25th July 2022
So you have decided that you want to try and apply for medical school. Now comes the hard
part: actually getting in. And possibly 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. And how you
go about answering this question could 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
about 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! Oh and take a look at the official UCAS advice for writing a personal statement for medicine.
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!