Medicine Personal Statement thread Watch

spanishboy2000
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Hello!

I'm Henry, and I've been on a gap year around South America. While it was a good time, I wasn't intending to actually take a gap year.

I applied for medicine for 2019 entry. Even though my academic record is pretty sweet, and my UCAT/UKCAT score was pretty solid, I didn't even get an interview, and I was just shocked. But then looking back at it, I realise my personal statement was just bad, like no wonder they didn't want to interview me lol.

Now after this year out, I'm hoping to apply for medicine again. I got good grades for A-Level, and now I know I just need to get my personal statement up to scratch.

I decided to start this thread for people also looking to apply for medicine so that we could share ideas and resources that would be helpful.

Feel free to introduce yourself!
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HGS345
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I wrote this on another thread. But I'll post it here as well:

Most personal statements (PS) will follow a very similar format. However, my specialty is in Medicine, so everything here may not apply to other subjects, but most of it will.

The personal statement should be split into 4 sections:
- Introduction > Why you want to study Medicine & What led you to Medicine (maybe 7-10 lines max)
- Work Experience > Talk about the skills you've acquired that make you a suitable candidate for Medicine (will form the bulk of your PS)
- Hobbies/other activities > talk about interests to show you manage a balanced professional/personal lifestyle (max 1 paragraph,2-4 lines)
- Conclusion > summarise (max 6-8 lines)

I would also say include 1-2 lines about your A-Levels just for the sake of having a 'complete' PS, however, don't make the mistake of thinking you need to go into detail on this. There's some teachers who tell their students that they should be writing about their A-Levels, whilst it may be true for other courses, this is not the case for Medicine. At least 90% of the medical applicants are studying the same subjects as you, so how could you possibly make yourself look unique by talking about your A-Levels, the A-Levels that everyone else is doing?

Grammar: make sure you don't use baby words, don't say I 'watched' the doctor, say I 'observed' the doctor, etc. It's a big enough word to make you sound professional, but not too big that you look like you're trying too hard.

Introduction: it should be something personal. I can understand many of you will be wanting to do Medicine simply because you want to help others, but because there are many out there who say this, but don't mean it, it has become a cliché. So you need to bring forth a unique experience you've had, or have witnessed that gave you some insight/inspiration into Medicine, and that made you want to study Medicine. Also, I'm assuming all you medic applicants will want to become doctors, however, in your PS, if you decide to talk about how you saw the doctor work and how the doctor inspired you, then make sure you acknowledge that it's not just the doctors that help a patient, there's many different people involved in the healthcare system, so it'll come across as very naive if you only praise the doctor. Also, don't say which specialty you want to go into, 99% of you don't truly know anything about Medicine, so how on earth could you know which route you want to take? It comes across as arrogant and narrow minded, so avoid it.

E.g. if you have a relative who was ill, or you yourself have been ill, you can use these as reasons as to why you want to enter the healthcare system. E.g. my mother passed away from cancer when I was in Year 12, so I wrote about that.
DO NOT write 'I've always wanted to become a doctor', again, this may feel true to some of you, but it's unlikely you knew what profession you wanted to go into at 4 years old, and it's also a cliché.

Work Experience: it's all about 'show', not 'tell'. Don't tell them what skills you've gained, show them. It's easy for everyone to say they're excellent communicators, but very few can demonstrate it. E.g. take a look at an example from my PS:

- Teaching primary school students how to read improved my reasoning abilities, as I had to explore ways to teach them in a simplistic manner that met their level of understanding -

Here, I showed them that I have developed strong communication skills without actually saying the words, 'I have developed strong communication skills'. You want to do the same. Here's another example from my PS, where I demonstrate my observational skills and I acknowledge that empathy is important as a doctor. Again, I do not say I have these skills, I show them.

- I attentively observed the way the pharmacist sympathetically advised patients with drug addictions and mental health issues, which made me more open minded about how people are affected in different ways and require more than just being prescribed medications -

And it doesn't matter where you did your work experience and for how long you did it. All that matters is what you've learnt. The skills you need to work as a doctor can be gained from working in a shop, e.g. time management, interpersonal skills, teamwork. And you don't need to spend 2 months at a hospital to acquire these skills. 5/6 placements that I mentioned in my PS, I did for no more than 1 week. And I got 3/4 interviews. So please, don't stress over quantity, focus on quality. And you don't need to mention how long you did your placement for, remember, it's what you've learnt that counts.

