Write an Essay

Medical School Personal Statement Writing Guide

Admissions officers will often emphasize that they don't care what you choose to write about in your essay. They stress this because most writers err on the side of unoriginality, having tried too hard to meet the expectations of their imagined readers, discarding all of their own personality in the process. Of course, there's truth in their advice: you should write with the goal of expressing your own values and conveying the qualities most important to you. You should frame this discussion in a way that highlights your unique character. But you must exercise your creativity with an eye toward the themes and points that will justify your suitability for medicine. After all, your ultimate goal is not just to stand out as a likeable person, but to obtain admission to a medical school.

In addition to the challenge of crafting a fresh take on standard ideas, you face the difficulty of integrating multiple sophisticated themes into a single coherent piece. The themes can be grouped into two basic categories: those that speak to your motivation for becoming a doctor and those that demonstrate the characteristics and abilities that qualify you for the profession.

Within these two categories we will make recommendations for more specific points and the various ways you can approach them. First, however, we will explore what medical school admissions officers look for in personal statements. In addition, we will devote a section to the task of making your essay stand out by emphasizing the qualities that make you unique, even if they don't seem obviously related to medicine. Finally, we will offer tips on how to deal with blemishes on your application, like low MCAT scores or a lack of work experience.

Select One: