Medical school personal statement tips
The personal statement is
tailored to tell a professional program yourself in your own words. The
ultimate goal of your essay is to convince the reader that you belong at their
school. There is no one correct way to write a personal statement, but in
general those who will read your essay (the Admissions Committee) are looking
for two important things. They want to evidence of your achievements that isn't
reflected in other parts of your application and why the events that you
describe have shaped your attitude, focus, and intellectual vitality.
Offer the Evidence
Provide specific examples when you
are describing your strengths and what you bring to the program. This can
include a brief story that shows you have experience in the field or community
Don’t Repeat Information
Take this unique opportunity to
provide insight into who you are; don't regurgitate your resume.
Keep it Simple
Keep the English and your story
simple, the way you would for a good friend. Making the reader your friend –
not “impressing” the reader – is your goal in the admission essay.
Maintain Proper Tone
You don't need to be overly formal,
but remember that this is a professional document, not a post on your blog.
Skip the outrageous stories and casual slang.
Edit and Get Feedback
One of the best possible pieces of
advice is to read your essay aloud. This allows you to catch many mistakes you
would not otherwise have seen. Have someone ready your essay. A professor,
premed advisor, or friend whose judgment and writing skills you trust is
Approaches to Avoid
Avoid generalities. Admissions officers read an enormous
number of essays. If you want to be remembered, use specific incidents and
examples from your life
No gimmicks. Don't write a satire or a front-page newspaper
article. Don't rhyme.
Don’t revisit grades or test scores. They speak for
themselves. Trying to explain away bad credentials just draws unnecessary
attention to them