Personal Statement for Your Medical School Application: Complete Guide

August 17

Table of Contents

The personal comments essay on the AMCAS application is one of a candidate's first chances to tell admissions officers this. Applicants must clearly answer the question, "Why medicine?

This is your chance to impress the admissions committee that you are worthy of acceptance. You must give it your best shot. After all, remember that you are competing against hundreds of candidates. 

This article is a complete guide on composing your personal statement for your medical school application to stand out. If you are interested, please read on.

What is a Personal Statement for Medical School?

One of the first components of your medical school application that you will write is your personal statement. It is also the section most students spend the most time on, and with good reason. 

Never undervalue the significance of writing the finest personal statement you can.

The personal statement aims to describe your motivation for becoming a doctor.

Not to promote yourself as a student or potential doctor. 

The admissions committee wants to ensure you understand what you are getting into and that you are doing it for the right reasons.

The events that initially motivated you to consider a profession in healthcare should be mentioned in your personal statement. This is still true even if you had originally considered pursuing a career other than medicine.

Why Do Medical Schools Care About Personal Statements? 

The personal statement is crucial since it is a bridge leading to an interview. 

Your personal statement will still be a remarkable journey about why you are applying to medical school. 

Your medical school personal statement allows the admissions committee to get to know you better, ensure you understand what you are getting yourself into, and establish a connection with you. 

They will be less inclined to take a chance on a student they believe will not be content as a doctor.

Your best course of action is to ensure you have enough industry exposure to know if this job is right for you. 

If you do not, you can be burned out and miserable early in your profession or decide to stop practicing medicine entirely. Although there is not just one good reason to pursue medicine, it should, at the very least, be a deliberate choice.

Each school's weight to the personal statement depends on the school, as in the procedure. 

Many institutions may prioritize the personal statement when considering whether to offer a student an interview. At the same time, other schools may give other portions more consideration.

Medical School Personal Statement Checklist

Never undervalue the ability of the personal statement for medical school to leave a lasting, favorable impression on the admissions committee. 

Your personal statement could make up your overall admissions score when combined with how well you did in the interview.

Below is a checklist of how to succeed in writing a compelling personal statement for your medical school application:

Does Your Introduction Explain Why You Want to Practice Medicine?

Why you desire to study medicine and become a doctor should be explained in the opening paragraph of your medical school personal statement. 

A generic or overused justification that many other applicants might provide should be avoided. 

Describe your interest in medicine in detail. Was it a particular event you had? Was it something you saw while working or volunteering?

Did You Apply What You Learned from Your Volunteer Work or Employment Experience?

When describing them in your personal statement, it would be best to consider what you gained from your professional experience and volunteer work

Medical schools are more interested in your reflections than a simple list of accomplishments, so avoid doing that.

  • What did you discover?
  • What abilities did you gain?
  • What has this experience taught you about a medical career?

Are Your Extracurricular Activities Included?

Your extracurricular activities are crucial to your personal statement, even though you may have forgotten about them or thought they were irrelevant. 

Admissions committees want to know that you have the means to unwind and will not become burned out under pressure because medical school can be difficult. 

Hobbies and interests outside of medicine also demonstrate that you are well-rounded and will contribute significantly to the university.

Is Your Grammar Flawless Throughout?

Even though it might seem apparent, rechecking your grammar before submitting the work does not hurt. 

You can read your personal statement with fresh eyes if you print it out and read it aloud.

You may also catch errors that you previously missed. It can be a good practice to read it aloud. It is also a brilliant idea to have it verified by another person because they might notice details you overlooked.

Can You Provide Evidence of How You Meet the Requirements to Become a Doctor?

Ensure your personal statement illustrates that you possess the traits required to be a doctor, such as empathy and the capacity to work well in a team. 

Do not just claim that you have the attributes or list them without supporting details.

To support your claims, include concrete instances from your employment history, volunteer activity, extracurricular activities, or other aspects of your life.

Can You Explain and Defend Everything You Have Written?

Some medical schools will create interview questions based on your personal statement. This means you should never include information in your personal statement that you would find difficult to discuss in an interview.

You do not want to be caught off guard or stranded. Give a copy of your cover letter to a friend or family member and ask them to quiz you on it to see whether it will stand up in an interview.

Do the Sentences Add Something to Your Personal Statement?

Consider the meaning of each sentence as you read your personal statement. 

Does it give the reader information about you or a lesson you have learned? 

If not, you might want to remove it.

Ensure that every sentence in your personal statement relates to why you want to be a doctor. 

The admissions committee reads hundreds of personal statements, and sharing irrelevant information could jeopardize your chances of admission.

Can You Show You Are Aware of the Reality of Being a Doctor?

It would help if you mentioned in your personal statement that a medical career is demanding. This will demonstrate to admissions tutors that you are knowledgeable, have done your study, and are not entering the field of medicine with exaggerated expectations.

Does Your Last Paragraph Succinctly State Why You Believe You Are a Good Fit for the Profession?

Your final paragraph or conclusion should summarize your qualifications for the course and your suitability for a medical career. 

Do not add any new examples here. Instead, summarize and make reference to what you have already stated.

What Do You Think About Your Personal Statement?

