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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!

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?

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.

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. 

MedEdits students have done extremely well in the most recent medical school admissions cycle. Many of these applicants have below average “stats” for the medical schools from which they are receiving interviews and acceptances.

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.

“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.”

As physicians, former medical school faculty, and medical school admissions committee members, this article will offer a step by step guide to simplify the medical school personal statement brainstorming and writing process.

By following the proven strategies outlined in this article, you will be and to write a personal statement that will earn you more medical school interviews . This proven approach has helped hundreds of medical school applicants get in to medical school the first time they apply!

“Medical

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.

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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.

You’ve been working hard on your med school application, reading medical school personal statement examples, editing, revising, editing and revising.  Make sure you know where you’re sending your personal statement and application.  Watch this important medical school admissions statistics video.

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

If you’re applying to both allopathic and osteopathic schools, you can most likely use the same medical school personal statement for both AMCAS and AACOMAS. In fact, this is why AACOMAS changed the personal statement length to match the AMCAS length several years ago.

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

Know the Required Medical School Personal Statement Length

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.”

Demonstrate Required Preprofessional Competencies

Next, your want to be aware of the nine preprofessional core competencies as outlined by the Association of American Medical Colleges . Medical school admissions committees want to see, as evidenced by your medical school personal statement and application, that you possess these qualities and characteristics. Now, don’t worry, medical school admissions committees don’t expect you to demonstrate all of them, but, you should demonstrate some.

  • Service Orientation
  • Social Skills
  • Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communication
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Capacity for Improvement

In your personal statement, you might be able to also demonstrate the four thinking and reasoning competencies:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Written Communication
  • Scientific Inquiry

So, let’s think about how to address the personal statement prompts in a slightly different way while ensuring you demonstrate the preprofessional competencies. When writing your personal statement, be sure it answers the four questions that follow and you will “hit” most of the core competencies listed above.

1. What have you done that supports your interest in becoming a doctor?

I always advise applicants to practice “evidence based admissions.” The reader of your essay wants to see the “evidence” that you have done what is necessary to understand the practice of medicine. This includes clinical exposure, research, and community service, among other activities.

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. How did your experiences motivate you? How did they affect what else you did in your life? How did your experiences shape your future goals? 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:

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  • 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)

The bulk of your essay should be about your most valuable experiences, personal, academic, scholarly, clinical, academic and extracurricular activities that have impacted your path to medical school and through which you have learned about the practice of medicine. The best personal statements cover several topics and are not narrow in scope. Why is this important? Many different people with a variety of backgrounds, interests, and ideas of what makes a great medical student will be reading your essay. You want to make sure you essay has broad appeal.

The following exercise will help you to determine what experiences you should highlight in your personal statement. 

When composing your personal statement, keep in mind that you are writing, in effect, a “story” of how you arrived at this point in your life. But, unlike a “story” in the creative sense, yours must also offer convincing evidence for your decision to apply to medical school. Before starting your personal statement, create an experience- based personal inventory:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Then think of a story or illustration for why each experience was important.
  • 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.
  • 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!

Remember, you will also have your work and activities entries and your secondary applications to write in more detail about your experiences. Therefore, don’t feel you must pack everything in to your statement!

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.

Illustrates your passion for, and commitment to, medicine

Your reader must be convinced that you are excited about and committed to a career in medicine!

Above all, your personal statement should be about you. Explain to your reader what you have done and why you want to be a doctor with insight, compassion, and understanding.

Medical School Personal Statement Myths

Also keep in mind some common myths about personal statements that I hear quite often:

My personal statement must have a theme.

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.

My personal statement must be no longer than one page.

Not true. This advice is antiquated and dates back to the days of the written application when admissions committees flipped through pages. If your personal statement is interesting and compelling, it is fine to use the entire allotted space. The application systems have incorporated limits for exactly this reason! Many students, depending on their unique circumstances, can actually undermine their success by limiting their personal statement to a page. That said, never max out a space just for the sake of doing so. Quality writing and perspectives are preferable to quantity.

My personal statement should not describe patient encounters or my personal medical experiences.

Not true. Again, the actual topics on which you focus in your personal statement are less important than the understanding you gained from those experiences. I have successful clients who have written extremely powerful and compelling personal statements that included information about clinical encounters – both personal and professional. Write about whichever experiences were the most important on your path to medicine. It’s always best, however, to avoid spending too much space on childhood and high school activities. Focus instead on those that are more current.

In my personal statement I need to sell myself.

Not exactly true. You never want to boast in your personal statement. Let your experiences, insights, and observations speak for themselves. You want your reader to draw the conclusion – on his or her own – that you have the qualities and characteristics the medical school seeks. Never tell what qualities and characteristics you possess; let readers draw these conclusions on their own based on what you write.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples and Analysis for Inspiration

Below are examples of actual medical school personal statements. You can also likely find medical school personal statements on Reddit.

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.

Amy’s personal inventory (from oldest to most recent)

  • 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.

What’s Good About Amy’s Medical School Personal Statement:  

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 Amy’s maturity.

Paragraph 3: Amy 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.

Paragraph 5: Amy then explains how her graduate degree is helping her to better understand the “issues in medicine” that she observed.

Paragraph 6: Amy then describes one exceptional accomplishment she had that highlights what she has learned and how she has applied it.

Paragraph 7: Finally, Amy effectively concludes her personal statement and summarizes the major topics addressed in her essay.

As you can see, Amy’s statement has excellent flow, is captivating and unusual, and illustrates her understanding of, and commitment to, medicine. She also exhibits, throughout her application entries and statement, 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.

Personal Statement Examples

med school personal statement examples

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.

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 Examples

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 .

what to include in medicine personal statement

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

Above all, and as stated in this article numerous times, your personal statement should be authentic and genuine. Write about your path and and journey to this point in your life using anecdotes and observations to intrigue the reader and illustrate what is and was important to you. Good luck!

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.

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Sample Medical School Personal Statement

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Don't underestimate the power of the medical school personal statement to make a strong, positive impression on an admissions committee. Combined with your interview performance, your personal statement can account for 60% (or more) of your total admissions score!

Medical schools want to enroll bright, empathetic, communicative people. Here's how to write a compelling med school personal statement that shows schools who you are and what you're capable of.

Medical school personal statement

Personal Statement Topics

Your medical school personal statement is a component of your primary application submitted via, TMDSAS (for Texas applications), or AACOMAS (NB: If you are applying to medical school in Canada, confirm the application process with your school, as not all application components may be submitted through AMCAS).

These applications offer broad topics to consider, and many essay approaches are acceptable. For example, you could write about:

  • an experience that challenged or changed your perspective about medicine
  • a relationship with a mentor or another inspiring individual
  • a challenging personal experience
  • unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
  • your motivation to seek a career in medicine

You'll write an additional essay (or two) when you submit secondary applications to individual schools. These essays require you to respond to a specific question. Admissions committees will review your entire application, so choose subject matter that complements your original essay .

Read More: Strategies for Secondary Applications

How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School

Follow these personal statement tips to help the admissions committee better understand you as a candidate.

1. Write, re-write, let it sit, and write again!

Allow yourself 6 months of writing and revision to get your essay in submission-ready shape. This gives you the time to take your first pass, set your draft aside (for a minimum of 24 hours), review what you’ve written, and re-work your draft.

2. Stay focused.

Your personal statement should highlight interesting aspects of your journey—not tell your entire life story. Choose a theme, stick to it, and support it with specific examples.

3. Back off the cliches.

Loving science and wanting to help people might be your sincere passions, but they are also what everyone else is writing about. Instead, be personal and specific.

4. Find your unique angle.

What can you say about yourself that no one else can? Remember, everyone has trials, successes and failures. What's important and unique is how you reacted to those incidents. Bring your own voice and perspective to your personal statement to give it a truly memorable flavor. 

5. Be interesting.

Start with a “catch” that will create intrigue before launching into the story of who you are. Make the admissions committee want to read on!

6. Show don't tell.

Instead of telling the admissions committee about your unique qualities (like compassion, empathy, and organization), show them through the stories you tell about yourself. Don’t just say it—actually prove it.

7. Embrace the 5-point essay format.

Here's a trusty format that you can make your own:

  • 1st paragraph: These four or five sentences should "catch" the reader's attention.
  • 3-4 body paragraphs: Use these paragraphs to reveal who you are. Ideally, one of these paragraphs will reflect clinical understanding and one will reflect service.
  • Concluding paragraph: The strongest conclusion reflects the beginning of your essay, gives a brief summary of you are, and ends with a challenge for the future.

8. Good writing is simple writing.

Good medical students—and good doctors—use clear, direct language. Your essays should not be a struggle to comprehend.

9. Be thoughtful about transitions.

Be sure to vary your sentence structure. You don’t want your essay to be boring! Pay attention to how your paragraphs connect to each other.

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10. Stick to the rules.

Watch your word count. That’s 5,300 characters (including spaces) for AMCAS applications, 5,000 characters for TMDSAS, and 4,500 characters for AACOMAS.

11. Stay on topic.

Rambling not only uses up your precious character limit, but it also causes confusion! Think about the three to five “sound bytes” you want admissions committee to know and remember you by.

12. Don't overdo it.

Beware of being too self-congratulatory or too self-deprecating.

13. Seek multiple opinions.

Before you hit “submit,” ask several people you trust for feedback on your personal statement. The more time you have spent writing your statement, the less likely you are to spot any errors. A professor or friend whose judgment and writing skills you trust is invaluable.

Read More: 12 Smart Tips for Your AMCAS Application

14. Double-check the details.

Always check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. This goes for the rest of your application (like your activities list), too. A common oversight is referencing the wrong school in your statement! Give yourself (and your proofreaders) the time this task truly requires.

15. Consult the experts about your personal statement strategy.

Our med school admissions counselors can diagnose the “health” of your overall application, including your personal statement. Get expert help and guidance to write an effective personal statement that showcases not only your accomplishments, but your passion and your journey.

Want to get an edge over the crowd?

Our admissions experts know what it takes it get into med school. Get the customized strategy and guidance you need to help achieve your goals.

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Medical School Personal Statement Storytelling Guide [With Examples]

Typical medical school personal statements list qualities and accomplishments in paragraph form and can be boring to read for admissions committee members. But the best personal statements demonstrate qualities through engaging stories. Those stories reveal insights into your personality, as well as interests outside healthcare and medicine (especially those that align with the medical schools you’re applying to ).

Medical school admissions committees want to learn who you uniquely are and why you want to become a medical professional. They also want to know what you are going to contribute to their school and the larger medical field.

Our in-depth guide will help you explore unique personal topics and stories to capture admission committee members’ attention and help you stand out in a sea of ordinary med school personal statements.

Table of contents

1. brainstorm topics, 2. choose stories that show your character, show, don’t tell, stay on topic, common medical school personal statement mistakes, get an expert’s opinion.

The first step in the personal statement writing process is to decide what stories and facts are most important to reveal and how to weave in your motivation for applying to a school of medicine.

When you’re ready to brainstorm, don’t just sit down to stare at a list of your premed activities like research experiences, volunteering, or shadowing. Instead, compile the fundamental personal experiences and people that helped shape you. These stories will likely translate beyond your personal statement into interviews , so be picky to choose only the most transformative.

When brainstorming your personal statement for medical school, consider these topics:

Significant or formative life experiences: something that changed the course of your life, your outlook on the world, or made you think differently about your future

  • Learning to do something that leads you to excel/teach others/make a contribution (e.g., sports, science, foreign language, special skills)
  • Being given a second chance
  • Connecting with someone who made an impact on you
  • Being out of your comfort zone (experiences with people of different backgrounds, travel, moving, doing something for the first time)

Challenging life experiences: something that forced a lesson upon you

  • A mistake you made
  • An event that was out of your control that nonetheless caused you suffering or loss
  • Overcoming an obstacle

People that shaped your life:

  • Mentor, family member, friend
  • Author, actor, speaker, personal hero

Think about what each element on your list taught you or how it changed your thinking. Answer for yourself why the event or person is important. Then brainstorm how one or two medically related activities can be tied in.

With this strategy, your personal statement will develop around a narrative that is unique to you. It will also communicate to admissions officers who you are and why you want to provide medical care.

