Medical School Personal Statement: Not the Time to Pull an All-Nighter

9 months ago, Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 02:42:59
Author: Michelle Finkel, MD I’m amazed at how many applicants study hard for the MCAT, prepare zealously for tests, and yet don’t spend the time necessary to write a strong medical school personal statement. Of course top grades and competitive MCAT scores are essential for a viable medical school candidacy (you must be this high to ride), but the essay is the admission committees’ clearest window into what you’ve done and what your priorities are. It is your way of distinguishing yourself colorfully. Conversely, it allows the committee a means to screen out medical school applications whose lack of effort or poor judgment is reflected in the personal statement. Writing a great essay takes work and a lot of lead time. Before you hit the keyboard, consider alternate approaches – three or four topics for your introduction, for example. Also, make a list of all of the accomplishments you want to highlight. Moreover, don't overlook the basics: Start with an outline to ensure sound organization, develop graceful transitions between paragraphs, and provide convincing examples that support your assertions. Bottom line: Writing your medical school personal statement is not the time to pull an all-nighter.