The importance of your medical school personal statement cannot be overestimated. In fact, not taking this reality to heart is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make in your application to medical school. Your GMAT scores and your CV will help the admissions committee understand what you are able to accomplish, but it is only your medical personal statement that can tell them who you are. Ultimately, human beings – not test scores of lists of achievements – become physicians. Your medical personal statement is a unique and invaluable opportunity to show the admissions committee that a real person is applying to their program.
Start Early on Your Medical Personal Statement — or Better Yet, Start Now!
For this reason, it is essential to take the time to craft a great medical school personal statement. Though the process can be difficult, much of the difficulty for those applying to medical school is usually created by procrastination. Writing a medical personal statement that will stand out to admissions committee officers is not complicated, but it does take time. Your time is already fully scheduled, so even taking the time to plan your medical school personal statement can seem overwhelming. Here’s a basic timeline that you can use to kick start your process. Give yourself 45 minutes for each step.
Write the story of why you chose to become a physician. This should be very much like a super-short story that is narrative in nature. Don’t worry about quality at this point, just tell the story like you would if you were to explain it to another person.
Create a paragraph about your academic journey to becoming a physician. Demonstrate a love for the sciences and their relationship to the function of the human body. Again, let it sleep for a week.
Now write 1-2 paragraphs about your experiences either in the laboratory or shadowing/observing. What did you learn? Explain how you now have a better understanding of the day-to-day work of being a doctor.
After that, if you have room, write about an activity outside of medicine that will give the admissions committee insight into your character.
Now it’s time to tie everything together for the admissions committee. Tell them how your character strengths, knowledge, and passion for caring have formed a strong foundation for success in medical school. Let them know the type of environment that you are seeking and what you hope to gain from the program. Finally, end the paragraph with a statement that reflects your vision for your career as a physician.
By creating your medical school personal statement step-by-step, you will take off the pressure, eliminate the excuses, and ensure that you have a high-quality essay that will help you stand apart from the crowd.
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