They give you free rein to write your own prompt to tell your story. This is often difficult for students as they find it hard to get started without having a true direction. Below is a list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Use these prompts as a starting point for your essay. Also, they are a great way of addressing why you want to be a doctor without saying something generic.

  • The moment your passion for medicine crystallized
  • The events that led you toward this path
  • Specific instances in which you experienced opportunities
  • Challenges that helped shape your worldview
  • Your compassion, resilience, or enthusiastic collaboration
  • Demonstrate your commitment to others
  • Your dependability
  • Your leadership skills
  • Your ability to problem-solve or to resolve a conflict

These are personal, impactful experiences that only you have had. Focus on the personal, and connect that to the values of your future profession. Do that and you will avoid writing the same essay as everyone else. Dr. Monica Taneja, MD and our admissions expert, shares her tip that got her accepted to the University of Maryland School of Medicine :

"I focused on my journey to medicine and opportunities that I sought out along the way. Everyone’s path and validation is unique, so walking the reader through your growth to the point of application will naturally be different, but that's what I wanted to share in my personal statement." - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

“the essay is not about what you have been through; it's about who it made you into.” – dr. vincent adeyemi, md.

Admissions committees don't want your resumé in narrative form. The most boring essays are those of applicants listing their accomplishments. Remember, all that stuff is already in the activities section of the application. This is where you should discuss interesting or important life events that shaped you and your interest in medicine (a service trip to rural Guatemala, a death in the family, a personal experience as a patient). One suggestion is to have an overarching theme to your essay to tie everything together, starting with an anecdote. Alternatively, you can use one big metaphor or analogy through the essay. Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD and experienced admissions committee member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, encourages you to be creative when it comes to the theme of your personal statement:

"It is very easy to make the “cookie cutter” personal statement. To a reviewer who is reading tens of these at a time it can become quite boring. What I did was [tell] a story. Like any good novel, the stories' first lines are meant to hook the reader. This can be about anything if you can bring it back and relate it to your application. It could be about the time your friend was smashed up against the boards in hockey and you, with your limited first aid experience helped to treat him. It is important that the story be REAL." - Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

Your personal statement must be well-organized, showing a clear, logical progression, as well as connections between ideas. It is generally best to use a chronological progression since this mirrors your progression into a mature adult and gives you the opportunity to illustrate how you learned from early mistakes later on. Carry the theme throughout the statement to achieve continuity and cohesion. Use the theme to links ideas from each paragraph to the next and to unite your piece.

Medical School Personal Statement Structure

When working toward the initial draft of your essay, it is important to keep the following in mind: The essay should read like a chronological narrative and have good structure and flow. Just like any academic essay, it will need an introduction, body content, and a conclusion. If you're wondering whether a medical school advisor can help you with your medical school application, check out our blog for the answer.

Check out our video to learn how to create a killer introduction to your medical school personal statement:

Introduction

The introductory paragraph and, even more importantly, the introductory sentence of your essay, will most certainly make or break your overall statement. Ensure that you have a creative and captivating opening sentence that draws the reader in. This is your first and only chance to make a first impression and really capture the attention of the committee. Starting with an event or an Aha! moment that inspired your decision to pursue a medical profession is one way to grab their attention. The kinds of things that inspire or motivate you can say a lot about who you are as a person.

The broader introductory paragraph itself should serve several functions. First, it must draw your reader in with an eye-catching first line and an engaging hook or anecdote. It should point toward the qualities that most effectively demonstrate your desire and suitability for becoming a physician (you will discuss these qualities further in the body paragraphs). The thesis of the introduction is that you have certain skills, experiences, and characteristics and that these skills, experiences, and characteristics will lead you to thrive in the field of medicine. Finally, it must also serve as a roadmap to the reader, allowing them to understand where the remainder of the story is headed.

That is a lot of work for a single paragraph to do. To better help you envision what this looks like in practice, here is a sample introduction that hits these main points.

I was convinced I was going to grow up to be a professional chef. This was not just another far-fetched idealistic childhood dream that many of us had growing up. There was a sense of certainty about this dream that motivated me to devote countless hours to its practice. It was mostly the wonder that it brought to others and the way they were left in awe after they tried a dish that I recall enjoying the most creating as a young chef. But, when I was 13, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and I realized that sometimes cooking is not enough, as I quickly learned about the vital role physicians play in the life of everyday people like my family and myself. Although my grandfather ended up passing away from his illness, the impact that the healthcare team had on him, my family, and I will always serve as the initial starting point of my fascination with the medical profession. Since that time, I have spent years learning more about the human sciences through my undergraduate studies and research, have developed a deeper understanding of the demands and challenges of the medical profession through my various volunteer and extra-curricular experiences, and although it has been difficult along the way, I have continued to forge a more intimate fascination with the medical field that has motivated me to apply to medical school at this juncture of my life. ","label":"Sample Introduction","title":"Sample Introduction"}]" code="tab3" template="BlogArticle">

In the body of your essay, you essentially want to elaborate on the ideas that you have introduced in your opening paragraph by drawing on your personal experiences to provide evidence. Major points from the above sample introduction could be: dedication and resilience (practicing cooking for hours, and devoting years to undergraduate studies in human sciences), passion and emotional connection (being able to create something that inspired awe in others, and personally connecting with the work of the grandfather's healthcare team), motivation and drive (being inspired by the role physicians play in their patients' lives, participating in volunteer work and extracurriculars, and an enduring fascination with the field of medicine). Depending on the details, a selection of volunteer and extra-curricular experiences might also be discussed in more detail, in order to emphasize other traits like collaboration, teamwork, perseverance, or a sense of social responsibility – all key characteristics sought by medical schools. Just like an academic essay, you will devote one paragraph to each major point, explaining this in detail, supporting your claims with experiences from your life, and reflecting on the meaning of each plot point in your personal narrative, with reference to why you want to pursue a medical career.

Your final statement should not be a simple summary of the things you have discussed. It should be insightful, captivating, and leave the reader with a lasting impression. Although you want to re-emphasize the major ideas of your essay, you should try to be creative and captivating, much like your opening paragraph. Sometimes if you can link your opening idea to your last paragraph it will really tie the whole essay together. The conclusion is just as important as the introduction. It is your last chance to express your medical aspirations. You want to impress the reader while also leaving them wanting more. In this case, more would mean getting an interview so they can learn more about who you are! Leave them thinking I have got to meet this person.

The narrative you construct should display some of your most tightly held values, principles, or ethical positions, along with key accomplishments and activities. If you see yourself as someone who is committed to community service, and you have a track record of such service, your story should feature this and provide insight into why you care about your community and what you learned from your experiences. Saying that you value community service when you've never volunteered a day in your life is pointless. Stating that your family is one where we support each other through challenge and loss (if this is indeed true), is excellent because it lays the groundwork for telling a story while showing that you are orientated towards close relationships. You would then go on to offer a brief anecdote that supports this. You are showing how you live such principles, rather than just telling your reader that you have such principles:

"Remember to use specific personal examples throughout your statement to make it more impactful and memorable for the readers. Often, painting a picture in the reader’s mind in the form of a story helps with this." - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD

A lot of students make the mistake of verbalizing their personal attributes with a bunch of adjectives, such as, "This experience taught me to be a self-reliant leader, with excellent communication skills, and empathy for others..." In reality, this does nothing to convey these qualities. It's a mistake to simply list your skills or characteristics without showing the reader an example of a time you used them to solve a problem. If you simply list your skills or characteristics (telling), without demonstrating the ways you have applied them (showing), you risk coming across as arrogant. The person reading the essay may not believe you, as you've not really given them a way to see such values in your actions. It is better to construct a narrative to show the reader that you possess the traits that medical schools are looking for, rather than explicitly stating that you are an empathetic individual or capable of deep self-reflection. Instead of listing adjectives, tell your personal story and allow the admissions committee to paint the picture for themselves. This step is very challenging for many students, but it's one of the most important strategies used in successful essays. Writing this way will absolutely make your statement stand out from the rest.

While it may be tempting to write in a high academic tone, using terminology or jargon that is often complex or discipline-specific, requiring a specialized vocabulary for comprehension. You should actually aim to write for a non-specialist audience. Remember, in the world of medicine, describing a complex, clinical condition to a patient requires using specific but clear words. This is why your personal statement should show that you can do the same thing. Using large words in unwieldy ways makes you sound like you are compensating for poor communication skills. Use words that you believe most people understand. Read your personal statement back to a 14-year-old, and then again to someone for whom English is not their first language, to see if you're on the right path.

Ultimately, fancy words do not make you a good communicator; listening and ensuring reader comprehension makes you a good communicator. Instead of using complex terminology to tell the admissions committee that you have strong communication skills, show them your communication skills through clear, accessible prose, written with non-specialists in mind. A common refrain among writing instructors is, never use a $10 word where a $2 word will suffice. If you can say it in plain, accessible language, then this is what you should do.

Display Professionalism

Professionalism may seem like a difficult quality to display when only composing a personal statement. After all, the reader can't see your mannerisms, your personal style, or any of those little qualities that allow someone to appear professional. Professionalism is about respect for the experience of others on your team or in your workplace. It is displayed when you are able to step back from your own individual position and think about what is best for your colleagues and peers, considering their needs alongside your own. If a story is relevant to why you want to be a physician and demonstrates an example of how you were professional in a workplace setting, then it is appropriate to include in your essay.

One easy way to destroy a sense of professionalism is to act in a judgmental way towards others, particularly if you perceived and ultimately resolved an error on someone else's part. Sometimes students blame another medical professional for something that went wrong with a patient.

They might say something to the effect of, "The nurse kept brushing off the patient's concerns, refusing to ask the attending to increase her pain medications. Luckily, being the empathetic individual that I am, I took the time to listen to sit with the patient, eventually bringing her concerns to the attending physician, who thanked me for letting him know."

There are a couple of things wrong with this example. It seems like this person is putting down someone else in an attempt to make themselves look better. They come across as un-empathetic and judgmental of the nurse. Maybe she was having a busy day, or maybe the attending had just seen the patient for this issue and the patient didn't really need re-assessment. Reading this kind of account in a personal statement makes the reader question the maturity of the applicant and their ability to move past blaming others and resolve problems in a meaningful way. Instead of allocating blame, identify what the problem was for the patient and then focus on what you did to resolve it and reflect on what you learned from the whole experience.

One last note on professionalism: Being professional does not mean being overly stoic, hiding your emotions, or cultivating a bland personality. A lot of students are afraid to talk about how a situation made them feel in their personal statement. They worry that discussing feelings is inappropriate and will appear unprofessional. Unfortunately for these students, emotional intelligence is hugely important to the practice of medicine. In order to be a good doctor, one must be aware of their own emotions as well as those of their patients. Good doctors are able to quickly identify their own emotions and understand how their emotional reactions may inform their actions, and the ability to deliver appropriate care, in a given situation. Someone who is incapable of identifying their emotions is also incapable of managing them effectively and will likely struggle to identify the emotions of others. So, when writing your personal statement, think about how each experience made you feel, and what you learned from those feelings and that experience.

How to Write About Discrepancies and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Part of your essay's body can include a discussion of any discrepancies or gaps in your education, or disruptions in your academic performance. If you had to take time off, or if you had a term or course with low grades, or if you had any other extenuating circumstances that impacted your education, you can take time to address these here. It is very important to address these strategically. Do not approach this section as space to plead your case. Offer a brief summary of the situation, and then emphasize what you learned from such hardships. Always focus on the positive, illustrating how such difficulties made you stronger, more resilient, or more compassionate. Connect your experiences to the qualities desired by medical schools. Here's how I student Alison address an academic discrepancy in her application:

I had an academic dishonesty during undergrad, which, at the time, ended up being this big misunderstanding. But I was going to appeal this and get it off my record. I was supposed to start nursing school two weeks after this whole ordeal had gone down and, at our university, if you try to appeal your academic dishonesty then you'd have to take an incomplete in that class and I needed this class in order to start nursing school. So I wasn't able to [appeal]. So when I talked with the people at the nursing school they were like ‘it's no big deal, it's fine’. [But] it came back and it haunted me very much. When I was applying [to medical school] I started looking online [to see] how big of a deal is it to have this ‘red flag’ on my application. I started reading all of these horror stories on Student Doctor Network and all of these other forums about how if you have an academic dishonesty you shouldn't even bother applying, that you'll never get in. Schools will blacklist you and I was [wondering] what am I going do. [My advisor suggested I use the essay to talk about my discrepancy]. 

First off, if anyone out there has an academic violation don't read student doctor network. don't listen to anybody. you absolutely are still a potential medical student and schools are not going to blacklist you just because of one mistake that you made. that's all lies. don't listen to them. i don't even think it came up a single time during any of my interviews. i think a lot of that came back to how i wrote that essay and the biggest advice that i can give that i got from the [bemo] team is explain what happened… just give the facts. be very objective about it. in the last two thirds [of the essay] you want to focus on what you learned from it and how it made you a better person and how it's going to make you a better physician.” – alison, bemo student, current student at dell medical school.

We hope many of you find a peace of mind when you read Alison's story. Because it shows that with the right approach to your medical school personal statement, you can overcome even red flags or setbacks that made you dread the application process. Use your personal statement to emphasize your ability to persevere through it all but do so in a positive way. Most of all, if you feel like you have to explain yourself, take accountability for the situation. State that it is unfortunate and then redirect it to what you learned and how it will make you a better doctor. Always focus on being positive and do not lament on the negative situation too much.

Additional Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Statements:

Check out this video on the top 5 errors to avoid in your personal statement!

Step 3: Writing Your First Draft

As you can see, there is a LOT of planning and consideration to be done before actually starting your first draft. Properly brainstorming, outlining, and considering the content and style of your essay prior to beginning the essay will make the writing process much smoother than it would be you to try to jump right to the draft-writing stage. Now, you're not just staring at a blank page wondering what you could possibly write to impress the admissions committee. Instead, you've researched what the school desires from its students and what the medical profession prioritizes in terms of personal characteristics, you've sketched out some key moments from your life that exemplify those traits, and you have a detailed outline that just needs filling in.

As you're getting started, focus on getting content on the page, filling in your outline and getting your ideas arranged on the page. Your essay will go through multiple drafts and re-writes, so the first step is to free write and start articulating connections between your experiences and the characteristics you're highlighting. You can worry about flow, transitions, and perfect grammar in later drafts. The first draft is always a working draft, written with the understanding that its purpose is to act as a starting point, not an ending point. Once you've completed a draft, you can begin the revising process. The next section will break down what to do once you have your first draft completed.

You can also begin looking at things like style, voice, transitions, and overall theme. The best way to do this is to read your essay aloud. This may sound strange, but it is one of the single most impactful bits of writing advice a student can receive. When we're reading in our heads (and particularly when we're reading our own words), it is easy to skip over parts that may be awkwardly worded, or where the grammar is off. As our brains process information differently, depending on whether we're taking in visual or auditory information, this can also help you understand where the connections between ideas aren't as evident as you would like. Reading the essay aloud will help you begin internalizing the narrative you've crafted, so that you can come to more easily express this both formally in writing and informally in conversation (for example, in an interview).

#1 Did You Distinguish Yourself From Others?

Does your narrative sound unique? Is it different than your peers or did you write in a generic manner? Our admissions expert Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, shares how she got the attention of the admissions committee with her personal statement:

"I also found it helpful to give schools a 'punch-line'. As in I wanted them to remember 1-2 things about me that are my differentiators and I reiterated those throughout [the personal statement]." - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

Use your narrative to provide a compelling picture of who you are as a person, as a learner, as an advocate, and as a future medical professional. What can you offer? Remember, you will be getting a lot out of your med school experience, but the school will be getting a lot out of you, as well. You will be contributing your research efforts to your department, you will be participating in the academic community, and as you go on to become a successful medical professional you will impact the perception of your school's prestige. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, so use this opportunity to highlight what you bring to the table, and what you will contribute as a student at their institution. Let them know what it is about you that is an attribute to their program. Make them see you as a stand out from the crowd.

#2 Does My Essay Flow and is it Comprehensible?

Personal statements are a blessing and a curse for admission committees. They give them a better glimpse of who the applicant is than simple scores. Also, they are long and time-consuming to read. And often, they sound exactly alike. On occasion, a personal statement really makes an applicant shine. After reading page after page of redundant, cookie-cutter essays, an essay comes along with fluid prose and a compelling narrative, the reader snaps out of that feeling of monotony and gladly extends their enthusiastic attention.

Frankly, if the statement is pleasant to read, it will get read with more attention and appreciation. Flow is easier to craft through narrative, which is why you should root the statement in a story that demonstrates characteristics desirable to medical schools. Fluidity takes time to build, though, so your statement should be etched out through many drafts and should also be based on an outline. You need to brainstorm, then outline, then draft and re-draft, and then bring in editors and listeners for feedback (Note: You need someone to proofread your work. Bestselling authors have editors. Top scholars have editors. I need an editor. You need an editor. Everyone needs an editor). Then, check and double-check and fix anything that needs fixing. Then check again. Then submit. You want this to be a statement that captures the reader's interest by creating a fluid, comprehensible piece that leads the reader to not only read each paragraph but want to continue to the next sentence.

#3 Did You Check Your Grammar?

If you give yourself more than one night to write your statement, the chances of grammatical errors will decrease considerably. If you are pressed for time, upload your file into an online grammar website. Use the grammar checker on your word processor, but know that this, in itself, isn't enough. Use the eyes and ears of other people to check and double-check your grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Read your statement out loud to yourself and you will almost certainly find an error (and likely several errors). Use fresh eyes to review the statement several times before you actually submit it, by walking away from it for a day or so and then re-reading it. Start your essay early, so that you actually have time to do this. This step can make or break your essay. Do not waste all the effort you have put into writing, to only be discarded by the committee for using incorrect grammar and syntax.

#4 Did You Gather Feedback From Other People?

The most important tip in writing a strong application essay is this getting someone else to read your work. While the tips above are all very useful for writing a strong draft, nothing will benefit you more than getting an outside appraisal of your work. For example, it's very easy to overlook your own spelling or grammatical errors. You know your own story and you may think that your narrative and it's meaning make sense to your reader. You won't know that for sure without having someone else actually read it. This may sound obvious, but it's still an absolute necessity.

“It was very helpful for two of my mentors to review my statements before submitting my application. Ensure you trust the judgement and skills of the person to whom you would be giving your personal statement for review.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

Have someone you trust to read the essay and ask them what they thought of it. What was their impression of you after reading it? Did it make sense? Was it confusing? Do they have any questions? What was the tone of the essay? Do they see the connections you're trying to make? What were their takeaways from your essay, and do these align with your intended takeaways for your reader? Ideally, this person should have some knowledge of the application process or the medical profession, so that they can say whether you were successful in demonstrating that you are a suitable candidate for medical school. However, any external reader is better than no external reader at all.

Avoid having people too close to you read your work. They may refrain from being too critical in an effort to spare your feelings. This is the time to get brutal, honest feedback. If you know someone who is an editor but do not feel that they can be objective, try and find someone else.

Want more examples? Check out our video below:

FAQs and Final Notes

Your personal statement should tell your story and highlight specific experiences or aspects of your journey that have led you to medicine. If your first exposure or interest in the medical field was sparked from your own medical struggles, then you can certainly include this in your statement. What is most important is that you write about what factors or experiences attributed to you deciding that medicine is the right career path for you.

Sometimes students shy away from including their own personal struggles and describing how they felt during difficult times but this is a great way for admissions committees to gain perspective into who you are as a person and where your motivations lie. Remember, this is your story, not someone else's, so your statement should revolve around you. If you choose to discuss a personal hardship, what's most important is that you don't cast yourself as the victim and that you discuss what the experience taught you. Also, medical schools are not allowed to discriminate against students for discussing medical issues, so it is not looked at as a red flag unless you are talking about an issue inappropriately. For example, making yourself appear as the victim or not taking responsibility.

All US medical schools require the completion of a personal statement with your AMCAS, TMDSAS or AACOMAS applications.

Medical schools in Canada on the other hand, do not require or accept personal statements. In lieu of the personal statement, a few of these schools may require you to address a prompt in the form of an essay, or allow you to submit an explanation essay to describe any extenuating circumstances, but this is not the same as the US personal statement. For example, when applying through  OMSAS , the  University of Toronto medical school  requires applicants to complete four short, 250 words or less, personal essays.

Many students struggle with whether or not they should address an unfavorable grade in their personal statement. What one student does isn't necessarily the right decision for you.

To help you decide, think about whether or not that bad grade might reflect on your poorly. If you think it will, then it's best to address the academic misstep head-on instead of having admissions committees dwell on possible areas of concern. If you're addressing a poor evaluation, ensure that you take responsibility for your grade, discuss what you learned and how your performance will be improved in the future - then move on. It's important that you don't play the victim and you must always reflect on what lessons you've learned moving forward.

Of course not, just because you didn't wake up one morning and notice a lightbulb flashing the words medicine, doesn't mean that your experiences and journey to medicine are inferior to those who did. Students arrive to medicine in all sorts of ways, some change career paths later in life, some always knew they wanted to pursue medicine, and others slowly became interested in medicine through their life interactions and experiences. Your personal statement should address your own unique story to how you first became interested in medicine and when and how that interest turned to a concrete desire.

While your entire statement is important, the opening sentence can often make or break your statement. This is because admission committee members are reviewing hundreds, if not thousands of personal statements. If your opening sentence is not eye-catching, interesting, and memorable, you risk your statement blending in with the large pile of other statements. Have a look at our video above for tips and strategies for creating a fantastic opening sentence.

Having your statement reviewed by family and friends can be a good place to start, but unfortunately, it's near-impossible for them to provide you with unbiased feedback. Often, friends and family members are going to support us and rave about our achievements. Even if they may truly think your statement needs work, they may feel uncomfortable giving you their honest feedback at the risk of hurting your feelings.

In addition, family and friends don't know exactly what admission committee members are looking for in a personal statement, nor do they have years of experience reviewing personal statements and helping students put the best version of themselves forward. For these reasons, many students choose to seek the help of a professional medical school advisor to make sure they have the absolute best chances of acceptance to medical school the first time around.

If you have enough time set aside to write your statement without juggling multiple other commitments, it normally takes at least four weeks to write your statement. If you are working, in school, or volunteering and have other commitments, be prepared to spend 6-8 weeks.

Your conclusion should have a summary of the main points you have made in your essay, but it should not just be a summary. You should also end with something that makes the reader want to learn more about you (i.e. call you for an interview). A good way to do this is to include a call-back to your opening anecdote: how have you grown or matured since then? How are you more prepared now to begin medical school?

The goal is to show as many of them as you can in the WHOLE application: this includes your personal statement, sketch, reference letters, secondary essays, and even your GPA and MCAT (which show critical thinking and reasoning already). So, it’s not an issue to focus on only a few select experiences and competencies in the personal statement.

Yes, you can. However, if you used an experience as a most meaningful entry, pick something else to talk about in your essay. Remember, you want to highlight as many core competencies across your whole application). Or, if you do pick the same experience: pick a different specific encounter or project with a different lesson learned.

Once your essay is in good shape, it's best to submit to ensure your application is reviewed as soon as possible. Remember, with rolling admissions, as more time passes before you submit your application, your chances of acceptance decreases. Nerves are normal and wanting to tinker is also normal, but over-analyzing and constant adjustments can actually weaken your essay.

So, if you're thinking about making more changes, it's important to really reflect and think about WHY you want to change something and if it will actually make the essay stronger. If not your changes won't actually make the essay stronger or if it's a very minor change you're thinking of making, then you should likely leave it as is.

The reality is, medical school admission is an extremely competitive process. In order to have the best chance of success, every part of your application must be stellar. Also, every year some students get in whose GPAs or  MCAT scores  are below the median. How? Simply because they must have stood out in other parts of the application, such as the personal statement.

The ones that honestly made the most impact on you. You'll need to reflect on your whole life and think about which experiences helped you grow and pushed you to pursue medicine. Ideally, experiences that show commitment and progression are better than one-off or short-term activities, as they usually contribute more to growth.

Final Notes

This Ultimate Guide has demonstrated all the work that needs to be done to compose a successful, engaging personal statement for your medical school application. While it would be wonderful if there was an easy way to write your personal statement in a day, the reality is that this kind of composition takes a lot of work. As daunting as this may seem, this guide lays out a clear path. In summary, the following 5 steps are the basis of what you should take away from this guide. These 5 steps are your guide and sort of cheat sheet to writing your best personal statement.

5 Main Takeaways For Personal Statement Writing:

  • Brainstorming
  • Content and Theme
  • Multiple Drafts
  • Revision With Attention to Grammar

While a strong personal statement alone will not guarantee admission to medical school, it could absolutely squeeze you onto a  medical school waitlist , off the waitlist, and onto the offer list, or give someone on the admissions committee a reason to go to battle for your candidacy. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the incredible skills you've worked and studied to refine, the remarkable life experiences you've had, and the key qualities you possess in your own unique way. Show the admissions committee that you are someone they want to meet. Remember, in this context, wanting to meet you means wanting to bring you in for an interview!

Dr. Lauren Prufer is an admissions expert at BeMo. Dr. Prufer is also a medical resident at McMaster University. Her medical degree is from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. During her time in medical school, she developed a passion for sharing her knowledge with others through medical writing, research, and peer mentoring.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions.

Jack Weaver

I have been reading posts regarding this topic and this post is one of the most interesting and informative one I have read. Thank you for this!

Hello Jack! Thank you very much for your comment. We glad you find this helpful!

Get Started Now

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar: How To Make Your Med School Application Stand Out

(and avoid the top 5 reasons that get 90% of applicants rejected).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee your acceptance to med school or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

medicine personal statements

  • Ask a question Ask
  • go advanced Search
  • Please enter a title
  • Please enter a message
  • Your discussion will live here... (Start typing, we will pick a forum for you) Please select a forum Change forum View more forums... View less forums... GCSEs A-levels Applications, Clearing and UCAS University Life Student Finance England Part-time and temporary employment Chat Everyday issues Friends, family and work Relationships Health News Student Surveys and Research
  • post anonymously
  • All study help
  • Uni applications
  • University and HE colleges
  • University help and courses
  • University student life

Postgraduate

  • Careers and jobs
  • Teacher training
  • Finance and accountancy
  • Relationships
  • Sexual health
  • Give feedback or report a problem
  • University and university courses
  • Universities and HE colleges
  • Life and style
  • Entertainment
  • Debate and current affairs
  • Careers and Jobs
  • Scottish qualifications
  • Foreign languages
  • GCSE articles
  • A-level articles
  • Exam and revision articles
  • What to do after GCSEs
  • What to do after A-levels
  • When is A-level results day 2024?
  • When is GCSE results day 2024?
  • Studying, revision and exam support
  • Grow your Grades

Exam results articles and chat

  • Exam results homepage
  • A guide to GCSE and A-level grade boundaries
  • Year 13 chat
  • Year 12 chat
  • Year 11 chat

A-level results

  • Guide to A-level results day
  • Get help preparing for results day
  • A-level retakes and resits
  • Exam reviews and remarks
  • Here’s what to expect on A-level results day
  • Six ways to help results day nerves
  • Understanding your A-level results slip

GCSE results

  • Guide to GCSE results day
  • How GCSE combined science grades work
  • Stressed about GCSE results day?
  • Understanding your GCSE results slip

Finding a uni in Clearing

  • Clearing articles and chat
  • UK university contact details
  • Guide to Clearing
  • Seven things people get wrong about Clearing
  • How to make a great Clearing call
  • Finding accommodation after Clearing
  • How Clearing can help you prepare for results day
  • All universities
  • Applying through Ucas
  • Student finance
  • Personal statement
  • Postgraduate study
  • Uni accommodation
  • University life
  • All uni courses
  • Apprenticeships
  • Arts and humanities courses
  • Stem courses
  • Social science courses

Universities by region

  • North of England
  • South of England
  • Greater London
  • Distance learning
  • International study

University guides and articles

  • All university articles
  • Applying to uni articles
  • Personal statements
  • Personal statement examples
  • University open days
  • Studying law at university
  • Student life at university
  • Careers and jobs discussion
  • Apprenticeships discussion
  • Part-time and temp jobs
  • Career forums by sector
  • Armed forces careers
  • Consultancy careers
  • Finance careers
  • Legal careers
  • Marketing careers
  • Medicine and healthcare careers
  • Public sector careers
  • Stem careers
  • Teaching careers
  • General chat
  • Relationships chat
  • Friends, family and colleagues
  • Advice on everyday issues
  • General health
  • Mental health
  • UK and world politics
  • Educational debate

Undergraduate

  • Postgraduate Master’s Loan
  • Postgraduate Doctoral Loan
  • Disabled Students’ Allowances
  • Taking a break or withdrawing from your course

Further information

  • Parents and partners
  • Advanced Learner Loan

Medicine personal statements

Stuck with writing your personal statement? Use these example personal statements for inspiration!

A word of warning

Not all of these personal statements are exemplars - they are not perfect. This is a cross-section of personal statements submitted over many years, and they are not necessarily personal statements that have achieved offers. You also need to understand that personal statements that have achieved offers are not automatically perfect.

For more general advice on your medicine application, see a community discussion on the best getting into medical school books  and medicine textbook recommendations .

A note on plagiarism

It should go without saying, but do not plagiarise any of these statements. UCAS has a very sophisticated plagiarism checker which will check your submitted statement against these and other personal statements, and any discrepancies may be used against you. In the worst case scenario, it may lead to UCAS contacting the universities you have applied to and the forced withdrawal of your application to study your particular subject. Do not risk it. These are to look at and to be inspired by, not to copy.

All wiki articles on: Medicine Personal Statements

The following 115 pages are in this category, out of 115 total.

