How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School: List of Prompts
Medical school applicants are often bowled over by the prospect of writing a personal statement. In addition, for good reason since there are so many myths surrounding the issue? With some honest introspection and a bit of work you should be able to write a winning personal statement. The admission committee is interested in finding out about you and your level of interest and commitment to the field of Medicine. All the commotion about having a "themed" statement, standing out, and being "different" is utter nonsense.
Use the following questions as prompts and write down your answers in detail on a draft pad. Be prepared to spend some time remembering and jotting down notes.
- What have you done that shows that you have a genuine interest?
Providing evidence of your interest is the way to go. Write down about your participation in activities that gave you a better understanding of the practice of medicine. You can mention your clinical exposure, community service or research work.
- Why Medicine
A fundamental question you need to address in detail. If you have spent all your life dreaming of medical school, but have no idea why you should be a doctor, this is the time to start thinking. "I want to help people" does not cut it (neither do "I want o make mega bucks," "I want to impress my family" or "my daddy asked me to!"). Be very specific about the reasons you have for joining the medical field.
- The influencers
Talk about people and events that have influenced you. Your first-hand experiences are the most influential of all. Write about your experiences and how they have influenced you connect all the various aspects of your life that lead you to the decision. The admission committee would like to see logic and commitment behind your choice of a career in Medicine.
Do not try to impress. Your personal statement should convince the committee of the sincerity and commitment. Your skills as a writer are secondary. Having said that, loosely structuring your statement will help keep things flowing naturally. Mention events in chronological order. It is perfectly all right to mention important childhood experiences, but the more recent your stories are the better.
Make sure that your statement depicts you ask yourself and no one else. The committee's goal is to get a clear image of who you are and how suited you are as a committed person to the practice of Medicine.