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Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got 6 Acceptances

Featured Admissions Expert: Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got 6 Acceptances

These 30 exemplary medical school personal statement examples come from our students who enrolled in one of our application review programs. Most of these examples led to multiple acceptance for our students. For instance, the first example got our student accepted into SIX medical schools. Here's what you'll find in this article: We'll first go over 30 medical school personal statement samples, then we'll provide you a step-by-step guide for composing your own outstanding statement from scratch. If you follow this strategy, you're going to have a stellar statement whether you apply to the most competitive or the easiest medical schools to get into .

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Article Contents 36 min read

Stellar medical school personal statement examples that got multiple acceptances, medical school personal statement example #1.

I made my way to Hillary’s house after hearing about her alcoholic father’s incarceration. Seeing her tearfulness and at a loss for words, I took her hand and held it, hoping to make things more bearable. She squeezed back gently in reply, “thank you.” My silent gesture seemed to confer a soundless message of comfort, encouragement and support.

Through mentoring, I have developed meaningful relationships with individuals of all ages, including seven-year-old Hillary. Many of my mentees come from disadvantaged backgrounds; working with them has challenged me to become more understanding and compassionate. Although Hillary was not able to control her father’s alcoholism and I had no immediate solution to her problems, I felt truly fortunate to be able to comfort her with my presence. Though not always tangible, my small victories, such as the support I offered Hillary, hold great personal meaning. Similarly, medicine encompasses more than an understanding of tangible entities such as the science of disease and treatment—to be an excellent physician requires empathy, dedication, curiosity and love of problem solving. These are skills I have developed through my experiences both teaching and shadowing inspiring physicians.

Medicine encompasses more than hard science. My experience as a teaching assistant nurtured my passion for medicine; I found that helping students required more than knowledge of organic chemistry. Rather, I was only able to address their difficulties when I sought out their underlying fears and feelings. One student, Azra, struggled despite regularly attending office hours. She approached me, asking for help. As we worked together, I noticed that her frustration stemmed from how intimidated she was by problems. I helped her by listening to her as a fellow student and normalizing her struggles. “I remember doing badly on my first organic chem test, despite studying really hard,” I said to Azra while working on a problem. “Really? You’re a TA, shouldn’t you be perfect?” I looked up and explained that I had improved my grades through hard work. I could tell she instantly felt more hopeful, she said, “If you could do it, then I can too!” When she passed, receiving a B+;I felt as if I had passed too. That B+ meant so much: it was a tangible result of Azra’s hard work, but it was also symbol of our dedication to one another and the bond we forged working together.

My passion for teaching others and sharing knowledge emanates from my curiosity and love for learning. My shadowing experiences in particular have stimulated my curiosity and desire to learn more about the world around me. How does platelet rich plasma stimulate tissue growth? How does diabetes affect the proximal convoluted tubule? My questions never stopped. I wanted to know everything and it felt very satisfying to apply my knowledge to clinical problems.

Shadowing physicians further taught me that medicine not only fuels my curiosity; it also challenges my problem solving skills. I enjoy the connections found in medicine, how things learned in one area can aid in coming up with a solution in another. For instance, while shadowing Dr. Steel I was asked, “What causes varicose veins and what are the complications?” I thought to myself, what could it be? I knew that veins have valves and thought back to my shadowing experience with Dr. Smith in the operating room. She had amputated a patient’s foot due to ulcers obstructing the venous circulation. I replied, “veins have valves and valve problems could lead to ulcers.” Dr. Steel smiled, “you’re right, but it doesn’t end there!” Medicine is not disconnected; it is not about interventional cardiology or orthopedic surgery. In fact, medicine is intertwined and collaborative. The ability to gather knowledge from many specialties and put seemingly distinct concepts together to form a coherent picture truly attracts me to medicine.

It is hard to separate science from medicine; in fact, medicine is science. However, medicine is also about people—their feelings, struggles and concerns. Humans are not pre-programmed robots that all face the same problems. Humans deserve sensitive and understanding physicians. Humans deserve doctors who are infinitely curious, constantly questioning new advents in medicine. They deserve someone who loves the challenge of problem solving and coming up with innovative individualized solutions. I want to be that physician. I want to be able to approach each case as a unique entity and incorporate my strengths into providing personalized care for my patients. Until that time, I may be found Friday mornings in the operating room, peering over shoulders, dreaming about the day I get to hold the drill.

Let's take a step back to consider what this medical school personal statement example does, not just what it says. It begins with an engaging hook in the first paragraph and ends with a compelling conclusion. The introduction draws you in, making the essay almost impossible to put down, while the conclusion paints a picture of someone who is both passionate and dedicated to the profession. In between the introduction and conclusion, this student makes excellent use of personal narrative. The anecdotes chosen demonstrate this individual's response to the common question, " Why do you want to be a doctor ?" while simultaneously making them come across as compassionate, curious, and reflective. The essay articulates a number of key qualities and competencies, which go far beyond the common trope, I want to be a doctor because I want to help people.

This person is clearly a talented writer, but this was the result of several rounds of edits with one of our medical school admissions consulting team members and a lot of hard work on the student's part. If your essay is not quite there yet, or if you're just getting started, don't sweat it. Do take note that writing a good personal essay takes advanced planning and significant effort.

I was one of those kids who always wanted to be doctor. I didn’t understand the responsibilities and heartbreaks, the difficult decisions, and the years of study and training that go with the title, but I did understand that the person in the white coat stood for knowledge, professionalism, and compassion. As a child, visits to the pediatrician were important events. I’d attend to my hair and clothes, and travel to the appointment in anticipation. I loved the interaction with my doctor. I loved that whoever I was in the larger world, I could enter the safe space of the doctor’s office, and for a moment my concerns were heard and evaluated. I listened as my mother communicated with the doctor. I’d be asked questions, respectfully examined, treatments and options would be weighed, and we would be on our way. My mother had been supported in her efforts to raise a well child, and I’d had a meaningful interaction with an adult who cared for my body and development. I understood medicine as an act of service, which aligned with my values, and became a dream.

I was hospitalized for several months as a teenager and was inspired by the experience, despite the illness. In the time of diagnosis, treatment and recovery, I met truly sick children. Children who were much more ill than me. Children who wouldn’t recover. We shared a four-bed room, and we shared our medical stories. Because of the old hospital building, there was little privacy in our room, and we couldn’t help but listen-in during rounds, learning the medical details, becoming “experts” in our four distinct cases. I had more mobility than some of the patients, and when the medical team and family members were unavailable, I’d run simple errands for my roommates, liaise informally with staff, and attend to needs. To bring physical relief, a cold compress, a warmed blanket, a message to a nurse, filled me with such an intense joy and sense of purpose that I applied for a volunteer position at the hospital even before my release.

I have since been volunteering in emergency departments, out-patient clinics, and long term care facilities. While the depth of human suffering is at times shocking and the iterations of illness astounding, it is in the long-term care facility that I had the most meaningful experiences by virtue of my responsibilities and the nature of the patients’ illnesses. Charles was 55 when he died. He had early onset Parkinson’s Disease with dementia that revealed itself with a small tremor when he was in his late twenties. Charles had a wife and three daughters who visited regularly, but whom he didn’t often remember. Over four years as a volunteer, my role with the family was to fill in the spaces left by Charles’ periodic inability to project his voice as well as his growing cognitive lapses. I would tell the family of his activities between their visits, and I would remind him of their visits and their news. This was a hard experience for me. I watched as 3 daughters, around my own age, incrementally lost their father. I became angry, and then I grew even more determined.

In the summer of third year of my Health Sciences degree, I was chosen to participate in an undergraduate research fellowship in biomedical research at my university. As part of this experience, I worked alongside graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, physicians, and faculty in Alzheimer’s research into biomarkers that might predict future disease. We collaborated in teams, and by way of the principal investigator’s careful leadership, I learned wherever one falls in terms of rank, each contribution is vital to the outcome. None of the work is in isolation. For instance, I was closely mentored by Will, a graduate student who had been in my role the previous summer. He, in turn, collaborated with post docs and medical students, turning to faculty when roadblocks were met. While one person’s knowledge and skill may be deeper than another’s, individual efforts make up the whole. Working in this team, aside from developing research skills, I realized that practicing medicine is not an individual pursuit, but a collaborative commitment to excellence in scholarship and leadership, which all begins with mentorship.

Building on this experience with teamwork in the lab, I participated in a global health initiative in Nepal for four months, where I worked alongside nurses, doctors, and translators. I worked in mobile rural health camps that offered tuberculosis care, monitored the health and development of babies and children under 5, and tended to minor injuries. We worked 11-hour days helping hundreds of people in the 3 days we spent in each location. Patients would already be in line before we woke each morning. I spent each day recording basic demographic information, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, weight, height, as well as random blood sugar levels, for each patient, before they lined up to see a doctor. Each day was exhausting and satisfying. We helped so many people. But this satisfaction was quickly displaced by a developing understanding of issues in health equity.

My desire to be doctor as a young person was not misguided, but simply naïve. I’ve since learned the role of empathy and compassion through my experiences as a patient and volunteer. I’ve broadened my contextual understanding of medicine in the lab and in Nepal. My purpose hasn’t changed, but what has developed is my understanding that to be a physician is to help people live healthy, dignified lives by practicing both medicine and social justice.

28 More Medical School Personal Statement Examples That Got Accepted

What my sister went through pushed me to strengthen my knowledge in medical education, patient care, and research. These events have influenced who I am today and helped me determine my own passions. I aspire to be a doctor because I want to make miracles, like my sister, happen. Life is something to cherish; it would not be the same if I did not have one of my four sisters to spend it with. As all stories have endings, I hope that mine ends with me fulfilling my dream of being a doctor, which has been the sole focus of my life to this point. I would love nothing more than to dedicate myself to such a rewarding career, where I achieve what those doctors did for my family. Their expertise allowed my sister to get all the care she needed for her heart, eyes, lungs, and overall growth. Those physicians gave me more than just my little sister, they gave me the determination and focus needed to succeed in the medical field, and for that, I am forever grateful. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #3","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #3"}]" code="tab4" template="BlogArticle">

I came to America, leaving my parents and friends behind, to grasp my chance at a better future. I believe this chance is now in front of me. Medicine is the only path I truly desire because it satisfies my curiosity about the human body and it allows me to directly interact with patients. I do not want to miss this chance to further hone my skills and knowledge, in order to provide better care for my patients. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement #4","title":"Medical School Personal Statement #4"}]" code="tab5" template="BlogArticle">

The time I have spent in various medical settings has confirmed my love for the field. Regardless of the environment, I am drawn to patients and their stories, like that scared young boy at AMC. I am aware that medicine is a constantly changing landscape; however, one thing that has remained steadfast over the years is putting the patient first, and I plan on doing this as a physician. All of my experiences have taught me a great deal about patient interaction and global health, however, I am left wanting more. I crave more knowledge to help patients and become more useful in the healthcare sector. I am certain medical school is the path that will help me reach my goal. One day, I hope to use my experiences to become an amazing doctor like the doctors that treated my sister, so I can help other children like her. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #5","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #5"}]" code="tab6" template="BlogArticle">

My interest in the field of medicine has developed overtime, with a common theme surrounding the importance of personal health and wellness. Through my journey in sports, travelling, and meeting some incredible individuals such as Michael, I have shifted my focus from thinking solely about the physical well-being, to understanding the importance of mental, spiritual, and social health as well. Being part of a profession that emphasizes continuous education, and application of knowledge to help people is very rewarding, and I will bring compassion, a hard work ethic and an attitude that is always focused on bettering patient outcomes. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example # 7","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example # 7"}]" code="tab8" template="BlogArticle">

Medicine embodies a hard science, but it is ultimately a profession that treats people. I have seen firsthand that medicine is not a \u201cone-treatment-fits-all\u201d practice, as an effective physician takes a holistic approach. This is the type of physician I aspire to be: one who refuses to shy away from the humanity of patients and their social context, and one who uses research and innovation to improve the human condition. So, when I rethink \u201cwhy medicine?\u201d, I know it\u2019s for me \u2013 because it is a holistic discipline, because it demands all of me, because I am ready to absorb the fascinating knowledge and science that dictates human life, and engage with humanity in a way no other profession allows for. Until the day that I dawn the coveted white coat, you can find me in inpatient units, comforting the many John\u2019s to come, or perhaps at the back of an operating room observing a mitral valve repair \u2013 dreaming of the day the puck is in my zone. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #8","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #8"}]" code="tab9" template="BlogArticle">

When I signed up to be a live DJ, I didn't know that the oral skills I practiced on-air would influence all aspects of my life, let alone lead me to consider a career in the art of healing. I see now, though, the importance of these key events in my life that have allowed me to develop excellent communication skills--whether that be empathic listening, reading and giving non-verbal cues, or verbal communication. I realize I have always been on a path towards medicine. Ultimately, I aim to continue to strengthen my skills as I establish my role as a medical student and leader: trusting my choices, effectively communicating, and taking action for people in need. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #9","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #9"}]" code="tab10" template="BlogArticle">

\u201cWhy didn\u2019t I pursue medicine sooner?\u201d Is the question that now occupies my mind. Leila made me aware of the unprofessional treatment delivered by some doctors. My subsequent activities confirmed my desire to become a doctor who cares deeply for his patients and provides the highest quality care. My passion for research fuels my scientific curiosity. I will continue to advocate for patient equality and fairness. Combining these qualities will allow me to succeed as a physician. ","label":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #10","title":"Medical School Personal Statement Example #10"}]" code="tab11" template="BlogArticle">

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Please note that all personal statements are the property of the students who wrote them, re-printed with permission. Names and identifying characteristics have been changed. Plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements. Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification from the application. ","label":"NOTE","title":"NOTE"}]" code="tab2" template="BlogArticle">

As one of the most important  medical school requirements , the personal statement tells your story of why you decided to pursue the medical profession. Keep in mind that personal statements are one of the key factors that affect medical school acceptance rates . This is why it's important to write a stellar essay!

“Personal statements are often emphasized in your application to medical school as this singular crucial factor that distinguishes you from every other applicant. Demonstrating the uniqueness of my qualities is precisely how I found myself getting multiple interviews and offers into medical school.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

But this is easier said than done. In fact, medical school personal statements remain one of the most challenging parts of students' journeys to medical school. Here's our student Melissa sharing her experience of working on her personal statement:

"I struggled making my personal statement personal... I couldn't incorporate my feelings, motives and life stories that inspired me to pursue medicine into my personal statement" -Melissa, BeMo Student

Our student Rishi, who is now a student at the Carver College of Medicine , learned about the importance of the medical school personal statement the hard way:

"If you're a reapplicant like me, you know we all dread it but you have to get ready to answer what has changed about your application that we should accept you this time. I had an existing personal statement that did not get me in the first time so there was definitely work to be done." - Rishi, BeMo Student

The importance of the medical school personal statement can actually increase if you are applying to medical school with any red flags or setbacks, as our student Kannan did:

"I got 511 on my second MCAT try... My goal was anything over median of 510 so anything over that was honestly good with me because it's just about [creating] a good personal statement at that point... I read online about how important the personal statement [is]... making sure [it's] really polished and so that's when I decided to get some professional help." - Kannan, BeMo Student

As you can see from these testimonials, your medical school personal statement can really make a difference. So we are here to help you get started writing your own personal statement. Let's approach this step-by-step. Below you will see how we will outline the steps to creating your very best personal statement. And don't forget that if you need to see more examples, you can also check out our AMCAS personal statement examples, AACOMAS personal statement examples and TMDSAS personal statement examples to further inspire you!

Here's a quick run-down of what we'll cover in the article:

Now let's dive in deeper!

#1 Understanding the Qualities of a Strong Med School Personal Statement

Before discussing how to write a strong medical school personal statement, we first need to understand the qualities of a strong essay. Similar to crafting strong medical school secondary essays , writing a strong personal statement is a challenging, yet extremely important, part of your MD or MD-PhD programs applications. Your AMCAS Work and Activities section may show the reader what you have done, but the personal statement explains why. This is how Dr. Neel Mistry, MD and our admissions expert, prepared for his medical school personal statement writing:

"The personal statement is an opportunity for you to shine and really impress the committee to invite you for an interview. The personal statement is your chance to be reflective and go beyond what is stated on your CV and [activities]. In order to stand out, it is important to answer the main questions [of medical school personal statements] well: a bit about yourself and what led you to medicine, why you would make an ideal medical student and future physician, what attracts you to [medicine], and what sets you apart from the other candidates. The key here is answering the last two questions well. Most candidates simply highlight what they have done, but do not reflect on it or mention how what they have done has prepared them for a future medical career." - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD

“my essay also focused on volunteering in the local health clinic during the many summer breaks. volunteering was more than just another activity to tick off my bucket list for my medical school … i volunteered because i wanted to view medical practice through the lenses of already qualified doctors, not because i needed a reason to be a doctor. i understood that the admissions committee would be more interested in how i was motivated.” – dr. vincent adeyemi, md.

A personal statement should be deeply personal, giving the admissions committee insight into your passions and your ultimate decision to pursue a career in medicine. A compelling and introspective personal statement can make the difference between getting an interview and facing medical school rejection . Review our blogs to find out how to prepare for med school interviews and learn the most common medical school interview questions .

As you contemplate the task in front of you, you may be wondering what composing an essay has to do with entering the field of medicine. Many of our students were surprised to learn that medical school personal statements are so valued by med schools. The two things are more closely related than you think. A compelling personal statement demonstrates your written communication skills and highlights your accomplishments, passions, and aspirations. The ability to communicate a complex idea in a short space is an important skill as a physician. You should demonstrate your communication skills by writing a concise and meaningful statement that illustrates your best attributes. Leaving a lasting impression on your reader is what will lead to interview invitations.

A quick note: if you are applying to schools that do not require the formal medical school personal statement, such as medical schools in Canada , you should still learn how to write such essays. Many medical schools in Ontario , for example, ask for short essays for supplementary questionnaires. These are very similar to the personal statement. Knowing how to brainstorm, write, and format your answers is key to your success!!!

You want to give yourself as much time as possible to write your statement. Do not think you can do this in an evening or even in a week. Some statements take months. My best statement took almost a year to get right. Allow yourself time and start early to avoid added stress. Think of the ideas you want to include and brainstorm possible ways to highlight these ideas. Ask your friends for ideas or even brainstorm your ideas with people you trust. Get some feedback early to make sure you are headed in the right direction.

“I wrote scores of essays at my desk in those few weeks leading up to application submission. I needed it to be perfect. Do not let anyone tell you to settle. There was no moment when I had this shining light from the sky filtering into my room to motivate me. The ultimate trick is to keep writing. It is impossible to get that perfect essay on the first try, and you may not even get it on your fifteenth attempt, but the goal is to keep at it, keep making those edits, and never back down.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

All personal statements for medical school, often start by explaining why medicine is awesome; the admission committee already knows that. You should explain why you want a career in medicine. What is it about the practice of medicine that resonates with who you are? Naturally, this takes a lot of reflection around who you are. Here are some additional questions you can consider as you go about brainstorming for your essay:

  • What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  • What is something you want them to know about you that isn't in your application?
  • Where were you born, how did you grow up, and what type of childhood did you have growing up (perhaps including interesting stories about your siblings, parents, grandparents)?
  • What kinds of early exposure to the medical field left an impression on you as a child?
  • Did you become familiar with and interested in the field of medicine at an early stage of your life? If so, why?
  • What are your key strengths, and how have you developed these?
  • What steps did you take to familiarize yourself with the medical profession?
  • Did you shadow a physician? Did you volunteer or work in a clinical setting? Did you get involved in medical research?
  • What challenges have you faced? Have these made an impact on what you chose to study?
  • What are your favorite activities?
  • What kinds of extracurriculars for medical school or volunteer work have you done, and how have these shaped who you are, your priorities, and or your perspectives on a career in medicine?
  • What was your "Aha!" moment?
  • When did your desire to become a doctor solidify?
  • How did you make the decision to apply to medical school?

You shouldn't try to answer all of these in your essay. Try only a few main points that will carry over into the final draft. Use these to brainstorm and gather ideas. Start developing your narrative by prioritizing the most impactful responses to these prompts and the ideas that are most relevant to your own experiences and goals. The perfect personal statement not only shows the admissions committee that you have refined communication skills, but also conveys maturity and professionalism. It should also display your motivation and suitability for medical practice. Here's how our student Alison, who was a non-traditional applicant with a serious red flag in her application, used her brainstorming sessions with our admissions experts to get a theme going in her medical school personal statement and her overall application package:

"I think it was during my brainstorming session that we really started talking about... what the theme [was] going to be for my application. And I think that was really helpful in and of itself. Just [reflecting] 'Hey, what's your focus going to be like? How are we going to write this? What's the style going to be?' Just to create an element of consistency throughout..." Alison, BeMo Student, current student at Dell Medical School 

After brainstorming, you should be able to clearly see a few key ideas, skills, qualities, and intersections that you want to write about. Once you've isolated the elements you want to explore in your essay (usually 2-4 key ideas), you can begin building your outline. In terms of structure, this should follow the standard academic format, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

As you begin thinking about what to include in your personal essay, remember that you are writing for a specific audience with specific expectations. Your evaluator will be familiar with the key qualities desired by medical schools, as informed by the standards of the profession. But keep in mind that they too are human, and they respond well to well-crafted, engaging essays that tell a story. Here's what our student Alison had to share about keeping your audience in mind when writing your personal statement:

"Make it easy for the reader to be able to work [their] way through [your personal statement]. Because, at the end of the day, I think one thing that helped me a lot was being able to think about who was going to be reading this application and it's going to be these people that are sitting around a desk or sitting at a table and [go] through massive numbers of applications every single day. And the easier and more digestible that you can make it for them, gives you a little bit of a win." - Alison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

The admissions committee will be examining your essay through the lens of their particular school's mission, values, and priorities. You should think about your experiences with reference to the AAMC Core Competencies and to each school's mission statement so that you're working toward your narrative with the institution and broader discipline in mind.

The AAMC Core Competencies are the key characteristics and skills sought by U.S. medical schools. These are separated into three general categories:

You are not expected to have mastered all of these competencies at this stage of your education. Display those that are relevant to your experiences will help demonstrate your commitment to the medical profession.

Review the school's mission statement: Educational institutions put a lot of time and care into drafting their school's vision. The mission statement will articulate the overall values and priorities of each university, giving you insight into what they might seek in candidates, and thus what you should try to display in your personal statement. Echoing the values of the university helps illustrate that you are a good fit for their intellectual culture. The mission statement may help you identify other priorities of the university, for example, whether they prioritize research-based or experiential-based education. All this research into your chosen medical schools will help you tremendously not only when you write you personal statement, but also the rest of your medical school application components, including your medical school letter of intent if you ever need to write one later.

Just like the personal statement is, in essence, a prompt without a prompt. They give you free rein to write your own prompt to tell your story. This is often difficult for students as they find it hard to get started without having a true direction. Below is a list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Use these prompts as a starting point for your essay. Also, they are a great way of addressing why you want to be a doctor without saying something generic.

  • The moment your passion for medicine crystallized
  • The events that led you toward this path
  • Specific instances in which you experienced opportunities
  • Challenges that helped shape your worldview
  • Your compassion, resilience, or enthusiastic collaboration
  • Demonstrate your commitment to others
  • Your dependability
  • Your leadership skills
  • Your ability to problem-solve or to resolve a conflict

These are personal, impactful experiences that only you have had. Focus on the personal, and connect that to the values of your future profession. Do that and you will avoid writing the same essay as everyone else. Dr. Monica Taneja, MD and our admissions expert, shares her tip that got her accepted to the University of Maryland School of Medicine :

"I focused on my journey to medicine and opportunities that I sought out along the way. Everyone’s path and validation is unique, so walking the reader through your growth to the point of application will naturally be different, but that's what I wanted to share in my personal statement." - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

“the essay is not about what you have been through; it's about who it made you into.” – dr. vincent adeyemi, md.

Admissions committees don't want your resumé in narrative form. The most boring essays are those of applicants listing their accomplishments. Remember, all that stuff is already in the activities section of the application. This is where you should discuss interesting or important life events that shaped you and your interest in medicine (a service trip to rural Guatemala, a death in the family, a personal experience as a patient). One suggestion is to have an overarching theme to your essay to tie everything together, starting with an anecdote. Alternatively, you can use one big metaphor or analogy through the essay. Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD and experienced admissions committee member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, encourages you to be creative when it comes to the theme of your personal statement:

"It is very easy to make the “cookie cutter” personal statement. To a reviewer who is reading tens of these at a time it can become quite boring. What I did was [tell] a story. Like any good novel, the stories' first lines are meant to hook the reader. This can be about anything if you can bring it back and relate it to your application. It could be about the time your friend was smashed up against the boards in hockey and you, with your limited first aid experience helped to treat him. It is important that the story be REAL." - Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

Your personal statement must be well-organized, showing a clear, logical progression, as well as connections between ideas. It is generally best to use a chronological progression since this mirrors your progression into a mature adult and gives you the opportunity to illustrate how you learned from early mistakes later on. Carry the theme throughout the statement to achieve continuity and cohesion. Use the theme to links ideas from each paragraph to the next and to unite your piece.

Medical School Personal Statement Structure

When working toward the initial draft of your essay, it is important to keep the following in mind: The essay should read like a chronological narrative and have good structure and flow. Just like any academic essay, it will need an introduction, body content, and a conclusion. If you're wondering whether a medical school advisor can help you with your medical school application, check out our blog for the answer.

Check out our video to learn how to create a killer introduction to your medical school personal statement:


The introductory paragraph and, even more importantly, the introductory sentence of your essay, will most certainly make or break your overall statement. Ensure that you have a creative and captivating opening sentence that draws the reader in. This is your first and only chance to make a first impression and really capture the attention of the committee. Starting with an event or an Aha! moment that inspired your decision to pursue a medical profession is one way to grab their attention. The kinds of things that inspire or motivate you can say a lot about who you are as a person.

The broader introductory paragraph itself should serve several functions. First, it must draw your reader in with an eye-catching first line and an engaging hook or anecdote. It should point toward the qualities that most effectively demonstrate your desire and suitability for becoming a physician (you will discuss these qualities further in the body paragraphs). The thesis of the introduction is that you have certain skills, experiences, and characteristics and that these skills, experiences, and characteristics will lead you to thrive in the field of medicine. Finally, it must also serve as a roadmap to the reader, allowing them to understand where the remainder of the story is headed.

That is a lot of work for a single paragraph to do. To better help you envision what this looks like in practice, here is a sample introduction that hits these main points.

I was convinced I was going to grow up to be a professional chef. This was not just another far-fetched idealistic childhood dream that many of us had growing up. There was a sense of certainty about this dream that motivated me to devote countless hours to its practice. It was mostly the wonder that it brought to others and the way they were left in awe after they tried a dish that I recall enjoying the most creating as a young chef. But, when I was 13, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and I realized that sometimes cooking is not enough, as I quickly learned about the vital role physicians play in the life of everyday people like my family and myself. Although my grandfather ended up passing away from his illness, the impact that the healthcare team had on him, my family, and I will always serve as the initial starting point of my fascination with the medical profession. Since that time, I have spent years learning more about the human sciences through my undergraduate studies and research, have developed a deeper understanding of the demands and challenges of the medical profession through my various volunteer and extra-curricular experiences, and although it has been difficult along the way, I have continued to forge a more intimate fascination with the medical field that has motivated me to apply to medical school at this juncture of my life. ","label":"Sample Introduction","title":"Sample Introduction"}]" code="tab3" template="BlogArticle">

In the body of your essay, you essentially want to elaborate on the ideas that you have introduced in your opening paragraph by drawing on your personal experiences to provide evidence. Major points from the above sample introduction could be: dedication and resilience (practicing cooking for hours, and devoting years to undergraduate studies in human sciences), passion and emotional connection (being able to create something that inspired awe in others, and personally connecting with the work of the grandfather's healthcare team), motivation and drive (being inspired by the role physicians play in their patients' lives, participating in volunteer work and extracurriculars, and an enduring fascination with the field of medicine). Depending on the details, a selection of volunteer and extra-curricular experiences might also be discussed in more detail, in order to emphasize other traits like collaboration, teamwork, perseverance, or a sense of social responsibility – all key characteristics sought by medical schools. Just like an academic essay, you will devote one paragraph to each major point, explaining this in detail, supporting your claims with experiences from your life, and reflecting on the meaning of each plot point in your personal narrative, with reference to why you want to pursue a medical career.

Your final statement should not be a simple summary of the things you have discussed. It should be insightful, captivating, and leave the reader with a lasting impression. Although you want to re-emphasize the major ideas of your essay, you should try to be creative and captivating, much like your opening paragraph. Sometimes if you can link your opening idea to your last paragraph it will really tie the whole essay together. The conclusion is just as important as the introduction. It is your last chance to express your medical aspirations. You want to impress the reader while also leaving them wanting more. In this case, more would mean getting an interview so they can learn more about who you are! Leave them thinking I have got to meet this person.

The narrative you construct should display some of your most tightly held values, principles, or ethical positions, along with key accomplishments and activities. If you see yourself as someone who is committed to community service, and you have a track record of such service, your story should feature this and provide insight into why you care about your community and what you learned from your experiences. Saying that you value community service when you've never volunteered a day in your life is pointless. Stating that your family is one where we support each other through challenge and loss (if this is indeed true), is excellent because it lays the groundwork for telling a story while showing that you are orientated towards close relationships. You would then go on to offer a brief anecdote that supports this. You are showing how you live such principles, rather than just telling your reader that you have such principles:

"Remember to use specific personal examples throughout your statement to make it more impactful and memorable for the readers. Often, painting a picture in the reader’s mind in the form of a story helps with this." - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD

A lot of students make the mistake of verbalizing their personal attributes with a bunch of adjectives, such as, "This experience taught me to be a self-reliant leader, with excellent communication skills, and empathy for others..." In reality, this does nothing to convey these qualities. It's a mistake to simply list your skills or characteristics without showing the reader an example of a time you used them to solve a problem. If you simply list your skills or characteristics (telling), without demonstrating the ways you have applied them (showing), you risk coming across as arrogant. The person reading the essay may not believe you, as you've not really given them a way to see such values in your actions. It is better to construct a narrative to show the reader that you possess the traits that medical schools are looking for, rather than explicitly stating that you are an empathetic individual or capable of deep self-reflection. Instead of listing adjectives, tell your personal story and allow the admissions committee to paint the picture for themselves. This step is very challenging for many students, but it's one of the most important strategies used in successful essays. Writing this way will absolutely make your statement stand out from the rest.

While it may be tempting to write in a high academic tone, using terminology or jargon that is often complex or discipline-specific, requiring a specialized vocabulary for comprehension. You should actually aim to write for a non-specialist audience. Remember, in the world of medicine, describing a complex, clinical condition to a patient requires using specific but clear words. This is why your personal statement should show that you can do the same thing. Using large words in unwieldy ways makes you sound like you are compensating for poor communication skills. Use words that you believe most people understand. Read your personal statement back to a 14-year-old, and then again to someone for whom English is not their first language, to see if you're on the right path.

Ultimately, fancy words do not make you a good communicator; listening and ensuring reader comprehension makes you a good communicator. Instead of using complex terminology to tell the admissions committee that you have strong communication skills, show them your communication skills through clear, accessible prose, written with non-specialists in mind. A common refrain among writing instructors is, never use a $10 word where a $2 word will suffice. If you can say it in plain, accessible language, then this is what you should do.

Display Professionalism

Professionalism may seem like a difficult quality to display when only composing a personal statement. After all, the reader can't see your mannerisms, your personal style, or any of those little qualities that allow someone to appear professional. Professionalism is about respect for the experience of others on your team or in your workplace. It is displayed when you are able to step back from your own individual position and think about what is best for your colleagues and peers, considering their needs alongside your own. If a story is relevant to why you want to be a physician and demonstrates an example of how you were professional in a workplace setting, then it is appropriate to include in your essay.

One easy way to destroy a sense of professionalism is to act in a judgmental way towards others, particularly if you perceived and ultimately resolved an error on someone else's part. Sometimes students blame another medical professional for something that went wrong with a patient.

They might say something to the effect of, "The nurse kept brushing off the patient's concerns, refusing to ask the attending to increase her pain medications. Luckily, being the empathetic individual that I am, I took the time to listen to sit with the patient, eventually bringing her concerns to the attending physician, who thanked me for letting him know."

There are a couple of things wrong with this example. It seems like this person is putting down someone else in an attempt to make themselves look better. They come across as un-empathetic and judgmental of the nurse. Maybe she was having a busy day, or maybe the attending had just seen the patient for this issue and the patient didn't really need re-assessment. Reading this kind of account in a personal statement makes the reader question the maturity of the applicant and their ability to move past blaming others and resolve problems in a meaningful way. Instead of allocating blame, identify what the problem was for the patient and then focus on what you did to resolve it and reflect on what you learned from the whole experience.

One last note on professionalism: Being professional does not mean being overly stoic, hiding your emotions, or cultivating a bland personality. A lot of students are afraid to talk about how a situation made them feel in their personal statement. They worry that discussing feelings is inappropriate and will appear unprofessional. Unfortunately for these students, emotional intelligence is hugely important to the practice of medicine. In order to be a good doctor, one must be aware of their own emotions as well as those of their patients. Good doctors are able to quickly identify their own emotions and understand how their emotional reactions may inform their actions, and the ability to deliver appropriate care, in a given situation. Someone who is incapable of identifying their emotions is also incapable of managing them effectively and will likely struggle to identify the emotions of others. So, when writing your personal statement, think about how each experience made you feel, and what you learned from those feelings and that experience.