  • Personal Statement:Medicine 1
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 2
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 3
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 4
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 5
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 6
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 7
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 8
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 9
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 10
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 11
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 12
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 13
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 14
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 15
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 16
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 17
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 18
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 19
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 20
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 21
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 22
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 23
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 24
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 25
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 26
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 27
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 28
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 29
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 103
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 30
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 31
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 32
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 34
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 35
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 36
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 37
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 38
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 39
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 40
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 41
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 42
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 43
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 44
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 45
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 46
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 47
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 48
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 49
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 50
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 51
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 52
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 53
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 54
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 56
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 57
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 58
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 59
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 60
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 61
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 62
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 63
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 64
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 65
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 66
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 67
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 68
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 69
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 70
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 71
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 72
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 73
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 74
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 75
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 76
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 77
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 79
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 80
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 81
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 82
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 83
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 84
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 85
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 87
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 88
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 89
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 90
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 91
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 92
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 93
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 94
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 95
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 96
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 97
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 98
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 102
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 104
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 105
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 106
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 107
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 108
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 109
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 110
  • Personal Statement:MBChB Medicine
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 112
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 114
  • Personal Statement:Medicine 117
  • Personal Statement:Medicine with a Foundation Year 1
  • Personal Statement:Paramedic Practice 1
  • Personal Statement:Paramedic Science 1
  • Personal Statement:Paramedic Science 2
  • Personal Statement:Paramedic Science 3
  • Personal Statement:Paramedic Science 4
  • Personal Statement:Pharmacy 10
  • Personal Statement:Postgraduate Surgery 1
  • post question
  • Please choose where you want to post your question. Please choose your study level. Please enter what your question is about. Please enter your question. Your message must have two characters or more.
  • Share this story :
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Google+
  • Share on Pinterest
  • Latest Latest
  • Trending Trending
  • create my feed
  • Edit my feed
  • 0 new posts
  • Started by: cejsihrhke
  • Forum: A-levels
  • Last post: 1 minute ago
  • Started by: Saracen's Fez
  • Forum: UK and World Politics
  • Replies: 170
  • Last post: 3 minutes ago
  • Last post: 4 minutes ago
  • Started by: BarryNathan
  • Forum: Civil service, public sector and public services
  • Last post: 17 minutes ago
  • Started by: Anonymous
  • Forum: Relationships
  • Started by: Janjanyaa
  • Forum: Physics, Chemistry and NatSci university courses
  • Last post: 18 minutes ago
  • Started by: Sosaaaaaaaa
  • Forum: Applications, Clearing and UCAS
  • Last post: 19 minutes ago
  • Started by: Mimosns
  • Forum: Veterinary Medicine
  • Forum: Food and drink
  • Replies: 788
  • Last post: 20 minutes ago
  • Started by: emelianiloufar
  • Forum: Chat
  • Replies: 29
  • Last post: 21 minutes ago
  • Started by: Andrew97
  • Replies: 2125
  • Last post: 22 minutes ago
  • Started by: rhea007
  • Forum: Finance, Economics, Business and Management (MBA & MSc) Postgraduate Study
  • Last post: 23 minutes ago
  • Started by: Abdulksks
  • Forum: Maths
  • Last post: 24 minutes ago
  • Started by: Talkative Toad
  • Replies: 4042
  • Started by: flowersinmyhair
  • Forum: News and current affairs
  • Last post: 26 minutes ago
  • Started by: reubenn05
  • Forum: Medical Schools
  • Replies: 460
  • Last post: 29 minutes ago
  • Started by: emmahstagg75
  • Forum: Psychology study help
  • Last post: 34 minutes ago
  • Started by: AngryJellyfish
  • Forum: TV shows
  • Replies: 28
  • Started by: JF ZAK
  • Forum: GCSEs
  • Replies: 33
  • Last post: 35 minutes ago
  • Started by: asdfjkmel
  • Forum: Graduate Schemes
  • Replies: 1941
  • Last post: 8 hours ago
  • Started by: emm4nuella
  • Replies: 848
  • Last post: 9 hours ago
  • Forum: Maths Exams
  • Replies: 1093
  • Last post: 1 day ago
  • Started by: Pwca
  • Replies: 1273
  • Last post: 3 days ago
  • Started by: Scotland Yard
  • Forum: Chemistry Exams
  • Replies: 805
  • Last post: 4 days ago
  • Started by: oddchocolate05
  • Replies: 2078
  • Started by: principal-ontolo
  • Replies: 468
  • Last post: 1 week ago
  • Forum: Physics Exams
  • Replies: 1706
  • Forum: Biology, biochemistry and other life sciences
  • Replies: 1276
  • Replies: 896
  • Replies: 527
  • Replies: 480
  • Forum: Biology Exams
  • Replies: 777
  • Replies: 1079
  • Replies: 297
  • Replies: 1092
  • Replies: 1484
  • Last post: 2 weeks ago
  • Replies: 544
  • Replies: 1841
  • Replies: 1218
  • Conservatives
  • Plaid Cymru
  • Spoil ballot

The Student Room and The Uni Guide are both part of The Student Room Group.

  • Main topics
  • GCSE and A-level
  • Exam results
  • Life and relationships

Get Started

  • Today's posts
  • Unanswered posts
  • Community guidelines
  • TSR help centre
  • Cookies & online safety
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy notice

Connect with TSR

© Copyright The Student Room 2023 all rights reserved

The Student Room and The Uni Guide are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: Imperial House, 2nd Floor, 40-42 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XB

medicine personal statements

medicine personal statements

Personal Statement for Medicine

Composing a personal statement for any degree is a challenge but for medicine, this is your chance to illustrate your academic prowess and work experience alongside a genuine passion and fascination for the medical subjects you love. a personal statement can support your application if your exam results are slightly below your expectations or can enhance a strong set of grades for the best chance of acceptance., make the most of your words.

UCAS , the admissions service for universities in the UK, describes a personal statement as “your opportunity to sell yourself to your prospective school, college or training provider.” Students are given a 47 line, 4,000 character limit (which roughly equates to 500 words) in which to show off their appeal to the institutions of their choosing. 

Here, it’s important to get into the mind of the member of admissions staff that will be reading your statement – what do they want to see? 500 words may seem like plenty, but you’ll likely find that space is at a premium when you’re trying to find the perfect formula to impress your chosen university.

Research a career in medicine before you apply

The key things that medical schools will be looking for are evidence of motivation, explorative work experience and suitability for fitting into their learning environment.

Your personal statement is not only an opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for studying medicine, but also to convey a sense of insight into medicine as a career. It is a chance to reflect on your experiences thus far and outline your personal qualities which will enable you to excel as both a medical student and future doctor.

Developing an understanding about the roles and responsibilities of a doctor will help you prepare your personal statement with ease. Volunteering in your local community and undertaking work experience placements are examples of activities which may allow you to gain a deeper insight into medicine. However, reading official resources such as those produced by the General Medical Council (GMC) before you even begin to think about the content of your personal statement, can help to give your writing a clear focus and direction.

Check how universities will use your personal statement 

Your personal statement may be used in the selection process for interviews to a varying degree by each medical school. Having said this, on the whole, personal statements do not feature heavily in the selection process for interview. Whilst this is the case for most medical schools in the UK, a few medical schools will utilise a scoring system to assess the personal statement at some point in their selection process; either before interview (for interview selection) or at the interview itself.

If this is the case for one or more of the universities you intend to apply to, pay careful attention to any details on their website which discuss exactly what the admissions team are looking for in a personal statement. For example, the University of Oxford place a larger emphasis on showing an interest in medical science and academia.

Where to find this information

It is important to check exactly how the medical schools you intend to apply to will use your personal statement both before and during the interview. To access the most relevant and up-to-date information you should check the websites for each of the medical schools you may apply to. If you have any queries about how your personal statement will be used, or if anything you find on their websites is unclear, email the admissions team directly.

Key things to remember about your personal statement 

Writing a personal statement can be daunting, but we are here to help make the process less stressful. To break it down, we have listed some essential factors you should remember to focus on when writing your own personal statement:

  • Structure and flow: Creating a clear and organised structure allows the reader to follow your thought process and enables you, the writer, to include the most relevant information about yourself, given the restricted word count.
  • Authenticity: The clue is in the title; your personal statement should be personal! Be genuine and honest about your experiences and skills and let your personality shine through your writing. 
  • Relevance: With the limited word count, you need to include only the most relevant experiences and skills you have that are directly relevant to medicine. 
  • Specificity: Provide details about your experiences and give examples. Avoid any vague and general statements. 

Goals and aspirations: You should mention your goals and aspirations and what you want to get out of a degree in medicine. What are your short-term and long-term goals?

The aim of this section is for you to establish a structure that works for you, by deciding what the main components of your personal statement will be about.

Before diving into finding the best structure for your personal statement, it is important to remember there is no set format or st ructure. Reading a few example statements may help to give you an idea of where you start ; however it is all about finding the right balance that is appropriate for you. This balance will be based on your personal experiences and what has been important in shaping your journey towards Medicine.

You should start your personal statement with a clear introduction and end with a conclusion .

DEVELOPING A STRUCTURE THAT WORKS FOR YOU

Here, we will focus on developing a structure for the main body of your personal statement. The importance of having a well-thought-out structure is that it will make your thoughts and experiences easier to follow. A good structure will help reinforce the key content of your statement, further giving admissions tutors the impression that you have a focused understanding of medicine and yourself. 

T here is no one way to structure the main body ; in fact , there are many ways! The components you discuss will differ according to your experiences, and the weighting given to these components will largely be based on what medical schools you apply to.

EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL STATEMENT STRUCTURE 

Here is an example of how to divide the main body of your personal statement:

  • Interest in academia and wider reading
  • Work experience and voluntary commitments
  • Extra-curricular Activities

Remember, this is only one example. Alternatively, you could base your paragraphs on the qualities you want to demonstrate, such as:

  • Interest in medicine, science, and academia
  • Compassion, communication skills and empathy
  • Leadership, teamwork and problem-solving

These ideas are here to prompt you, so work around them based on your experiences. If there is a particularly valuable quality, such as resilience, that you are passionate about and have relevant experiences in, of course , this should be included!

The idea of convincing an admissions tutor, in around 500 words, that you are an ideal prospective medical student can be overwhelming. This, as well as the fact that they will be reading through hundreds of personal statements of people applying for the same course, might make you feel pressured to have an introduction that will grab their attention and set you aside from the majority.

DON’T FOCUS TOO MUCH ON YOUR INTRODUCTION

A powerful introduction will state an intrinsic motivation to study medicine, whilst also outlining your understanding of the career. However, your reasons for wanting to pursue medicine do not have to be entirely crammed into your introduction. 

W hile there is no set length for an introduction, you should make sure it is not too short that it seems rushed and neglected, but not so long that it is the same size as the paragraphs of your main body. A few sentences should be sufficient for an introduction.

TRY STARTING WITH THE MAIN BODY FIRST

It might seem logical and necessary to begin by writing the introduction, but this is not the case! It is perfectly reasonable to work on other parts of your personal statement and return to write the introduction at a later point in time. Some people even find that once they have written the majority of their personal statement, they are able to pick out points they think will work well for their introduction.

  • Be original: It is a personal statement , so keep it personal. It should accurately depict why you want to study medicine .
  • Give examples: Stories can add to the personal element of motivation to study medicine but ensure that this comes across as genuine. Do not try and pin your motivation down to a single event as this can appear naïve . I nstead , state how this scenario was one of the elements that led you to pursue medicine.
  • Use your time wisely: Do not spend all your time trying to think of a catchy opening. Remember that you can always come back to the introduction.
  • Remember you have a word limit: Keep your statements succinct and to the point.
  • Use a professional tone: Stay away from using humour as the person reading your personal statement may not receive it as well as you would hope. The aim is to be professional and put across your interest in medicine.

Keep in mind that depending on the interview style of the medical schools you are applying to; your personal statement can be used as part of your interview. They may pick out parts of your introduction and ask you to elaborate on them. 

C heck this beforehand and if applicable, remember this when stating your motivations to study medicine. If you would not be happy to talk about it in your interview, then avoid including it!

  • Using cliché words and phrases such as ‘passionate’, ‘fascinated’ and ‘from a young age I have always wanted to’
  • Using a quote without reflecting on how it adds to what you are trying to convey. If possible, avoid quotes and use your own words. After all, they are interested in what you have to say, not a scientist or author
  • Making blank statements that do not add to what you are saying.
  • Describing how TV shows attracted you to medicine, even if other reasons are raised, as this will reduce the power of your introduction.

Reflecting on your work experiences, wider reading and other relevant activities will form the bulk of the main body of your personal statement. Reflection is imperative to a successful application. A well-reflected personal statement shows that you have given serious thought to healthcare as a life-long career , and it goes down extremely well with the admission officers. The General Medical Council (GMC) has created a guide for medical students about reflection – most of the information is transferrable to medical applicants.

It is crucial to understand that the lessons and skills that you take away from an experience are far more superior to the number of activities you have undertaken or descriptions of consultations you may have seen. Therefore, this section will delve deeper into how you should reflect on an experience whilst undertaking it, as well as how this reflection can be incorporated concisely into your personal statement.

HOW TO REFLECT ON AN EXPERIENCE

Below are some general questions to think about when reflecting on any type of experience you have partaken in . R anging from clinical work experience placements to leadership roles, voluntary commitments, and par t-ti me jobs , you should ask yourself these questions when reflecting on your experiences.

  • Description of the experience: W hat was your role? If you are telling a story, what happened , or what was the task at hand?
  • Feelings and thoughts about the experience: What resonated with you or affected you the most?
  • Analysis and evaluation of the experience: W hat went well and what didn’t? Which parts stood out to you? Did you have any challenging experiences? How did you deal with them?
  • Conclusion and action plan: S ummary of what you learned and what you could have done differently . H ow could you relate this to your development as a doctor ?

HOW TO REFLECT ON YOUR LEARNING

The following questions will help you reflect and think critically about learning experiences. This includes anything you have read, listened to, or watched to gain a deeper insight into the life of a medical student and/or doctor.

  • Description: What is the idea or concept you have been exposed to?
  • Feelings and thoughts about what you have learned: What resonated with you or affected you the most?
  • Analysis: Is there anything that drew your attention or anything you found challenging? Does this build upon what you had previously known or read about? Has it changed the way you think, opened your eyes to something new, or made you more confident and assured in a belief you already had?
  • Conclusion and action plan: What other avenues of this concept would you like to explore? How can you implement what you’ve learned in your clinical practice?

HOW TO INCLUDE REFLECTION IN YOUR MEDICINE PERSONAL STATEMENT

Before you sit down and start typing away at your statement, we highly suggest that you first read through all of the reflective notes you wrote when undertaking any experience or activity that gave you an insight into medicine. This will allow you to look back at all of the wonderful experiences you have had and focus on the key points you can take away from them.

REFLECTION METHODS TO TRY

There are so many different approaches you can take to reflective writing in your personal statement , and different people prefer different methods. For example, you can structure your reflection according to Gibb’s reflective cycle . Another approach is the ‘STARR’ framework , which stands for ‘Situation, Task, Action, Result and Reflection’ . This is often a favourite among applicants for medicine interviews but can also be used in the personal statement to write structured reflections.

  • S ituation: What is the setting in which you have undertaken your experience?
  • T ask: What was the position or role you held?
  • A ction: What actions did you specifically carry out on a regular basis?
  • R esults: What was the most relevant and significant outcome of your activities?
  • R eflection: What skills and knowledge have you acquired as a result of this activity? How and why had this experience influence d you?

Work experience can be loosely defined as any activity that is designed to sufficiently broaden your understanding of a particular career path. The aim of this section is to provide you with examples of the different types of work experiences you can undertake and how you should go about reflecting on them in your personal statement.

WHY IS MEDICAL WORK EXPERIENCE IMPORTANT?

Most students will feel that work experience gives the most realistic perspective of medicine as a career. Through shadowing in consultations, watching surgeries, and perhaps even just being in a clinical environment, you will start to build your understanding of the role of a doctor. 

A pplying to medical school is a huge commitment, so exploring the working life of a physician is definitely a wise thing to do. Work experience allows you to gain valuable skills that may be useful throughout your university life and your career as well.

WHAT IS THE AIM OF WORK EXPERIENCE?

W ork experience is evidence to show that you have taken the time to find out more about the realities of a career in medicine. Therefore, it is a vital aspect of not only the personal statement but your medical school application as a whole. The purpose and overall aim of your work experience will broadly fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • To understand the realities of life as a doctor and medical student
  • To develop the skills and qualities needed for a career in medicine
  • To acquire more knowledge about your particular interests

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE WORK EXPERIENCE

Firstly, we will consider traditional in-person work experience activities, which are usually undertaken in a healthcare environment. This can include hospital, general practi c e, or pharmacy shadowing placements, as well as voluntary roles in a care home or hospice. To make the most out of these types of experiences, we would recommend the following:

  • Listen to the types of questions that healthcare professionals use when taking a history or interacting with patients. What did you think about their interactions with patients? How do they adapt their communication style?
  • Ask questions. This is an opportunity to ask all those burning questions ; don’t be shy! If possible, ask questions to a wide range of health care professionals about each of their individual roles as well as their experiences working in a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Research one of the common conditions that you have seen during your placement and are interested in finding out more about it.

The above points will form the basis of your reflection, so it is important to start thinking about them as you go along with your work experience. Keep a reflective diary to jot down these thoughts and experiences. This diary will become especially useful when sitting down to write your personal statement.

TIPS FOR WRITING ABOUT MEDICAL WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Mention the transferrable skills and attributes you will have developed. Skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and resilience in the face of adversity are vital to a career in medicine.
  • State clearly the insights you have gained. For example, as the GP demonstrates active listening and shows empathy, you will see that the patient immediately opens up and gives more information , which will be helpful in establishing a diagnosis. If this resonates with you, include this in your personal statement.
  • It is important to show that you understand the challenges a doctor will face. Be sure to reflect on any negative experiences which made you more aware of the demanding nature of the profession. What could have been done differently in the scenario you witnessed?
  • Be as concise as possible . D escriptions should be kept to a minimum. It is more important to highlight your thoughts, understanding and values before and after an experience, rather than details about the experience itself.
  • Viewing medical work experience as merely a tick box exercise. Try not to view work experience as a requirement for university statements or interviews. Instead, you should view this as a learning opportunity for yourself so that you can develop both academically and personally. If you have this mindset, you will be able to truly discover a lot more about the subject and about yourself too!
  • Concerning yourself too much with the medical jargon and knowledge you come across during your work experience, whether in-person or virtual. Focus on the attitudes and transferrable skills, and definitely do try to explore the science , but ultimately , medical school will teach you the required knowledge for your career
  • Breaching confidentiality when writing about your work experience, whether it be in your personal statement or reflective diary. This means that you do not include any identifiable information in your personal statement, such as, ‘I witnessed Mr Smith undergoing an ECG’.

Volunteering is the idea of offering your time or skills to benefit an unrelated person or organisation with no formal payment in return.

Relevant volunteering can be considered a form of work experience and can significantly enhance your personal statement. Whilst grades are important, medical schools are also highly interested in students who exhibit genuine care and compassion. 

Doing voluntary work can highlight this side of you and give some insight into the life of a doctor, which is very much a caring profession. Volunteering can assist you in developing the necessary skills and qualities relevant to medicine.

EXAMPLES OF VOLUNTEERING ROLES

The types of volunteering roles and commitments you can include in your personal statement, can vary extensively. Moreover, the volunteering you have undertaken does not need to be within a healthcare setting. It is more important that you can reflect on your experiences and appreciate how the skills you have developed are relevant to career in medicine. Below are just some examples of voluntary roles you may include in your personal statement:

  • Carehome/hospice volunteer
  • Hospital volunteer
  • School mentor
  • Charity shop assistant
  • Youth group coordinator
  • Foodbank volunteer

TIPS FOR WRITING ABOUT VOLUNTARY ROLES

  • Emphasise any long-term or frequent volunteering commitments. This shows commitment to medicine and determination. Whilst long-term volunteering is favoured, do not worry if you were unable to complete any due to the pandemic!
  • Use buzzwords alluding to the relevant skills and qualities learnt. Examples of buzzwords can include “contributed”, “enhanced” and “implemented”. 
  • Discuss briefly how you found any volunteering opportunities , especially if you organised it yourself. This shows initiative! If an opportunity is extremely rare or competitive, make sure to highlight this.
  • Group together experiences where you gained similar skills and insights, rather than discussing multiple experiences individually. This can get messy and take up a lot of your time
  • Speak about your feelings and emotions during your volunteering! This shows you are human and comes across much more genuine and sincere.
  • Clearly state your contribution and actions , not someone else’s!
  • Discuss any sacrifices, mistakes, or challenges you faced during your volunteering. Also , make sure you are prepared to describe what you did/would do differently to overcome these challenges!
  • Rambling on about experiences . U se the STARR structure to organise thoughts. Keep it concise!
  • Writing a long list of all the voluntary roles you have ever held. Focus on one or two that you benefitted from greatly and reflect on them.
  • Repeating experiences, certain insights, or qualities. Demonstrate variety in what you have learned.
  • Lie or exaggerate any details!
  • Superficially state what happened. If you are able to, delve further into your thoughts before, during and after volunteering.

When it comes to extra-curriculars, it ’s easy to get confused on what you should include and how to include it in your personal statement. As an aspiring medic, you might have done many different activities at school (and outside) that may be related or seemingly have nothing to do with each other. This could range from part-time jobs to being a prefect in your school, societies, clubs , or even your personal hobbies or sporting interests.

HOW TO WRITE ABOUT EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 

In your personal statement, a great way to tie it all together is to use your activities to reflect on how they made you the person you are today. Instead of simply listing all of your positions or engagements, think about what qualities you were able to gain from them that would make you a better doctor. 

A mong others, qualities like compassion, empathy, time management, organisation, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership are essential in medicine, but they’re not necessarily born in a hospital or through direct engagement in clinical experiences. You have probably been doing some of these activities for a really long time, now let’s frame it in a different context for your application.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

In a large pool of applicants, it is easy to think , ‘ H ave I done enough?’. Sometimes, this can be the wrong question to ask, as most medical schools do not look at the ‘number’ of things you have done but rather how the things you’ve done can help you as a doctor. 

D o not worry if you have not done a lot of activities in your time at school. The number of things you’ve done doesn’t matter as much as:

  • What you’ve learned from them
  • How you’ve reflected on them
  • What moments and experiences you can improve on
  • How you’ve later developed as a person and an aspiring medic based on those experiences

WHAT GOES WHERE?

With a limited number of characters, every word counts. You want to make sure you make the most of everything you have done, but at the same time , frame it in the most effective way for your application. This is why you might want to focus on some activities over others or group some activities together to give yourself space to write about and reflect on your experiences in a more elaborate way and relate them to your future career. There are many ways you can group your activities, mainly either by the type of activity ( e.g., academic, sports, or volunteering ) or based on what qualities or skills you’ve developed as a result of partaking in this activity.

SHOULD I INCLUDE MY HOBBIES?

The short answer is yes if you want to, but – make sure you’re not just taking up space by listing them. You don’t need to elaborate on them too much if you don’t want to, but try to strike the balance so as to show the admissions committee you value your time spent doing these hobbies, but at the same time you’re not taking away from all the other elements of your personal statement. You could also relate them to having a work-life balance – an essential trait in medicine.

TIPS FOR WRITING ABOUT EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

  • Use your experiences to highlight your strengths and your skills. How did your activity help you develop a unique skill?
  • Focus on the activities that have benefited you the most.
  • Elaborate with insight and introspection on the activities you’ve chosen to focus on.
  • Group other activities together to help you use your limited characters where they matter most.
  • Listing things you have done without further elaborating on them.
  • Elaborating on every single activity or being repetitive – if they sound similar, group them, or take some out if you don’t think they’re important.
  • Faking interest or passion in something you do not actually like or mention ing an activity you did not really do. It takes away from the space you have to talk about things you are passionate about, which is a lot more valuable and impactful.

This is your final chance to make an impression on the admissions tutor, so make it count! The aim of your conclusion should be to tie together the key points that you included in the main body of your personal statement. Along with the introduction, this is one of the most difficult parts to write, so writing both at the end, after you have a coherent idea of the flow of your piece is advisable.

Ideally, it should only be a few sentences long. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to revisit your conclusion multiple times before submitting. It is important to end on a confident note by expressing a real passion for medicine.

TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR CONCLUSION 

  • Summarise and reiterate your key points: Include s kills, experiences, and interests and how these make you suitable for studying medicine. For example, if your experiences have taught you the importance of resilience, how will this skill help you to progress in your future career?
  • Mention the takeaway points: What do you want the admission tutor to remember about you ?
  • Revisit your conclusion and read it aloud to yourself: Reading it out to yourself and others helps to determine if you’re being concise and getting straight to the point without waffling.
  • Write a couple of drafts: By writing different versions of your conclusion, you might find various ways of conveying the same idea, some that you like more than others. This will help you write the best conclusion to suit you.
  • Acknowledge the difficulties and demanding nature of studying medicine: Studying medicine can be difficult, but you are equipped with the skills to handle this! You should showcase how the skills you’ve developed will assist you in overcoming difficulties .This will show you are the ideal candidate for studying medicine.
  • Writing a conclusion that is too long. You will probably find that the 4000 – character limit of the personal statement will restrict the length of your conclusion. So ideally, one or two succinct sentences should be more than enough to summarise.
  • Introducing completely new points – you do not want to leave the admissions tutor confused by bringing in new ideas that you cannot elaborate on further.
  • As with the introduction, avoid clichés and quotes.
  • Avoid repeating sentences from the main body of the personal statement.
  • Avoid making your conclusion too specific to one university. For example, don’t mention a particular teaching style if it is not offered by all the universities that you are applying for.

Now that you have written your personal statement, the hard part is over, right? Well, in all honesty , you might find yourself spending more time editing your personal statement than writing it! It is important to give yourself enough time to perfect your personal statement before the deadline. 

O ur advice at this point is – before you start editing, put your personal statement away. By the time you have finished writing, you will have read and re-read it countless times in the process. You need to take the time away from it to get a fresh look. This will be invaluable when you start editing.

SPELLING, PUNCTUATION, AND GRAMMAR

First things first, triple-check that your word processor has spell-check on with UK English, so that you can correct any spelling mistakes. It may sound obvious; however, technology can often malfunction!

You are a school-age pupil, so the piece should sound like you wrote it. It does not have to sound like you have taken letter-writing classes and have used a thesaurus on every other word. However, you also need to come across as professional. It is best not to use contractions such as don’t (do not), as it is too informal. Make sure you have used a combination of long and short sentences so that it has structure, as well as making sure every sentence doesn’t start with ‘I’.

READ YOUR STATEMENT OUT ALOUD

There are many ways of making sure your personal statement reads well. One method, which is particularly helpful is to read your personal statement aloud to someone else. It becomes very obvious when a sentence is too long and does not flow or make sense when you say it aloud. The person listening will be able to tell you which parts do not sound right. 

W hen we write, we often overestimate how well the writing sounds because you will , of course , know what you meant to say. However, to another person and the admissions team reading it – you want them to know exactly what you mean, rather than having to decode paragraphs that are not crystal clear .

You could try asking an English teacher at your school, or a friend who is studying English to read through it. The spelling, grammar and syntax are independent of the content , so this could be really useful in ensuring it flows well.

SEEKING ANOTHER OPINION

Whilst it may seem tempting to gain as many opinions as possible on your personal statement, it is better to seek the advice of a few trusted individuals. The medicine personal statement is , by nature , a subjective piece of writing. Having too many people read your personal statement and suggest changes, can become quite confusing and stressful very quickly! Here’s how you can avoid this situation: 

  • Make sure you are close to your final draft before giving your personal statement to someone else to read. However, still ensure you have enough time to make changes.
  • If your school has a careers advisor or team of teachers familiar with reading personal statements, it is worth having your personal statement read and critiqued by them.
  • When listening to feedback from others, consider all you can get, but don’t be afraid to not include all the feedback you receive since your personal statement should be truly reflective of only you.
  • If you would really like a raw opinion, find a way to have a teacher read it anonymously ! The admissions tutor will be reading your personal statement with no knowledge of who you are. If you want someone to read your personal statement with no knowledge of your background, print off a copy with your details omitted.

TIPS TO SHORTEN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT

  • Do not waste characters writing about things that are elsewhere on your UCAS form. For example, your A-level (or equivalent) choices can all be entered in the qualifications section.
  • Remove unnecessary adverbs such as somewhat, rather, sometimes, fairly, pretty really, quite, basically, hopefully, luckily.
  • Use the verb form of a word over the noun form – this should reduce words. For example, ‘I created a MedSoc’ vs ‘A MedSoc was created by me’
  • Print off your personal statement to edit and cut words. Print it off in a different font to the one you typed it in. This will provide an experience of looking at your personal statement with ‘fresh eyes’.
  • Use the ‘Build, Blur, Corrode’ method to identify the weakest parts of your personal statement.
  • If you cannot bear to cut sentences, copy and paste them into a document called ‘Scrap’ , that way you know exactly where to find them if you were to want to add them again.
  • When focusing on a specific paragraph, copy it into a new blank document and separate each sentence with a line between them. Use this technique to perfect each individual sentence and identify those that are too long.
  • When retelling encounters from your work experience, details of what exactly happened are not always necessary!

YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT IS READY TO GO

Once you’ve followed the steps and tips we have outlined, your personal statement is all ready to be submitted. You’ve finished another step in your application to med school! You’re essentially mid-way through the application process ; you should be proud of yourself that you have made it this far. 

Next, you should think about references from your teachers and prepare yourself for a medical school interview. Interviews can be intimidating, but don’t worry! We have created a guide to help you understand the process and how to complete the interviews to the best of your ability. 

HOW PREMED CAN HELP YOU

If you need some work experience to help enhance your med school application, we are here to help! At Premed, we offer in-person and online work experience to ensure you get a taste of life in the medical field. Boost your chances of getting into medical school by applying to one of our work experience courses today.

What should a medicine personal statement include?

