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?
- 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?
Tips for Writing Your Statement
- 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 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.
- 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