Take a look at some past personal statements of students who have either graduated from or are working towards medical degrees! Each personal statement is broken down into 5 sections with commentary. This is how you should be structuring your paragraphs. Enjoy and visit as many times as needed.
source:The Student Room
This individual studied in Scotland and applied to MBChB program at Edinburgh, Saint Andrews, Dundee, and Aberdeen. They received unconditional offers from Edinburgh (Firm) and St Andrews (insurance), and post interview rejections from Aberdeen and Dundee. They received an offer from Glasgow university to study anatomy.
Advanced Higher Biology – A
Advanced Higher Chemistry – A
My home on the Island of xxxx is served by a small cottage hospital and GP surgeries. My mother, a public health nurse, can remember a time when a large area was covered by one GP and one district nurse. I have always been aware that in an island setting medical services are crucial and as I grew older the more I learned, the more I wanted a career in the medical field. Working as a doctor gives a person a direct say in diagnosis and treatment and I am determined to make this my goal.
Often just starting is the hardest part. This is a good opener and it avoids the usual cliche of “from a young age” by opening with a short little anecdote about how their island benefits from medical services.
The applicant continues by writing about their passion and determination. Such an ending must be followed up with evidence of this drive and passion in subsequent paragraphs.
I recently achieved a place on the UNIQ Oxford Summer School for Chemistry. This allowed me to learn more about some of my favourite chemistry topics, and gave an introduction to many of the subjects covered in my Advanced Higher course. I am taking the Scottish Baccalaureate of Science and to further my interest in medicine I am doing an Open University YASS course in “Human Genetics and Health Issues”.
Talking about placements and summer programs is a very good idea however listing all your academic achievements is a no no, as they already have access to this in your transcript.
This applicant has done the right thing by briefly mentioning their academic experiences, then spending time talking about how they benefited them. Don’t focus on the experience, focus on what you learn’t/what skills you gained!
Since my third year in school I have actively pursued medical related work experience. Spending a week with nurses in the local hospital taught me the importance of patience, understanding and empathy when dealing with patients and how even a conversation over a cup of tea can make someone feel better. Shadowing a GP in (?) Surgery allowed me to understand the relationship built between a patient and their doctor and I have had opportunities to discuss how this affects the treatment of the patient.
This candidate gets the importance of experience Vs lessons learned. Whenever you write an experience, always follow up with something it taught you.
Even the simplest things like conversing over a cup of tea can demonstrate communication and interpersonal skills, so nothing is too small or silly.
I also spent time at (?)Surgery, whose GP’s provide medical cover to the local hospital. This taught me about the necessity of good communication and teamwork to ensure the successful running of a very busy surgery. Arranging work experience with a Consultant General Surgeon allowed me to compare a city hospital to a rural practice.
Again the experience is good, considering they are applying for medicine, but the lessons learned is the valuable part.
I spent time on the ward, observed at outpatient clinics for general and colorectal conditions and I was fortunate enough to attend theatre a number of times during the week. Besides highlighting to me the importance of cooperation between different specialists and medical staff the experience raised my awareness of the difference modern techniques make on a patient’s post-operative recovery.
Very well written paragraph describing the aspects of their work experience. Be descriptive and don’t forget, always mention what it taught you.
Outside school I have had a range of experiences which have helped me to develop my communication and confidence. In 2011, I was selected to perform in a Gaelic youth band that was to perform at the Hebridean Celtic Festival. This included singing in a group and playing the fiddle and mandolin. It involved much dedication, planning and hard work but good teamwork made a huge difference to the final performance.
Extra-curricular activity is important to include in your PS. It shows you are a well-rounded candidate. Being apart of a band or club demonstrates you can keep commitments for prolonged periods of time. Definitely an attribute every med student should have.
In the role of a Youth Ambassador for the Children’s Parliament I had to create and organise a workshop on the theme of Health and Happiness and to then deliver it to school children. As well as this I helped to arrange a “Festival of Rights” which involved devising workshops and presenting them to the general public. This allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills. As I live on a rural island I have always been aware of the importance of the environment. This is what motivated me to achieve a John Muir Discovery award
Again extra-curricular activities demonstrate transferable skills. Anything that demonstrates time-management or organisational skills should be included in this section.
I always aim for academic excellence and enjoy the research and study required. I feel my experiences and achievements have prepared me for the challenges of studying medicine.
Keep it short and sweet. Just like this one.
