So you have decided that you want to apply for medical school. Now comes the hard part: actually getting in. The most tedious aspect of that process is the dreaded personal statement. A 4000-word essay in which you basically need to boast about how amazing you are as a person and how any medical school would be stupid to turn you down. This is exactly what they expect and want to see, so don’t hold back and definitely do not be modest. But what can you say that won’t have been said a thousand times before.
Why do you want to be a doctor?
Possibly the most frequently answered question in any medical personal statement, but at the end of the day, it is something which the admissions officer needs to know. So, how do you go about answering this question that can be make or break?
The standard answer is “I want to help people,” which of course is a valid and admirable reason but there are plenty of other careers in which you can do this too. So instead you need to give a solid reason as to why medicine specifically in order to convince the reader of your passion and enthusiasm
What experience have you had which shows your interest in medicine?
Most medical schools realise that getting experience in a hospital whilst you are still at school is extremely hard, near impossible. So if you can’t do this then be a little creative, universities tend to like this a little more anyway.
Voluntary or even paid work in your local care home, hospice, youth centre are all great examples of places you would be able to observe community health care. You would also be able to get involved and develop those all-important communication and team working skills which the university will be looking for evidence of.
Working in any position of responsibility such as a shop, restaurant or bar would be a great way to showcase your leadership skills
Reading any books or journals about medicine related topics will help widen your insight into the massive area which is medicine. Keeping up to date with current medical issues and developments is a great habit to get into early and will definitely impress anyone reading your personal statement! But just make sure you do actually read the things you say you have otherwise it could be a little embarrassing when they start questioning you about it…
Attend Uni Events
Going to university events, lectures and conferences in your spare time is a great way of displaying that you actually are committed and passionate about medicine! Even better if you can get talking to any of the doctors or lecturers just so you have some future points of contact which may come in handy in the future!
Whatever you do make sure to keep an up-to-date diary of your experiences and things which you have observed. Where possible get proof – a certificate of attendance, a reference from an employee, anything which you can. The wider the range of experiences which you can gather the better, but as long as you can showcase that you are the kind of student who can juggle an active life whilst still achieving high grades- they’re sure to give you a chance!
About the Author
My name is Georgia and I am currently a third-year medical student. I am passionate about all things mental health related. I have an Instagram page @girlwithastethoscopetethoscope which follows my journey through medical school.
You can also check out her etsy shop here!
So you want to be a medical student – make sure to read our blog posts about the UKMLA to make sure you are informed and prepared and you know what it is all about! Visit our blog for more unique curated content and unique insights into the life of a medical student!