Medical School Personal Statement – Overview
As per reports, more than 28,337 students graduated from medical schools across the USA in 2021. Want to ace your medical school application and become one of such students this year? Often, even after you do everything – get exceptional SCAT scores, have experience in multiple types of research, and even submit the application on time, you may still get rejected. It may be your medical school personal statement if you are unsure of what went wrong.
After multiple rejections, you may think about how only a simple personal statement can be the main reason behind your dilemma. Irrespective of how amazing your application is, it may go unnoticed if the personal statement doesn’t stand out. After all, medical schools receive a vast number of applications, and personal statements can make applicants stand out.
It showcases why students feel they should be a part of the school. Still, are you worried you won’t be able to prepare a unique personal statement that gets you going? Well, worry not! This article will provide tips and ways to write your medical school personal statement exceptionally.
How to Write Your Medical School Personal Statement?
A medical school personal statement can become a ticket to your dream school, and there’s no way you can miss it. Hence, you must take extra care from every angle while writing it. It’s a way for you to express your ambitions and capabilities. Let’s check out how you can prepare a medical school personal statement.
#1 Start With Research
The first and foremost task is selecting a topic. Although there is no best topic in this case, you have to make a choice that works best for you. The topic should be aligned with your ambitions and passion. Yes, GPA and MCAT score matters. However, other things should emphasize your personal statements, such as your leadership, optimism, dedication, or determination qualities. You have to connect with the viewers of the statement to make them understand your qualities, strengths, and even weaknesses (because no one is perfect).
Another important thing is to understand that the admission committee that checks your personal statement may already be reading a lot of essays daily. This means that they won’t be reading your personal statement in-depth if they don’t find it appealing. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and research what can make your personal statement intriguing.
#2. First Things First (Introduction):
You may have heard how essays or stories can capture peoples’ attention if it has a hook-worthy introduction. It can be a deciding factor on whether a reader will continue reading with complete focus on not.
Similar goes for personal statements. If the introduction catches the reader’s interest, they will read right until the end. You must start with a sentence or pack of sentences that grab their interest. Then, put the major idea of your personal statement in the rest of the introduction.
However, as difficult as it seems, it isn’t really that tough. It’s because the introduction part usually answers simple questions like who, what, where, why, when, and how.
#3. Use Creativity & Storytelling Skills
Just being descriptive and pointing out facts like history dates won’t win you this round of application. You need to make the readers feel connected to you. You can be descriptive and think of it as a storytelling task.
For example, suppose you are writing about how you started loving medicine. Check below how an informative one would look like compared to an engaging one made using storytelling skills:
Informative: I started gaining interest in medicine during high school as I loved researching new topics. Sooner, I came across medicine and grew curious about learning it more. Later on, I researched more about medicine and grew fond of the idea behind it.
Engaging: Back in high school, my immense passion and desire to learn multiple topics made me come across medicine. Afterward, my curiosity and inquisitive nature led me to go in-depth into the field of medicine. My whole perspective changed after my considerable research on medicine. I started feeling that medicine wasn’t just a way to fix diseases but also an art of navigating, understanding, and mitigating pain for living beings, whether it’s in emotional, psychological, or physical form.
From the above 2 paragraphs, you may already understand the difference between a simple informative part of a personal statement versus one that is engaging. The second option is told like a story yet contains your passion for the field.
#4. Don’t Forget The Rules
While talking about writing from a storytelling perspective, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t forget the rules of a medical school personal statement. There is a word limit, and you must ensure you don’t overdo it. There’s a word limit (including spaces) of 4,500 characters for AACOMAS, 5000 characters for TMDSAS, and 5,300 characters for AMCAS.
#5. Review & Edit
You must check for errors and mistakes in your medical school personal statement. However, right after you’re done writing, you may not be able to find mistakes. Hence, it’s better that you review your personal statement again after 24 hours of writing it. Read every paragraph properly and check if you made any grammatical or sentence formation mistakes.
During your editing time, you will also be able to understand how every paragraph looks and whether it requires any changes. You can also ask someone else to read it for you once and check if they find something wrong. The more perspectives, the fewer chances of mistakes.
These were some of the ways and tips that would help you prepare a well-made medical school personal statement. The idea behind it is to showcase your capabilities, skills, and ambitions to the admission committee. In addition, your storytelling skills could work wonders in this case. However, don’t exaggerate anything and stick to credible information. I hope this article helps you in your preparation.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
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