When applying to medical school, prospective students must complete a personal statement. Schools use the statement to evaluate the personality and motivation of prospective students: without a personal statement, the school would have only a dry list of facts to use in evaluating each student. Admissions boards read personal statements carefully, and a personal statement can greatly impact a student's chances of admission.
Obtain and read the guidelines for writing a personal statement; note that applicants are left with considerable latitude to choose what they write.
Think carefully and honestly about why you want to go to medical school: examine your motivations, your history and the process you used to decide to become a physician.
Choose a theme for your statement, which may describe a life-changing event, an important relationship, or a specific aspect of the practice of medicine that appeals to you.
Write the statement, taking care to avoid remarks that might convey arrogance or offend. Write a complex statement that demonstrates your ability to grasp the complexities of medicine.
Ask another person to read, revise, and evaluate the essay honestly. Pick somebody who will tell you the truth.
Revise your essay to reflect feedback. Polish it. Leave it untouched for a week, and then return to it and revise it again.
- "Essays that Worked for Medical Schools: 40 Essays that Helped Students get into the Nation's Top Medical Schools"; Stephanie Brickner Jones et al.; 2003
- "Medical School Essays That Made a Difference"; Princeton Review; 2010
- "Med School Confidential: a Complete Guide to the Medical School Experience"; Robert Harrax Miller; 2006