How to Write About Discrepancies and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Part of your essay's body can include a discussion of any discrepancies or gaps in your education, or disruptions in your academic performance. If you had to take time off, or if you had a term or course with low grades, or if you had any other extenuating circumstances that impacted your education, you can take time to address these here. It is very important to address these strategically. Do not approach this section as space to plead your case. Offer a brief summary of the situation, and then emphasize what you learned from such hardships. Always focus on the positive, illustrating how such difficulties made you stronger, more resilient, or more compassionate. Connect your experiences to the qualities desired by medical schools. Here's how I student Alison address an academic discrepancy in her application:

I had an academic dishonesty during undergrad, which, at the time, ended up being this big misunderstanding. But I was going to appeal this and get it off my record. I was supposed to start nursing school two weeks after this whole ordeal had gone down and, at our university, if you try to appeal your academic dishonesty then you'd have to take an incomplete in that class and I needed this class in order to start nursing school. So I wasn't able to [appeal]. So when I talked with the people at the nursing school they were like ‘it's no big deal, it's fine’. [But] it came back and it haunted me very much. When I was applying [to medical school] I started looking online [to see] how big of a deal is it to have this ‘red flag’ on my application. I started reading all of these horror stories on Student Doctor Network and all of these other forums about how if you have an academic dishonesty you shouldn't even bother applying, that you'll never get in. Schools will blacklist you and I was [wondering] what am I going do. [My advisor suggested I use the essay to talk about my discrepancy]. 

First off, if anyone out there has an academic violation don't read student doctor network. don't listen to anybody. you absolutely are still a potential medical student and schools are not going to blacklist you just because of one mistake that you made. that's all lies. don't listen to them. i don't even think it came up a single time during any of my interviews. i think a lot of that came back to how i wrote that essay and the biggest advice that i can give that i got from the [bemo] team is explain what happened… just give the facts. be very objective about it. in the last two thirds [of the essay] you want to focus on what you learned from it and how it made you a better person and how it's going to make you a better physician.” – alison, bemo student, current student at dell medical school.

We hope many of you find a peace of mind when you read Alison's story. Because it shows that with the right approach to your medical school personal statement, you can overcome even red flags or setbacks that made you dread the application process. Use your personal statement to emphasize your ability to persevere through it all but do so in a positive way. Most of all, if you feel like you have to explain yourself, take accountability for the situation. State that it is unfortunate and then redirect it to what you learned and how it will make you a better doctor. Always focus on being positive and do not lament on the negative situation too much.

Additional Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Statements:

Check out this video on the top 5 errors to avoid in your personal statement!

Step 3: Writing Your First Draft

As you can see, there is a LOT of planning and consideration to be done before actually starting your first draft. Properly brainstorming, outlining, and considering the content and style of your essay prior to beginning the essay will make the writing process much smoother than it would be you to try to jump right to the draft-writing stage. Now, you're not just staring at a blank page wondering what you could possibly write to impress the admissions committee. Instead, you've researched what the school desires from its students and what the medical profession prioritizes in terms of personal characteristics, you've sketched out some key moments from your life that exemplify those traits, and you have a detailed outline that just needs filling in.

As you're getting started, focus on getting content on the page, filling in your outline and getting your ideas arranged on the page. Your essay will go through multiple drafts and re-writes, so the first step is to free write and start articulating connections between your experiences and the characteristics you're highlighting. You can worry about flow, transitions, and perfect grammar in later drafts. The first draft is always a working draft, written with the understanding that its purpose is to act as a starting point, not an ending point. Once you've completed a draft, you can begin the revising process. The next section will break down what to do once you have your first draft completed.

You can also begin looking at things like style, voice, transitions, and overall theme. The best way to do this is to read your essay aloud. This may sound strange, but it is one of the single most impactful bits of writing advice a student can receive. When we're reading in our heads (and particularly when we're reading our own words), it is easy to skip over parts that may be awkwardly worded, or where the grammar is off. As our brains process information differently, depending on whether we're taking in visual or auditory information, this can also help you understand where the connections between ideas aren't as evident as you would like. Reading the essay aloud will help you begin internalizing the narrative you've crafted, so that you can come to more easily express this both formally in writing and informally in conversation (for example, in an interview).

#1 Did You Distinguish Yourself From Others?

Does your narrative sound unique? Is it different than your peers or did you write in a generic manner? Our admissions expert Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, shares how she got the attention of the admissions committee with her personal statement:

"I also found it helpful to give schools a 'punch-line'. As in I wanted them to remember 1-2 things about me that are my differentiators and I reiterated those throughout [the personal statement]." - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD

Use your narrative to provide a compelling picture of who you are as a person, as a learner, as an advocate, and as a future medical professional. What can you offer? Remember, you will be getting a lot out of your med school experience, but the school will be getting a lot out of you, as well. You will be contributing your research efforts to your department, you will be participating in the academic community, and as you go on to become a successful medical professional you will impact the perception of your school's prestige. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, so use this opportunity to highlight what you bring to the table, and what you will contribute as a student at their institution. Let them know what it is about you that is an attribute to their program. Make them see you as a stand out from the crowd.

#2 Does My Essay Flow and is it Comprehensible?

Personal statements are a blessing and a curse for admission committees. They give them a better glimpse of who the applicant is than simple scores. Also, they are long and time-consuming to read. And often, they sound exactly alike. On occasion, a personal statement really makes an applicant shine. After reading page after page of redundant, cookie-cutter essays, an essay comes along with fluid prose and a compelling narrative, the reader snaps out of that feeling of monotony and gladly extends their enthusiastic attention.

Frankly, if the statement is pleasant to read, it will get read with more attention and appreciation. Flow is easier to craft through narrative, which is why you should root the statement in a story that demonstrates characteristics desirable to medical schools. Fluidity takes time to build, though, so your statement should be etched out through many drafts and should also be based on an outline. You need to brainstorm, then outline, then draft and re-draft, and then bring in editors and listeners for feedback (Note: You need someone to proofread your work. Bestselling authors have editors. Top scholars have editors. I need an editor. You need an editor. Everyone needs an editor). Then, check and double-check and fix anything that needs fixing. Then check again. Then submit. You want this to be a statement that captures the reader's interest by creating a fluid, comprehensible piece that leads the reader to not only read each paragraph but want to continue to the next sentence.

#3 Did You Check Your Grammar?

If you give yourself more than one night to write your statement, the chances of grammatical errors will decrease considerably. If you are pressed for time, upload your file into an online grammar website. Use the grammar checker on your word processor, but know that this, in itself, isn't enough. Use the eyes and ears of other people to check and double-check your grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Read your statement out loud to yourself and you will almost certainly find an error (and likely several errors). Use fresh eyes to review the statement several times before you actually submit it, by walking away from it for a day or so and then re-reading it. Start your essay early, so that you actually have time to do this. This step can make or break your essay. Do not waste all the effort you have put into writing, to only be discarded by the committee for using incorrect grammar and syntax.

#4 Did You Gather Feedback From Other People?

The most important tip in writing a strong application essay is this getting someone else to read your work. While the tips above are all very useful for writing a strong draft, nothing will benefit you more than getting an outside appraisal of your work. For example, it's very easy to overlook your own spelling or grammatical errors. You know your own story and you may think that your narrative and it's meaning make sense to your reader. You won't know that for sure without having someone else actually read it. This may sound obvious, but it's still an absolute necessity.

“It was very helpful for two of my mentors to review my statements before submitting my application. Ensure you trust the judgement and skills of the person to whom you would be giving your personal statement for review.” – Dr. Vincent Adeyemi, MD

Have someone you trust to read the essay and ask them what they thought of it. What was their impression of you after reading it? Did it make sense? Was it confusing? Do they have any questions? What was the tone of the essay? Do they see the connections you're trying to make? What were their takeaways from your essay, and do these align with your intended takeaways for your reader? Ideally, this person should have some knowledge of the application process or the medical profession, so that they can say whether you were successful in demonstrating that you are a suitable candidate for medical school. However, any external reader is better than no external reader at all.

Avoid having people too close to you read your work. They may refrain from being too critical in an effort to spare your feelings. This is the time to get brutal, honest feedback. If you know someone who is an editor but do not feel that they can be objective, try and find someone else.

Want more examples? Check out our video below:

FAQs and Final Notes

Your personal statement should tell your story and highlight specific experiences or aspects of your journey that have led you to medicine. If your first exposure or interest in the medical field was sparked from your own medical struggles, then you can certainly include this in your statement. What is most important is that you write about what factors or experiences attributed to you deciding that medicine is the right career path for you.

Sometimes students shy away from including their own personal struggles and describing how they felt during difficult times but this is a great way for admissions committees to gain perspective into who you are as a person and where your motivations lie. Remember, this is your story, not someone else's, so your statement should revolve around you. If you choose to discuss a personal hardship, what's most important is that you don't cast yourself as the victim and that you discuss what the experience taught you. Also, medical schools are not allowed to discriminate against students for discussing medical issues, so it is not looked at as a red flag unless you are talking about an issue inappropriately. For example, making yourself appear as the victim or not taking responsibility.

All US medical schools require the completion of a personal statement with your AMCAS, TMDSAS or AACOMAS applications.

Medical schools in Canada on the other hand, do not require or accept personal statements. In lieu of the personal statement, a few of these schools may require you to address a prompt in the form of an essay, or allow you to submit an explanation essay to describe any extenuating circumstances, but this is not the same as the US personal statement. For example, when applying through  OMSAS , the  University of Toronto medical school  requires applicants to complete four short, 250 words or less, personal essays.

Many students struggle with whether or not they should address an unfavorable grade in their personal statement. What one student does isn't necessarily the right decision for you.

To help you decide, think about whether or not that bad grade might reflect on your poorly. If you think it will, then it's best to address the academic misstep head-on instead of having admissions committees dwell on possible areas of concern. If you're addressing a poor evaluation, ensure that you take responsibility for your grade, discuss what you learned and how your performance will be improved in the future - then move on. It's important that you don't play the victim and you must always reflect on what lessons you've learned moving forward.

Of course not, just because you didn't wake up one morning and notice a lightbulb flashing the words medicine, doesn't mean that your experiences and journey to medicine are inferior to those who did. Students arrive to medicine in all sorts of ways, some change career paths later in life, some always knew they wanted to pursue medicine, and others slowly became interested in medicine through their life interactions and experiences. Your personal statement should address your own unique story to how you first became interested in medicine and when and how that interest turned to a concrete desire.

While your entire statement is important, the opening sentence can often make or break your statement. This is because admission committee members are reviewing hundreds, if not thousands of personal statements. If your opening sentence is not eye-catching, interesting, and memorable, you risk your statement blending in with the large pile of other statements. Have a look at our video above for tips and strategies for creating a fantastic opening sentence.

Having your statement reviewed by family and friends can be a good place to start, but unfortunately, it's near-impossible for them to provide you with unbiased feedback. Often, friends and family members are going to support us and rave about our achievements. Even if they may truly think your statement needs work, they may feel uncomfortable giving you their honest feedback at the risk of hurting your feelings.

In addition, family and friends don't know exactly what admission committee members are looking for in a personal statement, nor do they have years of experience reviewing personal statements and helping students put the best version of themselves forward. For these reasons, many students choose to seek the help of a professional medical school advisor to make sure they have the absolute best chances of acceptance to medical school the first time around.

If you have enough time set aside to write your statement without juggling multiple other commitments, it normally takes at least four weeks to write your statement. If you are working, in school, or volunteering and have other commitments, be prepared to spend 6-8 weeks.

Your conclusion should have a summary of the main points you have made in your essay, but it should not just be a summary. You should also end with something that makes the reader want to learn more about you (i.e. call you for an interview). A good way to do this is to include a call-back to your opening anecdote: how have you grown or matured since then? How are you more prepared now to begin medical school?

The goal is to show as many of them as you can in the WHOLE application: this includes your personal statement, sketch, reference letters, secondary essays, and even your GPA and MCAT (which show critical thinking and reasoning already). So, it’s not an issue to focus on only a few select experiences and competencies in the personal statement.

Yes, you can. However, if you used an experience as a most meaningful entry, pick something else to talk about in your essay. Remember, you want to highlight as many core competencies across your whole application). Or, if you do pick the same experience: pick a different specific encounter or project with a different lesson learned.

Once your essay is in good shape, it's best to submit to ensure your application is reviewed as soon as possible. Remember, with rolling admissions, as more time passes before you submit your application, your chances of acceptance decreases. Nerves are normal and wanting to tinker is also normal, but over-analyzing and constant adjustments can actually weaken your essay.

So, if you're thinking about making more changes, it's important to really reflect and think about WHY you want to change something and if it will actually make the essay stronger. If not your changes won't actually make the essay stronger or if it's a very minor change you're thinking of making, then you should likely leave it as is.

The reality is, medical school admission is an extremely competitive process. In order to have the best chance of success, every part of your application must be stellar. Also, every year some students get in whose GPAs or  MCAT scores  are below the median. How? Simply because they must have stood out in other parts of the application, such as the personal statement.

The ones that honestly made the most impact on you. You'll need to reflect on your whole life and think about which experiences helped you grow and pushed you to pursue medicine. Ideally, experiences that show commitment and progression are better than one-off or short-term activities, as they usually contribute more to growth.

Final Notes

This Ultimate Guide has demonstrated all the work that needs to be done to compose a successful, engaging personal statement for your medical school application. While it would be wonderful if there was an easy way to write your personal statement in a day, the reality is that this kind of composition takes a lot of work. As daunting as this may seem, this guide lays out a clear path. In summary, the following 5 steps are the basis of what you should take away from this guide. These 5 steps are your guide and sort of cheat sheet to writing your best personal statement.

5 Main Takeaways For Personal Statement Writing:

  • Brainstorming
  • Content and Theme
  • Multiple Drafts
  • Revision With Attention to Grammar

While a strong personal statement alone will not guarantee admission to medical school, it could absolutely squeeze you onto a  medical school waitlist , off the waitlist, and onto the offer list, or give someone on the admissions committee a reason to go to battle for your candidacy. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the incredible skills you've worked and studied to refine, the remarkable life experiences you've had, and the key qualities you possess in your own unique way. Show the admissions committee that you are someone they want to meet. Remember, in this context, wanting to meet you means wanting to bring you in for an interview!

Dr. Lauren Prufer is an admissions expert at BeMo. Dr. Prufer is also a medical resident at McMaster University. Her medical degree is from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. During her time in medical school, she developed a passion for sharing her knowledge with others through medical writing, research, and peer mentoring.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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I have been reading posts regarding this topic and this post is one of the most interesting and informative one I have read. Thank you for this!

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The Only 3 Medical School Personal Statement Examples You Need to Read

best doctor personal statement

Posted in: Applying to Medical School

best doctor personal statement

Table of Contents

The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the med school application process because t his mini-essay is a critical opportunity for you to stand out from other prospective medical students by demonstrating your passion and personality, not just your grades.

Admissions committees receive hundreds or more AMCAS medical school applications , so yours should be unique and captivating. Your medical school personal statement shows admissions officers who you are beyond your high school or pre-med GPA , extracurriculars , and MCAT score . 

The best personal statements are… well, personal . This is your chance to share what life experiences have compelled you toward a career in healthcare or the medical field , and how those experiences shape the picture of your ideal future.

MedSchoolCoach has crucial advice for writing your personal statement . 

Read these examples of personal statements for prospective med students.

Writing a great medical school personal statement is a lot easier with the right support. We’ve helped numerous med school applicants craft top-notch personal statements and can do the same for you.

But first: 7 steps to writing an engaging personal statement.

Before you read these excellent examples, you need to understand the process of writing a personal statement.  

Include these in your medical school personal statement:

  • Why you’re passionate about becoming a doctor
  • Your qualities that will make you a great physician
  • Personal stories that demonstrate those qualities
  • Specific examples of the communities you want to serve as a member of the medical field

What are the most important things to remember when writing a medical school personal statement ?

  • Begin the writing process early: Give yourself plenty of time for brainstorming and to revisit your first draft, revising it based on input from family members and undergrad professors. Consult the application timeline for your target enrollment season.
  • Choose a central theme: An unfocused essay will leave readers confused and uninterested. Give your statement a clear thesis in the first paragraph that guides its formation.
  • Start with a hook: Grab the reader’s attention immediately with your statement’s first sentence. Instead of opening with a conventional introduction, be creative! Begin with something unexpected.
  • Be the you of today, not the you of the future: Forecasting your future as a physician can come across as empty promises. Don’t get caught up in your ambitions; instead, be honest about your current situation and interest in the field of medicine.
  • Demonstrate your passion: It’s not enough to simply state your interest in becoming a doctor; you have to prove it through personal stories. Show how your perspectives have been shaped by formative experiences and how those will make you an effective physician.
  • Show, don’t tell : Avoid cliches that admissions committees have heard hundreds of times, like “I want to help people.” Make your writing come alive with dynamic, persuasive storytelling that recounts your personal experiences.
  • Tie everything together: Conclude by wrapping up your main points. Reiterate your passion for the medical profession, your defining personal qualities, and why you’ll make a good doctor.

You can read more about our recommended method in our step-by-step guide , but those are the major points.

Example 1 — From the Stretcher to the Spotlight: My Journey to Becoming an Emergency Medicine Physician

Another siren shrieks as the emergency room doors slide open and a team of EMTs pushes a blood-soaked stretcher through the entrance. It’s the fifth ambulance to arrive tonight — and only my first clinical shadowing experience in an emergency medicine department since my premed education began.

But it wasn’t my first time in an emergency room, and I knew I was meant to be here again.

In those crucial moments on the ER floor, many of my peers learned that they stumble in high-pressure environments. A few weeks of gunshot wounds, drug overdoses, broken bones, and deep lacerations in the busiest trauma bay in the region were enough to alter their career path.

They will be better practitioners somewhere predictable, like a pediatrician in a private practice where they choose their schedules, clients, and staff.

Every healthcare provider has their specialties, and mine are on full display in those crucial moments of lifesaving care. Why am I pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine? Because I’ve seen firsthand the miracles that Emergency Medicine physicians perform.

12 years ago, I was in an emergency room… but I was the one on the stretcher.

A forest-green Saturn coupe rolled into my parent’s driveway. The driver, my best friend Kevin, had just passed his driving test and was itching to take a late-night run to the other side of town. I had ridden with Kevin and his father many times before when he held his learner’s permit. But this time, we didn’t have an adult with us, and the joyride ended differently: with a 40-mph passenger-side collision, T-boned by a drunk driver.

I distinctly recall the sensation of being lifted out of the crumpled car by a paramedic and laid onto a stretcher. A quick drive later, I was in the care of Dr. Smith, the ER resident on call that night. Without missing a beat, he assessed my condition and provided the care I needed. When my mom thanked him for saving my life, he simply responded, “It’s what he needed.”

Now I’m watching other doctors and nurses provide this life-saving care as I observe as a premed student. I see the way the staff works together like a well-oiled machine, and it reminds me of my time in high-school theater.

Everyone has a role to play, however big or small, to make the show a success. All contributions are essential to a winning performance — even the technicians working behind the scenes. That’s what true teamwork is, and I see that same dynamic in the emergency department.

Some actors freeze during performances, overcome by stage fright. Other students are too anxious to even set foot in front of an audience; they remain backstage assisting with split-second costume changes.

Not me. I felt energized under the spotlight, deftly improvising to help my co-stars when they would forget their lines. Admittedly, I wasn’t the best actor or singer in the cast, but I provided something essential: assurance under pressure. Everyone knew me as dependable, always in their corner when something went awry. I had a reputation for remaining calm and thinking on my feet.

My ability to stay unruffled under pressure was first discovered on stage, but I can use it on a very different platform providing patient care. Now, when other people freeze under the intensity of serving public health on the front lines, I can step in and provide my calm, collected guidance to see them through.

As an ER doctor, I will have to provide that stability when a nurse gets flustered by a quarrelsome patient or shaken from an irreparably injured infant. When you’re an Emergency Medicine physician, you’re not following a script. It takes an aptitude of thinking on your toes to face the fast pace and unpredictable challenges of an emergency center.

During my time shadowing, I saw experienced physicians put those assured, gentle communication skills to use. A 13-year-old boy was admitted for a knife wound he’d received on the streets. He only spoke Spanish, but it was clear he mistrusted doctors and was alarmed by the situation. In mere minutes, one of the doctors calmed the patient so he could receive care he needed.

Let me be clear: I haven’t simply gravitated toward Emergency Medicine because I liked it most. It’s not the adrenaline or the pride that compel me. I owe Emergency Medicine my life, and I want to use my life to extend the lives of other people. Every person brought into the trauma bay could be another me , no matter what they look like.

People are more than their injury, health record, or circumstances. They are not just a task to complete or a challenge to conquer.

My childhood injury gave me an appreciation for the work of ER doctors and a compassion for patients, to foster well-being when people are most broken and vulnerable. I already have the dedication to the work and the heart for patients; I just need the medical knowledge and procedural skills to perform life-saving interventions. My ability to remain calm, think on my toes, be part of a team, and work decisively without making mistakes or overlooking critical issues will serve me well as an Emergency Medicine physician.

Some ER physicians I spoke with liked to think that they’re “a different breed” than other medical professionals — but I don’t see it that way. We’re just performing a different role than the rest of the cast.

Breaking It Down

Let’s look at what qualities make this a great personal statement for med school.

  • Engaging opening: The writer painted a vivid scene that immediately puts the reader in their shoes and leaves them wanting more.
  • Personal examples: The writer demonstrated his ability to stay calm, work as a team, and problem-solve through theater experience, which he also uses as a comparison. And, he explained his passion for Emergency Medical care from his childhood accident.
  • Organized: The writer transitions fluidly between body paragraphs, connecting stories and ideas by emphasizing parallels and hopping back and forth between time.
  • Ample length: Makes full use of the AACOMAS and AMCAS application personal statement’s character limit of 5,300 characters (including spaces), which is about 850-950 words.

Unsure what traits and clinical or research experience your preferred medical school values ? You can research their admissions requirements and mission statement using the MSAR .

Example 2 — Early Clinical Work For Empathetic Patient Care

The applicant who wrote this personal statement was accepted into University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, and Tufts University School of Medicine.

As I walked briskly down the hall to keep up during our daily rounds in the ICU, I heard the steady beeping of Michelle’s cardiac monitor and saw a ruby ornament twinkling on the small Christmas tree beside her. She was always alone, but someone had decorated her room for the holidays.

It warmed my heart that I wasn’t the only one who saw her as more than a patient in a coma. I continually felt guilty that I couldn’t spend more time with her; her usual companions were ventilators, IV bags, and catheters, not to mention the golf ball-sized tumors along her spine. Every day, I thought about running to Michelle’s bedside to do anything I could for her.

Thus, I was taken aback when my advisor, who was visiting me that day, asked me if I was okay. It never crossed my mind that at age 17, my peers might not be able to handle the tragedies that healthcare workers consistently face. These situations were difficult, but they invoked humanity and compassion from me. I knew I wanted to pursue medicine. And I knew I could do it.

From my senior year of high school to my senior year of college, I continued to explore my passion for patient interaction.

At the Stepp Lab, I was charged with contacting potential study participants for a study focusing on speech symptoms in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The study would help future patients, but I couldn’t help but think: “What are we doing for these patients in return?” I worried that the heart and soul behind the research would get lost in the mix of acoustic data and participant ID numbers.

But my fears were put to rest by Richard, the self-proclaimed “Parkinson’s Song & Dance Man,” who recorded himself singing show tunes as part of his therapy. Knowing that he was legally blind and unable to read caller ID, I was always thrilled when he recognized my voice. The spirit in his voice indicated that my interest in him and his journey with Parkinson’s was meaningful. Talking with him inspired me to dive deeper, which led to an appreciative understanding of his time as a sergeant in the U.S. military.

It was an important reminder: my interest and care are just as important as an effective prescribed treatment plan.

Following graduation, I began my work as a medical assistant for a dermatologist. My experience with a patient, Joann, validated my ability to provide excellent hands-on patient care. Other physicians prescribed her painkillers to relieve the excruciating pain from the shingles rash, which presented as a fiery trail of blisters wrapped around her torso. But these painkillers offered no relief and made her so drowsy that she fell one night on the way to the bathroom.

Joann was tired, suffering, and beaten down. The lidocaine patches we initially prescribed would be a much safer option, but I refused for her to pay $250, as she was on the brink of losing her job. When she returned to the office a week later, she held my hand and cried tears of joy because I found her affordable patches, which helped her pain without the systemic effects.

The joy that pierced through the weariness in her eyes immediately confirmed that direct patient care like this was what I was meant to do. As I passed her a tissue, I felt ecstatic that I could make such a difference, and I sought to do more.

Since graduation, I have been volunteering at Open Door, a small pantry that serves a primarily Hispanic community of lower socioeconomic families. It is gut-wrenching to explain that we cannot give them certain items when our stock is low. After all, the fresh fruits and vegetables I serve are fundamental to their culturally-inspired meals.

For the first time, I found myself serving anguish rather than a helping hand. Usually, uplifting moments strengthen one’s desire to become a physician, but in this case, it was my ability to handle the low points that reignited my passion for aiding others.

After running out of produce one day, I was confused as to why a woman thanked me. Through translation by a fellow volunteer, I learned it was because of my positivity. She taught me that the way I approach unfavorable situations affects another’s perception and that my spirited attitude breaks through language barriers.

This volunteer work served as a wake-up call to the unacceptable fact that U.S. citizens’ health suffers due to lack of access to healthy foods. If someone cannot afford healthy foods, they may not have access to healthcare. In the future, I want to partner with other food banks to offer free services like blood pressure readings. I have always wanted to help people, but I now have a particular interest in bringing help to people who cannot afford it.

While the foundation of medicine is scientific knowledge, the foundation of healthcare is the word “care” itself. I never found out what happened to Michelle and her Christmas tree, but I still wonder about her to this day, and she has strengthened my passion to serve others. A sense of excitement and comfort stems from knowing that I will be there for people on their worst days, since I have already seen the impact my support has had.

In my mind, becoming a physician is not a choice but a natural next step to continue bringing humanity and compassion to those around me.

How did this personal statement grab and sustain attention so well?

  • Personalization: Everything about this statement helps you to understand the writer, from their personal experiences to their hope for how their future career will look.
  • Showing, not telling: From the first sentence, the reader is hooked. This prospective medical student has plenty of great “on paper” experience (early shadowing, clinical experience, etc.), but they showed this with storytelling, not by repeating their CV.
  • Empathy: An admissions committee reading this personal statement would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this student cares deeply about their patients. They remember first names, individual details, and the emotions that each patient made them feel.
  • A clear path forward: The writer doesn’t just want to work in the medical field — they have a passion for exactly how they want to impact the communities they serve. Outside of strictly medical work, they care about the way finances can limit access to healthcare and the struggle to find healthy food in food deserts around the US .

Read Next: How Hard Is It to Get Into Medical School?

Example 3 — Beyond the Diagnosis: The Importance of Individualized Care in Medicine

The applicant who wrote this personal statement was accepted into Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Nova Southeastern University College Of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Haywood sighs and shakes her head upon opening the chart. “I was worried about her A1C. It’s up again. Hypertension, too. Alright, let’s go.”

As we enter the patient’s room, I’m expecting the news about her blood sugar and pressure to fill the room. Instead, Dr. Haywood says, “Roseline! How are you doing? How’s your girl, doing well?”

Dr. Haywood continues to ask questions, genuinely interested in Roseline’s experience as a new mother. If not for the parchment-lined examination chair and anatomy posters plastered to the wall, this exchange could be happening in a grocery store. What about her A1C? Her blood pressure? Potential Type II diabetes?

As I continue to listen, Dr. Haywood discovers that Roseline’s mother moved in with her, cooking Haitian meals I recognize as high on the glycemic index. Dr. Haywood effortlessly evolves their conversation to focus on these. Being Haitian herself, she knows some traditional dishes are healthier than others and advises Roseline to avoid those that might exacerbate her high blood sugar and blood pressure. Dr. Haywood also suggests Roseline incorporate exercise by bringing her baby on a walk through her neighborhood.

During my shadowing experience, I observed one of the core components of being a physician through several encounters like this one. By establishing a relationship with her patient where Roseline was comfortable sharing the details of new motherhood, Dr. Haywood was able to individualize her approach to lowering the patient’s A1C and hypertension. Inspired by her ability to treat the whole person , I began to adopt a similar practice as a tutor for elementary kids in underserved areas of D.C.

Shaniyah did not like Zoom, or math for that matter. When I first met her as a prospective tutee online, she preferred to keep her microphone muted and would claim she was finished with her math homework after barely attempting the first problem. Realizing that basing our sessions solely on math would be fruitless, I adapted my tutoring style to incorporate some of the things for which she had a natural affinity.

The first step was acknowledging the difficulties a virtual environment posed to effective communication, particularly the ease at which distractions might take over. After sharing this with Shaniyah, she immediately disclosed her struggles to share her work with me. With this information, I found an online platform that allowed us to visualize each other’s work.

This obstacle in communication overcome, Shaniyah felt more comfortable sharing details about herself that I utilized as her tutor. Her love of soccer gave me the idea to use the concept of goal scoring to help with addition, and soon Shaniyah’s math skills and enthusiasm began to improve. As our relationship grew, so did her successes, and I suspect the feelings I experienced as her tutor are the same as a physician’s when their patient responds well to prescribed treatment.

I believe this skill, caring for someone as a whole person , that I have learned and practiced through shadowing and tutoring is the central tenet of medicine that allows a doctor to successfully treat their patients.

Inspired by talking with patients who had received life-altering organ transplants during my shadowing experience, I created a club called D.C. Donors for Georgetown University students to encourage their peers to register as organ donors or donate blood. This experience taught me that to truly serve a person, you must involve your whole person, too.

In starting this club to help those in need of transplants, I had to dedicate my time and effort beyond just my physical interactions with these patients. For instance, this involved reaching out to D.C.’s organ procurement organization to inquire about a potential partnership with my club, to which they agreed. In addition, I organized tabling events on campus, which required significant planning and communication with both club members and my university.

Though exciting, starting a club was also a difficult process, especially given the limitations the pandemic imposed on in-person meetings and events. To adapt, I had to plan more engaging meetings, designing virtual activities to make members more comfortable contributing their ideas. In addition, planning a blood drive required extensive communication with my university to ensure the safety of the staff and participants during the pandemic.

Ultimately, I believe these behind-the-scenes actions were instrumental in addressing the need for organ and blood donors in the D.C. area.

From these experiences, I have grown to believe that good medicine not only necessitates the physician cares for her patient as a whole, but also that she fully commits her whole person to the care of the patient. Tutoring and starting D.C. Donors not only allowed me to develop these skills but also to experience such fulfilling emotions: the pride I had in Shaniyah when her math improved, the gratefulness I felt when she confided in me, the steadfast commitment I expressed to transplant patients, and the joy I had in collaborating with other passionate club members.

I envision a career as a physician to demand these skills of me and more, and I have confirmed my desire to become one after feeling so enriched by practicing them.

Here’s what makes this personal statement such a good example of what works:

  • Desirable qualities: The student clearly demonstrates qualities any school would want in an applicant: teachability, adaptability, leadership, organization, and empathy, to name a few. This again uses the “show, don’t tell” method, allowing the readers to understand the student without hand-holding.
  • Personalized storytelling: Many in the healthcare profession will connect with experiences like the ones expressed here, such as addressing patient concerns relationally or the lack of blood donors during the recent pandemic. The writer automatically makes a personal link between themselves and the admissions committees reading this statement.
  • Extensive (but not too long): Without feeling too wordy, this personal statement uses nearly all of the 5,300 characters allowed on the AMCAS application. There’s no fluff left in the final draft, only what matters.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

You can learn a lot from those personal statements. They avoid the most common mistakes that med school applicants make when writing the medical school personal statement.

Here are some things you should avoid in your personal statement if you want to be a doctor:

  • Name-dropping: Admissions counselors won’t be impressed when you brag about your highly regarded family members, associates, or mentors. You need to stand on your own feet — not someone else’s.
  • Dishonesty: Lies and exaggerations can torpedo your application. And they’re bad habits for anyone entering the medical field. Don’t do it.
  • Unedited AI content: Artificial intelligence can help you edit and improve your writing, but don’t let it do the work for you. Your statement needs to be authentic, which means in your voice! A chatbot can’t feel or adequately convey your own empathy, compassion, trauma, drive, or personality.
  • Grammatical errors and typos: Have someone reliable proofread your essay and scour it for typos, misspellings, and punctuation errors. Even free grammar-checking apps can catch mistakes!
  • Telling without showing: I’ll reiterate how important it is to prove your self-descriptive statements with real-life examples. Telling without showing won’t persuade readers.
  • Too many examples: Have 3-4 solid personal stories at most; only include a few that are crucial for providing your points. The more experiences you share, the less impact they’ll make.
  • Fluff and filler: Cut all fluff, filler words, and irrelevant points. There are many other places you can include information in your application, such as secondary essays on your clinical experience, volunteer work, and research projects . 

You can find more valuable do’s and don’ts in our in-depth guide to writing your best personal statement .

Need extra help? We’ve got you covered.

Schedule a meeting with medschoolcoach for expert support on writing and editing your personal statement. we’re here to help you impress medical school admissions committees .

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Renee Marinelli, MD

Dr. Marinelli has practiced family medicine, served on the University of California Admissions Committee, and has helped hundreds of students get into medical school. She spearheads a team of physician advisors who guide MedSchoolCoach students.

