10 Tips for writing your personal statement for medicine (UK)

  1. Start by compiling a document with ALL of your experiences which might be relevant. I would suggest including everything, even experiences you know you won’t put in; this just gives you a better idea of everything you’ve done and what you can prioritise. I just bulleted pointed them all into one google doc.

2. Each medical school will have a different set of values which they emphasise, for example, teamwork, respect, integrity etc. Look these up for the universities you are applying to and use this as a guide.

3. Just start! Don’t be too cautious at the beginning as this can hold you back. Don’t try and create something perfect first time round because trust me you will edit it over and over again. There will be plenty of time to perfect your personal statement.

4. If you can, I would try and avoid reading other people’s personal statements or limit yourself to just one or two. Reading someone else’s personal statement can definitely be helpful if you’re really stuck but it can also make it harder to put things into your own words. Universities will check if you’ve copied from previous statements.

5. Don’t use the word ‘passionate’ it’s too vague and too many people use it. Instead SHOW that you are passionate by talking about what you’ve achieved.

6. Instead of saying things like ‘I am a good team worker’ or ‘I am resilient’ try and use an anecdote which best demonstrates this. It’s easy to claim to be something, but if you can show it, your personal statement will stand out.

7. Get other people to read it and give you feed back. A different set of eyes can be invaluable when writing your personal statement. This can be your teachers, tutors’ lecturers, family members etc. Anyone really, they don’t need to have a medical background, but this can help! Be aware that people will give you conflicting feedback, and at the end of the day this is YOUR personal statement, so you decide which changes you want to implement.

8. Don’t use overcomplicated language. The admissions team just want to get to know you, they don’t need to see fancy words. Keep it simple and to the point. If you write in a way that is not natural to you, this will come across in your interview if there is a personal statement station.

9. I really liked using the medify personal statement planner. It lets you write and edit your personal statement in isolated sections, which also helped me structure mine. I found this great as looking at each section in isolation makes the whole process less overwhelming. This is a paid for resource, but you could still write your personal statement this way yourself by setting up different documents for each section. For example, introduction, motivation, work experience etc.

10. Remember there isn’t a right or wrong way. Yes, there are certain things which you should and shouldn’t do but overall your statement should be unique to you. This is the first bit of getting to know you the university does, and you want them to really get to know you and why you would be an asset to them and a great doctor in the future.

Hope this was helpful 🙂

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