Personal Statement

Consider and write your personal comments carefully.  Application services do not permit changes after submission and the systems do not typically include a spell or grammar check.  Admissions committees place significant weight on this piece in addition to your committee letter and other letters of reference/evaluation. 

Tips to help you to write a successful statement: 

  • The applications vary in character numbers allowed.  Check the application system that you’re using for the number of characters before you begin.  Be aware that some systems will cut you off whenever it goes over the limit, but you may not be able to see where the statement cut off.  It will be your responsibility to use the appropriate number of characters. 
  • It is not necessary to repeat information that is included at other places in your application.
  • Plagiarism or misrepresentations will prompt an investigation. 
  • Enter the wording as you would like the schools to see it.  Avoid using all caps or lower case letters, as medical schools prefer to receive evidence of your writing capabilities.  Your writing in this exercise should demonstrate your normal writing style – and it should serve as an example of your best paper ever!
  • PROOFREAD carefully and have other people help you with the proofreading.  Debi Swarner, Pre-Health Professions Advisor, is available to assist you in proofreading documents.  Your Faculty Pre-Health Advisor will likely also be available to assist you; however, many are traveling on summer research and may need to assist via email. 

Topics to consider:

  • Why have you selected the field of medicine or healthcare? (Hint:  This may be an interview question!)
  • Who are you as a person and how will that affect your experience in professional school?
  • What motivates you to learn more about your field of medicine or healthcare?
  • Was there someone whose example inspired you to consider medicine or healthcare?
  • Were you considering another field, but experienced a situation that led you to this field?
  • Was there someone with whom you worked whose situation or encouragement inspired you to grow professionally in the field of medicine or healthcare?
  • What do you want professional schools to know about you that was not disclosed in another section of the application?
  • You may want to include information about special hardships, challenges or obstacles that may have influenced your life or educational pursuits.  Commentary on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in the application might be included in this piece as well.