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Great Medical School Personal Statement Examples (2024-2025) Insider’s Guide

Medical School Personal Statement Tips

A physician and former medical school admissions officer teaches you how to write your medical school personal statement, step by step. Read several full-length medical school personal statement examples for inspiration.

In this article, a former medical school admissions officer explains exactly how to write a stand-out  medical school personal statement!

Our goal is to empower you to write a medical school personal statement that reflects your individuality, truest aspirations and genuine motivations.

This guide also includes:

  • Real life medical school personal statement examples
  • Medical school personal statement inventory template and outline exercise
  • AMCAS ,  TMDSAS , and  AACOMAS  personal statement prompts
  • Advanced strategies to ensure you address everything admissions committees want to know
  • The secret to writing a great medical school personal statement

So, if you want your medical school personal statement to earn more more medical school interviews, you will love this informative guide.

Let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

Medical School Personal Statement Fundamentals

If you are getting ready to write your medical school personal statement for the 2024-2025 application year, you may already know that almost 60% of medical school applicants are not accepted every year . You have most likely also completed all of your medical school requirements and have scoured the internet for worthy medical school personal statement examples and guidance.

You know the medical school personal statement offers a crucial opportunity to show medical schools who you are beyond your GPA and MCAT score .

It provides an opportunity to express who you are as an individual, the major influences and background that have shaped your interests and values, what inspired you to pursue medicine, and what kind of a physician you envision yourself becoming.

However, with so much information online, you are not sure who to trust. We are happy you have found us!

Insider Knowledge and Expertise

Because the vast majority of people offering guidance are not former admissions officers or doctors , you must be careful when searching online.

We are real medical school admissions insiders and know what goes on behind closed doors and how to ensure your medical school personal statement has broad appeal while highlighting your most crucial accomplishments, perspectives, and insights.

With tight limits on space, it can be tough trying to decide what to include in your medical school personal statement to make sure you stand out. You must think strategically about how you want to present your personal “big picture” while showing you possess the  preprofessional competencies  med schools are seeking.

When a medical school admissions reviewer finishes reading your medical school personal statement, ask yourself:

  • What are the most important things you want that person to remember about you?
  • Does your medical school personal statement sum up your personality, interests, and talents?
  • Does your medical school personal statement sound as if it’s written from the heart? Is it authentic?

It’s pretty obvious to most admissions reviewers when applicants are trying too hard to impress them. Being authentic and upfront about who you are is the best way to be a memorable applicant.

“After sitting on a medical school admissions committee for many years, I can tell you, think strategically about how you want to present your personal “big picture.” We want to know who you are as a human being.”

The Biggest Medical School Personal Statement Mistakes

The most common medical school personal statement mistake we see students make is that they write about:

  • What they have accomplished
  • How they have accomplished it

By including details on what you have accomplished and how, you will make yourself sound like every other medical school applicant. 

Most medical school applicants are involved in similar activities: research, clinical work, service, and social justice work. 

To stand out, you must write from the heart making it clear you haven’t marched through your premedical years and checking boxes.

We also strongly discourage applicants from using ChatGPT or any AI bot to write their medical school personal statement. Writing in your own voice is essential and using anything automated will undermine success.

The Medical School Personal Statement Secret

MedEdits students stand out in the medical school personal statement because in their personal statements they address:

WHY they have accomplished what they have.

In other words, they write in more detail about their passions, interests, and what is genuinely important to them. 

It sounds simple, we know, but by writing in a natural way, really zeroing in on WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO, you will appeal to a wide variety of people in a humanistic way. 

Why? How is that possible? They all have a few things in common:

  • They write a narrative that is authentic and distinctive to them.
  • They write a medical school personal statement with broad appeal (many different types of people will be evaluating your application; most are not physicians).
  • They don’t try too hard to impress; instead they write about the most impactful experiences they have had on their path to medical school.
  • They demonstrate they are humble, intellectual, compassionate, and committed to a career in medicine all at the same time.

Keep reading for a step by step approach to write your medical school personal statement.

Medical School Personal Statement Example

Learn the 2024-2025 Medical School Personal Statement Prompts ( AMCAS , TMDSAS , AACOMAS )

The personal statement is the major essay portion of your primary application process. In it, you should describe yourself and your background, as well as any important early exposures to medicine, how and why medicine first piqued your interest, what you have done as a pre med, your personal experiences, and how you became increasingly fascinated with it. It’s also key to explain why medicine is the right career for you, in terms of both personal and intellectual fulfillment, and to show your commitment has continued to deepen as you learned more about the field.

The personal statement also offers you the opportunity to express who you are outside of medicine. What are your other interests? Where did you grow up? What did you enjoy about college? Figuring out what aspects of your background to highlight is important since this is one of your only chances to express to the med school admissions committee before your interview what is important to you and why.

However, it is important to consider the actual personal statement prompt for each system through which you will apply, AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS, since each is slightly different.

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Medical School Personal Statement 7 Simple Steps

2024 AMCAS Personal Statement Prompt

AMCAS Personal Statement

The AMCAS personal statement instructions are as follows:

Use the Personal Comments Essay as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Consider and write your Personal Comments Essay carefully; many admissions committees place significant weight on the essay. Here are some questions that you may want to consider while writing the essay:

  • Why have you selected the field of medicine?
  • What motivates you to learn more about medicine?
  • What do you want medical schools to know about you that hasn’t been disclosed in other sections of the application?

In addition, you may wish to include information such as:

  • Unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuits
  • Comments on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in your application

As you can see, these prompts are not vague; there are fundamental questions that admissions committees want you to answer when writing your personal statement. While the content of your statement should be focused on medicine, answering the open ended third question is a bit trickier.

The  AMCAS  personal statement length is 5,300 characters with spaces maximum.

2024 TMDSAS Personal Statement Prompt

TMDSAS Personal Statement

The  TMDSAS  personal statement is one of the most important pieces of your medical school application.

The TMDSAS personal statement prompt is as follows:

Explain your motivation to seek a career in medicine. Be sure to include the value of your experiences that prepare you to be a physician.

This TMDSAS prompt is very similar to the AMCAS personal statement prompt. The TMDSAS personal statement length is 5,000 characters with spaces whereas the AMCAS personal statement length is 5,300 characters with spaces. Most students use the same essay (with very minor modifications, if necessary) for both application systems.

2024 AACOMAS Personal Statement Prompt

AACOMAS Personal Statement

The  AACOMAS  personal statement is for osteopathic medical schools specifically. As with the AMCAS statement, you need to lay out your journey to medicine as chronologically as possible in 5,300 characters with spaces or less. So you essentially have the same story map as for an AMCAS statement. Most important, you must show you are interested in osteopathy specifically. Therefore, when trying to decide what to include or leave out, prioritize any osteopathy experiences you have had, or those that are in line with the osteopathic philosophy of the mind-body connection, the body as self-healing, and other tenets.

Medical School Application Timeline  and When to Write your Personal Statement

Most medical school personal statements can be used for AMCAS and AACOMAS.

Know the Required Medical School Personal Statement Length

Medical School Personal Statement Characters

Below are the medical schools personal statement length limits for each application system. As you can see, they are all very similar. When you start brainstorming and writing your personal statement, keep these limits in mind.

AMCAS Personal Statement Length : 5,300 characters with spaces.

As per the AAMC website :  “The available space for this essay is 5,300 characters (spaces are counted as characters), or approximately one page. You will receive an error message if you exceed the available space.”

AACOMAS Personal Statement Length : 5,300 characters with spaces

TMDSAS Personal Statement Length : 5,000 characters with spaces

As per the TMDSAS Website (Page 36): “The personal essay asks you to explain your motivation to seek a career in medicine. You are asked to include the value of your experiences that prepare you to be a physician. The essay is limited to 5000 characters, including spaces.”
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Skills
  • Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communication
  • Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Capacity for Improvement
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Written Communication
  • Scientific Inquiry

2. Why do you want to be a doctor?

This may seem pretty basic – and it is – but admissions officers need to know WHY you want to practice medicine. Many applicants make the mistake of simply listing what they have done without offering insights about those experiences that answer the question, “Why medicine?” Your reasons for wanting to be a doctor may overlap with those of other applicants. This is okay because the experiences in which you participated, the stories you can tell about those experiences, and the wisdom you gained are completely distinct—because they are only yours. 

“In admissions committee meetings we were always interested in WHY you wanted to earn a medical degree and how you would contribute to the medical school community.”

Medical school admissions committees want to know that you have explored your interest deeply and that you can reflect on the significance of these clinical experiences and volunteer work. But writing only that you “want to help people” does not support a sincere desire to become a physician; you must indicate why the medical profession in particular—rather than social work, teaching, or another “helping” profession—is your goal.

3. How have your experiences influenced you?

It is important to show how your experiences are linked and how they have influenced you. What motivated you from your experiences? In what ways did they influence your other activities? How were your future goals shaped by these experiences? Medical school admissions committees like to see a sensible progression of involvements. While not every activity needs to be logically “connected” with another, the evolution of your interests and how your experiences have nurtured your future goals and ambitions show that you are motivated and committed.

4. Who are you as a person? What are your values and ideals?

Medical school admissions committees want to know about you as an individual beyond your interests in medicine, too. This is where answering that third open ended question in the prompt becomes so important. What was interesting about your background, youth, and home life? What did you enjoy most about college? Do you have any distinctive passions or interests? They want to be convinced that you are a good person beyond your experiences. Write about those topics that are unlikely to appear elsewhere in your statement that will offer depth and interest to your work and illustrate the qualities and characteristics you possess.

Related Articles:

  • How to Get into Stanford Medical School
  • How to Get into NYU Medical School
  • How To Get Into Columbia Medical School
  • How To Get Into UT Southwestern Medical School
  • How To Get Into Harvard Medical School

Complete Your Personal Inventory and Outline (Example Below)

Highlighting valuable experiences, experience-based personal inventory exercise, creating your personal inventory.

  • List Important Experiences: Write down a list of the most important experiences in your life and your development. The list should be all-inclusive and comprise those experiences that had the most impact on you. Put the list, which should consist of personal, extracurricular, and academic events, in chronological order.
  • Identify Key Experiences: From this list, determine which experiences you consider the most important in helping you decide to pursue a career in medicine. This “experience-oriented” approach will allow you to determine which experiences best illustrate the personal competencies admissions committees look for in your written documents. Remember that you must provide evidence for your interest in medicine and for most of the personal qualities and characteristics that medical school admissions committees want to see.
  • Reflect on Influences: After making your list, think about why each “most important” experience was influential and write that down. What did you observe? What did you learn? What insights did you gain? How did the experience influence your path and choices?
  • Create Illustrations: Then think of a story or illustration for why each experience was important.
  • Evaluate for Significance: After doing this exercise, evaluate each experience for its significance and influence and for its “story” value. Choose to write about those experiences that not only were influential but that also will provide interesting reading, keeping in mind that your goal is to weave the pertinent experiences together into a compelling story. In making your choices, think about how you will link each experience and transition from one topic to the next.
  • Plan Your Outline: Decide which of your listed experiences you will use for your introduction first (see below for more about your introduction). Then decide which experiences you will include in the body of your personal statement, create a general outline, and get writing!

Crafting Your Narrative

Craft a compelling personal statement introduction and body.

You hear conflicting advice about application essays. Some tell you not to open with a story. Others tell you to always begin with a story. Regardless of the advice you receive, be sure to do three things:

  • Be true to yourself. Everyone will have an opinion regarding what you should and should not write. Follow your own instincts. Your  personal statement  should be a reflection of you, and only you.
  • Start your personal statement with something catchy.  Think about the list of potential topics above.
  • Don’t rush your work. Composing thoughtful documents takes time and you don’t want your writing and ideas to be sloppy and underdeveloped.

Most important is to begin with something that engages your reader. A narrative, a “story,” an anecdote written in the first or third person, is ideal. Whatever your approach, your first paragraph must grab your reader’s attention and motivate him to want to continue reading. I encourage applicants to start their personal statement by describing an experience that was especially influential in setting them on their path to medical school. This can be a personal or scholarly experience or an extracurricular one. Remember to avoid clichés and quotes and to be honest and authentic in your writing. Don’t try to be someone who you are not by trying to imitate personal statement examples you have read online or “tell them what you think they want to hear”; consistency is key and your interviewer is going to make sure that you are who you say you are!

When deciding what experiences to include in the body of your personal statement, go back to your personal inventory and identify those experiences that have been the most influential in your personal path and your path to medical school. Keep in mind that the reader wants to have an idea of who you are as a human being so don’t write your personal statement as a glorified resume. Include some information about your background and personal experiences that can give a picture of who you are as a person outside of the classroom or laboratory.

Ideally, you should choose two or three experiences to highlight in the body of your personal statement. You don’t want to write about all of your accomplishments; that is what your application entries are for!

Write Your Personal Statement Conclusion

In your conclusion, it is customary to “go full circle” by coming back to the topic—or anecdote—you introduced in the introduction, but this is not a must. Summarize why you want to be a doctor and address what you hope to achieve and your goals for medical school. Write a conclusion that is compelling and will leave the reader wanting to meet you.

Complete Personal Statement Checklist

When reading your medical school personal statement be sure it:

Shows insight and introspection

The best medical school personal statements tell a great deal about what you have learned through your experiences and the insights you have gained.

You want to tell your story by highlighting those experiences that have been the most influential on your path to medical school and to give a clear sense of chronology. You want your statement always to be logical and never to confuse your reader.

Is interesting and engaging

The best personal statements engage the reader. This doesn’t mean you must use big words or be a literary prize winner. Write in your own language and voice, but really think about your journey to medical school and the most intriguing experiences you have had.

Gives the reader a mental image of who you are

You want the reader to be able to envision you as a caregiver and a medical professional. You want to convey that you would be a compassionate provider at the bedside – someone who could cope well with crisis and adversity.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples Checklist

Not true. The vast majority of  personal statements  do not have themes. In fact, most are somewhat autobiographical and are just as interesting as those statements that are woven around a “theme.” It is only the very talented writer who can creatively write a personal statement around a theme, and this approach often backfires since the applicant fails to answer the three questions above.

Medical School Personal Statement Examples and Analysis for Inspiration

example of medical school personal statement, medical school personal statement examples

AMCAS Medical School Personal Statement Example and Analysis #1 with Personal Inventory

We will use Amy to illustrate the general process of writing an application to medical school, along with providing the resulting documents. Amy will first list those experiences, personal, extracurricular, and scholarly, that have been most influential in two areas: her life in general and her path to medical school. She will put this personal inventory in chronologic order for use in composing her personal statement.

She will then select those experiences that were the most significant to her and will reflect and think about why they were important. For her application entries, Amy will write about each experience, including those that she considers influential in her life but not in her choice of medicine, in her application entries. Experiences that Amy will not write about in her activity entries or her personal statement are those that she does not consider most influential in either her life or in her choice of medicine.

  • Going with my mom to work. She is a surgeon — I was very curious about what she did. I was intrigued by the relationships she had with patients and how much they valued her efforts. I also loved seeing her as “a doctor” since, to me, she was just “mom.”
  • I loved biology in high school. I started to think seriously about medicine then. It was during high school that I became fascinated with biology and how the human body worked. I would say that was when I thought, “Hmm, maybe I should be a doctor.”
  • Grandmother’s death, senior year of high school. My grandmother’s death was tragic. It was the first time I had ever seen someone close to me suffer. It was one of the most devastating experiences in my life.
  • Global Health Trip to Guatemala my freshman year of college. I realized after going to Guatemala that I had always taken my access to health care for granted. Here I saw children who didn’t have basic health care. This made me want to become a physician so I could give more to people like those I met in Guatemala.
  • Sorority involvement. Even though sorority life might seem trivial, I loved it. I learned to work with different types of people and gained some really valuable leadership experience.
  • Poor grades in college science classes. I still regret that I did badly in my science classes. I think I was immature and was also too involved in other activities and didn’t have the focus I needed to do well. I had a 3.4 undergraduate GPA.
  • Teaching and tutoring Jose, a child from Honduras. In a way, meeting Jose in a college tutoring program brought my Guatemala experience to my home. Jose struggled academically, and his parents were immigrants and spoke only Spanish, so they had their own challenges. I tried to help Jose as much as I could. I saw that because he lacked resources, he was at a tremendous disadvantage.
  • Volunteering at Excellent Medical Center. Shadowing physicians at the medical center gave me a really broad view of medicine. I learned about different specialties, met many different patients, and saw both great and not-so-great physician role models. Counselor at Ronald McDonald House. Working with sick kids made me appreciate my health. I tried to make them happy and was so impressed with their resilience. It made me realize that good health is everything.
  • Oncology research. Understanding what happens behind the scenes in research was fascinating. Not only did I gain some valuable research experience, but I learned how research is done.
  • Peer health counselor. Communicating with my peers about really important medical tests gave me an idea of the tremendous responsibility that doctors have. I also learned that it is important to be sensitive, to listen, and to be open-minded when working with others.
  • Clinical Summer Program. This gave me an entirely new view of medicine. I worked with the forensics department, and visiting scenes of deaths was entirely new to me. This experience added a completely new dimension to my understanding of medicine and how illness and death affect loved ones.
  • Emergency department internship. Here I learned so much about how things worked in the hospital. I realized how important it was that people who worked in the clinical department were involved in creating hospital policies. This made me understand, in practical terms, how an MPH would give me the foundation to make even more change in the future.
  • Master’s in public health. I decided to get an MPH for two reasons. First of all, I knew my undergraduate science GPA was an issue so I figured that graduate level courses in which I performed well would boost my record. I don’t think I will write this on my application, but I also thought the degree would give me other skills if I didn’t get into medical school, and I knew it would also give me something on which I could build during medical school and in my career since I was interested in policy work.

As you can see from Amy’s personal inventory list, she has many accomplishments that are important to her and influenced her path. The most influential personal experience that motivated her to practice medicine was her mother’s career as a practicing physician, but Amy was also motivated by watching her mother’s career evolve. Even though the death of her grandmother was devastating for Amy, she did not consider this experience especially influential in her choice to attend medical school so she didn’t write about it in her personal statement.

Amy wrote an experience-based personal statement, rich with anecdotes and detailed descriptions, to illustrate the evolution of her interest in medicine and how this motivated her to also earn a master’s in public health.

Amy’s  Medical School Personal Statement  Example:

She was sprawled across the floor of her apartment. Scattered trash, decaying food, alcohol bottles, medication vials, and cigarette butts covered the floor. I had just graduated from college, and this was my first day on rotation with the forensic pathology department as a Summer Scholar, one of my most valuable activities on the path to medical school. As the coroner deputy scanned the scene for clues to what caused this woman’s death, I saw her distraught husband. I did not know what to say other than “I am so sorry.” I listened intently as he repeated the same stories about his wife and his dismay that he never got to say goodbye. The next day, alongside the coroner as he performed the autopsy, I could not stop thinking about the grieving man.

Discerning a cause of death was not something I had previously associated with the practice of medicine. As a child, I often spent Saturday mornings with my mother, a surgeon, as she rounded on patients. I witnessed the results of her actions, as she provided her patients a renewed chance at life. I grew to honor and respect my mother’s profession. Witnessing the immense gratitude of her patients and their families, I quickly came to admire the impact she was able to make in the lives of her patients and their loved ones.

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine as my mother had, and throughout high school and college I sought out clinical, research, and volunteer opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of medicine. After volunteering with cancer survivors at Camp Ronald McDonald, I was inspired to further understand this disease. Through my oncology research, I learned about therapeutic processes for treatment development. Further, following my experience administering HIV tests, I completed research on point-of-care HIV testing, to be instituted throughout 26 hospitals and clinics. I realized that research often served as a basis for change in policy and medical practice and sought out opportunities to learn more about both.

All of my medically related experiences demonstrated that people who were ‘behind the scenes’ and had limited or no clinical background made many of the decisions in health care. Witnessing the evolution of my mother’s career further underscored the impact of policy change on the practice of medicine. In particular, the limits legislation imposed on the care she could provide influenced my perspective and future goals. Patients whom my mother had successfully treated for more than a decade, and with whom she had long-standing, trusting relationships, were no longer able to see her, because of policy coverage changes. Some patients, frustrated by these limitations, simply stopped seeking the care they needed. As a senior in college, I wanted to understand how policy transformations came about and gain the tools I would need to help effect administrative and policy changes in the future as a physician. It was with this goal in mind that I decided to complete a master’s in public health program before applying to medical school.

As an MPH candidate, I am gaining insight into the theories and practices behind the complex interconnections of the healthcare system; I am learning about economics, operations, management, ethics, policy, finance, and technology and how these entities converge to impact delivery of care. A holistic understanding of this diverse, highly competitive, market-driven system will allow me, as a clinician, to find solutions to policy, public health, and administration issues. I believe that change can be more effective if those who actually practice medicine also decide where improvements need to be made.

For example, as the sole intern for the emergency department at County Medical Center, I worked to increase efficiency in the ED by evaluating and mapping patient flow. I tracked patients from point of entry to point of discharge and found that the discharge process took up nearly 35% of patients’ time. By analyzing the reasons for this situation, in collaboration with nurses and physicians who worked in the ED and had an intimate understanding of what took place in the clinical area, I was able to make practical recommendations to decrease throughput time. The medical center has already implemented these suggestions, resulting in decreased length of stays. This example illustrates the benefit of having clinicians who work ‘behind the scenes’ establish policies and procedures, impacting operational change and improving patient care. I will also apply what I have learned through this project as the business development intern at Another Local Medical Center this summer, where I will assist in strategic planning, financial analysis, and program reviews for various clinical departments.

Through my mother’s career and my own medical experiences, I have become aware of the need for clinician administrators and policymakers. My primary goal as a physician will be to care for patients, but with the knowledge and experience I have gained through my MPH, I also hope to effect positive public policy and administrative changes.

Paragraphs 1 and 2: Amy started her personal statement by illustrating a powerful experience she had when she realized that medical caregivers often feel impotent, and how this contrasted with her understanding of medicine as a little girl going with her mother to work. Recognition of this intense contrast also highlights her maturity.

P-3: She then “lists” a few experiences that were important to her.

Paragraph 4: Amy describes the commonality in some of her experiences and how her observations were substantiated by watching the evolution of her mother’s practice. She then explains how this motivated her to earn an MPH so she could create change more effectively as a physician than as a layman.

P-5: Next, she explains how her graduate degree is helping her to better understand the “issues in medicine” that she observed.

Paragraph 6: Then, an exceptional accomplishment is described, highlighting what she has learned and how she has applied it.

P-7: Finally, she effectively concludes her personal statement and summarizes the major topics addressed in her essay.

As you can see, her statement has excellent flow, is captivating and unusual, and illustrates her understanding of, and commitment to, medicine. Throughout her application entries and statement, she exhibits the personal competencies, characteristics, and qualities that medical school admissions officers are seeking. Her application also has broad appeal; reviewers who are focused on research, cultural awareness, working with the underserved, health administration and policy, teaching, or clinical medicine would all find it of interest.

Amy's Medical School Personal Statement Example Review

Osteopathic Medical School Personal Statement

Example and Analysis #2

Medical School Personal Statement Example Background:  This is a nontraditional applicant who applied to osteopathic medical schools. With a 500 and a 504 on the  MCAT , he needed to showcase how his former career and what he learned through his work made him an asset. He also needed to convey why osteopathic medicine was an ideal fit for him. The student does an excellent job illustrating his commitment to medicine and explaining why and how he made the well-informed decision to leave his former career to pursue a career in osteopathic medicine.

What’s Good About It:  A nontraditional student with a former career, this applicant does a great job outlining how and why he decided to pursue a career in medicine. Clearly dedicated to service, he also does a great job making it clear he is a good fit for osteopathic medical school and understands this distinctions of osteopathic practice.. 

Working as a police officer, one comes to expect the unexpected, but sometimes, when the unexpected happens, one can’t help but be surprised. In November 20XX, I had been a police officer for two years when my partner and I happened to be nearby when a man had a cardiac emergency in Einstein Bagels. Entering the restaurant, I was caught off guard by the lifeless figure on the floor, surrounded by spilled food. Time paused as my partner and I began performing CPR, and my heart raced as I watched color return to the man’s pale face.

Luckily, paramedics arrived within minutes to transport him to a local hospital. Later, I watched as the family thanked the doctors who gave their loved one a renewed chance at life. That day, in the “unexpected,” I confirmed that I wanted to become a physician, something that had attracted me since childhood.

I have always been enthralled by the science of medicine and eager to help those in need but, due to life events, my path to achieving this dream has been long. My journey began following high school when I joined the U.S. Army. I was immature and needed structure, and I knew the military was an opportunity to pursue my medical ambitions. I trained as a combat medic and requested work in an emergency room of an army hospital. At the hospital, I started IVs, ran EKGs, collected vital signs, and assisted with codes. I loved every minute as I was directly involved in patient care and observed physicians methodically investigating their patients’ signs and symptoms until they reached a diagnosis. Even when dealing with difficult patients, the physicians I worked with maintained composure, showing patience and understanding while educating patients about their diseases. I observed physicians not only as clinicians but also as teachers. As a medic, I learned that I loved working with patients and being part of the healthcare team, and I gained an understanding of acute care and hospital operations.

Following my discharge in 20XX, I transferred to an army reserve hospital and continued as a combat medic until 20XX. Working as a medic at several hospitals and clinics in the area, I was exposed to osteopathic medicine and the whole body approach to patient care. I was influenced by the D.O.s’ hands-on treatment and their use of manipulative medicine as a form of therapy. I learned that the body cannot function properly if there is dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system.

AACOMAS Personal Statement Example Review

In 20XX, I became a police officer to support myself as I finished my undergraduate degree and premed courses. While working the streets, I continued my patient care experiences by being the first to care for victims of gunshot wounds, stab wounds, car accidents, and other medical emergencies. In addition, I investigated many unknown causes of death with the medical examiner’s office. I often found signs of drug and alcohol abuse and learned the dangers and power of addiction. In 20XX, I finished my undergraduate degree in education and in 20XX, I completed my premed courses.

Wanting to learn more about primary care medicine, in 20XX I volunteered at a community health clinic that treats underserved populations. Shadowing a family physician, I learned about the physical exam as I looked into ears and listened to the hearts and lungs of patients with her guidance. I paid close attention as she expressed the need for more PCPs and the important roles they play in preventing disease and reducing ER visits by treating and educating patients early in the disease process. This was evident as numerous patients were treated for high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes, all conditions that can be resolved or improved by lifestyle changes. I learned that these changes are not always easy for many in underserved populations as healthier food is often more expensive and sometimes money for prescriptions is not available. This experience opened my eyes to the challenges of being a physician in an underserved area.

The idea of disease prevention stayed with me as I thought about the man who needed CPR. Could early detection and education about heart disease have prevented his “unexpected” cardiac event? My experiences in health care and law enforcement have confirmed my desire to be an osteopathic physician and to treat the patients of the local area. I want to eliminate as many medical surprises as I can.

Personal Statement Writing Help

Texas Medical School Personal Statement Example and Analysis #3

Medical School Personal Statement Example Background:  This applicant, who grew up with modest means, should be an inspiration to us all. Rather than allowing limited resources to stand in his way, he took advantage of everything that was available to him. He commuted to college from home and had a part-time job so he was stretched thin, and his initial college performance suffered. However, he worked hard and his grades improved. Most medical school admissions committees seek out applicants like this because, by overcoming adversity and succeeding with limited resources, they demonstrate exceptional perseverance, maturity, and dedication. His accomplishments are, by themselves, impressive and he does an outstanding job of detailing his path, challenges, and commitment to medicine. He received multiple acceptances to top medical schools and was offered scholarships.

What’s Good About It:  This student does a great job opening his personal statement with a beautifully written introduction that immediately takes the reader to Central America. He then explains his path, why he did poorly early in college, and goes on to discuss his academic interests and pursuits. He is also clearly invested in research and articulates that he is intellectually curious, motivated, hard working, compassionate and committed to a career in medicine by explaining his experiences using interesting language and details. This is an intriguing statement that makes clear the applicant is worthy of an interview invitation. Finally, the student expresses his interest in attending medical school in Texas.

They were learning the basics of carpentry and agriculture. The air was muggy and hot, but these young boys seemed unaffected, though I and my fellow college students sweated and often complained. As time passed, I started to have a greater appreciation for the challenges these boys faced. These orphans, whom I met and trained in rural Central America as a member of The Project, had little. They dreamed of using these basic skills to earn a living wage. Abandoned by their families, they knew this was their only opportunity to re-enter society as self- sufficient individuals. I stood by them in the fields and tutored them after class. And while I tried my best to instill in them a strong work ethic, it was the boys who instilled in me a desire to help those in need. They gave me a new perspective on my decision to become a doctor.

I don’t know exactly when I decided to become a physician; I have had this goal for a long time. I grew up in the inner city of A City, in Texas and attended magnet schools. My family knew little about higher education, and I learned to seek out my own opportunities and advice. I attended The University with the goal of gaining admission to medical school. When I started college, I lacked the maturity to focus on academics and performed poorly. Then I traveled to Central America. Since I was one of the few students who spoke Spanish, many of the boys felt comfortable talking with me. They saw me as a role model.

The boys worked hard so that they could learn trades that would help them to be productive members of society. It was then I realized that my grandparents, who immigrated to the US so I would have access to greater opportunities, had done the same. I felt like I was wasting what they had sacrificed for me. When I returned to University in the fall, I made academics my priority and committed myself to learn more about medicine.

TMDSAS Personal Statement Example Review

Through my major in neuroscience, I strengthened my understanding of how we perceive and experience life. In systems neurobiology, I learned the physiology of the nervous system. Teaching everything from basic neural circuits to complex sensory pathways, Professor X provided me with the knowledge necessary to conduct research in Parkinson’s disease. My research focused on the ability of antioxidants to prevent the onset of Parkinson’s, and while my project was only a pilot study at the time, Professor X encouraged me to present it at the National Research Conference. During my senior year, I developed the study into a formal research project, recruiting the help of professors of statistics and biochemistry.

Working at the School of Medicine reinforced my analytical skills. I spent my summer in the department of emergency medicine, working with the department chair, Dr. Excellent. Through Dr. Excellent’s mentorship, I participated in a retrospective study analyzing patient charts to determine the efficacy of D-dimer assays in predicting blood clots. The direct clinical relevance of my research strengthened my commitment and motivated my decision to seek out more clinical research opportunities.

A growing awareness of the role of human compassion in healing has also influenced my choice to pursue a career in medicine. It is something no animal model or cell culture can ever duplicate or rival. Working in clinical research has allowed me to see the selflessness of many physicians and patients and their mutual desire to help others. As a research study assistant in the department of surgery, I educate and enroll patients in clinical trials. One such study examines the role of pre-operative substance administration in tumor progression. Patients enrolled in this study underwent six weeks of therapy before having the affected organ surgically excised. Observing how patients were willing to participate in this research to benefit others helped me understand the resiliency of the human spirit.

Working in clinical trials has enabled me to further explore my passion for science, while helping others. Through my undergraduate coursework and participation in volunteer groups I have had many opportunities to solidify my goal to become a physician. As I am working, I sometimes think about my second summer in Central America. I recall how one day, after I had turned countless rows of soil in scorching heat, one of the boys told me that I was a trabajador verdadero—a true worker. I paused as I realized the significance of this comment. While the boy may not have been able to articulate it, he knew I could identify with him. What the boy didn’t know, however, was that had my grandparents not decided to immigrate to the US, I would not have the great privilege of seizing opportunities in this country and writing this essay today. I look forward to the next step of my education and hope to return home to Texas where I look forward to serving the communities I call home.

Final Thoughts

Medical school personal statement help & consulting.

If all this information has you staring at your screen like a deer in the headlights, you’re not alone. Writing a superb medical school personal statement can be a daunting task, and many applicants find it difficult to get started writing, or to express everything they want to say succinctly. That’s where MedEdits can help. You don’t have to have the best writing skills to compose a stand-out statement. From personal-statement editing alone to comprehensive packages for all your medical school application needs, we offer extensive support and expertise developed from working with thousands of successful medical school applicants. We can’t promise applying to medical school will be stress-free, but most clients tell us it’s a huge relief not to have to go it alone.

MedEdits offers personal statement consulting and editing. Our goal when working with students is to draw out what makes each student distinctive. How do we do this? We will explore your background and upbringing, interests and ideals as well as your accomplishments and activities. By helping you identify the most distinguishing aspects of who you are, you will then be able to compose an authentic and genuine personal statement in your own voice to capture the admissions committee’s attention so you are invited for a medical school interview. Our unique brainstorming methodology has helped hundreds of aspiring premeds gain acceptance to medical school.

MedEdits: Sample Medical School Personal Statement, Page 1

JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., is a former faculty member and admissions committee member at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is the founder and chair of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of the MedEdits Guide to Medical Admissions and The Medical School Interview which you can find on  Amazon . Follow Dr. Freedman and MedEdits on Facebook and  YouTube.

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Top 15 medical school personal statement examples.

best doctor personal statement

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Does the perfect medical school personal statement exist? What do good personal statements for medical school look like? All of these questions and more will be answered below!

When you’re writing your personal statement for medical school, you’ll want to keep the three E’s in mind: engagement, enthusiasm, and explanation. 

You want your personal statement to be engaging throughout, to clearly illustrate your enthusiasm to join the medical school, and to explain your motivation for pursuing this field. 