Your closing statement is unlikely to hugely influence the decision so don’t add new information, but also don’t re-iterate yourself too much.
Medicine Personal Statement #2
source:The Student Room
This statement went through numerous proof-readings and according to the author, the one thing they discovered from feedback was that you must always justify the reason you are include something in your statement. If is serves no purpose, leave it out. The student felt they didn’t do a particularly good job of this however they have now completed their medical degree, so it probably wasn’t all that bad.
The student applied to Keele (Firm) with an offer of AAB, Manchester, which they later got rejected post interview, Leeds, which they got rejected from because the applicant “wasn’t well rounded enough”, and Cardiff which they got rejected on the ground of the applicants GCSE’s being to low.
A2 Biology – A
A2 Chemistry – A
A2 Psychology – A
My interest in medicine began when my family and I had to look after my Grandfather who suffered Alzheimer’s disease. I developed a respect for the human mind and body, and realised the importance of medicine. This, along with my enthusiasm for working with people and a great love of science, has inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.
This has potential to be cliche as it talks about a family member suffering from a medical condition. It is also a real life anecdote that may well have sparked an interest in medicine. If it is a true anecdote, use it. If it is made up fro the purposes of your statement, cut it out.
The sympathy card doesn’t work with admissions tutors as they are looking for every reason NOT to invite you to an interview rather than TO invite you.
I have gained a wide range of experiences within medicine. Working at a GP surgery gave me an insight into the patient’s first contact with the health service in many cases. Spending a week shadowing an orthopaedic surgeon gave me a view of the role of a surgeon, and illustrated to me the reality of working inside a hospital.
I also gained experience of post-operative care with physiotherapy. I learned the importance of communication; interacting with patients and catering to their individual needs in order to aid recovery. Most importantly I saw the teamwork required by all types of medical staff involved in patient care.
Other hospital work experience includes working with a Retinal Screening Unit and a Diabetes Clinic. During this placement I learnt about many effects that occur as a result of long-term disease and was enthused by the patient’s eagerness to maintain their standard of living despite difficulties stemming from illness. I am also a member of the local Patients Association; which has allowed me to aid in the future development of my local GP practice.
Furthermore I have attended the Medlink conference during which I had the opportunity to listen to doctors’ talk about different aspects of the medical profession. Seeing their commitment to their specialities only served to encourage me further to follow a career in medicine. The conference also gave me the opportunity to write a research project that will be published on the website.
I looked at the potential of nanomedicine as a treatment to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. I found this topic highly fascinating, and discovered a passion for research. Subsequently I have started reading the student BMJ to discover interesting updates in the medical world.
My chosen A-level subjects reflect my love of science and literature, but also my ability to manage time effectively and work towards the highest standard.
I am a participant of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, and as quite an explorer I have spent a month in Chile on a World challenge expedition, during which I served as the team’s medical officer. Each of these endeavours have built upon my ability to work within a team, both leading and following instructions, which are equally vital aspects for a team to function well. For the past two years I have volunteered at the local soup kitchen. I developed an understanding of the problems different people have to deal with daily, and have developed my communication skills within an environment outside of school. In turn this has raised my self confidence and the knowledge that I make a small difference in the lives of the homeless that attend is very gratifying.
I enjoy playing the piano and have achieved grade 5 and aim to continue developing this skill for both personal enjoyment and performing in front of others. I also enjoy playing regular badminton matches with my friends.
I am determined to become a doctor, and I am well aware of the workload, commitment and demands that come with this career. Work experience and the voluntary work that I do have only served to encourage me.
Medicine Personal Statement #3
source:The Student Room
This very impressive statement was written by a clearly driven individual with a strong command of the english language. The student applied to Oxford (Firm) and King’s College London (insurance) with offers of AAA. They also put in applications for Birmingham and Imperial but later withdrew from the interview, likely as a result of receiving unconditional offers from their firm and insurance choices.
A2 Chemistry – A*
A2 Maths – A*
A2 English Lit – A
My decision to pursue medicine has not arisen from an epiphany or childhood dream, but is one I have come to after careful consideration. My interest stems from the science behind the biological processes in human bodies and I have relished the chance to explore them further in my AS Levels, from carcinogenic free radicals in Chemistry, to the impact of diet on cardiovascular disease in Biology.
I have also striven to develop my understanding beyond the curriculum, such as by reading articles in ‘The Lancet’ on the obesity epidemic. The opportunity that medicine provides to combine a caring nature with scientific interest drives me to pursue this career.