To further your thought processes, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is distinct or unique about you/your life story?
  • What are some specific details about your personality, values, or experiences you can share to help them get a better understanding of who you are?
  • In what ways have your experiences contributed to your growth?
  • Have you overcome any obstacles or difficult circumstances in your life?
  • What valuable personal characteristics (integrity, compassion, diligence, etc.) do you have?
  • What soft skills (leadership, teamwork, communication skills, etc.) do you have?

Next, connect those answers to medicine-specific questions:

  • How and when did you become interested in medicine?
  • What have you learned so far about medicine?
  • Why do you want to become a doctor?
  • How do you know you want to be a doctor?
  • How have your experiences and your understanding of yourself confirmed your desire to do medicine?
  • In what ways have you shown that you have the characteristics necessary to succeed in the field of medicine?
  • How will your skills translate into being a good doctor?
  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that need explaining? This can be an obstacle or difficult circumstance.

Though you don’t want to include the answers to all these questions in your personal statement, knowing the answers to these questions is a good starting point.

You should highlight a few unique experiences, skills, or personal characteristics and make those the focal point of your essay.

Ordinary personal statements focus on the experiences that applicants think will make them seem impressive. The best personal statements focus on the qualities that make applicants truly special.

Instead of choosing their standout qualities — character, personality traits, attitudes — many applicants simply choose experiences they think will help them stand out to admissions committees. Then, they try to force those qualities into the experiences they’ve already chosen.

Why is this an issue? Imagine you have participated in the following extracurricular activities:

  • Biochemistry research for 2 years
  • Clinical experience shadowing for 3 years
  • Math tutor for underserved youth for 2 years
  • Trombonist in the high school band and trombone instructor for 3 years
  • International medical mission trip volunteer for 3 summers
  • Premed organization member for 3 years (vice president for 1 year)

At face value, which of these experiences do you think would make you seem the most impressive to an admissions committee? Given these choices, most students would choose to write about clinical shadowing (2) or medical mission trips (5).

Most students who choose one of those two topics will take a very similar approach, such as starting off the essay describing some interaction with a very ill patient or one with whom they experienced a language barrier.

Typical Applicant Personal Statement Example:

“Mary was well known at our clinic by all of our doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Based on her sharp intellect and cheerful pattern of making our staff feel like we were her best friends, it would be difficult to tell why she frequently visited the hospital. Besides her use of a walker, her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis had not slowed her down much. Throughout my interactions with Mary, I wondered how she maintained such a positive attitude despite her ailments. She seemed to give our staff more joy with her beaming smile than receiving care. I wanted to give her the best care possible, whether through asking our great nurses to check in on her or offering an extra blanket or favorite snack to ensure comfort throughout her stay. However, I was simultaneously frustrated that my ability to help Mary ended there. This lingering lack of fulfillment has served as a great motivator to find ways to do more for patients like her.”

What’s wrong with this example?

Although the above example provides some insights about the applicant’s motivations (“…find ways to do more for patients…”), it is written about a common topic (a realization that came during clinical shadowing) with a typical delivery —  written broadly about interactions with a particular patient.

The best personal statement writers, on the other hand, first think of the personal qualities they want to demonstrate in their essay before choosing a situation or event to write about. Next, they think of an experience that best highlights these qualities, regardless of whether or not it seems most “impressive” at face value. Finally, the best personal statements zero in on a particular event or situation to capture the reader’s attention with a detailed personal story.

By taking this approach, the best personal statement writers are better able to demonstrate their qualities because their story was chosen expressly for that purpose. After all, schools are attracted to particular candidates because of their qualities and not a specific experience they’ve had.

Let’s suppose this same applicant wanted to highlight her community involvement and commitment to serving underprivileged groups. Returning to the list of extracurriculars above, she could choose to write about working as a math tutor (3) or being a trombonist in the school band and trombone instructor (4). By choosing the latter and zooming in on a particular event, this same student could write the following personal statement introduction:

Better Personal Statement Example:

“My palms had never been as sweaty as when I walked on stage with my trombone in front of a 500-plus member audience on June 9th, 2015. Sure, I was pretty good. But I would like to think that being invited to play Curtis Fuller’s “Along Came Betty” at the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame had as much to do with the music skills I had honed over the past decade as it did with training the 8-member band of 10 to 13 year-olds from the inner city to join me on that same stage. I was nervous because this performance was for them; I needed to be at my best.”

Why is this example better than the one before it?

This introduction would likely stand out because it is about an uncommon topic (a musical performance) and seamlessly demonstrates the writer’s community involvement, especially with underserved youth. As a bonus, it captures the reader’s attention in 382 fewer characters.

Typical personal statements could have been written by any applicant. Good personal statements are those that can only be written by a specific applicant. The example of a typical introduction could have been written by any number of medical students who volunteered in a hospital. There simply aren’t enough unique insights and details about the applicant. On the other hand, the second introduction could have only been written by that individual.

So, how do you avoid a dull introductory paragraph? Use the approach above — first, list your unique qualities, then identify situations where you’ve expressed those qualities, and finally, zoom in to tell a detailed story.

Want to improve your chances of acceptance? Get world-class coaching from former admissions committee members for a more compelling personal statement and polished application. Students who work with us double their chances of getting accepted!

You’ve likely heard the adage “Show, don’t tell” enough already. Rarely do we receive practical advice on exactly how to demonstrate our qualities, rather than list them. When you can do this, you provide a more authentic glimpse of who you really are.

If you read the following sentences from two different applicants, which one would you think was more giving?

  • Applicant #1: I am a very giving person.
  • Applicant #2: I volunteer 4 hours every week to work at the homeless shelter.

You’d probably choose applicant #2, even though they never used the word “giving” in their sentence. As a reader, we extrapolate how giving that applicant is.

Going back to the intro paragraphs above, we can see that the typical one “tells” about the applicant’s qualities, whereas the better paragraph “shows” the applicant’s qualities.

More Medical School Personal Statement Examples :

Typical introductions:

  • “I wanted to give the best patient care possible…” (giving)
  • “This lingering lack of fulfillment has served as a great motivator to find ways to do more” (motivated)

Better introductions:

  • “…the music skills I honed over the past decade…” (dedicated)
  • “…training the 8-member band of 10-13 year-olds from the inner city to join me on that same stage.” (giving, empowering)
  • “I was nervous because this performance was for them; I needed to be at my best.” (selfless, motivated)

Strive to let your accomplishments, approaches, and insights speak for themselves. Describe your work in an engaging way and let the reader do the complimenting for you.

Some applicants make the mistake of putting the focus on supporting characters, like a parent or patient, making them more compelling than themselves or sharing the limelight. But the best personal statements maintain the focus on the applicant.

Like any great story, your personal statement should highlight a compelling character. But that character, the star of your story, should always be YOU. There is nothing wrong with including another character in your personal statement’s story. But other characters should only be used to demonstrate your qualities, whether through an interaction you had or an insight you gained after.

Returning to our examples above:

In the typical paragraph, Mary and the applicant are co-leads in the story. We don’t even read about the applicant or her insights until the fourth sentence. Mary seems just as impressive as the applicant.

The better paragraph is all about the applicant — her concerns, dedication, and motivations. Even though she mentions the inner-city youth, they serve only to demonstrate the applicant’s qualities.

Your opportunity to impress med school admissions committees with your personal statement is limited to 5,300 characters. Strive to keep the focus nearly entirely on you.

Know ahead of time that your first draft is just that — a first draft. Once you get something on the page, you can start rewriting and revising it into the perfect statement.

Explaining the answer to “Why I want to be a doctor” can be overwhelming. Many applicants end up making the mistake of answering a different question: “What have I done that qualifies me for medical school?” The result is a tedious list of GPAs and MCAT scores that make personal statements read like a resume.

A better approach is not to focus on the question that your essay will answer, but on the personal aspects of your experiences on earth that shaped who you are — a person whose goals and values align with entering the medical profession.

More common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not being concise
  • Using clichés
  • Breaking character limits
  • Not using transitions between paragraphs and topics
  • Not getting a second opinion or consulting an expert

There are some red flags to keep in mind as well. Admissions experts will not be impressed with:

  • Arrogance or narcissism
  • Self-deprecation or lack of confidence
  • Unexplained gaps in education
  • Generalizations
  • Poor grammar
  • Lack of passion

Read Next: A Guide To Medical Schools That Don’t Require The MCAT

What is the AMCAS personal statement prompt?

The AMCAS personal statement prompt is: Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.

How many characters are allowed in the medical school personal statement?

You can use up to 5,300 characters in the medical school personal statement sections of the AMCAS and AACOMAS applications . Spaces count as characters. You’ll have roughly 500 words to write.

How long should a personal statement be for medical school?

A personal statement for medical school should be approximately one page. It should be long enough to take a deep look at a transformative experience or concept.

What personal statement topics should I avoid?

There are no specific topics that you should completely avoid in your personal statement outside of openly offensive topics. You may receive advice to steer clear of topics like mental health, having a parent who’s a doctor, or volunteer work. But it’s not these topics themselves that are a problem; how you use these stories and experiences to show your personality and character is what matters.

Your personal statement is one of the few times in the medical school application process where your personality, experiences, and uniqueness can shine through. It’s too important to leave it to guesswork, particularly if you’re reapplying !

Work with experienced Writing Advisors and Physician Advisors to give your personal statement the X factor sure to be noticed by admissions committees. Many of our advisors are former AdComs !

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Advisor Corner: Crafting Your Personal Statement

New section.

Being able to articulate an answer to the question “why medicine?” is critical for an applicant as they apply to medical school. One of the first opportunities for an applicant to convey this message to admissions officers is through their personal comments essay in the AMCAS application. We asked three pre-health advisors how they advise their students to put their best self forward when crafting their personal statements.

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The personal statement is an unfamiliar genre for most students—you’ve practiced writing lab reports, analytical essays, maybe even creative fiction or poetry, but the personal statement is something between a reflective, analytical narrative, and an argumentative essay. You want to reveal something about yourself and your thoughts around your future in medicine while also making an argument that provides evidence supporting your readiness for your career. Well ahead of when you’re writing your personal statement, consider taking classes that require you to create and support arguments through writing, or those that ask you to reflect on your personal experiences to help you sharpen these skills.

As you draft your essay, you may want to include anecdotes from your experiences. It’s easiest to recall these anecdotes as they happen so it can be helpful to keep a journal where you can jot down stories, conversations, and insights that come to you. This could be recounting a meaningful conversation that you had with someone, venting after an especially challenging experience, or even writing about what keeps you going at times when you feel in danger of giving up. If it’s more comfortable, take audio notes by talking into your phone.

While reading sample personal statements can sometimes make a student feel limited to emulating pieces that already exist, I do think that reading others’ reflective writing can be inspirational. The Aspiring Docs Diaries blog written by premeds is one great place to look, as are publications like the Bellevue Literary Review and Pulse , which will deliver a story to your inbox every week. Check with your pre-health advisor to see if they have other examples that they recommend.

Rachel Tolen, Assistant Director and Premedical Advisor, Indiana University

I encourage students to think of the personal statement not just as a product. Instead, I encourage them to think of the process of writing the statement as embedded in the larger process of preparing themselves for the experience of medical school. Here are a few key tips that I share with students:

  • Start writing early, even months before you begin your application cycle. Expect to revise many versions of your draft over time.
  • Take some time to reflect on your life and goals. By the end of reading your statement, the reader should understand why you want to be a physician. 
  • When you consider what to write, think about the series of events in your life that have led up to the point where you are applying to medical school. How did you get here? What set you on the path toward medical school? What kept you coming back, even at times when it was challenging? On the day that you retire, what do you hope you’ll be able to say you’ve achieved through your work as a physician? 
  • Don’t waste too much time trying to think of a catchy opening or a theme designed just to set your essay apart. Applicants sometimes end up with an opening that comes across as phony and artificial because they are trying too hard to distinguish themselves from other applicants. 
  • Just start writing. Writing is a means for thinking and reflecting. Let the theme grow out of the process of writing itself. Some of the best personal statements focus on ordinary events that many other people may have experienced, but what makes the essay stand out are the writer’s unique insights and ability to reflect on these experiences.

Dana Lovold, MPH, Career Counselor at the University of Minnesota

Your personal statement can and should include more than what you’ve done to prepare for medical school. The personal statement is an opportunity to share something new about yourself that isn’t conveyed elsewhere in your application.