But this is easier said than done! Including all of these elements in your personal statement while simultaneously ensuring it stands out and showcases your individuality can be challenging. 

Luckily, this guide will ease these difficulties! In it, we’ll not only provide you with a step-by-step of how to write your own personal statement, but we’ll also go over 15 medical school personal statement examples!

Get The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Unforgettable Personal Statement

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15 Medical School Personal Statement Examples

Before we give you a run down of how to write a winning personal statement for medical school, it will be beneficial to read some samples and explain why they’re successful! Here are 15 excellent personal statement for medical school examples you can draw inspiration from!

Please note, the names and identifying details in these personal statements have been removed to ensure anonymity. 

Sarah was the second victim they brought to the hospital that night. Pellets from the shotgun covered the entire right side of her body. The shooter had hit multiple individuals at the birthday party, and Sarah was transported to our emergency department soon after. She was the first patient I ever treated as an EMT. 

After evaluating and stabilizing her condition, I used saline and gauze to clean the blood off her exposed skin, making a special effort to gently wash the contours of her face. Jeff, the ER technician I was shadowing that evening, diligently watched my every move. "He's got you looking good as new!" he said, breaking the heavy silence. At that moment, I saw a delicate smile emerge from her shocked, shell-like demeanor. I had treated her physical injuries, and he had addressed her mental well-being. Together, we had cared for the patient. At that moment, I began to understand the charge and function of the modern physician. My journey to that emergency room began in an unexpected place: the rolling foothills of Kentucky in the small town I call home, surrounded by cow farms and fields of soybeans. My parents had immigrated from Nigeria and taught English and Philosophy at our local university. My childhood was a perpetual humanities classroom. Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic" better characterized my understanding of human suffering than the halls of a hospital emergency department. 

However, by my freshman year of high school, I knew that my academic interest lay not within ancient literature but rather within the living cell. In my mind, the cell is a metropolis waiting to be explored. I began to carve a professional path to pursue my fascination with the cell and study the mechanisms that create and sustain life. However, during my sophomore year, my diabetic father’s cognitive impairments developed into severe early-onset dementia. As much as I hoped to pursue my interests as a molecular biologist, my perspectives began to shift. My upbringing in the humanities and the challenge of caring for my father deepened my understanding of how our shared human experiences give meaning to our existence. I could spend my life studying the functions and pathologies of the cell. But, beyond the boundaries of its membrane, remains a human being with tangible, immediate needs, just like my father.

To understand this duality between biology and the human experience, I have spent my college career immersed in both research and clinical activities. My passion for molecular biology is manifested in my undergraduate research. My scientific exploration of the cell reinforced my fascination with its mechanisms and cultivated my desire to discover new molecular phenomena. Beyond research, I worked to build a new program in partnership with an internationally renowned medical center that trained undergraduate students to provide social support to geriatric inpatients. As co-president and avid volunteer, I have spent over a hundred hours listening to patients and their life stories as they sat in isolation in their hospital rooms. 

Hand in hand, I comforted Mr. Stevens in the face of imminent mortality as he simultaneously mourned his terminal kidney failure and the death of his wife just weeks earlier. Listening to Mrs. Williams jokingly talk about her "adventures" completing word search puzzles during the pandemic always made me laugh. I witnessed a spectrum of human experience as defined by the heritage and identity of these patients, leaving each interaction filled with purpose and meaning. In the quiet rooms of the geriatric ward and the tense hallways of the emergency department, I confronted the vulnerability within the patient experience. I began to understand the individual in the context of disease. 

As a researcher, my curiosity with the cell led to a fascination with its hallmark pathology: cancer. In my sophomore year, I worked to redesign a novel inhibitor of HSP90, a molecular chaperone implicated in over 600 types of cancer. Later, as a radiation immunology intern, I genetically modified cancer cell lines, studied their pathology in mice, and worked to find correlations between tumor RNA expression and therapeutic outcomes in human pancreatic cancer. The spectrum between basic and clinical cancer research inspires me with its potential to revolutionize the lives of patients. As a future oncologist, I endeavor to harness the power within biomedical discovery and our shared human experience to push back the boundaries of cancerous dysfunction in favor of the patients I serve. 

As I closed the door to Sarah's room and followed Jeff to our next patient, I carried the realization that biomedical science and humanities are not only entwined but entirely interdependent. To serve a patient effectively is to address the disease in the context of the human. I embrace the charge to work at this complex interface. I want to lead patients through their most vulnerable moments with the competency and empathy demanded of the profession as I expand my knowledge of our molecular profile through attentive study and avid research.

Why It Works

This is a powerful personal statement for numerous reasons:

  • Opening hook : The essay starts with a gripping and dramatic scene of the applicant treating a gunshot victim, immediately capturing the reader's attention.
  • Personal narrative : The essay weaves a personal narrative throughout, sharing the applicant's journey from their upbringing in a small town to their experiences as an EMT, their father's illness, and their involvement in research and clinical activities, adding personality and authenticity to the story.
  • Passion and motivation : The applicant’s passion for medicine and their strong desire to make a difference in the lives of patients is clear through their dedication to research, their engagement with geriatric inpatients, and their focus on oncology.
  • Reflection and growth : The applicant reflects on their experiences and how they have shaped their understanding of medicine. They show personal growth and a shift in perspective, emphasizing the importance of the human experience in healthcare.
  • Connection between science and humanities : The essay effectively highlights the interdependence between biomedical science and the humanities, showing the applicant's ability to bridge the gap and approach patient care from a holistic perspective.
  • Clear future goals : The essay concludes by outlining the applicant's future aspirations as an oncologist and their commitment to combining biomedical discovery with compassionate patient care. Having defined goals is essential to portray your commitment to medicine.
  • Engaging writing style : The essay is well-written and engaging, uses descriptive language, vivid anecdotes, and thoughtful reflections to captivate the reader and convey the applicant's message effectively.

This is the type of statement that leaves a lasting impression on the admissions committee!

‍ My family immigrated from Cuba to the United States roughly 27 years ago. My father fled to the U.S. on a wooden makeshift raft and my mother came as a political refugee—making me a first generation American. After moving to the U.S., my family faced significant adversity—financial, language, and community barriers. As a result of these difficulties, I noticed that my family adopted a “avoid doctors unless you absolutely cannot,” mentality. 

The first time my family looked into healthcare resources was during the arrival of my maternal great grandmother to the United States, a previous political prisoner in Cuba. While in solitary confinement for 12 years, she developed thrombosis in her legs, with doctors in Cuba only offering amputation. No one in the family spoke English, and there was a disconnect between providers and my grandmother—both sides could only comprehend about half of what was happening. The physicians were limited on time given the line of patients waiting. However, my family was not only fluent in another language, but they were also from a culture that avoided healthcare professionals. These factors were not able to be conveyed in a 20-minute conversation involving translation issues with an interpreter. Eventually, through other immigrants, they found Dr. Alvarez, an Argentinean physician. He was Spanish speaking and offered her surgical vein reconstruction—most importantly, he was able to build rapport with her quickly, and my grandmother went ahead with his suggested care. After that experience with Dr. Alvarez, my mother would cross state lines to take me to a Spanish-speaking pediatrician, Dr. Arias. 

Observing my family’s determination in finding physicians like Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Arias made me realize the importance of Hispanic, Spanish-speaking, culturally competent physicians in the U.S. I spent time learning about healthcare inequities between Hispanic populations and other ethnicities, inside and outside the classroom. I was driven to pursue a career in medicine to be an advocate and manage care for patients from vulnerable communities—bridging the divide in comprehension and quality of care between Hispanic and other underrepresented minorities in the United States. 

During my first week at college, I became a volunteer at [Hospital]. My first job was to be an admissions ambassador, a liaison helping patients navigate the hospital. Hispanic patients frequently approached me for guidance. “Olivia,” an Ecuadorian mother with her 3-year-old daughter in a stroller approached me one day. She was lost trying to find a physician’s office. I could see her daughter recently had a surgical procedure done on her little hand. After a few detours, I located the physician’s office. He happened to be there and was eager to have me translate. Olivia asked several questions regarding accrued treatment costs. She was running out of money. After assessing the situation and helping express her concerns to the physician, we reached out to the appropriate personnel and helped her navigate the system—she was relieved by the end of the conversation. I couldn’t help but think back to my own family and struggles they faced as refugees navigating the U.S. healthcare system. Being a resource in this manner brought me a new sense of fulfillment, further inspiring me to pursue medicine. 

The comfort my interpreting skills brought to Hispanic patients at [Hospital] sparked my desire to seek more formal interpreting positions. I located a free clinic treating uninsured adults, the [Local Clinic]. As a medical interpreter and patient advocate, I helped Hispanic patients through their check-ups and physical exams. I also worked in the OB-GYN clinic, guiding Hispanic women through intimate conversations with their providers. Many of these patients were a bit hesitant to open up, but after I spoke to them in Spanish, they became more comfortable and told their stories. I remember one story in particular about “Catalina,” a woman from Mexico that immigrated to the U.S. less than a year before visiting the clinic. While waiting for the medical student to return from presenting her case to the attending, she asked me what my future plans were. I told Catalina I wanted to become a physician, and her eyes lit up—she was incredibly supportive, telling me there needed to be more Hispanic physicians and encouraged me to stay on the path. While healthcare is not an easy road, interactions like these continue to drive me—I want to be able to ease concerns, allowing patients to open up. 

My family background and personal experiences as an interpreter have ignited my desire to become a physician that provides culturally competent care to patients from vulnerable communities and increase minority representation in the healthcare space. Discovering the positive impact I had as a bridge between patients and the U.S. healthcare system alone, made me imagine the impact I could have as their physician in the future. A career in medicine with public service at the center will allow me to provide direct medical care without the need for this bridge. This would enable me to address health inequities vulnerable communities are burdened by while being a role model for future first generation Americans.

What stands out the most in this essay is the student’s passion! It’s clear they’re determined to make healthcare more accessible and inclusive, which is an excellent goal to have as a future physician. The student also hits the mark in the following ways:

  • Offers a unique, diverse perspective : The applicant’s background as a first-generation American brings a unique perspective to their personal statement. This diversity adds value to the medical school community and showcases the applicant's ability to bring a different cultural lens to patient care.
  • Involves cultural competence and advocacy : The applicant demonstrates a clear understanding of the healthcare disparities faced by Hispanic populations and other vulnerable communities. This type of awareness is crucial to have in the medical field.
  • Shares relevant experiences : The essay highlights the applicant's involvement in volunteer work at a hospital and a free clinic, where they served as a translator and patient advocate. These experiences demonstrate they understand the challenges of healthcare and are still determined to pursue a career in it.
  • Aligns with the values of medicine : The applicant's desire to provide culturally competent care and increase minority representation in the healthcare field aligns with the core values of medicine, such as social justice and advocacy, making them a more attractive med school candidate. 
  • Is well-balanced : The student maintains a balance between their personal anecdotes and professional aspirations, ensuring the reader gains a comprehensive understanding of their motivations and qualifications.

Overall, this statement is focused and clear. It illustrates this student’s past, present, and potential future as a healthcare provider. 

There are sounds, throughout the course of a day, that demand our attention and those that blend, seamlessly, into the static noise of detail that our brain chooses to filter. There is an immediacy to the social demand of a friend calling our name, the ping of an incoming text, and the incessant honking of a car as we attempt to merge lanes. On the other hand, we tend to ignore, even mute, the soft bubbling of a kettle on the stove, the footsteps of someone walking by, and the ticking of a clock. 

In a society characterized by a constant influx of information, I believe the mere act of listening can be easily overlooked. Furthermore, listening is the foundation for empathy: the ability to not only understand what another is going through but also to take part in their journey is the bedrock of human relationships. I have come to realize that listening to others – not simply hearing them – is a necessary component to any relationship: the former being intentional and the latter unintentional.

For me, a fulfilling career combines my fascination with the sciences, my desire to serve the community and provides the chance to grow from a variety of relationships through listening. The field of medicine uniquely brings together my diverse interests and experiences while fulfilling my desire to help my fellow man. 

Through the study of biology, I have gained a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of the biotic and abiotic environment. Combined with the exploration of the “instructions” for life, encoded within molecules no wider than strands of hair, I have cultivated a child-like fascination for the human body. The study of economics has provided insight into decision-making and how that is manifested in a world with finite resources. Additionally, my research experiences working with the genetic diversity of Sporisorium ellisii and traumatic brain injuries have given me an appreciation for not only the reliability of the scientific method but also the bridge between creativity and impact. I want to continue to foster my curiosity through a field that explores the challenges facing human life both on a microscopic and macroscopic level.

Although I found my courses interesting, I also found them lacking - I desired to have a more hands-on role within the field. In part to ameliorate this void, I took an active role in leading the committee for a health clinic that my service fraternity hosted at a major hospital in the greater [Local] community. After months of soliciting and coordinating the assistance of various student organizations as well as local professionals, there were fewer than ten attendees during the entire five-hour clinic. Rather than simply admitting failure, I, along with other committee members, went out into the community for an explanation. After listening to locals, we discovered that there was mistrust in the healthcare system. The following year, we addressed the issue by choosing a location where the community frequently gathered: a local church. We were then met with much greater success, as locals interacted with both students and professionals to express concerns regarding healthcare. Actively listening to the individuals’ concerns was the catalyst that ultimately allowed for a greater impact on the community as a whole. 

After discovering the impact that could be made from listening to the community, I endeavored to make a difference on a more personal level. I found that my yearning was sated by my experience teaching others leading me to work in an urban high school through City Year following graduation. My goal for the year was to challenge myself and strive to find commonalities that transcend physical differences. Working with these students gave me invaluable experience in understanding the impact backgrounds have on perspectives and helped me develop patience while adhering to time-dependent goals. The patient-doctor relationship is similar to that of the student- teacher: both parties must be willing to learn from one another. I want to not only use my skills to help those in need but also grow from serving my patients. Medicine provides a unique challenge requiring knowledge about the background of physical ailments and an understanding of the relevant social factors that comes about through deep personal relationships. 

Through my interests and extracurricular involvement I have learned to remain inquisitive but not overzealous, patient but not complacent and supportive but not overbearing. Coupled with my time volunteering in hospitals and shadowing, I know that practicing medicine provides this harmony I am striving for. In my mind, there can be no greater fulfillment than having the opportunity to enter a dynamic profession that seeks to understand the nuances of the human body, to adapt to healthcare in the 21st century and to serve the community at-large not only as a source of knowledge but also as a student of the human condition. As I embark upon this journey, I hope to gain the skills necessary to champion for the betterment of my patients. I would cherish the opportunity to critically think about the human body, to build meaningful inter-personal relationships, to be a teacher and most importantly, to listen, rather than simply hear. 

This personal statement is captivating from beginning to end, and here’s why:

  • Has a distinct hook : It’s always impressive when students open with seemingly unrelated hooks and tactfully connect them to their interest in medicine, which this student has done perfectly.
  • It integrates diverse interests and experiences : The applicant effectively integrates their passion for the sciences, community service, and human relationships. They demonstrate how the field of medicine provides a platform to combine these interests, showing their strong critical thinking skills.
  • Shows a commitment to growth and learning : The student expresses their desire to actively seek out opportunities to challenge themselves and broaden their perspectives. This commitment aligns with the values of medicine as a lifelong learning profession, showcasing their preparedness for med school.
  • Has a strong conclusion : The conclusion effectively summarizes the applicant's motivations and aspirations, highlighting their desire to critically think about the human body, build meaningful relationships, and listen actively, leaving a lasting impression on the judges.

All of these elements combined create a compelling narrative that showcases the applicant's suitability and passion for a career in medicine!

The shed behind the [Hospital] in Uganda was full of broken wheelchairs. I took one apart, and began to build the framework for a standing wheel that Jeremy, an eight-year-old with cerebral palsy, could spin in circles to strengthen his spastic rotator cuff. As I baked in the midday heat, I tried to ignore my own festering doubts about the integrity of my design project. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to help Jeremy overcome his condition just using discarded parts, but I couldn’t let that stop me from trying. 

My path here had not been straightforward. What had started as a project focused on repairing old medical equipment had quickly become a firsthand exploration into patient care. In the United States, healthcare providers and engineers typically work separately from one another, but in Uganda, medical equipment maintenance is performed directly in hospital wards, often bringing me face-to-face with patients. In [Town], for example, I only happened to meet Jeremy, beaming at me from his bright-red walking frame, because I was fixing his hospital bed. I smiled back, assuming our interactions would end there. But he stayed, and as he laughed at my attempts to speak L’Uganda, I started to realize how refreshing it was to have the chance to talk with a patient being impacted by my work. Noticing the pain from his shaking left shoulder, I also grasped the limits on helping patients without face-to-face interaction; I would have never thought to build Jeremy a physical therapy device had I never met him in person. Over time, I grew increasingly interested in acting in a role that bridged the gap between patient and medical technology through direct contact. 

Even with my newfound interest in patient care, my exposure to the realities of healthcare disparities proved equally profound. Most strikingly, I recall my time in [Hospital’s] neonatal ICU, where I witnessed multiple premature newborns being placed into incubators only meant to fit one infant. The incubators regulated body temperature, but overcrowding compromised their functionality. One day, this overcrowding resulted in the death of a newborn girl who succumbed to the cold. As the child’s mother grieved, I sat a few feet away, filled with guilt that my inability to fix every piece of equipment made me partly responsible for her loss. Noticing my frustration, my mentor, Dr. Carlos, told me, “three years ago, only a few of these incubators were working. Now only a few are left to fix.” A life had been lost, but by our equipment maintenance, many other lives had been saved. His words encouraged me to stay resolute in my belief that the gradual efforts of the composite healthcare team can - and will - bridge disparities in healthcare. This experience reaffirmed my desire to stay invested in the development of strong medical infrastructure, specifically in a role where I can directly work with patients to avoid the outcome I witnessed at [Hospital].

Returning to [Location], I discovered that inequities in medical care, so plainly visible in the developing world, were hidden right under my nose at home. Volunteering at the [Nursing Home], a Medicaid-funded nursing home for the disadvantaged, I found that another crucial component to addressing these inequities is to connect with those who feel neglected. Here, I came across obstacles to medical care I had grown to expect, such as understaffing, older equipment, and an inability to finance high-cost treatments. However, most residents’ frustrations with their medical care were secondary to their struggles with social isolation. Olivia, one of my favorite residents, has COPD and end-stage renal failure, and cannot sit up in her bed. 

Despite all her ailments, nothing hurt her more than the fact that no one came to visit her. Week by week, as we discussed everything from Latin etymology to the merits of broccoli as a side to chicken wings, I watched Olivia’s smile grow with every visit I paid her. The ability I had to brighten her day just by giving her an hour of my time every week helped me appreciate the unique privilege physicians must have to set patients at ease by letting them know that someone is continually invested in their well-being. After a few months at the [Nursing Home], Olivia surprised me with the comment that she didn’t feel alone anymore. I marveled at how just by being present in a patient’s life, I had made my own small contribution to overcome her emotional pain. I was inspired to pursue a role where I could expand upon my ability to heal patients by providing not only emotional support, but also clinical care. 

My medical journey has been wayward. It has taken me to Uganda, where a boy taught me to value the patients I encounter even more than the machines I fix. It has led me back to America, where a nursing home resident made me realize the simple but powerful gesture of healing by forming connections. It has been demanding, but extremely fulfilling. As a physician, I hope to merge the lessons from all my experiences to work at the interface of science, society, and person, contributing to advancements in medical infrastructure while never losing sight of the individual patients who make medicine so meaningful. 

As you read through this medical school personal statement example, pay particular attention to the way the author implements the following techniques into their personal statement:

  • Opening with a compelling anecdote : The essay begins with a great description of the applicant's experience building a standing wheel for a child with cerebral palsy in Uganda. This engaging opening captures the reader's attention and creates a sense of curiosity.
  • Showing personal growth and transformation : The essay demonstrates how the applicant's experiences in Uganda and at a nursing home have shaped their perspective on patient care. This portrayal of personal growth and transformation adds depth to the narrative.
  • Effectively uses descriptive language and storytelling : The essay utilizes descriptive language to paint a picture of the environments and individuals they’ve encountered. The use of specific details helps the reader visualize the scenes and empathize with the experiences described.
  • Linking personal experiences to broader themes : The applicant connects their experiences in Uganda and at the nursing home to broader themes of healthcare disparities, patient care, and the importance of human connection, showing their analytic skills and level of perspective. 

Consider using some of these techniques to elevate your own personal statement!

As two surgical residents rushed into my room at 10:30 pm with a cart of equipment, a few nightmare scenarios raced through my mind. Where are they going to stick that tube? Why the scissors? 

It turned out that my team of doctors had decided that a nasogastric (NG) tube needed to be placed immediately. By that point I had already been through a lot: years of immunosuppressant drugs and steroids that made my face moon-shaped, a series of surgeries to rearrange my digestive tract, and a few bowel obstructions that led me to the emergency room. For some reason, none of those experiences haunt me more than recalling that NG tube on that night. Five painful attempts to force the tube down my nose and into my throat were all unsuccessful. I was in tears, one of the residents was in tears, and blood and mucus covered my hospital gown; the night had gone downhill fast.

Enduring grueling medical interventions was nothing out of the ordinary for me, but the lack of conversation or connection with my team left me emotionally unprepared and in shock. Alone and recovering from surgery, I was vulnerable at that moment and suddenly felt like the doctors were not on my team. I began to feel like the residents were disappointed in me and that I had caused the procedure to fail. I still remember being unable to process what had happened and staring out the window all that night. I knew that residents had already undergone years of training, yet seeing one resident cry made me wonder if she was just as scared as I was. In the same way that nothing could have prepared me for that night, countless hours of training as a medical student does not necessarily prepare one to gain the trust of a vulnerable, anxious patient.

In the days following this experience, I developed a new appreciation for my primary care physician at the time, colorectal surgeon Dr. [NAME]. It is frightening to be surgically sliced into, but Dr. [NAME] had a way about him of making every decision and action seem perfectly natural and safe. He greeted me the same way every morning: “kak dila, Aaronchik,” asking me how I was doing and calling me by the Russian name only my mom used. We would speak in English, but when he dropped in a Russian word at the beginning or end it reminded me that he recognized me not just as a patient, but as a person. His constant efforts to connect with me and reassure me were the basis of my confidence in Dr. [NAME]. I knew that he had gone through extensive training and was technically qualified, but his emotional appeals were the overwhelming factor in the state of my morale. The atmosphere of security Dr. [NAME] brought into the room was the most memorable part of my interactions with him and separated him from all the other physicians I had seen. 

In the years prior to the NG tube incident unfolding, through countless conversations with attendings, residents, and medical students who took care of me throughout my adolescence, I cultivated a deep-rooted interest in pursuing a medical career. I learned a great deal about the intellectual and physical challenges of medical school and residency. However, my challenging experience with the NG tube provided me with a new understanding of patient care: I realized that it is not necessarily about what you know but about how you integrate that knowledge to make a meaningful connection with a human being under your care.

Dr. [NAME] exemplified how critical it is as a physician to instill palpable trust, not through pedigree and authority but through humanity. Thinking about Dr. [NAME] crystallized the feelings I had for years as a patient, that the field of medicine could be better, not only through technical advances but through the human touch and word, and that I could directly make this happen. Attending medical school will provide me with the tools and education I need to return to the wards, not as a patient but as a provider. In the back of my mind, I will always retain the inspiration of Dr. [NAME], who helped me recognize that my perspective from hardship will one day benefit those under my care.

As another one of the excellent medical school personal statement examples shared in this guide, let’s breakdown what makes this essay so effective:

  • Uses personal anecdotes to convey emotional impact : The essay describes the applicant's emotional state during the NG tube placement, highlighting their vulnerability, shock, and feelings of disappointment and isolation. The use of specific details adds depth and evokes empathy from the reader.
  • Maintains a consistent theme : Throughout the essay, the theme of the importance of empathy, connection, and the human touch in patient care is consistently emphasized, creating a cohesive narrative that reinforces the applicant's passion and commitment to medicine.
  • It defines what good medicine means to them : The student explains the lack of empathy they faced as a patient and how it informed their own philosophy on medicine and the type of doctor they’d like to become, giving the committee concrete future goals and demonstrating their intent and ambition. 
  • Reflections on the broader implications of their experiences : The applicant reflects on their experiences as a patient and draws broader conclusions about the field of medicine as a whole, which demonstrates their ability to think critically about the healthcare system and how they can contribute to it.

All of these features work together to ensure this personal statement follows the three E’s! 

“[NAME] is a seventeen-year-old female with suicidal ideations.” The emergency room nurse continued her report as I nervously riffled through [NAME]’s transfer of care paperwork. Looking toward the room where [NAME] and her parents were waiting to speak with me, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling that I was unprepared.

As a new EMT, I was filled with excitement and anticipation to gain experience in the medical field. After months of training, I was finally using my skills to help real patients. As I saw it, this would affirm my desire to become a doctor, a goal I have had since my aunt was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer when I was eight years old. I witnessed firsthand the comfort that my aunt’s medical team brought to my family during such a daunting time in our lives, and I knew then that I wanted to one day be that source of knowledge and support for others. 

My aunt’s illness also illuminated my interest in the science of medicine. I spent a lot of time learning from my uncle, a medical research scientist, who answered my countless questions about astrocytomas, innovative surgeries, and chemotherapies. I carried my fascination for the medical field with me throughout my undergraduate education, where my coursework, research, and my EMT training prepared me to care for patients biologically. And while I knew how to assess vitals, manage an airway, deliver medications, and even the physiologic processes of those actions, I now found myself face-to-face with a much more personal facet of medicine. I felt utterly underqualified to care for [NAME] psychologically. 

I knocked apprehensively on the glass sliding door to the emergency department exam room. “Hi [NAME], my name is [NAME]. I’m an EMT with the ambulance service here to transport you to the mental health facility. How are you feeling?” [NAME]’s solemn expression and her parents’ frightened eyes heightened my nerves. Had I already asked the wrong thing? Was I equipped to handle this situation?

After helping [NAME] into the ambulance and taking my seat, I searched for something to say. The nurse had explained that social pressures including moving away for college were exacerbating [NAME]’s struggles with anxiety and depression. I was afraid that approaching topics such as friends and school, as I normally would with patients her age, would make her more upset. Reaching for the blood pressure cuff near her stack of belongings, I spotted a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

“Are you reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? I love that book!” I exclaimed, nervously hoping for a connection.

As it turned out, like me, [NAME] loved to read. I smiled as she looked up and began talking excitedly about her favorite books. [NAME] continued to open up, but an uneasiness returned to her voice when she asked me about the facility and how long her treatment would take. I knew my answer was not one she wanted to hear. 

Preparing to deliver the difficult news, I was reminded of talking to my sisters. Growing up, uncertain times were the norm for me and my sisters because of our aunt’s diagnosis. Like me, my sisters were afraid and confused as we watched one of our favorite people slowly succumb to her illness. As the oldest, I often took on the responsibility of explaining my aunt’s condition to my sisters in a way I knew they would understand. When it came time for my aunt to go into hospice care, I wanted to be the one to tell my sisters, knowing I could string the words together delicately for them. It was through caring for my younger sisters that I developed the communication skills needed to discuss difficult subjects.

Holding [NAME]’s hand as I would my own sister’s, I explained that she would likely miss out on time with friends and family during her treatment. I consoled her and gave reassurance that her wellbeing was the main priority of both her medical team and her loved ones. 

Offering [NAME] some solace during that uncertain time in her life exemplifies why I want to go into medicine. Through my aunt’s physicians and the ones I have shadowed, I have always been inspired by the role each played in ensuring that patients felt comfortable, informed, and cared for. As an EMT, comforting words were the most I had to offer [NAME], and I learned that these are sometimes the most important medicine we have to offer. I want to be a physician so I can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients both medically and emotionally through hard times. 

While not every patient opens up as [NAME] did, I always do my best to ensure each patient feels safe and heard. I often think of my aunt and my sisters during these encounters and how I would want them to be treated. Studying medicine will be a way for me to honor my family’s story and to use the way it has shaped me to care for others. While I still at times doubt myself when caring for patients, these situations drive my motivation to become a physician. I have learned that I enjoy working in an ever-advancing field where each day brings unique challenges. A career in medicine will always be fulfilling, as every patient interaction is an opportunity for me to become better. I am excited to continue to face challenging situations throughout my career which will push me to be an empathetic physician.

As you read through these medical school personal statement examples, you’ll notice many of them focus on patient care that goes beyond simply diagnosing and treating illness. Instead, they focus on empathetic care and comfort. 

This is because so many personal statements tend to focus solely on the former, and approaching patient care from a different angle can make your statement more distinct. 

This essay also focuses on being an empathetic physician, which helps it stand out. Here are some other parts of the essay that also stand out:

  • It shows vulnerability : As an aspiring med student, you’ll have much to learn about healthcare. This student demonstrates their awareness of this by stating they felt unprepared to handle the psychological aspects of patient care, proving they are self-aware and willing to improve their skill set.
  • It integrates the past, present, and future : The applicant effectively weaves together their past experiences, current interactions with patients, and future aspirations in medicine. They draw connections between their personal experiences, their growth as an EMT, and their vision for their future.
  • It takes an interdisciplinary approach : The applicant brings a unique perspective by sharing how their background as an EMT prepared them for patient care, but also emphasizes the importance of addressing psychological aspects of medicine, adding depth to their understanding of healthcare.

Overall, the student is able to demonstrate their passion, limitations, and skills while also proving their dedication to patient-centered care and knowledge that comprehensive patient care involves treating the mind and body.

The radio went off, and we burst into action. My crew and I grabbed our medical equipment, taking off in the direction of the dispatch, a student overdose in a nearby freshman dorm room. 

I had joined the [COLLEGE]’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) as a freshman because I wanted to be a doctor. I’ve had this dream since I was four, when I began going on rounds with my father at the hospital. I loved seeing the positive impact my father’s job had on people. It made me proud of my father to know that his care helped all of those patients, struggling with fear and anxiety over their ailments, feel safe and comforted. I knew that one day I wanted to have the same impact on people. That excitement about medicine led to my study of pre-medicine and health care economics in college. But my studies, my health care research, and shadowing doctors were not enough to satisfy my medical aspirations. I wanted to participate firsthand. MERT was an opportunity to gain hands-on medical experience. 

That night, on the short way over to the dorm, my mind raced. I was just a freshman, with barely more than an untested skill set and a few months of response experience. Not surprisingly, I was second-guessing myself. An overdose? Can I even treat that? And then suddenly there I was, on scene, unbelievably scared. I looked around the room, put on my gloves, took a deep breath, and forgot my fears.

“Hello, my name is [NAME]. I’m an EMT. What’s going on today?”

A freshman, stressed about school and family issues, had overdosed on antidepressants mixed with a few Tylenol and chased with some vodka. She was having trouble breathing, so we started to set up an oxygen mask to help her. But she fought us. She kept trying to take the mask off, repeatedly telling us that she did not want it, then yelling at us that she didn’t need it. 

I began to plead with her, my voice nearly breaking. As I slowly attempted to wrestle the mask back into place over her mouth and nose, I told her that we were just trying to help. Her response will never leave me. In a sudden fit of calm, she grabbed my hand, kissed it, looked me in the eyes and said, “I know.”

We continued to care for our patient. Soon enough, the paramedics arrived on scene and they strapped her into a stair chair to be taken to the ambulance and then to the hospital.

My team and I sat in the squad room immediately after the call shaking and wired. As we debriefed and enjoyed a post-call pizza, I began to realize the importance of our interventions. I had seen my fair share of drunken patients, minor injuries, and flu patients—ailments that, while dangerous, allow the care provider time to think, ask questions, and assess. But here, the intervention required had been more immediate. The more experienced EMTs around me walked me through the debrief. They aided me in overcoming my panic and apprehension that we could have done more and that this could have happened to someone I knew. 

I thought back to what the patient had said to me, that she knew I wanted to help. Her words made me think about why I wanted to help. On one level, the answer was simple: I wanted to help because I knew I could. But on a deeper level, I helped because I want to have the same positive impact on people as my father. I want to make people feel safe and cared for. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than using my knowledge and skills to assist someone who really needs me.

This event was a turning point for me. I began to dedicate as much time as possible to MERT, eventually rising through the ranks to become a clinical crew chief and then captain. 

More recently, toward the end of junior year, I had another overdose call. Another stressed college student, but this time he was completely unresponsive from a heroin overdose. Through proper airway management, I assisted in saving his life. This time there was no second-guessing or anxiety, just a determination to help the patient. I led my crew through the call and, after the call, the debrief. As a leader in MERT, I was able to walk them through overcoming their own feelings of doubt and anxiety, so they could be proud of the work they had done.

Being a college EMT offers a unique set of difficulties. We treat our friends and colleagues, seeing them at their worst. And when it’s all over, we have to sit down, write up what we saw in a patient care report, and then try to go back to just being college students who eat pizza with their friends on weeknights. But I love the work I do with MERT and the determination, stress-management, and compassion I get to practice through it.

MERT has become an integral part of my life. It challenges me every day to learn more and apply my knowledge in critical situations. This has been a hugely influential step for me on my path to becoming a doctor. I know that as I continue learning and striving as an EMT, I will encounter many more high-stress, high-stakes situations. These experiences will shape me as I grow into a more proficient, emotionally adept care provider. I look forward to the challenges I will encounter as an EMT, and later as a doctor.

