Personal Statement clinic

It’s easy to think you know where to start or how to write your personal statement, but it isn’t until you come to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) that you realise the struggle that lies ahead. Your personal statement is the biggest and most unique piece of writing you are likely to have done (at this point in your life) – unless you are a graduate and had the stressful pleasure of writing your dissertation – so it is important that you don’t rush, prepare like you would for an exam and think carefully about your best attributes that are going to make you stand out.

For a veteran like myself, writing personal statements has become second nature and I believe I have truly mastered the writing skills needed to make the admissions board wake up and smell the coffee – a new perspective on medicine, a breath of fresh air in their endless reading and something that makes them remember ‘why medicine’. I don’t say this to be cocky or up-my-own-***, I say this because from both personal statements I wrote and uploaded onto UCAS I received offers – something I think can be said is partly down to the way I express myself and my merits.

I didn’t start this blog to tell you all of my triumphs and not help with those following in the medicine footsteps, but instead, I decided that it was my privilege to be able to give advice to similar students in the midst of applying to their future. Hence, I have decided that todays blog will focus on key tips I have to master writing your own personal statement. I hope you all find something worthwhile and keep your eyes out for my offers on social media to read over and give feedback on personal statements ahead of the UCAS deadline.

Top tips-

 
1. Never rush perfection – the personal statement is the eye to you for the admissions team to gain insight into what you are like as an individual and the reasons you should have a place to study. Don’t be too quick to start writing, instead think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.
 
2. Be cautious of the word/line limit – this may seem an ‘easy’ thing to remember, but it soon turns into a challenge to keep to the limit once you get in the flow of writing. You must remember to say what you want to say without waffling – be consise and to the point.
 
3. Be picky with your work experience/volunteering – not everything you have done has a place in your personal statement. Some experiences need room for discussion at interview and others will show nothing extra to what you have already done. Make sure you know what you learned and don’t repeat this by listing everything you have ever done. 
 
4. It is not a LIST – the number one thing NOT to do is list off everything you have ever done as a means to get into medical school. All applicants have done hundreds of hours, but that isn’t what counts. What is the most important thing is that you are able to explain exactly what you learned from the experience and how this translates to medicine. 
 
5. Big yourself up – no explanation needed. 
 
6. Don’t be cliche – it’s easy to say and even easier to do. Remember exactly why you are wanting to study medicine and don’t be fooled into thinking there is a right answer. Every pre-med student wants to make a difference to peoples lives – it’s a key trait to wanting to be a doctor. But it isn’t the only reason – think deep and think true as to why you really want to enter the field of medicine. 

Hopefully, with a few of the tips I have come to discover and hold true, you will be well on your way to securing the place you deserve at the medical school of your choice.

If there is anything more you would want to know from a been-there-done-that candidate, then feel free to contact me on social medical or via email –

@dreamsofamedicTwitter and Instagram
holly.egan@hotmail.co.uk

All the best for this writing season.

Published by Dreams Of A Medic

2nd Year Medical Student at the University of Manchester!

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