What suggestions do you have for the personal statement?|
|Take it seriously, a good personal statement will get you that interview, and a chance at an acceptance. Try to find out what makes you unique, let as many people edit your PS as possible and learn to accept criticsm.|
Iggy at State University of New York Upstate Medical University College of Medicine (MD), class of 2013.
Pre-med: University of Maryland- College Park, Biology and American Studies degree. Answer posted 1/4/2009
|Always be yourself don't try to be something your not.|
James Tolbert at Harvard Medical School (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Harvard University, B.S. Chemistry & Biology degree. Answer posted 10/23/2008
|Make sure that you write your primary personal statement generally, basically describing why you want to become a physician. I made a story of my life and others which I believe was written as though it was a few pages from a great novel. Make it interesting....Many arent going to have some sad sob story which consists of living in a 3rd world country and flying a plane that carried 60 starving children needing medical attention..lol. Just be brief, honest, and let the admissions committee Know that doing med school and ultimately physician was a well thought out decision. They can spot sincerity as easy as they can spot phony.|
Yusuf Ali at University of Maryland School of Medicine (MD), class of 2012.
Pre-med: Morgan State University, Biology degree. Answer posted 6/13/2008
|Make it your own. Provde personal relevant details. Make sure it sounds like you, otherwise when you get to the interview they may not believe you even wrote it. Make sure it is grammatically correct. Finally, make yourself different. I started mine with, "I wanted to be a Rockette, but decided on Medicine when I realized you needed to be at least 5'5"..."|
Lynn at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) (DO), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Cedar Crest, Genetic Engineering degree. Answer posted 6/19/2006
|talk from the heart. don't be too fancy-pants. sincerity pays off.
also-- submit your essay to essayedge or somewhere professional so they can have a look. it's semi-costly but worth it.
i didnt use their changes or suggestions-- but it was nice just having someone make sure my grammar was ok.|
Sarah Tran at University of North Texas Health Science Center - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ft Worth (UNTHSC-TCOM) (DO), class of 2012.
Pre-med: Houston Baptist University, BS degree. Answer posted 1/23/2008
|My suggestion is to treat your personal statement as though it was the only thing that med schools are going to remember about you. Please don't make the mistake of reitorating your 4.0 GPA and other accomplishments that are outlined on the AMCAS. Your essay is not your resume (they already know about your Nobel Prize...). What they don't know is who you are, what led you here, what have you experienced that will make you a better doctor than all of the other geeks out there. The key to writing a stand out personal statement is to stand out! Take the most unique experience, aspect, talent, obstacle you've encountered, tell them what this has taught you, and how this will make you a better physician. I cannot over emphasize how important your personal statement will be. Everything else will get you as far as the interview stage; but when it comes down to deciding between Ms. Qualified and Ms. Other Qualified, the personal statement will determine your fate.|
Maria Reyes at University of Utah School of Medicine (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: university of utah & westminster college (2nd BS), psychology & biology degree. Answer posted 5/10/2007
|Be honest. Proofread. Have your friends edit it. Write several drafts and explore different ideas in each one.|
George Dunham at St George's University School of Medicine (Caribbean), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Wake Forest University, Biology degree. Answer posted 5/2/2007
|Make it unique. First impressions are everything, and along with your grades, mcat scores etc. your personal statement is the first thing a school will see. If it is well written and organized, you will stand out and have greater success in getting interviews.
Also, having a couple people read it and give you feedback helps.|
Zack Gangwer at Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program (AZPod) at Midwestern University (Podiatry), class of 2011.
Pre-med: Weber State University, Microbiology/Clinical Laboratory Science degree. Answer posted 12/29/2006
|Try to use one specific instance that really changed the way you thought about medicine and intertwine that throughout your whole paper.|
Brian Dix at College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (Podiatry), class of 2011.
Pre-med: South Dakota State University, BS Biology degree. Answer posted 12/20/2006
|Go to your local university's writing workshop, or at least a good writer you know, to have them critique it for grammatical accuracy and basic structure. You don't want a lot of "fluff" in there because you have limited space. You want to grab them in the beginning; don't start out with "I have always wanted to be a doctor." Actually, don't put that in ANYWHERE. They read that sentence all the time. Tell them something different, something unique about you.|
Sarah Levin at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM) (DO), class of 2011.
Pre-med: Wesleyan University, Neuroscience & Behavior degree. Answer posted 11/26/2006
|make it interesting somehow!|
Paul Nielsen at New York Medical College (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Cornell, Human Biology, Health, and Society degree. Answer posted 10/11/2006
Doug Christensen at Des Moines University - College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) (Podiatry), class of 2011.