Advisors at the University of Minnesota employ a storytelling model to support students in finding and writing their unique personal statement. One critical aspect of storytelling is the concept of change. When a story lacks change, it becomes a recitation of facts and events, rather than a reflection of how you’ve learned and grown through your experiences. Many students express concern that their experiences are not unique and wonder how they can stand out. Focusing on change can help with this. Some questions you may want to consider when exploring ideas are:

  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • How did you change as a result of the experience?
  • What insight did you gain?

By sharing your thoughts on these aspects of your preparation and motivation for medicine, the reader has a deeper understanding of who you are and what you value. Then, connect that insight to how it relates to your future in the profession. This will convey your unique insight and demonstrate how you will use that insight as a physician.  

In exploring additional aspects of what to write about, we also encourage students to cover these four components in the essay:

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  • Motivation refers to a student’s ongoing preparation for the health profession and can include the initial inspiration.
  • Fit is determined through self-assessment of relevant values and personal qualities as they relate to the profession.
  • Capacity is demonstrated through holistically aligning with the competencies expected in the profession.
  • Vision relates to the impact you wish to make in the field.

After you finish a working draft, go back through and see how you’ve covered each of these components. Ask people who are reading your draft if they can identify how you’ve covered these elements in your essay so that you know it’s clear to others.

Med School Insiders

The Anatomy of a Stellar Medical School Personal Statement

  • By Meghana Pagadala
  • March 12, 2021
  • Medical School Application , Personal Statement

Every medical school application requires a personal statement, but some stand out from others. The composition of these excellent personal statements is not defined by the structure, the number of activities mentioned, or grammar.

What really makes a stellar personal statement is that it is memorable and captures who you are. Read below to see some example personal statements and what makes them excellent.

The Anatomy of a Personal Statement

There is a 5,300 character maximum for your personal statement. That’s about 1.5 pages of single-spaced 12-point Times New Roman font to demonstrate why you want to go to medical school.

A personal statement is made up of three parts:

  • Introduction (Bread)
  • Body (Meat and Vegetables)
  • Conclusion (Bread)

Before you begin writing, we have an article on How to Start Your Personal Statement . It will guide you through research, reflection, and idea generation to get you started.

The Bread: Introduction & Conclusion

The introduction and conclusion are like the slices of bread of an amazing sandwich. No matter how many ingredients in a sandwich, the pieces of bread always bind the whole story together. In other words, the introduction and conclusion should not be throwaways.

The introduction and conclusion are vital components of a successful personal statement. You should take time to ensure that your introduction captures the reader’s attention and the conclusion is memorable.

Introduction

The first sentence is key. It needs to capture an admissions committee’s attention and entice them to read more.

Here are some examples from the Med School Insiders Personal Statement Database :

The main reason why I want to go into medicine is because of a promise I made to my sister when I was eight years old.

It’s not every day you help a kid become Iron Man.

Both of these examples are the first sentences of introductions that immediately capture the reader’s attention.

The first example mentions a promise that the applicant made to his sister. Right away from the first sentence, the reader is curious to know what that promise is. It’s an example of an opening sentence that immediately addresses the applicant’s desire to go into medicine. The sentence is clear, intriguing, and it captures your attention.

The second example is more mysterious. You have several questions after reading it. What kid are they helping? How do you make a kid become Iron Man? However, it accomplishes the same goal of piquing the reader’s interest. Remember, admissions committee members are reading hundreds of applications. How will you stand out? Make sure you grab their attention from the very first sentence.

The introduction is also a chance to set the tone for the essay. In this example, you can get a sense of the applicant’s sense of humor:

At the beginning of the first Alternative Spring Break (ASB) meeting that I was leading in front of a group of nervous volunteers, I used an icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie. Being a common face at my campus’s student activities, I have played this game perhaps one too many times. Unlike everyone else who had to take time to think about their interesting truths, I would say the same thing every time. “I want to be a pediatrician, I have alpacas, and I have llamas.”

I do not have llamas.

The applicant sets the scene at an Alternative Spring Break meeting, sprinkles in humor with the Two Truths and a Lie game, and mentions their desire to become a pediatrician. This example has everything in it, but most importantly, it’s memorable. Often, strong applicants stuff their personal statement with their long list of achievements.

Sometimes less is more. What makes a great personal statement is having a compelling story that illustrates your unique strengths.

For the example above, the applicant likely had several interesting memories, but they chose this experience because it’s interesting and uncommon. Being known as the “alpaca” medical school applicant is a good thing—it makes you memorable and helps you stand out to the admissions committee.

The conclusion is the last paragraph the admissions officer will read, so it requires careful thought, just like the introduction. Not only is the conclusion a summary of your statement, but also a time to emphasize why you want to be a physician and what your future goals are.

I want to become a physician so that I can use my liberal arts education with my personal and professional experiences to meet medicine’s unique requirement of understanding patients psychologically, culturally, and biologically.

It is my desire to be a bridge between the technical engineering world and the direct delivery of care that only physicians can give.

I look forward to travelling to new communities as a physician while keeping my community-driven morals close, so alpaca my bags now.

The excerpts above are great examples of concluding sentences. Ultimately, the admissions committee is looking for applicants who will become excellent future physicians. A stellar essay that does not convince an admissions committee why you want to go to medical school is useless.

Including a well-crafted sentence about your motivation to go to medical school is essential.

The first two excerpts help sum up the applicant’s mission and why they want to be a physician. Ideally, you should tie back to the introduction of your essay. The “alpaca my bags” example connects to the introduction, adds personality, and concludes on a memorable note.

The Meat and Veg: Body

The body is the meat of the essay. It is everything that goes in between those slices of bread. You have more wiggle room to delve into an experience or showcase your personality here. You can use more descriptions and examples in the body. However, it is important that the body of your essay is still clear.****

Do not include anything that does not directly or indirectly support your ultimate case of wanting to become a physician.

We would do fulfilling tornado recovery work in the morning, but I most looked forward to afternoons where we got to sit down and chat with kids about their days while helping them with their homework.

Shadowing allowed me to learn the characteristics of a good physician.

This inspired me to help patients in underprivileged communities because some are not educated enough to know when something is wrong with their bodies.

There is no perfect number of paragraphs or set structure for the body of a personal statement. More importantly, the body should convey to the committee your personality, experience, and vision.

Personality

Physicians are caring, compassionate, and selfless humans. They have patients’ lives in their hands. They need to make important decisions that can affect the wellbeing of several people.

The medical school admissions committee wants to know that they are admitting someone who upholds the qualities of an excellent physician. Including experiences that showcase your personality is important. In the first excerpt above, the applicant does not explicitly state that he is caring, but rather illustrates it using vivid storytelling.

Don’t shy away from showing your own unique personality. It may be intimidating to talk about yourself, but this is your opportunity to tell your story.

There is no better way to convince an admissions committee that you want to be a doctor than by describing it through experiences. In the second excerpt above, the applicant writes that he shadowed physicians and learned what characteristics make a good physician.

If you are applying to a dual-degree program , like MD/PhD programs or MD/MPH programs, you can include research experiences or community outreach and public health experiences. However, most dual-degree program options have separate applications that always ask why you want to pursue a dual-degree. In your personal statement, try to focus on experiences that explain why you want to be a physician specifically.

Although you will outline your activities and honors in another part of your application, putting your experiences in the context of your personal statement can help you expand on those compelling stories.

An important aspect of the personal statement is describing your vision for your career and future. The personal statement is your chance to share your dreams.

You can describe your ambitions, goals, and feelings. Medical school admissions committees care about finding a diverse, passionate, and enthusiastic group of students who want to be physicians. Outlining your goals or dreams can help them understand who you are and why you want to be a doctor. They want to know what you will do with your MD.

In the third excerpt above, the applicant describes how he wants to help underprivileged communities and why. If you are research-oriented, include how you hope to progress the field of medicine with research. If you are interested in medical education, include your future goals of becoming a physician educator.

The personal statement is a critical part of your application. Although personal statements by definition vary greatly between applicants, there are key elements that an effective personal statement should contain. The personal statement is about putting you on a piece of paper. Ultimately, you should feel proud of your personal statement and how it tells your story.

Professional Feedback and Editing

To set yourself up for the strongest possible personal statement, start early and get regular feedback and editing from those with real medical school admissions committee experience.

Med School Insiders offers a range of personal statement editing packages from a team of doctors with years of experience serving on admissions committees.

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.

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Meghana Pagadala

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The Only 3 Medical School Personal Statement Examples You Need to Read

what to include in medicine personal statement

Posted in: Applying to Medical School

what to include in medicine personal statement

Table of Contents

The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the med school application process because t his mini-essay is a critical opportunity for you to stand out from other prospective medical students by demonstrating your passion and personality, not just your grades.

Admissions committees receive hundreds or more AMCAS medical school applications , so yours should be unique and captivating. Your medical school personal statement shows admissions officers who you are beyond your high school or pre-med GPA , extracurriculars , and MCAT score . 

The best personal statements are… well, personal . This is your chance to share what life experiences have compelled you toward a career in healthcare or the medical field , and how those experiences shape the picture of your ideal future.

MedSchoolCoach has crucial advice for writing your personal statement . 

Read these examples of personal statements for prospective med students.

Writing a great medical school personal statement is a lot easier with the right support. We’ve helped numerous med school applicants craft top-notch personal statements and can do the same for you.

But first: 7 steps to writing an engaging personal statement.

Before you read these excellent examples, you need to understand the process of writing a personal statement.  

Include these in your medical school personal statement:

  • Why you’re passionate about becoming a doctor
  • Your qualities that will make you a great physician
  • Personal stories that demonstrate those qualities
  • Specific examples of the communities you want to serve as a member of the medical field

What are the most important things to remember when writing a medical school personal statement ?

  • Begin the writing process early: Give yourself plenty of time for brainstorming and to revisit your first draft, revising it based on input from family members and undergrad professors. Consult the application timeline for your target enrollment season.
  • Choose a central theme: An unfocused essay will leave readers confused and uninterested. Give your statement a clear thesis in the first paragraph that guides its formation.
  • Start with a hook: Grab the reader’s attention immediately with your statement’s first sentence. Instead of opening with a conventional introduction, be creative! Begin with something unexpected.
  • Be the you of today, not the you of the future: Forecasting your future as a physician can come across as empty promises. Don’t get caught up in your ambitions; instead, be honest about your current situation and interest in the field of medicine.
  • Demonstrate your passion: It’s not enough to simply state your interest in becoming a doctor; you have to prove it through personal stories. Show how your perspectives have been shaped by formative experiences and how those will make you an effective physician.
  • Show, don’t tell : Avoid cliches that admissions committees have heard hundreds of times, like “I want to help people.” Make your writing come alive with dynamic, persuasive storytelling that recounts your personal experiences.
  • Tie everything together: Conclude by wrapping up your main points. Reiterate your passion for the medical profession, your defining personal qualities, and why you’ll make a good doctor.

You can read more about our recommended method in our step-by-step guide , but those are the major points.

Example 1 — From the Stretcher to the Spotlight: My Journey to Becoming an Emergency Medicine Physician

Another siren shrieks as the emergency room doors slide open and a team of EMTs pushes a blood-soaked stretcher through the entrance. It’s the fifth ambulance to arrive tonight — and only my first clinical shadowing experience in an emergency medicine department since my premed education began.

But it wasn’t my first time in an emergency room, and I knew I was meant to be here again.

In those crucial moments on the ER floor, many of my peers learned that they stumble in high-pressure environments. A few weeks of gunshot wounds, drug overdoses, broken bones, and deep lacerations in the busiest trauma bay in the region were enough to alter their career path.

They will be better practitioners somewhere predictable, like a pediatrician in a private practice where they choose their schedules, clients, and staff.

Every healthcare provider has their specialties, and mine are on full display in those crucial moments of lifesaving care. Why am I pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine? Because I’ve seen firsthand the miracles that Emergency Medicine physicians perform.

12 years ago, I was in an emergency room… but I was the one on the stretcher.

A forest-green Saturn coupe rolled into my parent’s driveway. The driver, my best friend Kevin, had just passed his driving test and was itching to take a late-night run to the other side of town. I had ridden with Kevin and his father many times before when he held his learner’s permit. But this time, we didn’t have an adult with us, and the joyride ended differently: with a 40-mph passenger-side collision, T-boned by a drunk driver.

