Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a huge piece of your application, as it shows readers a piece of who you are!

It is your opportunity to let readers understand your reasons for entering your field of choice. A well-crafted personal statement may not only make you a memorable applicant, but could mean the difference between being granted an interview and not getting in that year.

Writing a good personal statement is not easy. In fact, getting started for some can take months. But who else to better write this paper, but you?

Where to Start? Personal Statement

  • Keep a journal during your journey so you can reflect on it during this process.
  • As you shadowed, volunteered, and gained experiences, you could refer back and see your most memorable experiences, patterns, or key stories you'd like to mention.

If you didn't keep a journal, have no fear!

  • Start with a blank piece of a paper and have a goal of filling the entire paper with memories you've had over your time gaining experience.
  • Review your experiences and write down memories from:
    • Health care experience
    • Community service/Volunteering
    • Work experience
    • Research experience
    • Personal hobbies or interests
  • This may take you a week or so, but have a goal of filling the whole page.
  • What people, experiences, and events had a major impact on you and your career choice?
    • Circle the most impactful.

Questions to Ask Yourself?

  • Who has been most influential in your life? Why?
  • Pivotal life changing moments in your life? What changed you?
  • Do you feel passion for medicine? What is the source?
  • What as your health care experiences taught you about this profession?
  • What lessons did you pick up about yourself during your research experience?
  • In what way were your strengths illustrated by your experiences/
  • How has your motivation been strengthened?
  • How did/do these people, events, and experiences impact you? Your career choice?
  • What do you see as the unifying themes?
  • How do you relate these stories to your career choice?
  • What happened in these events that impacted you?
  • What did the experiences teach you about being what you choose to be?
  • What have you learned about what its like to be your career choice?
  • What was the most important lesson you learned?

Personal Statement 2Tips for Writing Your Statement

  • Do:
    • Be Personal!
    • Explain abnormalities or interruptions in your academic record.
    • Explain any important life lessons learned as a result of events inf your life you are not proud of.
    • Be creative.
    • Be honest and forthright.
    • Show, don’t tell – give readers a sense of who you are with examples, scenarios, and ideas.
    • Proofread. Share it with anyone and everyone you can to have them read it.
  • Don’t:
    • Don’t use quotes.
    • Don’t make excuses for challenges in your life.
    • Don’t make this an autobiography.
    • Don’t write your essay as a timeline.
    • Don’t solve problems or debate a controversial issue.
    • Don’t say, “I want to help people.” Express what this means.
    • Don't use "impressive" vocabulary.
    • Don’t use gimmicks.

Character Limits  Personal Statement 3

  • Depending on where you apply, essay criteria will vary
  • Double check character limits depending on professional school interest
    • Character limits do include spaces
    • A return can sometimes count as two characters