How To Write A Medicine Personal Statement Introduction
Advice & Insight From Personal Statement Specialists
We have all been there… deciding to leave the introduction and conclusion of your personal statement until last; a great idea to make tackling the task of personal statement writing less daunting and more feasible. But now the time has come to tackle those opening phrases and you are thinking – How do I captivate admissions tutors showing my enthusiasm to study medicine without coming across as cliché or regurgitating a thesaurus. We know how challenging the introduction can be, so we have compiled some top tips and pieces of advice which will hopefully spark some inspiration.
Unfortunately, admissions tutors don’t have time to reflect and analyse peoples personal statements in great depth. A punchy introduction is vital so that you can immediately grab the attention of your reader and engage them in preparation for the rest of your statement. For each of your points be specific and make it relevant to why this course.
What should be included in the introduction?
Your introduction should explore your passion and desire to study medicine and how you made an informed decision that a career in medicine is for you. The introduction is your chance to explain that you understand what the career entails and what about that is attractive. It might be useful to have a chat with friends and family members about why you are choosing to enrol in the career to clarify what key points you’d like to explicitly make. Each point should have specific detailed explanations adding depth and personality, show the value of experiences or motivations in the decision-making process. Appreciate that a degree in medicine is vocational, not only are you committing yourself to 5 years of studying but preparing for your future career. Gaining the skills, knowledge and attributes to study medicine requires commitment and dedication – the introduction of your personal statement should show that you have thought long and hard about this commitment.
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In your introduction we want to consider why medicine?
- Science – Doctors need to use their scientific aptitude day in and out. Being a doctor requires a high academic intelligence and use of scientific academia. You could explain how medicine allows you to incorporate this scientific curiosity into a practical setting. Do you have an interest in the human body or disease and treatment? Perhaps consider why you wanted to study medicine over other science degrees. Is there an element of variety in the career such as the option to be involved in research which is enticing?
- Lifelong learning – during your five years at medical school you’ll learn the basic skills and gain knowledge needed in the career, you will also be developing your ability to learn and acquire future skills where the field of medicine is constantly changing. Doctors must be curious and keep their skills and knowledge up to date. Not only is an academic curiosity important for understanding clinical symptoms and applying them for tests and treatments but doctors should be motivated by a curiosity to understand people. Why do you want a career that challenges you?
- Social side of medicine – In medicine it is said the most frequently used drug is the doctor themselves. Doctors need a high emotional intelligence. The introduction needs to show you have a desire to work in a role constantly interacting with people. Not only do you want to outline your desire to interact with patients who may be physically or emotionally vulnerable but also to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. Acknowledge that you are motivated by an ability to use skills such as altruism and compassion when approaching consultations, colleagues and families. Explore your enjoyment of teamwork and collaboration.
- How does a medicine career allow you to integrate your interests in a practical setting. Perhaps you want to “use” this science and carry out practical tasks and procedures.
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You want your introduction to be unique and memorable to admission tutors but there are many common pitfalls that people make in their introduction – what should you avoid?
- Cliché phrases – Using cliché phrases and words such as passionate and “love to study medicine” do not give a good first impression. Not only are they overused by students but make the introduction seem insincere and basic.
- Thesaurus regurgitating – although you might be trying to avoid repetition and stress your points using extremely complex language may mean your introduction loses its punchy and attention-grabbing style. Not only may words be used out of context, but it may appear waffly.
- Quotes – your personal statement should be specific to you, beginning with a quote is generic and a waste of characters. Instead, you want to show reflect your inspiration for medicine and what cemented this desire.
- Personal or family health experiences – although you may feel this be an easy way to make your introduction unique, for most writing about a “life-changing” experience in healthcare will come across as unrealistic and generic. Stories may seem overexaggerated and in the past falsifications have been picked up on during interviews. You do not want to come across as hyperbolic.