I distinctly recall the sensation of being lifted out of the crumpled car by a paramedic and laid onto a stretcher. A quick drive later, I was in the care of Dr. Smith, the ER resident on call that night. Without missing a beat, he assessed my condition and provided the care I needed. When my mom thanked him for saving my life, he simply responded, “It’s what he needed.”

Now I’m watching other doctors and nurses provide this life-saving care as I observe as a premed student. I see the way the staff works together like a well-oiled machine, and it reminds me of my time in high-school theater.

Everyone has a role to play, however big or small, to make the show a success. All contributions are essential to a winning performance — even the technicians working behind the scenes. That’s what true teamwork is, and I see that same dynamic in the emergency department.

Some actors freeze during performances, overcome by stage fright. Other students are too anxious to even set foot in front of an audience; they remain backstage assisting with split-second costume changes.

Not me. I felt energized under the spotlight, deftly improvising to help my co-stars when they would forget their lines. Admittedly, I wasn’t the best actor or singer in the cast, but I provided something essential: assurance under pressure. Everyone knew me as dependable, always in their corner when something went awry. I had a reputation for remaining calm and thinking on my feet.

My ability to stay unruffled under pressure was first discovered on stage, but I can use it on a very different platform providing patient care. Now, when other people freeze under the intensity of serving public health on the front lines, I can step in and provide my calm, collected guidance to see them through.

As an ER doctor, I will have to provide that stability when a nurse gets flustered by a quarrelsome patient or shaken from an irreparably injured infant. When you’re an Emergency Medicine physician, you’re not following a script. It takes an aptitude of thinking on your toes to face the fast pace and unpredictable challenges of an emergency center.

During my time shadowing, I saw experienced physicians put those assured, gentle communication skills to use. A 13-year-old boy was admitted for a knife wound he’d received on the streets. He only spoke Spanish, but it was clear he mistrusted doctors and was alarmed by the situation. In mere minutes, one of the doctors calmed the patient so he could receive care he needed.

Let me be clear: I haven’t simply gravitated toward Emergency Medicine because I liked it most. It’s not the adrenaline or the pride that compel me. I owe Emergency Medicine my life, and I want to use my life to extend the lives of other people. Every person brought into the trauma bay could be another me , no matter what they look like.

People are more than their injury, health record, or circumstances. They are not just a task to complete or a challenge to conquer.

My childhood injury gave me an appreciation for the work of ER doctors and a compassion for patients, to foster well-being when people are most broken and vulnerable. I already have the dedication to the work and the heart for patients; I just need the medical knowledge and procedural skills to perform life-saving interventions. My ability to remain calm, think on my toes, be part of a team, and work decisively without making mistakes or overlooking critical issues will serve me well as an Emergency Medicine physician.

Some ER physicians I spoke with liked to think that they’re “a different breed” than other medical professionals — but I don’t see it that way. We’re just performing a different role than the rest of the cast.

Breaking It Down

Let’s look at what qualities make this a great personal statement for med school.

  • Engaging opening: The writer painted a vivid scene that immediately puts the reader in their shoes and leaves them wanting more.
  • Personal examples: The writer demonstrated his ability to stay calm, work as a team, and problem-solve through theater experience, which he also uses as a comparison. And, he explained his passion for Emergency Medical care from his childhood accident.
  • Organized: The writer transitions fluidly between body paragraphs, connecting stories and ideas by emphasizing parallels and hopping back and forth between time.
  • Ample length: Makes full use of the AACOMAS and AMCAS application personal statement’s character limit of 5,300 characters (including spaces), which is about 850-950 words.

Unsure what traits and clinical or research experience your preferred medical school values ? You can research their admissions requirements and mission statement using the MSAR .

Example 2 — Early Clinical Work For Empathetic Patient Care

The applicant who wrote this personal statement was accepted into University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine.

As I walked briskly down the hall to keep up during our daily rounds in the ICU, I heard the steady beeping of Michelle’s cardiac monitor and saw a ruby ornament twinkling on the small Christmas tree beside her. She was always alone, but someone had decorated her room for the holidays.

It warmed my heart that I wasn’t the only one who saw her as more than a patient in a coma. I continually felt guilty that I couldn’t spend more time with her; her usual companions were ventilators, IV bags, and catheters, not to mention the golf ball-sized tumors along her spine. Every day, I thought about running to Michelle’s bedside to do anything I could for her.

Thus, I was taken aback when my advisor, who was visiting me that day, asked me if I was okay. It never crossed my mind that at age 17, my peers might not be able to handle the tragedies that healthcare workers consistently face. These situations were difficult, but they invoked humanity and compassion from me. I knew I wanted to pursue medicine. And I knew I could do it.

From my senior year of high school to my senior year of college, I continued to explore my passion for patient interaction.

At the Stepp Lab, I was charged with contacting potential study participants for a study focusing on speech symptoms in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The study would help future patients, but I couldn’t help but think: “What are we doing for these patients in return?” I worried that the heart and soul behind the research would get lost in the mix of acoustic data and participant ID numbers.

But my fears were put to rest by Richard, the self-proclaimed “Parkinson’s Song & Dance Man,” who recorded himself singing show tunes as part of his therapy. Knowing that he was legally blind and unable to read caller ID, I was always thrilled when he recognized my voice. The spirit in his voice indicated that my interest in him and his journey with Parkinson’s was meaningful. Talking with him inspired me to dive deeper, which led to an appreciative understanding of his time as a sergeant in the U.S. military.

It was an important reminder: my interest and care are just as important as an effective prescribed treatment plan.

Following graduation, I began my work as a medical assistant for a dermatologist. My experience with a patient, Joann, validated my ability to provide excellent hands-on patient care. Other physicians prescribed her painkillers to relieve the excruciating pain from the shingles rash, which presented as a fiery trail of blisters wrapped around her torso. But these painkillers offered no relief and made her so drowsy that she fell one night on the way to the bathroom.

Joann was tired, suffering, and beaten down. The lidocaine patches we initially prescribed would be a much safer option, but I refused for her to pay $250, as she was on the brink of losing her job. When she returned to the office a week later, she held my hand and cried tears of joy because I found her affordable patches, which helped her pain without the systemic effects.

The joy that pierced through the weariness in her eyes immediately confirmed that direct patient care like this was what I was meant to do. As I passed her a tissue, I felt ecstatic that I could make such a difference, and I sought to do more.

Since graduation, I have been volunteering at Open Door, a small pantry that serves a primarily Hispanic community of lower socioeconomic families. It is gut-wrenching to explain that we cannot give them certain items when our stock is low. After all, the fresh fruits and vegetables I serve are fundamental to their culturally-inspired meals.

For the first time, I found myself serving anguish rather than a helping hand. Usually, uplifting moments strengthen one’s desire to become a physician, but in this case, it was my ability to handle the low points that reignited my passion for aiding others.

After running out of produce one day, I was confused as to why a woman thanked me. Through translation by a fellow volunteer, I learned it was because of my positivity. She taught me that the way I approach unfavorable situations affects another’s perception and that my spirited attitude breaks through language barriers.

This volunteer work served as a wake-up call to the unacceptable fact that U.S. citizens’ health suffers due to lack of access to healthy foods. If someone cannot afford healthy foods, they may not have access to healthcare. In the future, I want to partner with other food banks to offer free services like blood pressure readings. I have always wanted to help people, but I now have a particular interest in bringing help to people who cannot afford it.

While the foundation of medicine is scientific knowledge, the foundation of healthcare is the word “care” itself. I never found out what happened to Michelle and her Christmas tree, but I still wonder about her to this day, and she has strengthened my passion to serve others. A sense of excitement and comfort stems from knowing that I will be there for people on their worst days, since I have already seen the impact my support has had.

In my mind, becoming a physician is not a choice but a natural next step to continue bringing humanity and compassion to those around me.

How did this personal statement grab and sustain attention so well?

  • Personalization: Everything about this statement helps you to understand the writer, from their personal experiences to their hope for how their future career will look.
  • Showing, not telling: From the first sentence, the reader is hooked. This prospective medical student has plenty of great “on paper” experience (early shadowing, clinical experience, etc.), but they showed this with storytelling, not by repeating their CV.
  • Empathy: An admissions committee reading this personal statement would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this student cares deeply about their patients. They remember first names, individual details, and the emotions that each patient made them feel.
  • A clear path forward: The writer doesn’t just want to work in the medical field — they have a passion for exactly how they want to impact the communities they serve. Outside of strictly medical work, they care about the way finances can limit access to healthcare and the struggle to find healthy food in food deserts around the US .

Read Next: How Hard Is It to Get Into Medical School?

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. “I was worried about her A1C. It’s up again. Hypertension, too. Alright, let’s go.”

As we enter the patient’s room, I’m expecting the news about her blood sugar and pressure to fill the room. Instead, Dr. Haywood says, “Roseline! How are you doing? How’s your girl, doing well?”

Dr. Haywood continues to ask questions, genuinely interested in Roseline’s experience as a new mother. If not for the parchment-lined examination chair and anatomy posters plastered to the wall, this exchange could be happening in a grocery store. What about her A1C? Her blood pressure? Potential Type II diabetes?

As I continue to listen, Dr. Haywood discovers that Roseline’s mother moved in with her, cooking Haitian meals I recognize as high on the glycemic index. Dr. Haywood effortlessly evolves their conversation to focus on these. Being Haitian herself, she knows some traditional dishes are healthier than others and advises Roseline to avoid those that might exacerbate her high blood sugar and blood pressure. Dr. Haywood also suggests Roseline incorporate exercise by bringing her baby on a walk through her neighborhood.

During my shadowing experience, I observed one of the core components of being a physician through several encounters like this one. By establishing a relationship with her patient where Roseline was comfortable sharing the details of new motherhood, Dr. Haywood was able to individualize her approach to lowering the patient’s A1C and hypertension. Inspired by her ability to treat the whole person , I began to adopt a similar practice as a tutor for elementary kids in underserved areas of D.C.

Shaniyah did not like Zoom, or math for that matter. When I first met her as a prospective tutee online, she preferred to keep her microphone muted and would claim she was finished with her math homework after barely attempting the first problem. Realizing that basing our sessions solely on math would be fruitless, I adapted my tutoring style to incorporate some of the things for which she had a natural affinity.

The first step was acknowledging the difficulties a virtual environment posed to effective communication, particularly the ease at which distractions might take over. After sharing this with Shaniyah, she immediately disclosed her struggles to share her work with me. With this information, I found an online platform that allowed us to visualize each other’s work.

This obstacle in communication overcome, Shaniyah felt more comfortable sharing details about herself that I utilized as her tutor. Her love of soccer gave me the idea to use the concept of goal scoring to help with addition, and soon Shaniyah’s math skills and enthusiasm began to improve. As our relationship grew, so did her successes, and I suspect the feelings I experienced as her tutor are the same as a physician’s when their patient responds well to prescribed treatment.

I believe this skill, caring for someone as a whole person , that I have learned and practiced through shadowing and tutoring is the central tenet of medicine that allows a doctor to successfully treat their patients.

Inspired by talking with patients who had received life-altering organ transplants during my shadowing experience, I created a club called D.C. Donors for Georgetown University students to encourage their peers to register as organ donors or donate blood. This experience taught me that to truly serve a person, you must involve your whole person, too.

In starting this club to help those in need of transplants, I had to dedicate my time and effort beyond just my physical interactions with these patients. For instance, this involved reaching out to D.C.’s organ procurement organization to inquire about a potential partnership with my club, to which they agreed. In addition, I organized tabling events on campus, which required significant planning and communication with both club members and my university.

Though exciting, starting a club was also a difficult process, especially given the limitations the pandemic imposed on in-person meetings and events. To adapt, I had to plan more engaging meetings, designing virtual activities to make members more comfortable contributing their ideas. In addition, planning a blood drive required extensive communication with my university to ensure the safety of the staff and participants during the pandemic.

Ultimately, I believe these behind-the-scenes actions were instrumental in addressing the need for organ and blood donors in the D.C. area.

From these experiences, I have grown to believe that good medicine not only necessitates the physician cares for her patient as a whole, but also that she fully commits her whole person to the care of the patient. Tutoring and starting D.C. Donors not only allowed me to develop these skills but also to experience such fulfilling emotions: the pride I had in Shaniyah when her math improved, the gratefulness I felt when she confided in me, the steadfast commitment I expressed to transplant patients, and the joy I had in collaborating with other passionate club members.

