There’s no shortage of suffocating pressure associated with how to write a personal statement for medical school.
Aspiring med school students are expected to simultaneously evoke the scientific prowess of Stephen Hawkings, the career-savvy sense of Steve Jobs, and the personal lyricism of John Lennon, all within a single, 1000-word essay.
And what’s more, they’re expected to singlehandedly tie those traits to the palpable proof as to why they’ll be a good medical professional.
It’s a considerably vertical wall to scale, to say the very least.
And chances are, as a science-savvy medical aficionado, writing and prose weren’t exactly your strong suits throughout high school and your undergrad. Not to worry. Although how to write a personal statement for medical school will play a considerable role in the admissions process, overcoming the dreaded writing stage can be an achievable breeze if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort.
However, the key to crafting the perfect personal statement will be organization and passion (which you’re choked-full of anyways as an aspiring medical professional, no doubt!).
How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School: The Basics
Keep it concise.
A tell-tale sign of novice, misguided writing is the tendency to overwrite, overanalyze, and fill your essay with “fluff” words. As an aspiring med student well-versed in the realms of chemistry, biology and medicine, you have an enormous breadth of knowledge to draw from – don’t be intimidated to use it. Just keep your writing short and sweet.
Pick a theme.
You can stare blindly at a blank computer screen until your eyeballs bleed – no sudden epiphany of inspiration will come to you if you sit back and fail to plan. When deciding how to write a personal statement for medical school, consider choosing an overarching theme for your essay.
Was there a challenge you faced or problem you had to overcome, relating directly or indirectly to your schoolwork or career? What about something in your family life? It doesn’t necessary have to be complicated, just pick a single theme and stick with it.
If you’re given an essay prompt, read it over, and over – and over – again.
As a medical professional, you’re either in line to follow strict orders or give them. The first way to see your personal statement see the top of a trash heap is to ignore the primary directions on the first page.
Keep it tied to medicine.
After all, you’re applying to medical school, aren’t you? If you are relating your statement to a personal story, be sure to tie it back to your future career as a medical professional.
Get a second pair of eyes.
Proofread, proofread, proofread. Always be sure to double, triple and quadruple check your grammar and writing from more than a single pair of eyes. Chances are, you’ll draw some inspiration that could mean the difference between an exemplary or mediocre personal statement.
Still in your undergrad program? Now is the perfect time to enlist the help of a professor or two to edit—they’re well versed in admission statements.
The most important step in how to write a personal statement for medical school is…
BE YOURSELF! The most successful kinds of essays will come with a dash of personality, flair and emotion. And you certainly don’t have to be an award-winning writer to find that inspiration.