Sharing a tale where you’re the hero who saves a patient is always a great way to spruce up your personal statement, as this student has! However, that’s not the only aspect that makes this a winning personal statement:

  • It demonstrates their personal motivation : The writer shares a childhood dream of becoming a doctor that was inspired by their father's impact on patients. This demonstrates a long-standing passion for medicine.
  • It shows they have hands-on experience : Having experience in the field tells the admissions committee you’re already honing the skills required to thrive in the field. The writer discusses their involvement in MERT,which shows their proactive approach to pursuing opportunities beyond classroom learning.
  • It's realistic : The writer acknowledges the difficulties of being a college EMT, treating friends and colleagues, and dealing with the emotional aftermath of intense situations. This shows their understanding of the complexities and demands of the medical profession.
  • It includes their future outlook : The essay concludes by expressing enthusiasm for the continued challenges and growth opportunities that lie ahead as an EMT and future doctor. This demonstrates a resilient and forward-thinking mindset that the admissions committee will surely appreciate.

While this type of experience can certainly add intrigue to your personal statement, remember that you don’t need to share such a heroic tale to write a captivating essay! Any experience you share in your personal statement, if explained descriptively and connected to your desire to pursue medicine, can be powerful!

“We only use around 10% of our brains.” Ms. [LAST NAME]’s voice permeated through the silent 4th grade classroom. All of us intently took notes while she read off of the day’s lesson plan. My brow furrowed - was this correct?

At the dinner table, I asked my parents. They smiled, and told me to use my resources to find out. I used the family computer to ask Google, and as I suspected, website after website labeled the statement as a myth. Many sources echoed a similar rationale, stating that “FDG-PET, relying on the high quantities of glucose absorbed by Neurons and Glia, shows large amounts of brain activity even when we’re asleep.” I read the statement again. And again. We’d learned about glucose in our science class, but what in the world were Neurons and Glia?

My curiosity pushed me down a rabbit hole. The more I read, the more questions I had. What’s an action potential? What’s a synapse? I kept searching until I heard my mother say “Tulog na, [NAME]” It was time to go to bed.

Progressing through school, I never fully understood the answers to my questions. This changed when I took psychology, where we focused on the brain. Although this knowledge answered my 4th grade self’s inquiries, tens more replaced them, all culminating in one large question: how does our brain, and body as a whole, even work?

Looking for answers, I turned to AI. Believing it to be the closest estimate to how the brain worked, I learned Python and other languages. The deeper I went, the more enamored I became - fixing bugs was extremely gratifying, creating a positive feedback loop. Eventually, I wrote and trained my own AI, my first triumph in a sea of errors. By 10th grade, I was set on entering the world of Computer Science (CS). At the time, however, I didn’t realize that something was missing from this profession.

My perspective changed in 11th grade because of one word: Hyperaldosteronism. Battling with hypertension and hypokalemia throughout the majority of his life, my dad finally had a diagnosis. The culprit was a peanut sized tumor in his adrenal glands. The surgeon was confident in its removal. I was amazed - she, in her early 30s, had devised a minimally invasive procedure to resect the tumor. In the same way us coders wrote, debugged, and endlessly tested code, this surgeon studied, tested, and applied her knowledge of human anatomy to craft a less invasive but equally successful procedure. This experience helped me understand exactly what CS was missing: the element of serving others.

Upon diving into what it meant to be a healthcare professional, I realized medicine held the same allure as CS; both were mentally stimulating, and learning the etiology of diseases gave that same feeling of gratification that pushed me in CS. However, instead of a screen displaying lines of code, it was a smiling face that evidenced a job well done. This contrast became apparent when shadowing a neurosurgeon. Our first case was a veteran presenting for a post-op checkup. Previously rendered unable to walk because of an IED, I watched in awe as he took his first steps in 5 years. “It still hurts like hell,” he muttered jokingly. His wife replied, “but you’re walking ain’tcha?” The joy that emanated from deep patient-provider relationships recapitulated itself as I observed how other physicians went the extra mile to guide their patients through tough moments in their lives. Sure, it would take an extra 10 minutes to fully explain a treatment plan, but every one of those seconds was a brick in the shared path to healing. 

At [PROGRAM], I’ve explored the intersection of computer science and patient care. Working in a Digital Pathology lab, I am able to apply the concepts of computer vision to aid pathologists in their meticulous investigation of patient slides. My PI believes in using the creative process to solve problems, which provides the independence for us to experience the beauty of the scientific method. Despite the steep learning curve of such an approach, each “eureka!” moment became easier and easier to achieve. This culminated in [TOOL NAME], a tool developed by our lab to expedite the process of validating uncountably many slide annotations. Although I felt a great sense of accomplishment seeing my 3 years of work elegantly manifest in a simple yet powerful tool, the same sense of longing that irked me in high school once again reared its ugly head. I missed the patient-provider interactions of clinical work that completed the field for me.

To that end, I have continued to pursue the provider perspective of medicine. From Cardiology and Endocrinology to Gastroenterology and Neurology, each opportunity showcased the importance of compassionate care. Through these amazing physicians, I was able to see the difference the extra mile makes as patient after patient thanked their provider for explaining their condition and the rationale for their treatment.

With these experiences, my love for medicine has grown immensely. While I am immersed in these clinical settings, it’s apparent that there’s no way humans only use 10% of their brains; rather, seeing and modeling the compassionate work of my physician role models has made it clear I use 100% of my brain when serving those facing paralytic questions of health.

Here’s what works well in this medical school personal statement example:

  • It starts with a quote : Starting your statement off with a quote can make it cliche unless you do what this student has and use a personal quote that a teacher, friend, or family member—and not an influential leader—said.
  • It’s coherent and shows progression : The essay flows logically, connecting the writer's childhood curiosity to their exploration of computer science and medicine, and arriving at their current passion for patient care. This allows the reader to follow the writer's journey of self-discovery.
  • It’s passionate and authentic : Throughout the essay, the writer's genuine passion for both computer science and medicine shines through. While many students solely focus on medicine, including these additional passions helps set this statement apart and add authenticity. 
  • It shares relevant and desirable experiences : The writer mentions their experiences shadowing physicians in various specialties, which provided them with insight into the medical field and reinforced their love for medicine. These experiences demonstrate their commitment to and readiness for medicine.

In summary, this personal statement effectively combines the writer's intellectual pursuits, personal experiences, and reflections to showcase their commitment to medicine. It also portrays their understanding of the importance of compassionate care and their unique perspective as someone with a background in computer science. 

If you have a passion other than medicine, use it to your advantage to make your statement memorable! The committee knows you aren’t just interested in medicine, so give them deeper insight into your background and what makes you, you!

“I don’t know.” Those were the words of my infectious disease specialist, who saw me after I lost 20 pounds and was suffering from a temperature of 100-102˚F nearly 24 hours a day. What followed in the next eight months was a battery of tests; everything from Lupus to cancer was ruled out, and upon coming to a diagnostic dead end, I confronted those three devastating words. How could they come out of a physician’s mouth? My disease was labeled as a fever of unknown origin, or FUO. Unlike the other times I had been sick, there was no pill to take or treatment plan to follow. 

This experience not only fueled my desire to pursue medicine, but also helped me overcome what was the toughest year of my life. I emerged from the FUO with a new sense of resilience that I attribute to the myriad of interactions with my doctor. Furthermore, I always carried the implicit lesson I learned from him: that it is vital to recognize you will not know everything, but it is equally as important to keep searching for answers.

Ultimately, this poignant realization transformed my deeply ingrained fear of the unknown into a passion to seek, confront, and solve challenging problems. More importantly, it provided a path to pursue that passion; I knew that guiding people through harrowing times, regardless of whether I had all the answers, would give me the same satisfaction that exuded from my doctor when the FUO finally faded away a year later. Specifically, I recognized the courage and commitment that drove my doctor to never surrender were also virtues of my own character. This was made apparent in many experiences, such as rescuing a brother and sister from the deep end as a lifeguard or consoling a decompensating man in the back of an ambulance as an EMT.

My experiences during my FUO and the shadowing of others in healthcare revealed the importance of being comfortable with uncertainty. I have realized that success does not come from “faking it until you make it;” instead, it stems from reaching out to others with the purpose of expanding your own knowledge so that you may in turn guide those who are lost. Early on, I was afraid to do this, as I thought physicians, and therefore me as well, should always have an answer. However, after observing what I believed was an omniscient hospitalist ask the nurses about what they thought of each patient before even walking into the patients’ rooms, that fear subsided. 

This realization affected my attitude in the lab as well. To me, research is an archetypal form of the unknown; it is impossible to predict whether a single transformation, let alone an entire experiment, will succeed. My new mentality caused the failed iterations of my antibody cloning projects to become valuable information rather than red X’s in my notebook, and instead of hesitating to tell my PI that “It didn’t work, again,” I strode into his office, determined to brainstorm a new strategy. While this uncertainty was unnerving at first, my lesson on confronting such situations anchored my resolve to be both relentless in effort and unafraid to approach others for guidance. 

Despite the drive that emanates from having a passion constantly being reinforced by experiences inside and outside of a healthcare setting, I knew that without certain principles such as resiliency, I would be unable to help others like my specialist helped me. His tenacity inspired me to seek a volunteer experience abroad that challenged me to develop a critical consciousness in an unfamiliar culture. While the societal ills plaguing low-income Scottish communities were similar to those in the U.S., it was difficult to persuade the community members that I was an advocate rather than a critical outsider. The service-users were initially skeptical of my intentions, but I was able to break free from the “voluntourism” stereotype by adapting my dialogue to fit the nuances I encountered. 

Attacking this problem required reaching out to [NAME], my supervisor. Whether it was how to respond to someone who tried to warn me about the “dangers of the neighborhood” or brainstorming a more appropriate phrase in the workout guide I was creating, I treated the uncertainty and problems I encountered as temporary roadblocks that could be overcome with enough effort. Ultimately, drawing upon my resiliency resulted in a community gym guide that the organization later printed en masse to hand out to new members. In light of my previous problems in acclimating to the culture, I was ecstatic to hear that I had made a lasting impact on people in what otherwise would have been a transient experience. 

Ironically, hearing “I don’t know” from a physician ultimately led me to realizing that I want to become one. I believe the principles and lessons derived from that event and the experiences that followed have set me on the path to medical school with the wind at my back. While I dread the day I utter those three words to my patient, I know that admitting so will never dampen my desire to change lives. It is my values and passion in conjunction with the knowledge gained from facing challenges riddled with uncertainty that I will confidently guide others through their toughest times so they too can pursue their passions unencumbered by sickness or fear. 

  • It tells a unique story : This story is told in a creative way in which ambiguity is turned into inspiration and effectively describes how this student decided to pursue medicine.
  • It shows awareness : It can be easy to paint doctors as all-knowing individuals who have all the answers. But this isn’t realistic! This student brings attention to this and shows their self-awareness by stating they may not always know the answer as a physician, but it won’t stop them from trying to change lives.
  • It immerses the reader : The detailed imagery and inclusion of dialogue adds a sense of immediacy and authenticity to the narrative. It brings the reader into the scene and makes the experiences more relatable.
  • There’s emotional appeal : The author effectively appeals to the reader's emotions by sharing personal struggles and triumphs. By expressing vulnerability and reflecting on the impact of their experiences, the author carefully creates an emotional connection with the reader.

By employing these writing techniques, the author creates a personal statement that is both compelling and impactful–two traits you’ll notice all of the medical school personal statement examples in this guide have!

When I first learned how to whistle as a child, I couldn’t stop. My whistling was endless, from morning to night, until my exasperated parents told me an old Korean superstition that whistling at night brings out snakes and evil spirits. The fact that they were saying this to tame my newfound talents flew past my head. To keep the snakes and spirits safely at bay, I dutifully stopped whistling after sundown.

Because my parents are both doctors who worked long hours during my childhood, they often could not pick me up after school. As the shadows grew longer and darker in the empty school hallways, I would often avoid bad omens out of fear of what could be lurking, such as steering clear of the 13th classroom. At my violin recitals, I would cross my fingers and knock on wood hoping my parents would be able to get out of work and attend. A lot of the time, I was unable to see my parents’ faces among the audience as I got up on the stage. My superstitious beliefs consumed my mind, and I found myself relentlessly performing these habits without a second thought as to their effectiveness. 

All throughout high school, I felt pressured to follow in my parents’ footsteps and become a physician. From my childhood experiences, my understanding of medicine was limited to the sacrifices my parents made as they were both hard workers and dedicated physicians. My dad had to stay in South Korea to support us, while my mom lived the life of a single mom in America, without actually being a single mom. I had and still have deep respect for their sacrifices, but I also saw the toll it took on our family. As I entered [COLLEGE], I started taking pre-med courses, but by then, I had a complicated relationship with medicine and had internal conflicts about what it meant to be a doctor. 

Just as my childhood superstitious tendencies had been engraved in me without taking a critical look at them, I saw my parents’ lives as doctors as examples of what I should be without questioning it. I didn’t have my own true passion at that point to support this goal. I took some time to reflect within and considered other avenues for my future. Instead of pursuing medicine, I decided to major in Psychology and Public Health. 

When my friend was in a bus accident, I spent a great deal of time in the ICU. When I wasn’t by her bedside, I looked around the ICU, curious about the doctors’ discussing their patients’ progress and their ability to heal others, the spotless, white equipment everywhere, and the quiet, contemplative environment filled with people dedicated to helping their fellow human being in pain. This profound experience inspired me to shadow an ICU physician at [HOSPITAL NAME] Hospital to gain real firsthand experience and to decide if this was truly the right path for me. 

My experiences there transformed my thoughts about what it meant to be a doctor, when the mother of a coma patient clutched at the coat of the attending physician, begging for answers as to why her previously healthy, happy daughter was now fighting for her life. Suddenly, being a doctor was not just science classes and doctor parents missing my recitals as a child. Being a doctor meant having the education and abilities to give comfort to patients’ families, just as much as it meant treating illness and saving lives. The way that the attending calmly communicated methods of recourse and explanations for the coma struck something within me. No one else in the world could have given that mother the relief and counsel that she needed at a time when she was at her most vulnerable. I wanted nothing more than to take on that role and finally knew, after all this experience, that medicine was my calling. 

As a senior student teetering on graduation and going out into the world, and with all the new insight I had gained through shadowing, I decided that becoming a physician was one of my ultimate life goals. With the renewed sense of direction I garnered, along with the firm conviction that a career in medicine is the right path for me, I am confident that I will be able to take on a rigorous pre-med curriculum and succeed. During the time that I was not pre-med, I was able to discover my passion for medicine. As such, this time in my life was instrumental in getting me to where I am today. It would be the privilege of a lifetime to be accepted into [COLLEGE NAME]’s post-baccalaureate program, and I know that it would provide an extraordinary foundation to become a great physician. 

Here are some key points to consider as you reflect on this personal statement:

  • It uses engaging storytelling : The personal statement begins with a descriptive and unique childhood anecdote about whistling and superstition, immediately capturing the reader's attention and immersing the reader.
  • It has a clear purpose : The personal statement conveys the author's newfound passion and commitment to medicine. It demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenges and responsibilities of being a physician and the desire to make a difference in people's lives.
  • It flows well : The essay transitions smoothly from discussing childhood experiences to exploring the author's realization and passion for medicine. The transition is logical and allows the reader to understand the development of the author's aspirations.
  • It’s specific : The personal statement mentions shadowing experiences and highlights the author's desire to pursue a rigorous pre-med curriculum. It shows that the author has gained practical exposure to the field and is dedicated to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in it.
  • It’s tailored to the institution : The personal statement mentions the student’s desire to be accepted into a specific post-baccalaureate program, indicating research and knowledge about the institution. This demonstrates a genuine interest in the program and a willingness to contribute to its community.

The author's ability to convey their personal experiences and evoke emotion makes this statement stand out. It is a testament to their growth, resilience, and unwavering determination to pursue medicine. 

Warm covers slide off my body as I come to my senses. In the corner of my eyes, dust dances in the amber rays that shine through the blinds. As my fingers tap away at my phone, astray text catches my eye. My childhood friend, [NAME], took his own life at a park in our hometown.

Caught in a moment I could never prepare for, my mind races. I inhale, then exhale. “This changes nothing,” I assure myself. Tears soak my eyes and my vision blurs.

As the days passed, I found it difficult to look at life and school the same way. I grappled with the question of how I could become a doctor knowing that I would witness death again. Cycling through the stages of grief, I became irate on certain days and felt hopeless on others. 

To cope, I went to great lengths to watch my diet, manage my sleep hygiene and ensure that my health came first. Through countless nights, I would flip through pages on various philosophies and religions; of note to me were Buddhism, Christianity and Stoicism. No amount of self care and enlightenment could bring [NAME] back. Instead, it helped me come to terms with the difficult truth that I had been denying: [NAME]’s passing changed everything.

As I came to accept [NAME]’s passing, I developed the belief that we are responsible for ascribing meaning to the sacrifices of those who have passed. Since [NAME] had struggled with addiction, I began reading to better understand the functions of addiction and observe the many ways it manifested, seeking to spread mental health awareness on campus. 

With this knowledge, I would aim to help patients find value in their own lives, in spite of the physical and mental ailments they may face. My responsibility as a doctor would be two-fold - just as I would be responsible for diagnosing and treating patients on a physical level, I must also ensure that their emotional needs are met and they feel comfortable working with me as their doctor. 

With time, I saw the impact of my approach pay off. I enlisted to become co-director of the advocacy branch of [COLLEGE NAME]s Active Minds chapter, spreading my story in hopes it would inspire others. I reached out to students who were struggling with their own mental health and provided them with aid and support using the iCBT tools I learned through [COLLEGE NAME]’s STAND program. 

By taking into account the lives of the patients and their own mental wellbeing, their path to recovery can be much smoother - their quality of life will improve and they will realize that the doctor is working for the betterment of the patient’s life.

It was through these connections that I began to discover my innate passion and talent for guiding others. By ensuring fellow students and friends felt heard and understood, I could ease their worries and alleviate their tensions in life.

I find this property of the human condition charming; all it takes is a touch of connection to realize that the strife and tiredness that so often arises in life does not control us. I wish to give my future patients hope that even if they are suffering from a physical or mental condition, there will always be a blissful part of our soul that we can find ourselves comfortable in during the healing process.

Though many clinicians are involved in this healing process and can provide this necessary ‘calming presence,’ great doctors effectively shoulder an immense amount of trust and responsibility from both their patients and their colleagues. They often decide how to treat patients while balancing their wealth of knowledge with empathy and compassion. 

As a doctor, I would work to use this influence in order to ensure that the needs of people of color, women, LGBTQ+ communities and individuals facing mental illness are properly addressed. My time at [COLLEGE] allowed me to interact and work with members of these communities - opportunities that I did not have in the more culturally homogenous state of [STATE].

My care for patients would extend beyond empathy and compassion. Whether I was looking to elevate my experience in research by administering psychological tests to patients taking initiative to elevate my involvement in Active Minds, [COLLEGE]s mental health organization, I have always sought for ways to pursue new and enriching experiences beyond what was expected of me. 

Rather than taking a top-down approach to medicine, it would be my job to facilitate a connection that allows both the patient and myself to grow and understand more about one another.

Just as I would learn more about each patient and case that I review, I know that I would constantly have to research and incorporate new developments in medicine. I hope to embrace these changes in an effort to understand how the body and mind continue to evolve. By approaching each day as a learning experience, rather than a set mission with a set end, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge by understanding patients better, staying informed on the latest treatments and navigating public policy well beyond medical school and residency.

[NAME]’s passing brought me much heartache and grief. Through time, this grief has become a transformative experience. Rather than lamenting on his passing, I hope to do well on his legacy. Just as his deep laughter once brought joy to my life, perhaps my work will afford a future patient many more days of laughter and life.

There are multiple aspects of this medical school personal statement example that work well:

  • It uses an engaging narrative : The personal statement follows a narrative structure, starting with the initial event and progressing through the author's emotional and intellectual development. This structure helps engage the reader and creates a cohesive flow to the story.
  • Its integration of personal experience and academic interest : The author effectively connects their personal experience of loss with their academic interest in medicine. They demonstrate how their personal journey led them to develop a strong commitment to mental health advocacy and patient care.
  • It uses concrete anecdotes : The author includes specific anecdotes and experiences to illustrate their growth and passion for helping others. These anecdotes provide concrete examples of their commitment to medicine.
  • It ends strong : The author mentions their friend’s legacy and their desire to continue it through their work as a physician, which leaves an impression on the readers and adds depth to their motivation to join the field.

This personal statement is emotional and captivating. It provides the committee with a glimpse of who this student is, what they have been through, and how they resiliently used adversity as inspiration to become a better physician and person overall. 

While many students focus on proving their ability to be great physicians, few also prove their ability and desire to be great people overall, but the two go hand in hand! Demonstrating both can make you a more attractive and well-rounded candidate. 

The doctor’s voice faded as I stared blankly at the wall behind her. Tears welled in my eyes, and the staccato sips of the oxygen regulator quickened with my pulse. The words “We can’t do anything for you,” echoed and stung. 

Just a couple of years before, I identified as a healthy, active young woman, but now I felt like a prisoner in my own body. Bound to 24-hour oxygen, I was nearing end-stage pulmonary hypertension from multiple blood clots that turned to scar tissue in my lungs, and the doctor was telling me the disease would only progress.

Just as vividly as I remember the doctor saying nothing could be done, I also remember the day the care team came into my hospital room after my pulmonary thromboendarterectomy to discuss the Results of my most recent pulmonary diffusion scan. My heart pounded. I wanted nothing more than to hear that I would be okay and that I could return to activities like running and backpacking that previously brought me so much joy. 

As my physician pointed out the differences between my pre- and post-op scans, smiles and tears emerged on every face in the room. After two years of severely limited lung capacity, my lungs had nearly normalized, the hypertension was gone, and my heart would heal over the next few months. 

I am often at a loss for words when trying to convey the impact my doctors and care team had on the trajectory of my life, and I would not be who I am today without their empathy and dedication to improving my health. Although I always had a strong interest in medicine, this transformative experience inspired me to pursue a career as a physician so I may help others as my physicians have helped me.

One month after my surgery, I went back to school motivated and eager to advance in my prerequisites and achieve my goal of attending medical school and becoming a physician. I earned As in every class I took, often setting the curve on exams and accepting requests by professors to tutor my peers. 

Outside of school, I sought out non-profit organizations that aligned with my values and fueled my passion for service, health equity, and education. I dedicated my time to Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) where I helped organize fundraisers to repeal [STATE]s Three Strikes sentencing law. 

I also volunteer at the [CLINIC NAME] where I am conducting a client-based study that will impact clinic policy, procedures, and recruitment to better serve marginalized communities.

Along the way, I discovered a love and gift for human connection. Through these human connections, I learned that being a physician does not always mean “fixing” people’s ailments, but making sure people feel heard and validated as they receive the care every human deserves. 

While working as a medical assistant, I helped take care of a young, female patient who suffered from a worsening and debilitating eye condition. She came to us desperate, scared, and discouraged after being referred out of six clinics. 

When she arrived, I gathered a thorough medical history, taking note of the details leading up to and following the start of her symptoms. As she described her significant decline in vision, she broke down and shared how terrified she was. Drawing from my own experience, I gave her time and space to express her fears and concerns, reassuring her that we were there to take care of her. 

Given her recent travel history, we identified a parasitic infection as a likely diagnosis, and we urgently referred her to the top infectious disease clinic in our area. Following this appointment, the patient emailed our clinic to thank us for listening to her and making her feel like she mattered. 

During times of uncertainty, the most reassuring gift my physicians gave me was their time, allowing me to feel understood and supported. Knowing I have the capacity and tools to do the same for others is one of the many motivations that will carry me through medical school and beyond.

Reflecting on these experiences, I now understand medicine to be as much of a social practice as it is a scientific one, and, as a physician, I will prioritize patient advocacy, empathetic listening, cultural competency, and holistic approaches to care. 

Additionally, after seeing medicine through the lens of a patient, I am fortunate to know what is at stake when someone’s health is stripped from them and am not afraid to be vulnerable or express humility when faced with challenges that do not have a clear resolution. I believe uncovering patient-specific variables is not only key to avoiding generalizations and potential misdiagnoses, but also to fostering the meaningful doctor-patient relationships essential for successful, equitable treatment.

I have been a runner since I was twelve years old but thought I would never run again after I got sick. When running now, my mind sometimes wanders back to that day in the doctor’s office when I sat tethered to an oxygen tank and struggled to accept that life as I knew it was over. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply, listen to the rhythmic taps of my shoes on the pavement, and take inventory of the immense gratitude I feel for life and the physicians who gave me mine back.

I smile, open my eyes, and run into that feeling of lightness, knowing I can provide that for others.

If out of all the medical school personal statement examples, this one catches your eye, here are its most noteworthy features that you can implement in your own essay:

  • It has an emotional impact : The writer effectively conveys the emotional turmoil they experienced when receiving the diagnosis and hearing the words "We can't do anything for you." The details evoke a sense of empathy, putting the reader right in the writer’s shoes.
  • It demonstrates excellence and passion : The writer showcases their academic achievements, earning top grades and setting the curve in their classes. They also describe their involvement in non-profit organizations which demonstrate their dedication, leadership, and commitment to making a positive impact.
  • They reflect on medicine : The writer reflects on their understanding of medicine as a social practice in addition to a scientific one. Their acknowledgment of the complexity and uncertainties of medicine shows their willingness to express humility-–an important and often overlooked trait for physicians to have.
  • It demonstrates resilience : The passage ends on a hopeful note, as the writer reflects on their ability to run again and the immense gratitude they feel for life and their physicians. They express their determination to provide that sense of lightness and hope to others, proving they have clear direction and intent.

This personal statement is highly reflective, shows the writer’s vulnerability and humility, and proves they have clear goals that they are highly motivated to achieve!

The gravity of a phone call was something I had not fully understood until May 7, 2022. Mere weeks after her wedding, my cousin reached out to our family and delivered news none of us were prepared for. My aunt, affectionately called [AUNT’S NAME] in our native language Telugu, had fallen down the stairs and vomited. My cousin explained that [AUNT’S NAME]'s speech was impaired after the fall, but we did not expect to hear the unimaginable - she was diagnosed with glioblastoma. I felt my cousin's words on a visceral level, trying to put together the pieces she relayed over the phone. [AUNT’S NAME] was the light of every room she walked into, and as a nurse she was able to share her benevolence with patients.

Hearing she was no longer her full-of life self reflected how quickly things would never be the same. Within weeks, she was at [HOSPITAL] undergoing a craniotomy to extract her frontal lobe tumors. The uncertainty my family felt on the ride to visit her post-operation was palpable. Upon arriving, we were assured by the neurosurgeons that the surgery was successful and her tumors were removed. The thorough explanations with which they answered our endless inquiries were immediately noticeable, and I appreciated their patience and compassion in ensuring we were updated on her condition even after a lengthy operation. [AUNT’S NAME] underwent chemotherapy and radiation shortly after. We visited her in August, and the toll these procedures took on her was evident. She could not speak how she once did and her memory and mobility declined: it was painful to see her like this. On Christmas Eve, we visited her as she lay on the hospice bed, opening her eyes every few seconds. She could not experience the new year.

What startled me the most about [AUNT’S NAME]'s death was how sudden everything happened. How could someone who was happy and dancing in April be no longer here with us by December? Glioblastoma had the staggering ability to transform someone who brought warmth and light to everyone into a shell of her former self. As someone fascinated with healthcare since middle school, I had been confident in the ability of medicine to cure any patient's condition. But the doctors did their best, and it still was not enough to save [AUNT’S NAME]'s life. All of their education, training, and work could not fix her affliction. 

Arriving at that realization, I candidly reflected on the true societal value of physicians. The advocacy and support they gave our family during our darkest moments together was nothing short of meritorious. The neurosurgeons and oncologists used their medical knowledge to form a treatment plan around my aunt, and their contributions made all the difference despite her tumors' aggressiveness. More importantly, they prioritized explaining their work to our family in a comprehensible and empathetic way very few others can and ensured she was comfortable during her final days. After recognizing their impact, I felt a calling to also provide care and empathy for patients and their families during moments of need, knowing how much that meant to our family. Much like [AUNT’S NAME] was a shining light in our lives, her doctors provided light for us in the form of knowledge and empathy in our darkest hours. Invigorated to experience what it was like to be an advocate for patients like [AUNT’S NAME], I sought to witness firsthand the work physicians do.

My experience shadowing Dr. [NAME] enabled me to connect with patients from all walks of life. I gained clinical experience working at his clinic and, during my time there, was able to interact with patients like [NAME], who had such severe peripheral neuropathy that he was unable to even pick up a cup of water. Realizing [NAME] was once vibrant and healthy like [AUNT’S NAME] was, I knew [NAME] had the ability and privilege to guide him through this condition beyond merely prescribing medications. I saw my aunt in [NAME], and I knew having the assistance of [NAME] meant the world to him as he navigated living with his condition.

The ephemerality of life I understood following [AUNT’S NAME]s death compelled me to further dedicate my efforts towards serving disadvantaged people through volunteer work. From helping coordinate food drives to serving the homeless at soup kitchens, I was able to connect with local communities by offering hope to the underserved. These experiences developed in me a desire and commitment to apply my medical knowledge in treating patients of various backgrounds with the end goal of improving my community's health. My experiences fostering relationships with patients perpetually remind me of how gratifying it is hearing people from different walks of life and being their advocate throughout their journey of overcoming the illnesses they have.

My desire to complete graduate-level coursework is attributed to my eagerness to pursue a career in medicine. I believe this will hone my study skills and enhance my work ethic so I can excel in medical school and beyond. In addition to developing my study skills, I hope to actively engage in the community and continue shadowing to strengthen my competence to serve patients as their resolute advocate by offering hope in their lowest times.

It’s not unusual for students to write about their own or a loved one’s experience being ill in their medical school personal statement. While the topic may be common, there are ways to still ensure you stand out! Here’s how this student does so:

  • It’s clear and concise : Despite the emotional nature of the subject matter, the writing remains clear and concise. The writer effectively conveys their thoughts and experiences using precise language and impactful imagery.
  • It adds personal touches : Rather than just focusing on their aunt’s experience with her illness, they give the readers a glimpse into their own thought process, what they felt and saw during this challenging time.
  • It’s highly reflective : The writer candidly reflects on their initial confidence in medicine's ability to cure any condition and their subsequent realization that even the doctors' best efforts were not enough to save their aunt's life. This introspection adds depth, maturity, and authenticity to the narrative.
  • There’s a lesson learned : Using their aunt’s story, the writer acknowledges and appreciates the advocacy, support, and empathy provided by their aunt's doctors and explains the importance of physicians that extends beyond just treating sickness, showcasing their well-rounded perspective of a physician’s role.

Overall, these aspects contribute to the effectiveness of the writing by creating an emotionally resonant narrative, highlighting personal growth and reflection, and emphasizing the writer's commitment to compassionate care! 

They may take a similar direction as other students, but their anecdote is highly personal which ensures their personal statement is distinct nonetheless!

I woke up suddenly in agony, unable to move my leg. I shouted over to my mom feeling confused and helpless. I was only 11 years old and had never felt this type of pain. The pain endured, simply getting out of bed was a daily struggle. I met with dozens of specialists looking for answers. However, no one was able to diagnose me, deferring the disability as something musculoskeletal with no real solution. I felt demoralized that I was unable to run around with my friends anymore. The hospital became a revolving door. This pain was consuming my life. No one seemed to understand my urgency. After six long months of little progress, I began to lose hope that I would ever be the same. That was when I met Dr. [NAME].

His attention towards my ailment was different. His demeanor of a warm smile and pure enthusiasm made me feel immediately at ease. He was the only doctor that spoke directly to me, instead of to my parents. For the first time, I felt like I mattered. Although I was not sure he would find the solution to my problem, I knew I found someone who would do everything in his power to try. Fortunately, Dr. [NAME]s investment in my well-being helped determine I was suffering from a psoas impingement. Shortly after surgery, I was able to move my leg again, pain-free. Within a few months, to my surprise, I was able to walk without pain. From that moment on, I wanted to be just like Dr. [NAME]. I wanted to be a vector of hope. I wanted to be a doctor. 

In college, I wanted to test my own volition for medicine. After volunteering in the ER, I became a [CITY] EMT. While I cherished the responsibility of knowing my patients entrusted me with their health, I experienced first hand that my role was far more than having medical knowledge as a first responder. I recall [NAME], a veteran whom I met transporting from dialysis every week. As I helped him onto bed, I heard him ask an aide for water. When I returned for the nurse’s signature, I noticed he still had not gotten his water and so got it for him instead. [NAME] was a bilateral amputee and due to his limited mobility, was completely dependent on his caregivers. 

Although I could not understand [NAME]’s struggles, I knew how it felt to be in a vulnerable state from my own experience as a patient. I could not change [NAME]’s situation; however, I had the opportunity to give [NAME] the same sense of relevance that Dr. [NAME] gave me. I tried to make [NAME] feel at ease – listening and validating his concerns. I connected with him as a person and not just a patient, enabling him to regain a sense of autonomy despite his disabling circumstances. I began to visit him outside of work and helped him find a prosthetist. Seeing the impact I was able to have on [NAME] and so many others as an EMT, further solidified my desire to become a doctor. 

Following graduation, I embarked on a unique opportunity to work for Count Me In (CMI), a research organization at the [INSTITUTE NAME]. CMI applies a patient-centered approach to cancer research, partnering directly with patients and empowering them as experts of their own disease. I analyze patient medical records for all metastatic and rare cancers. Initially, it was challenging because most patients were terminally-ill. Each new record was like starting a book that I knew was going to have an unfortunate ending. I found myself subconsciously reconstructing the patient’s narrative. It was difficult to recount their years of trauma only as a bystander without any ability to change their outcome. 

