Whilst you might have read a number of articles about what essential items you should include in your personal statement when applying to medical school, there are also a few “do not includes” to know about. In this article, we shall outline the key things to avoiding putting down in your personal statement.
Your personal statement is exactly that, yours. Don’t be tempted to use a template online. Universities and UCAS screen each and every statement through a plagiarism service. So, if you and a friend both use the same template personal statement online, you will both be caught out. If you can find it online, so can they!
2) Specific medical schools
You might think that personalising your statement towards one university will stand you in good stead for that university, as you are going the extra mile to show your commitment. However, by name dropping your reasons for wanting to join a specific medical effectively means you will get three rejections before the other universities have had a chance to finish reading your statement. Keep your personal statement general and only mention particulars if you are applying to similar universities, such as all PBL universities, as you want to appeal to as many universities as possible.
Medicine personal statements are littered with cliches, particularly in the opening paragraph. If you use a cliche, you are effectively wasting some of your 4,000 character limit, so avoid them at all costs. Keep your statement unique and straight to the point. Leave an impression of the person marking your statement and make it as memorable as possible.
4) Really long statements with very poor grammar
Each letter in your personal statement is precious, so use them wisely! Also, have someone proofread your statement to ensure that your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct
5) Very junior awards
Whilst your parents would have been very proud of you for gaining your swimming badges, don’t include them on your personal statement. Instead, showcase your relevant, recent achievements and what you have learnt from them and why they make you the perfect applicant to medical school!