This is the part of a series of blog posts wherein members of the 6med team attach and comment on their own medicine personal statements. Millie applied to study Medicine at Cambridge, Imperial, Newcastle and Southampton, and received offers from Cambridge, Imperial and Newcastle.
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
The first time I announced I wanted to be a doctor; my parents were amused but indulgent. Their reactions are understandable, considering that I was eight at the time. From a young age I have always been intrigued with the human body and it has only grown from that time. My fascination with science is one of the reasons I want to study Medicine. The continuous learning throughout my career; constant new discoveries and technologies; as well as the variety in each day are part of the attraction of Medicine.
Wow, reading this back it makes me cringe. I used this start because I wanted to show my commitment to medicine from a young age. It was also a nice change from the standard “I really want to study Medicine/I love helping people” first sentence. I put those reasons in later – they may be cliché but they are also true.
To form a realistic image of a profession in Medicine I have undergone various work experience which has allowed me patient contact and a chance to observe professionals. I arranged my first two-week placement at St James Hospital in 2008, where I learnt basic practice such as, data confidentiality and hand hygiene which is becoming more important with the emergence of the new superbug, NDM-1. In 2009 I had another two-week placement in Castlehill Hospital, where I gained knowledge of how the management and administration of a hospital operate. This is useful knowledge for understanding how much the government demands for savings from the NHS will truly affect quality of care. My work experience has strengthened my resolve to pursue a medical career. Volunteering regularly at Harrogate Hospital over the past year has given me recurring interaction with a hospital environment.
I used my work experience to slip in something I’d read recently in a news article. This showed I was up to date on health news – I’d have to be prepared to talk about it in interview though. I also managed to seek in some knowledge on NHS management – but once again I’d need to be confident on NHS structure and current government reforms.
My A level choices confirm my enthusiasm for science and demonstrate that I am able to cope with a heavy workload and rise to a challenge, which have already resulted in an achievement of an A* grade in my A-level Mathematics. I enjoy reading and keeping up to date with the latest developments in science; I am a subscriber to “Biological Science Review” and regularly read the “New Scientist”. I am currently writing an EPQ on the ethics of organ donation which is self-motivated and gives me a chance to be in charge of my learning. I participated in my school’s Medical Package, which enabled me to attend a Hospice Day, hospital tours and lectures and much more. I am also the creator and president of the Medical Debate Society at my school. We meet weekly to discuss common medical controversial topics.
A bit of bragging never hurts! I also showed my interest in science (more for Oxbridge) and gave them topics to bring up at interview. Personal statements are your only chance to exert some control on your interviews by giving them talking points. I ensured I had a few recent science articles in my head in case I was asked at interview. I also linked my EPQ (an example of independent learning) with an extracurricular activity.
I try to balance my interest in science with a variety of other activities. As a Senior Prefect and a School Council Member, I have excellent organisation, time management and leadership skills, along with the ability to negotiate. My communication and listening skills have developed through Charity Committee, debating and Netball. As a member of the Boxing club I have learnt self discipline and determination. I am a philanthropic individual and enjoy assisting others. I am a volunteer at my Sunday School and local library. Paired tutoring is a scheme I am also involved in, where I help a younger student who has difficulty reading. Taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme has shown me the importance of perseverance and motivation to succeed.
Standard paragraph about my extracurriculars. I used this paragraph to drop my “buzzwords” e.g. communication, perseverance, leadership etc.
I am a focused and determined person with a fierce commitment to studying Medicine. I believe I have the academic capability and drive to succeed in a Medicine course at university. My aspiration is to become a Paediatrician and one of the top experts in my field.
Just restating how much I love medicine and dropping some final buzzwords.