The UK medical school acceptance rate was 16% in 2022. It won’t likely come as a surprise just how competitive the process is, but you may be shocked to see that the figure is that low. The Guardian commented, “2022 was the hardest year in living memory to enter UK medical school”.
Despite the high competition for places, we are pleased to confirm that we had another successful year full of happy applicants at The Future Medic. A brilliant personal statement is one of the tools that make a huge difference. Many articles outline what to include in a successful medicine personal statement, but are you confident in knowing what NOT to include?
With this passage of text being an essential way for admissions teams to get to know you, getting it right is essential. Continue reading to learn more.
Why is a Medical School Personal Statement Important?
Applying to medical school is a complex process. Not only do you need to create a memorable personal statement, but you also need to ace the interview process, pass the UCAT, and obtain the relevant grades.
With so many factors, you may wonder just how important the personal statement is. We are here to assure you that it is highly crucial. Not only does it let the admissions team find out more about you, but it is also the perfect opportunity to share some information about your passions and suitability in a way that adds personality to your other forms of entry.
The personal statement is also one of the first elements of an application, so acing this is essential if you want to secure that next stage interview. Not only do the top three countries to study medicine all promote personal statements, but they are also widely used worldwide as part of the application process.
Admissions teams will receive thousands of applications, so yours needs to stand out. Your statement should show that you have considered why studying a career in medicine is right for you, alongside an awareness of the course that you are applying for. With spaces limited, schools need to ensure that only the best students for their establishment receive a place.
What Not to Include in a Personal Statement for Medicine
Whilst a personal statement needs to be creative and unique, some red flags will have a negative impact if you include them in your final copy. Medical school personal statements are usually 600 words or less. That is not much. In fact, it is less than half of the length of this blog post!
With limited words and a short window of attention available from admissions teams, you don’t want to waste your efforts on the wrong content.
Below are our top things that you should never include in a personal statement for medical school:
Repeated Content This might sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many people include the same information written differently. While anchoring a point may be tempting, you are using up valuable word count without adding new value.
You should also ensure that you do not include references to information that can be obtained in other ways, such as grades. All student information is considered when considering medical school applications, so your story will be put together using all materials. There is no need to use your personal statement to cover this.
Too Much Information About Your Personal Life There is a fine balance between helping the admissions team get to know you and speaking about yourself. If information is relevant to your interests for wanting to study, passions, or other appropriate interests, then it is correct to include it. You also need to have a short bit of background about yourself that is enough to represent who you are.
Stay away from using the total word count to share your entire life story.
Medical Information or History Another mistake that people use is trying to come across as a medical expert. Whilst passion and knowledge should run throughout, you are not expected to be a specialist at your time of application. Instead, admissions teams are looking to read between the lines by understanding your personality traits and emotional and academic intelligence levels to see if their course is right for you.
Grammatical or Vocabulary Errors Proofreading is important in any application, especially a medical school personal statement.
Not only does the application look rushed if you have included careless errors, but it shows that you are likely not detail-oriented enough for a medical career. Strong personal statements are judged on their content, structure, and use of language.
Generic Statements Cliché statements and empty sentences will not achieve an emotional connection.
Everyone applying to medical school is already hungry for success and passionate about the prospect of a lifeline career. If you include standard statements, your writing will not stand out.
You want your personal statement to be memorable and garner extra attention, not just read as though you have taken a sentence from someone else.
Niche Medical Interests Medical schools will love to see ambition for future career opportunities. However, you should be sure not to specify in much niche detail the areas you want to specialise in.
Content should be focused on the syllabus offered by the medical school in question and show that you are open to all opportunities that will come your way.
How to Ensure That Your Personal Statement for Medicine is Perfect?
Seek Professional Support
The best way to create a standout personal statement is to seek expert advice.
Admissions professionals with experience working with medical schools provide our personal statement service. By working with an expert, you can ensure your message comes across concisely, giving you the best chance of continuing to the next stage of admissions.
You can find out more about what a personal statement reviewer is by clicking here.
Research Your Institution
We appreciate you will likely be applying to multiple medical schools, but you should ensure that each application is unique in some ways. Including even the slightest nods to the course will show that you genuinely desire to attend that course.
With limited spaces, universities must ensure that suitable candidates are chosen. They are not only the people that will benefit from the learnings but also act as brand ambassadors for years to come. You may think they are the right choice for you, but the admissions process is about making sure you are right for them.
Take Your Time to Produce Content
A personal statement shouldn’t be written and sent off in one session. Instead, you need to spend time crafting the perfect piece of writing that represents you.
Planning is important and should be done extensively before you even start writing. You should consider what message you want to get across, what information they want to read, and any other anecdotes you can include to stand out.
Writing and proofreading should also be done over a few sessions to ensure the content is on point. Getting someone else to give it a read is also essential to check the structure, grammar, and spelling.
Do You Need Support with a Medical School Personal Statement?
Each year, we help lots of medical school hopefuls secure their spot at medical school.
As we have highlighted, the personal statement is vital to get right. If you need help crafting a piece of content that represents your hopes and desires in the best way, please contact us.
With some clever content, your medical school place is within reaching distance!
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