Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Example – Barts Medical School

Welcome to 6med's collection of Medicine Personal Statement Examples. Read through Maisa's successful Graduate Medicine Personal Statement for Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she will analyse the strengths, weaknesses and overall quality of her statement to inspire your own writing.

Looking for medical application guidance?

Welcome to our collection of Medicine Personal Statement Examples! We’ve searched far and wide to find personal statements from successful applicants all around the UK and asked them to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their work for your own inspiration. Today’s subject is from Maisa, who studies Graduate Medicine at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Maisa applied to study medicine in the 2021 cycle after completing her undergraduate degree in pharmacology. She received an offer from Barts Medical School which she accepted.

UniversityBarts Medical SchoolKing’s College LondonUniversity of SouthamptonSt. Georges University
Offer? Yes

Let’s read the personal statement that got her a place at Barts or skip straight to her feedback to learn what made her personal statement a success!

Please be aware that these examples are meant purely for the sake of inspiration, and should absolutely NOT be used as a model around which to base your own personal statement. UCAS have a rather strict system that detects plagiarism.

Barts Medical School Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Example

WHOLE PERSONAL STATEMENT

I first wanted to study medicine mainly because I was intrigued by the functions of the human body. That changed when my grandfather became critically ill, with the doctors doing everything possible to recover one of the most important people I know. I realised there is not a more personally meaningful career for me, apart from medicine.

Studying pharmacology at university underpinned the scientific basis for the use of drugs in medical practice whilst familiarising me with the commitment, resilience and hard work required to study medicine. Being used to the complexity of laboratory experiments and anatomy sessions where I was team leader strengthened my critical and scientific analysis, my leadership skills and the ability to manage high workloads under pressure. I hope to emulate these skills into my third-year research project exploring diabetes-related alterations in the enteric nerve function in the stomach wall. I attended DermSchool, to learn about skin cancers, and I continue to further my knowledge of medicine by reading BMJ articles.  

Three months shadowing healthcare professionals at Lister Hospital’s nephrology ward showed me the value of individual skills involved in the NHS and the importance of a multidisciplinary team. I appreciated the leadership and proactive communication shown by doctors when discussing specific cases with other clinical team members during ward rounds to provide the best patient care. I saw patients entrusting doctors, especially during intimate and sensitive examinations, highlighting the level of responsibility and empathy that physicians have.

I volunteered at Garden House Hospice weekly, seeing the deterioration of patients’ health during end-of-life care and the regular occurrence of patient deaths. The doctors alleviated this strain compassionately by providing holistic patient care that included understanding the patients’ values, goals, religious beliefs and appreciating their mental health concerns. Some challenges of medicine were put into perspective when the doctors mentioned they sometimes felt helpless at the inability to cure patients and the difficulty of emotionally dealing with patient deaths.

I attended a Leukaemia UK support group where patients discussed their experience with leukaemia, giving me a humbling insight into how crucial it is to be empathetic and compassionate in healthcare. I spoke to a patient who survived chronic myeloid leukaemia in a way so that she felt at ease in sharing her experience with me. Hereon, I understood the impact that active listening can have on someone and why it is one of the core interpersonal skills for effective doctor-patient communication. I also learnt how important it is to support patients not just during their treatment but through their journey to hopeful recovery.

Through my role as President of the Medical Society, I addressed the latest medical research and the endless career opportunities in medicine by holding interactive presentations and arranging guest speakers to give talks. My role as a mathematics leader where I taught mathematics to young children developed my patience and problem-solving skills if they struggled to understand a concept by creating an action plan to overcome that challenge. My enthusiasm for keeping fit led me to become a sports leader where I motivated and played sports with young children helping me maintain a healthy work-life balance as it kept me relaxed yet disciplined. My leadership roles gave me great pride in encouraging and supporting large teams. I love keeping fit by playing tennis and attending spin classes. I fundraised for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Leukaemia UK by baking – a favourite hobby of mine.

A doctor’s role is intellectually challenging instead of glamourous. I believe I have the capacity to succeed in this occupation that demands sacrifice, diligence and a life-long commitment to learning.

MEDICINE MASTERY BUNDLE

Achieve Medicine Mastery in all areas of your application, including the Personal Statement

Write an impressive Personal Statement with the help of our one-to-one tuition, in-depth resources, an intensive crash course and much more. 

Personal Statement Crash Course

Personal Statement Crash Course

Need some extra guidance in your Personal Statement preparations?

Signing up to the Personal Statement Bundle means you’ll be guided by expert Medics who will help you write the perfect Personal Statement and provide unlimited redraft submissions. 

