This is part of a series of blog posts wherein members of the 6med team attach and comment on their own medicine personal statements. Duranka (instructor at UKCAT Crash Course) applied to Oxford, Imperial, Kings and Barts, and received offers from Imperial, Kings and Birmingham.
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 – more details can be found here: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/filling-your-application/fraud-and-similarity
Personal Statement and Comments
It’s useful to start your personal statement with your primary motivation for doing medicine. It allows you to introduce our character in a way that can be developed through the various other things you mention later on. The name-dropping of famous and well-regarded books is good too (so long as you’re prepared to be asked about them).
As it happens, that novel was eventually consigned to the Recycling Bin, but the point of this paragraph is to simply relate the subjects you do at A Level to your broader thinking. Though a lot of medicine depends on memorising things, the endgame is being able to practically apply what you’ve learned. Showing you’re already doing this, relating your experiences in A Level subjects to specific hobbies and your extra reading, makes you look way more mature than the average applicant.
You don’t need to mention specific names of places. That’s a waste of time. What’s more important is how long you did each thing. Medicine requires dedication, and the people in charge of applications want to see that quality in you. The second thing to notice is how I show how my experiences furthered my desire to do medicine. A lot of people tend to list the things they did to try and look good. The advice I got while writing my statement was, quite simply, “Please don’t.” You’re selling yourself, not what you did, so always try and relate the ‘what’ to the ‘why’.
Here I just talk about more medically specific experiences. It’s worth saying that each new thing you mention acts as a signpost that the interviewers can pick up on. Most of the time, they’ll just ask you generally about what you did and what you saw, but Oxbridge in particular is very, very anal about the details. If you mention a specific disease, be sure that you’re comfortable answering any questions about it including symptoms, diagnosis (how/when etc) and basic biology.
Standard extracurricular activities section. As has been a running theme in this commentary, try and link back to medicine, especially in terms of the buzzword skills you learn. Be sure to list things you actually care about though. You get people who proudly claim to be on the netball team…when they played netball once after school. Don’t be those people.
Are you feeling stuck with your statement? You’re not the only one.
6med’s Complete Personal Statement Bundle gives you all the tools you need to craft the perfect Personal Statement. You’ll get a place on our Crash Course, 5 x edits from us, and our Workbook which will give you tons of examples and advice. Check it out here.