Pre-med: Loras, BA Secondary Education degree. Answer posted 10/10/2006
|Make it entertaining and very personal. It is a personal statement and it should reflect what you are as a person. Imagine how many essays these people read and if yours is not close to being lively, they won't remember it. Lord of the Rings was 3 hours long but people still watched it because it was engaging. Tell a story or two about why you chose medicine. Don't bog them down about "it's a dream or a calling". They know that. They want concrete examples or proofs to show you are dedicated and sure about your decision. Make sure your statement flows and doesn't jump around to avoid confusing your reader. Lastly, be true to yourself...listen to your heart. This part of the application is what makes you more than an MCAT grade or GPA.|
Chris Cruz at University of Texas Medical School at Houston (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Texas A&M University, Biomedical Science degree. Answer posted 5/20/2006
|mine was a pile of crap. have someone give you advice on making yours better.|
Ehren Dueweke at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Kalamazoo College, Chemistry degree. Answer posted 8/21/2006
|I would be unique, but not too pretentious. Sell yourself, but don't brag too much.
Erik Amoroso at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, B.S. Computer Science degree. Answer posted 8/17/2006
|I actually just finished my personal statement for my radiology residency. Comparing it to the personal statement I had for medical school makes me laugh. For medical school, I tried to be creative give it flare so as to stand out. For radiology, they look more for short and straight forward personal statements. The personal statement is important, so don't brush it off. Have a bunch of people who know you read it. Give it to premed professors and MD's to read and critique. The best personal statement is one that DOES NOT stand out for better or for worse. You don't want your application flagged for being too strange. Rarely has a personal statement gotten someone into med school. Conversly, many great candidates have lost opportunities because of personal statements that were just too off the wall. Remember your audience, they are doctors, not actors.|
J Chang at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2007.
Pre-med: BYU, Neuroscience degree. Answer posted 7/28/2005
Brian Wolf at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (MD), class of 2011.
Pre-med: University of Miami 07, B.A Psychology degree. Answer posted 7/8/2006
|Same old stuff:
Think it out. Write a draft. Re-write it. Have a few people that know something about grammar and the english language review it.|
Bill Holmes at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: University of Arizona, Molecular & Cellular Bio/Anthropology degree. Answer posted 1/6/2006
|Write it from the heart. Include the one thing that truly pushed you to pursure medicine. For me, breaking my leg really pushed me forward. It encouraged me to help others more through volunteering and to never give up on my dream of helping others as a doctor just as I was helped. My doctor helped me walk again. I want to be such a support system for children one day.|
Dana Marie Smith at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) (DO), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Ithaca College, B.A. Biology degree. Answer posted 6/24/2006
|Be honest. Use your personal experiences to illustrate your points, which will make your essay unique. For instance, the statement "I enjoy working with people" is generic. However, if you use a personal experience to explain how you enjoy working with people, then you'll have a story that helps to distinquish you from other applicants.|
Andrew Doan, MD, PhD
Andrew Doan at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (MD), class of 2001.
Pre-med: Reed College, B.A. in Biology degree. Answer posted 6/11/2006
|I don’t know that I have any good suggestions for the personal statement because I feel that I am a very poor writer. The only thing that I can say is to try and write something that will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Try to think of a unique and entertaining story from your life and work that into your personal statement.|
Scott Larson at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Idaho State University, Microbiology degree. Answer posted 10/23/2005
|Start early. Many, many, many rough drafts. Do not give a canned statement for why you want to be a doctor. Tell something interesting and unique about yourself and tie it in to medicine.|
Mindy Williams at Morehouse School of Medicine (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: University of South Alabama, BSN degree. Answer posted 5/31/2006
Robert Greenhagen at College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (Podiatry), class of 2008.
Pre-med: Briar Cliff University, B.S. in Biology degree. Answer posted 5/30/2006
|SELL SELL SELL yourself. Unfortunately that is what the personal statement is. Think of it as a job application with more personal and abstract questions. If they don't like what they read, chances are you won't get an interview.
Be honest and original. Some of the questions they like to ask are: What type of hardships have you overcome? Why do you want to be a doctor? Things of that nature. Many of the interviewers have been doing this for years and they know when someone is being a cookie cutter. Make it personal for you and very apparent how and why this was such a hardship for you.|
Matt Tallar at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: UW-Milwaukee, Microbiology/Biotechnology degree. Answer posted 2/7/2006
|Be honest to yourself and to those who will read it.|
Joe Behn at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point, Biology degree. Answer posted 1/4/2006
|don't be a cheese. and don't talk about how your mom's aunt's brother's cousin's twice-removed dog that had cancer moved you to want to become a doctor because you did not have the "skills required" to remove the tumor yourself. talk about why you are a nerd, or why you like cooking or something.|
emily at University of Mississippi School of Medicine (MD), class of 2011.