When writing a personal statement for medicine, you should focus on including relevant work experience and any volunteer work. The majority of your writing should focus on these aspects as it is important to reflect on your experiences and how this makes the ideal candidate to study medicine. You may also want to include a few short sentences about some extra-curricular activities you partake in as well. 

What should you not say in a medical personal statement?

Don’t be generic about why you want to study medicine. You should demonstrate you have a passion for helping people by providing examples through any work experience or volunteering. Remember, an admissions tutor will read hundreds of personal statements so your application needs to be personal to you. 

Additionally, don’t provide general statements about your skills and experiences or simply list them. You should reflect on your experience and skills by supplying concrete examples to support your statements. This will show you can demonstrate these skills, enhancing your application. 

What do medical schools want in a personal statement?

What your personal statement should contain may differ from university to university but there are some common trends. For example, you should focus on writing about your skills and work experience and reflect on what you have learned from them. It is also ideal to state you understand what a career in medicine entails and how you are prepared to manage the challenges that come with a career in medicine. 

How should I structure my personal statement?

There are several ways you can structure a personal statement, there is no set structure! The way you write your personal statement should be personal to you based on your own experiences. An example of how you can structure your personal statement is:

Another example of a personal statement structure is: 

  • Interest in academia and medicine
  • Group of skills related to each other (e.g., compassion, empathy and communication)
  • Another group of skills related to each other (e.g., leadership, teamwork and problem-solving)

Remember, you also need to include an introduction and conclusion! 

How long should a personal statement be?

You have a limit of 4,000 characters for your personal statement based on UCAS guidelines . This is equivalent to approximately 550-1,000 words. This shows you need to be precise with what you include in your personal statement as you are limited by the words you have. 

medicine personal statements

  • In-Person Courses
  • Online Courses
  • Free Guides
  • Prices & Dates
  • Course Benefits

medicine personal statements

Booking form

Course: personal statement for medicine.

Student Name*

Preferred Name

Contact Number*

Address Line 1

Address Line 2

Placement Type*

Date of Birth*

T-Shirt Size*

Nationality*

Guardian / Emergency Contact Information*

Additional Information

I understand today I am paying the registration fee of £395 for a Premed Project. The remaining total placement fee for the project will be due before the placement begins. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

Insurance Form

Pre Existing Medical Conditions

Email Address *

Submit arrival and departure details

Further information.

Dietary Requirements * Please let us know of any dietary requirements you may have

Medical Conditions Let us know if you think we should know about any pre-existing medical conditions. All of our staff will be made aware of them and include any allergies or medication you may be taking.

Emergency Contact Details * Please provide the name, contact numbers, email address and postal address of someone who you would like us to contact in case of an emergency

Anything Else? Is there anything else you think we should be aware of/you would like us to know before your placement?

Inspira futures logo

Sign up to our Newsletter

Top 15 medical school personal statement examples.

medicine personal statements

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Does the perfect medical school personal statement exist? What do good personal statements for medical school look like? All of these questions and more will be answered below!

When you’re writing your personal statement for medical school, you’ll want to keep the three E’s in mind: engagement, enthusiasm, and explanation. 

You want your personal statement to be engaging throughout, to clearly illustrate your enthusiasm to join the medical school, and to explain your motivation for pursuing this field. 

But this is easier said than done! Including all of these elements in your personal statement while simultaneously ensuring it stands out and showcases your individuality can be challenging. 

Luckily, this guide will ease these difficulties! In it, we’ll not only provide you with a step-by-step of how to write your own personal statement, but we’ll also go over 15 medical school personal statement examples!

Get The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Unforgettable Personal Statement

image of teacher icon

15 Medical School Personal Statement Examples

Before we give you a run down of how to write a winning personal statement for medical school, it will be beneficial to read some samples and explain why they’re successful! Here are 15 excellent personal statement for medical school examples you can draw inspiration from!

Please note, the names and identifying details in these personal statements have been removed to ensure anonymity. 

Sarah was the second victim they brought to the hospital that night. Pellets from the shotgun covered the entire right side of her body. The shooter had hit multiple individuals at the birthday party, and Sarah was transported to our emergency department soon after. She was the first patient I ever treated as an EMT. 

After evaluating and stabilizing her condition, I used saline and gauze to clean the blood off her exposed skin, making a special effort to gently wash the contours of her face. Jeff, the ER technician I was shadowing that evening, diligently watched my every move. "He's got you looking good as new!" he said, breaking the heavy silence. At that moment, I saw a delicate smile emerge from her shocked, shell-like demeanor. I had treated her physical injuries, and he had addressed her mental well-being. Together, we had cared for the patient. At that moment, I began to understand the charge and function of the modern physician. My journey to that emergency room began in an unexpected place: the rolling foothills of Kentucky in the small town I call home, surrounded by cow farms and fields of soybeans. My parents had immigrated from Nigeria and taught English and Philosophy at our local university. My childhood was a perpetual humanities classroom. Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic" better characterized my understanding of human suffering than the halls of a hospital emergency department. 

However, by my freshman year of high school, I knew that my academic interest lay not within ancient literature but rather within the living cell. In my mind, the cell is a metropolis waiting to be explored. I began to carve a professional path to pursue my fascination with the cell and study the mechanisms that create and sustain life. However, during my sophomore year, my diabetic father’s cognitive impairments developed into severe early-onset dementia. As much as I hoped to pursue my interests as a molecular biologist, my perspectives began to shift. My upbringing in the humanities and the challenge of caring for my father deepened my understanding of how our shared human experiences give meaning to our existence. I could spend my life studying the functions and pathologies of the cell. But, beyond the boundaries of its membrane, remains a human being with tangible, immediate needs, just like my father.

To understand this duality between biology and the human experience, I have spent my college career immersed in both research and clinical activities. My passion for molecular biology is manifested in my undergraduate research. My scientific exploration of the cell reinforced my fascination with its mechanisms and cultivated my desire to discover new molecular phenomena. Beyond research, I worked to build a new program in partnership with an internationally renowned medical center that trained undergraduate students to provide social support to geriatric inpatients. As co-president and avid volunteer, I have spent over a hundred hours listening to patients and their life stories as they sat in isolation in their hospital rooms. 

Hand in hand, I comforted Mr. Stevens in the face of imminent mortality as he simultaneously mourned his terminal kidney failure and the death of his wife just weeks earlier. Listening to Mrs. Williams jokingly talk about her "adventures" completing word search puzzles during the pandemic always made me laugh. I witnessed a spectrum of human experience as defined by the heritage and identity of these patients, leaving each interaction filled with purpose and meaning. In the quiet rooms of the geriatric ward and the tense hallways of the emergency department, I confronted the vulnerability within the patient experience. I began to understand the individual in the context of disease. 

As a researcher, my curiosity with the cell led to a fascination with its hallmark pathology: cancer. In my sophomore year, I worked to redesign a novel inhibitor of HSP90, a molecular chaperone implicated in over 600 types of cancer. Later, as a radiation immunology intern, I genetically modified cancer cell lines, studied their pathology in mice, and worked to find correlations between tumor RNA expression and therapeutic outcomes in human pancreatic cancer. The spectrum between basic and clinical cancer research inspires me with its potential to revolutionize the lives of patients. As a future oncologist, I endeavor to harness the power within biomedical discovery and our shared human experience to push back the boundaries of cancerous dysfunction in favor of the patients I serve. 

As I closed the door to Sarah's room and followed Jeff to our next patient, I carried the realization that biomedical science and humanities are not only entwined but entirely interdependent. To serve a patient effectively is to address the disease in the context of the human. I embrace the charge to work at this complex interface. I want to lead patients through their most vulnerable moments with the competency and empathy demanded of the profession as I expand my knowledge of our molecular profile through attentive study and avid research.

Why It Works

This is a powerful personal statement for numerous reasons:

  • Opening hook : The essay starts with a gripping and dramatic scene of the applicant treating a gunshot victim, immediately capturing the reader's attention.
  • Personal narrative : The essay weaves a personal narrative throughout, sharing the applicant's journey from their upbringing in a small town to their experiences as an EMT, their father's illness, and their involvement in research and clinical activities, adding personality and authenticity to the story.
  • Passion and motivation : The applicant’s passion for medicine and their strong desire to make a difference in the lives of patients is clear through their dedication to research, their engagement with geriatric inpatients, and their focus on oncology.
  • Reflection and growth : The applicant reflects on their experiences and how they have shaped their understanding of medicine. They show personal growth and a shift in perspective, emphasizing the importance of the human experience in healthcare.
  • Connection between science and humanities : The essay effectively highlights the interdependence between biomedical science and the humanities, showing the applicant's ability to bridge the gap and approach patient care from a holistic perspective.
  • Clear future goals : The essay concludes by outlining the applicant's future aspirations as an oncologist and their commitment to combining biomedical discovery with compassionate patient care. Having defined goals is essential to portray your commitment to medicine.
  • Engaging writing style : The essay is well-written and engaging, uses descriptive language, vivid anecdotes, and thoughtful reflections to captivate the reader and convey the applicant's message effectively.

This is the type of statement that leaves a lasting impression on the admissions committee!

‍ My family immigrated from Cuba to the United States roughly 27 years ago. My father fled to the U.S. on a wooden makeshift raft and my mother came as a political refugee—making me a first generation American. After moving to the U.S., my family faced significant adversity—financial, language, and community barriers. As a result of these difficulties, I noticed that my family adopted a “avoid doctors unless you absolutely cannot,” mentality. 

The first time my family looked into healthcare resources was during the arrival of my maternal great grandmother to the United States, a previous political prisoner in Cuba. While in solitary confinement for 12 years, she developed thrombosis in her legs, with doctors in Cuba only offering amputation. No one in the family spoke English, and there was a disconnect between providers and my grandmother—both sides could only comprehend about half of what was happening. The physicians were limited on time given the line of patients waiting. However, my family was not only fluent in another language, but they were also from a culture that avoided healthcare professionals. These factors were not able to be conveyed in a 20-minute conversation involving translation issues with an interpreter. Eventually, through other immigrants, they found Dr. Alvarez, an Argentinean physician. He was Spanish speaking and offered her surgical vein reconstruction—most importantly, he was able to build rapport with her quickly, and my grandmother went ahead with his suggested care. After that experience with Dr. Alvarez, my mother would cross state lines to take me to a Spanish-speaking pediatrician, Dr. Arias. 

Observing my family’s determination in finding physicians like Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Arias made me realize the importance of Hispanic, Spanish-speaking, culturally competent physicians in the U.S. I spent time learning about healthcare inequities between Hispanic populations and other ethnicities, inside and outside the classroom. I was driven to pursue a career in medicine to be an advocate and manage care for patients from vulnerable communities—bridging the divide in comprehension and quality of care between Hispanic and other underrepresented minorities in the United States. 

During my first week at college, I became a volunteer at [Hospital]. My first job was to be an admissions ambassador, a liaison helping patients navigate the hospital. Hispanic patients frequently approached me for guidance. “Olivia,” an Ecuadorian mother with her 3-year-old daughter in a stroller approached me one day. She was lost trying to find a physician’s office. I could see her daughter recently had a surgical procedure done on her little hand. After a few detours, I located the physician’s office. He happened to be there and was eager to have me translate. Olivia asked several questions regarding accrued treatment costs. She was running out of money. After assessing the situation and helping express her concerns to the physician, we reached out to the appropriate personnel and helped her navigate the system—she was relieved by the end of the conversation. I couldn’t help but think back to my own family and struggles they faced as refugees navigating the U.S. healthcare system. Being a resource in this manner brought me a new sense of fulfillment, further inspiring me to pursue medicine. 

The comfort my interpreting skills brought to Hispanic patients at [Hospital] sparked my desire to seek more formal interpreting positions. I located a free clinic treating uninsured adults, the [Local Clinic]. As a medical interpreter and patient advocate, I helped Hispanic patients through their check-ups and physical exams. I also worked in the OB-GYN clinic, guiding Hispanic women through intimate conversations with their providers. Many of these patients were a bit hesitant to open up, but after I spoke to them in Spanish, they became more comfortable and told their stories. I remember one story in particular about “Catalina,” a woman from Mexico that immigrated to the U.S. less than a year before visiting the clinic. While waiting for the medical student to return from presenting her case to the attending, she asked me what my future plans were. I told Catalina I wanted to become a physician, and her eyes lit up—she was incredibly supportive, telling me there needed to be more Hispanic physicians and encouraged me to stay on the path. While healthcare is not an easy road, interactions like these continue to drive me—I want to be able to ease concerns, allowing patients to open up. 

My family background and personal experiences as an interpreter have ignited my desire to become a physician that provides culturally competent care to patients from vulnerable communities and increase minority representation in the healthcare space. Discovering the positive impact I had as a bridge between patients and the U.S. healthcare system alone, made me imagine the impact I could have as their physician in the future. A career in medicine with public service at the center will allow me to provide direct medical care without the need for this bridge. This would enable me to address health inequities vulnerable communities are burdened by while being a role model for future first generation Americans.

What stands out the most in this essay is the student’s passion! It’s clear they’re determined to make healthcare more accessible and inclusive, which is an excellent goal to have as a future physician. The student also hits the mark in the following ways:

  • Offers a unique, diverse perspective : The applicant’s background as a first-generation American brings a unique perspective to their personal statement. This diversity adds value to the medical school community and showcases the applicant's ability to bring a different cultural lens to patient care.
  • Involves cultural competence and advocacy : The applicant demonstrates a clear understanding of the healthcare disparities faced by Hispanic populations and other vulnerable communities. This type of awareness is crucial to have in the medical field.
  • Shares relevant experiences : The essay highlights the applicant's involvement in volunteer work at a hospital and a free clinic, where they served as a translator and patient advocate. These experiences demonstrate they understand the challenges of healthcare and are still determined to pursue a career in it.
  • Aligns with the values of medicine : The applicant's desire to provide culturally competent care and increase minority representation in the healthcare field aligns with the core values of medicine, such as social justice and advocacy, making them a more attractive med school candidate. 
  • Is well-balanced : The student maintains a balance between their personal anecdotes and professional aspirations, ensuring the reader gains a comprehensive understanding of their motivations and qualifications.

Overall, this statement is focused and clear. It illustrates this student’s past, present, and potential future as a healthcare provider. 

There are sounds, throughout the course of a day, that demand our attention and those that blend, seamlessly, into the static noise of detail that our brain chooses to filter. There is an immediacy to the social demand of a friend calling our name, the ping of an incoming text, and the incessant honking of a car as we attempt to merge lanes. On the other hand, we tend to ignore, even mute, the soft bubbling of a kettle on the stove, the footsteps of someone walking by, and the ticking of a clock. 

In a society characterized by a constant influx of information, I believe the mere act of listening can be easily overlooked. Furthermore, listening is the foundation for empathy: the ability to not only understand what another is going through but also to take part in their journey is the bedrock of human relationships. I have come to realize that listening to others – not simply hearing them – is a necessary component to any relationship: the former being intentional and the latter unintentional.

For me, a fulfilling career combines my fascination with the sciences, my desire to serve the community and provides the chance to grow from a variety of relationships through listening. The field of medicine uniquely brings together my diverse interests and experiences while fulfilling my desire to help my fellow man. 

Through the study of biology, I have gained a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the biotic and abiotic environment. Combined with the exploration of the “instructions” for life, encoded within molecules no wider than strands of hair, I have cultivated a child-like fascination for the human body. The study of economics has provided insight into decision-making and how that is manifested in a world with finite resources. Additionally, my research experiences working with the genetic diversity of Sporisorium ellisii and traumatic brain injuries have given me an appreciation for not only the reliability of the scientific method but also the bridge between creativity and impact. I want to continue to foster my curiosity through a field that explores the challenges facing human life both on a microscopic and macroscopic level.

Although I found my courses interesting, I also found them lacking - I desired to have a more hands-on role within the field. In part to ameliorate this void, I took an active role in leading the committee for a health clinic that my service fraternity hosted at a major hospital in the greater [Local] community. After months of soliciting and coordinating the assistance of various student organizations as well as local professionals, there were fewer than ten attendees during the entire five-hour clinic. Rather than simply admitting failure, I, along with other committee members, went out into the community for an explanation. After listening to locals, we discovered that there was mistrust in the healthcare system. The following year, we addressed the issue by choosing a location where the community frequently gathered: a local church. We were then met with much greater success, as locals interacted with both students and professionals to express concerns regarding healthcare. Actively listening to the individuals’ concerns was the catalyst that ultimately allowed for a greater impact on the community as a whole. 

After discovering the impact that could be made from listening to the community, I endeavored to make a difference on a more personal level. I found that my yearning was sated by my experience teaching others leading me to work in an urban high school through City Year following graduation. My goal for the year was to challenge myself and strive to find commonalities that transcend physical differences. Working with these students gave me invaluable experience in understanding the impact backgrounds have on perspectives and helped me develop patience while adhering to time-dependent goals. The patient-doctor relationship is similar to that of the student- teacher: both parties must be willing to learn from one another. I want to not only use my skills to help those in need but also grow from serving my patients. Medicine provides a unique challenge requiring knowledge about the background of physical ailments and an understanding of the relevant social factors that comes about through deep personal relationships. 

Through my interests and extracurricular involvement I have learned to remain inquisitive but not overzealous, patient but not complacent and supportive but not overbearing. Coupled with my time volunteering in hospitals and shadowing, I know that practicing medicine provides this harmony I am striving for. In my mind, there can be no greater fulfillment than having the opportunity to enter a dynamic profession that seeks to understand the nuances of the human body, to adapt to healthcare in the 21st century and to serve the community at-large not only as a source of knowledge but also as a student of the human condition. As I embark upon this journey, I hope to gain the skills necessary to champion for the betterment of my patients. I would cherish the opportunity to critically think about the human body, to build meaningful inter-personal relationships, to be a teacher and most importantly, to listen, rather than simply hear. 

This personal statement is captivating from beginning to end, and here’s why:

  • Has a distinct hook : It’s always impressive when students open with seemingly unrelated hooks and tactfully connect them to their interest in medicine, which this student has done perfectly.
  • It integrates diverse interests and experiences : The applicant effectively integrates their passion for the sciences, community service, and human relationships. They demonstrate how the field of medicine provides a platform to combine these interests, showing their strong critical thinking skills.
  • Shows a commitment to growth and learning : The student expresses their desire to actively seek out opportunities to challenge themselves and broaden their perspectives. This commitment aligns with the values of medicine as a lifelong learning profession, showcasing their preparedness for med school.
  • Has a strong conclusion : The conclusion effectively summarizes the applicant's motivations and aspirations, highlighting their desire to critically think about the human body, build meaningful relationships, and listen actively, leaving a lasting impression on the judges.

All of these elements combined create a compelling narrative that showcases the applicant's suitability and passion for a career in medicine!

The shed behind the [Hospital] in Uganda was full of broken wheelchairs. I took one apart, and began to build the framework for a standing wheel that Jeremy, an eight-year-old with cerebral palsy, could spin in circles to strengthen his spastic rotator cuff. As I baked in the midday heat, I tried to ignore my own festering doubts about the integrity of my design project. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to help Jeremy overcome his condition just using discarded parts, but I couldn’t let that stop me from trying. 

My path here had not been straightforward. What had started as a project focused on repairing old medical equipment had quickly become a firsthand exploration into patient care. In the United States, healthcare providers and engineers typically work separately from one another, but in Uganda, medical equipment maintenance is performed directly in hospital wards, often bringing me face-to-face with patients. In [Town], for example, I only happened to meet Jeremy, beaming at me from his bright-red walking frame, because I was fixing his hospital bed. I smiled back, assuming our interactions would end there. But he stayed, and as he laughed at my attempts to speak L’Uganda, I started to realize how refreshing it was to have the chance to talk with a patient being impacted by my work. Noticing the pain from his shaking left shoulder, I also grasped the limits on helping patients without face-to-face interaction; I would have never thought to build Jeremy a physical therapy device had I never met him in person. Over time, I grew increasingly interested in acting in a role that bridged the gap between patient and medical technology through direct contact. 

Even with my newfound interest in patient care, my exposure to the realities of healthcare disparities proved equally profound. Most strikingly, I recall my time in [Hospital’s] neonatal ICU, where I witnessed multiple premature newborns being placed into incubators only meant to fit one infant. The incubators regulated body temperature, but overcrowding compromised their functionality. One day, this overcrowding resulted in the death of a newborn girl who succumbed to the cold. As the child’s mother grieved, I sat a few feet away, filled with guilt that my inability to fix every piece of equipment made me partly responsible for her loss. Noticing my frustration, my mentor, Dr. Carlos, told me, “three years ago, only a few of these incubators were working. Now only a few are left to fix.” A life had been lost, but by our equipment maintenance, many other lives had been saved. His words encouraged me to stay resolute in my belief that the gradual efforts of the composite healthcare team can - and will - bridge disparities in healthcare. This experience reaffirmed my desire to stay invested in the development of strong medical infrastructure, specifically in a role where I can directly work with patients to avoid the outcome I witnessed at [Hospital].

Returning to [Location], I discovered that inequities in medical care, so plainly visible in the developing world, were hidden right under my nose at home. Volunteering at the [Nursing Home], a Medicaid-funded nursing home for the disadvantaged, I found that another crucial component to addressing these inequities is to connect with those who feel neglected. Here, I came across obstacles to medical care I had grown to expect, such as understaffing, older equipment, and an inability to finance high-cost treatments. However, most residents’ frustrations with their medical care were secondary to their struggles with social isolation. Olivia, one of my favorite residents, has COPD and end-stage renal failure, and cannot sit up in her bed. 

Despite all her ailments, nothing hurt her more than the fact that no one came to visit her. Week by week, as we discussed everything from Latin etymology to the merits of broccoli as a side to chicken wings, I watched Olivia’s smile grow with every visit I paid her. The ability I had to brighten her day just by giving her an hour of my time every week helped me appreciate the unique privilege physicians must have to set patients at ease by letting them know that someone is continually invested in their well-being. After a few months at the [Nursing Home], Olivia surprised me with the comment that she didn’t feel alone anymore. I marveled at how just by being present in a patient’s life, I had made my own small contribution to overcome her emotional pain. I was inspired to pursue a role where I could expand upon my ability to heal patients by providing not only emotional support, but also clinical care. 

My medical journey has been wayward. It has taken me to Uganda, where a boy taught me to value the patients I encounter even more than the machines I fix. It has led me back to America, where a nursing home resident made me realize the simple but powerful gesture of healing by forming connections. It has been demanding, but extremely fulfilling. As a physician, I hope to merge the lessons from all my experiences to work at the interface of science, society, and person, contributing to advancements in medical infrastructure while never losing sight of the individual patients who make medicine so meaningful. 

As you read through this medical school personal statement example, pay particular attention to the way the author implements the following techniques into their personal statement:

  • Opening with a compelling anecdote : The essay begins with a great description of the applicant's experience building a standing wheel for a child with cerebral palsy in Uganda. This engaging opening captures the reader's attention and creates a sense of curiosity.
  • Showing personal growth and transformation : The essay demonstrates how the applicant's experiences in Uganda and at a nursing home have shaped their perspective on patient care. This portrayal of personal growth and transformation adds depth to the narrative.
  • Effectively uses descriptive language and storytelling : The essay utilizes descriptive language to paint a picture of the environments and individuals they’ve encountered. The use of specific details helps the reader visualize the scenes and empathize with the experiences described.
  • Linking personal experiences to broader themes : The applicant connects their experiences in Uganda and at the nursing home to broader themes of healthcare disparities, patient care, and the importance of human connection, showing their analytic skills and level of perspective. 

Consider using some of these techniques to elevate your own personal statement!

As two surgical residents rushed into my room at 10:30 pm with a cart of equipment, a few nightmare scenarios raced through my mind. Where are they going to stick that tube? Why the scissors? 

It turned out that my team of doctors had decided that a nasogastric (NG) tube needed to be placed immediately. By that point I had already been through a lot: years of immunosuppressant drugs and steroids that made my face moon-shaped, a series of surgeries to rearrange my digestive tract, and a few bowel obstructions that led me to the emergency room. For some reason, none of those experiences haunt me more than recalling that NG tube on that night. Five painful attempts to force the tube down my nose and into my throat were all unsuccessful. I was in tears, one of the residents was in tears, and blood and mucus covered my hospital gown; the night had gone downhill fast.

Enduring grueling medical interventions was nothing out of the ordinary for me, but the lack of conversation or connection with my team left me emotionally unprepared and in shock. Alone and recovering from surgery, I was vulnerable at that moment and suddenly felt like the doctors were not on my team. I began to feel like the residents were disappointed in me and that I had caused the procedure to fail. I still remember being unable to process what had happened and staring out the window all that night. I knew that residents had already undergone years of training, yet seeing one resident cry made me wonder if she was just as scared as I was. In the same way that nothing could have prepared me for that night, countless hours of training as a medical student does not necessarily prepare one to gain the trust of a vulnerable, anxious patient.

In the days following this experience, I developed a new appreciation for my primary care physician at the time, colorectal surgeon Dr. [NAME]. It is frightening to be surgically sliced into, but Dr. [NAME] had a way about him of making every decision and action seem perfectly natural and safe. He greeted me the same way every morning: “kak dila, Aaronchik,” asking me how I was doing and calling me by the Russian name only my mom used. We would speak in English, but when he dropped in a Russian word at the beginning or end it reminded me that he recognized me not just as a patient, but as a person. His constant efforts to connect with me and reassure me were the basis of my confidence in Dr. [NAME]. I knew that he had gone through extensive training and was technically qualified, but his emotional appeals were the overwhelming factor in the state of my morale. The atmosphere of security Dr. [NAME] brought into the room was the most memorable part of my interactions with him and separated him from all the other physicians I had seen. 

In the years prior to the NG tube incident unfolding, through countless conversations with attendings, residents, and medical students who took care of me throughout my adolescence, I cultivated a deep-rooted interest in pursuing a medical career. I learned a great deal about the intellectual and physical challenges of medical school and residency. However, my challenging experience with the NG tube provided me with a new understanding of patient care: I realized that it is not necessarily about what you know but about how you integrate that knowledge to make a meaningful connection with a human being under your care.

Dr. [NAME] exemplified how critical it is as a physician to instill palpable trust, not through pedigree and authority but through humanity. Thinking about Dr. [NAME] crystallized the feelings I had for years as a patient, that the field of medicine could be better, not only through technical advances but through the human touch and word, and that I could directly make this happen. Attending medical school will provide me with the tools and education I need to return to the wards, not as a patient but as a provider. In the back of my mind, I will always retain the inspiration of Dr. [NAME], who helped me recognize that my perspective from hardship will one day benefit those under my care.

As another one of the excellent medical school personal statement examples shared in this guide, let’s breakdown what makes this essay so effective:

  • Uses personal anecdotes to convey emotional impact : The essay describes the applicant's emotional state during the NG tube placement, highlighting their vulnerability, shock, and feelings of disappointment and isolation. The use of specific details adds depth and evokes empathy from the reader.
  • Maintains a consistent theme : Throughout the essay, the theme of the importance of empathy, connection, and the human touch in patient care is consistently emphasized, creating a cohesive narrative that reinforces the applicant's passion and commitment to medicine.
  • It defines what good medicine means to them : The student explains the lack of empathy they faced as a patient and how it informed their own philosophy on medicine and the type of doctor they’d like to become, giving the committee concrete future goals and demonstrating their intent and ambition. 
  • Reflections on the broader implications of their experiences : The applicant reflects on their experiences as a patient and draws broader conclusions about the field of medicine as a whole, which demonstrates their ability to think critically about the healthcare system and how they can contribute to it.

All of these features work together to ensure this personal statement follows the three E’s! 

“[NAME] is a seventeen-year-old female with suicidal ideations.” The emergency room nurse continued her report as I nervously riffled through [NAME]’s transfer of care paperwork. Looking toward the room where [NAME] and her parents were waiting to speak with me, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling that I was unprepared.

As a new EMT, I was filled with excitement and anticipation to gain experience in the medical field. After months of training, I was finally using my skills to help real patients. As I saw it, this would affirm my desire to become a doctor, a goal I have had since my aunt was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer when I was eight years old. I witnessed firsthand the comfort that my aunt’s medical team brought to my family during such a daunting time in our lives, and I knew then that I wanted to one day be that source of knowledge and support for others. 

My aunt’s illness also illuminated my interest in the science of medicine. I spent a lot of time learning from my uncle, a medical research scientist, who answered my countless questions about astrocytomas, innovative surgeries, and chemotherapies. I carried my fascination for the medical field with me throughout my undergraduate education, where my coursework, research, and my EMT training prepared me to care for patients biologically. And while I knew how to assess vitals, manage an airway, deliver medications, and even the physiologic processes of those actions, I now found myself face-to-face with a much more personal facet of medicine. I felt utterly underqualified to care for [NAME] psychologically. 

I knocked apprehensively on the glass sliding door to the emergency department exam room. “Hi [NAME], my name is [NAME]. I’m an EMT with the ambulance service here to transport you to the mental health facility. How are you feeling?” [NAME]’s solemn expression and her parents’ frightened eyes heightened my nerves. Had I already asked the wrong thing? Was I equipped to handle this situation?

After helping [NAME] into the ambulance and taking my seat, I searched for something to say. The nurse had explained that social pressures including moving away for college were exacerbating [NAME]’s struggles with anxiety and depression. I was afraid that approaching topics such as friends and school, as I normally would with patients her age, would make her more upset. Reaching for the blood pressure cuff near her stack of belongings, I spotted a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

“Are you reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? I love that book!” I exclaimed, nervously hoping for a connection.

As it turned out, like me, [NAME] loved to read. I smiled as she looked up and began talking excitedly about her favorite books. [NAME] continued to open up, but an uneasiness returned to her voice when she asked me about the facility and how long her treatment would take. I knew my answer was not one she wanted to hear. 