Want to learn how to Write the Perfect Personal Statement? This bundle is the one for you…

Barts Medical School Graduate Medicine Personal Statement Example Analysis

Now, let’s go section by section and see what Maisa has to say about what she wrote: 

INTRODUCTION

I first wanted to study medicine mainly because I was intrigued by the functions of the human body. That changed when my grandfather became critically ill, with the doctors doing everything possible to recover one of the most important people I know. I realised there is not a more personally meaningful career for me, apart from medicine.

Introduction

My introduction was very straight to the point because it included the reasons I wanted to study medicine. Also, it gave a glimpse into how I developed as a person because my reasons for studying medicine went evolved beyond a personal interest through a life-changing event. Of course, not everyone is going to have an experience like this, but the main advice I would give here is to think about exactly why you want to study medicine and express that to the reader in an honest way. 

Introduction

I think it would have been good if I listed my reasons for wanting to study medicine more briefly as this would have reduced the word count and allowed me to discuss my other achievements in the rest of the personal statement. While I discuss a very personal reason for wanting to enter the field, this opening doesn’t do much to prove that I am actually a viable candidate. Wanting can only get you so far in a personal statement, you also need to provide evidence of your skills and knowledge. Saying that, it’s also important not to overstuff your opening, so everything needs to be brief and simple. 

MAIN BODY

Paragraph 1

Studying pharmacology at university underpinned the scientific basis for the use of drugs in medical practice whilst familiarising me with the commitment, resilience and hard work required to study medicine. Being used to the complexity of laboratory experiments and anatomy sessions where I was team leader strengthened my critical and scientific analysis, my leadership skills and the ability to manage high workloads under pressure. I hope to emulate these skills into my third-year research project exploring diabetes-related alterations in the enteric nerve function in the stomach wall. I attended DermSchool, to learn about skin cancers, and I continue to further my knowledge of medicine by reading BMJ articles. 

Paragraph 1

This paragraph is very specific to graduate medicine because it solely focused on my undergraduate degree, which is of course something that many medicine applicants reading this won’t have achieved yet. However, the writing techniques here are transferable to any kind of medical student. 

For every achievement mentioned, I explained the skills that I had learnt, how it had benefitted me and how I will be able to translate those skills when I study at medical school. This checks all the necessary boxes for justifying the inclusion of this discussion in my personal statement. 

  1. Name an achievement or experience
  2. Reflect on what was learnt from said experience
  3. Explain how it will be relevant and helpful in your studies 

This applies to anything from work experience to extra-curricular activities, although it isn’t always necessary to go into as much detail as I have for less relevant activities. You’ll see later on that not everything you discuss has to directly benefit your medical abilities.

Paragraph 1

I feel that I could have broadened this paragraph by including other academic achievements. For example, I could have looked further into the essays that I have written (because it is a skill that is tested thoroughly in medical school) and perhaps my A-Level experience. The word count is something to consider here, but these were unique experiences that ought me different lessons. It is also sometimes a good idea to broaden the timeline that your personal statement covers, as discussing things from your earlier life is a good way to show your true dedication to the subject, as opposed to being someone who had hasn’t been involved for as long. 

MAIN BODY

Paragraph 2

Three months shadowing healthcare professionals at Lister Hospital’s nephrology ward showed me the value of individual skills involved in the NHS and the importance of a multidisciplinary team. I appreciated the leadership and proactive communication shown by doctors when discussing specific cases with other clinical team members during ward rounds to provide the best patient care. I saw patients entrusting doctors, especially during intimate and sensitive examinations, highlighting the level of responsibility and empathy that physicians have.

Paragraph 2

This paragraph focused more on my clinical work experience and gave an insight into the skills that I had learnt there. I talked about the constructive skills that one develops in a clinical environment (e.g. communicating effectively) as well as the emotional skills (e.g. listening and empathising). These are all incredibly relevant skills that any medical student will need to develop, so displaying my understanding of them at this stage in my progression shows that I had learnt a lot during my undergraduate degree.

Paragraph 2

In this paragraph, I focused much more on the things I saw but did not really discuss the applicable skills I had learnt during this time. I discussed things I had learnt about the industry, but I did not go into any depth about how I have used these lessons to develop as a professional or how these lessons would help me in medical school. I do reflect here, but I just didn’t go far enough into it. 

MAIN BODY

Paragraph 3

I volunteered at Garden House Hospice weekly, seeing the deterioration of patients’ health during end-of-life care and the regular occurrence of patient deaths. The doctors alleviated this strain compassionately by providing holistic patient care that included understanding the patients’ values, goals, religious beliefs and appreciating their mental health concerns. Some challenges of medicine were put into perspective when the doctors mentioned they sometimes felt helpless at the inability to cure patients and the difficulty of emotionally dealing with patient deaths.

