If you’re applying to university, you’ll know about the all-important personal statement. You may have started writing it or even finished it, and now you’re wondering if it’s good enough to be invited to the next stage in the process, the interview.
Competition is fierce for university places, particularly for medical schools. It’sessentialt that you take your time with your statement and ensure it’s the best it can be before submitting it. In this post, we talk about how to check your personal statement and other tips on how to write a standout statement that will get you noticed.
How important is my personal statement?
A personal statement forms the first impression you make at a university, so it’s crucial to get it right. Your personal statement will form part of your application, and it should give the reviewer a clear insight into who you are. A good or exceptional personal statement increases your chances of getting an interview and being accepted into your chosen university.
A personal statement is your chance to tell the reviewer what you want to study, why you’d be suited to it and why you have chosen that specific university. Essentially, you’re telling them why they should choose you, so it’s imperative, particularly if it’s a medical school that you’re applying to.
Within this structure, you should include the skills and experience you possess, which will help you at university, and what attracts you to a medical career. Your personal statement needs to stand out from the hundreds of other applications any singular university receives to increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
Is it challenging to get accepted into medical school?
If you’re considering a medical career, making your personal statement stand out is even more important. Because of the NHS workforce crisis, even more people are considering a career in medicine, so the competition has never been higher.
Last year, 2022, was considered the hardest year to enter medical school. We don’t intend to put you off, but to stress the importance of getting it right if you’re set on becoming a medical professional.
There is around a 1 in 10 chance of getting accepted into medical school, and the chances for international students are even lower. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it does mean lots of hard work, dedication, determination and, most importantly, passion for the medical world.
How should I structure my personal statement?
Your personal statement should follow this structure:
- An introduction
- The main body- the longest part
- A conclusion
Within this structure, you should include the skills and experience you possess, which will help you at university, and what attracts you to a career in medicine.
How to start
Knowing how to start a personal statement can be challenging. Like an author beginning a novel, they have all the ideas, the passion and the motivation to write it, but many spend hours staring at a blank page, unable to start. The introduction is usually the hardest part of writing anything, especially your personal statement, so here are a few tips to get you started with a strong opening.
- Choose your strongest points and open with it
- Back up your claims in your introduction with evidence
- Open with why you are so passionate about medicine
- Avoid generic terms and common reasons.
First impressions matter, so start as you mean to go on. Intrigue the reviewer and make them believe in your ability from the beginning. If you don’t, it’ll be an uphill struggle from there.
How to end
Knowing how to end your personal statement can be equally tricky, but you have so much material to use by this point. The ending should be a conclusion so everything you have discussed. You shouldn’t simply repeat what you have said in your introduction or main body, but it should be a closing statement that brings everything together.
Here are some great tips on how to end your personal statement for medical school:
- Consider the current situation in medicine and bring everything together in your personal statement about your experience and skills and how this can contribute towards current medical practice, and how you can be an asset to the field.
- Don’t make any new points in your conclusion, as these points will be devalued anyway if you leave them to last, as though they are an afterthought.
- Create a powerful statement that draws attention to the passion for medicine that you have portrayed in your personal statement.
Show your passion for medicine
Within the structure and flow of your statement, you should also naturally weave in your passion for medicine. Think about what makes a good doctor and why? Have you had a personal experience with a doctor that stood out to you?
Do you know an inspiring doctor you admire that has attracted you to a career in medicine? These are all questions you need to ask yourself and include in your personal statement and back up your points with factual evidence that supports the reasons why you think you have the attributes of a good doctor.
Have you shown signs that you’ll make a great doctor? Start by thinking about your own attributes and how they could apply to a situation as a doctor in medicine. For example, are you not afraid to admit you don’t know something but are willing to put the work in to find out? Trainee doctors must have an open mind and the ability to question their knowledge and judgement.
How to make sure your personal statement is the best it can be
Here are our top 5 tips on double-checking that your personal statement is as good as it can be.
- First of all, check the length of your personal statement to make sure it complies with the rules. You can use a length checker to ensure your statement isn’t too long
- Read out post on how to write a personal statement and make sure you have ticked all the boxes
- Read through your personal statement and ask yourself what shouldn’t be included. Are there any parts of your personal statement that aren’t relevant or authentic?
- Make sure you have included everything you need to include in a statement, such as your experience, skills and passion for medicine
- Ask someone else to proofread your writing to check for grammar mistakes.
How can The Future Medic Help?
Our team of doctors have read through thousands of personal statement for medical school as part of the admissions process and knows precisely what is required to make your personal statement special and unique. We’ve got some excellent support options to help you craft the perfect personal statement.
Our tutors sit on medical school interview panels and have vast experience in medical education- this level of tutoring is not guaranteed elsewhere! Our Personal Statement Coaching Services provide wonderful benefits for any aspiring medical student:
- Access to experienced British doctors, medical education specialists, and tutors who have coached and interviewed thousands of applicants.
- 24/7 access to your tutor doctor through a dedicated WhatsApp group.
- Tailor-made feedback on your personal statement which is specific to you.
- Help even if you need to write your personal statement from scratch.
- Personalised 1-1 lessons, with all the attention on you.
- A relaxed tutoring environment- our coaching isn’t like a classroom, where only one teacher has to cater to 30 students!
- You can use our tutoring service from the comfort of your home without having to travel to a physical location.
- The option is unlimited coaching hours or between 1-20 hours.
- Quick turnaround for feedback, within as little as 24 hours or 1 week.
- Guidance on how to make your medicine application stand out.
- Improved confidence for the interview stage at your dream medical school.
- It saves you time and stress, allowing you to focus on your A-Levels, UCAT admissions test and other commitments.
So, how can you check your personal statement? The best way is to get professional support. You can also follow our 5 top tips for making sure your personal statement is the best it can be before submitting.