To be as objective as you can, read your medical school personal statement three times, focusing on one of these three essential points that it must prove:

  • Why do you wish to pursue a career in medicine?
  • What have you done to acquire knowledge about medicine?
  • Why do you consider yourself a good fit for medicine?

Consider giving your personal statement a motivational, exploratory, and suitability score. 

Please keep an open mind and make adjustments where you believe they are required.

Sample Personal Statement for Medical School Application 

Your personal statement could make or break your medical school application. It would help if you devoted your time and effort to developing a compelling personal statement. 

Below is a sample personal statement that has granted admission to a medical school applicant.

I made a promise to my sister when I was eight years old, and that promise is the primary reason I want to pursue a career in medicine. My sister knew I had been watching over her while our parents were at work late. I never felt more responsible than when I was caring for her.

I was helpless when my sister woke up with a fever. By methodically eliminating potential causes of the fever while ensuring my sister's safety, her doctor took care of the most significant person in my life, allowing me to appreciate the wonder of medicine.

I vowed to my sister that I would pursue a medical career to care for her and other people who cannot look for themselves. My mother later told me that because I was born through in vitro fertilization, medicine had made it possible for me to live. 

This boosted my desire to pursue a medical career and motivated me to complete the circle. I want to give back to the industry that helped make my life possible by aiding those in need.

By volunteering in the intensive care Unit at the UC San Diego Thornton Medical Center, I was able to further my aim of becoming a doctor and gain first-hand experience relating to patients. I chatted with a patient who could only speak Spanish while obtaining test samples from nurses.

I was the only Spanish speaker in the group, and my language skills were at best, rudimentary because the interpreter was still on the way. The patient's mood significantly improved when I asked her about her day and her family. I learned from this meeting how crucial it is to have personal relationships with patients.

I was able to discover the qualities of a competent doctor through shadowing. Before procedures, I acquired the patient's consent to let me view the process as the surgeon reviewed the patient's last-minute worries. When I gained a patient's consent for an aortic valve replacement, he revealed that he was a well-known Italian musician.

I was astounded when the surgeon invited him to sing his hit song. Before the procedure, the patient's face brightened, and his concerns vanished. That drew me to the field and demonstrated there is more to being a good doctor than simply the technicalities or information from textbooks, even though the patient would be heavily sedated. The surgeon still cared about the patient's stress over the procedure.

I experienced a side of medicine that I had only read about in the news when volunteering at a veterans hospital. People who refuse medical care are underprivileged and uneducated. I would try to persuade people who could not visit other hospitals by phone to have their eyes examined for signs of diabetes in the Teleretinal Imaging department.

When I called, a veteran groaned and asked why he needed to go to the hospital, knowing he did not have diabetes. I realized I needed to let him know that diseases can have symptoms before they manifest. Because some people in these places lack the education necessary to recognize when something is wrong with their bodies, this motivated me to assist patients there.

If given a chance to practice medicine and lead the African American community, I could inspire others and serve as an example for those less fortunate.

I became a member of the Black Student Union at UC San Diego, which allowed me to connect with others who were on the fence about going to college. My communication skills and capacity to relate to various demographics have increased due to talking to high school students about my college experiences.

I explained how these students could have a lot more chances after they graduate from college and how many resources and scholarships are available to them. I'll explain my condition to patients in an easy-to-understand manner. After this experience, I was sure I wanted to interact with minority populations while practicing personalized medicine.

After all these, it was evident that I must continue pursuing my goal of becoming a doctor. If I succeed, I will also grow in helping those who are battling a similar battle.

I learned there weren't many well-known African American doctors in elementary school, so I asked my parents if they knew of any. My father told me about my uncle Roy Harris, who was raised in an inner city where gangs and narcotics were prevalent. He joined the high school track team and ran through college while seeking his medical degree to escape these obstacles.

I started running to inspire a change in the world and remind me of his motivational narrative so that one day, more African American doctors would be there for kids to aspire to.

As one of the top athletes in the country right now and an Academic All-American, I intend to participate in the NCAA Division II Nationals the following year. Running has given me the discipline to lead a balanced life, the concentration to do well in medical school, and the motivation to pursue my objectives.

Most importantly, I kept a promise to my sister. I set an unbreakable foundation of never-ending inspiration to sustain me through even the most trying parts of my life.


Anecdotes are a typical and efficient approach to building a story arc.

The author does just that by using one at the beginning and end of the article. To strengthen his resolve to pursue medicine, he refers to several incidents throughout his life, from infancy to youth to young adulthood.

His compelling past and tales, including his commitment to his sister and why he started running again, add exciting dimensions to this personal statement.

Additionally, It is commendable that the author wants to support the African American community and has such lofty goals.

For more medical school personal statement samples, please visit the link below:

Personal Statement Examples

Final Thoughts.

You are aware that the personal statement for medical school is a critical opportunity to demonstrate to medical schools who you are outside of your GPA and MCAT score. It also lets you describe your identity and the significant influences and backgrounds shaping your interests and values. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you stand out. You must carefully consider how you want to convey your "big picture" while demonstrating that you have the pre-professional skills medical schools seek.

However, know that your medical school personal statement is but one aspect of your application. 

You must give the other components (primary application, letters of recommendation, interviews, etc.) equal importance. This gives you the best chance of becoming the doctor you have always wanted to be. 

You're no longer alone on your journey to becoming a physician

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