I envision a career as a physician to demand these skills of me and more, and I have confirmed my desire to become one after feeling so enriched by practicing them.

Here’s what makes this personal statement such a good example of what works:

  • Desirable qualities: The student clearly demonstrates qualities any school would want in an applicant: teachability, adaptability, leadership, organization, and empathy, to name a few. This again uses the “show, don’t tell” method, allowing the readers to understand the student without hand-holding.
  • Personalized storytelling: Many in the healthcare profession will connect with experiences like the ones expressed here, such as addressing patient concerns relationally or the lack of blood donors during the recent pandemic. The writer automatically makes a personal link between themselves and the admissions committees reading this statement.
  • Extensive (but not too long): Without feeling too wordy, this personal statement uses nearly all of the 5,300 characters allowed on the AMCAS application. There’s no fluff left in the final draft, only what matters.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

You can learn a lot from those personal statements. They avoid the most common mistakes that med school applicants make when writing the medical school personal statement.

Here are some things you should avoid in your personal statement if you want to be a doctor:

  • Name-dropping: Admissions counselors won’t be impressed when you brag about your highly regarded family members, associates, or mentors. You need to stand on your own feet — not someone else’s.
  • Dishonesty: Lies and exaggerations can torpedo your application. And they’re bad habits for anyone entering the medical field. Don’t do it.
  • Unedited AI content: Artificial intelligence can help you edit and improve your writing, but don’t let it do the work for you. Your statement needs to be authentic, which means in your voice! A chatbot can’t feel or adequately convey your own empathy, compassion, trauma, drive, or personality.
  • Grammatical errors and typos: Have someone reliable proofread your essay and scour it for typos, misspellings, and punctuation errors. Even free grammar-checking apps can catch mistakes!
  • Telling without showing: I’ll reiterate how important it is to prove your self-descriptive statements with real-life examples. Telling without showing won’t persuade readers.
  • Too many examples: Have 3-4 solid personal stories at most; only include a few that are crucial for providing your points. The more experiences you share, the less impact they’ll make.
  • Fluff and filler: Cut all fluff, filler words, and irrelevant points. There are many other places you can include information in your application, such as secondary essays on your clinical experience, volunteer work, and research projects . 

You can find more valuable do’s and don’ts in our in-depth guide to writing your best personal statement .

Need extra help? We’ve got you covered.

Schedule a meeting with medschoolcoach for expert support on writing and editing your personal statement. we’re here to help you impress medical school admissions committees .

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Dr. Marinelli has practiced family medicine, served on the University of California Admissions Committee, and has helped hundreds of students get into medical school. She spearheads a team of physician advisors who guide MedSchoolCoach students.

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4 Points to Include in Every Med School Personal Statement

For a compelling essay, prospective medical school students should share their passions beyond medicine.

4 Points to Include in Med School Essays

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You should reflect on past patient-care experiences, including any insights you gained into the medical profession.

Putting together a personal statement for medical school can be challenging, as applicants may have many ideas but are unsure which to include in their narrative.

Prospective students often ask which ideas are appropriate for the personal statement and which should be reserved for other parts of the medical school application , such as the supplemental essays. The answer is that there is no single formula for writing a good personal statement and a variety of approaches could work.

Having said that, regardless of the approach you take, consider including these four key components to ensure that your statement is compelling.

Personal narrative. As the name implies, a personal statement is meant to have a personal touch, and one of the most effective ways to give it that touch is by including a bit about who you are as a person.

Virtually every medical school essay will have something about the applicant's experiences in a hospital, service to the community, academic achievements or research involvement. Give your essay a personal touch by sharing something outside of your passion for medicine to make sure your essay stands out.

10 Reasons Not to Go to Med School

Kathleen Franco, M.D., M.S. Sept. 28, 2021

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For example, where were you born? What was your upbringing like? What are some key life events that have had an impact on you? What are some of your outside interests?

Taking the time to reflect on questions like these and weaving responses into your essay will help the reader connect with you on a human level. In so doing you will come across as a multidimensional individual who is more than just a GPA, an MCAT score and a series of clinical experiences.

Reflection on patient-care experiences. Virtually all personal statements allude to the applicant's involvement in clinical care as a volunteer, scribe , shadow or medical assistant. However, not every personal statement includes careful reflection on what those experiences meant and how they helped the applicant realize that medicine is his or her calling.

After you have briefly described the nature of your clinical experiences, reflect on what insight you gained from them about the medical profession. Use this opportunity to show the reader you understand what kind of career you are embarking on. Also, draw on your clinical experiences to demonstrate in concrete terms what you saw that solidified your desire to pursue medicine.

For example, you may share a few anecdotes in which you observed a physician form trusting relationships with his or her patients. What did these anecdotes teach you about the patient-doctor relationship? How did these observations make you more excited about becoming a physician?

Reasons for pursuing medicine. Too often admissions committees read medical school personal statements that don't directly and clearly express the reasons an applicant is pursuing a career in medicine. As a result, the reader is left to read between the lines and infer from anecdotes and experiences why you want to be a physician .

You can make the reader's job much easier by summarizing your reflections on clinical experiences and stating in one sentence why you are pursuing medicine.

There is nothing wrong with having a sentence in your personal statement where you state, "I want to be a physician because I like A, B and C about the medical profession." For example, if you shadowed a surgeon and observed a variety of surgical procedures, you may cite the opportunity to perform intricate procedures as one reason why you want to be a physician.

Your strengths. Medical schools want to know what strengths you believe you can bring to your medical education and to the profession.

But it is not just about what positive attributes you possess or how many you have. It is more important to show how you acquired each positive quality. As you reflect on various personal and professional experiences, ask yourself what each experience taught you and present each as an acquired strength.

For example, your essay will sound convincing if you state that you have learned to be a good team player through your involvement in various team-based activities . Conversely, if you just state that everyone considers you a solid team player without explaining how you acquired that skill, you will have a harder time convincing your audience that this is a genuine strength.

Taking the time to plan what goes in your personal statement can make the difference between writing a strong essay and a weak one. Think about the four points above and discuss them with others to further develop each one. It may take some time to articulate these ideas, but with careful consideration, you can put together a convincing personal statement.

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Need a guide through the murky medical school admissions process? Medical School Admissions Doctor offers a roundup of expert and student voices in the field to guide prospective students in their pursuit of a medical education. The blog is currently authored by Dr. Ali Loftizadeh, Dr. Azadeh Salek and Zach Grimmett at Admissions Helpers , a provider of medical school application services; Dr. Renee Marinelli at MedSchoolCoach , a premed and med school admissions consultancy; Dr. Rachel Rizal, co-founder and CEO of the Cracking Med School Admissions consultancy; Dr. Cassie Kosarec at Varsity Tutors , an advertiser with U.S. News & World Report; Dr. Kathleen Franco, a med school emeritus professor and psychiatrist; and Liana Meffert, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine and a writer for Admissions Helpers. Got a question? Email [email protected] .

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Medicine Personal Statement: 12 Top Tips

The medicine personal statement is your first chance to show off what you’ve accomplished and how you’ve been preparing for medical school. It is vital that your medicine personal statement is well written and structured to ensure you get that all important interview invitation.

It can be overwhelming when you’re first faced with a blank document and have to somehow convey all of your work experience and passions in just a page. This article will give some of our top tips for personal statement writing based on years of experience.

what to include in medicine personal statement

1. Jot down all of your biggest achievements!

A good way to start writing your medicine personal statement is to make a list of absolutely all of your achievements so far. The personal statement isn’t very long so you most likely won’t be able to mention everything here. Making a list will help you pick out which achievements will help you to stand out from other applicants, so you can prioritise what to talk about.

Examples of Achievements

  • Academic e.g. poster presentation
  • Social , e.g. being volunteer of the month at at local care home
  • Highlight key skills e.g. leading a project as a prefect

Writing all these down beforehand will mean you don’t forget to slot them in later. This list will also be helpful when it comes to interview preparation!

what to include in medicine personal statement

2. Make your motivation for medicine original

Why do you want to study medicine? This is the big question to answer in your medicine personal statement. As a future medical student, hopefully you have already thought this through and have some ideas. It is very important that you fully understand your motivations as this will be key for interview preparation too. At some medical schools your personal statement is used as a prompt for questions during your interview, particularly during the motivation question. It won’t look great if you give a completely different answer for wanting to study medicine at interview compared to what you’ve written in your personal statement, especially if the interview has it right in front of them!

Try to make your answer as original as possible: most people will say something along the lines of ‘I love helping people and I love science’. While these are very valid answers, and definitely good reasons to want to study medicine, they aren’t very original and won’t help you stand out.

Your passion has to jump out from the page, so don’t be afraid to rewrite this until it shows exactly how keen you are to study medicine. It is up to you how you start your introduction, but a unique and relevant anecdote may make you stand out from other applicants. 

If you’re unsure of how to phrase your motivation for studying medicine, keep reading and I’ll give you some guidance on how to get around this when we chat about work experience.

3. Don’t lie

This is a very important point. We all elaborate a little and embellish our experiences on our CV every now and again, but it is very important not to lie. If you lie in your interview or medicine personal statement and are caught, you will be instantly rejected by the university. This is clearly not a good quality for future doctors.  It isn’t worth risking.

Don't lie in your medicine personal statement

4 Link your extracurriculars (and everything) back to how they will make you a better medic

Extra-curriculars are important in developing skills required of a doctor. Don’t be afraid to show off everything you have achieved during your time at school, whether that be debating club, hockey or jazz band.

But what is important here is that, firstly, you link it back to how it will make you a better medic. Try thinking about your extracurriculars in terms of:

  • What skills have you developed?
  • Name things that have challenged you?
  • What have you learnt about working in a team?
  • Are you keen to continue these at university? Medical schools want you to bring something as part of the medical school community!

Link back to your extra-curricular activities

5. Reflect when talking about work experience

By now you will have completed most (if not all!) of your work experience. When getting work experience, it is much better to make the effort to secure your own shadowing or volunteering, rather than someone else organising your on your behalf. This shows you’re proactive and motivated – both excellent qualities for a future doctor!

The most important point regarding work experience is to reflect . Self-reflection is a key skill for a doctor, and you will be expected to reflect on your experiences throughout your entire medical career – even up to consultant level!

Instead of just describing what you did, instead talk more about what you’ve learnt from this experience. Include both positive and negative points as it shows honesty and a realistic understanding of a career in medicine. You should also try and apply what you’ve learnt to show personal growth. For example, did you observe some excellent communication skills that you then tried to replicate in your volunteering? What did you learn about the realities of medicine? How will this impact on your future practice?

Trusted Personal Statement Review: Learn More

6. You don’t need to include everything

It is a common mistake for students to cram as much as possible in. When it comes to work experience on your personal statement, quality is better than quantity. Admissions staff would much rather hear about one particular experience in detail with insightful reflection rather than reading a list of 10 different shadowing experiences.

7. Remember the character and line limit

Try and start outlining your personal statement early so that you can write freely and include everything you’d ideally like to, using your list of achievements mentioned in Tip 1! Once you’ve written this you can cut it down to the correct character and line limit.

If you would like help in editing your medicine personal statement, make sure to check out our personal statement review service

Remember – your personal statement must be under 4000 characters and 47 lines. This is roughly only 500 words!

what to include in medicine personal statement

8. Write it yourself

Remember that this is a personal statement . It should be written by you. Nearly everyone has someone to check or proof-read their personal statement, but you should be the one who is ultimately writing and driving the process.

Remember that your personal statement can be used as trigger material at interview. It is very obvious when a candidate hasn’t written their own personal statement so do not fall into this trap.

Write your own medicine personal statement

9. Don’t forget good structure

Structure is important! Use paragraphs to split up the block of text, each with their own topics such aswork experience or academic achievements. This makes the overall text easier to follow. You should begin with your overall motivation for medicine, which you can then link to your work experience reflections which should be the main body of the text.

You should end with a short conclusion. This will be the lasting impression your statement gives off to the admissions team! Tell them why you’d make an excellent doctor in one short summary sentance.

what to include in medicine personal statement

10. Check, check and double check

This may sound obvious but, check your spelling and grammar. Not just once but multiple times and after every single change to a draft you make. Poor grammar and spelling suggests that you’re careless, have poor attention to detail and is just generally unprofessional. You will have to write essays at medical school and beyond, so show the admissions team you can do it well!