Fortunately, I was able to meet several patients including [NAME], a patient diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I will always remember the enthusiasm she spoke with as she described how grateful she was for being a part of CMI. She emphasized how it helped her regain a sense of control over her disease and provided purpose to her suffering. It was empowering to see her excitement for the potential of her data helping others and sense of fulfillment from being involved in her own cancer’s research. I realized the reward of assisting patients attain a sense of autonomy superseded any emotional struggle I may experience studying their hardships. 

I applied to medical school in 2018 following graduation and again in 2020. Since my last application, I have continued to work for CMI, allowing me countless meaningful patient interactions through advisory council meetings and virtual conferences. Each encounter has been a reminder to stay on course, reinforcing my desire to become a physician dedicated to helping patients. CMI has given me the tools and skills needed to be a strong and effective champion of patient advocacy. As a doctor, I will leverage this experience to push for patient autonomy and prioritize patients at the forefront of their care. 

My decision to reapply reflects my conviction that I will be an impactful physician attuned to my patients’ needs. It reflects my endurance as an applicant, which will pay dividends in the long and difficult journey that is medical school and residency. Furthermore, I believe this endurance will allow me to serve as a source of strength for my patients in their disease pathologies, never giving up on finding a solution. I want nothing more than to be a physician. I want to be like Dr. [NAME]. I want to be Dr. [WRITER’S NAME]

Here’s what makes this personal statement effective: 

  • It demonstrates persistence and resilience : The personal statement underscores the writer's persistence and resilience in the face of challenges. They mention reapplying to medical school and continuing to work for CMI, despite previous application setbacks.
  • It showcases clear communication skills : The writer effectively communicates their thoughts, experiences, and motivations using precise language and impactful storytelling. This demonstrates their ability to articulate their ideas and experiences effectively, a valuable skill for a future physician.
  • It remains positive : Despite the challenges described, the writer maintains an overall positive and hopeful tone. The writer focuses on the lessons learned and the impact they can make as a future physician. They do not aim to evoke pity, which is a smart move because it never goes well with admissions committees!
  • It’s authentic : The writing feels genuine and authentic, reflecting the writer's personal experiences, emotions, and motivations. This authenticity makes the personal statement more relatable and compelling to read.

While this personal statement certainly tugs at the heartstrings, it goes beyond simply telling a sad story. Using their difficult experience, they share their inspiration to become a physician, demonstrate their perseverance, and prove they’re dedicated to medicine.

“Who is Wilson and can you tell him that I have basketball practice tonight?” I joked to an assembly of doctors and nurses surrounding my hospital bed. Rather than starting my senior year of high school, I was admitted to the hospital and subjected to several days of relentless testing and consultations. Ultimately, it was confirmed that I was one of 30,000 people in the world diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, a rare copper metabolism disorder that can cause fulminant liver failure. This reserved me a status 1A spot on the national transplant list, a status generally reserved for those who have a prognosis of only a few days of survival. Over the next nine days, I was encephalopathic – dozing in and out of consciousness. Due to the compassionate and selfless act of a twenty--year--old named [NAME], I overcame the inevitable. When no cadaveric donors were available, [NAME] chose to donate a portion of her liver to give me a fighting chance to live. The seventeen-hour surgery and subsequent procedures over the following weeks kick-started an arduous road to recovery and gave me a newfound appreciation for what it means to live. My journey, although daunting, instilled in me a high regard for the fragility of life and has inspired me to want to help others preserve it.

Prior to my own four-month hospital stay, I was no stranger to the weight of a patient’s room. At ten years old, a time when most kids rely on their mom, I instead fulfilled a very different role as mine battled breast cancer. Attending every chemotherapy appointment, emergency room visit, and trip to pick out a new wig, I served as a part of my mom’s care team. I could always be found by her side, painting her nails or watching marathons of I Love Lucy on days when she did not have the strength to get out of bed. Despite all efforts, I lost her. However, I found solace with a newfound appreciation for the impact of death. While she may have physically departed from my presence, her lessons and memories continue to have a hold. My mom’s diagnosis revealed her zest for perseverance. She taught me the immeasurable value of emotional support, which empowered me to provide that to others. I decided to run for the position of Philanthropy Chairman of my sorority at [COLLEGE] and was elected. With this appointment, I strengthened our chapter’s ties with Breastcancer.org — an online forum that supports patients and their families as they are battling breast cancer. I was responsible for raising money and awareness and organized a basketball tournament with the entire student body to support the cause. Just as I sat by my mom’s side throughout every part of her journey, I know she is guiding me wherever my journey leads. And it is because of her that I found resilience when I fought my own battles 7 years later. 

Through my personal struggles as a liver transplant recipient, I was invested in understanding more about my disease process. This desire further sparked my interest in the field of medicine and catalyzed my scientific curiosity to be involved in research. I was given the fortuitous opportunity to study organ rejection patterns and the efficacy of two immunosuppressants - Tacrolimus and Sirolimus. Working alongside Dr. [NAME], my former physician while I was a patient at [HOSPITAL], I gained experience on the power of research. My project entailed retrospectively reviewing the Nemours transplant database and collecting data on all liver transplant recipients. Additionally, I had the opportunity to speak and relate directly to patients and their families. Through my firsthand experiences as both a patient and a research assistant, I know that research is an integral component of medical education and advancement. I hope to continue my involvement in investigative and clinical outcomes research in medical school and as a future physician. 

Furthermore, I have quickly realized the sense of satisfaction and purpose I gain from sharing my story with others. I solidified my commitment to medicine by enrolling in the [COLLEGE]’s Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate program. To further bolster my education, I became a medical scribe and inserted myself at the center of the patient-provider interaction. I empower my patients to ask questions and provide them with a say in their own care. With this experience, I have learned that bedside manner is just as important as having the medical knowledge to diagnose and treat illness. As someone who has spent time both in hospital beds and preparing beds for medical procedures, I understand the anxiety and complications that come with human health and take pride in sharing my emotional support with my patients each day.

Rather than allowing my diagnosis to define me, I named my puppy Wilson to remind myself of my journey and perseverance. As I put on my scrubs each morning and take Wilson for a walk, my motivation to become a physician grows stronger. My past has enabled me to appreciate the importance of compassion, value of human life, and the kind of person I want to become. I have fully immersed myself in the field and am ready to embark on the next chapter of my life as a future physician—Wilson always at my side.

The following elements make this a winning personal statement:

  • It tells a unique personal story : The writer shares a personal journey that is intimate and impactful. From being diagnosed with a rare disease to experiencing the loss of their mother to cancer, the writer's personal experiences add depth and emotional resonance to their narrative.
  • It demonstrates a commitment to patient advocacy: The writer's philanthropic activities and role as a medical scribe reflect their dedication to advocating for patients. They recognize the importance of empowering patients and involving them in their own care, which are all green flags for the admission committee!
  • The little details matter : Naming their puppy Wilson as a reminder of their journey and perseverance adds a nice personal touch and symbolizes the writer's unwavering motivation to become a physician. It conveys their deep connection to their experiences and their drive to make a difference. 

In case these 15 personal statement examples aren’t enough, you can access a dozen more samples to spark your creativity and help you write a stellar statement!

Steps to Write Your Personal Statement for Medical School

med student writing essay

After reviewing the above medical school personal statement examples, you likely noticed some patterns and have a rough idea of how to structure your statement. But, if you’re still feeling a bit unsure about diving into the writing process, here’s a simple roadmap to get you started :

  • Step one : Spend considerable time on the brainstorming process and reflect on the experiences that have shaped your desire to pursue medicine. Consider your personal growth, the challenges you’ve overcome, your meaningful encounters, and your career aspirations.
  • Step two : Narrow your choices down and choose one significant story that you can connect your other meaningful experiences to.
  • Step three : Use effective storytelling throughout your essay. Show, don’t tell, be descriptive, and immerse your readers! Make sure your story is authentic and reflects your unique perspective.
  • Step four : Prove you’ve done your research and carefully considered your medical school choice. Show how your career goals and interests align with your school’s values.
  • Step five : Revise and edit your work multiple times until you’re satisfied with it, even if it means rewriting your entire essay or changing your central narrative! 
  • Step six : Get feedback from a trusted friend, family member, or mentor to catch any lingering errors or typos.
  • Step seven : Be authentic in your personal statement. Don’t try to impress the admissions committee by using overly embellished or exaggerated stories! Admissions committees appreciate honesty and genuine passion, and they can typically see right through insincerity!

Although writing your personal statement may seem overwhelming at first, following these steps and reflecting on the effective elements of the medical school personal statement examples above should help you complete this application requirement with more confidence!

FAQs: Med School Personal Statements

We’ve gone over several medical school personal statement examples, provided you with a run-down of how to approach your statement, and hopefully instilled some hope and motivation in you to begin your writing journey. 

In case you have any remaining concerns about this application component, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about personal statements for med school! 

1. What Should a Medical School Personal Statement Say?

Your medical school personal statement should clearly articulate your genuine interest in the field and explain what drives you to become a doctor. This could be a personal story, an influential experience, or a deep-rooted desire to make a positive impact on people's lives through healthcare.

You should also share relevant personal experiences that have shaped your decision to pursue medicine and discuss your proudest accomplishments, whether it be extracurriculars , academic achievements, or volunteer endeavors.

Ensure your narrative is unique and that you highlight the qualities that make you a strong candidate for medical school.

2. How Should I Start My Personal Statement for Medical School?

Start your statements as all of the medical school personal statement examples in this guide have—with a unique and intriguing hook. Share an experience that influenced you to become a physician and fully immerse your reader by being descriptive and focusing on several senses.

Try to involve your reader in your writing by painting a vivid picture for them!

3. What Should Be Avoided In a Personal Statement for Medical School?

While there are endless topics you can choose to write about in your personal statement, you should avoid doing the following :

  • Being generic : Have specific goals, intentions, and concrete examples to demonstrate your commitment to medicine.
  • Being cliche : Don’t use overused quotes or claim you pursued medicine to change the world. The committee has seen it a million times and wants deeper insight into what medicine means to you and what kind of physician you hope to become.
  • The Debbie downer : Remain positive in your personal statement, even if you’re mentioning hardship you experienced!
  • Risky humor : while adding some humor into your statement can elevate it and add personality to it, you want to be very careful with the types of jokes you use and err on the side of caution by avoiding any potentially offensive or niche jokes.
  • Neglecting to edit your work : Typos, spelling errors, or grammatical mistakes will reduce the efficacy of your statement. Do not skip the final step of proofreading your work!

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be one step closer to writing an excellent med school personal statement!

Final Thoughts

Remember, your personal statement is your opportunity to make a lasting impression on the admissions committee. It’s your time to highlight your achievements and share those transformative experiences that made you realize your calling and the impact you want to make in the world!

Be genuine, think outside of the box, tell your story, and let your passion for medicine shine through. Good luck!

best doctor personal statement

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The Importance of the Personal Statement

The personal statement is so important because it helps the admissions committee connect with and understand you and make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. They’re going to be less willing to take a risk on a student they think will be unhappy as a physician. So if your personal statement reads like you’re going into medicine for the wrong reasons (money, prestige, parental pressure, etc.), they’re unlikely to admit you even if you have great stats.

It’s in your best interest to ensure that you have enough exposure to the field to be sure that this is the right career for you. Otherwise, you might find yourself burned out and miserable early in your career or leave medicine altogether. There is no single right reason to become a physician, but pursuing medicine should, at the very least, be an informed decision.

Like nearly everything in this process, how each school weighs the personal statement depends on the school. Many schools will rely heavily on the personal statement when deciding whether to offer a student an interview, and other schools may weigh other sections more heavily.

Since you can’t know or control how the admissions committee will evaluate your personal statement, you should focus on doing your best on each aspect of the medical school application.

When Should You Write the Personal Statement?

Most students find that the personal statement takes longer than they think it will. You don’t want to be caught not giving yourself enough time to write a great personal statement, so starting early is critical. Because of the time required to draft the personal statement, we recommend beginning in January of the year you apply to medical school.

You might be tempted to try to write the perfect personal statement on your first try or feel like you have to. This kind of thinking will only hold you back and keep you from getting started.

This very early stage of drafting might just look like brainstorming and listing all of the stories you might want to include in your personal statement. It’s also a good time to journal and reflect on your journey so far so that you can dig deeper in your personal statement and activity descriptions .

Starting early gives you plenty of time to write the personal statement, edit your drafts, get feedback from fresh eyes, and polish it. Taking time away from it between drafts will also give you the perspective to be able to evaluate your own work.

Ideally, you’re journaling and reflecting long before it’s time to actually sit down and write the personal statement. How you do this journaling is up to what makes sense for you. You can do it in a physical journal, a spreadsheet, a word document, or in the journal entry space in Mappd whenever you go to log your hours. This way, even if you’ve forgotten the details or the impact of an experience when you go to write your personal statement, you can refresh it in your mind.

best doctor personal statement

How Long is the Personal Statement?

AACOMAS and AMCAS cap the personal statement at 5,300 characters, including spaces. TMDSAS allots 5,000 characters for the personal statement, also including spaces. While you don’t have to use every character available to you, you should aim for a length of at least 5,000 characters for AACOMAS and AMCAS. Anything shorter may not have enough substance or may not flow as well as a slightly longer essay would.

If you’re really struggling to come up with enough material for your personal statement, this might be a clue that you haven’t had enough experience to prove to yourself that you want to be a physician. Or it might be a sign that you haven’t reflected on your experiences deeply enough. Either way, this should be a sign to take a hard look at your journey so far and look for any shortcomings. You want to find and fix these before you hit submit on your application.

What Makes a Great Personal Statement?

The best personal statements tell a story that is authentic to the student writing it. You should aim to engage the senses of the reader and let them in on what you felt emotionally. The best and easiest way to do this is to focus on showing vs. telling. If you need advice on how to do this effectively, you can find plenty of guides and articles online about showing and effective storytelling.

You might need to spend your first draft just getting the facts down and then reword a lot of it to do more showing as you revise and edit, and that’s okay. Focus on improving each draft and emphasizing showing by the final draft instead of getting stuck on doing it perfectly from the very beginning.

You also want to start in a way that makes the admissions officer want to keep reading. Keep in mind that the personal statement doesn’t have to be in chronological order, so you can start with the most interesting part of your story.

As you get into the later stages of editing, you can also rearrange the pieces and see which order is the most interesting to read. This is a place where having another set of eyes can be incredibly helpful in giving feedback on whether things make sense or flow well.

By the end of a great personal statement, the reader knows and deeply understands why you want to be a doctor because they went along the journey with you. They saw your first interaction with a patient and felt what you felt as you held your mother’s hand in the hospital. It makes complete sense that your path has led you here and that this is what you want to do.

best doctor personal statement

Should You Worry About Being Cliche?

Many students worry that their personal statement is cliche because their experiences are common. Common and cliché are not the same thing. The basic facts of a story might be common, but once you add your unique reflection and your unique background, it moves beyond that. If you don’t add anything to make it specific to your story, then it will be cliché. As long as you focus on your story and how you got here, someone will be able to connect with your story and want to get to know you better.

Reflection is the Key

One of the biggest mistakes students make in both their personal statement and activity descriptions is focusing too much on the what and not enough on the why – why these experiences matter.

You can tell the most interesting story in the world, but if you don’t dig deeper and explain why these experiences affected you and made you want to be a physician, your story won’t have any lasting impact on the reader.

In order to help someone else understand why you want to be a doctor, you need to fully understand that yourself. This will help make sure that you’re making the right decision, and it will allow you to tell your story more clearly and with a greater impact on the reader.

Then, once you fully understand for yourself your why and all of your reasons, you can more easily express that to the reader. You should follow each anecdote and each experience with a reflection on why that particular experience was so meaningful to you. What impact did it have on your journey? How did it strengthen your desire to become a physician? What did you learn from it?

You don’t have space to answer all of these questions for every story, but they’re the questions you should ask yourself, and then focus on the most important takeaway when writing. You should focus on the lessons or experiences that strengthened your desire to be a physician. Resist the temptation to describe what you learned about being a physician or the temptation to lean into the generic.

A Strong Send-Off

Just like you want a strong hook at the start to pull the reader in, you also want a strong conclusion. When you’re writing an English paper, your conclusion is often a summary of everything you’ve said before. This is not true for the personal statement. Repeating yourself is a waste of the limited space you have and isn’t very interesting for the reader.

Instead, the conclusion is a great place to talk about what you hope to do as a physician. What kind of change do you want to make in the world? How will you make your school proud after you’ve received your diploma? Paint a picture of the kind of physician you want to be.

Editing the Personal Statement

Who should you ask.

The ideal person to edit your personal statement is someone with knowledge of the medical school application process and an understanding of what makes a good personal statement. A great first stop is your school’s pre-health advising office. Hopefully, your advisor will have enough experience to give you great feedback on your personal statement.

If you take time away from the personal statement between drafts, you will also be in a better place to evaluate your own work, and you might find the examples in The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Personal Statement helpful during this process.

If you ask someone in your life or a mentor to edit your personal statement, you can give them this review sheet to help guide their feedback. This is especially helpful if they’re not an expert on the medical school application process.

There are also lots of paid services out there. We also offer essay feedback services . Students who join Application Academy can submit their essays for feedback during class and get feedback from their fellow students and TAs.

Editing for Grammar

We recommend that in addition to using your word processor’s built-in spell check, you sign up for a free Grammarly * account. It will not only help with things like spelling and punctuation but will also help ensure your sentence structure is clear.

You can use Grammarly for your application essays, academic papers, and emails to professors asking for letters of recommendation. You should take care to make sure that your personal statement and other application essays are free of errors and typos.

A high amount of errors can be distracting to the reader and make it come across that you didn’t take enough time and care with your personal statement to proofread it thoroughly. Proofreading is a step in the editing process where it’s perfectly fine to have someone less knowledgeable about medical school applications look over your work since they’re not editing for content. If you know someone with really good attention to detail or who gets good grades on their own papers, ask them to look over it for you with an eye to grammatical errors and misspelled words.

What to Avoid In Your Personal Statement

While writing your personal statement, you should write your story authentically, and you should try to avoid anything that will make the admissions committee want to stop reading or view you in a negative light. Here are a few examples of things to avoid, and you can find more examples in The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement .

We all come away from our experiences with positive and negative things about them. However, you should avoid focusing on the negative aspects of your experiences when writing your medical school application.

People who are overly negative aren’t fun to be around and don’t make for very good classmates or community members. It’s easy to say no to a student who seems negative, as the admissions committee is building a community of students who will work closely together and rely on one another for the next four years.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about a time when you had a negative experience or can’t be honest. You should instead focus on what you learned from the situation and what positive aspects you can take from it.

You should not use your personal statement as an opportunity to rehash your resume. That isn’t interesting to read and is a waste of the opportunity you’re given to let the admissions committee understand your journey. You’ve already shared your most important activities and experiences in your activity descriptions. Focusing on your resume also does not answer the question that the personal statement is asking you, which is: why do you want to be a physician?

You can talk about research as part of your personal statement, but you should not focus on it. It’s better to talk about it in your conclusion as part of what you want to do as a physician rather than the driving force behind why you want to be a physician.

When a student focuses on research in their personal statement, it calls into question whether they have enough clinical experience to drive their interest in medicine or if they are more interested in lab work than patient care. Even if you are applying to MD/Ph.D. or DO/Ph.D. programs, you are given multiple other opportunities to talk about your research experiences so far and your future interest in it.

Emotional Topics

With this, you need to think carefully about how you will handle it if the topic is brought up in an interview. Anything you put in your application is fair game to be asked about in an interview, and you should keep that in mind.

Our cofounder Rachel Grubbs likes to advise students to discuss “scars, not wounds.” If the emotional topic is something you’ve already processed, it will be easier to talk about calmly during an interview. Tearing up is okay and human, but you don’t want to get so emotional that you find it difficult to continue your interview.

* This link is an affiliate link, meaning we receive a small commission when you sign up at no cost to you.

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best doctor personal statement


Medical School Personal Statement Hooks (13 Examples)

Medical school personal statement hooks, although they need to be used very carefully, can certainly help bring some personality and originality to an application.

Making up the introductory paragraph of your essay that leads the reader in, they’re also very important.

But it can be hard knowing where to start when it comes to putting them together. Or understanding what works best and why.

To help, I’ve decided to put together 13 hook examples in this article.

Adding my own small critique (on what I think does or doesn’t work), maybe they can offer some guidance when it comes to deciding what to use for your own hooks.

Along with examples, here’s what else we’ll cover to help you with your hooks:

  • Hook topic ideas
  • What makes a good/bad hook
  • Tips on how to write an effective personal statement hook

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

What is a Hook?

A hook is the opening of an essay or a general theme or topic underpinning it.

It’s important because it’s the first thing the reader will see. Therefore it provides the best opportunity for engagement.

Depending on what your prompt is, the hooks you choose can differ across applications. It’ll need to fit a small percentage of the overall word count too (usually around 5,300 characters).

Related : Medical School Diversity Essay Prompts (21 Examples)

A hook can also start from anywhere. It can be a conclusion. Or an insight.

Many applicants choose to present it as a descriptive story rather than a simple “I” statement.

As you’ll see from the following examples!

13 Medical School Personal Statement Hook Examples

To really see and understand these hooks in action, it’s important you click through to those you like and read the examples in their broader context.

The ones picked out here (except those from Reddit) are the hooks included in the general introductions of larger essays.

Examples #1 and #2: General Vs Personal Hooks

“Hope to see you again next week,” I said, while handing the drug addict a packet of syringes. u/throwawatyyyy
Ma’am is this your son?” It was a question I always got as a kid, adopted into a biracial family that was not my own. u/boopboopthesnoot

These examples, taken from Reddit, show some insight into the value of hooks.

The first one received feedback for being a little too generic (overly focused on the “I want to be a doctor because I want to help people” trope) and clunky (using the words “drug addict”).

While the second is more successful; being more personal.

Examples #3 and #4: Engaging Hooks

My story begins at the age of six. I am dressed in a tiny suit with a miniature cello, the perfect size for a doll. It is the debut of The Aloha Trio: I am on cello, and my two older sisters are on violin and flute. My mother describes it as a way of sharing our Hawaiian spirit of “aloha” with a deserving audience. I think of it as torture.
My first patient was a man in his 60’s who fell down a few stairs at the hockey complex. His foot slipped out from under him while climbing the concrete steps, and he smashed his knee and elbow in the process. As a newly certified EMT, it was the first time I was responsible for another’s health. – U.S. News

The two examples here, held up as successful by the respective adcoms reviewing them, are commended for “capturing the reader’s imagination” and showing “clear motivation” as to why they want to become a doctor.

You’ll see the second example is much more measured and matter-of-fact in tone.

Admissions teams aren’t expecting masterful writing verging on “Creative Writing 101”.

Considered and well-thought-out hooks that engage without turning off are far more appropriate!

Examples #5 and #6: Poignant Vs Comedic Hooks

“I love Scriabin!” exclaimed Logan, a 19-year-old patient at the hospital, as we found a common interest in the obscure Russian composer. I knew Logan’s story because it was so similar to my own: a classically-trained pianist, he was ready to head off to college in a month, just as I had the year before. Yet it was Logan who was heading into surgery to remove a recently-discovered brain tumor.
At the beginning of the first Alternative Spring Break (ASB) meeting that I was leading in front of a group of nervous volunteers, I used an icebreaker, Two Truths and a Lie. Being a common face at my campus’s student activities, I have played this game perhaps one too many times. Unlike everyone else who had to take time to think about their interesting truths, I would say the same thing every time. “I want to be a pediatrician, I have alpacas, and I have llamas.” I do not have llamas. – Med School Insiders

Med School Insiders hold up the first example here as better than the second (based on the greater context).

Both hooks are strong. The second one, which uses an anecdote to draw the reader in, makes effective use of humor.

Be careful that your hook helps “show” rather than “tell” your suitability for medicine.

Examples #7 and #8: Narrative Vs Direct Hooks

I made my way to Hillary’s house after hearing about her alcoholic father’s incarceration. Seeing her tearfulness and at a loss for words, I took her hand and held it, hoping to make things more bearable. She squeezed back gently in reply, “thank you.” My silent gesture seemed to confer a soundless message of comfort, encouragement and support.
I was one of those kids who always wanted to be doctor. I didn’t understand the responsibilities and heartbreaks, the difficult decisions, and the years of study and training that go with the title, but I did understand that the person in the white coat stood for knowledge, professionalism, and compassion.  – BeMo

Example #7’s hook here seems to be a lot more impactful than #8’s.

The first is more personal and unique, the second a little too generic and expected.

Example #9: Inquisitive Hooks

Jeremy sobbed quietly, taking deep, shuddering breaths. He wiped his eyes on his favorite Spiderman T-shirt, the one he had been wearing hours earlier when he’d heard the news: His mother had been arrested again, and he may not see her for a very long time. What do you say to a ten-year-old child in that situation? – Transizion

This hook is a great example of capturing the reader and leaving them wanting more.

The use of the question forces the reader to be active in the story.

Your hook should always consider the reader.

Asking questions of them can be a useful way to achieve this.

Example #10: Authentic Hooks

New Orleans was hot and humid during the summer months of 2014–no surprise there. However, for a native Oregonian like me, waking up to 90-degree and 85%-humidity days initially seemed like too much to bear. That was until I reflected on the fact that my temporary discomfort was minute in contrast to the destruction of communities and emotional pounding experienced by the people of New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina nine years earlier. – Shemassian Consulting

This example hook has authenticity at its core, providing a tangible example of how the subject helped better the situation.

The individual doesn’t have to tell the reader they are compassionate, it’s shown by the events included in the hook itself.

As Shemassian suggests; your essay doesn’t need to have any “a-ha moment” or a sudden realization.

A slow unfurling story coupled with a descriptive, relatable hook, is often more realistic and grounded in the eyes of the reader.

Example #11 and #12: Contrarian Vs “Off-Topic” Hooks

Mary was well known at our clinic by all of our doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Based on her sharp intellect and cheerful pattern of making all of our staff feel like we were her best friends, it would be difficult to tell why she frequently visited the hospital. Outside of her use of a walker, her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis had not slowed her down much…I wanted to give her the best care possible, whether through asking our great nurses to check in on her or offering an extra blanket or favorite snack to ensure comfort throughout her stay. However, I was simultaneously frustrated that my ability to help Mary ended there. This lingering lack of fulfillment has served as a great motivator to find more ways to do more for patients like her.
My palms had never been as sweaty as when I walked on stage with my trombone in front of a 500-plus member audience on June 9 th , 2015. Sure, I was pretty good, but I would like to think that being invited to play Curtis Fuller’s  Along Came Betty  at the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame had as much to do with the music skills I had honed over the past decade as it did with training the 8-member band of 10 to 13 year-olds from the inner city to join me on that same stage. I was nervous because this performance was for them; I needed to be at my best. – Prospective Doctor

The first hook here shows good use of contrast.

The subject is at odds with their desire to help the patient but also held back from doing so. Hooks that express contrary viewpoints like this are often very impactful.

Hook #12 is great because it’s so different. We take a break from the common themes of medicine and are transported into another world (but still one with transferrable skills and experiences), which also leads us to want to find out more (did the performance go well?)

Depending on the prompt, your hook can go down unique avenues like this.

It doesn’t always need to start with direct relevance to medicine.

Example #13

The AIDS hospice reeked from disease and neglect. On my first day there, after an hour of “training,” I met Paul, a tall, emaciated, forty-year-old AIDS victim who was recovering from a stroke that had severely affected his speech. I took him to General Hospital for a long-overdue appointment. It had been weeks since he had been outside…While elated that I had literally made Paul’s day, the neglect and emotional isolation from which he suffered disgusted me. This was a harsh side of medicine I had not seen before. Right then and there, I wondered, “Do I really want to go into medicine?” – Accepted.com

Again, this hook is an example of making a contrary point while “showing” the applicant’s relevant extracurricular experience.

In a pile of 20-30 essays, I bet this hook stands out.

Questioning if you even want to go into medicine in the introduction of a med school application is a risk. But it’s also a risk that, if expertly answered, could have a fantastic payoff.

If you’re confident you can back it up with the rest of your essay, risky hooks like this can work well.

Medical School Personal Statement Hook Topics

Coming up with ideas on what to use for your essay hook can be just as difficult as actually writing it.

Here are some popular ideas used by previous applicants that could serve as inspiration:

  • Being first in your family to go to college
  • Losing a loved one to suicide
  • Raising a family
  • Graduating early
  • Growing up in poverty/experiencing homelessness
  • Overcoming physical disability
  • Working construction
  • Military career
  • Teaching career
  • Polyglot/speaking multiple languages
  • Running political campaigns
  • Martial arts instructor
  • Raising goats/chickens
  • Competitive eSports athlete
  • Professional musician
  • Powerlifting and sports training

You can turn almost anything personal to you into a hook.

Spend some time thinking about the things you’ve done/achieved/overcome in life and make a list first (before you start writing).

The important thing is that your personal statement answers some form of the question; “ why medicine ?”

Your hook ultimately should lead into that.

Related : “ Why Do You Want To Be A Doctor?” (Reddit’s 19 Best Answers!)

Related Questions

Do personal statements need a hook.

Hooks aren’t always appropriate for personal statements. There’s no cut-and-dry rule that says you have to start with them.

For many applications, however, hooks can be very useful. Especially if you consider the admissions committee member reading through 20-40 similar-sounding essays in a single day.

In those cases, a good hook can help you grab the attention of the reader and stand out. As well as sell other aspects of yourself that aren’t always obvious or evident in your application.

Whether that actually betters your chance of getting into med school, is probably too much of a stretch to say. But it definitely could help differentiate you.

What is a good hook for a personal statement?

The best hooks are ones that are appropriate to an activity you’re introducing. The more unique they are, and the more effective at fuelling curiosity and encouraging someone to keep reading, the better.

“I’m sick and don’t know if I’ll get better.” Hearing those words is probably the most painful memory I have about my mother. And I’m reminded of it often when I talk with family at the Memorial Hospital Cancer Center.

But there is a fine line between being overly theatric and measured.

A good hook usually does one (or more) of the following:

  • Avoids the cliche “I love science and helping people” opener
  • Shows doesn’t tell
  • Humanizes the subject
  • Personal to you (doesn’t read as if it could have been written by anyone else)
  • Carefully balances unique and shocking (it still needs to be an effective, serviceable essay)
  • Avoids clunky langage/being tonally offensive

A good way to find out if you have a strong hook is to have it critiqued by an editor.

The examples above are just that (examples).

Without knowing the other aspects of a student’s application (or story), their value can be hard to judge!

That’s why it’s also important that the hook you use ties into both the body of your essay and its final paragraph.

What is a bad hook?

A bad hook is usually contrived. It might feature a run-of-the-mill quote or smack of unoriginality. Or tries to define something rather obvious.

An example of a bad hook could be something like:

The definition of medicine has gone through as many changes as the human race. Straddling the worlds of both art and science, it continues to remain unconfined to the boundaries of language.

This is both general (lacks any sense of personality) and empty.

Bad hooks for personal statements miss emotive marks and say little about the person writing them.

Or they over-dramatize the mundane, possibly differentiating you in a negative way.

Why are personal statement hooks so hard to write?

The big reason why hooks are so difficult to write is because of the pressure. They are the opening lines of a statement that’s meant to distill your entire ethos and philosophy for studying medicine into a few short paragraphs. And also summarize countless hours of extracurricular prep and everything else.

But another key reason is that you’re simply not used to crafting them.

Because of that, supposed “good” hooks can sometimes look cliched and cringe-inducing.

Your general lack of experience makes it hard to tell good ones from the bad.

How do you write a personal statement hook for medical school?

Now we’ve explored the example hooks and spent some time in discussion over what could make them good/bad, here are some general tips on how to go about writing them:

  • Start by listing down all the possible ideas you could use for hooks (use the topic ideas to help)
  • Choose the top 3-5 ideas and start turning them into short introductory paragraphs (use the examples as models)
  • Get feedback by running them past other applicants/successful med students
  • Go with the hook that you feel best suits the potential body of the essay

Starting with hooks is probably the best way to begin framing your essay as a whole.

Just getting in the practice of coming up with several ideas is great for overcoming any resistance to writing and helping you gain the confidence in believing you can create something great.

As a quick reminder, here are some of the top do’s/don’ts to keep in mind as you move through this process

  • Do match the hook to the prompt (don’t make it seem random or off-topic)
  • Don’t feel that the hook has to be the starting sentence only (it can be 2-3 sentences or an entire opening paragraph)
  • Do “show”, don’t “tell”
  • Do road test your hooks with friends/family
  • Don’t include controversial topics
  • Don’t be overly flowery (it’s a pointed essay, not a meandering novel)
  • Don’t make it a sob story
  • Don’t include patient names
  • Don’t be repetitive
  • Don’t include anything you wouldn’t want to talk about in an interview
  • Don’t speak negatively (of yourself or others)
  • Don’t use medical jargon
  • Don’t use acronyms without writing them out first

Ready to start coming up with some hooks?


Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more .

Medical School Personal Statement Examples and Analysis

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A strong medical school personal statement can take many forms, but the most impressive ones share several features. A winning statement obviously needs to be well written with perfect grammar and an engaging style. Also, a standout personal statement needs to be personal . The AMCAS application used by nearly all United States medical schools provides a simple prompt: "Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school." The personal statement clearly needs to be about your motivation. How did you become interested in medicine? What experiences have affirmed that interest? How does medical school fit into your career goals?