Preparing to deliver the difficult news, I was reminded of talking to my sisters. Growing up, uncertain times were the norm for me and my sisters because of our aunt’s diagnosis. Like me, my sisters were afraid and confused as we watched one of our favorite people slowly succumb to her illness. As the oldest, I often took on the responsibility of explaining my aunt’s condition to my sisters in a way I knew they would understand. When it came time for my aunt to go into hospice care, I wanted to be the one to tell my sisters, knowing I could string the words together delicately for them. It was through caring for my younger sisters that I developed the communication skills needed to discuss difficult subjects.

Holding [NAME]’s hand as I would my own sister’s, I explained that she would likely miss out on time with friends and family during her treatment. I consoled her and gave reassurance that her wellbeing was the main priority of both her medical team and her loved ones. 

Offering [NAME] some solace during that uncertain time in her life exemplifies why I want to go into medicine. Through my aunt’s physicians and the ones I have shadowed, I have always been inspired by the role each played in ensuring that patients felt comfortable, informed, and cared for. As an EMT, comforting words were the most I had to offer [NAME], and I learned that these are sometimes the most important medicine we have to offer. I want to be a physician so I can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients both medically and emotionally through hard times. 

While not every patient opens up as [NAME] did, I always do my best to ensure each patient feels safe and heard. I often think of my aunt and my sisters during these encounters and how I would want them to be treated. Studying medicine will be a way for me to honor my family’s story and to use the way it has shaped me to care for others. While I still at times doubt myself when caring for patients, these situations drive my motivation to become a physician. I have learned that I enjoy working in an ever-advancing field where each day brings unique challenges. A career in medicine will always be fulfilling, as every patient interaction is an opportunity for me to become better. I am excited to continue to face challenging situations throughout my career which will push me to be an empathetic physician.

As you read through these medical school personal statement examples, you’ll notice many of them focus on patient care that goes beyond simply diagnosing and treating illness. Instead, they focus on empathetic care and comfort. 

This is because so many personal statements tend to focus solely on the former, and approaching patient care from a different angle can make your statement more distinct. 

This essay also focuses on being an empathetic physician, which helps it stand out. Here are some other parts of the essay that also stand out:

  • It shows vulnerability : As an aspiring med student, you’ll have much to learn about healthcare. This student demonstrates their awareness of this by stating they felt unprepared to handle the psychological aspects of patient care, proving they are self-aware and willing to improve their skill set.
  • It integrates the past, present, and future : The applicant effectively weaves together their past experiences, current interactions with patients, and future aspirations in medicine. They draw connections between their personal experiences, their growth as an EMT, and their vision for their future.
  • It takes an interdisciplinary approach : The applicant brings a unique perspective by sharing how their background as an EMT prepared them for patient care, but also emphasizes the importance of addressing psychological aspects of medicine, adding depth to their understanding of healthcare.

Overall, the student is able to demonstrate their passion, limitations, and skills while also proving their dedication to patient-centered care and knowledge that comprehensive patient care involves treating the mind and body.

The radio went off, and we burst into action. My crew and I grabbed our medical equipment, taking off in the direction of the dispatch, a student overdose in a nearby freshman dorm room. 

I had joined the [COLLEGE]’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) as a freshman because I wanted to be a doctor. I’ve had this dream since I was four, when I began going on rounds with my father at the hospital. I loved seeing the positive impact my father’s job had on people. It made me proud of my father to know that his care helped all of those patients, struggling with fear and anxiety over their ailments, feel safe and comforted. I knew that one day I wanted to have the same impact on people. That excitement about medicine led to my study of pre-medicine and health care economics in college. But my studies, my health care research, and shadowing doctors were not enough to satisfy my medical aspirations. I wanted to participate firsthand. MERT was an opportunity to gain hands-on medical experience. 

That night, on the short way over to the dorm, my mind raced. I was just a freshman, with barely more than an untested skill set and a few months of response experience. Not surprisingly, I was second-guessing myself. An overdose? Can I even treat that? And then suddenly there I was, on scene, unbelievably scared. I looked around the room, put on my gloves, took a deep breath, and forgot my fears.

“Hello, my name is [NAME]. I’m an EMT. What’s going on today?”

A freshman, stressed about school and family issues, had overdosed on antidepressants mixed with a few Tylenol and chased with some vodka. She was having trouble breathing, so we started to set up an oxygen mask to help her. But she fought us. She kept trying to take the mask off, repeatedly telling us that she did not want it, then yelling at us that she didn’t need it. 

I began to plead with her, my voice nearly breaking. As I slowly attempted to wrestle the mask back into place over her mouth and nose, I told her that we were just trying to help. Her response will never leave me. In a sudden fit of calm, she grabbed my hand, kissed it, looked me in the eyes and said, “I know.”

We continued to care for our patient. Soon enough, the paramedics arrived on scene and they strapped her into a stair chair to be taken to the ambulance and then to the hospital.

My team and I sat in the squad room immediately after the call shaking and wired. As we debriefed and enjoyed a post-call pizza, I began to realize the importance of our interventions. I had seen my fair share of drunken patients, minor injuries, and flu patients—ailments that, while dangerous, allow the care provider time to think, ask questions, and assess. But here, the intervention required had been more immediate. The more experienced EMTs around me walked me through the debrief. They aided me in overcoming my panic and apprehension that we could have done more and that this could have happened to someone I knew. 

I thought back to what the patient had said to me, that she knew I wanted to help. Her words made me think about why I wanted to help. On one level, the answer was simple: I wanted to help because I knew I could. But on a deeper level, I helped because I want to have the same positive impact on people as my father. I want to make people feel safe and cared for. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than using my knowledge and skills to assist someone who really needs me.

This event was a turning point for me. I began to dedicate as much time as possible to MERT, eventually rising through the ranks to become a clinical crew chief and then captain. 

More recently, toward the end of junior year, I had another overdose call. Another stressed college student, but this time he was completely unresponsive from a heroin overdose. Through proper airway management, I assisted in saving his life. This time there was no second-guessing or anxiety, just a determination to help the patient. I led my crew through the call and, after the call, the debrief. As a leader in MERT, I was able to walk them through overcoming their own feelings of doubt and anxiety, so they could be proud of the work they had done.

Being a college EMT offers a unique set of difficulties. We treat our friends and colleagues, seeing them at their worst. And when it’s all over, we have to sit down, write up what we saw in a patient care report, and then try to go back to just being college students who eat pizza with their friends on weeknights. But I love the work I do with MERT and the determination, stress-management, and compassion I get to practice through it.

MERT has become an integral part of my life. It challenges me every day to learn more and apply my knowledge in critical situations. This has been a hugely influential step for me on my path to becoming a doctor. I know that as I continue learning and striving as an EMT, I will encounter many more high-stress, high-stakes situations. These experiences will shape me as I grow into a more proficient, emotionally adept care provider. I look forward to the challenges I will encounter as an EMT, and later as a doctor.

Sharing a tale where you’re the hero who saves a patient is always a great way to spruce up your personal statement, as this student has! However, that’s not the only aspect that makes this a winning personal statement:

  • It demonstrates their personal motivation : The writer shares a childhood dream of becoming a doctor that was inspired by their father's impact on patients. This demonstrates a long-standing passion for medicine.
  • It shows they have hands-on experience : Having experience in the field tells the admissions committee you’re already honing the skills required to thrive in the field. The writer discusses their involvement in MERT,which shows their proactive approach to pursuing opportunities beyond classroom learning.
  • It's realistic : The writer acknowledges the difficulties of being a college EMT, treating friends and colleagues, and dealing with the emotional aftermath of intense situations. This shows their understanding of the complexities and demands of the medical profession.
  • It includes their future outlook : The essay concludes by expressing enthusiasm for the continued challenges and growth opportunities that lie ahead as an EMT and future doctor. This demonstrates a resilient and forward-thinking mindset that the admissions committee will surely appreciate.

While this type of experience can certainly add intrigue to your personal statement, remember that you don’t need to share such a heroic tale to write a captivating essay! Any experience you share in your personal statement, if explained descriptively and connected to your desire to pursue medicine, can be powerful!

“We only use around 10% of our brains.” Ms. [LAST NAME]’s voice permeated through the silent 4th grade classroom. All of us intently took notes while she read off of the day’s lesson plan. My brow furrowed - was this correct?

At the dinner table, I asked my parents. They smiled, and told me to use my resources to find out. I used the family computer to ask Google, and as I suspected, website after website labeled the statement as a myth. Many sources echoed a similar rationale, stating that “FDG-PET, relying on the high quantities of glucose absorbed by Neurons and Glia, shows large amounts of brain activity even when we’re asleep.” I read the statement again. And again. We’d learned about glucose in our science class, but what in the world were Neurons and Glia?

My curiosity pushed me down a rabbit hole. The more I read, the more questions I had. What’s an action potential? What’s a synapse? I kept searching until I heard my mother say “Tulog na, [NAME]” It was time to go to bed.

Progressing through school, I never fully understood the answers to my questions. This changed when I took psychology, where we focused on the brain. Although this knowledge answered my 4th grade self’s inquiries, tens more replaced them, all culminating in one large question: how does our brain, and body as a whole, even work?

Looking for answers, I turned to AI. Believing it to be the closest estimate to how the brain worked, I learned Python and other languages. The deeper I went, the more enamored I became - fixing bugs was extremely gratifying, creating a positive feedback loop. Eventually, I wrote and trained my own AI, my first triumph in a sea of errors. By 10th grade, I was set on entering the world of Computer Science (CS). At the time, however, I didn’t realize that something was missing from this profession.

My perspective changed in 11th grade because of one word: Hyperaldosteronism. Battling with hypertension and hypokalemia throughout the majority of his life, my dad finally had a diagnosis. The culprit was a peanut sized tumor in his adrenal glands. The surgeon was confident in its removal. I was amazed - she, in her early 30s, had devised a minimally invasive procedure to resect the tumor. In the same way us coders wrote, debugged, and endlessly tested code, this surgeon studied, tested, and applied her knowledge of human anatomy to craft a less invasive but equally successful procedure. This experience helped me understand exactly what CS was missing: the element of serving others.

Upon diving into what it meant to be a healthcare professional, I realized medicine held the same allure as CS; both were mentally stimulating, and learning the etiology of diseases gave that same feeling of gratification that pushed me in CS. However, instead of a screen displaying lines of code, it was a smiling face that evidenced a job well done. This contrast became apparent when shadowing a neurosurgeon. Our first case was a veteran presenting for a post-op checkup. Previously rendered unable to walk because of an IED, I watched in awe as he took his first steps in 5 years. “It still hurts like hell,” he muttered jokingly. His wife replied, “but you’re walking ain’tcha?” The joy that emanated from deep patient-provider relationships recapitulated itself as I observed how other physicians went the extra mile to guide their patients through tough moments in their lives. Sure, it would take an extra 10 minutes to fully explain a treatment plan, but every one of those seconds was a brick in the shared path to healing. 

At [PROGRAM], I’ve explored the intersection of computer science and patient care. Working in a Digital Pathology lab, I am able to apply the concepts of computer vision to aid pathologists in their meticulous investigation of patient slides. My PI believes in using the creative process to solve problems, which provides the independence for us to experience the beauty of the scientific method. Despite the steep learning curve of such an approach, each “eureka!” moment became easier and easier to achieve. This culminated in [TOOL NAME], a tool developed by our lab to expedite the process of validating uncountably many slide annotations. Although I felt a great sense of accomplishment seeing my 3 years of work elegantly manifest in a simple yet powerful tool, the same sense of longing that irked me in high school once again reared its ugly head. I missed the patient-provider interactions of clinical work that completed the field for me.

To that end, I have continued to pursue the provider perspective of medicine. From Cardiology and Endocrinology to Gastroenterology and Neurology, each opportunity showcased the importance of compassionate care. Through these amazing physicians, I was able to see the difference the extra mile makes as patient after patient thanked their provider for explaining their condition and the rationale for their treatment.

With these experiences, my love for medicine has grown immensely. While I am immersed in these clinical settings, it’s apparent that there’s no way humans only use 10% of their brains; rather, seeing and modeling the compassionate work of my physician role models has made it clear I use 100% of my brain when serving those facing paralytic questions of health.

Here’s what works well in this medical school personal statement example:

  • It starts with a quote : Starting your statement off with a quote can make it cliche unless you do what this student has and use a personal quote that a teacher, friend, or family member—and not an influential leader—said.
  • It’s coherent and shows progression : The essay flows logically, connecting the writer's childhood curiosity to their exploration of computer science and medicine, and arriving at their current passion for patient care. This allows the reader to follow the writer's journey of self-discovery.
  • It’s passionate and authentic : Throughout the essay, the writer's genuine passion for both computer science and medicine shines through. While many students solely focus on medicine, including these additional passions helps set this statement apart and add authenticity. 
  • It shares relevant and desirable experiences : The writer mentions their experiences shadowing physicians in various specialties, which provided them with insight into the medical field and reinforced their love for medicine. These experiences demonstrate their commitment to and readiness for medicine.

In summary, this personal statement effectively combines the writer's intellectual pursuits, personal experiences, and reflections to showcase their commitment to medicine. It also portrays their understanding of the importance of compassionate care and their unique perspective as someone with a background in computer science. 

If you have a passion other than medicine, use it to your advantage to make your statement memorable! The committee knows you aren’t just interested in medicine, so give them deeper insight into your background and what makes you, you!

“I don’t know.” Those were the words of my infectious disease specialist, who saw me after I lost 20 pounds and was suffering from a temperature of 100-102˚F nearly 24 hours a day. What followed in the next eight months was a battery of tests; everything from Lupus to cancer was ruled out, and upon coming to a diagnostic dead end, I confronted those three devastating words. How could they come out of a physician’s mouth? My disease was labeled as a fever of unknown origin, or FUO. Unlike the other times I had been sick, there was no pill to take or treatment plan to follow. 

This experience not only fueled my desire to pursue medicine, but also helped me overcome what was the toughest year of my life. I emerged from the FUO with a new sense of resilience that I attribute to the myriad of interactions with my doctor. Furthermore, I always carried the implicit lesson I learned from him: that it is vital to recognize you will not know everything, but it is equally as important to keep searching for answers.

Ultimately, this poignant realization transformed my deeply ingrained fear of the unknown into a passion to seek, confront, and solve challenging problems. More importantly, it provided a path to pursue that passion; I knew that guiding people through harrowing times, regardless of whether I had all the answers, would give me the same satisfaction that exuded from my doctor when the FUO finally faded away a year later. Specifically, I recognized the courage and commitment that drove my doctor to never surrender were also virtues of my own character. This was made apparent in many experiences, such as rescuing a brother and sister from the deep end as a lifeguard or consoling a decompensating man in the back of an ambulance as an EMT.

My experiences during my FUO and the shadowing of others in healthcare revealed the importance of being comfortable with uncertainty. I have realized that success does not come from “faking it until you make it;” instead, it stems from reaching out to others with the purpose of expanding your own knowledge so that you may in turn guide those who are lost. Early on, I was afraid to do this, as I thought physicians, and therefore me as well, should always have an answer. However, after observing what I believed was an omniscient hospitalist ask the nurses about what they thought of each patient before even walking into the patients’ rooms, that fear subsided. 

This realization affected my attitude in the lab as well. To me, research is an archetypal form of the unknown; it is impossible to predict whether a single transformation, let alone an entire experiment, will succeed. My new mentality caused the failed iterations of my antibody cloning projects to become valuable information rather than red X’s in my notebook, and instead of hesitating to tell my PI that “It didn’t work, again,” I strode into his office, determined to brainstorm a new strategy. While this uncertainty was unnerving at first, my lesson on confronting such situations anchored my resolve to be both relentless in effort and unafraid to approach others for guidance. 

Despite the drive that emanates from having a passion constantly being reinforced by experiences inside and outside of a healthcare setting, I knew that without certain principles such as resiliency, I would be unable to help others like my specialist helped me. His tenacity inspired me to seek a volunteer experience abroad that challenged me to develop a critical consciousness in an unfamiliar culture. While the societal ills plaguing low-income Scottish communities were similar to those in the U.S., it was difficult to persuade the community members that I was an advocate rather than a critical outsider. The service-users were initially skeptical of my intentions, but I was able to break free from the “voluntourism” stereotype by adapting my dialogue to fit the nuances I encountered. 

Attacking this problem required reaching out to [NAME], my supervisor. Whether it was how to respond to someone who tried to warn me about the “dangers of the neighborhood” or brainstorming a more appropriate phrase in the workout guide I was creating, I treated the uncertainty and problems I encountered as temporary roadblocks that could be overcome with enough effort. Ultimately, drawing upon my resiliency resulted in a community gym guide that the organization later printed en masse to hand out to new members. In light of my previous problems in acclimating to the culture, I was ecstatic to hear that I had made a lasting impact on people in what otherwise would have been a transient experience. 

Ironically, hearing “I don’t know” from a physician ultimately led me to realizing that I want to become one. I believe the principles and lessons derived from that event and the experiences that followed have set me on the path to medical school with the wind at my back. While I dread the day I utter those three words to my patient, I know that admitting so will never dampen my desire to change lives. It is my values and passion in conjunction with the knowledge gained from facing challenges riddled with uncertainty that I will confidently guide others through their toughest times so they too can pursue their passions unencumbered by sickness or fear. 

  • It tells a unique story : This story is told in a creative way in which ambiguity is turned into inspiration and effectively describes how this student decided to pursue medicine.
  • It shows awareness : It can be easy to paint doctors as all-knowing individuals who have all the answers. But this isn’t realistic! This student brings attention to this and shows their self-awareness by stating they may not always know the answer as a physician, but it won’t stop them from trying to change lives.
  • It immerses the reader : The detailed imagery and inclusion of dialogue adds a sense of immediacy and authenticity to the narrative. It brings the reader into the scene and makes the experiences more relatable.
  • There’s emotional appeal : The author effectively appeals to the reader's emotions by sharing personal struggles and triumphs. By expressing vulnerability and reflecting on the impact of their experiences, the author carefully creates an emotional connection with the reader.

By employing these writing techniques, the author creates a personal statement that is both compelling and impactful–two traits you’ll notice all of the medical school personal statement examples in this guide have!

When I first learned how to whistle as a child, I couldn’t stop. My whistling was endless, from morning to night, until my exasperated parents told me an old Korean superstition that whistling at night brings out snakes and evil spirits. The fact that they were saying this to tame my newfound talents flew past my head. To keep the snakes and spirits safely at bay, I dutifully stopped whistling after sundown.

Because my parents are both doctors who worked long hours during my childhood, they often could not pick me up after school. As the shadows grew longer and darker in the empty school hallways, I would often avoid bad omens out of fear of what could be lurking, such as steering clear of the 13th classroom. At my violin recitals, I would cross my fingers and knock on wood hoping my parents would be able to get out of work and attend. A lot of the time, I was unable to see my parents’ faces among the audience as I got up on the stage. My superstitious beliefs consumed my mind, and I found myself relentlessly performing these habits without a second thought as to their effectiveness. 

All throughout high school, I felt pressured to follow in my parents’ footsteps and become a physician. From my childhood experiences, my understanding of medicine was limited to the sacrifices my parents made as they were both hard workers and dedicated physicians. My dad had to stay in South Korea to support us, while my mom lived the life of a single mom in America, without actually being a single mom. I had and still have deep respect for their sacrifices, but I also saw the toll it took on our family. As I entered [COLLEGE], I started taking pre-med courses, but by then, I had a complicated relationship with medicine and had internal conflicts about what it meant to be a doctor. 

Just as my childhood superstitious tendencies had been engraved in me without taking a critical look at them, I saw my parents’ lives as doctors as examples of what I should be without questioning it. I didn’t have my own true passion at that point to support this goal. I took some time to reflect within and considered other avenues for my future. Instead of pursuing medicine, I decided to major in Psychology and Public Health. 

When my friend was in a bus accident, I spent a great deal of time in the ICU. When I wasn’t by her bedside, I looked around the ICU, curious about the doctors’ discussing their patients’ progress and their ability to heal others, the spotless, white equipment everywhere, and the quiet, contemplative environment filled with people dedicated to helping their fellow human being in pain. This profound experience inspired me to shadow an ICU physician at [HOSPITAL NAME] Hospital to gain real firsthand experience and to decide if this was truly the right path for me. 

My experiences there transformed my thoughts about what it meant to be a doctor, when the mother of a coma patient clutched at the coat of the attending physician, begging for answers as to why her previously healthy, happy daughter was now fighting for her life. Suddenly, being a doctor was not just science classes and doctor parents missing my recitals as a child. Being a doctor meant having the education and abilities to give comfort to patients’ families, just as much as it meant treating illness and saving lives. The way that the attending calmly communicated methods of recourse and explanations for the coma struck something within me. No one else in the world could have given that mother the relief and counsel that she needed at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. I wanted nothing more than to take on that role and finally knew, after all this experience, that medicine was my calling. 

As a senior student teetering on graduation and going out into the world, and with all the new insight I had gained through shadowing, I decided that becoming a physician was one of my ultimate life goals. With the renewed sense of direction I garnered, along with the firm conviction that a career in medicine is the right path for me, I am confident that I will be able to take on a rigorous pre-med curriculum and succeed. During the time that I was not pre-med, I was able to discover my passion for medicine. As such, this time in my life was instrumental in getting me to where I am today. It would be the privilege of a lifetime to be accepted into [COLLEGE NAME]’s post-baccalaureate program, and I know that it would provide an extraordinary foundation to become a great physician. 

Here are some key points to consider as you reflect on this personal statement:

  • It uses engaging storytelling : The personal statement begins with a descriptive and unique childhood anecdote about whistling and superstition, immediately capturing the reader's attention and immersing the reader.
  • It has a clear purpose : The personal statement conveys the author's newfound passion and commitment to medicine. It demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenges and responsibilities of being a physician and the desire to make a difference in people's lives.
  • It flows well : The essay transitions smoothly from discussing childhood experiences to exploring the author's realization and passion for medicine. The transition is logical and allows the reader to understand the development of the author's aspirations.
  • It’s specific : The personal statement mentions shadowing experiences and highlights the author's desire to pursue a rigorous pre-med curriculum. It shows that the author has gained practical exposure to the field and is dedicated to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in it.
  • It’s tailored to the institution : The personal statement mentions the student’s desire to be accepted into a specific post-baccalaureate program, indicating research and knowledge about the institution. This demonstrates a genuine interest in the program and a willingness to contribute to its community.

The author's ability to convey their personal experiences and evoke emotion makes this statement stand out. It is a testament to their growth, resilience, and unwavering determination to pursue medicine. 

Warm covers slide off my body as I come to my senses. In the corner of my eyes, dust dances in the amber rays that shine through the blinds. As my fingers tap away at my phone, astray text catches my eye. My childhood friend, [NAME], took his own life at a park in our hometown.

Caught in a moment I could never prepare for, my mind races. I inhale, then exhale. “This changes nothing,” I assure myself. Tears soak my eyes and my vision blurs.

As the days passed, I found it difficult to look at life and school the same way. I grappled with the question of how I could become a doctor knowing that I would witness death again. Cycling through the stages of grief, I became irate on certain days and felt hopeless on others. 

To cope, I went to great lengths to watch my diet, manage my sleep hygiene and ensure that my health came first. Through countless nights, I would flip through pages on various philosophies and religions; of note to me were Buddhism, Christianity and Stoicism. No amount of self care and enlightenment could bring [NAME] back. Instead, it helped me come to terms with the difficult truth that I had been denying: [NAME]’s passing changed everything.

As I came to accept [NAME]’s passing, I developed the belief that we are responsible for ascribing meaning to the sacrifices of those who have passed. Since [NAME] had struggled with addiction, I began reading to better understand the functions of addiction and observe the many ways it manifested, seeking to spread mental health awareness on campus. 

With this knowledge, I would aim to help patients find value in their own lives, in spite of the physical and mental ailments they may face. My responsibility as a doctor would be two-fold - just as I would be responsible for diagnosing and treating patients on a physical level, I must also ensure that their emotional needs are met and they feel comfortable working with me as their doctor. 

With time, I saw the impact of my approach pay off. I enlisted to become co-director of the advocacy branch of [COLLEGE NAME]s Active Minds chapter, spreading my story in hopes it would inspire others. I reached out to students who were struggling with their own mental health and provided them with aid and support using the iCBT tools I learned through [COLLEGE NAME]’s STAND program. 

By taking into account the lives of the patients and their own mental wellbeing, their path to recovery can be much smoother - their quality of life will improve and they will realize that the doctor is working for the betterment of the patient’s life.

It was through these connections that I began to discover my innate passion and talent for guiding others. By ensuring fellow students and friends felt heard and understood, I could ease their worries and alleviate their tensions in life.

I find this property of the human condition charming; all it takes is a touch of connection to realize that the strife and tiredness that so often arises in life does not control us. I wish to give my future patients hope that even if they are suffering from a physical or mental condition, there will always be a blissful part of our soul that we can find ourselves comfortable in during the healing process.

Though many clinicians are involved in this healing process and can provide this necessary ‘calming presence,’ great doctors effectively shoulder an immense amount of trust and responsibility from both their patients and their colleagues. They often decide how to treat patients while balancing their wealth of knowledge with empathy and compassion. 

As a doctor, I would work to use this influence in order to ensure that the needs of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ communities and individuals facing mental illness are properly addressed. My time at [COLLEGE] allowed me to interact and work with members of these communities - opportunities that I did not have in the more culturally homogenous state of [STATE].

My care for patients would extend beyond empathy and compassion. Whether I was looking to elevate my experience in research by administering psychological tests to patients taking initiative to elevate my involvement in Active Minds, [COLLEGE]s mental health organization, I have always sought for ways to pursue new and enriching experiences beyond what was expected of me. 

Rather than taking a top-down approach to medicine, it would be my job to facilitate a connection that allows both the patient and myself to grow and understand more about one another.

Just as I would learn more about each patient and case that I review, I know that I would constantly have to research and incorporate new developments in medicine. I hope to embrace these changes in an effort to understand how the body and mind continue to evolve. By approaching each day as a learning experience, rather than a set mission with a set end, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge by understanding patients better, staying informed on the latest treatments and navigating public policy well beyond medical school and residency.

[NAME]’s passing brought me much heartache and grief. Through time, this grief has become a transformative experience. Rather than lamenting on his passing, I hope to do well on his legacy. Just as his deep laughter once brought joy to my life, perhaps my work will afford a future patient many more days of laughter and life.

There are multiple aspects of this medical school personal statement example that work well:

  • It uses an engaging narrative : The personal statement follows a narrative structure, starting with the initial event and progressing through the author's emotional and intellectual development. This structure helps engage the reader and creates a cohesive flow to the story.
  • Its integration of personal experience and academic interest : The author effectively connects their personal experience of loss with their academic interest in medicine. They demonstrate how their personal journey led them to develop a strong commitment to mental health advocacy and patient care.
  • It uses concrete anecdotes : The author includes specific anecdotes and experiences to illustrate their growth and passion for helping others. These anecdotes provide concrete examples of their commitment to medicine.
  • It ends strong : The author mentions their friend’s legacy and their desire to continue it through their work as a physician, which leaves an impression on the readers and adds depth to their motivation to join the field.

This personal statement is emotional and captivating. It provides the committee with a glimpse of who this student is, what they have been through, and how they resiliently used adversity as inspiration to become a better physician and person overall. 

While many students focus on proving their ability to be great physicians, few also prove their ability and desire to be great people overall, but the two go hand in hand! Demonstrating both can make you a more attractive and well-rounded candidate. 

The doctor’s voice faded as I stared blankly at the wall behind her. Tears welled in my eyes, and the staccato sips of the oxygen regulator quickened with my pulse. The words “We can’t do anything for you,” echoed and stung. 

Just a couple of years before, I identified as a healthy, active young woman, but now I felt like a prisoner in my own body. Bound to 24-hour oxygen, I was nearing end-stage pulmonary hypertension from multiple blood clots that turned to scar tissue in my lungs, and the doctor was telling me the disease would only progress.

Just as vividly as I remember the doctor saying nothing could be done, I also remember the day the care team came into my hospital room after my pulmonary thromboendarterectomy to discuss the Results of my most recent pulmonary diffusion scan. My heart pounded. I wanted nothing more than to hear that I would be okay and that I could return to activities like running and backpacking that previously brought me so much joy. 

As my physician pointed out the differences between my pre- and post-op scans, smiles and tears emerged on every face in the room. After two years of severely limited lung capacity, my lungs had nearly normalized, the hypertension was gone, and my heart would heal over the next few months. 

I am often at a loss for words when trying to convey the impact my doctors and care team had on the trajectory of my life, and I would not be who I am today without their empathy and dedication to improving my health. Although I always had a strong interest in medicine, this transformative experience inspired me to pursue a career as a physician so I may help others as my physicians have helped me.

One month after my surgery, I went back to school motivated and eager to advance in my prerequisites and achieve my goal of attending medical school and becoming a physician. I earned As in every class I took, often setting the curve on exams and accepting requests by professors to tutor my peers. 

Outside of school, I sought out non-profit organizations that aligned with my values and fueled my passion for service, health equity, and education. I dedicated my time to Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) where I helped organize fundraisers to repeal [STATE]s Three Strikes sentencing law. 

I also volunteer at the [CLINIC NAME] where I am conducting a client-based study that will impact clinic policy, procedures, and recruitment to better serve marginalized communities.

Along the way, I discovered a love and gift for human connection. Through these human connections, I learned that being a physician does not always mean “fixing” people’s ailments, but making sure people feel heard and validated as they receive the care every human deserves. 

While working as a medical assistant, I helped take care of a young, female patient who suffered from a worsening and debilitating eye condition. She came to us desperate, scared, and discouraged after being referred out of six clinics. 

When she arrived, I gathered a thorough medical history, taking note of the details leading up to and following the start of her symptoms. As she described her significant decline in vision, she broke down and shared how terrified she was. Drawing from my own experience, I gave her time and space to express her fears and concerns, reassuring her that we were there to take care of her. 

