Creating a personal statement for entry to medical school can be challenging. With 78% of adults suffering from writer’s block at one point or another, we know all too well that crafting a personal statement can be a task fraught with roadblocks.
As a successful medical personal statement is hugely responsible for a place being offered, at The Future Medic, we have made it our mission to clear the minds of prospective students to allow amazing writing to ensue. Follow our simple steps and additional tips to produce a piece of content that you are proud of.
Why Is The Start Of a Personal Statement Important?
With highly competitive spots at medical school being something everyone is aware of, your personal statement must be just right. UCAS comments that a personal statement helps candidates stand out by ‘showing and evidencing your passions’ in a way that lets the admissions team know more about you.
Opening statements within any form of writing are always important to get right, with the personal statement being no exception to the rule. 95% of people believe that first impressions are essential. You also only have 8-seconds to grab full attention in written form, meaning that the beginning of your content needs to be strategic and impactful.
A solid opening for a personal statement also needs to make the reader want to know more. If you get the balance perfect, you can entice the admissions officer to gain a deeper connection to your story. Whilst all pieces are read in detail, outlining your structure effectively at the start means that the message you want to portray is still received even when time and attention are limited.
By starting as you mean to go on, you are giving your medical school personal statement the best chance of success!
What Steps Go Into Starting a Personal Statement?
When considering how to write a personal statement for medicine, you have to start somewhere. Crafting a written summary of years of hopes and dreams can be daunting. However, by taking a strategic approach, it can become a fun task!
To start a personal statement, we recommend that you follow these steps:
Do Your Research
Before starting to write anything, you need to spend time understanding what the requirements are. This should involve looking at the official application advice and what your prospective course entails.
Along with elements such as word counts and character limits, you should also gain a clear image of what content points you need to touch upon. Every part of your personal statement is an opportunity to stand out, so we also recommend undertaking research such as your prospective institution’s tone of voice and vocabulary. While you still need to show your own personality, adding little nods to your research will help you stand out for the right reasons.
Plan Your Content
The easiest way to start writing is to have a clear structure that you need to work on. By planning your content, you can ensure that the message you want to portray is effectively delivered without another point being lost in the process. You are telling a story via your personal statement, so be sure to plan how to take the reader on a journey that leaves them with a clear understanding of who you are.
Your content must be woven into a structure to ensure all information is shared. We recommend the following:
- A short introduction which is clear and focuses on who you are. This should gently touch upon your upcoming content but not directly repeat it. Repetition within a personal statement will just increase your word count and give the impression that you don’t know what you want to discuss.
- The main body is divided into 4 to 6 paragraphs of content. Each should touch upon the points you need to share and lead nicely onto the next. For example, you should speak about your achievements, passions and share any stories that have shaped your career choice in a way that naturally introduces the next point.
- A robust concluding summary which wraps up your messaging with a professional yet personable tone.
You should also consider what shouldn’t be included when sorting your content. You can find out more about this in our blog post, which should not be included in a personal statement for medicine.
Craft a Compelling Opening Statement
Some people like to write their opening statements last, and others do it first. If you are entering your writing with a clear structure and strategy, you should be able to produce an opening statement without having your body text prepared. This should not include overused statements or bold promises. Instead, it needs to be an honest and sincere introduction to who you are and why you want to study.
Start as you mean to go on with strong points, evidence, and a tone of voice representing your personality. As with the other content we recommend you include in a personal medical statement, you don’t need to repeat information that admissions officers have access to elsewhere. Factors such as academic results can be found in the rest of your application, so be sure to use your opening statement to add a personality to your entire admissions profile.
Just like, you can now write the rest of your statement with a nice flow already started.
What Considerations Should You Make For The Rest Of The Personal Statement?
Continuity is vital, so once you have made a brilliant start, you must ensure that the rest of your content lives up to your outlined expectations. To ensure this, you need to consider the following:
- Ensure that the same language and tone of voice have been used throughout. This is essential for creating the sense of reading a story, as a flow is imperative to transitioning through writing. Admissions officers don’t want to read a textbook statement. They want to gain an idea of who you are through the words you are choosing to share.
- Know what your attention grabbing points are and weave them strategically in the statement. You don’t want to play all of your cards in one go. Instead, take the reader on a creative journey with each point featuring a strong introduction and full explanation.
- Stick to the structure and points you have touched upon in your opening statement. This has been used to gain interest and ensure people want to read about you. If you do not satisfy these points, the attention will be lost.
- Use your word count wisely. Starting with a clear structure, you can plan how much space you want to give to each topic. This means that items you want to expand upon and develop further are not cut short prematurely due to a lack of characters.
- Every part of your personal statement should be professionally proofed and checked for errors. You should also get different people to read your statement to check for the flow and narrative elements.
Choose The Future Medic For Personal Statements
At The Future Medic, we are highly experienced in creating personal statements that gain interest.
This is made possible thanks to our dedicated service, in which you are assigned an admissions expert to guide you through the entire process. A personal statement reviewer will help you put the writer’s block to one side.
If you already have the A-Levels needed or medicine, have passed the UCAT and are prepared in every other way, the last thing you want is a bad personal statement putting an end to your medical study dreams. By starting with a strong opening, you show confidence from the moment that your statement is being interacted with.
Admissions teams are looking for the next generation of medical professionals, so if you want to be one of them, getting the personal statement right is essential.Contact us to learn more.