Now that the AMCAS Application is open to everyone, it’s time for you to start going through the application, picking off the low-hanging fruit, and eventually arriving at what many pre-meds find the most painful of all: the medical school personal statement.
What’s the Purpose of the Medical School Personal Statement?
The personal statement is incredibly important because it’s the best place to really showcase yourself. It can help differentiate you from other applicants and get you an interview. Despite this, many medical school applicants and pre-meds don’t put enough time into the medical school personal statement, or avoid and procrastinate on it because they find it too painful to figure out what to write about.
What Should I Write About in the Personal Statement?
This very question is the reason why so many people put off writing the personal statement until it’s too late. What experience can you write about in roughly a page that encapsulates your decision to pursue medicine? For starters, think about the experiences that have left you with that strong desire to go to medical school and become a doctor. Also, think about any mentors or individuals who have inspired you to pursue medicine.
For the AMCAS personal statement, you should start by asking yourself these questions:
- What am I going to do with my medical degree?
- What do I want to tell the admissions committee about myself?
- Are there any interesting stories related to medicine or healthcare that are unique to me?
- What cultural experiences have I had that informed my experiences with healthcare?
- What do I want the reader to learn about me from reading my personal statement?
- Are there any skills or personality traits I want to highlight?
You might also want to use these ideas to jumpstart your medical school personal statement:
- People who have inspired you to pursue medicine
- Clinical experiences and stories
- Organizations you have been involved with and the impact you have made. However, don’t be redundant if you have already discussed the importance of an organization you were a part of or experience that you had in the AMCAS activities section.
- What skills you have developed in your past experiences and how you can contribute these takeaways to your classmates and to the medical school
- Aspects of healthcare and medicine that you have been interested in and how this relates to your future endeavors
- Other information you want the admissions committee to know about you that you were not able to write in your AMCAS application
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask us a question if you need help brainstorming a personal statement!
Should I ask people to edit my personal statement for med school? If so, who?
You should DEFINITELY take advantage of the people around you when it comes to editing your personal statement, but rather than blast off your medical school personal statement to your entire social circle, you should be strategic about who you send it off to. Keep in mind though, that strategic does not necessarily mean exclusive. For example, if you send your medical school personal statement to only fellow pre-meds, you’re going to get duplicative feedback and you won’t get a sense of how the personal statement reads for other audiences.
3 Tips for asking people to edit your medical school personal statement:
Ask individuals of different ages. Why? Perhaps somebody who is a lot older will have a different read on the essay than your peers. Also, asking older individuals helps to catch times when you use colloquial lingo or concepts only easily understood by younger generations.
Ask individuals from different backgrounds. Does somebody with an economics/business background get the same impression of me than my friends who have a healthcare background? Asking non-science majors is a great way to make sure the language in your essays isn’t too technical.
Big picture vs. detailed edits. You want to ask people who are good at both. Try to think who among your friends is good at looking at the big picture, and who among your friends is the grammar nerd or super-anal proofreader. Then send off your medical school personal statement to both!
For most people, this broad-based strategy works wonders to get good information on the quality and characteristics of your medical school personal statement. However, sometimes a personal statement may be too personal to do this. This is okay, and there are different strategies you can employ in this case. The Cracking Med Admissions team offers personalized essay editing and strategy to help you create a high-impact, winning essay. Find out how we can help you with your medical school personal statement!
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