Always proof-read your medicine personal statement

11. Do your research

As well as reading books and attending extra lectures to widen your breadth of knowledge, it is also important to familiarise yourself with what makes a good doctor.

Read medical newspaper articles (from good sources), take a look the GMC’s good medical practise, confidentiality and also look at the suggested reading and links for the universities you are applying to. 

Do lots of reading for your medicine personal statement

12. Don’t be too hard on yourself!

At the end of the day every applicant has decided to study medicine, and if you’re a school leaver especially, you’ve likely all come from similar backgrounds. Personal statements are bound to look similar, but this ultimately doesn’t matter. It’s less about how impressive or unique your experiences have been, and more about how well you can reflect on these experiences to demonstrate the skills needed of a doctor. Try not to stress too much!

Medicine Personal Statement - Stress

Personal Statement Check

It can help to have an expert review your personal statement – Click below to find out more about how you can get a fast-track personal statement review from one of our expert team

Frequently Asked Question

🔍 what is a medicine personal statement.

A medicine personal statement is a written document that applicants for medical school use to showcase their strengths, qualifications, experiences, and aspirations. It is an essential part of the application process and provides admissions committees with insights into the applicant’s character and suitability for medical school.

🔮 What are some tips for writing a strong medicine personal statement?

Some tips for writing a strong medicine personal statement include researching the medical schools you are applying to, highlighting your relevant experiences and qualifications, demonstrating your passion for medicine, using clear and concise language, and proofreading for errors.

🎥 What should I include in my medicine personal statement?

Your medicine personal statement should include information about your relevant experiences and qualifications, your motivation for pursuing a career in medicine, your strengths and skills, and any relevant achievements or awards. It should also demonstrate your knowledge of the medical profession and the specific medical school you are applying to.

📜 How long should my medicine personal statement be?

The length of your medicine personal statement can vary depending on the medical school’s requirements, but it is typically around 500 to 700 words. It is important to follow the guidelines provided by the medical school and to be concise and focused in your writing.

💣 What should I avoid in my medicine personal statement?

You should avoid using cliches or generic statements, exaggerating your accomplishments or experiences, being too negative or critical, or including irrelevant information. It is also important to avoid plagiarism and to ensure that your personal statement is original and authentic.

💡 Why is the medicine personal statement important?

The medicine personal statement is an important part of the medical school application process because it allows applicants to demonstrate their motivation, commitment, and suitability for a career in medicine. It is also an opportunity to showcase relevant experiences and qualifications that may not be reflected in other parts of the application.

Was this article helpful?

Still got a question leave a comment, leave a comment, cancel reply, 366 comments, anonymous medic mind tutor 6 may 2020.

Great Article!

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This was so helpful!

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Medicine Personal Statement Examples

Last updated: 29/6/2023

  • Is Medicine Right for Me?
  • What do Doctors do?
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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.

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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.

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University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division

  • Accessibility
  • Pre-clinical
  • Medicine: How to Apply

Medicine: Writing your Personal Statement

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Your personal statement is an important part of your application to Oxford. It allows you to tell us about your interests, achievements and ambitions in your own words. Although we do not formally score your statement we read it carefully. If you are invited for interview, the statement is likely to provide a focus for the questions that you are asked. It is therefore essential that your statement is an accurate, unembellished account of your activities. We may check the claims that you make on your statement: discovery of fabricated or exaggerated material – during the admissions exercise, or even later on during your time as a student – may bring into question your suitability to practise Medicine. 

Present yourself in the best light:  the same basic facts about yourself (in terms of education, interests, experience), when presented differently, can quite dramatically convey positive or negative messages about you to tutors.

For A100 Medicine at Oxford, UCAT and (if taken) GCSEs are predominantly used initially to determine whether or not you are short-listed for interview. The information that you provide in your personal statement becomes increasingly important if you are not short-listed on the basis of UCAT score and (if taken) your GCSEs. Of course, every detail becomes important once you have reached the interviews and are being considered for a place.

1. Please do not be shy in declaring any mitigating circumstances

These may help us to put your achievements or personality within a finer context. We actively look for reasons why you may have under-performed in examinations, or performed well against the odds. These may be factors associated with your schooling, health or domestic circumstances. If you are returning to study after a break, or switching vocation, it is even more important to highlight your reasons for choosing to study Medicine, and for you to demonstrate your determination, resilience, ability and commitment. 

2. Do not simply recount everything you have ever undertaken

We’re looking for quality, not quantity! Remember that large numbers of applicants apply for our courses. Tell us in what ways you will stand out from the crowd. In choosing to talk about an activity, describe what you have drawn from the experience: has it changed you as a person? Did it surprise you?

3. We want to learn about you as a person, not just about your academic qualifications

If you have undertaken extra-curricular activities, or hold positions of responsibility at school, tell us why you sought these, and why they are important to you. You will not impress us by simply recounting that you took up a placement in Thailand, but we might be more appreciative if you tell us what you personally learnt from the experience, about your interaction with local people, and about shadowing the medical team working within your village. 

Example: I have become involved with a city music and drama group, and work especially with the younger members. I find this exciting and more than occasionally challenging. Coaching for the group has given me experience in organising others, as well as teaching them. Watching group members learn and progress is thrilling, especially in the case of one of them who has ADHD. At first he was incapable of remaining still, silent or attentive for even a few minutes, but eventually became far more focused and calmer, making excellent progress in many areas.

4. Directly address our selection criteria in your statement

Here are our selection criteria and some examples:

Personal characteristics: suitability for medicine

  • Empathy: ability and willingness to imagine the feelings of others and understand the reasons for the views of others

Example: My volunteering in the local community and my studies in Religion and Classical Civilization have also increased my ability to understand varying cultural, ethical and social perspectives, and allowed me to look at issues in a wider context.

  • Motivation: a reasonably well-informed and strong desire to practise medicine

Example: My interest in the human body burgeoned while I was taking the Essentials of First Aid class organised by St John Ambulance. The two consecutive years of volunteer service in X Hospital that followed reinforced my passion for the subject.

  • Communication: ability to make knowledge and ideas clear using language appropriate to the audience
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Ethical awareness
  • Ability to work with others

Example: I have had a weekend job at X since 2016, which has further allowed me to develop teamwork skills, taught me how to work towards personal targets when under pressure, and allowed me to interact with many different members of the public.

Example: Dancing has taught me valuable people skills; you learn to work intimately with fellow dancers and trust them completely.

  • Capacity for sustained and intense work

Academic Potential

  • Problem-solving: critical thinking, analytical approach
  • Intellectual curiosity: keenness to understand the reason for observations; depth; tendency to look for meaning; enthusiasm and curiosity in science
  • Communication skills: willingness and ability to express clearly and effectively; ability to listen; compatibility with tutorial format

Example: Studying History at A-level has helped develop my writing and critical analysis skills.

Example: At school I have taken part in a French exchange programme which greatly improved my language skills, independence and confidence.

5. You will not be alone in trying to open your statement with an attention grabbing intro

If you try this, make sure it helps tutors to learn something about what motivates and enthuses you.

Example: My vast collection of books and videos on "How the Body Works" when I was 7 years old first triggered my interest in the functions of the body. Watching the little personified, cartoon blobs that represented red blood cells run around an animated yet functioning body fascinated me and I longed to find out more. As a result, when a friend received a letter explaining their little girl had just been diagnosed with X at just 14 months old, I was intrigued to find out what this was.

6. The statement is called a personal statement for a reason

It should be written by you, not by your parents, siblings, or teachers. Do not plagiarise material that you find on the web as there is a great chance that such deception will be discovered.

7. Do not feel that there is a precise template to follow that will score you points!

We look for bright and independent thinkers, so try to be original!

  • Course Structure
  • Academic Entry & Age Requirements
  • Selection Criteria
  • Health & Fitness to Practise
  • Application Checklist
  • Application Process
  • Introductory Reading
  • Writing your Personal Statement
  • Anatomy of a Personal Statement
  • Graduate Applicants
  • Mature Applicants
  • International Applicants
  • Mitigating circumstances
  • Shortlisting Process and Admissions Statistics
  • Fees and Funding
  • Residency Application

Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement Examples

Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement Examples

As you get ready to apply for residency, it’s a good idea to look at internal medicine residency personal statement examples. One of the most crucial parts of your application will be your residency personal statement, whether you are navigating ERAS  in the US or CaRMS in Canada. Directors of residency programs are interested in learning about your personality, your potential as a resident physician, and the reasons behind your specialty decision. They’ll be looking to understand this from your personal statement.

With a fill-rate of less than 45%, internal medicine was the least competitive among the most competitive & least competitive residencies in a recent survey. The higher the fill-rate, the more competitive the residency program. However, this is not a reason to skimp on any aspect of your residency application. In this article, we provide three great examples of internal medicine residency personal statements to help you write your own and earn that coveted spot in the program of your choice.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 11 min read

Residency personal statements.

Your CV is an impressive, legible, and flawless presentation of your achievements. Now it’s time for your personal statement. In one page, or about 500–800 words, you are setting out to explain to residency program directors why they should choose you, as well as all the events that led you to this particular decision and specialty. No pressure!

The purpose of a residency personal statement is to show the reader who you are. Unlike your medical school personal statement , this essay is not intended to convince someone to admit you. Instead, you are seeking the right Match. Consequently, your residency personal statement should highlight your accomplishments and potential contributions in a way that represents the truest reflection of you as a person and as a physician. The defining quality of a residency personal statement is authenticity. You want to find yourself in a residency program where you will thrive and be able to make a significant contribution.

Watch out for red flags in your residency application!

The following examples take different approaches to the personal statement, but they all include some essential components. They:

  • Tell the applicant’s story
  • Provide examples of significant moments and experiences
  • Illustrate the applicant’s character
  • Describe the applicant’s motivation for pursuing medicine
  • Contextualize the applicant’s interest in a specialty
  • List various skills and qualities the applicant will bring to the residency program

This personal statement presents the story of an international student applying to residency in the United States.

While studying medicine at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá, I experienced various life-changing events, many of which were associated with my role as a team leader for the response to aerial bombings of armed groups by the government. Along with other students, I travelled with paramedics and triaged the wounded in the ED at various hospitals. I came into contact with numerous communities. It was not uncommon to see some of these people again when they returned to our clinics for follow-up treatment or brought their family members in for the diagnosis of chronic illnesses.

Through this experience, I realized that medicine is a virtuous circle. Even in the most devastating circumstances, the connection with a doctor made by one person is often shared with others. Although I gained valuable expertise in emergency medicine, my interest in pathophysiological processes grew. I found it fascinating to be able to correlate clinical findings to reach an accurate differential diagnosis, a vital skill for an internist.

I also realized how important it is to communicate effectively with patients from different backgrounds. My exposure to various cultures and social strata has equipped me with the knowledge to appropriately treat individuals without causing offence. In Columbia, Catholicism is deeply culturally pervasive, for example, and knowing how to navigate patient expectations and limitations has a major influence on their medical decisions.

On our medical ward, there was a patient who had cutaneous leishmaniasis and was treated with parenteral and oral medications as well as local therapies before being discharged. She was a young, local girl of 19 who had been engaged to be married but felt stigmatized by the disease. With her permission, I reached out to both sides of her family and enrolled her in a directly observed treatment program. Seeing her recover successfully and renew her engagement in her subsequent marriage was both personally and professionally rewarding.

This encounter was one of many that confirmed my commitment to internal medicine. Although the ED gives a physician the sense of being immediately helpful in a crisis, I came to appreciate the value of building strong physician–patient connections. In time, I realized how wonderfully fulfilling it is to have such a significant impact on patients’ lives. I am certain my ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds is a strength that will help me become a capable and caring internist.

Recently, I completed a clinical elective at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California, with the objective of acquiring useful US clinical experience. I am currently a clinical observer in the laboratory service. This practical training taught me so much about the American health care system. I’ve learned about patient management through case discussions, hospital rounds, and conferences. I’ve also become familiar with the duties of an intern. Given the courses I selected in medical school and hands-on experience with urgent care in Columbia, I see myself leaning toward infectious diseases as a specialty. This conviction was reinforced during the global health crisis when it became clear that we need more physicians with expertise and experience in this area. As an internist, I will have the exceptional opportunity to provide my patients with comprehensive analysis, appropriate treatment, and advocacy.

