Turn on thread page Beta

Medicine Personal Statements: Advice and Questions watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Useful links:
    Wiki page with advice for people writing personal statements for medicine
    Some example personals statements - please note, personal statements are in the process of being reviewed so that you know which bits are good and which aren't so good.
    The TSR PS helpers service - for more information, look at the PS help FAQ You are advised NOT to PM your personal statement to anyone on the forum – use the PS help service where all helpers are verified and can be trusted.
    Comments on personal statements from the universities: coming soon.

    Structure and Content
    Please note: the structure given here is only a suggested structure but can be used to help make sure you cover all the important points.
    • Introduction: Explain why you want to be a doctor. Be honest and try to attract the readers attention right from the start.
    • Work experience: Focus on what you learnt from your work experience rather than what you did/saw - this could include skills you noticed doctors need, the team work involved in medicine etc. Think about the negatives of being a doctor as well as the positives.
    • Voluntary work: Talk about what you've done/currently do but make sure you mention what you learnt from your experiences and how these skills might be useful for you in the future (their relevance to medicine).
    • Extracurricular activities: Talk about your hobbies, what you do outside school/university and what you do to relax and relieve stress.
    • Conclusion: Sum up why you want to be a doctor and why you think you're perfect for the career.
    • Other things some people like to include are an academic paragraph, either talking about the subjects they study or a particular area of medicine that they find interesting. Talking about specific articles or books that you've read would also go in this sort of paragraph.


    Some tips

    • Don't put yourself down
    • Write concisely and avoid complex words and long, convoluted sentences - keep it simple
    • If you say you find something interesting, try to explain why
    • Try to avoid sounding arrogant/over confident (e.g. some people say 'when I'm a doctor' or 'I look forward to seeing you at interview')
    • Avoid the phrase: 'the ideal candidate' as each medical school will have their own idea of what this is
    • Write formally
    • Avoid clichés (this isn't always possible but specific words such as 'passion' and 'fascination' appear far too often)
    • Pay attention to where you use capital letters - it's common for people to use them incorrectly


    Some FAQs

    • 1. Q: Should I leave a line between each paragraph?
      A: This does make personal statements a lot easier to read and would be appreciated by admissions tutors, though some people find it difficult to fit everything in even when they don't leave extra spaces.

      2. Q: How long does it need to be?
      A: 4000 characters or 47 lines long, whichever comes first. If your personal statement is longer than this, then anything over the limit won't be seen by the universities. You don't have to use all the space provided, however, a lot of medicine applicants do struggle to cut their statements down to the right size.

      3. Q: Should I mention my parents/aunt/uncle/grandparents/siblings/cousins are doctors?
      A: You can if you want to. I've seen statements where it works well and others where it really doesn't work at all. If you do talk about them (maybe because they were part of what inspired you), the risk is that it may sound like you're only going into medicine because they're pushing you into it or because it's 'the family trade.'

      4. Q: Should I mention specific places where I did my work experience?
      A: Different people have different opinions on this one. Personally, I think they aren't needed and you can save a few characters by leaving them out (as you can always mention them specifically during interview). Other people think that adding the names of places can add a more personal touch to the personal statement so ultimately, it is for each individual to decide whether to include them or not.

      5. Q: Should I capitalise subjects in the middle of sentences?
      A: Only if you're referring to a specific course like 'A Level Biology.' If you're just talking about how much you like biology e.g. 'an aspect of biology that particularly interests me...' then it should not be capitalised.


    All further threads about personal statements will be merged with this one and the FAQs will be updated as and when other questions come up.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you so much, this is really helpful!
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Alright, so I'm writing my personal statement (barely) but I'm having so much trouble. Whatever I write comes out as really awkward and out of place.

    My main hobby is computing since I've been building comps and helping trouble shoot forums since I was about 14. But I have no idea how to put this on my PS.

    Do I just write a breif para at the end like, in my spare time I build computers and help out on trouble shooting forums for beginers/people with problems? And that this has helped me to develop my problem solving skills as troubleshooting is a very trial and error/problem solving type of activity?

    Uch, I hate this, everything I write sounds so crap and cookie cutter. I'm not even sure how to start it since I've left out my intro paragraph atm.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well if it's relevant to what you want to do at University and contributes to showing you have experience in this area, I'd definitely include it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Also, make sure that your opening sentence isn't really cliché. You want something that's going to stand out. Remember, the people at the Uni will be reading alot of these. Tell them in the first sentence why you deserve to be on this course! Sound passionate, and good luck.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Do I just write a breif para at the end like, in my spare time I build computers and help out on trouble shooting forums for beginers/people with problems? And that this has helped me to develop my problem solving skills as troubleshooting is a very trial and error/problem solving type of activity?
    a paragraph to elaborate on how you think the problem solving skills will contribute to you learning/practicing medicine will definitely aid your application!

    i know you seem awkward about it, but its all about your phrasing.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jaetie)
    a paragraph to elaborate on how you think the problem solving skills will contribute to you learning/practicing medicine will definitely aid your application!

    i know you seem awkward about it, but its all about your phrasing.
    So would some sort of reference to PBL/Diagnosis work would be good to include with relevence to problem solving?
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not sure where to put this, have looked around and can't find anywhere more suitable...