The structure and precise content of the statement, however, can vary greatly. Below are two sample statements to illustrate some possibilities. Each is followed by an analysis of the statement's strengths and weaknesses.

Medical School Personal Statement Example #1

The walk across campus was excruciating. During my first year of college, I had gotten strep throat for the second time in a month. When antibiotics didn’t seem to be working, my doctor found that strep had led to mono. Worst of all, I had developed hiccups. Yes, hiccups. But these weren’t just any hiccups. Every time my diaphragm spasmed, I had such a stab of severe pain in my shoulder that I nearly blacked out. Needless to say, this was strange. The fatigue and sore throat made sense, but torturous knife-in-the-shoulder hiccups? I immediately headed for the urgent care facility at my university’s medical center. The walk seemed like miles, and every hiccup brought a stifled scream and a stop to my progress.

I grew up in rural New York, so I had never been to a teaching hospital before. All of my childhood doctors, in fact, had moved to my area to get their medical school loans repaid by agreeing to practice in an underserved community. I had four different doctors growing up, all of them perfectly competent, but all of them overworked and eager to do their time so they could move on to a “better” job.

I’m not sure what I expected when I set foot in the university’s medical center, but I had certainly never been in a massive medical complex that employs over 1,000 physicians. What mattered to me, of course, was my doctor and how she would fix my demonic death hiccups. At the time, I was thinking an epidural followed by a shoulder amputation would be a good solution. When Dr. Bennett arrived in my examining room, she immediately sent me to x-ray and told me to bring the films back to her. I thought it was odd that the patient would do this ferrying, and I found it even more strange when she put the images up on the illuminator and viewed them for the first time with me by her side.

This was the moment when I realized that Dr. Bennett was much more than a physician. She was a teacher, and at that moment, she was not teaching her medical students, but me. She showed me the outlines of the organs in my abdomen, and pointed to my spleen that was enlarged from mono. The spleen, she explained, was pushing on a nerve to my shoulder. Each hiccup dramatically increased that pressure, thus causing the shoulder pain. Apparently I wouldn’t need my shoulder amputated after all, and Dr. Bennett’s explanation was so wonderfully simple and comforting. Sometime during my visit to the hospital my hiccups had stopped, and as I walked back across campus, I couldn’t help marveling at how strange the human body is, but also what a pleasure it is to have a doctor who took the time to teach me about my own physiology.

As my interest in medicine grew and I added biology and chemistry minors to my communication studies major, I started looking for shadowing opportunities. Over winter break of my junior year, a dermatologist from a nearby town agreed to let me shadow him full time for a week. He was a family acquaintance who, unlike my childhood doctors, had been working out of the same office for over 30 years. Until that January, however, I really had no idea what his job was actually like. My first impression was one of disbelief. He began seeing patients at 6 a.m. for 5-minute consultations during which he would look at a single area of concern for the patient—a rash, a suspicious mole, an open sore. Around 7:00 a.m., regularly scheduled appointments began, and even here, he rarely spent more than 10 minutes with a patient. His workday was over by midafternoon in time to get in some skiing (golf in warmer months), but he would still see upwards of 50 patients in a day.

One would think with that kind of volume, the patient experience would be impersonal and rushed. But Dr. Lowry knew his patients. He greeted them by name, asked about their kids and grandkids, and laughed at his own bad jokes. He was deceptively quick and efficient, but he made patients comfortable. And when he discussed their medical issues, he pulled out a remarkably battered and dog-eared copy of Fitzpatrick’s Clinical Dermatology to show color photos of their condition and explain what next steps, if any, were needed. Whether a patient had a benign seborrheic keratosis or melanoma that had gone untreated for far too long, he compassionately and clearly explained the situation. He was, in short, an excellent teacher.

I love biology and medicine. I also love writing and teaching, and I plan to use all of these skills in my future medical career. I’ve been a lab TA for Human Anatomy and Physiology, and I wrote articles for the university newspaper on flu prevention and a recent outbreak of whooping cough. My experiences with Dr. Bennett and Dr. Lowry have made clear to me that the best doctors are also excellent teachers and communicators. Dr. Lowry taught me not just about dermatology, but the realities of rural medicine. He is the only dermatologist in a 40-mile radius. He is such a valuable and integral part of the community, yet he will be retiring soon. It isn’t clear who will replace him, but perhaps it will be me.

Analysis of Personal Statement Example #1

With its focus on rural medicine and the importance of good communication in health professions, the statement's topic is promising. Here's a discussion of what works well and what could use a little improvement.

There is much in this personal statement that the admissions committee will find appealing. Most obviously, the applicant has an interesting background as a communication studies major, and the statement successfully shows how important good communication is to being a good physician. Medical school applicants certainly don't need to major in the sciences , and they need not be apologetic or defensive when they have a major in the humanities or social sciences. This applicant clearly has taken the required biology and chemistry classes , and the additional skills in writing, speaking, and teaching will be an added bonus. Indeed, the statement's emphasis on doctors as teachers is compelling and speaks well to the applicant's understanding of effective patient treatment.

The readers of this statement are also likely to admire the applicant's understanding of the challenges rural communities face when it comes to health care, and the end of the statement makes clear that the applicant is interested in helping address this challenge by working in a rural area. Finally, the author comes across as a thoughtful and at times humorous person. The "demonic death hiccups" are likely to draw a smile, and the understanding of Dr. Lowry's contributions to the community reveals the author's ability to analyze and understand some of the challenges of rural medical practices.

On the whole, this is a strong personal statement. As with any piece of writing, however, it is not without some shortcomings. By telling two stories—the experiences with Dr. Bennett and Dr. Lowry—there is little room left to explain the applicant's motivation for studying medicine. The statement never gets very specific about what the applicant wants to study in medical school. The final paragraph suggests it could be dermatology, but that certainly doesn't seem definitive and there's no indication of a passion for dermatology. Many MD students, of course, don't know what their specialty will be when they begin medical school, but a good statement should address why the applicant is driven to study medicine. This statement tells a couple of good stories, but the discussion of motivation is a little thin.

Medical School Personal Statement Example #2

My paternal grandfather died of rectal cancer when I was 10 and my grandmother died of colon cancer two years later. Indeed, numerous family members on my father’s side of the family have died of colorectal cancer, and these are not beautiful and peaceful deaths. No dosage of opioids seemed to alleviate the pain caused by tumors that had spread to my grandfather’s spine, and the numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation were their own form of torture. My father gets frequent colonoscopies in an effort to avoid the same fate, and I will soon be doing the same. The family curse isn’t likely to skip a generation.

Five years ago, my favorite uncle on my mother’s side of the family was diagnosed with triple hit lymphoma. Doctors gave him, at best, a few months to live. He was an avid reader and researcher who learned everything he could about his disease. Walking with a cane because of tumors in his leg, he attended a medical conference, inserted himself into a conversation with a top cancer researcher, and managed to get enrolled in a clinical trial for CAR T-cell therapy. Because of his inquisitiveness and assertiveness, he is still alive today with no signs of cancer. This type of happy outcome, however, is more the exception than the rule, and in an ideal world, a cancer patient should not have to reject his doctor's diagnosis to seek his own cure.

My interest in oncology certainly stems from my family history and the ticking time bomb within my own genes, as well as my general fascination with understanding how living things work. The field also appeals to my love of challenges and puzzles. My early childhood was one big blur of giant jigsaw puzzles, scouring the countryside with a magnifying glass, and bringing home every newt, salamander, and snake I could find. Today, those interests manifest themselves in my fondness for mathematics, cellular biology, and anatomy.

In contemporary medicine, there is perhaps no greater living puzzle than cancer. Ken Burns’ film Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies really brings home how little we understand the disease. At the same time, it’s encouraging that this 2015 film is already out-of-date as new and promising treatments continue to emerge. Indeed, it’s an exciting time for the field as researchers make some of the most significant advancements in cancer treatment in decades. That said, some cancers remain remarkably elusive, and so much more progress is needed. My volunteer work at the university’s Cancer Center has made this need clear. So many patients I’ve met are suffering through chemotherapy not with a hope of beating cancer, but with the modest hope of living just a little longer. They often aren’t wrong to have such modest expectations.

My interest in oncology isn’t limited to treating patients—I also want to be a researcher. During the past year and a half, I’ve been a research assistant in Dr. Chiang’s laboratory. I’ve gained extensive experience conducting literature reviews, handling rodents, measuring tumors, genotyping, and creating genetic samples using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Some of my fellow lab assistants find the work tedious and repetitive, but I view each piece of data as part of the bigger puzzle. Progress may be slow and even halting at times, but it is still progress, and I find it exciting.

I’m applying to your joint MD/PhD program because I firmly believe that research will make me a better doctor, and working directly with patients will make me a better researcher. My ultimate goal is to become a cancer research professor at an R1 university’s medical school where I will treat patients, educate the next generation of doctors and researchers, and make headway in defeating this terrible disease.

Analysis of Personal Statement Example #2

With its laser-sharp focus on oncology, this statement stands in sharp contrast to the first example. Here's what works well and what doesn't.

Unlike the first writer, this applicant does an excellent job revealing the motivation behind attending medical school. The opening paragraphs bring to life the damage cancer has done to the applicant's family, and the statement as a whole convincingly shows that oncology is an area of interest for both personal and intellectual reasons. The applicant's volunteer work and research experiences all center on cancer, and the reader has no doubt about the applicant's passion for the field. The applicant also has remarkably clear and specific career goals. On the whole, the reader gets the sense that this applicant will be an ambitious, focused, motivated, and passionate medical student.

Like the first example, this personal statement is generally quite strong. If it has one significant weakness, it is on the patient care side of medicine. In the first example, the applicant's admiration for and understanding of good patient care stands at the forefront. In this second statement, we don't have much evidence of the applicant's actual interest in working directly with patients. This shortcoming could be addressed by going into more detail about the volunteer work at the university Cancer Center, but as is, the statement seems to present more interest in research than patient care. Given the interest in research, the applicant's interest in an MD/PhD program makes sense, but the MD side of that equation could use more attention in the statement.

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How To Write Your Medicine Personal Statement - Dos and Don'ts

Find out how to start writing your Personal Statement, with dos and don'ts that will help you stand out from other applicants.

How To Write A Personal Statement

  • Find out how to start writing your Personal Statement
  • Understand PS dos and don’ts
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You might feel like you don’t know where to start when it’s time to write your Personal Statement for Medicine – but if you understand how to structure it and what to include, you should be able to get going without difficulty. We’ve got some Personal Statement dos and don’ts to help you avoid common mistakes and make your PS as strong as it can be.

How Do I Start Writing My Personal Statement?

Understanding how to structure your Personal Statement for Medicine will firstly help you to plan your writing. Note down the three key categories of Motivation, Exploration and Suitability – then write bullet points with everything you want to include for each one.

Once you have a plan, you’re ready to start writing your first draft. You can start with the introduction – but if you’re finding this hard, there’s no problem with leaving it until the end.

If you’re stuck for inspiration, take a look at these successful Personal Statement examples from medical students.

Make Sure You Stand Out

Get The Best Personal Statement Advice

Personal Statement Dos And Don’ts – With Examples

Do give a good reason why you want to study medicine.

Example: “I aspire to study Medicine because I enjoy science and my experiences of volunteering and observational placements cemented my decision. The opportunity to talk to patients and have an impact on them by giving my time was an incredibly important experience for me.”

You need to start your Personal Statement by explaining why you want to study Medicine. This example shows a multifaceted reason for wanting to study Medicine by linking science and interaction with people. It’s a good idea to give a layered reason for wanting to study Medicine, as it shows that you appreciate the variety of skills that are needed.

Do explain what you learned from work experience and/or volunteering

Example: “Speaking to a patient in Breast Surgery, I was impressed by how the Doctors involved the patient in the decision making process. They always considered her emotional needs as well as her physical illness, highlighting to me the need for Doctors to be empathetic.”

This is a good example of writing about work experience , because it covers an activity that the student carried out as well as what they learned from it. It includes a key learning point around empathy – one of the skills needed to be a good Doctor. It also demonstrates active learning rather than passive shadowing, which is important as you want your Personal Statement to have an active tone to show that you were participating in activities.

Do demonstrate that you have the qualities needed to study Medicine

Example: “Tutoring GCSE students in Maths has helped me to develop my communication skills by explaining complex topics in a simple manner. I know this is useful in Medicine as Doctors need to communicate with patients and also participate in peer teaching.”

Medicine is not just about academic skills, so it’s important to show that you appreciate the importance of other skills such as communication and teamwork. In this example, the student doesn’t just say that they have good communication skills – they explain why, state how they developed these skills and back it all up with evidence.

When you mention extracurricular activities, do talk about the skills you gained from them

Example: “I developed good time management skills while balancing being a school prefect, head of the Junior Medics Society and a mentor for Maths and Chemistry.”

This example shows that the student has one of the key skills needed to study Medicine and be a good Doctor, which in this case is good time management. Instead of just listing the various extracurricular activities they participated in at school, hoping to impress the Admissions Tutors with everything they’ve done, they have stated an important skill for Medicine that they possess and used their extracurricular activities as evidence for it.

Do show that you have explored Medicine further than your A-Level studies

Example: “To further understand the challenges faced by cancer researchers, I completed an online course which introduced me to the principles of chemotherapy. I realised the difficulty was finding ways to target tumours while sparing body cells, reflecting how neoplasms are derived from our own cells and have mechanisms to evade our immune system.”

It’s a good idea to show that you have an interest in Medicine beyond your A-Level science curriculum. In this example, the student has stated an area of Medicine they are particularly interested in and what they did to explore it further. They have also mentioned what they learned from doing their course, which shows that they engaged with the teaching and this is a useful skill for studying Medicine.

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Don’t give a generic reason for wanting to study Medicine

Example: “I want to study Medicine because I have always had an aptitude for science and excelled in school. Several of my family members are Doctors, so I gained an understanding of the career at a young age.”

This is not a compelling enough reason for why the student wants to study Medicine. A strong academic background is naturally important for your application, but this isn’t all it takes to be a good Doctor. You need to have a passion for helping and caring for people, and your Personal Statement should demonstrate this with evidence. Also, it isn’t wise to say that you’ve always wanted to be a Doctor because it runs in your family, as this makes your decision feel less independent.

Don’t talk about work experience without reflecting on what you learned

Example: “I carried out work experience on a cardiology ward where I saw Doctors doing stent insertion and coronary bypasses on patients. I also observed the Doctors and nurses doing multidisciplinary meetings to decide how to treat the patients.”

This is a bad example when it comes to writing about work experience because it lacks reflections. The placement may have been a valuable experience, but the student has simply listed what they saw rather than talking about what they learned. If you watched procedures and observed multidisciplinary meetings during your placement, what did it teach you about the role of a Doctor and the skills that are essential on a daily basis?

Don’t talk about qualities you have without providing evidence

Example: “While carrying out work experience in a surgery ward, I saw the importance of teamwork when carrying out an appendectomy. I believe I am a good team player too.”

The student started off well by talking about the qualities of a good Doctor, but they followed it up by simply claiming they are a good team player without offering the Admissions Tutor any evidence for this. As a general rule, don’t put claims in your Personal Statement that are unsubstantiated. If you want to say that you’re a good team player, what proof can you provide?

Don’t just list your extracurricular activities

Example: “Outside of school I enjoy playing hockey, tennis and football. I have been doing competitive dance for the last six years and I won the regional championships last year.”

It’s brilliant that the student has been involved in so many activities outside of school – however, they have forgotten to link these skills to Medicine. To improve this, they need to mention the skills they have learned from doing these activities, such as teamwork and time management. Remember that the purpose of your Personal Statement is to showcase your suitability to study Medicine, so you need to link everything back to this and prove why you are a strong candidate.

Don’t come across as boastful or arrogant

Example: “I have achieved gold medals in the senior level Maths and Chemistry national olympiads. This shows that I have excelled academically, and as such I believe that studying Medicine will come naturally to me.”

It’s good that the student has performed well in academic competitions, but their reflection on it comes across as boastful and implies that they think Medicine is all about academic ability. Medicine is a difficult course, leading to a challenging career – so by claiming that Medicine will come naturally to them, the student is showing that they haven’t really done their research and are perhaps applying with unrealistic expectations of the course/career. After mentioning the olympiads, they could have avoided the next sentence and instead talked about how the olympiads helped them to develop their problem solving skills, which will be useful when they study Medicine.

How Do I Check My Personal Statement For Medicine?

When you’ve spent hours writing your Personal Statement for Medicine, you might struggle to view it objectively, like an Admissions Tutor will. Here are some ways for you to check your Personal Statement thoroughly:

  • Print it out and read it on paper. This will help you see it through new eyes and you might spot things you missed from proofreading it on your computer.
  • Read your Personal Statement aloud. You’ll catch more errors this way, and it will highlight parts where you still need to work on your wording.
  • Ask someone else to check it, like a friend, family member or teacher. They will be able to look at it more objectively, because they haven’t already read it lots of times like you have, so they should be able to pick up more errors.
  • Get your Personal Statement reviewed by an Admissions Tutor . They’ll spot issues with spelling and grammar, and can also advise ways to improve the content.

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How To Structure Your Medicine Personal Statement

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Medical School Personal Statement Storytelling Guide [With Examples]

Typical medical school personal statements list qualities and accomplishments in paragraph form and can be boring to read for admissions committee members. But the best personal statements demonstrate qualities through engaging stories. Those stories reveal insights into your personality, as well as interests outside healthcare and medicine (especially those that align with the medical schools you’re applying to ).

Medical school admissions committees want to learn who you uniquely are and why you want to become a medical professional. They also want to know what you are going to contribute to their school and the larger medical field.

Our in-depth guide will help you explore unique personal topics and stories to capture admission committee members’ attention and help you stand out in a sea of ordinary med school personal statements.

Table of contents

1. brainstorm topics, 2. choose stories that show your character, show, don’t tell, stay on topic, common medical school personal statement mistakes, get an expert’s opinion.

The first step in the personal statement writing process is to decide what stories and facts are most important to reveal and how to weave in your motivation for applying to a school of medicine.

When you’re ready to brainstorm, don’t just sit down to stare at a list of your premed activities like research experiences, volunteering, or shadowing. Instead, compile the fundamental personal experiences and people that helped shape you. These stories will likely translate beyond your personal statement into interviews , so be picky to choose only the most transformative.

When brainstorming your personal statement for medical school, consider these topics:

Significant or formative life experiences: something that changed the course of your life, your outlook on the world, or made you think differently about your future

  • Learning to do something that leads you to excel/teach others/make a contribution (e.g., sports, science, foreign language, special skills)
  • Being given a second chance
  • Connecting with someone who made an impact on you
  • Being out of your comfort zone (experiences with people of different backgrounds, travel, moving, doing something for the first time)

Challenging life experiences: something that forced a lesson upon you

  • A mistake you made
  • An event that was out of your control that nonetheless caused you suffering or loss
  • Overcoming an obstacle

People that shaped your life:

  • Mentor, family member, friend
  • Author, actor, speaker, personal hero

Think about what each element on your list taught you or how it changed your thinking. Answer for yourself why the event or person is important. Then brainstorm how one or two medically related activities can be tied in.

With this strategy, your personal statement will develop around a narrative that is unique to you. It will also communicate to admissions officers who you are and why you want to provide medical care.

To further your thought processes, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is distinct or unique about you/your life story?
  • What are some specific details about your personality, values, or experiences you can share to help them get a better understanding of who you are?
  • In what ways have your experiences contributed to your growth?
  • Have you overcome any obstacles or difficult circumstances in your life?
  • What valuable personal characteristics (integrity, compassion, diligence, etc.) do you have?
  • What soft skills (leadership, teamwork, communication skills, etc.) do you have?

Next, connect those answers to medicine-specific questions:

  • How and when did you become interested in medicine?
  • What have you learned so far about medicine?
  • Why do you want to become a doctor?
  • How do you know you want to be a doctor?
  • How have your experiences and your understanding of yourself confirmed your desire to do medicine?
  • In what ways have you shown that you have the characteristics necessary to succeed in the field of medicine?
  • How will your skills translate into being a good doctor?
  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that need explaining? This can be an obstacle or difficult circumstance.

Though you don’t want to include the answers to all these questions in your personal statement, knowing the answers to these questions is a good starting point.

You should highlight a few unique experiences, skills, or personal characteristics and make those the focal point of your essay.

Ordinary personal statements focus on the experiences that applicants think will make them seem impressive. The best personal statements focus on the qualities that make applicants truly special.

Instead of choosing their standout qualities — character, personality traits, attitudes — many applicants simply choose experiences they think will help them stand out to admissions committees. Then, they try to force those qualities into the experiences they’ve already chosen.

Why is this an issue? Imagine you have participated in the following extracurricular activities:

  • Biochemistry research for 2 years
  • Clinical experience shadowing for 3 years
  • Math tutor for underserved youth for 2 years
  • Trombonist in the high school band and trombone instructor for 3 years
  • International medical mission trip volunteer for 3 summers
  • Premed organization member for 3 years (vice president for 1 year)

At face value, which of these experiences do you think would make you seem the most impressive to an admissions committee? Given these choices, most students would choose to write about clinical shadowing (2) or medical mission trips (5).

Most students who choose one of those two topics will take a very similar approach, such as starting off the essay describing some interaction with a very ill patient or one with whom they experienced a language barrier.

Typical Applicant Personal Statement Example:

“Mary was well known at our clinic by all of our doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Based on her sharp intellect and cheerful pattern of making our staff feel like we were her best friends, it would be difficult to tell why she frequently visited the hospital. Besides her use of a walker, her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis had not slowed her down much. Throughout my interactions with Mary, I wondered how she maintained such a positive attitude despite her ailments. She seemed to give our staff more joy with her beaming smile than receiving care. I wanted to give her the best care possible, whether through asking our great nurses to check in on her or offering an extra blanket or favorite snack to ensure comfort throughout her stay. However, I was simultaneously frustrated that my ability to help Mary ended there. This lingering lack of fulfillment has served as a great motivator to find ways to do more for patients like her.”

What’s wrong with this example?

Although the above example provides some insights about the applicant’s motivations (“…find ways to do more for patients…”), it is written about a common topic (a realization that came during clinical shadowing) with a typical delivery —  written broadly about interactions with a particular patient.

The best personal statement writers, on the other hand, first think of the personal qualities they want to demonstrate in their essay before choosing a situation or event to write about. Next, they think of an experience that best highlights these qualities, regardless of whether or not it seems most “impressive” at face value. Finally, the best personal statements zero in on a particular event or situation to capture the reader’s attention with a detailed personal story.

By taking this approach, the best personal statement writers are better able to demonstrate their qualities because their story was chosen expressly for that purpose. After all, schools are attracted to particular candidates because of their qualities and not a specific experience they’ve had.

Let’s suppose this same applicant wanted to highlight her community involvement and commitment to serving underprivileged groups. Returning to the list of extracurriculars above, she could choose to write about working as a math tutor (3) or being a trombonist in the school band and trombone instructor (4). By choosing the latter and zooming in on a particular event, this same student could write the following personal statement introduction:

Better Personal Statement Example:

“My palms had never been as sweaty as when I walked on stage with my trombone in front of a 500-plus member audience on June 9th, 2015. Sure, I was pretty good. But I would like to think that being invited to play Curtis Fuller’s “Along Came Betty” at the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame had as much to do with the music skills I had honed over the past decade as it did with training the 8-member band of 10 to 13 year-olds from the inner city to join me on that same stage. I was nervous because this performance was for them; I needed to be at my best.”

Why is this example better than the one before it?

This introduction would likely stand out because it is about an uncommon topic (a musical performance) and seamlessly demonstrates the writer’s community involvement, especially with underserved youth. As a bonus, it captures the reader’s attention in 382 fewer characters.

Typical personal statements could have been written by any applicant. Good personal statements are those that can only be written by a specific applicant. The example of a typical introduction could have been written by any number of medical students who volunteered in a hospital. There simply aren’t enough unique insights and details about the applicant. On the other hand, the second introduction could have only been written by that individual.

So, how do you avoid a dull introductory paragraph? Use the approach above — first, list your unique qualities, then identify situations where you’ve expressed those qualities, and finally, zoom in to tell a detailed story.

Want to improve your chances of acceptance? Get world-class coaching from former admissions committee members for a more compelling personal statement and polished application. Students who work with us double their chances of getting accepted!

You’ve likely heard the adage “Show, don’t tell” enough already. Rarely do we receive practical advice on exactly how to demonstrate our qualities, rather than list them. When you can do this, you provide a more authentic glimpse of who you really are.

If you read the following sentences from two different applicants, which one would you think was more giving?

  • Applicant #1: I am a very giving person.
  • Applicant #2: I volunteer 4 hours every week to work at the homeless shelter.

You’d probably choose applicant #2, even though they never used the word “giving” in their sentence. As a reader, we extrapolate how giving that applicant is.

Going back to the intro paragraphs above, we can see that the typical one “tells” about the applicant’s qualities, whereas the better paragraph “shows” the applicant’s qualities.

More Medical School Personal Statement Examples :

Typical introductions:

  • “I wanted to give the best patient care possible…” (giving)
  • “This lingering lack of fulfillment has served as a great motivator to find ways to do more” (motivated)

Better introductions:

  • “…the music skills I honed over the past decade…” (dedicated)
  • “…training the 8-member band of 10-13 year-olds from the inner city to join me on that same stage.” (giving, empowering)
  • “I was nervous because this performance was for them; I needed to be at my best.” (selfless, motivated)

Strive to let your accomplishments, approaches, and insights speak for themselves. Describe your work in an engaging way and let the reader do the complimenting for you.

Some applicants make the mistake of putting the focus on supporting characters, like a parent or patient, making them more compelling than themselves or sharing the limelight. But the best personal statements maintain the focus on the applicant.

Like any great story, your personal statement should highlight a compelling character. But that character, the star of your story, should always be YOU. There is nothing wrong with including another character in your personal statement’s story. But other characters should only be used to demonstrate your qualities, whether through an interaction you had or an insight you gained after.

Returning to our examples above:

In the typical paragraph, Mary and the applicant are co-leads in the story. We don’t even read about the applicant or her insights until the fourth sentence. Mary seems just as impressive as the applicant.

The better paragraph is all about the applicant — her concerns, dedication, and motivations. Even though she mentions the inner-city youth, they serve only to demonstrate the applicant’s qualities.

Your opportunity to impress med school admissions committees with your personal statement is limited to 5,300 characters. Strive to keep the focus nearly entirely on you.

Know ahead of time that your first draft is just that — a first draft. Once you get something on the page, you can start rewriting and revising it into the perfect statement.

Explaining the answer to “Why I want to be a doctor” can be overwhelming. Many applicants end up making the mistake of answering a different question: “What have I done that qualifies me for medical school?” The result is a tedious list of GPAs and MCAT scores that make personal statements read like a resume.

A better approach is not to focus on the question that your essay will answer, but on the personal aspects of your experiences on earth that shaped who you are — a person whose goals and values align with entering the medical profession.

More common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not being concise
  • Using clichés
  • Breaking character limits
  • Not using transitions between paragraphs and topics
  • Not getting a second opinion or consulting an expert

There are some red flags to keep in mind as well. Admissions experts will not be impressed with:

  • Arrogance or narcissism
  • Self-deprecation or lack of confidence
  • Unexplained gaps in education
  • Generalizations
  • Poor grammar
  • Lack of passion

Read Next: A Guide To Medical Schools That Don’t Require The MCAT

What is the AMCAS personal statement prompt?

The AMCAS personal statement prompt is: Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.

How many characters are allowed in the medical school personal statement?

You can use up to 5,300 characters in the medical school personal statement sections of the AMCAS and AACOMAS applications . Spaces count as characters. You’ll have roughly 500 words to write.

How long should a personal statement be for medical school?

A personal statement for medical school should be approximately one page. It should be long enough to take a deep look at a transformative experience or concept.

What personal statement topics should I avoid?

There are no specific topics that you should completely avoid in your personal statement outside of openly offensive topics. You may receive advice to steer clear of topics like mental health, having a parent who’s a doctor, or volunteer work. But it’s not these topics themselves that are a problem; how you use these stories and experiences to show your personality and character is what matters.

Your personal statement is one of the few times in the medical school application process where your personality, experiences, and uniqueness can shine through. It’s too important to leave it to guesswork, particularly if you’re reapplying !

Work with experienced Writing Advisors and Physician Advisors to give your personal statement the X factor sure to be noticed by admissions committees. Many of our advisors are former AdComs !

Related posts:

  • Why I Picked UC Denver
  • Finding the Perfect Research Project
  • How to Succeed on Medical School Interview Day
  • How to Answer “What is the Biggest Healthcare Problem” During an Interview

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How to Write a Perfect Medical School Personal Statement: A Complete Guide

Writing a personal statement for medical school can be a daunting task, but it’s an important part of your application that can set you apart from other candidates. A medical school personal statement requires you to reflect on your experiences and communicate your passion for medicine in a compelling way. But there is a word limit, and being concise can be challenging. However, with careful planning and preparation, it is possible to write a strong and effective personal statement. Here are some tips to help you.


7 Important Tips for Writing a Perfect Personal Statement for Medical School

A strong personal statement can significantly affect your medical school application. Here are seven tips that you need to remember when writing your personal statement. 

Start with an engaging opening:

 Your opening sentence should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. Consider starting with a personal story, a thought-provoking question, or a bold statement.

Showcase your motivation: 

Medical school admissions committees want to know why you want to become a doctor. Share your personal motivation for pursuing medicine, whether it’s a desire to help others, a personal experience that inspired you, or a specific aspect of the field that interests you.

Highlight your experiences:

 Use specific examples to illustrate your interest in medicine and your suitability for the profession. This could include volunteer work, research experience, clinical exposure , or any other activities related to medicine .

Discuss your strengths:

Highlight the strengths and qualities that make you a strong candidate for medical school. This could include your leadership skills, teamwork abilities, or resilience in the face of challenges.

Be authentic: 

Write in your own voice and be honest about your experiences and motivations. Avoid clichés and generic statements.

Keep it concise: 

Your personal statement should be no longer than two pages, so be sure to prioritize the most important information and avoid unnecessary details.

Edit and proofread:

 Take the time to revise and proofread your personal statement. Ask others for feedback and make sure your writing is clear, concise, and error-free.

Remember, your personal statement is your chance to showcase your unique qualities and experiences. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your passion for medicine and your suitability for the profession.

How long should a medical school personal statement be?

The length of a medical school personal statement can vary, but most medical schools have specific guidelines on the length. Typically, a personal statement should be no longer than 1-2 pages or about 500-800 words. However, some schools may have different requirements, so it’s important to check each school’s guidelines before writing your personal statement.

While it may be tempting to include as much information as possible, it’s important to remember that the admissions committee will be reading many personal statements , so it’s important to keep yours concise and to the point. Focus on the most important information, such as your motivation for pursuing medicine, your relevant experiences, and your unique qualities and strengths. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided by the schools you are applying to and proofread carefully to ensure that your personal statement is clear, concise, and error-free.

Medical School Personal Statement Format

There is no set format for a personal statement for medical school, but there are some general guidelines you should follow. Here is a basic outline that you can use:

  • Introduction: Begin with an attention-grabbing opening that introduces yourself and your interest in medicine.
  • Body Paragraphs: Write two or three paragraphs to elaborate on your qualities and experiences. This section gives you the opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are the perfect fit for this profession.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your main points and reiterate your motivation for pursuing medicine.

Remember, this is just a general outline, and you should customize your personal statement to fit your own experiences and strengths. Be sure to focus on your unique qualities and experiences and show the admissions committee why you are a great fit for their program. Also, keep in mind any specific requirements or prompts that the medical school may have provided.

Introduction Paragraph

The introduction of your personal statement is the first impression the admissions committee will have of you, so it’s important to make it great. Here are some tips for writing a strong personal statement introduction:

Start with a hook:

 Begin with a sentence or two that will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. This could be a personal story, a surprising fact, or a bold statement.

Introduce yourself: 

In the first few sentences, introduce yourself and briefly mention your background or experiences that have led you to pursue medicine.

Share your motivation:

 The admissions committee wants to know why you want to become a doctor, so be sure to share your personal motivation for pursuing medicine. This could be a personal experience, a desire to help others, or a specific aspect of the field that interests you.

Show your enthusiasm:

 Demonstrate your enthusiasm for medicine and your eagerness to learn and contribute to the field. Avoid sounding cliché or insincere.

Be concise: 

Keep your introduction brief and to the point. Remember, you only have a limited amount of space for your personal statement, so use it wisely.

Remember, your introduction sets the tone for the rest of your personal statement, so make sure it’s engaging, authentic and reflective of your passion for medicine.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your medical school personal statement are where you will showcase your experiences, qualities, and skills that make you a strong candidate for medical school. Here are some tips for writing great body paragraphs:

Use specific examples: 

Instead of making general statements, use specific examples to illustrate your experiences and qualities. This will make your personal statement more engaging and memorable.

Be authentic:

 Write in your own voice and be honest about your experiences and motivations. Avoid using clichés or sounding insincere.

Show, don’t tell:

 Rather than simply stating your qualities, show how you’ve demonstrated them in your experiences. This will make your personal statement more compelling.

Stay focused:

 Keep your personal statement focused on your experiences and qualities that are relevant to medicine. Avoid including irrelevant or unnecessary information.