This personal statement presents the story of an American student applying to residency in the United States.

My achievements in life are a result of my enthusiastic embrace of challenges that pushed me to learn and grow while also cultivating deep connections. One such connection was with my volleyball coach, Dr. Sandy Mason, at Logan University. She selected me as captain during the last regular season of my senior year, even though I had ended the previous season with an injury. She told me it was because I had never lapsed in my commitment to the team, attending every game and cheering on my teammates, even when I was in pain. The year I was captain we emerged from the regular season undefeated.

The pride I felt at that last game was more important to me than winning the playoffs. Not only was I satisfied with my own recovery and skills, but I was also proud of what our team was able to achieve through our combined efforts. Not all leadership requires teamwork, but in sports and medicine, it does. By making me captain while I was still undergoing therapy, my coach supported me both mentally and physically; I truly believe that this is what enabled me to turn around and direct that same good energy to my teammates.

Another interesting connection in my life is the one I made between my injury and my eventual career plans. Observing the doctors while they tried to assess the complex damage I had sustained to my ankle inspired appreciation but also intrigue. After my sessions, I often found myself limping into libraries or scrolling online to follow up on what they had said.

My current obsession is rheumatology, though my condition resulted from injury, not illness; the next connection I made was with fellow patients in the clinic and hospital. At some point, I was told that I would regain full mobility with proper therapy, but for certain patients, the prognosis was less positive. The idea that they were experiencing as much pain as I had, but over the long term, affected me deeply. As a result, in my last two years of medical school, I’ve sought opportunities to collaborate in research on comorbidity and multimorbidity of chronic diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes.

I am also employed as the lead grant writer for our faculty. I did not actively seek this position but was recommended to it by two of my professors. This show of support underscored how leaders can set a good example by recognizing, investing in, and lifting up juniors. Grant writing is also about teamwork – another connection – which I realized after reaching out to over twenty medical students and investigators just to prepare the first proposal. In this environment, I learned to create a strong application, carry out protocols, analyze data, conduct literature reviews, and draft studies. I would apply these skills in a residency program to support research and enhance outcomes for patients with complex pathology.

I am especially interested in research in therapeutic settings. For instance, during my rotations at St. Luke’s Hospital, I met many patients with arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. Under the supervision of Dr. Xiu, our team surveyed these patients to compare the effects of current therapies on different types of arthritis and devise better treatments. Even at this early date, our research has led to improved results for a subset of patients who previously felt they didn’t have any other options. Applying what I learn is one of the most satisfying aspects of medicine for me, especially when it improves patients’ quality of life. I would be interested in continuing this work as a longitudinal study and potentially weaving it into my residency.

Going forward, I hope to learn existing approaches and techniques that represent best practices, but I am also keen to innovate and expand the scope of my specialty. I aim to have a lasting impact, first, by relieving pain and benefitting others as a caring, patient-centered physician, and then by devoting my energy to research, clinical excellence, and service.

Most importantly, I am seeking a residency that shares my vision of teamwork, as exemplified by my coach, Dr. Mason, my volleyball team, and my current faculty: first and foremost, everyone on the team is dedicated to achieving the same objective; everyone understands and values the contributions of each team member; everyone puts in a lot of effort; everyone encourages the personal growth of the other team members. If given the opportunity to join such a team, I will jump at the chance – and I will be able to do so, thanks to the doctors who helped me jump again.

This personal statement presents the story of a young immigrant to Canada applying to residency in Canada.

Not long ago, I returned to Syria, my birthplace, for the first time in eight years. I had left the country before the Arab Spring protests to participate in an international high school exchange program in science. Although I became more Canadian as time went on, I never stopped thinking about the rest of my family back home. I had expected to be gone for one year, but after my uncle was killed in the civil war, everyone urged me to stay in Canada. Ultimately, I was able to apply, with the help of my family, for Canadian Permanent Resident Status.

I pursued advanced science, biology, and physics options in high school, but during a career fair, I attended a presentation by Doctors Without Borders about their intervention in Syria. Two doctors who had recently returned from their tour spoke of their experiences, and the multimedia aspect, including photos and video, made me feel both homesick and terrified. The years of violence had severely damaged Syria’s infrastructure. The country’s once-relatively effective health care system was devastated. Numerous medical institutions had been destroyed, personnel had been killed or fled, and there were severe supply shortages. I understood then that what I had gained from my good fortune I would give back by returning to my country and meeting a part of the urgent need there, once I had the proper education and training.

After an undergrad and pre-med at Ontario Tech, I was accepted to the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster. However, with a six-month gap between graduation and the start of medical school, I decided to return to Syria to visit family and investigate the health care situation for myself. I wanted to have a concrete plan for how and where I would ultimately work as a physician.

This journey changed me. Whole towns were scarred by the vestiges of war; some villages I had known were completely wiped off the map. More disturbing was the impact on the population. Many people living in massive refugee camps, such as Za’atari, had debilitating injuries from bombings or AR assaults. The number of people with acute or chronic diseases in the camps was significant. While I was there, I helped attend to three people injured in a fire and learned a lot from the resident physicians about identifying diseases that were common there but would have been unusual in Canada.

During my first two years of medical school, I was torn between a focus on emergency medicine and internal medicine. The recent global health crisis settled that question for me. As an intern at St. Joseph’s Hamilton Healthcare, I assisted in the ED, helped admit urgent cases, and provided care. To facilitate appropriate interventions, we collaborated closely with specialty teams. I felt genuinely at home on the ward, despite the lack of resources, trauma, exhaustion, and constant worry about getting sick or infecting someone else. In my mind, I drew a direct line to Syria and knew that if I returned, I would have what it takes to endure it, even if the war worsened again.

However, my perspective on emergency care evolved last year when the crisis eased, and we began to see more accident victims and critical cases, such as cardiac arrest or CVA. At the same time, certain cases were especially challenging: patients with a combination of pre-existing health conditions and long-term consequences of COVID-19 were winding up in the ED. This was when I noticed the convergence of my different educations. Attending physicians noticed it too. I identified symptoms in patients that sometimes went undocumented, and my instincts for which test to order were strong. I realized that my science background and ease with theory and analysis were contributing to my diagnostic ability, even though I was not yet allowed to take on such a responsibility. On the patient side, I picked up on visual signs and subtle cues and with knowledge of Arabic, English, French, and Russian, I was able to communicate with a wide range of people.

In the year since, I have increasingly gravitated toward internal medicine, as this is clearly where my skills and aptitudes lie. Although I have remained mainly at St. Joe’s, this has not limited my versatility but rather, enhanced it, as I have had the privilege of caring for a broad spectrum of patients and working with several departmental directors in various specialties. The extensive patient contact, along with the intellectual challenge and learning opportunities inherent in each new case, are what convinced me that internal medicine is exactly where I want and need to be. Should you accept me as a resident, you can be assured of a strong, serious, mature contribution by a sensitive team player with a wealth of experience.

It is hoped that these examples give you a good idea of how to approach your internal medicine residency personal statement and convince you that you can craft your own strong statement around what makes you unique as a person and as a physician.

Here are a few more ideas of what to include:

Your internal medicine residency personal statement should generally be between 500 and 800 words, or one page. Be sure to check the precise requirements of the residency program to which you are applying.

Simply put: Yes! Your residency personal statement provides you with the opportunity to interact with the program directors and explain why you want to pursue your chosen specialty. It also humanizes your application. Your chances of being accepted into your ideal school may be greatly increased with a powerful personal statement.

Get an early start, so that you won’t feel rushed. Conduct comprehensive research on the residency program. Write an outline. Include anecdotes and concrete examples in your essay. Once you have included all the relevant content, work on weaving a story together and revising your writing to make it more concise.

Leave yourself a good six weeks to write your internal medicine residency personal statement.

Red flags should only be discussed if they are pertinent to your personal statement, and you haven’t previously addressed them in another application component. If you do address any areas of concern, be sure to accept responsibility for the issue and detail how you improved as a result of your missteps or setbacks.

With a fill-rate of under 45%, internal medicine is one of the least competitive specialties.

Although unlikely, you may heed every piece of advice from your consultant and yet fail to find a match. Therefore, we advise choosing a professional service that is guaranteed. For instance, at BeMo, we offer a money-back guarantee that you can learn more about by scheduling a free first consultation.

Certainly! While they cannot actually create the essay for you, they can help you brainstorm, offer writing advice and strategies, and guide you through the editing process to ensure that you produce a great residency personal statement.

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what to include in medicine personal statement

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what to include in medicine personal statement

  • Carers and disability benefits

Disability Benefits system to be overhauled as consultation launched on Personal Independence Payment

Government to reform disability benefits system to ensure they’re targeted at those most in need.

what to include in medicine personal statement

  • Consultation to be published today on proposals to move away from fixed cash benefit system towards tailored support
  • Comes as over 2.6 million people of working age now receiving  PIP  with monthly new claims almost doubling since 2019

Plans to make the disability benefits system fit for the future and overhaul the “one size fits all” approach are set to be published today (Monday 29 April), following the Prime Minister’s speech which set out the government’s wide-ranging ambitions for welfare reform.   

The Modernising Support Green Paper will explore how our welfare system could be redesigned to ensure people with disabilities and long-term health conditions get the support they need to achieve the best outcomes, with an approach that focuses support on those with the greatest needs and extra costs.

The UK’s health landscape has changed since Personal Independence Payment ( PIP ) was introduced in 2013 with the intention that it would be a more sustainable benefit that would support disabled people to live independently by helping with the extra costs they face. 

However, the caseload and costs are now spiralling. There are now 2.6 million people of working age claiming  PIP  and  DLA  – with 33,000 new awards for  PIP  each month which is more than double the rate before the pandemic. This is expected to cost the taxpayer £28 billion a year by 2028/29 – a 110% increase in spending since 2019.

This is in part fuelled by the rise in people receiving  PIP  for mental health conditions such as mixed anxiety and depressive disorders, with monthly awards doubling from 2,200 to 5,300 a month since 2019. 

Since 2015, the proportion of the caseload receiving the highest rate of PIPhas increased from 25% to 36%. And many more people being awarded PIPnow have mental health conditions than when it was first introduced.  

In line with the wider reforms to ensure the welfare system is fair and compassionate, the Modernising Support Green Paper proposals centre on targeting and improving the support for those who need it most.

These ideas include removing the  PIP  assessment altogether for people with certain long term health conditions or disabilities, including those with terminal illnesses to reduce bureaucracy and make life easier for those most in need of support.

By more accurately targeting support, we will ensure the large scale of government expenditure on  PIP  translates into better outcomes for disabled people and those with health conditions. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

It’s clear that our disability benefits system isn’t working in the way it was intended, and we’re determined to reform it to ensure it’s sustainable for the future, so we can continue delivering support to those who genuinely need it most.
Today’s Green Paper marks the next chapter of our welfare reforms and is part of our plan to make the benefits system fairer to the taxpayer, better targeted to individual needs and harder to exploit by those who are trying to game the system.
We’re inviting views from across society to ensure everyone has a chance to make their voices heard and shape our welfare reforms.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said:   

We’re making the biggest welfare reforms in a generation – protecting those most in need while supporting thousands into work as we modernise our benefit system to reflect the changing health landscape.
A decade on from the introduction of  PIP , this Green Paper opens the next chapter of reform, enhancing the support for people with health conditions and disabilities while ensuring the system is fair to the taxpayer.

The Green Paper sets out proposals across three key priorities to fundamentally reform the system:

Making changes to the eligibility criteria for  PIP , so it is fairer and better targeted

Through previous consultations, we have been told that the criteria currently used in assessments do not always fully reflect how a disability or health condition impacts on a person’s daily life. The criteria have changed over time and no longer capture these different impacts as originally intended.

We will consider whether the current thresholds for entitlement correctly reflect the need for ongoing financial support. This includes considering if current descriptors - such as the need for aids and appliances - are good indicators of extra costs.

We will also look at changing the qualifying period for  PIP  in order to ensure the impact that people’s conditions will have on them over time is fully understood and consider whether we should change the test used to determine if a condition is likely to continue long-term.