Paragraph 3

Voluntary work is always a great thing to discuss in a personal statement, as it combines the professional experience of a work placement with the display of empathy and selflessness that demonstrates the qualities of a good doctor. Another good thing here is that I talked about the challenges in medicine, e.g. doctors struggling to cope with their patients passing away. I believe that this shows that I have a realistic perspective of working as a doctor and that not all lives can be saved. At the same time, I’m not overly negative about it and still focus on how I’ve learnt to be better from all of this. 

Paragraph 3

Once again, my reflection on this experience was not particularly deep and did not explain how these experiences have made me a better applicant beyond demonstrating an understanding of the realities doctors face. It’s one thing to understand these challenges but it’s much more impressive to demonstrate that you could handle them yourself, or at least be prepared to (bearing in mind that almost no medical student would actually be skilled enough to handle these situations in a truly professional manner, that’s why we’re going to university to learn!). 

The work experience that I discussed in the last two paragraphs was in-person. However, I submitted my personal statement when most medical work experience for students was online. I did an online GP work experience from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, so I really should have spoken about that as well. Talking about it and contrasting it with my in-person clinical work experience would have been a good take, especially as it would have been extremely relevant to the current climate of the industry. Having a firm understanding of current events is important, otherwise, you will seem ignorant or unable to adapt to change.

MAIN BODY

Paragraph 4

I attended a Leukaemia UK support group where patients discussed their experience with leukaemia, giving me a humbling insight into how crucial it is to be empathetic and compassionate in healthcare. I spoke to a patient who survived chronic myeloid leukaemia in a way so that she felt at ease in sharing her experience with me. Hereon, I understood the impact that active listening can have on someone and why it is one of the core interpersonal skills for effective doctor-patient communication. I also learnt how important it is to support patients not just during their treatment but through their journey to hopeful recovery.

Paragraph 4

This paragraph focused on the challenges of medicine as I discussed my experience taking part in a leukaemia support group where patients described their experience living with cancer. I talked about the more emotional skills that I developed in this meeting, e.g. active listening – which are very crucial, especially when doctors have to break distressing news to patients and their loved ones. This is an improvement on the previous paragraph as I am now actively discussing relevant skills that would be desirable for the university. 

Paragraph 4

Although I feel that this paragraph described the challenges of medicine quite well, I think it would have been better to link it with the challenging experiences that were also present in the hospice and hospital environments in that I volunteered in. I had already done the work experience, so all I needed to do was briefly mention it and discuss the comparisons between them. As I said before, not everything needs to be fully explored with the limited word count you’re working under, but even a quick mention of something can add value to your statement.  

MAIN BODY

Paragraph 5

Through my role as President of the Medical Society, I addressed the latest medical research and the endless career opportunities in medicine by holding interactive presentations and arranging guest speakers to give talks. My role as a mathematics leader where I taught mathematics to young children developed my patience and problem-solving skills if they struggled to understand a concept by creating an action plan to overcome that challenge. My enthusiasm for keeping fit led me to become a sports leader where I motivated and played sports with young children helping me maintain a healthy work-life balance as it kept me relaxed yet disciplined. My leadership roles gave me great pride in encouraging and supporting large teams. I love keeping fit by playing tennis and attending spin classes. I fundraised for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Leukaemia UK by baking – a favourite hobby of mine.

Paragraph 5

As the final major paragraphs of my statement, it focuses on my extra-curricular achievements. I feel that this works well because I was able to give a wide variety of clubs and leadership positions that I was involved in – which shows that I like to keep myself busy and have a life outside of medicine. Universities are looking for well-rounded applicants who can provide more value to the university than just their academics. University life covers a wide variety of life experiences, not just your studies, and the unis themselves pride themselves on having diverse and high-achieving societies and teams. Not to mention that showing your ability to unwind and do something you enjoy demonstrates your ability to manage your time and avoid burnout from your studies. Academics are by far the most important thing, but it always helps to go off that path a bit and explain your other abilities.

Paragraph 5

It’s good to discuss this stuff, but I do feel I went too far into it, to the point where it takes up too much of the word count. Extra-curricular activities are additional selling points that are secondary to your academics and work experience. They’re still important and can help set you apart, but the amount of space dedicated to it needs to be proportional to the rest of the statement. I had already mentioned that I should have gone further into my discussions in earlier paragraphs, so this should have been cut down in order to allocate words elsewhere.