Given her recent travel history, we identified a parasitic infection as a likely diagnosis, and we urgently referred her to the top infectious disease clinic in our area. Following this appointment, the patient emailed our clinic to thank us for listening to her and making her feel like she mattered. 

During times of uncertainty, the most reassuring gift my physicians gave me was their time, allowing me to feel understood and supported. Knowing I have the capacity and tools to do the same for others is one of the many motivations that will carry me through medical school and beyond.

Reflecting on these experiences, I now understand medicine to be as much of a social practice as it is a scientific one, and, as a physician, I will prioritize patient advocacy, empathetic listening, cultural competency, and holistic approaches to care. 

Additionally, after seeing medicine through the lens of a patient, I am fortunate to know what is at stake when someone’s health is stripped from them and am not afraid to be vulnerable or express humility when faced with challenges that do not have a clear resolution. I believe uncovering patient-specific variables is not only key to avoiding generalizations and potential misdiagnoses, but also to fostering the meaningful doctor-patient relationships essential for successful, equitable treatment.

I have been a runner since I was twelve years old but thought I would never run again after I got sick. When running now, my mind sometimes wanders back to that day in the doctor’s office when I sat tethered to an oxygen tank and struggled to accept that life as I knew it was over. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply, listen to the rhythmic taps of my shoes on the pavement, and take inventory of the immense gratitude I feel for life and the physicians who gave me mine back.

I smile, open my eyes, and run into that feeling of lightness, knowing I can provide that for others.

If out of all the medical school personal statement examples, this one catches your eye, here are its most noteworthy features that you can implement in your own essay:

  • It has an emotional impact : The writer effectively conveys the emotional turmoil they experienced when receiving the diagnosis and hearing the words "We can't do anything for you." The details evoke a sense of empathy, putting the reader right in the writer’s shoes.
  • It demonstrates excellence and passion : The writer showcases their academic achievements, earning top grades and setting the curve in their classes. They also describe their involvement in non-profit organizations which demonstrate their dedication, leadership, and commitment to making a positive impact.
  • They reflect on medicine : The writer reflects on their understanding of medicine as a social practice in addition to a scientific one. Their acknowledgment of the complexity and uncertainties of medicine shows their willingness to express humility-–an important and often overlooked trait for physicians to have.
  • It demonstrates resilience : The passage ends on a hopeful note, as the writer reflects on their ability to run again and the immense gratitude they feel for life and their physicians. They express their determination to provide that sense of lightness and hope to others, proving they have clear direction and intent.

This personal statement is highly reflective, shows the writer’s vulnerability and humility, and proves they have clear goals that they are highly motivated to achieve!

The gravity of a phone call was something I had not fully understood until May 7, 2022. Mere weeks after her wedding, my cousin reached out to our family and delivered news none of us were prepared for. My aunt, affectionately called [AUNT’S NAME] in our native language Telugu, had fallen down the stairs and vomited. My cousin explained that [AUNT’S NAME]'s speech was impaired after the fall, but we did not expect to hear the unimaginable - she was diagnosed with glioblastoma. I felt my cousin's words on a visceral level, trying to put together the pieces she relayed over the phone. [AUNT’S NAME] was the light of every room she walked into, and as a nurse she was able to share her benevolence with patients.

Hearing she was no longer her full-of life self reflected how quickly things would never be the same. Within weeks, she was at [HOSPITAL] undergoing a craniotomy to extract her frontal lobe tumors. The uncertainty my family felt on the ride to visit her post-operation was palpable. Upon arriving, we were assured by the neurosurgeons that the surgery was successful and her tumors were removed. The thorough explanations with which they answered our endless inquiries were immediately noticeable, and I appreciated their patience and compassion in ensuring we were updated on her condition even after a lengthy operation. [AUNT’S NAME] underwent chemotherapy and radiation shortly after. We visited her in August, and the toll these procedures took on her was evident. She could not speak how she once did and her memory and mobility declined: it was painful to see her like this. On Christmas Eve, we visited her as she lay on the hospice bed, opening her eyes every few seconds. She could not experience the new year.

What startled me the most about [AUNT’S NAME]'s death was how sudden everything happened. How could someone who was happy and dancing in April be no longer here with us by December? Glioblastoma had the staggering ability to transform someone who brought warmth and light to everyone into a shell of her former self. As someone fascinated with healthcare since middle school, I had been confident in the ability of medicine to cure any patient's condition. But the doctors did their best, and it still was not enough to save [AUNT’S NAME]'s life. All of their education, training, and work could not fix her affliction. 

Arriving at that realization, I candidly reflected on the true societal value of physicians. The advocacy and support they gave our family during our darkest moments together was nothing short of meritorious. The neurosurgeons and oncologists used their medical knowledge to form a treatment plan around my aunt, and their contributions made all the difference despite her tumors' aggressiveness. More importantly, they prioritized explaining their work to our family in a comprehensible and empathetic way very few others can and ensured she was comfortable during her final days. After recognizing their impact, I felt a calling to also provide care and empathy for patients and their families during moments of need, knowing how much that meant to our family. Much like [AUNT’S NAME] was a shining light in our lives, her doctors provided light for us in the form of knowledge and empathy in our darkest hours. Invigorated to experience what it was like to be an advocate for patients like [AUNT’S NAME], I sought to witness firsthand the work physicians do.

My experience shadowing Dr. [NAME] enabled me to connect with patients from all walks of life. I gained clinical experience working at his clinic and, during my time there, was able to interact with patients like [NAME], who had such severe peripheral neuropathy that he was unable to even pick up a cup of water. Realizing [NAME] was once vibrant and healthy like [AUNT’S NAME] was, I knew [NAME] had the ability and privilege to guide him through this condition beyond merely prescribing medications. I saw my aunt in [NAME], and I knew having the assistance of [NAME] meant the world to him as he navigated living with his condition.

The ephemerality of life I understood following [AUNT’S NAME]s death compelled me to further dedicate my efforts towards serving disadvantaged people through volunteer work. From helping coordinate food drives to serving the homeless at soup kitchens, I was able to connect with local communities by offering hope to the underserved. These experiences developed in me a desire and commitment to apply my medical knowledge in treating patients of various backgrounds with the end goal of improving my community's health. My experiences fostering relationships with patients perpetually remind me of how gratifying it is hearing people from different walks of life and being their advocate throughout their journey of overcoming the illnesses they have.

My desire to complete graduate-level coursework is attributed to my eagerness to pursue a career in medicine. I believe this will hone my study skills and enhance my work ethic so I can excel in medical school and beyond. In addition to developing my study skills, I hope to actively engage in the community and continue shadowing to strengthen my competence to serve patients as their resolute advocate by offering hope in their lowest times.

It’s not unusual for students to write about their own or a loved one’s experience being ill in their medical school personal statement. While the topic may be common, there are ways to still ensure you stand out! Here’s how this student does so:

  • It’s clear and concise : Despite the emotional nature of the subject matter, the writing remains clear and concise. The writer effectively conveys their thoughts and experiences using precise language and impactful imagery.
  • It adds personal touches : Rather than just focusing on their aunt’s experience with her illness, they give the readers a glimpse into their own thought process, what they felt and saw during this challenging time.
  • It’s highly reflective : The writer candidly reflects on their initial confidence in medicine's ability to cure any condition and their subsequent realization that even the doctors' best efforts were not enough to save their aunt's life. This introspection adds depth, maturity, and authenticity to the narrative.
  • There’s a lesson learned : Using their aunt’s story, the writer acknowledges and appreciates the advocacy, support, and empathy provided by their aunt's doctors and explains the importance of physicians that extends beyond just treating sickness, showcasing their well-rounded perspective of a physician’s role.

Overall, these aspects contribute to the effectiveness of the writing by creating an emotionally resonant narrative, highlighting personal growth and reflection, and emphasizing the writer's commitment to compassionate care! 

They may take a similar direction as other students, but their anecdote is highly personal which ensures their personal statement is distinct nonetheless!

I woke up suddenly in agony, unable to move my leg. I shouted over to my mom feeling confused and helpless. I was only 11 years old and had never felt this type of pain. The pain endured, simply getting out of bed was a daily struggle. I met with dozens of specialists looking for answers. However, no one was able to diagnose me, deferring the disability as something musculoskeletal with no real solution. I felt demoralized that I was unable to run around with my friends anymore. The hospital became a revolving door. This pain was consuming my life. No one seemed to understand my urgency. After six long months of little progress, I began to lose hope that I would ever be the same. That was when I met Dr. [NAME].

His attention towards my ailment was different. His demeanor of a warm smile and pure enthusiasm made me feel immediately at ease. He was the only doctor that spoke directly to me, instead of to my parents. For the first time, I felt like I mattered. Although I was not sure he would find the solution to my problem, I knew I found someone who would do everything in his power to try. Fortunately, Dr. [NAME]s investment in my well-being helped determine I was suffering from a psoas impingement. Shortly after surgery, I was able to move my leg again, pain-free. Within a few months, to my surprise, I was able to walk without pain. From that moment on, I wanted to be just like Dr. [NAME]. I wanted to be a vector of hope. I wanted to be a doctor. 

In college, I wanted to test my own volition for medicine. After volunteering in the ER, I became a [CITY] EMT. While I cherished the responsibility of knowing my patients entrusted me with their health, I experienced first hand that my role was far more than having medical knowledge as a first responder. I recall [NAME], a veteran whom I met transporting from dialysis every week. As I helped him onto bed, I heard him ask an aide for water. When I returned for the nurse’s signature, I noticed he still had not gotten his water and so got it for him instead. [NAME] was a bilateral amputee and due to his limited mobility, was completely dependent on his caregivers. 

Although I could not understand [NAME]’s struggles, I knew how it felt to be in a vulnerable state from my own experience as a patient. I could not change [NAME]’s situation; however, I had the opportunity to give [NAME] the same sense of relevance that Dr. [NAME] gave me. I tried to make [NAME] feel at ease – listening and validating his concerns. I connected with him as a person and not just a patient, enabling him to regain a sense of autonomy despite his disabling circumstances. I began to visit him outside of work and helped him find a prosthetist. Seeing the impact I was able to have on [NAME] and so many others as an EMT, further solidified my desire to become a doctor. 

Following graduation, I embarked on a unique opportunity to work for Count Me In (CMI), a research organization at the [INSTITUTE NAME]. CMI applies a patient-centered approach to cancer research, partnering directly with patients and empowering them as experts of their own disease. I analyze patient medical records for all metastatic and rare cancers. Initially, it was challenging because most patients were terminally-ill. Each new record was like starting a book that I knew was going to have an unfortunate ending. I found myself subconsciously reconstructing the patient’s narrative. It was difficult to recount their years of trauma only as a bystander without any ability to change their outcome. 

Fortunately, I was able to meet several patients including [NAME], a patient diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I will always remember the enthusiasm she spoke with as she described how grateful she was for being a part of CMI. She emphasized how it helped her regain a sense of control over her disease and provided purpose to her suffering. It was empowering to see her excitement for the potential of her data helping others and sense of fulfillment from being involved in her own cancer’s research. I realized the reward of assisting patients attain a sense of autonomy superseded any emotional struggle I may experience studying their hardships. 

I applied to medical school in 2018 following graduation and again in 2020. Since my last application, I have continued to work for CMI, allowing me countless meaningful patient interactions through advisory council meetings and virtual conferences. Each encounter has been a reminder to stay on course, reinforcing my desire to become a physician dedicated to helping patients. CMI has given me the tools and skills needed to be a strong and effective champion of patient advocacy. As a doctor, I will leverage this experience to push for patient autonomy and prioritize patients at the forefront of their care. 

My decision to reapply reflects my conviction that I will be an impactful physician attuned to my patients’ needs. It reflects my endurance as an applicant, which will pay dividends in the long and difficult journey that is medical school and residency. Furthermore, I believe this endurance will allow me to serve as a source of strength for my patients in their disease pathologies, never giving up on finding a solution. I want nothing more than to be a physician. I want to be like Dr. [NAME]. I want to be Dr. [WRITER’S NAME]

Here’s what makes this personal statement effective: 

  • It demonstrates persistence and resilience : The personal statement underscores the writer's persistence and resilience in the face of challenges. They mention reapplying to medical school and continuing to work for CMI, despite previous application setbacks.
  • It showcases clear communication skills : The writer effectively communicates their thoughts, experiences, and motivations using precise language and impactful storytelling. This demonstrates their ability to articulate their ideas and experiences effectively, a valuable skill for a future physician.
  • It remains positive : Despite the challenges described, the writer maintains an overall positive and hopeful tone. The writer focuses on the lessons learned and the impact they can make as a future physician. They do not aim to evoke pity, which is a smart move because it never goes well with admissions committees!
  • It’s authentic : The writing feels genuine and authentic, reflecting the writer's personal experiences, emotions, and motivations. This authenticity makes the personal statement more relatable and compelling to read.

While this personal statement certainly tugs at the heartstrings, it goes beyond simply telling a sad story. Using their difficult experience, they share their inspiration to become a physician, demonstrate their perseverance, and prove they’re dedicated to medicine.

“Who is Wilson and can you tell him that I have basketball practice tonight?” I joked to an assembly of doctors and nurses surrounding my hospital bed. Rather than starting my senior year of high school, I was admitted to the hospital and subjected to several days of relentless testing and consultations. Ultimately, it was confirmed that I was one of 30,000 people in the world diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, a rare copper metabolism disorder that can cause fulminant liver failure. This reserved me a status 1A spot on the national transplant list, a status generally reserved for those who have a prognosis of only a few days of survival. Over the next nine days, I was encephalopathic – dozing in and out of consciousness. Due to the compassionate and selfless act of a twenty--year--old named [NAME], I overcame the inevitable. When no cadaveric donors were available, [NAME] chose to donate a portion of her liver to give me a fighting chance to live. The seventeen-hour surgery and subsequent procedures over the following weeks kick-started an arduous road to recovery and gave me a newfound appreciation for what it means to live. My journey, although daunting, instilled in me a high regard for the fragility of life and has inspired me to want to help others preserve it.

Prior to my own four-month hospital stay, I was no stranger to the weight of a patient’s room. At ten years old, a time when most kids rely on their mom, I instead fulfilled a very different role as mine battled breast cancer. Attending every chemotherapy appointment, emergency room visit, and trip to pick out a new wig, I served as a part of my mom’s care team. I could always be found by her side, painting her nails or watching marathons of I Love Lucy on days when she did not have the strength to get out of bed. Despite all efforts, I lost her. However, I found solace with a newfound appreciation for the impact of death. While she may have physically departed from my presence, her lessons and memories continue to have a hold. My mom’s diagnosis revealed her zest for perseverance. She taught me the immeasurable value of emotional support, which empowered me to provide that to others. I decided to run for the position of Philanthropy Chairman of my sorority at [COLLEGE] and was elected. With this appointment, I strengthened our chapter’s ties with Breastcancer.org — an online forum that supports patients and their families as they are battling breast cancer. I was responsible for raising money and awareness and organized a basketball tournament with the entire student body to support the cause. Just as I sat by my mom’s side throughout every part of her journey, I know she is guiding me wherever my journey leads. And it is because of her that I found resilience when I fought my own battles 7 years later. 

Through my personal struggles as a liver transplant recipient, I was invested in understanding more about my disease process. This desire further sparked my interest in the field of medicine and catalyzed my scientific curiosity to be involved in research. I was given the fortuitous opportunity to study organ rejection patterns and the efficacy of two immunosuppressants - Tacrolimus and Sirolimus. Working alongside Dr. [NAME], my former physician while I was a patient at [HOSPITAL], I gained experience on the power of research. My project entailed retrospectively reviewing the Nemours transplant database and collecting data on all liver transplant recipients. Additionally, I had the opportunity to speak and relate directly to patients and their families. Through my firsthand experiences as both a patient and a research assistant, I know that research is an integral component of medical education and advancement. I hope to continue my involvement in investigative and clinical outcomes research in medical school and as a future physician. 

Furthermore, I have quickly realized the sense of satisfaction and purpose I gain from sharing my story with others. I solidified my commitment to medicine by enrolling in the [COLLEGE]’s Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate program. To further bolster my education, I became a medical scribe and inserted myself at the center of the patient-provider interaction. I empower my patients to ask questions and provide them with a say in their own care. With this experience, I have learned that bedside manner is just as important as having the medical knowledge to diagnose and treat illness. As someone who has spent time both in hospital beds and preparing beds for medical procedures, I understand the anxiety and complications that come with human health and take pride in sharing my emotional support with my patients each day.

Rather than allowing my diagnosis to define me, I named my puppy Wilson to remind myself of my journey and perseverance. As I put on my scrubs each morning and take Wilson for a walk, my motivation to become a physician grows stronger. My past has enabled me to appreciate the importance of compassion, value of human life, and the kind of person I want to become. I have fully immersed myself in the field and am ready to embark on the next chapter of my life as a future physician—Wilson always at my side.

The following elements make this a winning personal statement:

  • It tells a unique personal story : The writer shares a personal journey that is intimate and impactful. From being diagnosed with a rare disease to experiencing the loss of their mother to cancer, the writer's personal experiences add depth and emotional resonance to their narrative.
  • It demonstrates a commitment to patient advocacy: The writer's philanthropic activities and role as a medical scribe reflect their dedication to advocating for patients. They recognize the importance of empowering patients and involving them in their own care, which are all green flags for the admission committee!
  • The little details matter : Naming their puppy Wilson as a reminder of their journey and perseverance adds a nice personal touch and symbolizes the writer's unwavering motivation to become a physician. It conveys their deep connection to their experiences and their drive to make a difference. 

In case these 15 personal statement examples aren’t enough, you can access a dozen more samples to spark your creativity and help you write a stellar statement!

Steps to Write Your Personal Statement for Medical School

med student writing essay

After reviewing the above medical school personal statement examples, you likely noticed some patterns and have a rough idea of how to structure your statement. But, if you’re still feeling a bit unsure about diving into the writing process, here’s a simple roadmap to get you started :

  • Step one : Spend considerable time on the brainstorming process and reflect on the experiences that have shaped your desire to pursue medicine. Consider your personal growth, the challenges you’ve overcome, your meaningful encounters, and your career aspirations.
  • Step two : Narrow your choices down and choose one significant story that you can connect your other meaningful experiences to.
  • Step three : Use effective storytelling throughout your essay. Show, don’t tell, be descriptive, and immerse your readers! Make sure your story is authentic and reflects your unique perspective.
  • Step four : Prove you’ve done your research and carefully considered your medical school choice. Show how your career goals and interests align with your school’s values.
  • Step five : Revise and edit your work multiple times until you’re satisfied with it, even if it means rewriting your entire essay or changing your central narrative! 
  • Step six : Get feedback from a trusted friend, family member, or mentor to catch any lingering errors or typos.
  • Step seven : Be authentic in your personal statement. Don’t try to impress the admissions committee by using overly embellished or exaggerated stories! Admissions committees appreciate honesty and genuine passion, and they can typically see right through insincerity!

Although writing your personal statement may seem overwhelming at first, following these steps and reflecting on the effective elements of the medical school personal statement examples above should help you complete this application requirement with more confidence!

FAQs: Med School Personal Statements

We’ve gone over several medical school personal statement examples, provided you with a run-down of how to approach your statement, and hopefully instilled some hope and motivation in you to begin your writing journey. 

In case you have any remaining concerns about this application component, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about personal statements for med school! 

1. What Should a Medical School Personal Statement Say?

Your medical school personal statement should clearly articulate your genuine interest in the field and explain what drives you to become a doctor. This could be a personal story, an influential experience, or a deep-rooted desire to make a positive impact on people's lives through healthcare.

You should also share relevant personal experiences that have shaped your decision to pursue medicine and discuss your proudest accomplishments, whether it be extracurriculars , academic achievements, or volunteer endeavors.

Ensure your narrative is unique and that you highlight the qualities that make you a strong candidate for medical school.

2. How Should I Start My Personal Statement for Medical School?

Start your statements as all of the medical school personal statement examples in this guide have—with a unique and intriguing hook. Share an experience that influenced you to become a physician and fully immerse your reader by being descriptive and focusing on several senses.

Try to involve your reader in your writing by painting a vivid picture for them!

3. What Should Be Avoided In a Personal Statement for Medical School?

While there are endless topics you can choose to write about in your personal statement, you should avoid doing the following :

  • Being generic : Have specific goals, intentions, and concrete examples to demonstrate your commitment to medicine.
  • Being cliche : Don’t use overused quotes or claim you pursued medicine to change the world. The committee has seen it a million times and wants deeper insight into what medicine means to you and what kind of physician you hope to become.
  • The Debbie downer : Remain positive in your personal statement, even if you’re mentioning hardship you experienced!
  • Risky humor : while adding some humor into your statement can elevate it and add personality to it, you want to be very careful with the types of jokes you use and err on the side of caution by avoiding any potentially offensive or niche jokes.
  • Neglecting to edit your work : Typos, spelling errors, or grammatical mistakes will reduce the efficacy of your statement. Do not skip the final step of proofreading your work!

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be one step closer to writing an excellent med school personal statement!

Final Thoughts

Remember, your personal statement is your opportunity to make a lasting impression on the admissions committee. It’s your time to highlight your achievements and share those transformative experiences that made you realize your calling and the impact you want to make in the world!

Be genuine, think outside of the box, tell your story, and let your passion for medicine shine through. Good luck!

medicine personal statements

Schedule A Free Consultation

You may also like.

How to Get Into Loyola Medical School

How to Get Into Loyola Medical School

How to Use the MSAR to Choose a Medical School

How to Use the MSAR to Choose a Medical School

image of youtube logo

medicine personal statements

Clearing Universities & Courses

Clearing advice.

Recommended Clearing Universities

medicine personal statements

New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, NMITE

West Midlands Region · 100% Recommended

medicine personal statements

Canterbury Christ Church University

South East England · 94% Recommended

medicine personal statements

University of Sussex

South East England · 98% Recommended

Popular Course Categories

Take our quick degree quiz.

Find the ideal uni course for you with our Course Degree Quiz. Get answers in minutes!

Take our full degree quiz

Get more tailored course suggestions with our full Course Degree Quiz and apply with confidence.

Search by Type

Search by region.

Recommended Universities

medicine personal statements

University of Surrey

medicine personal statements

Goldsmiths, University of London

London (Greater) · 92% Recommended

medicine personal statements

Heriot-Watt University

Scotland · 97% Recommended

Search Open Days

What's new at uni compare.

medicine personal statements

University of Law

Ranked Top 20 amongst English universities in the 2023 National Student Survey!

medicine personal statements

Northeastern Uni London

Want to earn two globally recognised degrees simultaneously? Look no further!

Ranking Categories

Regional rankings.

More Rankings

medicine personal statements

Top 100 Universities

Taken from 131,500+ data points from students attending university to help future generations

medicine personal statements

About our Rankings

Discover university rankings devised from data collected from current students.

Guide Categories

Advice categories, recommended articles, popular statement examples, statement advice.

medicine personal statements

What to include in a Personal Statement

medicine personal statements

Personal Statement Tips

Personal statement examples medicine personal statements.

Discover personal statement examples written by students accepted onto medicine and related courses. Read through the examples to help shape your own personal statement.

Medicine Personal Statements

Submitted by anonymous

Medicine Personal Statement

My initial interest in medicine stemmed from my excitement of Human B...

The combination of the sciences, the latest technologies and social i...

Submitted by Oriana

Shadowing a doctor on a geriatric ward, I witnessed tears, arguments ...

Submitted by Subhasis

The undiagnosed death of a relative in India, which was later found t...

Submitted by Neha

Global Health Personal Statement

Healthcare is a broad field and my interest began when I volunteered ...

Submitted by Martha

Through my mother’s recent diagnosis and treatment of stage 3 metasta...

Submitted by Sinead

Austerity, junior doctor strikes, and even Brexit, are said to have b...

Submitted by Denise

Seven years ago, I witnessed the deterioration of my grandmother's he...

Submitted by Haroon

The decision to study medicine isn't one made upon one mind-blowing e...

Submitted by Holly

It is the degree of uncertainty that brings excitement and interest i...

Find the latest from Uni Compare

Image of University of Law

University of Bradford

#1 for UK City of Culture 2025, click here to learn more!

Image of Middlesex University

Middlesex University

Middlesex are 5th in London for Student Satisfaction and 25th in the UK, apply today!

Image of Goldsmiths, University of London

Goldsmiths offers creative, cultural and social courses - click here to learn more!

Image of University of East London

University of East London

UEL and the University of South Florida have announced collaboration together, click here to learn more!

Image of Uni for the Creative Arts

Uni for the Creative Arts

UCA has been ranked the 3rd specialist creative uni in the UK! (Good Uni Guide 2023)

Image of University of Bedfordshire

University of Bedfordshire

Combine big-city buzz and beautiful countryside at Bedfordshire. Learn more now.

Want to learn more about a university?

Get your questions answered by sending them an enquiry now.

undergraduate Universities

Undergraduate uni's.

Photo of University of Surrey

Uni of Surrey

740 courses

Photo of Goldsmiths, University of London

Goldsmiths, UOL

342 courses

Photo of Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt Uni

337 courses

Photo of University for the Creative Arts

Uni for Creative Arts

610 courses

Photo of Northeastern University - London

Northeastern Uni

Photo of SOAS, University of London

467 courses

Photo of The University of Law

126 courses

Photo of New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, NMITE

Ravensbourne

103 courses

Photo of University Academy 92, UA92

Uni of Kent

588 courses

Photo of Middlesex University

Middlesex Uni

670 courses

Photo of West London Institute of Technology

West London IoT

Photo of University of Leicester

Uni of Leicester

436 courses

Photo of LIBF

Uni of Hertfordshire

598 courses

Photo of University of Bedfordshire

Uni of Bedfordshire

651 courses

Photo of Coventry University

Coventry Uni

780 courses

Photo of Leeds Arts University

Leeds Arts University

Photo of Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Met Uni

500 courses

Photo of University of Chester

Uni of Chester

630 courses

Photo of Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett Uni

459 courses

Photo of ARU Writtle

ARU Writtle

Photo of University of Bradford

Uni of Bradford

393 courses

Photo of Escape Studios

Escape Studios

Photo of University of East London

Uni of East London

570 courses

Photo of University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)

893 courses

Photo of University of Suffolk

Uni of Suffolk

222 courses

Photo of Staffordshire University

Staffordshire Uni

478 courses

Photo of University of Sunderland

Uni of Sunderland

332 courses

Photo of Bath Spa University

Bath Spa Uni

512 courses

Photo of University of Winchester

Uni of Winchester

258 courses

Photo of University of Reading

Uni of Reading

692 courses

Photo of Wrexham University

Wrexham Uni

294 courses

Photo of University of Westminster

Uni of Westminster

515 courses

Photo of Queen's University, Belfast

Queen's Uni

634 courses

Photo of Bangor University

826 courses

Photo of Swansea University

Swansea Uni

1360 courses

Photo of University of Roehampton

Uni of Roehampton

468 courses

Photo of University of Huddersfield

Uni of Huddersfield

784 courses

Photo of University of Portsmouth

Uni of Portsmouth

779 courses

Photo of University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol

UWE, Bristol

495 courses

Photo of University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)

Highlands & Islands

451 courses

Photo of University of South Wales

709 courses

Photo of University of Essex

Uni of Essex

1397 courses

Photo of Kingston University

Kingston Uni

619 courses

Photo of University of Central Lancashire

Uni of C.Lancashire

795 courses

Photo of University of Hull

Uni of Hull

Photo of University of Brighton

Uni of Brighton

521 courses

Photo of Edge Hill University

Edge Hill Uni

400 courses

Photo of Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin Uni

876 courses

Photo of Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent

930 courses

FIND THE IDEAL COURSE FOR YOU

Degree Course Quiz

Find the ideal university course for you in minutes by taking our degree matchmaker quiz today.

  • [email protected]
  • +44 (0) 333 050 7764 (Mon-Fri (9AM-5PM)
  • Award-Winning Medicine Application Support
  • +44 (0) 333 050 7764 (Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM)

All UCAT Support

All Interview Support

  • Medical School Reviews
  • PS Free Resources
  • UCAT Free Resources
  • Interview Free Resources
  • Book A Free Consultation

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Oxford (Alexander)

Home » Application Guide » Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Oxford (Alexander)

Looking for medical application guidance?

Application Guide Menu

Welcome to our collection of Medicine Personal Statement Examples! We’ve searched far and wide to find personal statements from successful applicants all around the UK and asked them to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their work for your own inspiration. Today’s subject is from Alexander, who studies Medicine at the University of Oxford.

Alexander applied to study medicine in 2014 at 4 of the best medical schools in the UK, including Edinburgh and Sheffield . In the end, he received offers from both University College London and the University of Oxford , of which he chose the latter and began his studies in 2015.

UniversityUniversity of OxfordUniversity College LondonUniversity of SheffieldUniversity of Edinburgh
Offer? YesYes

Let’s read the personal statement that got him a place at Oxford, or skip straight to his feedback to learn what made his personal statement a success!

Please be aware that these examples are meant purely for the sake of inspiration, and should absolutely NOT be used as a model around which to base your own personal statement. UCAS have a rather strict system that detects plagiarism .

University of Oxford Medicine Personal Statement Example

Whole personal statement.

Life as a doctor is hard – long hours, demanding patients and a pressurised working environment. However you also have the tremendous privilege of helping people at their most vulnerable. This is what appeals to me about medicine.  

I have always been interested in science and health and used to enjoy listening to my grandfather talking about his experiences as a family doctor at the birth of the NHS. My parents are pharmacists, so healthcare has always featured in family conversations. It made me think that medicine would be a challenging yet rewarding career.  

Medicine reflects my academic interests. For instance, I am a keen follower of rugby and American Football and became intrigued by concussion. My EPQ allowed me to research the physiology of brain injuries, analyse scientific papers on the materials used in helmet construction and study the psychological impact of wearing helmets.  

Taking part in the Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge really tested my understanding and ability to apply the principles of chemistry to new and unique situations such as drug manufacture. I was particularly interested in the complexity of the processes that create some of our most basic, yet fundamental drugs.  

