Personal Statement Essays

Medical School

Communication is a vital medical skill; the personal statement allows you to showcase your language and writing skills. At this level, error-free and well written is expected. Compelling candidates can communicate. Personal statements, a standard for evaluation, may have three categories: introspective, biographical and inspirational. It is your time to show your motivation, ability to succeed, intellectual ability and critical thinking skills. The committee is looking for signs that you belong at their school.

Begin writing as soon as possible; requests are in the fall, which is a busy time. Know your deadlines; for many institutions, your interest is tied to how rapidly you submit your application. Write more than required since you will need to edit—you can use extra information for the secondaries. The committee is seeking to know your potential to succeed, to be a good medical student and to be a doctor. They are looking at the essay to prove your interest, but they want to know that you are someone they can know, trust and like. Honestly revealing your exceptional personality while addressing your motivation is paramount.

Introductions and conclusions need to be interesting—think of the first lines of novels or short stories. The first sentence must be engaging. Establish your identity by using first person, active voice while relaying anecdotal stories with colorful imagery and details.

The statement should be a personal account that clarifies the lessons you have learned. It is necessary to show, not just to tell the story. Explain why you are different, how you stand out from the crowd—and how that attribute will make you a better physician. In a self-confident, but not an arrogant manner, explain why you are qualified.

You may chronicle your hospital, clinical or research experiences; however, do not overplay your role. The characteristics amassed from your achievements need to be spelled out; not inferred. Explain the insight into life that you have garnered from this experience.

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