    I'm really worried about my Persaonl Statement. I'm applying for medicine and cannot come up with a strong introduction. I can't put into words why exactly I want to do medicine in a way that is original and exciting. I don't really know what started me off.

    I recently visited Tanzania and I think that really inspired me, but when I wrote about it I was told it was weak. How can I make it stronger? What are they looking for in a strong intro?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jazzyyazzy6)
    I'm not sure where to put this, have looked around and can't find anywhere more suitable...

    I'm really worried about my Persaonl Statement. I'm applying for medicine and cannot come up with a strong introduction. I can't put into words why exactly I want to do medicine in a way that is original and exciting. I don't really know what started me off.

    I recently visited Tanzania and I think that really inspired me, but when I wrote about it I was told it was weak. How can I make it stronger? What are they looking for in a strong intro?
    your questions been moved through to the medicine specific personal statement questions thread

    In answer to your question:
    Making a medicine PS introduction original and exciting is very difficult because most of the different ways of doing so have been used multiple times over.
    A strong intro should give a good thorough explanation of exactly why you want to study medicine and what about the career attracts you. You need to make things as specific to medicine as possible as a lot of introductions can be applied to many different healthcare professions/other courses as well.
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hygeia)
    A strong intro should give a good thorough explanation of exactly why you want to study medicine and what about the career attracts you.
    Can I just add to this point: If you are struggling to answer why you want to study your course (this applies to any course), it may not be the course for you. The answer should come easily.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hiya,

    I'm going to be applying to study medicine and biomedical sciences. I was told that my medicine personal statement will be fine to apply for biomed

    But my PS is very medicine-focused, I'm just wondering if it that's fine. I just read on the internet that I may need to do another one. Im getting different info from different places!

    Thanks for your help.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It will be fine honestly. BioMed isn't nearly as competitive as medicine so if they see someone coming along with hundreds of extra curriculars and predicted 3 As they'll want you, despite the fact you don't really want them...
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by conscience)
    Hiya,

    I'm going to be applying to study medicine and biomedical sciences. I was told that my medicine personal statement will be fine to apply for biomed

    But my PS is very medicine-focused, I'm just wondering if it that's fine. I just read on the internet that I may need to do another one. Im getting different info from different places!

    Thanks for your help.
    No you do not, a number of medical applicants often obtain thier biomedical science offer before (if any) their medical offer, given they have used it as a fifth choice. Their applications & PSs are almost 100% focussed toward medicine and maximising their chances of obtaining an offer for medicine.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Universities accept that most of the best applicants for Biomedical Science are actually applying to Medicine and are using Biomed as a backup. Therefore they do not mind that you apply with a medicine PS. What you should NOT do is try to taylor your PS around Medicine AND Biomed- you will almost certainly be rejected from the Medical schools you apply to.

    The first offer I got was my Warwick Biomed offer (BBB) on the day of the BMAT. I applied with a fully medicine PS.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Ive read a number of PS's where people have said, my grandfather/father/mother/aunt etc. got liver failure/kidney failure/cancer etc... and then gone on to said - from this I wanted to become a Doctor.

    Is this a good thing to mention in a PS? I have a similar story, but think it may come across as a sob story.

    Is it worth adding?
    Offline

    1
    In a PS it could come across as two things; a great motivation factor, or a sob story.

    If it's genuine, then I guess there is no harm in mentioning it. As long as you back it up with some waffle about how as you visited them etc and took an interest in the treatment/medical side - I doubt it'll come across as a sob story.

    What I would refrain from doing is turning your PS in to your relatives life story; if you do, it'll definitely be considered a sob-story.

    Edit: If you have a draft or something, then see: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=346 - you could post it there and get a PS Helper to give you some advice/tips etc?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello,

    UCAS has stated " You can enter up to 4,000 characters (this includes spaces) or 47 lines of text (this includes blank lines), whichever comes first."

    My ps is exactly 4000 characters, but im not sure about the no. of lines, possibly more than 47. Is that acceptable since I have 4000? Thanks for your help.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by conscience)
    Hello,

    UCAS has stated " You can enter up to 4,000 characters (this includes spaces) or 47 lines of text (this includes blank lines), whichever comes first."

    My ps is exactly 4000 characters, but im not sure about the no. of lines, possibly more than 47. Is that acceptable since I have 4000? Thanks for your help.
    Most of the time the 47 line limit comes first (working out at around 3300/3500 characters) so 4000 is likely to be over the limit. It does specify 'whichever comes first'
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I have pulmonary valve stenosis. Is it a good idea to quote this in my PS

    Medical applicant btw
    thanks
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Moved to the correct forum for you. Once you have a full draft of your PS you are welcome to post back in the PS help forum - we don't answer individual questions there, but review your drafts once you have one.
 
 
 
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: October 14, 2009
The home of Results and Clearing

2,544

people online now

1,567,000

students helped last year

University open days

  1. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 22 Aug '18
  2. University of Buckingham
    Postgraduate Open Evening Postgraduate
    Thu, 23 Aug '18
  3. University of Glasgow
    All Subjects Undergraduate
    Tue, 28 Aug '18
Poll
How are you feeling about GCSE results day?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.