I am curious about medical research, so read ‘The Trouble with Medical Journals’ by former BMJ editor, Dr Richard Smith. It showed me how difficult it is to conduct studies that are wholly free from bias and conflicts of interest, and opened up an interesting debate about the role of pharmaceutical companies in funding clinical trials.  

My work experience has given me a great insight into life as a doctor. I organised a placement in an orthopaedics department, where I closely observed the whole process from admission and surgery to after-care. I saw how important communication was in all aspects of the department: having clear, defined roles in theatre, and using the right language to guide scared patients through complex procedures. I also witnessed first-hand one of the main challenges facing a doctor – dealing with uncooperative patients, yet still achieving a good outcome.  

My work as a volunteer at a dementia care home showed me some of the harsher realities of long-term illness and gave me a practical understanding of the effects of degenerative brain disease. I spent time talking to residents and keeping them company, including one who was a former matron. She could remember how to diagnose illnesses but could not remember when she last had a cup of tea. When I asked her about her time as a matron, she cried. I found this upsetting and it pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Initially I felt uncomfortable and did not know how to approach my time at the home. However I persevered and gained a new appreciation of the difficulties faced by both the elderly and those caring for them.  

A doctor must keep calm and make good decisions under pressure. On my Gold DofE expedition, I used my problem-solving ability to navigate out of a dense forest using only contour lines. At times the group became frustrated and started to argue. I took responsibility to try and resolve these difficulties by suggesting solutions in a non-confrontational manner.  

My passion outside work and college is cricket. I play as much as I can for several clubs and coach young people aged 4-15. I like the responsibility of influencing a young cricketer’s development. Coaching has enabled me to gain valuable experience in organising other people and become a better communicator. It can be frustrating, but worth it when you see how much they improve. I also help junior school children with their reading, which is richly rewarding but demands great patience.  

In summary: I enjoy science. I can relate to people. I am resilient and would relish an environment of lifelong learning. A career in a caring profession like medicine would be stimulating, meaningful, and provide me with the best opportunities to apply my knowledge to benefit others.

Need some extra guidance in your Personal Statement preparations?

Signing up to the Personal Statement Bundle means you’ll be guided by expert Medics who will help you write the perfect Personal Statement and provide unlimited redraft submissions. 

Want to learn how to Write the Perfect Personal Statement? This bundle is the one for you…

Pay what you want for expert Personal Statement support.

Write an impressive Personal Statement with the help of our in-depth resources and intensive crash course, all for the price that you decide.

Personal Statement Crash Course

MEDICINE MASTERY BUNDLE

Achieve Medicine Mastery in all areas of your application, including the Personal Statement

Write an impressive Personal Statement with the help of our one-to-one tuition, in-depth resources, an intensive crash course and much more. 

University of Oxford Medicine Personal Statement Example Analysis

Now, let’s go section by section and see what Alexander has to say about what he wrote:  

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

I wanted to keep this introduction very simple and straightforward, which I believe I did well. I didn’t waffle about any life-changing events that made me decide to study medicine overnight, I just focused on an honest appraisal of my background that led me to consider medicine. It’s very direct, but I feel admissions teams prefer honestly over trying to create a massively blown-up story about something that is actually pretty simple. It saves time and space that can be used to thoroughly discuss my experiences and skills later on.

‘Life as a doctor is hard’ does sound a little cliché and cringy when I read it back all these years later. I wanted to create a catchy opening but instead, it just feels like I’m either moaning or explaining medical work to a child. In the second part, emphasising the medical background I come from may come across as I’m only doing medicine because my family do it/want me to do it. It is certainly worth mentioning, but I barely discuss how living with medical professionals has helped me develop my own skills and interests.

Lastly, and this is a reoccurring issue, why did I split this into two paragraphs? They both link together, but splitting this section in half makes each part feel less significant than if I had left them as one.  

I am curious about medical research, so read ‘The Trouble with Medical Journals’ by former BMJ editor, Dr Richard Smith. It showed me how difficult it is to conduct studies that are wholly free from bias and conflicts of interest, and opened up an interesting debate about the role of pharmaceutical companies in funding clinical trials.

I start off the main part of my personal statement by discussing my academics. Here, I found ways to relate the extra things I’d done at sixth form (EPQ, Olympiad, Trouble with Medical Journals) to medical topics and reflected on how they had helped me become a good medicine applicant. Again I kept the things I gained from them very simple, being very clear about exactly what I did and not trying to stretch the truth. Although I am trying to sell myself, I didn’t want to over-exaggerate my accomplishments as many admissions teams can see right through insincerity. Detailing my additional research is also a great way of demonstrating my interest in medicine in a practical and applicable way, rather than just describing life experiences that inspired me.  

Throughout these paragraphs, the writing sometimes comes across as a bit waffly, such as being intrigued by concussions because of rugby and American football. It’s a very random detail to mention and could have flowed more naturally into my EPQ. Instead of providing this surface-level information about myself, I could perhaps have given examples of what I’d learnt, although I did leave it slightly open to encourage interviewers to ask me about my EPQ at the interview. I do provide a better amount of depth when discussing the other topics here though.  

As for the paragraphing issue, this section is a bit more justifiable as each paragraph does tackle a separate topic. However, paragraphs this small do make the content feel less important or in-depth.

This is my discussion of work experience and volunteering work . Here, I was clear that I organised my orthopaedic work experience and dementia home volunteering myself, not that it was arranged for me. This may seem like an odd thing to point out, but it definitely shows a level of confidence and initiative that some applicants do miss (it was especially important for me considering my medical background, it would be very easy for the reader to assume my parents sorted something for me).  

Again, I didn’t over-exaggerate what I had done or learnt, I was very factual and let that speak for itself as I was confident it was good enough to be impressive. Even if it wasn’t the most impressive experience they had seen, the confidence in which I presented it gives it equal or greater value to work experience that has been dressed in over descriptive language.  

Paragraph-wise, this is actually a section I handled correctly in my opinion.  

Given how much I could have written about these two experiences, I unfortunately wasn’t as reflective as I should have been here. I had learned a lot from these experiences, but I only really discussed the surface-level skills I had learnt from them. There are many underlying lessons that I could have defiantly discussed in order to give this section a bit more power.  

I was a bit nervous about including the time I made a person cry, and how difficult I initially found the care home, but overall I think that it was important to show awareness that I’m not yet a perfect doctor/person, but at least I have been able to see an improvement in myself from the experience. This is a tactic that could backfire if you’re not fully confident, but as long as you can explain yourself in the interview, you’ll come off as a stronger candidate because of it.  

Here we have another pretty straightforward paragraph which only says what I myself did and doesn’t try and take too much credit. It ticks off some of the soft skills medical schools are looking for, again with examples that I could elaborate on further in the interview. The first sentence of this paragraph also serves to justify the inclusion of everything else I discuss here by linking everything back to medicine.  

In reality, it’s a bit of a filler paragraph to try and show I’ve got some other skills they are after. Nothing here is as strong as what I previously discussed, although it’s really not expected to. I certainly don’t feel it’s a particularly strong or stand-out paragraph like the previous one, but it serves its purpose of demonstrating some additional skills.  

I think this paragraph works well, showing both my extra-curricular interest in cricket and also how I’ve turned my passion for it into something that helps others, which sounds like a decent analogy to medicine. The personal statement isn’t just about medical abilities; universities also want students who are happy, healthy and likely to contribute to university life as a whole. This example perfectly encapsulates how I would be a fantastic university student!

Everything doesn’t need to be “all medicine, all the time”, but linking this topic to medicine would have definitely helped it feel more relevant in this personal statement. I just said that this sounds like a good analogy for medicine, so all I would have needed to do is point this out in a slightly more explanatory way. Looking at the wording and phrasing I used, “ I like the responsibility ” maybe sounds a bit sociopathic while “organising other people” is also a slightly odd phrase. The junior school reading is maybe something I could have expanded on further, to show a bit more breadth.

Looking for more support with your Personal Statement?

When you sign up to 6med’s Personal Statement Bundle, you’ll be getting guidance from expert Medics, alongside a tonne of insightful resources to teach you everything you need to know about personal statement writing.

So are you ready to Write the Perfect Personal Statement? Then get started today with 6med!

Want more expert Personal Statement support?

Pay What You Want for expert Personal Statement guidance from 6med, including comprehensive resources and access to an intensive crash course.

Personal Statement Work Book

Personal Statement Workbook

Looking for Personal Statement support?

We’ll do you one better!  The Medicine Mastery Bundle supports you through your Personal Statement, UCAT and Interview with 30+ hours of 1-1 tuition and a full suite of resources and features . 

This is a proper summary of my personal statement; it doesn’t contain any new information and brings everything from my personal statement together in just 3 lines. It comes across as very snappy and ends with a true reflection of why I want to study medicine. This is pretty much everything expected of a good quality conclusion.  

This is perhaps where I may become a bit overly confident describing myself with all those terms. Taken on its own, the paragraph does nothing to show how I can say these things about myself, but I have tried to demonstrate why I believe I have those qualities throughout my statement. So hopefully, in context, it sounded appropriate. I suppose it must have done or else I wouldn’t have gotten my offers.  

Final Thoughts

Throughout this analysis, I have made sure to point out several times that this statement is no-nonsense and straight to the point. It’s very factual, and I make a point of showing my qualities with evidence rather than just saying I am caring or I like science for example. I show a good breadth of experiences and am not afraid to speak about the bad ones, which shows I have a fuller picture of the highs and lows of a career in medicine. I wrote this knowing that whoever would end up reading would know far more than me about medicine and be far more experienced than myself, so I didn’t want to either talk down to them or sound like I was desperate to impress them. I’d say the biggest strength of this personal statement is its confidence. When writing, know what your strengths are and own up to your weaknesses while understanding that they don’t detract from your abilities unless you let them.  

Because I was applying to Oxford I put my academic achievements first, even though my strongest paragraphs were more in the middle. There were several things that I had done that I did not include, and perhaps I could have created more space by shortening some of the paragraphs to create space for them, to ensure I’m covering more of the skills and qualities medical schools are after. These are all structural issues, but I had a few issues with my writing style too. The confident writing approach is effective when done well, but it can fall flat when you make weird statements like my first line, or become a bit too cocky. There’s a balance to reach and, although you probably won’t perfect every line, you will need to most likely go through countless drafts to get it right.  

So there you have it! This personal statement helped Alexander earn 2 offers from two of the most prestigious medical schools in the country!

Everyone has different experiences and abilities, so you may not be able to relate to everything that was said in this personal statement. However, the information and advice provided by Alexander is universal and will help any applicant write a better personal statement!  

Be sure to check out more Medicine Personal Statement Analyses to see advice from all different kinds of applicants, including Ali Abdaal , another Oxbridge medical student! Or if you want to get started on your own statement, check out 6med’s Medicine Mastery Bundle for all the support and resources you’ll ever need for your whole application. 

More Medicine Personal Statement Examples & Inspiration

Reapplying to Medicine – Anton’s Personal Statements

Medicine Personal Statement Inspiration – Jonathan (Cambridge)

Medicine Personal Statement Inspiration – Millie (Cambridge)

Medicine Personal Statement Inspiration – Duranka (Oxford)

Medicine Personal Statement Inspiration – James (UCL)

Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement – Samah (Cambridge)

Medicine Personal Statement Inspiration – Ali Abdaal (Cambridge)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Cambridge (Elizabeth)

Medical Biosciences Personal Statement Example – Imperial College London

Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Warwick (Laura)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Plymouth (Abdullah)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – King’s College London (Azzra)

Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Brighton and Sussex

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Cardiff University (Faris)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Cambridge (Lucy)

Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Sunderland (Ikrah)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Cambridge (Annie)

Medicine Personal Statement Examples – Bristol (Faraz)

Matthew Amalfitano-Stroud

unlock infinite medical wisdom

Just leave your email in the box and you’ll receive weekly updates and the best tips for your medical application!

Application Support

  • Personal Statement
  • Crash Courses
  • 1-1 Tutoring

Free Resources

  • Personal Statement Free Resources
  • Medicine Application Guides

Other Stuff

  • UCAT.Ninja™
  • Exams.Ninja
  • School Support
  • Tutor With Us
  • Medical School Success Calculator
  • Help Centre

Pay with confidence

medicine personal statements

12 Steps to a Perfect Medical School Personal Statement (with before and after example)

medicine personal statements

Have you ever read an example med school personal statement and thought, Wow... I could never write something that good ?

That’s because you’re only seeing the finished product. Take it from me, an editor, someone who sees the essays first thing in the morning without their makeup on.

artist Stephan Schmitz -  https://www.theispot.com/artist/schmitz

artist Stephan Schmitz - https://www.theispot.com/artist/schmitz

See all those broken plates? Those are all the personal statement rough drafts, the discarded sentences, the gutted paragraphs, all the sweat and tears of the revision process . No one sees that. They see a guy miraculously juggling five plates at once.

You’re like that juggler - trying to balance multiple things at once in your personal statement, all within certain strict limitations. And guess what? You’ll have to break a few plates before you get it right.

So… let’s break some plates (maybe some hearts and spirits too).

I invite you along to play the role of editor with me. You’ll choose your own path as we go through 12 steps of revision to perfect the personal statement.

I’ll give a “before” version of each section of an example personal statement, and you’ll have to call the 12 shots about how we make it better. Ready?

Default Outline for Personal Statement

Section 1 - hook.

Hook (BEFORE)

Step 1: Cut down on length

Step 2: Remove the negativity

Step 3: Grab More Attention

Hook (AFTER)

Section 2 - When/Why Medicine

When/Why Medicine (BEFORE)

Step 4: Remove red flags

Step 5: Connect to personal narrative

Step 6: Add more definitive “Why Medicine”

When/Why Medicine (AFTER)

Section 3 - Exposure

Exposure (BEFORE):

Step 7: Remove informal language

Step 8: Show more personal value as a candidate

Exposure (AFTER)

Optional - Explain Issues with Conduct/Grades

Section 4 - meaningful contributions.

Meaningful Contributions (BEFORE)

Step 9: Include above-and-beyond contributions

Step 10: Emphasize impact on others

Meaningful Contributions (AFTER)

Section 5 - Why You/Conclusion

Why You/Conclusion (BEFORE)

Step 11: Balance your voice with professionalism

Step 12: Add more style, cut down on summary

Why You/Conclusion (AFTER)

COMPLETE “Before” Draft

Complete “after” draft.

Don’t have the time or energy for this Do-It-Yourself project?

Then BOOK A FREE MEETING with our expert medical school advisors for more guidance. We’ve helped hundreds of students write their personal statements (including the sample below), and we’d love to help you on your writing journey!

Obviously this can vary, but let’s keep it simple:

Optional: Explain Issues with Grades/Conduct

The goal here is to grab the readers’ attention and compel them to keep reading. Ideally, the hook will pose a problem, share an unexpected challenge, or reverse the readers’ expectations about a situation.

Characteristics of a Good Hook :

* Not too long

* Grabs attention

* Initiates the plot

DIRECTIONS: Read the excerpt below and consider what changes you’d make, both big-picture and small-picture.

HOOK (BEFORE) :

Throughout high school and college, I have been supporting my family in more ways than one. My mother needed a lot of support due to her bad arthritis and physical limitations. It was not the most ideal situation, and it felt like I was living a double life. I went to a pretty good high school since my parents wanted me to have a decent education, but the kids there were protected and shielded from most inconveniences in life. Someone from my background was not very welcome. It was jarring, as vapid girls my age talked about going to equestrian classes and how they knew someone on the Yale admissions committee, while I came to school from my two-bedroom non-air-conditioned home that my family of four shared. I was a nanny at the age of 12 and would juggle taking care of 3-4 kids every week. My dad unfortunately got pretty ill during this time (brain aneurysm and subsequent recovery), so it was definitely a weird time. I got brutally harassed by a girl at school after she found out about my living situation, so I learned to form two identities. In school, I was someone who fake-laughed with people and sympathized with the horrors of a girl’s parents buying a pony she didn’t like. I pretended to act excited for another girl’s European vacation (in reality I was jealous).

Pick an aspect to fix:

Step 3: Grab more attention

Jump to the After version.

STEP 1: CUT DOWN ON LENGTH

Indeed. Currently this opener is ~1300 characters, which is disproportionate for our total space (5300 characters). Hooks should probably be around 700-800 characters instead, so that the remaining sections can have 1000+ each.

What to cut? We want it to be ~10 lines of text, so take a shot at cutting ~5-6 lines.

Your answer:

_____________________________________________________________________

My approach:

Without compromising the necessary context, you should cut anything that could go in the Disadvantaged Essay instead, especially the “facts” of the situation that don’t require much editorialization. Admissions committees read the disadvantaged essay before any of the other writing in the application.

STEP 2: REMOVE THE NEGATIVITY

This is a far more common problem than you’d think. For one, it’s hard for us to know how our tone and voice are coming across. Secondly, we sometimes write about things while they’re still “fresh wounds,” leaving room for resentment to creep in.

What’s too negative? Make a list below of the words/phrases/sentences from our sample hook that seem too negative:

fake-laughed

pretended to act excited

the horrors of a girl’s parents buying a pony she didn’t like

I can sympathize with the writer, but there’s no point in having a negative spin when you can achieve the same impact with a positive spin.

Simply mentioning one or two details like the equestrian classes will go a long way.  

STEP 3: GRAB MORE ATTENTION

Turn the whole hook into a contrast between life at home and life at school. Give it a metaphor that makes it accessible and memorable. Break it up into shorter paragraphs to make it more digestible.  

HOOK (AFTER):

Throughout high school, my life felt like a less glamorous version of Hannah Montana. While Hannah transformed into a pop star after school, I transformed into a nanny. And it wasn’t any regular babysitting job either; at my peak, I managed a gaggle of 14 kids. In one way, school was a sanctuary; there was order, cleanliness, and a schedule. After school, it was all diaper-and-tantrum-filled chaos.

The juxtaposition between home and school was also pronounced due to money. I didn’t understand my classmates’ wealth until they started talking about equestrian classes and Maseratis. Although my life was by no means fun, I chose to stay home for college since my family needed my presence. My father had a brain aneurysm when I was 14, and my family was still facing the remnants of that event.

What we’re looking for here:

* Motivations that build directly off what makes the candidate unique

* A good combination of selflessness (helping others) and self-interest (how the career will fulfill/stimulate you unlike any other)

* A nice balance of idealism and realism - neither naive nor overblown

WHEN/WHY MEDICINE (BEFORE) :

My decision to become a doctor was a culmination of events and experiences that led to an eventual realization, rather than one single revelation. When I first started at my university, I was an 18-year-old who had no clue what to do in life. For one year, I explored pharmacy and finance, but the drudgery of the work made me turn away from these professions. At the start of my second year, I decided to volunteer at the ER to see what the hospital environment was like. Looking back, this mundane decision was a godsend of exposure and clarification. I went into ER expecting to give out glasses of water and wheel patients around. But it was a lot more. I saw patients who were experiencing the worst moments of their lives, and I was beyond my comfort zone. However, I loved interacting with patients, enjoyed being in the hospital, and had a knack for talking and making people feel better.

I started the Pathfinder Internship to determine whether I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor. The first three months of the internship were at the Oncology/General Care Unit, where it was incredibly depressing. I felt so helpless seeing people die. Nurses and doctors  were mainly just keeping people alive, as most patients were already permanent victims of cancer or chronic unregulated conditions. I did the rest of my rotations at an urgent care clinic and birth center, which were way less depressing, and many times patients left feeling better. During this time, I realized the doctor’s role matched me better than a nurse; I liked how doctors had creative control to create optimal treatment plans for patients. I had already shadowed two interventional cardiologists and an orthopedic surgeon, and I knew I wanted to have a connection with patients and create medical care that suited their needs. Also, by this time, I had started my global health minor, and was learning all about preventative care, women’s health, and disparities in healthcare. The combined clinical care experiences, my interest in science, and the global health minor all came together in a beautiful way to point me into medicine.

STEP 4: REMOVE RED FLAGS

mundane decision

incredibly depressing

permanent victims

It’s good to be honest and to show that you’ve experienced medicine’s challenges, but these choices in diction will do more harm than good. Let’s nix them.

STEP 5: CONNECT TO PERSONAL NARRATIVE

Right now, section two seems to exist in isolation from our hook, so we’ll want to bring back aspects of the family situation, namely the father’s medical issues, so that we can see the narrative building cohesively.

STEP 6: ADD MORE DEFINITIVE “WHY MEDICINE”

Right now, the “came together in a beautiful way” line is too vague and impressionistic. The writer would benefit from creating a more specific set of criteria that medicine can offer in a career.

Your “Why Medicine” response should not leave any holes or gaps that would tempt the reader to ask, “Why not social work?” or “Why not research?”

WHEN/WHY MEDICINE (AFTER):

After earning my way into a UC college, I dabbled in finance, pharmacy, and psychology, feeling somewhat clueless about what I wanted. Earlier, I had tentatively chosen a biochemistry major, and over time the pre-med path grew more intriguing. I decided to volunteer in the ER during my second year, a weekly commitment that allowed enough time to assist my family again when my dad lost his job. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, especially since the entire ER team went out of its way to expose me to the field. I grew to love each shift as I interacted with people, observed action-packed procedures, and worked in tandem with staff to smooth out workflow. Around this time, I shadowed cardiologists and orthopedic surgeons, and loved the atmosphere of teamwork and patient care. Medicine drew me in, but I was still unsure about what particular role I would fill.

I received the direction I needed during my Pathfinder Internship, where I first rotated in a hospice ward to help terminally ill patients. As I tried to make their passing more dignified, it reminded me of my dad’s recovery, when my family was given no clear prognosis. I knew that patience and presence of mind were key. Even if death was certain, these patients needed help maintaining normalcy. I continued to Expresscare, a small clinic which diagnosed a wide variety of underserved patients. Later on in the Birth Center, I observed OB/GYNs creating long-term and short-term solutions that fundamentally shaped patients’ lives. I wanted to be in a similar position, confidently resolving health issues while providing comfort through both knowledge and bedside manner. Whether it was ER doctors turning off a defibrillator gone awry, OB/GYNs working through unanticipated surgical challenges, or cardiologists providing long-term care, these physicians embodied the roles I wanted to play: decision maker, advocate, and trusted healer.

* A sense of your growing passions within medicine

* Some niche involvement that builds on “Why Medicine” motivations

EXPOSURE (BEFORE):

During this same time, I started my Global Health minor, and my vision became clearer. Global health involves helping those who are often ignored by medicine. I knew that medicine was not like Grey’s Anatomy or Dr. House. There are people who are left behind. I knew what it felt like to be an outsider, as I would transition from a nanny to “one of the girls” in high school and college. I knew how lonely it felt when my dad didn’t have the proper insurance during his job loss, and we didn’t know what to do. My vision in medicine is to level the playing field for all people seeking medical care by doing what fulfills me the most. In the end, it all came together. Volunteering in the ER, interning through Pathfinder, and shadowing doctors helped me discover my calling.

STEP 7: REMOVE INFORMAL LANGUAGE

Make a short list of words/phrases that don’t seem appropriate:

Grey’s Anatomy

Even though the student is specifically saying medicine is NOT like these TV shows, it still seems like the wrong context or reference point, especially in relation to global health.

Mentioning pop culture versions of medicine is usually ill-advised, and this candidate can make her point just as effectively without them.

STEP 8: SHOW MORE PERSONAL VALUE AS A CANDIDATE

At this point in the essay, the candidate has already explained her motivations towards medicine, so the final few lines of this paragraph feel redundant.

We don’t have a lot of characters to spare, so she’d be better off showcasing the value of her global health minor (the skills, insights, lessons, etc.)

EXPOSURE (AFTER):

My rotations at Pathfinder and ER volunteering exposed me to diverse, underserved patients, and these interactions inspired me to pursue a Global Health minor to help those marginalized by medicine. On a smaller scale, I knew what it was like to be an outsider, as I transitioned from a messy-haired, sweaty-faced nanny to “one of the girls” at school. I knew how lonely and unsettling it felt when my dad didn’t have insurance during his job loss. Global health offered avenues for putting this empathy into action and showed me the importance of solidarity, in which physicians work WITH patients, not just FOR them. The minor taught me about large-scale entities that govern and dictate the health of the masses, and the tools needed to make healthcare more attainable. The minor also instilled cultural competence, responsibility, and social justice.

This did not apply for this student, but it might for YOU(?).

Want to know the most tactful way to explain that bad semester, your MCAT struggles, or other such snafus?

* Tangible value of your insights and experiences within medicine

* Your ability to leave things better than you found them

MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS (BEFORE):

My interest in providing culturally competent care and helping marginalized people in medicine helped me during an Expresscare shift when I eased the fears of an undocumented teenager who thought he might have HIV after one of his several partners was infected. It felt empowering to explain STDs, safe sex, HIV, and PreP/Truvada, all in order to help the NP determine a course of action. I loved advocating for patients who didn’t have proper insurance, and felt gratified when the NP and I found another clinic where patients could receive affordable care.

STEP 9: INCLUDE ABOVE-AND-BEYOND CONTRIBUTIONS

There are two aspects that stand out as being underdeveloped: the candidate’s scope of responsibility and her above-and-beyond efforts. After some brainstorming, she was able to add meaningful details in these areas.

NOTE: this does not mean that you should create a laundry-list of all your tasks and responsibilities. It means focusing on the actions and efforts that exceeded expectations.

STEP 10: EMPHASIZE IMPACT ON OTHERS

Sometimes a paragraph needs more examples so that the one story or patient case doesn’t seem anomalous, but rather the norm for you. Giving 2-3 examples of your impact on different types of patients will show your range and ability to advocate for diverse populations.

MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS (AFTER):

This background helped me during an Expresscare shift, as I eased the fears of an undocumented teenager who thought he had HIV after his partner was infected. It felt empowering to explain STDs, safe sex, HIV, and PreP/Truvada, making the patient feel more in control. In this role, I often contacted clinics that admit uninsured patients to help others access care during vulnerable times. My global health training also helped me coach a black woman through a difficult delivery alongside nurses. Through my numerous Maternal Health classes, I knew that black women have double the maternal mortality rates in America, and case studies suggest that valid concerns are often not taken seriously. Therefore, I made sure to follow through on requests, such as taking temperature and BP when she felt feverish. I remained at her side for the last couple hours of delivery, and she said she felt safe knowing someone was there for her. As a physician, I will implement these valuable lessons in my future practice to make every patient feel as safe and cared for as possible.

* Stylistic callback to the intro and themes

* Reiteration of biggest reasons admissions committees should choose you

WHY YOU/CONCLUSION (BEFORE):

In the end, my path in deciding to pursue medicine, especially a medical career that focuses on the medically underserved, was a culmination of years of life experience and exploration into the field. It started as a love of basic science, which led to choosing biochemistry and cell biology as a major. The ER volunteering gig introduced me to clinical medicine, and the Palomar internship confirmed that becoming a physician was my calling. My experiences as an outsider, and a person who had to juggle multiple lifes challenges, made me especially sensitive to those who are marginalized and overwhelmed, inspiring me to pursue a career in medicine that focuses on bringing care to marginalized folks.

STEP 11: BALANCE YOUR VOICE WITH PROFESSIONALISM

volunteering gig

marginalized folks

*my calling

Normally, there’s nothing wrong with ‘gig’ and ‘folks,’ but they seem a bit colloquial for a personal statement. Again, the candidate could communicate the same message without these words, so it’s not worth using diction that could be misconstrued.

*Although ‘my calling’ isn’t too informal, it’s a rather cliche phrase that might make the admissions committees recoil in disgust.

STEP 12: ADD MORE STYLE, CUT DOWN ON SUMMARY

This is a common problem for conclusions. In school, we’re taught that the conclusion should merely summarize the main points of the essay. But that’s short-sighted and ultimately pretty boring. Yes, you need to reiterate certain aspects, but you should use stylistic callbacks when doing so.

Another common problem is candidates spending too much time restating “Why Medicine” reasons, rather than emphasizing what THEY can bring to the table. The key is to sell yourself without sounding full of yourself .

WHY YOU/CONCLUSION (AFTER):

Although my Nanny Montana days are behind me, this experience has helped me empathize with patients who are forced to manage multiple obligations and move between differing realities. I have experiences from across the healthcare spectrum, as both a loved one of an uninsured patient and a scholar looking to improve conditions for all in the long-term. My background as an outsider, who had to juggle multiple life challenges, made me especially sensitive to the marginalized and overwhelmed, inspiring me to pursue a career in medicine that focuses on empowering others and protecting their well-being.

So, at this point, we’ve changed the essay in 12 different ways - 12 broken plates, if you will. And really, each of these changes required a few iterations, so you can multiply those plates by two or three.

Yes, it’s a messy process, but it results in a beautiful presentation - an essay that successfully juggles all of its primary goals.

Remember: we can help. BOOK A FREE MEETING with our expert medical school advisors for more guidance.

Feel free to leave questions in the comments section below, and we’ll respond to you personally! Best of luck with your personal statement drafts!

Add-On: Explaining Issues with Grades/Conduct

Need to explain some elephant in the room to the admissions committees? Follow this sentence-by-sentence outline, and you’ll be just fine (or as fine as you can be!).

1-2 sentences to explain the factors that led to the issue

It's wise to let the facts speak for themselves. If there were extenuating circumstances that led to this anomalous blip in your record, make sure to include those as evidence, BUT DON'T editorialize or try to make excuses for what happened. The goal in the beginning is to just acknowledge and own up to the failure/mistake.

1-2 sentences to explain how you've rectified the issue

This will depend a lot on your situation, but typically, it will involve some kind of additional tutoring, office hours, retaken classes, better time-management, etc. It might involve probation. Beyond explaining the requirements you fulfilled and your upward trend in grades, discuss the ways you've sought to improve overall as a person.

