How your medical school personal statement reflects on your admission chances

Since most medical school applicants have strong GPAs and MCAT scores, applicants must find a way to distinguish themselves from the hundreds of applications reviewed by admissions committees. The personal statement, or essay, is the place to make this happen.

Writing a personal statement is often the most difficult part of the application process and you must give it the attention it deserves. The impression it makes can be an “accept” or “reject” factor by admissions committees. Drafting your essay should begin weeks before filing out the application.

It is not enough to say, “I volunteered at my local hospital”. You must explain what the experience says about you as a potential physician and as a person. The personal essay is the place to share with the admissions committee to help them understand your character, your attitudes, your values, your motivation, and your knowledge.

In addition to a strong background in science, medical schools want students who show compassion. This includes empathy, concern, kindness and benevolence.

Remember, to move from the application pile to the accepted pile, you must describe why you would be an ideal medical student, keeping in mind that compassionate people make excellent doctors.



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