Reforming the  PIP  assessment so that it is more closely linked to a person’s condition and exploring removing assessment entirely for those most in need.

PIP  is over a decade old and a lot has changed since the assessment was developed. We know some people continue to find  PIP  assessments difficult and repetitive, and view the assessment as too subjective.

We will consider whether some people could receive  PIP  without needing an assessment by basing entitlement on specific health conditions or disabilities supported by medical evidence.

This includes looking at whether evidence of a formal diagnosis by a medical expert should be a requirement to be assessed as eligible for  PIP . This will make it easier and quicker for people with severe or terminal conditions to get the vital support they need.

We will explore alternative approaches to ensure people are given the right help to fulfil their potential and live independently. The UK has used a fixed cash transfer system since the 1970s but there are a number of international systems that look at the specific extra costs people have and provide more tailored support instead.

For example, in New Zealand, the amount of Disability Allowance is based on a person’s extra costs which are verified by a health practitioner. Norway’s Basic Benefit requires people to provide a letter from a GP outlining the nature of their condition and the associated extra costs. 

We are considering options including one-off grants to better help people with significant costs such as home adaptations or expensive equipment, as well as giving vouchers to contribute towards specific costs, or reimbursing claimants who provide receipts for purchases of aids, appliances or services.

This reflects the fact that some claimants will have significant extra costs related to their disability, and others will have minimal or specific costs.

While these alternative models help people with the extra costs of their disability or health condition, we know other forms of support including health care, social services care provision and respite are also important to help people to realise their full potential and live independently.

We are also considering whether some people receiving  PIP  who have lower, or no extra costs, may have better outcomes from improved access to treatment and support than from a cash payment.

Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice, said:

Our landmark Two Nations report laid bare the lasting impact of the pandemic on our nation’s most vulnerable communities.
With the welfare system now grappling with the combined challenges of economic inactivity, school absence and mental health, this consultation provides a meaningful opportunity to shape the future of Britain’s welfare state.
We owe it to those most struggling to make sure the benefit system provides the best support to those who need it. And with costs skyrocketing, it is time to bring the welfare system into the post-lockdown age.

The Green Paper is the latest of the government’s welfare reforms to ensure disabled people and people with long-term health conditions can live full and independent lives. It builds on last year’s Health and Disability White Paper and the £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan which will break down barriers to work for over one million people.  

The Government is also delivering the largest expansion in mental health services in a generation, with almost £5 billion of extra funding over the past five years, and a near doubling of mental health training places.

Our reforms to the Work Capability Assessment are expected to reduce the number of people put onto the highest tier of incapacity benefits by 424,000, people who will now receive personalised support to prepare for work, while our Chance to Work Guarantee will mean people can try work without fear of losing their benefits. 

Further Information

  • The consultation can be found here: Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability green paper - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • This consultation will be open for 12 weeks and we are inviting views from across society to ensure everyone has a chance to shape the modernisation of the welfare system. The findings of the consultation, which closes on Tuesday 23 July, will inform future reforms.
  • The UK Government is committed to improving the lives of disabled people and people with long-term health conditions in all parts of the UK.
  • In Wales, Personal Independence Payment ( PIP ) is the responsibility of the UK Government.
  • In Northern Ireland,  PIP  is transferred and is the responsibility of the Department for Communities.
  • In Scotland, Adult Disability Payment ( ADP ) has replaced  PIP  and is the responsibility of the Scottish Government. The transfer of existing Scottish  PIP  claimants from  DWP  to Social Security Scotland started in summer 2022 and will continue until 2025.
  • We will continue to work with the Devolved Administrations to consider the implications of the proposals in this Green Paper in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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How To Write Your Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement

Discover tips to write the perfect Personal Statement when you're applying for Graduate Entry Medicine.

Writing a Personal Statement for Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) is a similar process to writing one for Undergraduate Medicine . However, it’s important to remember that you have more life experience than the typical Undergraduate applicant – and your Personal Statement should reflect this. Here are some tips to help you write the perfect GEM Personal Statement.

Explain Your Motivation for Medicine

To start with, you’ll need to explain why you want to study Medicine and train to become a Doctor. As a Graduate Entry applicant, it doesn’t matter if you developed a passion for Medicine at a young age, or if it’s something that came to you during your degree – as long as the motivation is strong and you explain it clearly.

Think about what’s unique or personal about your motivation for Medicine . Was it sparked by an experience you had? Did a particular moment during a work experience placement confirm that Medicine was the right path for you? And how have you pursued this passion since you had the initial spark?

Being specific in your Personal Statement will help you to stand out and avoid clichés.

It’s also important to show that you understand the realities of a career in Medicine and the challenges that come with it. This could be something you gained while shadowing Doctors and/or doing work experience in healthcare settings.

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This unique programme is open to graduates of any discipline from the UK, EU and overseas.

Don’t Dwell on School

If you’re a candidate who applied for Undergraduate Medicine when you were at school and didn’t get a place, it might be tempting to revisit your Personal Statement from that time and rewrite it.

However, this isn’t advisable because you’ll probably be better off starting fresh. After all, you’ve gained plenty of life experience since you left school!

Of course, if you did some valuable work experience, volunteering or extracurricular activities while you were at school, you can certainly still discuss these things in your GEM Personal Statement. But don’t waste words writing about what you studied at A-Level . Medical Schools will be a lot more keen to hear about what you’ve done recently than in what aspects of the A-Level Chemistry syllabus interested you several years ago.

Reflect on Your Time at University

If you’ve completed a life sciences degree (e.g. Biomedical Science ), aspects of the syllabus will likely be relevant to Medicine. However, you shouldn’t just list the modules or topics that you’ve studied. Remember that lots of GEM applicants will have a similar degree, so you need to think of things to include in your Personal Statement that will make you stand out!

Was there an element of your degree which interested you so much that you did extra work around it? This could include a dissertation, research (if you’ve had any work published, now is the time to mention it) or work experience/volunteering in a particular area.

If you’re applying for Graduate Entry Medicine with a non-sciences degree, which is possible at certain Med Schools , write about activities you’ve done which demonstrate your enthusiasm for pursuing Medicine. You could discuss anything from work experience and volunteering, to attending talks or events and reading books about Medicine .

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Don’t Forget About Extracurricular Activities

Med Schools are looking for students who won’t just work hard, but will also make a valuable contribution to university life. As a Graduate Entry applicant, you’ve already completed one degree – which means you can provide solid evidence of the contribution that you would make.

Use your Personal Statement to discuss extracurricular activities you’ve been involved with during your time at university. And this doesn’t mean listing all of the taster sessions you tried out in freshers’ week ! Think about any societies or sports clubs that you’ve been a key member of – or maybe you even started a new society of your own.

When talking about your extracurricular activities, make sure you reflect on what you learned from them. It’s a good idea to highlight how you used and developed skills such as teamwork and leadership, because these are essential skills for any Doctor to have.

Be Selective

When it comes to writing a Personal Statement, Graduate Entry Medicine has the same word count as Undergraduate Medicine – even though you’re a few years older so it’s likely you’ll have a lot more to write about.

This means you need to be selective. Write a first draft with everything that you would like to include, and then be ruthless! Cut out unnecessary words, and think about whether some experiences are more unique or relevant than others to mention. Make sure you also pay special attention to your spelling and grammar.

If you need some more inspiration, check out this real Personal Statement example which was successful for Graduate Entry Medicine at King’s College London.

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COMMENTS

  1. 2024 Medical School Personal Statement Ultimate Guide (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 ...

  2. 2024 How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement (11 Steps)

    Conclusion (Tie your story back to the opening hook/theme. Summarize why you want to be a physician and what your future goals are.) Remember, this is not a list of your accomplishments. The personal statement must read like a cohesive narrative, not a resume.

  3. Medical School Personal Statement Guide and Examples 2024/2025

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 15 Tips for Your Medical School Personal Statement

    Bring your own voice and perspective to your personal statement to give it a truly memorable flavor. 5. Be interesting. Start with a "catch" that will create intrigue before launching into the story of who you are. Make the admissions committee want to read on! Book an Admissions Consultant. For Free. 6. Show don't tell.

  6. 10-Step Checklist for a Medicine Personal Statement

    10-Step Checklist For Your Medicine Personal Statement. Follow this 10-step checklist to make sure your Medicine Personal Statement is the best that it can be. 31st August 2023. Get your Medicine Personal Statement ready for submission with this checklist to make sure it meets all the criteria. 1.

  7. Medical School Personal Statement Storytelling Guide

    When brainstorming your personal statement for medical school, consider these topics: Significant or formative life experiences: something that changed the course of your life, ... Though you don't want to include the answers to all these questions in your personal statement, knowing the answers to these questions is a good starting point. ...

  8. 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.

  9. How To Write Your Medicine Personal Statement

    Understanding how to structure your Personal Statement for Medicine will firstly help you to plan your writing. Note down the three key categories of Motivation, Exploration and Suitability - then write bullet points with everything you want to include for each one. Once you have a plan, you're ready to start writing your first draft.

  10. Advisor Corner: Crafting Your Personal Statement

    The personal statement is an opportunity to share something new about yourself that isn't conveyed elsewhere in your application. Advisors at the University of Minnesota employ a storytelling model to support students in finding and writing their unique personal statement. One critical aspect of storytelling is the concept of change.

  11. How To Structure Your Medicine Personal Statement

    The best way to demonstrate suitability in your Personal Statement for Medicine is to 'show rather than tell.'. For example, saying "I'm a very empathetic person" is easy to do. And anyone can write that on a piece of paper. It's better if you can demonstrate it with examples from your work experience or other situations.

  12. The Anatomy of a Stellar Medical School Personal Statement

    The personal statement is your chance to share your dreams. You can describe your ambitions, goals, and feelings. Medical school admissions committees care about finding a diverse, passionate, and enthusiastic group of students who want to be physicians. Outlining your goals or dreams can help them understand who you are and why you want to be ...

  13. 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.

  14. 4 Points to Include in Every Medical School Personal Statement

    4 Points to Include in Every Med School Personal Statement. For a compelling essay, prospective medical school students should share their passions beyond medicine. You should reflect on past ...

  15. What To Include In Medical School Personal Statement

    The most insightful personal statements will include: The breadth of your interests: While the Admissions Committee will want to hear about your interest in the field of medicine, it's important to include other interests beyond medicine to show you are a multidimensional candidate. A narrative with a personal touch: Show who you truly are by ...

  16. Medicine Personal Statement: 12 Top Tips

    Your medicine personal statement should include information about your relevant experiences and qualifications, your motivation for pursuing a career in medicine, your strengths and skills, and any relevant achievements or awards. It should also demonstrate your knowledge of the medical profession and the specific medical school you are ...

  17. Medicine Personal Statement Examples 2024

    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

  18. Medicine Personal Statement

    Your Medicine Personal Statement needs to be 4,000 characters - which is around 500 words - over 47 lines. What Should My Personal Statement Include? Medicine Personal Statements should cover the following elements, so that Medical Schools can get to know you.

  19. Ten Steps for Writing an Exceptional Personal Statement

    The personal statement is an important requirement for residency and fellowship applications that many applicants find daunting. ... deciding what to include in a personal statement can be challenging. ... they are commonly included. 5 One genre analysis showed that 97% of applicants to residency programs in internal medicine, family medicine ...

  20. Medicine: Writing your Personal Statement

    Medicine: Writing your Personal Statement. Download this page as a pdf document. Your personal statement is an important part of your application to Oxford. It allows you to tell us about your interests, achievements and ambitions in your own words. Although we do not formally score your statement we read it carefully.

  21. Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement Examples

    Internal Medicine Personal Statement Example 2. This personal statement presents the story of an American student applying to residency in the United States. My achievements in life are a result of my enthusiastic embrace of challenges that pushed me to learn and grow while also cultivating deep connections.

  22. 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.

  23. Disability Benefits system to be overhauled as consultation launched on

    These ideas include removing the PIP assessment altogether for people with certain long term health conditions or disabilities, including those with terminal illnesses to reduce bureaucracy and ...

  24. How To Write Your Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement

    Be Selective. When it comes to writing a Personal Statement, Graduate Entry Medicine has the same word count as Undergraduate Medicine - even though you're a few years older so it's likely you'll have a lot more to write about. This means you need to be selective. Write a first draft with everything that you would like to include, and ...