Another key issue here is that the paragraph is very surface level at points, essentially listing off achievements with no reflection. Throughout the paragraph, I only just touch upon some of the transferable skills that these activities helped me develop, and nothing here links back to medicine in any explicit or meaningful way. It’s not a good idea to leave things like that to assumption, as the reader could assume that you don’t understand the applications of these skills to medicine yourself. Be very clear with your writing and explain exactly why you believe each achievement is relevant and helpful to your application.

MEDICINE MASTERY BUNDLE

Looking for Personal Statement support?

We’ll do you one better! The Medicine Mastery Bundle supports you through your Personal Statement, UCAT and Interview with 30+ hours of 1-1 tuition and a full suite of resources and features

Personal Statement Work Book

Personal Statement Workbook

Looking for more support with your Personal Statement?

When you sign up to 6med’s Personal Statement Bundle, you’ll be getting guidance from expert Medics, alongside a tonne of insightful resources to teach you everything you need to know about personal statement writing.

So are you ready to Write the Perfect Personal Statement? Then get started today with 6med!

CONCLUSION

A doctor’s role is intellectually challenging instead of glamourous. I believe I have the capacity to succeed in this occupation that demands sacrifice, diligence and a life-long commitment to learning.

Conclusion

The conclusion is purposely short and snappy. I believe it gives a lasting impression to the reader while also tying together well with the introduction (which had a similar sentence structure). The conclusion is probably the least valuable thing in theory, as it brings nothing new to the discussion and doesn’t provide any deep insights. However, in terms of general writing, it’s incredibly important to ensure your statement flows well and is satisfying to read. Ending things with a statement that connects everything together and provides a final reason for why you should get an offer creates a definitive ending, which is always going to feel better than ending abruptly or anti-climatically. 

Conclusion

Although making my conclusion short and snappy was effective in giving the introduction a sense of ending, I feel that it sounded slightly rushed because I was running out of characters. It doesn’t tie everything discussed to as well as it could have, although I do believe it still functions perfectly fine as a satisfactory conclusion. It’s always possible to improve on your writing and optimise each and every word, but sometimes it’s not worth the time and effort to perfect every little thing when you could just write from the heart. 

Final Thoughts

Overall

The personal statement seemed cohesive and well-rounded because I made sure that each of the paragraphs linked well with the others. I included the key skills that I learnt from my volunteering experience, leadership positions and clubs and how they can be transferred in medical school and in a professional environment. This was a lot to pack in and I believe I managed it very well, with no one section feeling particularly weak or underdeveloped. I reflect on my experiences for the most part and demonstrate a wide array of skills and knowledge that would be highly desirable for the university. It’s all about displaying yourself in the best light while also being honest, which I believe I handled well. 

Overall

With so much stuff to discuss in a relatively small amount of space, some areas do feel a bit rushed. This issue is highlighted best in my extra-circular section, which simultaneously felt rushed and drawn out at the same time. It feels rushed because I briefly touch upon each topic without providing much analysis or reflection, but it’s drawn out because I discuss so many things without giving much justification for doing so. This is the longest paragraph in the statement when it really should have been, and it impacts the rest of the statement as the limited words available makes each discussion less in-depth than it should have been.  To improve this, I would ensure that I take into consideration the word/character count and trim down the final paragraph in order to better distribute the available words and provide more meaningful discussions of my experiences.

So there you have it! This personal statement helped Maisa get a place at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry!

Everyone has different experiences and abilities, so you may not be able to relate to everything that was said in this personal statement. However, the information and advice provided by Maisa is universal and will help any applicant write a better personal statement! 

Be sure to check out more Medicine Personal Statement Analyses to see advice from all different kinds of applicants, including Ali Abdaal himself! Or if you want to get started on your own statement, check out 6med’s Medicine Mastery Bundle for all the support and resources you’ll ever need!

More Medicine Personal Statement Examples & Inspiration

MEDICINE MASTERY BUNDLE

Achieve Medicine Mastery in all areas of your application, including the Personal Statement

Write an impressive Personal Statement with the help of our one-to-one tuition, in-depth resources, an intensive crash course and much more. 

Personal Statement Crash Course

Personal Statement Crash Course

Are you feeling stuck with your Personal Statement?

Signing up to the Personal Statement Bundle means you’ll be guided by expert Medics who will help you write the perfect Personal Statement and provide unlimited redraft submissions. 

Want to learn how to Write the Perfect Personal Statement? This bundle is the one for you…

unlock infinite medical wisdom

Just leave your email in the box and you’ll receive weekly updates and the best tips for your medical application!

unlock infinite medical wisdom

Just leave your email in the box and you’ll receive weekly updates and the best tips for your medical application!