Medical School Personal Statement Advice
It is medical school application season. Thousands of future physicians are completing their AMCAS applications and will soon be submitting them to schools around the country. Perhaps the most dreaded portion of the application is the medical school personal statement. Many students lament that they do not know what to write about. Others feel that the medical school personal statement is a waste of time. As a result, far too many people turn in a personal statement that does nothing for (or harms) their chances of medical school admission. This article presents some medical school personal statement advice that will help prospective medical students craft a strong and effective medical school admissions essay.
Understand the Goal
The first and perhaps most important piece of medical school personal statement advice is to understand the goal for the personal statement. There are three major goals of the medical school personal statement. They are to tell the reader who the applicant is, discuss why the applicant would be a great medical student and physician, and convince the medical school to offer the applicant an interview.
Another important piece of medical school personal statement advice is to be interesting. Medical schools receive tens of thousands of personal statements every year. It is a time-consuming and tedious job to read through all of them. Therefore, if yours is not interesting it will be quickly forgotten; or not read at all. The goal of the first paragraph of the medical school personal statement should be to catch the audience’s interest. It is a good idea to begin the essay with a short story that is both interesting and demonstrates a skill or value that will be useful to your future education and career in medicine.
Although it is imperative that your personal statement catch the attention of the admissions committee, do not resort to tricks and gimmicks. While top 10 lists and poetry may stand out from the other applicants’ personal statements, this sort of device is unlikely to be received favorably by medical schools. Instead, focus on your writing. Write a clear an interesting piece that discusses who you are and why you will be an excellent medical student. A simple and clear essay will receive much higher praise than utilizing a unique method of writing the medical school personal statement.
Write Clearly and Succinctly
As mentioned previously, the people who are charged with reviewing medical school applications have a very time-consuming job when it comes to reading personal statements. These individuals do not have the time or desire to read a novel. If your personal statement is too long, it will not be read in its entirety. Although AMCAS allows 5300 characters for the personal statement, this is not an indication of how long the essay should be. You should aim to keep your personal statement as short as possible while still providing all the necessary information. Ideally, it should be approximately 500-800 words in length. In addition to being mindful of the admissions officers’ time, concise communication is a valuable skill that is necessary in the practice of medicine. If you demonstrate that you are able to write clearly and succinctly, it will show that you already have one of the necessary skills to be a physician.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
The final piece of medical school personal statement advice is to make sure to proofread your essay. Spelling errors and poor grammar in a personal statement make the writer look careless and sloppy. Carefully read through your personal statement at least three times to check for errors. In addition, it is a very good idea to employ the services of a professional editor, such as Code Blue Essays. A professional editor will not only correct spelling and grammatical errors, they will also give suggestions on content and sentence structure to make your personal statement more powerful.
Make sure your personal statement is ready to stand up to the competition before you submit your application. Good luck to all the medical school applicants!