Tips On Writing Personal Statements For Medical School

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In your personal statement, you will convey why you’ve chosen a career in medicine—and why medical schools should choose you.

The AMCAS application alone does not determine whether you get into any given medical school.

Schools not using the AMCAS include CUNY School of Medicine-The Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program and medical schools in the state of Texas, which use the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

The personal statement prompt for the AMCAS is: You have 5,300 characters in which to tell your story.

Now, this is not to say that your essay should be all description and no direct explanation.

Although you’re encouraged to be creative, it’s a medical school personal statement, not a short story.This includes MCAT scores, GPA, experiences, awards, honors, extracurricular activities, and so on.So, there’s no exact formula that admissions counselors will use to evaluate your personal statement.Just like the essays on an undergraduate college application, the medical school personal statement is your chance to show who you are beyond the numbers.Your unique personality traits, experiences, and personal qualities can set you apart from similarly qualified applicants.Begin right in the middle of a narrative about one of the events you’ve decided to write about (that led to your career choice and demonstrates relevant personal qualities).As you write about these events and experiences, be sure to use specific details.With such intense competition for medical school seats, you want to maximize every opportunity to shine, and that includes your personal statement.Medical schools do a holistic evaluation of your application, meaning they look at the full picture.I couldn’t solve Jeremy’s problem, or the problems of any of the children I mentored throughout college, but I learned that my presence, a listening ear, and kind words were not insignificant.(The essay could then use the segue, “The same is true in medicine” as in the above example.)For medical school admissions counselors, being able to visualize a situation in which you offered compassion, rather than reading the words, “I offered support and compassion,” will make a far more lasting impression.


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