1-2 sentences to explain the growth, personal qualities, and lessons you’ve gained

Again, this will depend a lot on your situation. Perhaps there's some activity or endeavor that you can use as "proof" of your growth as a person (i.e. tutoring other struggling students or serving on the student judiciary board). If not, just explain what you learned from the experience and how it's turned you into a better person moving forward.

medicine personal statements

Upcoming Online Classes

medicine personal statements

All work on this site is our own. The content for the Savvy med school search was found on the webpages of the respective medical schools.

  • Medicine Interview Book
  • Sponsorship & Advertising

Medicine Answered Logo

  • Medical Personal Statement Review
  • Medical School Interview Course
  • Medical School Interview Tutoring
  • In-House Courses For Schools
  • Medical School Interview Guide
  • Medicine Interview PDF Book
  • Medical School Application Guide
  • Medical Blog
  • Your basket is currently empty.

Successful UCAS Medicine Personal Statement Example & Analysis

An example of a successful medicine personal statement.

Below is an example of a strong medicine personal statement that the Medicine Answered team improved. This medicine personal statement rewarded the applicant with interviews at all four medical schools, helping them to secure four offers. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. A complete analysis follows, showing paragraph by paragraph precisely what makes this medicine personal statement strong and how the multiple weaknesses initially present were corrected. This will help you to do the same and write a powerful medicine personal statement. Note: this medicine personal statement is of an A-level candidate. It is still very relevant to graduates. However, later in this article, we advise specifically on writing a Graduate Entry Medicine personal statement and the critical differences all graduates must consider.

medicine personal statements

This medicine personal statement does an excellent job of using the limited characters available to illustrate what skills the candidate gained from their activities; rather than using most of the characters to explain what these activities are. However, this is done skilfully so that the reader still clearly knows enough from these brief descriptions to understand what the activities are. This use of succinct language frees up characters so that they can instead be used to discuss the meaning and insight that the candidate gained from these activities.

Failure to illustrate what a candidate has learned is a classic mistake in many medicine personal statements. This was a particular issue this candidate had in their initial Medicine personal statement. They had many different types of experiences to list and could not describe them succinctly, causing their Medicine personal statement to far exceed the character limit. By using a more succinct writing style and focusing on illustrating activities rather than describing them, this reviewed version corrected this common medicine personal statement weakness.

UCAS UK Medicine personal statement example which received four offers for interview

Medical school personal statement checklist

“I wish to study medicine as I have long held the ambition to pursue a career that would help others and contribute to the community. As a carer for my grandmother, who has severe arthritis, I have seen how much of a difference good healthcare can make to her life. Shadowing a GP and witnessing the reassurance and help given to patients reinforced this and strengthened my ambition to study medicine. A Medlink lecture on psychiatry sparked my interest, so in college, I co-founded and led a mentoring group called ____ mentoring. Using concepts from cognitive behavioural therapy, I mentored students with low self-esteem or who were having problems at college. I taught after-school lessons on topics such as dealing with failure, stress and goal setting. Selecting a team, delegating work and organising meetings strengthened my leadership skills, while working to strict deadlines improved my organisation. We presented our work to an NHS psychologist, who gave us valuable feedback. We are currently filming our programme to make it available online and in other colleges. I undertook a residential stay at a holiday home for disabled people, where I took guests on day trips and helped to feed and toilet them. Many guests were completely reliant on carers and could not communicate verbally. At times, they would become violent. At first, I found this intimidating, but during the two weeks I learnt how to deal with these situations. I also volunteered at a summer playscheme where several children had learning disabilities. Being responsible for groups of children increased my confidence in caring for others: I found dealing with quieter children and including them in group activities to be rewarding. To develop my understanding of the children I read several books about how learning disabilities affect peoples’ lives. Teamwork is vital in all aspects of medicine, which I find very appealing. I witnessed a live scoliosis surgery, during which I saw how the outcome depended on the skill and dedication not only of the surgeon but also of every other member of the team. At the GP, I learnt how the clerical staff and nurses were vital in the running of the practice. Medicine is a dynamic profession that will continue to undergo major advances in the next few decades. These developments will require a commitment to lifelong learning, and I find the prospect of this exciting. I have attended lectures on topics such as premature birth and pharmacogenetics. During a lecture on RNA Interference (RNAi), the lecturer stated RNAi could be the most important development in medicine since antibiotics. Intrigued by this claim, I completed a 2500-word essay on RNAi and its impact on medicine. It was a challenging topic, but I found that I enjoyed using post-A-level books and medical journals, which improved my research skills. Next year, I will be travelling through Asia and Europe. I have secured work at a Romanian orphanage and will start a placement at ______________ hospital this October. I have also applied for a 10-week development and teaching project in Africa. I am currently learning Thai Boxing and sign language and taking courses in self-development and memory improvement. I participate in basketball tournaments and play tennis. I play the violin to grade 3 and find music helps me to relax. I gained a 200-hour Millennium Volunteers award, a v50 award and I am currently completing a Gold DofE award. I am part of a focus group for a national volunteering organisation. We organise events and promote the benefits of voluntary work to individuals and organisations. My experiences have made me absolutely committed to becoming a doctor, and I believe that they have also prepared me to cope with the demands of studying medicine. I realise that the long hours and often stressful situations which doctors work in are daunting, but it is a challenge I am willing to meet because of the satisfaction that I find in making a difference to peoples’ lives.”

Analysis of this Medicine personal statement

The overall structure of this medicine personal statement..

Medicine Personal Statement Analysis

The initial medical school personal statement lacked a smooth flow as it skipped from point to point without any clear connection between the points. This also made it very easy for the reader to miss certain points or to forget them after they finished reading the Medicine personal statement. Therefore in this reviewed version, we took different scattered points throughout the document and grouped them into themed paragraphs giving the medicine personal statement structure and flow, making it easier to follow and read more like a story.

Paragraph 1 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Notice that this Medicine personal statement opening paragraph has one central theme: doctors can help people -> the author has seen this for himself -> this fuels his desire to study Medicine -> he has confirmed this through work experience.

What is done well in this edited opening paragraph, is an event is described, and this is followed up by explaining the reason why this makes the author want to study Medicine. The candidate says how he was a carer for his disabled grandmother, and he shadowed a GP. In the unedited version, this was all he wrote. These are just statements and don’t say why that would want to make him study Medicine. Plenty of people look after a disabled relative but do not want to be a doctor so why does the author? However, in the edited medicine personal statement, we added the reason why his grandmother and the GP work experience caused him to want to study Medicine. Of course, the space is so limited in a medicine personal statement that you cannot expand on points very much. A deliberate choice has to be made about which points should be developed and which should not.

Note that the reasons for studying Medicine and examples used in this opening paragraph are not original. There is no unique Medicine personal statement opening line. This is a relatively typical Medicine personal statement opening paragraph. However, that is completely fine. These are solid reasons for studying Medicine and are true for the candidate.

Paragraph 2 Of This Medical Personal Statement

The edited version of paragraph 2 does an excellent job of succinctly explaining an unknown project to the reader without becoming verbose or complicated. It demonstrates what skills the candidate has learned, and they are perfect for studying Medicine, so this is a great example to use. Very few characters are wasted on describing the contents of the lecture or attending Medlink as the other content in this paragraph is far more impressive and important to write. For this reason, it was edited in this way as the unedited version was verbose and wasted many characters on explaining things such as “I attended the Medlink residential course which had various lectures including ….etc.” These do not add anything to enhance the author’s accomplishments and are not needed for narrative purposes either. The assessor already knows what Medlink is.

Many candidates try to state in their Medicine personal statement that they possess the ability to deal with pressure and have good stress/time management skills etc. The edited personal statement makes it more obvious to the reader that the candidate has taught these skills to others. This implies to the reader that the candidate understands these concepts well enough to be able to teach them to others. This is far more effective than if the candidate merely claimed to have these skills. The original wording in the candidate’s initial medicine personal statement was sloppy, so the teaching element was less clear. This is corrected in the reviewed medical school personal statement.

Paragraph 3 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

These are two good examples of caring role work experience, and in the unedited version, the candidate gave some insightful thoughts on things he learned. However, it was mixed in with lots of unnecessary content which diluted the strength of the good points. In this edited version, this is a powerful paragraph because the writer omits the extra material. This causes the remaining text to be more powerful, and it now shows that the candidate has keen self-awareness and insight. He can extract solid learning points from his experiences.

Essentially the candidate is saying he was acutely aware of how he felt during the experiences. He knew that it was challenging to deal with people who had limited communication skills, who could become violent (he even used the word intimidating) and when he was responsible for groups of children. Despite this, he persisted with these experiences and learnt from them. This demonstrates that he is a self-reflective learner. The statement about doing further reading shows how he is an independent learner. He can identify his own learning needs and knows how to pursue them. Being a self-reflective and independent learner is essential for studying Medicine particularly in PBL courses. The candidate is showing he has these skills as well as a lot of maturity and self-awareness in this paragraph of his medicine personal statement.

Paragraph 4 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine Personal Statement Teamwork Skills Learnt

You will notice that the things mentioned in this paragraph are very routine things to put into a Medical personal statement and are very passive in nature (i.e. the candidate is not actively doing anything, he is just watching a procedure, he is watching the GP staff). In the unedited version, it very much read like this, i.e. the candidate was a passive observer. In the edited paragraph, however, it becomes more active and unique. Look how once again the author describes an event and then explains a learning point or gives a reflection. Notice how only a few of the words in this paragraph describe what the candidate did. Most of the words describe what the candidate learned and his reflections on the experiences. This is far more powerful than just listing the steps of the operation or describing the activities of the admin staff.

Paragraph 5 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

This paragraph is themed around the author’s keen scientific curiosity and passion for learning. He describes attending lectures and doing activities which are clearly outside of his A-level curriculum. This paragraph is cleverly constructed to make use of the limited character count by not wasting words on how or where he attended these lectures or stating that they are in addition to his A-levels. It is self-evident that they are extracurricular and he does not need to waste words to spell this out. The topics discussed are things that the author needs to understand well as they can be brought up in the Medicine interview. We highlighted to the candidate suggested areas which may be raised at interview, which indeed did arise.

He once again demonstrates that he is a self-reflective and independent learner by talking about various lectures he attends, and how he explored one lecture further by writing an essay on the topic. Note that the author in paragraph two also states how a Medlink talk sparked his interest and he developed things further. This is an individual with curiosity and a desire to understand things further. He once again shows self-reflection when he says that it was challenging to use post-A-level books and medical journals, but he enjoyed the challenge and looks forward to the academic challenges of the ever-evolving field of Medicine.

Paragraph 6 + 7 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Discussing gap year in medicine personal statements

Note that with the correct reflective style it is possible to show the benefits of almost any hobby . For example, if we look at another medicine personal statement we reviewed, the candidate initially stated that playing doubles badminton enhanced their teamwork skills and gave a few basic reflections. This is not bad, but more could be extracted from this hobby. In the reviewed version this was discussed in greater depth and placed as part of an entire paragraph where the theme was teamwork – both in medicine and how the candidate also works to enhance their teamwork skills. See how it was possible to extract much more from this hobby: First we discussed teamwork in medicine and how then how the candidate also seeks to improve their teamwork skills followed by “working as a pair necessitates an awareness of each other’s strengths & weaknesses. We must then work to merge these in a way that potentiates our combined strengths & mitigates our weaknesses. We must consider how our opponents’ factor into this. The fast-pace of badminton requires the ability to make rapid decisions under pressure while still working towards an overall game plan.” This is far better than what the candidate originally said in their medical school personal statement about badminton being good for teamwork and thinking fast.

Making the most of the candidates work experience

Medical Personal Statement Work Experience

How can Medicine Answered help you with your medicine personal statement?

Our Premium Medicine Personal Statement Review Service

This is a highly specialised service. Your medicine personal statement will be reviewed by both a professional editor with specific expertise in medical admissions to ensure the writing style is flawless; and also a qualified doctor who received all four offers to study Medicine to ensure all the content is excellent. This is our minimum standard. We do not use medical students or non-professional editors.

360 Application Review

This includes a full Medicine personal statement review as detailed. Additionally, a doctor will look at your academic grades, UKCAT scores (comparing them with the current 2018 results for this cycle) and work experience. In the context of your whole application , they will also suggest topics which may be discussed at your interview. They will provide a plan for what to do next to move forward and prepare for the rest of your Medicine application. They will give tailored feedback on these elements and based on this provide further suggestions on making strategically sound medical school choices in a way that maximises your individual strengths and minimises your weaknesses.

For more information about both services, visit the Medical Personal Statement Review page, or contact a member of our team.

Our free guides to helping you write an excellent medicine personal statement

Medicine Answered offer the following entirely free guides which will help you to write a superb Medicine personal statement:

How to write a medical school personal statement in 10 steps – this will help to take you from step 1, with no ideas and nothing written down; to step 10, a completed medical school personal statement.

How to write a Graduate Entry Medical School Personal Statement – this discusses how graduates should write their medicine personal statement whether they are applying to Standard Entry Medicine or Graduate Entry Medicine courses.

Further Related Questions 2023

What are the Manchester Medical School “non-academic information form” or the Keele Medical School “roles and responsibilities form”?

Manchester Medical School asks all candidates to also complete a non-academic information form after submitting their UCAS application. The other medical schools do not see this form as it is sent directly to Manchester. This form is very similar to a medical school personal statement but is under a format that the medical school controls. It contains headings which are the same types of topic that you would discuss in a medicine personal statement. The headings are “Experience in a caring role” “Hobbies and interests” “Teamwork” and “Motivation for Medicine”. Keele Medical School has a similar form called the roles and responsibilities form. Again it is sent directly to Keele Medical School. Both these forms should be treated as a separate piece of work from the medicine personal statement even though there is large overlap.

What is the UCAS word limit for medical school personal statements?

A medicine personal statement must meet the following two criteria:

1. Be less than 4000 characters (the counter UCAS use to determine the character count is slightly different from the word counter on most word processors, e.g. Microsoft Word. This is because the UCAS system counts punctuation, spaces, tabs and paragraph lines).

2. Be no longer than 47 lines on the UCAS system (again this is different to what 47 lines on a word processor would look like).

Personal Statements

Your CV is a beautiful, readable, error-free summary of your accomplishments. You are moving on to your personal statement. You are ready, in one page, to tell residency program directors why they should select you, everything that has led you to this moment, to this decision, to this specialty choice. No pressure at all!

This blank page can be intimidating to many students. You are not alone. Take your time, so you can write several drafts.

Your CV tells people what you have done. Your personal statement tells people who you are.

  • Do not use space in your statement re-stating what is already in your CV or other parts of your residency application.
  • Don't redo your personal statement from your medical school application. You don't need to convince someone to admit you. You are in! You will have a job at the end of your fourth year.
  • Do use your personal statement to help you find the job that is the most ideal match for you and your goals. You are going to be a doctor in a few short months. This personal statement should be much more focused on your specialty selection, your professional traits and your accomplishments that will impact your work as a physician.

A well-written personal statement should accomplish the following goals:

  • Help pull you out of the crowd of applicants – be sure to include unique experiences, background, and information.
  • Give the reviewer a glimpse at the type of resident you will be – don't say you are hard working (all residency applicants are). Instead, include examples of how you have acquired the attributes you want to feature in your statement. (See more ideas below.)
  • Make the case that this specialty is really the right match for you. No program director wants to select a student who, six months into the residency, realizes they are not a good fit. What have you done to be sure this is the right career path for you?
  • Be specific about what you like about the specialty. Do you enjoy the procedures? Why? Do you like the environment of the OR? Why? What type of patients do you enjoy working with? What experiences led you to consider this specialty? And, ultimately, why did you select this specialty?
  • What about you will contribute to the specialty and the program? Residency programs, and residents, want to select their future peers and colleagues. What do you bring to them? What can you offer? How will you enhance that area of medicine?

Students should select six to 10 characteristics to weave into their statements. Some possibilities you could consider including are:

  • leadership skills
  • future practice location
  • team building skills
  • organization
  • ability to work under stress
  • problem solving
  • patient communication skills

Sample Personal Statements

Sample statements are from University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine graduates who matched into various specialties. Ideas can be used for any specialty choice. The Associate Dean and the Director of Student Services are available to give you feedback on your personal statement draft. You can email a draft to Cherie Singer .

  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Plastic Surgery

Online Resources

  • Medical Blog – personal statement pos

Med School Insiders

How to Approach Your Personal Statement: Dos and Don’ts

  • By Sammi Scarola
  • May 6, 2021
  • Medical Student , Pre-med
  • Medical School Application , Personal Statement

Like many premed students, you are diligently working hard on applications, getting transcripts, asking for letters of recommendation , and choosing how to approach your personal statement. Writing your personal statement is a daunting and, in some cases, painful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be motivating to recall the events and influences that have led you to this point in your life—applying to medical school.

Learn from the many, many premeds who have been down this road before. Our list of personal statement Dos and Don’ts will help you make the most of the experience and ensure you don’t make any of the usual mistakes.

Read our free Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement for tips on getting started, what to include, and common mistakes to avoid.

The Purpose of a Personal Statement

Medical school admissions committees want to see what inspired you and prepared you to go to medical school. They want to know if you truly have a passion for medicine and are ready for the rigor of medical education.

Medical school is challenging, stressful, expensive, and only the beginning of a much longer journey. Medical schools want to ensure they are accepting students that are equipped for the journey and have a genuine desire to practice medicine. This saves both the school and the student time and money.

|| 6 Common Medical School Application Mistakes – Pre-Meds Be Warned ||

The Personal Statement is an Opportunity

Instead of looking at the personal statement as yet another hurdle to jump through when applying to medical school, view it as an opportunity. All of the other aspects of your application are pretty standard. They see your MCAT score , your college GPA and course performance, your volunteer hours, and your listed clinical experiences. What they don’t see is who you are underneath your accomplishments.

This is what the personal statement allows you to demonstrate. Admissions committees already have your CV and transcripts, so the personal statement should show a more multifaceted view of who you are.

This is your chance to convey your personality, character traits, and personal narrative. Your personal statement is what helps you to stand out among thousands of similar applicants. Be sure to share meaningful information and help the readers feel a personal connection with you. Tell your story.

Getting Started

Many students find getting started is the hardest part of writing a personal statement. Writing your personal statement requires ample time for reflection. To get started, brainstorm some of your best qualities and character traits and list them on paper. Ask yourself: “ What character traits do I want admissions committees to focus on? ”

Then, brainstorm some of the events and experiences in your past that best portray these qualities. For example, avoid telling the admissions committee that you are “ motivated, empathetic, and compassionate .” Instead, SHOW them that you’re motivated, empathetic, and compassionate by telling a story that exemplifies these characteristics. It is important that your personal statement is a narrative rather than a list of your accolades and qualifications.

For more on how to begin your process, read: How to Start the Medical School Personal Statement .

Writing your Personal Statement

Once you’ve identified the personal traits and experiences you want to convey to the admissions committee, writing your personal statement will come much more easily. Remember to share moments of your life that mattered. The experiences you choose to share must have played an active role in shaping who you are as a person and influenced your desire to pursue medicine.

When writing about your experiences, ensure they showcase your passion for medicine and be sure to include your own reflections and lessons learned. These experiences are not required to be medical in nature but should portray why your journey through medical school will be successful.

With so many career paths relating to science and the medical field, it is imperative that you portray why being a physician is the only path for you and why it’s a good fit for who you are as a person. Show them why you would be a good physician and what unique gifts you will bring to the field to help your patients. Remember to share information that makes you memorable and unique so that you stand out among many similar applicants.

Don’t forget that during your interviews , the admissions committee will certainly ask you about the experiences or traits expressed in your personal statement, so share information you want to be asked about and can elaborate on in person.

Learn more in The Anatomy of a Medical School Personal Statement .

How to Approach Your Personal Statement: Dos and Don’ts

  • DO organize your personal statement . It should have a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion that flow into each other.
  • DO start writing as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the perfect idea magically pops into your head. Do some brainstorming and get writing as soon as possible. Your first draft won’t be anywhere near perfect so the sooner you begin, the more time you will have to edit, refine, or start over again with a better idea.
  • DO have a theme. Ensure that the theme is present throughout the entire personal statement.
  • DO use transition sentences. Transition sentences highlight the logical relationship between paragraphs and sections of a text. They provide greater cohesion and make explicitly clear how ideas are related to one another. Think of a transition sentence as a bridge between one idea and the next.
  • DO follow the requirements: 5300 character limit for MD applications. Remember that if you are applying to DO schools your personal statement must address why you want to become an osteopath specifically, and if you are applying through TMDSAS, there’s a 5000 character limit. ( AMCAS vs. AACOMAS vs. TMDSAS Application Differences )
  • DO put significant effort into editing your essay. Read your essay over and over again for proper grammar and sneaky typos. Use editing apps such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor , but don’t rely on bots alone.
  • DO consult experts : You don’t have to go it alone. Seek out help and personal statement editing from professionals who have years of experience reviewing personal statements and serving on admissions committees. Ask mentors, or anyone else you know, with intimate experience in the medical school admissions process. If you don’t have anyone in your own network, Med School Insiders has top advisors who have admissions committee experience as well as extensive experience editing thousands of successful Personal Statements.
  • DON’T use clichés. It’s great that you like science, but I can assure you that all applicants like science. It is important that you want to help people, but so do all of the other applicants. Avoid stating the obvious. Instead, try to be unique.
  • DON’T make careless grammatical errors. This can be the difference between an interview offer and a rejection . Grammatical errors suggest that you are either careless or don’t really care about entering medical school. Attention to detail is important in medicine, so exhibit that skill while writing your personal statement.
  • DON’T lie or fabricate stories or information . Just don’t do it. You do not want to get caught in a lie in the middle of an interview, and it is simply unprofessional. Remember that your personal statement is your only chance to demonstrate who you are , so tell your story truthfully.
  • DON’T make excuses for poor grades or MCAT scores. This is definitely not the place for that. Focus on sharing your story and expressing the personal qualities you’re most proud of. If there was an event that played a large role in your journey, feel free to write about it, but do not simply make excuses for weak parts of your application.
  • DON’T speak negatively about a physician or healthcare professional. You may have had negative interactions with a physician and feel compelled to discuss how those negative encounters shaped your desire to become a physician, but leave this out of your statement. These experiences may have strongly impacted you, but admissions committees may be deterred by your cynicism towards the healthcare profession.
  • DON’T overuse the word I. Doing so makes you more likely to state your accomplishments instead of telling a story.
  • DON’T use flowery language or words you found in a thesaurus. Be respectful and thoughtful with your language, but focus on using words that come naturally to you.
  • DON’T list your accomplishments or rehash your CV and extracurriculars. They already have access to those aspects of your application. Use the personal statement as an opportunity to provide a deeper insight into who you are as a person and prospective physician.
  • DON’T beg for an interview or acceptance. This is unprofessional and not at all the purpose of your personal statement.
  • DON’T explain to a physician what medicine is all about. Talk about yourself and your experiences; the admissions committee already understands medicine.
  • DON’T procrastinate. Get started on your personal statement as soon as you can. Set time aside every day to reflect on the moments in your life that have shaped your desire to become a physician.
  • DON’T edit your personal statement by yourself. You should get outside opinions and have others edit your essay to ensure there’s nothing you missed. Having strong writers edit your essay is helpful, but it’s best to have physicians and those who have served on admissions committees as editors. They can edit beyond spelling or grammar to provide an insider’s perspective on what will impress medical schools. Med School Insiders offers a range of personal statement editing packages , from general editing to unlimited, in-depth editing with a physician.

Learn more about our Comprehensive Medical School Admissions Packages and follow our blog for the latest premed advice, study strategies, and more.

|| Guide to Understanding the Medical School Application Process ||

Picture of Sammi Scarola

Sammi Scarola

A man walks in the shadows

The Benefits of Shadowing a Doctor & How to Do It Right

Shadowing a doctor is an absolute must on the medical school application. We outline the benefits of shadowing a doctor and how to do it right.

How Late Can You Submit Your Primary Application? Without Consequence

How Late Can You Submit Your Primary Application? (Without Consequence)

Top applicants do everything they can to be competitive, and a key piece of that is submitting early. So, how late can you submit your primary application?

Hands on laptop keyboard - Ready to Apply to Medical School

Am I Ready to Apply to Medical School?

Are you ready to apply to medical school? Applying before you’re ready is a costly mistake. Find out if you’re on the right track for acceptance this cycle.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Join the Insider Newsletter

Join the Insider Newsletter

Receive regular exclusive MSI content, news, and updates! No spam. One-click unsubscribe.

Customer Note Premed Preclinical Med Student Clinical Med Student

You have Successfully Subscribed!

  • Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Writing Sample

Details about submitting a statement of purpose, personal statement, and a writing sample as part of your degree program application

  • Dissertation
  • Fellowships
  • Maximizing Your Degree
  • Before You Arrive
  • First Weeks at Harvard
  • Harvard Speak
  • Pre-Arrival Resources for New International Students
  • Alumni Council
  • Student Engagement
  • English Proficiency
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • After Application Submission
  • Applying to the Visiting Students Program
  • Admissions Policies
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Express Interest
  • Campus Safety
  • Commencement
  • Diversity & Inclusion Fellows
  • Student Affinity Groups
  • Recruitment and Outreach
  • Budget Calculator
  • Find Your Financial Aid Officer
  • Funding and Aid
  • Regulations Regarding Employment
  • Financial Wellness
  • Consumer Information
  • Life Sciences
  • Policies (Student Handbook)
  • Student Center
  • Title IX and Gender Equity

Statement of Purpose 

The statement of purpose is very important to programs when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Your statement should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You should describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen degree program, noting the experiences that shaped your research ambitions, indicating briefly your career objectives, and concisely stating your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Your degree program of interest may have specific guidance or requirements for the statement of purpose, so be sure to review the degree program page for more information. Unless otherwise noted, your statement should not exceed 1,000 words. 

Personal Statement

Please describe the personal experiences that led you to pursue graduate education and how these experiences will contribute to the academic environment and/or community in your program or Harvard Griffin GSAS. These may include social and cultural experiences, leadership positions, community engagement, equity and inclusion efforts, other opportunities, or challenges. Your statement should be no longer than 500 words.

Please note that there is no expectation to share detailed sensitive information and you should refrain from including anything that you would not feel at ease sharing. Please also note that the Personal Statement should complement rather than duplicate the content provided in the Statement of Purpose. 

Visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a Personal Statement is required. The degree program pages will be updated by early September indicating if the Personal Statement is required for your program.

Writing Sample 

Please visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a writing sample is required. When preparing your writing sample, be sure to follow program requirements, which may include format, topic, or length. 

Share this page

Explore events.

Log in using your username and password

  • Search More Search for this keyword Advanced search
  • Latest content
  • Current issue
  • For authors
  • New editors
  • BMJ Journals

You are here

  • Volume 58, Issue 14
  • Safe sport for all!
  • Article Text
  • Article info
  • Citation Tools
  • Rapid Responses
  • Article metrics

Download PDF

  • http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5422-5756 Andrea M Bruder 1 , 2 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9234-1923 Joanne L Kemp 2
  • 1 Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport , La Trobe University , Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
  • 2 La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport , La Trobe University , Bundoora , Victoria , Australia
  • Correspondence to Dr Andrea M Bruder, Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; a.bruder{at}latrobe.edu.au

https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2024-108687

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions.

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

  • Sporting injuries
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

Welcome to the 14th edition of the BJSM for 2024! In this edition, we focus on ensuring safe sport for all. The BJSM has promoted safe sport for many years, with the publication of many studies and reviews that provide insights into the primary prevention of injuries such as concussion and anterior cruciate ligament injuries —both of which can have catastrophic consequences for those affected. In recent years, secondary (identifying and preventing the consequences of injury) and tertiary (treating the consequences of injury) prevention have become a priority, driven by the growing recognition of long-term sport injury burden. All three levels of injury prevention are important for people to maintain good health and be able to participate in physical activity across the lifespan.

In this issue, Larissa Rodrigues Souto and colleagues explore whether adjunct treatments improve treatment outcomes of exercise therapy in people with patello-femoral pain in their systematic review ( see page 792) . Three original research papers and a PhD academy award highlight the importance of injury prevention and management in various athletes. Adam Mattiussi reports on his PhD findings, discussing injury and jumping in ballet dancers ( see page 808) . Muhammad Ikhwan Zein and colleagues report on the value of performing baseline MRI and delaying return to play following acute hamstring injury for hamstring reinjury ( see page 766) . Health problems seen in Dutch youth speed skaters are described by Hendricks and colleagues (see page 785) , and Dutia and colleagues report on the effects of performance-focused swimming on an athlete with high-needs cerebral palsy over 30 months (see page 777) . Dr Carolina Avila de Almeida also discusses the use of imaging in shoulder instability in our Images in Sports Medicine series (see page 805) .

Five key editorials are contained in this issue which discuss the challenges of terminology in concussion (see page 754) , medical time outs (see page 763) , fairness in competition (see page 760) and strength across the lifespan (see page 758) . We discuss the burden of knee and hip osteoarthritis in women, why it is higher in women than men and provide a call to action for the sport and exercise medicine community to rectify this imbalance, enabling women to maintain an active life at all ages (see page 756) .

Together, the sport and exercise medicine community can foster safe sport for all by prioritising research and practice at all levels of prevention. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

  • Download figure
  • Open in new tab
  • Download powerpoint

Ethics statements

Patient consent for publication.

Not applicable.

Ethics approval

X @AndreaBruder, @JoanneLKemp

Contributors AMB and JLK equally wrote, reviewed and approved the final version. AMB is the guarantor.

Funding This study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Emerging Leader 2 Investigator Grant 2017844).

Competing interests JLK is an editor at the British Journal of Sports Medicine .

Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Read the full text or download the PDF:

Username or email  *

Password  *

Forgotten password?

[email protected]

+44 (0)20 8834 4579

Medicine Personal Statement Example 1

This Medicine Personal Statement was successful for Imperial, UCL, QMUL and King's.