To experience the challenges of a medical career, I arranged placements in a paediatric department, a Child Development Clinic and a health trainer programme. Through multidisciplinary team meetings, I learnt the importance of teamwork, as well as the shared responsibilities of various healthcare professionals in the management of children.
Whilst shadowing both a hospital doctor and a GP, the need for a compassionate, composed demeanour was constantly apparent. This was highlighted during neonatal examinations for cataracts and jaundice as, despite time constraints, doctors took care to placate worried parents before moving on.
In July, I was one of 30 to win a place on the Oxford summer school for Chemistry. This experience helped me to develop the independent thinking skills and initiative necessary for academic study. Here, I explored medical ideas by applying my knowledge to new concepts, for example looking at the chemistry behind chirality and how in drugs, chiral compounds can harm the body. This motivated me to research this area, most recently through a Big Picture magazine on drug development, which gave a refreshingly balanced view of pharmaceuticals. My experience also encouraged me towards self-directed learning and I subsequently began AS level Biology at home.
Working with the elderly since the age of 11 at a local charity has taught me the value of caring. My most demanding, yet satisfying project, involved interviewing older people for a radio show I produced. Here, my communication skills were key, as was my patience in the more difficult interviews. Since January, I have applied these skills at a weekly day centre for the elderly. This extended work with those with chronic illness has exposed me to the challenges of medicine, by highlighting the reality that medicine cannot always cure, which is emotionally challenging. Nonetheless, my satisfaction in seeing those who recover outweighs this and fuels my desire to study medicine.
Through my enjoyment of travel, I have interacted with diverse cultures, particularly when marshalling 100 teenagers at a week-long Jamaican Independence Day Gala. In Ghana, I also helped children to read while learning their dance forms. These experiences required me to relate with a variety of people and emphasized that communication is a two way process.
My time in these countries also exposed the inequalities of medical provision, as in Ghana many suffered from polio, a disease uncommon in England. As a result, I am now an avid visitor of BBC Health, where reading about medical progress reinforced my desire to be a part of these developments through medical study. I also play tennis competitively and attend an orchestra as a clarinettist on a scholarship, where my time management skills are vital for my work-life balance. As a Senior Prefect, I enjoy my roles mentoring younger girls and organising school charity events, which have been invaluable in developing my leadership skills.
The diverse nature of medicine, my desire to help others and the prospect of continuous scientific learning have inspired me to pursue this career. I am under no illusion that medicine is easy, but the skills I have acquired, combined with my academic ability and determination, lead me to believe that I can succeed in this, my chosen field.
Medicine Personal Statement #4
source:The Student Room
This statement was only written in a couple 4 days but still manages to include the major elements of what a medical school personal statement should be. You however should always check the internal deadline for your school or college so you aren’t left scrambling last minute putting a PS together.
This individual applied and received offers from UCL (AAAE)(Firm) and Nottingham (AAA)(Insurance), however they received rejections from Cambridge post Interview, and King’s without an interview. This applicant scored 675 in UKCAT (now UCAT) and 6.9, 5.5, and 4A in the BMAT’s 3 sections respectively.
A2 Chemistry – A
A2 Maths – A*
A2 Biology – A
A2 Physics – A
A2 General Studies – B
Ever since the day I saw Lord Winston’s documentary “The Human Body” as a child, the amazement and admiration for this fascinating biological machine has never left me. It is this everlasting love of science and desire to use my knowledge and skills for the benefit of others that compels me to pursue a career in medicine.
Greater insight in medicine started when I attended a taster day at Frimely Park Hospital. Talking to doctors from a range of specialties provided me a realistic view of medicine as a profession. Despite being informed of the negatives, the experience only furthered my passion for medicine. My manual dexterity was tested in a key-hole surgery simulation, although challenging, it gave me a taste of the pressures surgeons must face daily.
Shadowing the cardiology ward at Homerton University Hospital taught me the intricate nature of treating patients; each individual is unique and even a straightforward patient comes with an exclusive set of challenges. I had the privilege to sit in a meeting where junior doctors discussed patients’ treatment plans with a team of doctors and gained valuable insight into the importance of working as a team, sharing ideas and knowledge to provide the best care for the patient. Observing doctors fulfilling a teaching role also made me admire the breadth of a doctor’s role.
