How to Write a Medicine Personal Statement

With the UCAS application deadline fast approaching, we are aware that many prospective medical students are in the process of writing their personal statements. We are here to make that process a lot less overwhelming for you.



Before you dive into writing your personal statement, we must first address the aims of a personal statement. Every single piece of advice in this guide will point back to these two basic aims:

  1. Demonstrating your passion for Medicine and awareness of the medical field

  2. Showing that you are a suitable candidate to be a medical student and doctor

With every point you discuss in your personal statement, ask yourself if it is contributing to fulfilling these aims.

Now it’s time to start writing. An important aspect of having a well-written personal statement is the structure. We encourage you to follow this basic paragraph structure: why medicine, scientific interests, work experience and volunteering, extra-curricular activities and finally a conclusion.

Why Medicine

In your introduction, it should be immediately clear to the admissions tutors that you are passionate about Medicine. Think about what factors have drawn you into the field of Medicine. You should ensure that your introduction is specific to Medicine and not generic to all healthcare professions. Your introduction can often play a large part in deciding whether you are a good applicant or not. It is important to stand out from the crowd but be aware of not coming across as overly cliché. For example, it may be the case that you have always known you wanted to study Medicine from a very young age but be careful with how you phrase this, as this is one of the most overused opening lines.


Scientific Interest

This section covers the academic aspects of a medical career. Have you read any interesting articles, watched documentaries or attended any seminars that can further demonstrate your commitment to Medicine? This is your opportunity to display your curiosity, proving that you have taken time, beyond your regular studies, to learn more about Medicine.

Work Experience and Volunteering

This is arguably the most important part of the personal statement. In this section, you are indicating your awareness of the realities of a career in Medicine. The key word for this section is reflection. Do not just write a long list of all the experiences you’ve had. Instead you should be reflecting on the skills you developed and how your experiences furthered your insight into Medicine. Essentially, what did you learn from your experiences? Note: we are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has made work experience and volunteering opportunities extremely difficult to find. Remember that anything can count as experience if you were able to gain skills that demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate for medical school.

Extra-curricular Activities

Admissions tutors want to see that you are a well-rounded and balanced person. It is necessary that you show your interests outside of Medicine. This section of the personal statement confirms that you have many skills needed to be a good medical student and doctor, such as teamwork, communication and leadership skills. Never list your skills – you should be linking each skill you mention to a personal experience and reflecting on how that may benefit you in Medicine.

Conclusion

This is not the time to squeeze in every other experience that you did not manage to fit in earlier in your personal statement or to introduce any new ideas. The conclusion is a concise summary of why you are a suitable candidate for medical school.


Extra Advice

Now that you are aware of the basic structure, here are some key tips that will improve the quality of your personal statement.

  1. Tell the truth. This may be obvious, but it is important for us to emphasise this. Many medical schools use the personal statement as the basis of some interview questions, and you do not want to be caught out in a lie. Integrity is an important virtue in Medicine so do not exaggerate the truth or fabricate experiences.

  2. Be concise. The personal statement is tight for words. You only have 47 lines/4000 characters (which is roughly 500 words) so you may struggle to fit in absolutely everything you want to say. Before you start writing, come up with a brief plan of what you will include in each section. It is better to have detailed reflections on fewer experiences than to fill your personal statement with long and shallow lists. You do not have words to waste so avoid long-winded or complicated sentences.

  3. Be careful with spelling and grammar. Spend a good amount of time proofreading your work and do not be afraid of redrafting several times.

  4. Refer to some of these key qualities of a doctor: good communication, leadership, empathy, teamwork, integrity, time management, problem solving. Again, we are going to repeat this, so you get the point, do not write lists!

  5. Do your own research – search through the admissions criteria for the medical schools that you will be applying to as some of them are explicit in stating what they are looking for in personal statements. Adapt your personal statement to ensure you are addressing all the points in their criteria.

Now that we have covered all the essentials, we hope that you feel more confident on how to write your personal statement. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list and check out our Personal Statement Guide for some more practical tips to further guide you through the personal statement writing process!


Written by: Honey Ajisefini (Co-Founder of The Black & Forth Platform)

161 views

Recent Posts

See All
IMG_1929_edited.jpg

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

The Black & Forth Platform is all about sharing our insights as we navigate through life. Check out more of our blog posts!

Subscribe For Updates

Thanks for subscribing!