How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School
Learning how to write a compelling personal statement for medical school can mean the difference between you standing out to the admissions committee and getting an interview invite or going directly to the bottom of the stack of applications. If you don’t know exactly what to say to the people who will be evaluating your application, you won’t be given a second thought!
This isn’t only for Medical School, either. It’s important to learn how to write a great personal statement for whatever you’ll need one for – College, EMT School, Residency, Nursing, etc. There are many components that go into crafting a compelling personal statement for Medical School, and you’ll learn some of the most important in this post.
It’s incredibly important to create a personal statement that is not only well thought out and professional, but personal and emotionally compelling as well. In order to make your personal statement as compelling as possible, you need to learn to identify what your motivation and life purpose
IDENTIFYING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE
One of the most important things to include in your personal statement for Medical School is your life purpose, your motivation or your Why. Why do you want to go into medicine? What is the motivation that gets you going every day that ties you to the idea of starting a career in medicine? Your life purpose is something bigger than you and any obstacles you may come across, something that’s going to keep you going when the odds are stacked against you because it means so much to you.
Schools want (and need) to know what motivates you at your core and made you decide to go into medicine, because medicine is really, really hard. At some point, you’re going to want to say “Screw this shit! I’m outta here, this is terrible! I made a huge mistake!”
Medical programs need to know that you have something motivating you on your worst days, a motivation and a life purpose that is bigger and stronger than your urge to walk away. In order to be successful, both with your personal statement and your career, you need to identify and hold onto this motivation.
In order to identify your life purpose – you need to ask yourself some questions. What is your motivation? Is your motivation just the money? If your motivation is just money, eventually you’d just think that you could go work on Wall Street and make a ton of money and not have to deal with the abuse… News flash: You’ll still deal with abuse. Anywhere you go, if you want to make a ton of money, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of shit and take some kind of abuse. When you’re in medicine, or any profession really, you’re going to have a tendency to think the grass is greener on the other side… but it’s not. And that is an issue. This is why you need to have the underlying motivation to keep going when the times get tough.
The motivation that you discover and identify now may not be your complete life’s purpose, and that’s okay. That’s something that will come later and evolve over time, but you’re going to have an underlying motivator that ties it all together. The next question you need to really think about is WHY. Why do you want to go into medicine? What is motivating you to go into it and succeed? The more emotional your motivation and your WHY are, the more compelling they will be. People have stories for why they do what they do, an event that happened in their lives or the lives of someone that they cared about that touched them so deeply, they just knew they had to go into their field of study or work.
For example, I have a friend who went into Plastic Surgery who has a very emotionally compelling motivation, her personal life purpose. She tells a story about getting into a car wreck with her sister when they were very young. Her sister’s face was split open really badly, and a Plastic Surgeon fixed her sisters face. That event is something that will always stick with her. It was a traumatic event that happened to her and her sister who she obviously cared very deeply about, and a Plastic Surgeon helped make a traumatic situation better. That event is something that she will always remember and always motivate her.
Your motivation or your life purpose will have these components:
- It will be something that touches you deeply. Something you have strong emotional ties to, whether it be from a traumatic event or otherwise, it’s an event that changed something in your mind and made you realize that you want or need to pursue a career in medicine.
- It will be something that sticks with you forever because it was so life or mind-changing. It doesn’t even have to seem huge from the outside, but the change that it made within you will be what makes it so emotionally compelling and the motivation that you need to be successful even when it gets tough.
When it does get tough, what are you going to reach for in your head that’s going to remind you why you started in the first place? When you’re thinking to yourself: “Even though I’m taking a ton of punishment, working 16+ hours a day every day, all my friends are out having fun and having regular jobs and buying houses and cars and going out to dinner and acting like real adults but I’m still studying every day. I’m poor. I’m taking shit from surgeons…” What is it that’s going to be stronger than the challenges that you’ll face that pushes you to keep going?
You need to spend some time identifying your motivation or your life purpose and make sure you include this in your personal statement for Medical School because this is what’s going to help convey to admissions that you are incredibly motivated to succeed.
THE KEY TO CRAFTING A COMPELLING PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL
You have to be able to craft your personal statement for Medical School and tell your story in a way that it conveys to the people who are evaluating you are going to hang in there and excel. Not only why you are not going to quit, but why you are going to be wildly successful. Why the event in your life that created your motivation was unbelievable, why it touched you so deeply and why you carry it with you every day as your motivation to succeed and your deep emotional tie to medicine.
Your life purpose is not only going to help you on your personal statement for Medical School, it is going to help you to succeed in life.
When creating your personal statement for Medical School, it is incredibly important to keep in mind what these schools are looking for. Medical programs want motivated students who get good grades on their tests, because if you get good grades and do a great job in medical school you’ll get a great residency, and these things take a lot of motivation.
Ultimately, the school is looking for these types of students because when the students are successful, the schools can then say things like: “Oh, yes! Our students all go to
The schools want to pat themselves on the back and say “We did this!”, which in my opinion is bullshit. In reality, you’re the one doing the work. You’re taking the same classes and learning from the same books as you would at any school, but each school wants to say that they singlehandedly created these great doctors.
My opinion, of course, doesn’t matter but it’s very important to keep this in mind when you’re creating your personal statement for Medical School.
The schools want to make sure that you’re going to dig really deep and do whatever it takes to succeed. If you don’t have a strong enough motivation, eventually you’re just going to say “F this, I’m out!” And these schools are aware of this. Make sure that you properly convey your life purpose and motivation to them, the more emotional it is, the better.
You need to convey that you are determined, motivated, passionate and emotionally invested in your pursuit of medicine.
The more emotional and personal your motivation and life purpose are on your personal statement for Medical School, the more compelling your personal statement will be. You now know some of the most important key components to include in your personal statement, and identifying your motivation is not only going to help you stand out against other applicants, but it’s going to help you push yourself to succeed when you are facing hard times.
GET THROUGH MEDICAL SCHOOL WITH EASE
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