Pre-med: University of Mississippi, B.S. Chemical Engineering degree. Answer posted 3/20/2006
|- BE HONEST
- Make it interesting, ADCOMS see tons of personal statements and yours HAS to stand out.
- THE FIRST few sentances are crucial, perhaps start with an interesting quote
- I think I did mine chronologically, to make it easier for the ADCOMS|
Dina R at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Chicago Medical School (MD), class of 2008.
Pre-med: University of Toronto, Hon BSc degree. Answer posted 3/19/2006
|Everybody says what they think admissions committees WANT to hear...even I did that sometimes. If you really want to impress them, write why you really want to be a doc. That'll stick out like a sore thumb in a stack of 5000 essays. Does anybody really go into medicine JUST to help people? I don't think so and neither did the guy who interviewed me.|
Casey Lythgoe at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of .
Pre-med: B.Y.U.-Hawaii, Biochemistry degree. Answer posted 10/25/2005
|I simply tried to write the personal statement so that it reflected my personality without making it sound too casual.|
Jeff Hanson at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Utah State University, Biology degree. Answer posted 2/11/2006
|Be honest. Play to your strengths. Put some actual voice in your statement...something that is just you.|
Jeffrey Anderson at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Bethel University, Biblical and Theological Studies degree. Answer posted 2/11/2006
|Just be honest. It will probably take a few drafts but eventually you will end up with something that you truely think represents who you are.|
Gregory Thom at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: University of CA, San Diego, BS; Management Science degree. Answer posted 2/8/2006
|That's a personal question you must ask yourself, by looking deep inside.
Practically speaking, have other people look it over..preferally a writing center/tutor at your school. Don't rush it. And start it well in advance, as that is what delayed my initial AMCAS about a month more than I would have preferred.|
Marc Biedermann at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, BS Human Biology Health Sciences degree. Answer posted 2/6/2006
|Do not simply repeat your resume. If the question asks why medicine, answer the question, do not repeat your activities section from your AMCAS.|
John Gannon at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of .
Pre-med: UCLA/ University of Utah, biological chemistry degree. Answer posted 1/10/2006
|Avoid cliches. Also - don't get discouraged if you read some of the books out there on "How to Write a Personal Statement". Don't embellish on your experiences too much. Telling a story is fine, but don't be overly dramatic. Be prepared to be asked about your personal statement at interviews.|
Amy Raubenolt at Ohio State University College of Medicine (MD), class of 2010.
Pre-med: Bowling Green State University, Spanish degree. Answer posted 1/13/2006
|Dont' sugar-coat things. Allow your real "voice" be heard and try to be somewhat creative so that those who are reading the statements are not bored. Be adventerous and don't be afraid to gloat about yourself.|
Adam Mehring at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) (DO), class of 2008.
Pre-med: Grove City College, Molecular Biology degree. Answer posted 1/10/2006
|Get a number of really good writers/editors to help you with the statement. Their advice is usually worth more than gold.|
Aaron Beck at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Concordia University Wisconsin, General Biology degree. Answer posted 1/3/2006
|It is absolutely necessary to treat this as one of the most important parts of your application. It may not make or break you, but it will certainly influence how your interviewers approach you going into the interviews, and gives you a chance to show aspects of your personality that are impossible to convey through your stats. Spend at least a month writing the PS and have as many people (medical and otherwise) as you can go over it carefully.|
Jesse Stringer at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Biology degree. Answer posted 8/31/2005
|Write about something you really can put some character into...not what you think admissions committees want to hear.|
Kim Bentley at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Duke, Biomedical Engineering degree. Answer posted 10/31/2005
|Try to tell your story. Don’t worry about what other people have written about. Be sure to tell your own story. Write down a quick list of events in your life from the beginning, including all the main events leading you to medicine. Think of any other interesting characteristics you have. Make a list of the three most important strengths or traits that define you and try to incorporate them in your statement. Include stories and explain through examples how you are instead of stating “I am good looking, very smart, charming, incredible, the best thing since the invention of the telephone…” Show through example and story instead of just stating your characteristics. Give an example of a situation that shows how you care about people instead of saying you care about people, for example.|
Christian Becker at Medical College of Wisconsin (MD), class of 2009.
Pre-med: Idaho State University, Zoology degree. Answer posted 7/26/2005