  • Deciding on Medicine
  • Work Experience
  • Choosing a Medical School
  • Medicine Personal Statement Examples
  • How Medical Schools Use Your Personal Statement
  • How to Structure a Personal Statement
  • How to Write a Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Review Service
  • Interview Guide
  • Interview Questions
  • NHS Hot Topics
  • Medical Ethics
  • Graduate Entry
  • Studying Abroad
  • Study Medicine Abroad In Europe
  • Studying Abroad in the USA
  • Study Abroad in Ireland
  • Study Medicine In The Caribbean
  • Study Medicine in Australia
  • Study Abroad in Hong Kong
  • How To Survive Your First Year Of Med School
  • Science Hot Topics
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Allied Health
  • Physician Associate
  • The NHS Guide
  • Parents’ Guide

Have a look at this successful Medicine Personal Statement example for inspiration to help you plan and structure your Personal Statement .

Medicine excites me; it is full of unanswered questions, unsolved problems and potential for growth. It is a limitless field, exploring everything from our biochemistry to our birth and death. Ultimately, however, the relationship between doctor, patient and community alongside the academic inquiry cements my passion for medicine.

My experience volunteering with St John Ambulance over the past 4 years means that I have had to build my own relationships with patients. Over time, I have become more confident and more relaxed about having – sometimes intimate – conversations with patients. For example, one long conversation allowed me to differentiate between heat exhaustion and an undiagnosed stomach ulcer, and another led to the discovery that a young woman’s unusual bruising was from her job as a beekeeper.

Make Sure You Stand Out

Get The Best Personal Statement Advice

Again, the importance of communication in medicine was echoed in a work experience placement with the Northern Medical Centre, a central London GP practice . The doctor I was shadowing had to talk to her patient in Mandarin while simultaneously typing patient notes in English. I observed the real barriers to successful medical practice in a multicultural community and learnt that the most effective solutions were aided by discussions with patients, who already knew what wasn’t working and what might help. I found it fascinating to see how simple changes, such as inviting multiple family members to consultations, could make a big difference. I was interested to see how this was formalised by medical behavioural economics, which investigates how ‘nudges’ can significantly improve clinical outcomes.

During a hospital placement in gastroenterology at UCLH, I was able to see medical decision-making for myself in an MDT. I was impressed by the efforts of consultants to utilise the diverse skills in the room, using the meeting as an opportunity to liaise with multiple specialists. I was surprised to see that many patients had multiple unrelated conditions that straddled many medical disciplines. There is, I realised, growing room for new specialities on the cutting edge of medicine – one doctor I spoke with had effectively created their job as a consultant neurogastroenterologist. The connections between such disparate fields of medicine and how they come together to help and treat patients intrigue me.

My curiosity piqued, I then went on to look into the gut-brain axis in more depth. I was particularly fascinated by the aetiology of depression, in which gut microflora seem to play a potentially significant role. I particularly enjoyed ‘The Second Brain’, which gave me a deeper understanding of the enteric nervous system, helping me to understand how the gut can have such devastating effects on mental and physical health, and vice versa. This interplay between biological and psychological factors in disease is, for me, one of the most fascinating relationships in medicine. It is one of medicine’s current frontiers, with incredible potential for new discoveries that will improve patients’ lives.

The Ultimate UCAS Support

Make Your Application Amazing

I have also found that an understanding of my own psychology is valuable. Working long shifts with SJA has shown me how difficult it can be to recognise how tired or stressed you really are, especially when exhausted. Taking breaks and truly relaxing is important for me. Through my rowing and coxing I can unwind and forget everything but the river. I am very protective of my rowing and reading time. I also try to keep the words of the poet Horace in mind: ‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’. 

Medicine is a dynamic, compelling and caring field that I cannot wait to be a part of. I can think of no other ancient practice that has been so changed by modern life, and which is yet rooted in the same principles of kindness, competence and respect. I sincerely and eagerly look forward to following in this tradition.

See more Medicine Personal Statement examples.

UCAS Application Packages

Boost your Medicine application with specialist support for navigating UCAS - and save 15% when you book a package!

Personal Statement Review

Get your Personal Statement reviewed by a Medical School Admissions Tutor or high-flying medic. You'll receive detailed feedback in just a few days - with clear action points on how to improve.

Personal Statement Tutoring

Impress Admissions Tutors at top Medical Schools, avoid common mistakes and make your Personal Statement shine with tutoring.

Join Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list for weekly updates and tips on how to get into Medicine.

Independent Reviews

Medicine personal statement example 2.

Loading More Content

Joe Biden and Donald Trump get personal in 'game-changing' debate ahead of 2024 election — as it happened

US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump have concluded their debate in Atlanta, Georgia — and pundits were united in their view that it was a bad night for the president.

Take a look back at how the debate unfolded — and how America reacted.

  • 5:29 AM 5:29 AM Fri 28 Jun 2024 at 5:29am Who else could Democrats look to?
  • 4:12 AM 4:12 AM Fri 28 Jun 2024 at 4:12am Biden upbeat despite concerns about his performance
  • 3:05 AM 3:05 AM Fri 28 Jun 2024 at 3:05am A disastrous night for President Biden

To leave a comment on the blog, please log in or sign up for an ABC account.

Live updates

Thanks for joining our live debate coverage.

Brad Ryan in Washington DC profile image

By Brad Ryan in Washington DC

It's approaching 2am here in Washington, so this is where we'll wrap the blog — but plenty will be said about the debate in the days to come.

Here's a quick rundown of what took place:

  • The debate took some strange turns, with an argument about golf handicaps   among some pretty unpresidential moments  
  • Many viewers felt it was a disastrous night for Joe Biden , and that he simply looked too old
  • Biden, though, was upbeat afterwards
  • Fact-checkers say both candidates made some false claims, but Trump far more so than the president

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

And if you're looking for a closer look at the key moments from the night, check out this piece from the ABC's   North America correspondent Barbara Miller and Basel Hindeleh :

Biden visits Waffle House, says 'I think we did well'

Andrew Thorpe profile image

By Andrew Thorpe

medicine personal statements

Biden has paid a post-debate visit to a Waffle House in Atlanta, where he was met with a friendly reception — but also faced some questions from reporters on his performance.

The president said he thought he did well overall, but "it's hard to debate a liar".

"New York Times pointed how he lied 26 times [sic]. Big lies," he said.

Biden also said it was true that he was sick during the debate, telling reporters "I have a sore throat".

medicine personal statements

Who else could Democrats look to?

North America bureau chief Jade Macmillan profile image

By North America bureau chief Jade Macmillan

It's difficult to predict at this stage whether the panic sweeping through Democratic circles will translate into any serious moves to oust Joe Biden.

But there are a few names that tend to come up in chatter about possible alternatives.

Vice-president Kamala Harris would be an obvious choice, except she isn't polling strongly either.

Then there are a couple of prominent governors, including Gavin Newsom in California and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.

There's also a theory, pushed by some Republicans, that Michelle Obama could emerge as a candidate, despite the former first lady denying she'd be interested.

Newsom, for his part, has come out in Biden's defence, appearing on MSNBC to argue that Democrats need to "have the back" of the president.

'Is this the standard we're holding our country up to?'

Phoebe Hosier in Washington DC profile image

By Phoebe Hosier in Washington DC

I chatted to Michael Murphy after the debate wrapped up at a watch party in downtown DC. He was working an 11-hour shift at the bookstore/pub that hosted the viewing, but tuned into the debate at every chance he could in between running drinks and meals.

He said he voted for Joe Biden in the last election but that he thought former president Donald Trump won the debate "by a landslide".

"He was just able to clarify and elaborate more on those questions. There were times with Biden where you can see his mind wasn't completely there. There was a lot of tripping over words. It was a lot."

But Michael's vote isn't Trump's just yet. He says he's still just as undecided and unimpressed about his options as ever.

A man stands in front of a book shelf.

"Both candidates were super underwhelming to me. I think it was a lot of flak. No matter if you're a Democrat or Republican, I think you can see that. "I mean is this the standard that we're holding our country up to? "I don't think either one of them represents the American way completely. "This is one of the strangest elections we've ever had in America. I think on both sides, we feel like they're unqualified. But we have to choose. So here we are."

RFK Jr wants voters to give him a chance

For Robert F Kennedy Jr (remember him?) it seems like the winning move in this debate might have been not to play.

That's not to say he didn't try, though — he hosted his own event, complete with lectern and podium, and spliced himself into the footage while responding to moderators' questions.

medicine personal statements

He told NewsNation voters were "tired of choosing the lesser of two evils" and wanted a candidate younger than the 81-year-old Biden and 78-year-old Trump (Kennedy is 70).

"Hopefully some of them are going to start looking at me," he said.

Hot takes from a Washington watch party

A room full of people sit at tables watching the debate on a screen.

I've just returned from a packed pub in downtown DC, where scores of Americans sat down to tune into the historic debate over beers and burgers.

Bingo cards with buzz words like "Jan 6", "Putin" and "Make America Great Again" lay on tables, with punters cheering every time another catchphrase was mentioned.

A bingo score card.

Even here in Washington, in a district known to be a Democratic stronghold, reactions were pretty mixed about who performed better.

One man told me he thought Trump "won by a landslide". Another said she was impressed with Biden's performance.

What was agreed on by those we spoke with is the grave dissatisfaction with the options on the table this election.

When former president Donald Trump was asked if he would accept the results of the upcoming election, the room erupted in boos and groans.

Moments later, President Joe Biden called Trump "a whiner" - a label that was met with laughs and claps.

"Is anyone excited about this debate?" an MC asked the crowd during a break in debate coverage. "Noooo," the pub groaned back. "Does anyone feel the American people are being served by this debate?" "Nooooo," the crowd yelled louder.

A drawing of Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a table at a pub

Potential VP picks come out to support Trump

Donald Trump has kept everyone guessing on who he's going to select as his running mate, suggesting he'll announce his pick at next month's Republican national convention.

He added to the speculation by hinting the chosen candidate would be in Atlanta as he took to the debate stage.

Three of the top contenders are rumoured to be Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Senator JD Vance, and North Dakota governor Doug Burgum.

medicine personal statements

Rubio popped up in the post-debate 'spin room' and took aim at Joe Biden's performance, claiming there were times he "couldn't understand" what the president was saying.

Burgum took to X while the candidates were still on stage to question whether vice president Kamala Harris should take over part way through.

medicine personal statements

And Vance argued Trump had shown "so much more energy and clarity" than Biden.

Trump could still go with a surprise choice but for now, the frontrunners appear to be doing what they can to give themselves the best shot in the race.

The somewhat unpresidential things that were said tonight

Emily Clark profile image

By Emily Clark

The two men — who are asking for the American people to again put them in the White House — discussed their golf handicap.

Biden: "Look, I'd be happy to have a driving contest with him. I got my handicap when I was vice-president down to a six. By the way, I told you before, I'm happy to play golf if you carry your own bag. Think you can do it?" Trump: "That's the biggest lie — that he's a six handicap — of all." Biden: "I was eight handicap." Trump: "Yeah … Never. I've seen your swing. I know your swing. Let's not act like children."

They also exchanged barbs over the allegation Trump once called American veterans "losers and suckers".

Biden: "I went to the World War I cemetery. He refused to go to. He was standing with his four-star general … [who] told me he didn't want to go there because they're a bunch of losers and suckers. My son was not a loser or a sucker. You're the loser. You're the sucker." Biden: "A four-star general standing to your side who was on your staff said you said it." Trump: "The losers and suckers story is a lie. It's a disgrace."

Considering just how many legal woes Trump has at the moment and his recent felony conviction, those issues didn't come up a whole lot during the debate.

But when Biden did go on the attack, he accused Trump of having sex with a porn star while his wife was pregnant.

Trump: "I did not have sex with a porn star."

In pictures: VP hopefuls, campaign surrogates hit the spin room

medicine personal statements

Trump 'must now be considered the favourite for November': John Barron

Planet America host John Barron has this analysis of today's debate:

"Four years ago, when Trump and Biden first debated, it degenerated into an unedifying, unpresidential squabble. "This time, the mute button kept the cross-talk to a minimum, but given uninterrupted time to talk, Biden struggled to make his points clearly, and on one potentially catastrophic occasion, failed to complete a sentence. "That seemingly senior moment may well define this campaign, and doom Biden's candidacy. "Beyond that blank, Biden looked and sounded frail. The White House says he has a cold. He's three years older than Trump, but it looked like 20. "Trump meanwhile projected confidence, certainly, strength, and simplicity — everything is terrible now and was great when he was in charge. The fact checkers will have a field day with his many distortions, but that's unlikely to matter. "Many Democrats are now in a panic and looking at whether they can replace Biden. "Donald Trump, twice impeached, tossed out by voters, whose own vice-president won't endorse him — some of whose former top advisors say he's unfit — must for now be considered the favourite to win a second term in November."

The fact-checkers are busy

Host broadcaster CNN said in advance that its moderators weren't in an ideal situation to fact-check live, but it would produce some fact-checks afterwards.

CNN's fact-checker Daniel Dale has just appeared on the network. He says Trump made at least 30 false claims, and Biden made about nine , based on early counts.

Trump's included:

  • the suggestion Democratic leaders support killing babies in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancies, "or even after birth" (there are no Democratic leaders calling for this).
  • that the US currently has its largest trade deficit with China (even if you only count trade in goods, and not services, the deficit is at its lowest since 2010).
  • that Iran was broke during his presidency and China therefore stopped doing business with Iran (China's oil imports from Iran did briefly go down when Trump was president, but then they rose sharply while he was still president).
  • that the US would have had to pay $US1 trillion under the Paris climate accord (this is "wildly inflated").
  • said illegal crossings at the US-Mexico border had fallen 40 per cent under his watch (the number of people crossing the border was generally lower under Trump).
  • said he was the only president this decade who didn't have "troops dying anywhere in the world" (US servicemembers have died abroad, such as 13 killed in a suicide bombing during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan).

Other fact-checks around tonight include this from PolitiFact , this from the Associated Press   and this from the New York Times . (But no, we haven't had time to fact-check the fact-checks, so sharing these resources isn't an ABC endorsement.)

Biden upbeat despite concerns about his performance

Joe Biden stopped by a campaign event just after the debate, striking an upbeat tone in front of his supporters.

"We're going to beat this guy, we need to beat this guy," he said to cheers from the crowd.

"And I need you in order to beat him, you're the people I'm running for."

medicine personal statements

It was a brief but energetic appearance that stood in contrast to his stumbles on the debate stage.

And the president gave no sign that he might be rethinking his candidacy, as some have suggested he should, instead pointing to a rally he has planned for tomorrow.

"Heading to North Carolina!" he said.

First Lady Jill Biden says America 'heard Joe's heart tonight'

'the greatest debate performance' here's how both sides are spinning the debate.

Both campaigns are now in spin mode, with each side criticising the other candidate's performance.

Joe Biden's campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon issued a statement claiming the president presented a "positive and winning vision" for the US, in contrast with a "dark and backwards window" from his predecessor.

Trump's campaign argued the former president had delivered the "greatest debate performance" in history.

"Despite taking a week-long vacation at Camp David to prepare for the debate, Biden was unable to defend his disastrous record on the economy and the border," campaign officials   Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles said.

Kamala Harris: It was a slow start, but a strong finish

Vice-President Kamala Harris has just been interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper. "Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish," she says of Biden's performance.

Harris is trying to take the focus off the debate, and put it on Biden's record in office.

"I'm not going to spend all night with you talking about the last 90 minutes when I've been watching the last three and a half years."

Cooper puts to her that Democratic politicians who watched the debate are worried behind the scenes. "One said it was a disaster and another calls it a trainwreck," he tells her. He asks if she's honestly not concerned herself.

"It was a slow start. That's obvious. To everyone. I'm not going to debate that point. I'm talking about the choice in November. I'm talking about one of the most important elections in our collective lifetime."

'Donald Trump knew that he'd gotten him'

The Australia Institute's Emma Shortis tells the ABC that Biden's clear inability to prosecute Trump's lies about reproductive rights and other issues will have major electoral consequences.

Some more reactions to Biden's debate performance

How the abc's blog readers reacted to the debate.

It's not just American commentators who are united in their takes on the two candidates' performances.

Darren Perth: Awkward beginning. The choice is like choosing to suck on a lemon or a lime. Both not overly palatable.
Mohamed: This is very hard to watch
O:   How is Biden's age such a big topic when a) he's only three years older than Trump and b) there is hours of video footage of Trump being incoherent, etc - much more often than Biden!
weev:   It's an agonising contest. A guy who is too old but believes in democratic values versus a slightly younger and more energised chap who relies on lies and bluster with authoritarian tendencies. What a state of affairs.
Mary:   Please explain how in a country of 300million plus the only candidates for president are a geriatric and a convicted felon ?!!
Scott:   Same old Trump, can't stay on topic and answer a question, no facts, just rambling. Unfortunately it doesn't feel like Biden is sharp enough to hold Trump to account.
Michael Woodley: Biden is doing so poorly in this debate. This could turn the election.

'Approaching panic': How the US networks are assessing the debate

The US political landscape is famously polarised, and so is the media here.

But across the spectrum there appears to be broad agreement that Democrats sense real trouble following Joe Biden's performance.

We've already heard from CNN correspondent John King, who suggested some in the party were discussing whether the president should step aside.

The conservative network Fox News ran a ticker along the bottom of its post-debate coverage, headed "Biden's disastrous debate performance."

And even the left-leaning MSNBC raised the alarm, with presenter Joy Reid reporting the reaction from Democrats was "somewhere approaching panic" because of a view that Biden seeming "extremely feeble" and "extremely weak".

It will make for a very difficult environment for any of Biden's supporters to step into with the aim of defending how he did.

ICYMI: Trump wrongly accuses Biden of using 'superpredators' term

If Youre Listening podcast host Matt Bevan profile image

By If Youre Listening podcast host Matt Bevan

As both sides desperately court black voters, Donald Trump accused Joe Biden of previously using the term "superpredators" in the 1990s — seen as a racially charged term at the time.

In fact, Donald Trump is confusing Biden with his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.

In a 1996 speech in New Hampshire, then-first lady Hillary Clinton did use the term, while speaking in support of her husband Bill Clinton's controversial 1994 crime bill.

While Biden did support the bill, he did not use the term. In fact, he rejected it in 1997, saying most youth weren't "superpredators".

  • Skip to main content
  • Keyboard shortcuts for audio player

Weekend Edition Sunday

  • Latest Show

Sunday Puzzle

  • Corrections

Listen to the lead story from this episode.

Politics chat: Biden deals with fallout from debate

by  Ayesha Rascoe ,  Tamara Keith

Geothermal energy, a lesser known form of clean energy scored a big win this week

by  Ayesha Rascoe

Sudan is on the brink of famine after a year of civil war

A ballot proposal in arizona would give state law enforcement special powers, a 'honey bear' was spotted in washington state, 2000 miles north of its habitat.

A statue of Moses smashing the tablets of the 10 Commandments is on display in the atrium of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. The 17-foot-tall sculpture is on loan from the Skirball Cultural Center.

A statue of Moses smashing the tablets of the 10 Commandments is on display in the atrium of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. The 17-foot-tall sculpture is on loan from the Skirball Cultural Center. Jason DeRose hide caption

Louisiana mandate stirs debate about the 10 Commandments and their purpose

by  Jason DeRose

Louisiana mandate stirs debate about what the 10 Commandments and their purpose

The lab grown diamond market is taking over wedding season.

Sunday Puzzle

Sunday Puzzle NPR hide caption

Sunday Puzzle: Word pairs that start and end the same

by  Will Shortz

The Blue Ridge Snorkel Trail offers an immersive nature experience

by  Paul Garber

Emergency Quarters

Emergency Quarters Illustrations © 2024 by Gracey Zhang hide caption

Picture This

'emergency quarters' are for pay phones (remember those) in a new book by ‘90s kids.

by  Samantha Balaban

Supreme Court blocks opioid settlement with Purdue Pharma that shielded Sacklers

by  Brian Mann ,  Aneri Pattani ,  Ayesha Rascoe

France votes in the first round of its snap elections

by  Eleanor Beardsley

Public housing buildings can now pay for residents' ACs, providing relief to many

by  Jennifer Ludden ,  Ayesha Rascoe

A pioneering African-American TV reporter finally gets his due with new biography

by  Eric Westervelt ,  Bill O'Driscoll

Why local governments across the U.S. are racing to announce new sports stadiums

Tips to deal with cicada song, for those with sensory issues.

by  Zach Dyer

Horror film icons get starts on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

by  Ryan Benk ,  Ayesha Rascoe

NPR staffers share their favorite nonfiction reads of 2024

by  Eric Deggans ,  Darian Woods ,  Diaa Hadid ,  Preeti Aroon ,  Tinbete Ermyas ,  Andrew Limbong

This summer's music charts are dominated by pop girl underdogs

by  Ayesha Rascoe ,  Hazel Cills

Searching for a song you heard between stories? We've retired music buttons on these pages. Learn more here.

IMAGES

  1. Medical school personal statement

    medicine personal statements

  2. FREE 7+ Sample Medical School Personal Statement Templates in MS Word

    medicine personal statements

  3. FREE 20+ Sample Personal Statement Templates in MS Word

    medicine personal statements

  4. Example Personal Statements For Medical School, How to Write a Great

    medicine personal statements

  5. Medical Personal Statement

    medicine personal statements

  6. FREE 9+ Personal Statement Samples in MS Word

    medicine personal statements

VIDEO

  1. Write an Incredible Personal Statement: 3 Steps with Examples

  2. Oxford personal statement (for Medicine)

  3. Personal Statement Example

  4. MedStarTutors

  5. CAMBRIDGE MEDICINE PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE

  6. Individualized Medicine: Personalizing Care, Preventing Disease

COMMENTS

  1. 6 Real Examples Of Successful Medicine Personal Statements

    Personal Statement Example 6. This Personal Statement comes from a student who got into Graduate Entry Medicine at King's - and also had interviews for Undergraduate Medicine at King's, QMUL and Exeter. Get some inspiration for your Medicine Personal Statement with these successful examples from current Medical School students.

  2. 3 Medical School Personal Statement Examples [2024 Update]

    Example 3 — Beyond the Diagnosis: The Importance of Individualized Care in Medicine. The applicant who wrote this personal statement was accepted into Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Nova Southeastern University College Of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Haywood sighs and shakes her head upon opening the chart.

  3. 2024 Medical School Personal Statement Ultimate Guide (220+ Examples)

    Part 1: Introduction to the medical school personal statement. You probably know someone who achieved a solid GPA and MCAT score, conducted research, shadowed physicians, engaged in meaningful volunteer work, and met all the other medical school requirements, yet still got rejected by every school they applied to.. You may have even heard of someone who was rejected by over 30 medical schools ...

  4. 4 Medical School Personal Statement Examples

    Personal Statement Example #3. Student accepted to Weill Cornell. My path to medicine was first influenced by early adolescent experiences trying to understand my place in society. Though I was not conscious of it then, I held a delicate balance between my identity as an Indian-American and an "American-American.".

  5. How to Write an Outstanding Medical School Personal Statement

    If you are getting ready to write your medical school personal statement for the 2024-2025 application year, you may already know that almost 60% of medical school applicants are not accepted every year.You have most likely also completed all of your medical school requirements and have scoured the internet for worthy medical school personal statement examples and guidance.

  6. Medical School Personal Statement Writing Guide + Examples

    Describe how the experience influenced your decision to pursue medicine. The best personal statements tell a story about who you are. "Show, don't tell," what you've experienced — immerse the reader in your narrative, and you'll have a higher chance of being accepted to medical school. 6. Create an engaging conclusion.

  7. Medicine Personal Statement Examples 2024

    The personal statement is changing to a series of free text questions for 2026 entry onwards, however it remains unchanged for 2025 entry. Keep an eye on our live updates page for guidance on these changes.. Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to showcase the skills, attributes, and experiences which make you suited to studying medicine. This can be quite a daunting prospect, especially ...

  8. Medicine Personal Statement

    The structure of your Personal Statement is a matter of personal preference, but we advise you to follow a format that covers the following points: Why you want to study Medicine and become a Doctor (Motivation) Work experience and/or volunteering - and what you learned from it (Exploration) Wider reading and study beyond your school ...

  9. 2024 How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement (11 Steps)

    Medical School Personal Statement Examples . Anatomy of a Medical School Personal Statement. A personal statement has a 5,300 character maximum, about 1.5 pages of single-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font. The challenge isn't trying to fill in words; the challenge is selecting the key moments in your life that made you want to be a doctor ...

  10. How To Write Your Medicine Personal Statement

    Personal Statement Dos And Don'ts - With Examples Do give a good reason why you want to study Medicine. Example: "I aspire to study Medicine because I enjoy science and my experiences of volunteering and observational placements cemented my decision. The opportunity to talk to patients and have an impact on them by giving my time was an incredibly important experience for me."

  11. Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got 6 Acceptances

    28 More Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got Accepted. Medical School Personal Statement Example #3. Imagine holding a baby wearing doll clothes and a diaper made of gauze because she was too small. When I was 4 years old, my sister was born 4 months prematurely, weighing only 1 pound and 7 ounces.

  12. Medicine personal statements

    Find examples of personal statements for medicine courses from applicants who have actually used them. Learn how to structure, write and avoid plagiarism in your own statement.

  13. Medicine Personal Statement Examples

    unlock infinite medical wisdom. Welcome to 6med's collection of Medicine Personal Statement Examples. Read through Lucy's successful medicine Personal Statement for the University of Cambridge, which earned 3/4 offers including Cardiff and Birmingham. She will analyse the strengths, weaknesses and overall quality of her statement to inspire ...

  14. Medicine Personal Statement

    Here is an example of how to divide the main body of your personal statement: Interest in academia and wider reading. Work experience and voluntary commitments. Extra-curricular Activities. Remember, this is only one example. Alternatively, you could base your paragraphs on the qualities you want to demonstrate, such as: Interest in medicine ...

  15. Top 15 Medical School Personal Statement Examples

    1. What Should a Medical School Personal Statement Say? Your medical school personal statement should clearly articulate your genuine interest in the field and explain what drives you to become a doctor. This could be a personal story, an influential experience, or a deep-rooted desire to make a positive impact on people's lives through healthcare.

  16. Medicine Personal Statement Examples

    PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLES Medicine personal statements . Discover personal statement examples written by students accepted onto medicine and related courses. Read through the examples to help shape your own personal statement. All Statements Search Medicine Courses.

  17. Medicine Personal Statement Examples

    Alexander applied to study medicine in 2014 at 4 of the best medical schools in the UK, including Edinburgh and Sheffield. In the end, he received offers from both University College London and the University of Oxford, of which he chose the latter and began his studies in 2015. University. University of Oxford. University College London.

  18. 12 Steps to a Perfect Medical School Personal Statement (with before

    Step 5: Connect to personal narrative. Step 6: Add more definitive "Why Medicine". When/Why Medicine (AFTER) Section 3 - Exposure. Exposure (BEFORE): Step 7: Remove informal language. Step 8: Show more personal value as a candidate. Exposure (AFTER) Optional - Explain Issues with Conduct/Grades.

  19. Medicine Personal Statement Example & Analysis

    Below is an example of a strong medicine personal statement that the Medicine Answered team improved. This medicine personal statement rewarded the applicant with interviews at all four medical schools, helping them to secure four offers. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. A complete analysis follows, showing paragraph by ...

  20. Personal Statements

    Sample statements are from University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine graduates who matched into various specialties. Ideas can be used for any specialty choice. The Associate Dean and the Director of Student Services are available to give you feedback on your personal statement draft. You can email a draft to Cherie Singer.

  21. How to Approach Your Personal Statement: Dos and Don'ts

    The Purpose of a Personal Statement. Medical school admissions committees want to see what inspired you and prepared you to go to medical school. They want to know if you truly have a passion for medicine and are ready for the rigor of medical education. Medical school is challenging, stressful, expensive, and only the beginning of a much ...

  22. How To Structure Your Medicine Personal Statement

    There are two common ways that people typically choose to show their motivation to study Medicine when writing a Medicine Personal Statement: "I love studying science and people, so I want to be a Doctor". "I had a medical experience that led to an epiphany, and now I want to be a Doctor". Both of these are acceptable motivations ...

  23. Application do's and don'ts from doctor who oversees the Match

    A personal statement is an opportunity to show growth. One way to do that is to address any misstep that might be part of your applicant portfolio. "If you had a challenge in medical school, address that challenge," Dr. Clements said. "Do that in your personal statement.

  24. Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Writing Sample

    Please also note that the Personal Statement should complement rather than duplicate the content provided in the Statement of Purpose. Visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a Personal Statement is required. The degree program pages will be updated by early September indicating if the Personal ...

  25. Safe sport for all!

    Footnotes. X @AndreaBruder, @JoanneLKemp. Contributors AMB and JLK equally wrote, reviewed and approved the final version. AMB is the guarantor. Funding This study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Emerging Leader 2 Investigator Grant 2017844).. Competing interests JLK is an editor at the British Journal of Sports Medicine. ...

  26. Medicine Personal Statement Example 1

    Medicine Personal Statement Example 1 - The Medic Portal. Have a look at this successful Medicine Personal Statement example for inspiration to help you plan and structure your Personal Statement. Medicine excites me; it is full of unanswered questions, unsolved problems and potential for growth. It is a limitless field, exploring everything ...

  27. Six Takeaways From the First Biden-Trump Presidential Debate

    Before the debate, Biden allies tried to pressure the CNN moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, to aggressively fact-check any false statements made by Mr. Trump.

  28. Joe Biden and Donald Trump get personal in 'game-changing' debate ahead

    Joe Biden's campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon issued a statement claiming the president presented a "positive and winning vision" for the US, in contrast with a "dark and backwards window" from ...

  29. Weekend Edition Sunday for June, 30 2024 : NPR

    Hear the Weekend Edition Sunday program for Jun 30, 2024