Make sure to relate each experience back to being a doctor. I.e. you've learnt to work under pressure > explain why that's important in being a good doctor. Everything you write on your PS must relate back to Medicine.

Hobbies: talk about things you do and how they can help you become a good doctor. I'll give you this section from my PS:

- Outside of study, I regularly attend the gym and play football. My knowledge of nutrition helps me understand how certain foods impact on general health and muscle growth. I also enjoy reading as it encourages me to challenge myself intellectually, alongside DIY, which has augmented my practical skills -

Notice how all these things are related to Medicine. E.g. exercise, nutrition, reading and being good with tools (it shows I'm an all-rounder, and every doctor should be adaptable to different situations. And if you're an all-rounder, you obviously come across as an adaptable person. It also shows you know how to manage your time and you acknowledge the important of a balanced lifestyle. Adding to this, you can add in other experiences. Like I went to UoB for a summer programme, and I talked about how my experiences there gave me an insight into what university was like. To show the examiner that I know what I'm getting myself into.

Conclusion: summarise why you want to become a doctor. This one is easier to understand if I just give you an example. Here's what I wrote:

- The aspirations of wanting to study medicine are many fold; the notion that I will be able to utilise what I learn for life and can one day be put into clinical practice gives me great satisfaction. A career path that will offer continuous learning, be at the forefront of medical science, and most importantly, be in a position to make a positive difference in society are important factors.

I am aware of the challenges associated with medicine; however, I know that this will be a tremendously worthwhile commitment -

You can take inspiration from this if you wish, but please, if you're going to copy it, at least try to make it seem original, as otherwise the plagiarism checker will have you.
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Random_Student
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I have a question? Can you use the same personal statement that you’ve used for a course to apply for medicine as a second degree? Because my current course is scums based so if I change small bits of it, can I still use it?
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HGS345
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(Original post by Random_Student)
I have a question? Can you use the same personal statement that you’ve used for a course to apply for medicine as a second degree? Because my current course is scums based so if I change small bits of it, can I still use it?
No. As it will be flagged under the plagiarism checker, even if it is your own work. If you tend to apply for two different courses with the same personal statement in 1 UCAS cycle, then it's fine, but otherwise, each UCAS cycle, your personal statement needs to be different.
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Interrobang
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(Original post by HGS345)
No. As it will be flagged under the plagiarism checker, even if it is your own work. If you tend to apply for two different courses with the same personal statement in 1 UCAS cycle, then it's fine, but otherwise, each UCAS cycle, your personal statement needs to be different.
Actually you can re-use parts of your PS - it doesn't count for plagiarism on applications. But you should ensure that the info is relevant and up to date

spanishboy2000 moving this to the PS help area
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HGS345
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(Original post by Interrobang)
Actually you can re-use parts of your PS - it doesn't count for plagiarism on applications. But you should ensure that the info is relevant and up to date

spanishboy2000 moving this to the PS help area
Sorry, I should have clarified. I was referring to the format, so the way the personal statement was written out (i.e. they sound like they want to copy and paste their sentences onto a new personal statement). But thank you for clarifying.
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Interrobang
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(Original post by HGS345)
Sorry, I should have clarified. I was referring to the format, so the way the personal statement was written out (i.e. they sound like they want to copy and paste their sentences onto a new personal statement). But thank you for clarifying.
You are allowed to reuse sections word for word in the new cycle if you want to, although you should carefully consider whether it is a good idea

(Just making sure the users aren't confused, I know that plagiarism can get complicated)
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Random_Student
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(Original post by Interrobang)
You are allowed to reuse sections word for word in the new cycle if you want to, although you should carefully consider whether it is a good idea

(Just making sure the users aren't confused, I know that plagiarism can get complicated)
@HGS345 and @ interrobang thank you both for clarifying. I think UCAS has stated someone that you can reuse it but yea it doesn’t sound like a great idea
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