Writing Format

In discussions with medical school admissions directors/staff members, they prefer to read an engaging, story-like personal statement describing your rationale for pursuing the field of medicine.  You might consider including clinical experiences.  If you use shadowing stories, they definitely want to hear the more “hands-on” situations instead of how you observed doctors. 

Consider the following content suggestions in writing your personal statement.  You are the main content of your story.  To begin your story, you should think through your experiences and share why you’re choosing this long and challenging path to a career in medicine or healthcare.  In fact, you might even want to retreat to the place where you think best and be honest with yourself about the reason or reasons that you’re making this choice.  If you learn that you should be pursuing another path within healthcare, this is the time to make a change.  If not, continue with your story.

The first paragraph of your statement should be the piece that draws the reader into your story.  This engaging introduction can be about you personally or about a situation from your past that taught you something about yourself as related to healthcare.  While this story can be about another person, it should quickly connect to you as the candidate.

The second and third paragraphs should include your experiences and rationale for entering this career field.  You can share anecdotes explaining how your interest in pursuing a career in healthcare has grown; however, these should refer back to your own experiences.  These examples could be either personal or professional in nature.  They could also refer to a mentor or patient when concerning your interaction with them, even detailing some of the tasks that you performed.

The closing should tie back to the opening with strong transitions between paragraphs carried throughout the statement.  When your statement flows and makes the reader want to learn more about you, you accomplished your goal.  Some writers choose to add a summary at this point while others use the characters wisely to create a mix between a summary including what they have learned from these experiences and why this career is the one that they will pursue based on those lessons. 

Whatever your style, it is important that your story is well-written with a flow from the beginning to end of it.  In this way, the reader can gain a strong impression of you as a candidate and begin to understand why they should choose you to fill one of the slots for an interview day or within their professional school class.  The seats are limited, in both cases, so committee members will read this document with hopes of finding people that will be a good fit within the entry class for the upcoming year.  Sharing your story effectively will help you to accomplish your goal of reaching professional school.