A fascinating case I saw at Northwick Park Hospital was a patient who had lost his nose to cancer, surgeons then constructed a new nose using various parts of his body. This was a first for the surgeons and made me appreciate the constant learning experience within medicine. My placements also taught me that a doctor may need to explore any factor which has potential impact on a patient’s health, such as domestic circumstances.
For a year now I have been mentoring the elderly in computers where it is a completely new language to them. This requires me to be patient, listen and communicate effectively, skills essential for a doctor. I have tutored maths once a week to lower set Year 1 children at Cherrywood Primary School. This was a challenging but exciting experience as many have learning difficulties. Currently I am volunteering at Frimely Park Hospital and have learnt that even engaging patients in polite conversation can brighten up their day.
Leading up to A-levels I achieved silver and gold in the Junior Maths Challenge and gained silver in the Biology Olympiad. At Secondary School I was a science prefect and a senior prefect, this involved leading assemblies and running events for the lower year students, which armed me with invaluable experience in leadership and organisation. This year I achieved silver in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and my Extended Project on Euthanasia has given me an insight into self-directed research and the ethical issues in medicine. I enjoy reading the New Scientist and this along with my Open University Course on drugs, have broadened my scientific knowledge. Being Chemistry representative and mentor in college has also further developed my interpersonal skills. Successful completion of bronze Duke of Edinburgh award has given me practice in teamwork and spurred me on to do Gold. I have partaken and passed level 1 in both Sports and Language leadership courses, which I believe enhanced my leadership qualities. I now help coach badminton at my old primary school.
Sport and music provide me with great stress relief and I enjoy playing badminton with friends and weekly at a local club. I recently passed piano Grade 8 and have participated in the Woking pianotholon to raise money for Woking Hospice. A strong interest in computers has enabled me successfully assemble three computers and help upgrade computers of others.
Although demanding, my ambition to read medicine has only been enforced through my work experience and academic studies. I believe medicine will be a stimulating field to work in and a career that I will thoroughly enjoy.
Medicine Personal Statement #5
source:The Student Room
This student applied to Imperial College with an offer of AAAC (Firm), Southampton with an offer of AAA (insurance), Oxford, and Edinburgh.
regardless of stellar A-Level grades, they still received rejections from Oxford and Edinburgh.
A2 Chemistry – A*
A2 Maths – A*
A2 Biology – A*
A2 Physics – A*
I want to study Medicine because it allows me to combine my fascination with Science, particularly with regard to the function of the human body, with its application to important societal problems.
My desire to follow a medical career was crystallised by my work experience placements which have included a week spent in a ward for Elderly Care and Medicine at East Surrey Hospital and a week shadowing the Hepatology team at St. Mary’s Hospital. My time at East Surrey gave me valuable insight into the life of a ward doctor as well as the opportunity to observe how the various healthcare professionals work as a team. While there I became acutely aware of the difficulties faced by the NHS in dealing with an increasing elderly population, especially those with dementia.
I encountered one such patient who was very distressed by attempts to insert an IV cannula, exemplifying the importance of communication and the emotional stress facing doctors. While shadowing the Hepatology team I began to appreciate the difficult ethical decisions faced by doctors, for example whether to give a liver transplant to a patient who has alcoholic cirrhosis. I particularly valued the opportunity to spend a day in a gynaecology theatre at Hammersmith Hospital where I saw both open and laparoscopic hysterectomy.
As well as clinical work, I also I saw research in the laboratories at Hammersmith Hospital into how haematopoietic stem cells differentiate and discovered how the cytogenetics lab identifies chronic myeloid leukaemia; this showed me how frontline medicine integrates with fundamental science. I treasure all of these experiences as well as the five days I spent attending Medlink in December 2010, which have only deepened my enthusiasm for medicine in all its variety.
In March 2011, I was elected House Captain at my school. As part of the prefect team, my duties include organising activities for younger students and introducing the school to prospective parents. This responsibility has helped develop my communication and organisation skills as well as my ability to work under pressure and to deadlines; for example, successfully organising the House Festival, a performing arts competition.
Spending a month as a volunteer in Borneo with Camps International this summer, working on community projects and wildlife conservation, has helped me become more mature and developed my teamwork skills. Especially valuable was the time I spent teaching English at a local school, where dealing with the language barrier greatly aided my communication skills.
A medical career will allow me to apply my scientific knowledge and to use my teamwork and problem-solving abilities to benefit others. I do not underestimate the challenges ahead, but believe that I have the skills and aptitude to become a caring and successful doctor.