Use transitions:

 Use transition words or phrases to smoothly connect your ideas and make your personal statement flow well.

Convey your growth:

 Use your experiences to show how you’ve grown and learned and how they’ve prepared you for medical school.

Be concise:

 Keep your body paragraphs concise and to the point. Avoid going off on tangents or including too much information.

Remember, your body paragraphs are where you will show the admissions committee why you are a strong candidate for medical school. Use specific examples to showcase your experiences, qualities, and skills, and make sure they are relevant to medicine.

Conclusion Paragraph

The conclusion paragraph of your medical school personal statement is your last opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee. Here are some tips for writing a great conclusion paragraph:

Summarize your main points:

 Briefly summarize the key points you’ve made in your personal statement. This will remind the reader of your main message and help tie your personal statement together.

Reiterate your motivation:

 Remind the reader why you are passionate about medicine and why you want to become a doctor.

Connect to the future:

 Make a connection between your experiences and your future goals as a physician. Show the admissions committee that you have a clear understanding of what it means to be a doctor and how you plan to contribute to the field.

End with a strong statement:

 End your personal statement with a powerful statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. This could be a personal anecdote, a memorable quote, or a final reflection on your experiences.

Avoid Repetition:

Keep your conclusion paragraph concise and to the point. Avoid repeating information from earlier in your personal statement or introducing new information.

Remember, your conclusion paragraph is your last chance to make a strong impression on the admissions committee. Make sure it leaves a lasting impression by summarizing your main points, reiterating your motivation, and connecting to your future goals as a physician. End with a strong statement that shows your passion and commitment to the field of medicine.


6 Cliché Phrases that You Should Avoid in Your Medical School Personal Statement

When writing your medical school personal statement, it’s important to avoid using clichés. These are overused phrases or ideas that have lost their impact and can make your personal statement appear generic and unoriginal. Here are some medical school personal statement clichés to avoid:

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be a doctor.” 

While it’s important to show your motivation for medicine, this cliché is overused and doesn’t provide any unique insight into your experiences or qualities.

“I want to help people.”

 While helping others is a noble goal, this statement is too broad and doesn’t provide any specific examples of how you’ve helped others in the past.

“I’ve always been interested in science.”

 While it’s important to show your interest in science and medicine, this statement is too general and doesn’t provide any specific examples of how you’ve pursued your interests.

“I’ve faced many challenges, but I’ve overcome them all.”

 While it’s important to show your resilience and ability to overcome obstacles, this cliché is overused and doesn’t provide any unique insight into your experiences or qualities.

“I’ve always been a hard worker.”

 While it’s important to show your work ethic, this statement is too general and doesn’t provide any specific examples of how you’ve worked hard in the past.

“I have a passion for helping underserved communities.”

 While it’s important to show your commitment to serving others, this cliché is overused and doesn’t provide any specific examples of how you’ve worked to serve underserved communities in the past.

To make your personal statement stand out, try to provide specific examples and insights into your experiences and qualities rather than relying on overused clichés. Show the admissions committee what makes you unique and why you would make a great candidate for medical school.

Should Applicants Address Bad Grades in their Medical School Personal Statement?

It is generally not recommended to mention bad grades in your medical school personal statement, as it may draw unnecessary attention to a negative aspect of your application. The personal statement is your opportunity to showcase your strengths, experiences, and qualifications that make you a strong candidate for medical school.

Instead of focusing on any negative aspects of your medical school application, you should focus on highlighting your positive attributes and accomplishments. You can use your personal statement to describe your experiences in healthcare or other related fields, explain why you are passionate about medicine, and demonstrate your dedication to the field.

If you have any extenuating circumstances that led to your lower grades, such as a personal or medical issue, you may want to address them in your application elsewhere, such as in an optional essay or during an interview. However, if your grades are simply the result of not performing well in certain courses, it is best to focus on your strengths and achievements in your personal statement.

Remember that the personal statement is just one component of your medical school application , and the admissions committee will consider your entire application when making their decision. If you have concerns about your grades or other aspects of your application, you can reach out to Jack Westin experts for guidance.

► To learn more about different aspects of a medical school application. You can watch This VIDEO .

In this post, we elaborated on different aspects of writing a medical school personal statement. Remember that there is no one “perfect” medical school personal statement, as each applicant’s personal statement will be unique to their experiences and qualifications. However, a strong medical school personal statement should provide insight into who you are as a person and as a potential doctor. It should demonstrate your passion for medicine, your unique qualities and experiences, and your potential to make a meaningful contribution to the field of healthcare.

If you need help with your personal statement or any other aspect of your medical school application, CONTACT US ! Jack Westin experts are by your side on your path to medical school . 

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Med School Insiders

Medical School Personal Statement Advice: 8 Key Factors

  • By Amit Pandey, M.D.
  • January 27, 2022
  • Medical School Application , Personal Statement

Many students feel the same way when it comes to writing a personal statement. Don’t worry, we’re not going to say excited or motivated . The feeling is dread and apprehension. And these feelings are not unfounded.

It’s difficult and even nerve-wracking to craft an essay that at once provides a cohesive summary of your life experience and demonstrates why these experiences make you fit to become a doctor. It’s not an easy task, which is why it’s important to seek out medical school personal statement advice from those who have years of experience working with students and directly on admissions committees.

With thoughtful preparation and an organized approach, the medical school personal statement can be a manageable (and even enjoyable) experience. There’s joy in producing something you are proud of, which you know will strengthen your application.

After reading the following key strategies, check out our Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement .

1 | Read Examples of Real Personal Statements

A good way to start any task is to have a clear idea of what your goal or endpoint might look like. Reading successful personal statements may provide the inspiration or direction you need. Plus, it’s worthwhile to have a roadmap based on strong past personal statements.

Don’t read a statement thinking you’ll be able to copy it; read several personal statements to understand the themes, concepts, and strategies that might be successful. Every statement is different, as each individual is unique. There’s no cookie-cutter approach that will be successful for all.

If you have a relationship with anyone who has matriculated to medical school, consider asking if they’re willing to share their statement with you as an example. Med School Insiders has a database of personal statements that successfully resulted in medical school acceptance.

How to Start the Medical School Personal Statement

2 | Reflect on Past Experiences

Start by thinking about why you want to be a doctor. What moments in your past sparked your inspiration and dedication?

Honestly, most people have the same reasons: an intellectual interest in medicine and a desire to help people. Sound familiar? It’s okay to have the same motivations as the students you’re applying with. What you need to decide is which reasons are the most important to you and how your unique life experiences will help you succeed as a doctor.

What traits do you possess that make you an outstanding candidate? These traits will be unique to each individual but should tie into the values and components of medicine which interest you. Identify 3-4 personal strengths you want to illustrate. This is a personal decision that everyone needs to come to on their own.

Consider choosing experiences that correlate to some of the following categories. This is by no means an exhaustive list—your own personal statement should reflect your personal experiences.

  • Compassion/passion for patient interaction
  • Intellectual curiosity for medicine (academics, research, etc.)
  • Dedication and discipline
  • Perseverance over adversity
  • Interpersonal/professional skills

How to Approach Your Personal Statement: Dos and Don’ts

3 | Outline Before Writing

Once you have reflected on the experiences and traits that will make up your statement, create an outline to structure your approach. Generally, personal statements will follow a structure similar to the following outline. Again, your statement can certainly deviate from this, but it’s a good place to start.

  • Introduction/hook. (Use a strong hook. This is often an anecdote designed to catch the reader’s attention and entice them to keep reading.)
  • Experience 1
  • Experience 2
  • Experience 3
  • Conclusion (Generally summarizes and ties back to the introductory hook/theme. It should help the reader look towards the future and leave on a high note.)

With all that said, don’t get too caught up making sure you have the perfect idea and outline before you begin writing. Sometimes the best way to begin is by just writing and seeing where it takes you. The key is starting early to ensure you have enough time for plenty of editing, revisions, and rewriting.

Learn more about the Anatomy of a Stellar Medical School Personal Statement .

4 | Show, Don’t Tell

Simply listing your traits and accomplishments can come across like another version of your CV. This approach is boring and unpersuasive. You don’t want your personal statement to read like a resume, as this will not provide the personal touch necessary for a strong statement.

Instead of telling the reader you are motivated, conscientious, and passionate about medicine, show them through clearly illustrated examples. What experiences in your life show that you are motivated or conscientious? Provide proof through thoughtful memories, anecdotes, or stories that exemplify your strengths and desire to pursue medicine.

5 | Weave a Cohesive Story

It is crucial that your personal statement reads like a cohesive story with a beginning and end. It’s not just a random list of accomplishments. Use your introductory paragraph to introduce the theme or concept central to your desire to become a physician.

Each paragraph afterward should connect to and demonstrate that central theme. End the essay with a strong concluding statement that summarizes your main points and ties back to the introduction.

The whole personal statement should be a cohesive narrative that’s easy for the reader to follow. Stories are compelling, and they entice the reader to continue reading. What story are you trying to tell? What do you want the reader to come away with?

6 | Be Stringent About Spelling and Grammar

Spelling or grammar mistakes are automatic red flags that suggest carelessness and a lack of dedication. Do not take any chances. Use spell check functions in your word processor, Grammarly , and the Hemingway App , but do not depend on those alone.

It is imperative that you have people you trust read your statement carefully. A second, third, and fourth set of human eyes can uncover the errors you or the spelling and grammar apps may have missed.

7 | Get Lots of Feedback

Feedback from multiple sources is crucial. Be sure to have multiple trustworthy people read your statement. Perhaps even more importantly, seek the advice of individuals who have experience with the process. Remember that friends and family can help you review grammar and syntax, but they are inherently biased towards you, which means they won’t provide you with the tough insights you need to succeed.

Professors, research mentors, and recent medical school applicants are all great resources. For extra help, consider enlisting more formal assistance from a personal statement editing service. Med School Insiders has an outstanding medical school personal statement editing system with experienced physicians using a systematic yet personalized approach to ensure your success.

8 | Be Yourself

At the end of the day, honesty is the best policy. Be true to yourself. Don’t exaggerate, embellish, or lie about your experiences. It will become apparent at some point in the application process, and it will not serve you well.

The best personal statements reflect a genuine and honest answer to the questions: “ Why do you want to become a doctor? ” And, “ why are you a qualified candidate to do so? ” Stay true to yourself, and it will show in both your personal statement and your interviews . Remember that you could be asked about aspects of your personal statement during the interview process, so make sure you are comfortable speaking about the experiences you share in your essay.

Personal statements are key to securing an interview invitation. Take the time to reflect on yourself and your life experiences. You want to have a strong introduction, show your passion for the field, and convincingly convey what makes you ready to start this difficult yet exciting journey.

Do not hesitate to reach out to the Med School Insiders team . We offer Comprehensive Medical School Admissions Packages , including essay editing, one-on-one advising, and application editing services.

For more advice, read our free Guide to Understanding the Medical School Application Process .

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“Why Medicine” and “Why Do I Want To Be A Doctor?” Give Unique Answers

  • Cracking Med School Admissions Team
  • Section 1: How NOT to answer “Why Medicine” and “Why do I want to be a doctor”
  • Section 2: How to answer Why Medicine in your medical school essays
  • Section 3: How to answer Why do you want to be a doctor in your medical school interviews
  • Section 4: Why Medicine  examples

Reasons to Avoid when stating your "Why Medicine" Response

  • I want to help people
  • I want to practice culturally-competent care
  • I want to make a connection with people
  • I want to improve people’s lives
  • I want to help the underserved
  • I find the human body fascinating

Let’s go through common, generic reasons we read in our medical school personal statement edits and why these “why do you want to be a doctor” reasons do not convince us.

Note: we have updated these reasons based on essays we’ve read in the most recent medical school application cycle.

Stay away from these vague “Why Medicine” responses in your personal statement and secondary essays

Reason #1: i want to help people..

  • Why we don’t love this response:  You can help people in literally any profession. This response is not specific enough to healthcare, let alone clinical medicine.

Reason #2: I will be a great doctor who practices culturally-competent care.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  We are big fans of being cognizant of your patient’s cultural and how it may affect his or her health. However, “culturally competent” care is not becoming a buzz word. Oftentimes, when we students write about this in their medical school essays, they write, “As a physician, I want to provide culturally competent care” without giving any substance to that statement.  IF this idea is important to you and you want to include it in your personal statement, then you have to make sure to give a clear example of what culturally-competent care means to you. Finally, remember that you can provide culturally competent care as a Nurse and as a Physician Assistant. So, you still have to a discuss reasons why you want to be a doctor, and not another health care provider.

Reason #3: I want to make a connection with people.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  We think this reason is very vague and you can make a connection with people in any other service-oriented industry. You do not have to go into medicine or healthcare in order to make a connection with people. 

Reason #4: I want to improve people’s lives.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  Similar to “I want to help people,” you can improve people’s lives in a variety of fields. 

Reason #5: I want to help the underserved.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  The phrase “helping the underserved” is too common these days. In fact, through the hundreds of personal statements we have read in the past 2 application cycles, we’ve read “helping the underserved” in 70-80% of medical school applicants. Talk about not standing out! If you want to help underserved communities, we fully support you. But, our Cracking Med School Admissions team wants you to be more specific in  HOW you want to help the underserved or if there are specific populations you want to serve. Ideally, you will include personal experiences with underserved communities. For example, our students who have matriculated into medical school have written about helping refugee populations. Other have discussed that they want to do health policy research on how socioeconomic factors affect access to healthcare. See how these levels of specificity will provide the reader with more insight into your specific interests in improving healthcare.

Reason #6: I find the human body fascinating.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  While this reason is geared towards the medical profession, we also read this fascination with the human body among PhD candidates. If research and the pathophysiology behind our human bodies is what excite you about the practice of medicine, you have to also say why you want to work with patients rather than focus completely on biological research. 

Reason #7: I enjoy learning about science.

  • Why we don’t love this response:  Using “I enjoy science” is a worse reason than “I find the human body fascinating. There are many career paths outside of patient care where you can follow your zeal for science. For example, an individual can work in drug discovery with a biotech or pharmaceutical company. There are other careers in the healthcare industry like medical billing that do not require a medical degree. Furthermore, you can be a scientific researcher, including in non-healthcare fields like botany, veterinary science, food science, and geology. Basically, saying that you like science is too generalized for another individual to believe you want to go into medicine. You have to say more specifically why are you pursuing a career in medicine. 

How to Answer Why Medicine in your Medical School Essays

The first place you should explain why you want to pursue medicine is in your medical school personal statement. Most premed students apply to medical school through the AMCAS.

The AMCAS personal statement prompt is the following: ““Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.”

Your personal statement should really reflect why you want to go into medicine. Additionally, your AMCAS work & activities descriptions as well as your medical school secondary essays should support your med school personal statement’s rationale.

A winning framework to responding to the “Why Medicine” and “Why do you want to be a doctor” questions consists of the following:

Step #1: provide context and your initial interest in pursuing medicine.

  • Questions to answer: Do you have any role models who are medical doctors? Did you have any early experiences with medicine that greatly affected you? Were you a patient as a child? Did you have to take care of any family members? Did you consider other careers before deciding on a career in medicine?
  • Why this is important: Providing initial context from your life experiences can help your interviewer to understand some of your initial environment and how you may have arrived at the decision to pursue medicine.

Step #2: Highlight reasons for wanting to pursue medicine

  • Questions to answer: Why are you passionate about health? Did you study science in school? If you did not study science, how will what you studied help you in becoming a great doctor? How did you cultivate your interests in healthcare and did you pursue any activities or research to do so?
  • Why this is important: By describing how your interests in healthcare have developed, your interviewer can gain a more nuanced understanding of your scientific curiosity and affinity. This is often the metric they use to determine if you will remain inquisitive, enterprising, and capable of absorbing and driving scientific knowledge forwards in medical school and beyond.

Step #3. Give examples of your experience and activities

  • Questions to answer:  Are you passionate about health? Did you study science in school? If you did not study science, how will what you studied help you in becoming a great doctor? How did you cultivate your interests in healthcare and did you pursue any activities or research to do so?
  • Why this is important:  When you are asked these open-ended, common medical school interview questions, you want to give evidence of how you have already tried to make an impact in medicine and healthcare. We strongly encourage students to bring in stories and personal experiences. For example, let’s say you are interested in improving patient care for individuals with disabilities. If you give example of how you worked with a child with autism or did research around improving outcomes for individuals with disabilities, these personal experiences will show the interviewer your passion and experiences. 

Step #4: Describe your desire to use your passion to make a positive and direct impact

  • Questions to answer: Have you engaged in community service work to help others? How does it make you feel and why is it important to you? Why do you want to pursue a career based around service?
  • Why this is important: This section provides a basis for why you are interested in dedicating yourself to a career of serving others. It is also crucial to help you describe why medicine, in particular, is the kind of service that you are interested in doing and why you seek to be a physician and not serve others in a different capacity. Excellent answers will incorporate one’s scholarly endeavors and extracurricular activities. They will link their activities with their career goals.

Step #5: Describe any other reasons and what you hope to accomplish in medicine

  • Questions to answer:  Why do you want to go to medical school – specifically, wre there any unique reasons that are not covered in the other steps for why you are interested in medical school? How do you plan to use your scientific curiosity and desire to help others as a physician? Do you want to advance medical technology? Do you want to advance medical research? Is there a specific field of medicine you are already interested in pursuing?
  • Why this is important: By connecting your current passions with the future impact that you hope to produce, an interviewer begins to get a window into what kind of physician you hope to become and how you could greatly benefit from attending their medical school.

We want to stress that there is not one correct answer to “why do I want to be a doctor” in your medical school application. In fact, you may have multiple reasons why you want to become a physician. What is important is that you show your interests in clinical practice and highlight the unique a position a physician is in to manage somebody’s health. 

We Get Into The Tiny Details Of Your Essays, With Each Draft, So Your Application Will Stand Out

best doctor personal statement

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Undergraduate Johns Hopkins

Residency Stanford, Pediatrics

How to Answer "Why Do You Want to be a Doctor?" in your Medical School Interviews

In medical school interviews, “Why Medicine” or “Why do you want to be a doctor” is one of the common intervioew questions asked. So, you should be prepared.

However, we want to stress this: The BEST med school interviewees will convey why they are pursuing a career in medicine in their “ Tell me about yourself ” response, which is usually the first question asked.

Therefore, our first piece of advice is to make sure you include why you want to be a doctor in your “Tell me about yourself” response.

Now, med school interviewees may receive additional questions about why they want to pursue medicine. The questions are usually asked like this:

  • Why are you interested in medicine?
  • Why are you pursuing a career in medicine?
  • Why do you want to be a doctor? 
  • Why do you want to be a physician?
  • Why do you want to go to medical school?

There are other ways medical school interviewers can gauge your interest and dedication to medicine:

  • Why do you want to be a physician and not a nurse/PA/nutritionist/physical therapist/occupational therapist/other health professional?
  • Why do you want to get an MD and not an MPH or MPP?
  • Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?

Medical School Interview Tip

The best “ Tell me about yourself ” responses – the first question typically asked in medical school interviews – includes your reasons for pursuing medicine. Students are typically not asked BOTH tell me about yourself and why medicine.

How to answer Why Do You Want to Be a Doctor in your interviews

Discussing why you want to be a doctor during interviews is similar to the steps taken above when answering why medicine in your medical school application essays.

The one big difference between discussing medicine in your essays versus your interviews is brevity. You will not have 250 words or entire paragraphs to highlight your interests in medicine.

Take a look at our Why Medicine Answer Examples section below to see examples of what you can say.

Additionally, you can discuss clinical experiences throughout your medical school interview. Discuss various physicians you’ve shadowed or different clinical experiences you’ve been involved with. Our Cracking Med School Admissions interview team advises students to include 1-2 patient stories during each interview. The important point to remember is to discuss that you want to help patients through a clinical setting.

If you striving to stand out in your medical school interview, schedule a mock interview with our Cracking Med School Admissions team!

Get 50 More Common Med School Questions & Interview Tips

If you are prepared, the Cracking Med School Admissions interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

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Why Medicine Examples

Why medicine and why do i want to be a doctor example answers:.

Again, we want to stress that there is not one correct answer to “why do I want to be a doctor” in your medical school interviews. In fact, you may have multiple reasons why you want to become a physician. What is important is that you show your interests in clinical medicine and highlight the unique a position a physician is in to manage somebody’s health.

Here are examples of how you can convey want you want to pursue a medical career:

Personal experiences + context.

  • Initially, I was not that interested in medicine and instead was passionate about space exploration and aerospace engineering. Because of many personal circumstances, I became more drawn to medicine. First, when my grandfather fell ill with pneumonia, I felt helpless to help him when I visited the hospital all while the medical staff remained attentive to small changes in his condition. Seeing how they listened to our and his questions, tailored their treatment to his needs, and reassured us at every step of the way, encouraged me to consider what role I wanted to play in helping others in the future. Second, after a bad ankle fracture while playing soccer, my doctors were just as attentive and they empowered me to come back stronger and more improved than ever before, solidifying my desire to pursue medicine.

Scientific Background

  • In college, I was a Psychology major. I was able to learn more about cognition and human perception works and how they can be affected by the underlying biochemical processes happening in the brain and rest of the body. I was also able to explore my interest in neuroscience by working at the Department of Neurology, studying the cognition of split-brain patients and trying to understand novel therapeutic options. Studying this has encouraged me to continue neurology research as a medical student. I aspire to alleviate patients suffering from debilitating chronic conditions.

Helping Patients with their Health

  • Throughout my undergraduate years, I’ve been very interested in oncology. I’ve found it to be very rewarding to comfort patients when they receive a very scary diagnosis, and I enjoy helping describe various treatment options. At the Children’s Hospital, I volunteered at the Pediatrics Oncology Department. I helped develop a program where we spoke with parents’ families describing what to expect with chemotherapy. Additionally, I want to translate my patient experiences to the lab when I can develop new targeted cancer therapies.

Ability to Change Healthcare More Broadly

  • As a primary care physician, I will be able to help patients navigate through the healthcare system. This will give me insights into what barriers there are to accessing healthcare. I will use those insights to a) advocate to policymakers for better health policies in our state and b) advise start-up companies and non-profits who want to improve access to healthcare services.

Goals in Medicine

  • I am specifically interested in removing healthcare misinformation and disinformation among Black and Brown communities. As a medical student at ____ school, I want to teach health topics at after school programs in nearby low-income communities. As a physician, I will continue my scientific problem solving and combine this with my humanistic work serving others, my teaching work, and my desire to advocate for those who have traditionally been underserved by medicine.

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Medicine Personal Statement Examples

Last updated: 29/6/2023

  • Is Medicine Right for Me?
  • What do Doctors do?
  • The Daily Life of a Doctor
  • How to apply to medical school
  • Different Routes into Medicine
  • Factors to Consider
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  • Your Fifth UCAS Choice
  • Getting Your Grades
  • Extra-curricular Activities
  • What is the UCAT?
  • Preparing for Your UCAT Test Day
  • After Your UCAT
  • BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT)
  • Work Experience and Dental Schools
  • NHS Work Experience
  • Personal Statement
  • Medicine PS Examples
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  • Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
  • Medical School Interview Questions
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  • Graduate Entry Courses
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  • International students
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  • Medicine in Australia and NZ
  • Medicine in Ireland Medicine in Eastern Europe
  • Other Roles in Healthcare
  • What Our "Plan B" Looked Like
The personal statement is changing to a series of free text questions for 2026 entry onwards, however it remains unchanged for 2025 entry. Keep an eye on our live updates page for guidance on these changes.

Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to showcase the skills, attributes, and experiences which make you suited to studying medicine. This can be quite a daunting prospect, especially when you have to boil all that down to just 4,000 characters, or 47 lines. 

In this article, we will:

  • Examine examples of strong and weak medicine personal statements (interested in dentistry? Check out dentistry personal statement examples )
  • Help you learn what you should and shouldn't include in your medicine personal statement
Want to explore more examples? Our Personal Statement Course has over 100 personal statement examples to help you find your voice.

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What you'll find in this article:

Personal statement example 1 – introduction

Personal statement example 2 – introduction, personal statement example 1 – main body, personal statement example 2 – main body, personal statement example 1 – conclusion, personal statement example 2 – conclusion, strong personal statement example, weak personal statement example, what should your personal statement include.

To get into medical school , your personal statement should:

  • Demonstrate meaningful insight into the profession, in the form of work experience or independent research. This could be partly based on medical books or podcasts when medical work experience is not possible
  • Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and experiences
  • Mention your extracurricular activities
  • Discuss your academic interests and achievements
'At the moment I am working towards A-Level Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I achieved my AS-Level in Spanish but decided to drop it to focus on my more medically relevant subjects. I’ve been dreaming of studying medicine since I was a young child, and this was only reinforced when I contracted measles during my primary school exams. This affected my performance, but I found that this motivated me rather than discouraged me. A particularly inspiring doctor was heavily involved in helping me deal with the pressure. I was inspired by her to become a doctor myself and help others in a similar way. I am particularly interested in science and as such the practical side of medicine interested me. I’ve always enjoyed chemistry and biology the most, and have best learned when trying to link the pure science I learn in school back to it's practical and useful real-world applications. This is what is particularly interesting about medicine to me - you can apply pure, evidence-based science in a clinical and practical setting to have an obvious positive effect. Inspired by this interest, I invested in a subscription to the New Scientist magazine. I’ve read about a huge number of fascinating discoveries and how they’ve been applied in medical settings.'

This introductory section has some promising features, but there are areas the author could improve:

  • The introductory sentence doesn’t catch the reader’s attention or hold much relevance for a medical personal statement. This sentence would be better suited to a subsequent section on the author’s academic achievements, and it would need to be supplemented with a suitable explanation as to why the chosen subjects are relevant for medicine. 
  • The author uses an anecdote to illustrate why they first developed an interest in medicine. This is a good idea, but the anecdote they've chosen is not the most suitable. It references ‘primary school exams’, which uses the cliché of wanting to do medicine from a young age. This is not only overused, but is also underdeveloped. 
  • The applicant mentions feeling under pressure for these primary school exams. This won’t fill the reader with confidence that the author will be able to cope with the demands of medical school and a career as a doctor. 
  • The introduction should open with the anecdote rather than academic achievements. A strong and memorable opening line will catch the admission tutor’s attention, and gives the student an opportunity to summarise why they want to study medicine.
  • It is far too long. A good introduction should be around 4-6 lines.

There are some parts of the introduction that are more effective:

  • The part discussing why they enjoy chemistry and biology is useful – it links their love for pure science back to the passion they mentioned earlier for helping people. This demonstrates the blend of empathy and interest in science that medical schools will be looking for. 
  • The same part also introduces the candidate’s reading of medical literature, which they could choose to discuss in more depth later in the statement, or which might be something that interviewers could choose to examine in more detail.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example 1

'From a young age, my real fascination in life has been science - in particular, the incredible intricacy of the human body. My passion to discover more about its inner workings fuelled my motivation to study medicine, and the challenging yet rewarding nature of the job leaves me certain that I want to pursue it as a career. I think that my chosen A-Levels have only made me more determined to become a doctor, while simultaneously allowing me to develop and improve my skills. I have become a better problem-solver by studying physics and maths, while also learning the importance of accuracy and attention to detail. I’ve particularly enjoyed chemistry, which has again helped me improve my problem solving skills and my ability to think rationally and logically. Throughout my chemistry and biology A-Levels, I’ve been required to engage in practical work which has taught me how to design and construct an experiment. I’ve also become better at communicating with other members of my team, something I witnessed the importance of during my work experience in A&E. During recent months, I’ve started reading more medical publications such as the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. I’ve been particularly interested in how this evidence-based science can be applied to clinical practice to really make an impact on patients.'

This introduction contains some useful reflection and demonstrates some insight, but is quite jumbled. The main areas of weakness are as follows:

  • The content is good but much of it would be better suited to a later section and should be explored in more detail while being linked back to medicine (for example, the whole second half could be included in a longer segment on academia). 
  • The applicant mentions that they improved their problem-solving skills. How did they do this? Why is this important in medicine? 
  • They say that medicine is demanding but that this attracts them to the job. What experiences have they had to show the demanding nature of it? Why does this attract them to it? 
  • The author also briefly mentions a stint of work experience in A&E, but the rushed nature of the introduction means that they can’t go into detail about the experience or reflect on what exactly they learned from it. 
  • Similar to example 1, this introduction includes some clichés which detract from the author’s overall message. For example, that they have wanted to do medicine from a young age or that they love science (with no further explanation as to why). 
  • It is far too long. Again, an introduction should be a succinct summary of why you're interested in medicine, and not a brief account of all of your experiences.

The stronger parts of this introduction include the following:

  • The author does demonstrate that they can reflect on the skills they’ve improved through experience. For example, the analytical and problem-solving skills they gained from chemistry.
  • The candidate shows an understanding of the link between evidence-based science and clinical application when discussing how they did further research around their physics course. This shows a good level of curiosity and insight.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example

'I first became interested in studying medicine when I carried out a work experience placement with my father an elderly care specialist. I really enjoyed the experience and it gave me a deeper insight into the challenges doctors face. I now believe that I better understand the resilience - both mental and physical - that doctors need to cope with the heavy workload and emotional challenges. A few months ago I was given the opportunity to attend work experience in St Mary’s hospital in Manchester where I visited and observed many different specialties and areas of the hospital like A&E and the labs and witnessed how doctors carried out their jobs. For the past year I’ve been doing some other volunteering work too, such as, taking meals around to patients on the ward, asking them about their experience in the hospital and just chatting with them about how they’re feeling. They’re often delighted to have someone to talk to especially during Covid when they weren’t allowed to receive visitors. I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients. I spent a few days working in the same hospital, shadowing doctors and Allied Health professionals in the stroke ward. I became much more familiar with the process doctors used for treating stroke patients, and developed an understanding of the role that physiotherapists and occupational therapists have in their rehabilitation. On top of that I organised a placement with the emergency medicine doctors and spent time in the haemapheresis unit at St Mary’s.'

This example does contain some of the features we look for in a complete main body section but could definitely be improved: 

  • The main issue with this is the list-like presentation, which goes hand-in-hand with a general lack of reflection or insight. Although it is good to discuss your work experience in your personal statement, it would be far better if the candidate focused on just one or two of the experiences mentioned, but went into far more detail about what they learned and the insight they gained. For example, after mentioning the role of Allied Health Professionals in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, they could go on to discuss how they came to appreciate the importance of these healthcare workers, and how the contribution of all these individuals within the multidisciplinary team is so important to achieving good outcomes.
  • Statements like ‘I [...] witnessed how doctors carry out their jobs’ make it seem as if the candidate really wasn’t paying attention. They need to explain what they mean by this. Were they impressed by the doctors’ effective teamwork and communication skills, or perhaps by their positive attitude and morale? Did they seem well-trained and effective? What did they learn from this that might help them in the future?  ‍
  • Similarly, the student simply states that they saw the effect of empathy on patients: ‘I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients.’ This adopts a ‘telling’ approach, when the student needs to adopt a ‘showing’ approach. Simply telling us that they saw something does not adequately demonstrate an understanding of why those qualities are important, or what they actually mean. What does it mean to have empathy? What does that look like in real terms? How did they use it? What was the effect? Showing the tutor that you are empathetic is important, but simply saying it is disingenuous and shows a lack of understanding.
  • The candidate spends a number of characters name-dropping the exact hospital they visited and its location, which isn’t the best use of valuable space, as it has no real impact on the message they’re trying to convey.
  • Generally, it isn’t a good idea to talk about work experience with family members. Of course, this might be the reality, but try to have some other placements that you’ve organised yourself so that it doesn’t appear as if your family are doing all the hard work for you. At the very least, you could simply leave this information out.
  • There are a few grammatical errors here, especially regarding the use of commas. It’s important to use a spell checker or to ask an English teacher to check your work for you before submitting your statement.

The better features of this example are:

  • The candidate does show some insight into the role of a doctor when they talk about the resilience required by doctors to cope with the hard hours and challenging conditions. They just need to reflect in this way in other parts of the section, too.
  • The author has clearly done a lot of work experience and is right to discuss this in their personal statement. Just remember that you don’t need to squeeze in every single little placement.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example main body

'I was pleased to be appointed as head boy in my last year of school, and as part of this role I headed up the school safety office. I carried out inspections of the dormitories, roll calls and helped in the running of school festivals and activity days. The office I was in charge of needed to ensure the safety of every student in the school and I helped plan and lead drills to prepare the students for storms, floods and fires. This role has made me a far better leader, and I also believe that I am now far more calm and logical when working under pressure or in uncertain situations. I’ve been an editor on the online school blog for over 2 years now and the experience has taught me how to work effectively in a team when under time pressure. In order to meet my deadlines I needed to remain motivated even when working independently, and I think that the diligence and work ethic I’ve developed as a result will be incredibly useful to me as a medical student. I took on the role of financial director for both the table tennis club and Model United Nations at my school. At first I struggled with the weight of responsibility as I was in charge of all of the clubs’ money and expenditures. However, I am now a far more organised individual as I came to appreciate the value of concise paperwork and of keeping a record of my actions. I not only manage the funds of the table tennis club but am also a regular member of it. I often play independently, and the lack of a specific coach means that I have to identify my own strengths and weaknesses. I am now far better at being honest about my weaknesses and then devising strategies for working on them. The sport has also allowed me to demonstrate my ability to work well in a team, but also to get my head down and work independently when necessary.'

This example is generally well written and showcases some of the features of a good main body section. However, there are some areas that can be improved:

  • This section would benefit from the ‘show, don’t tell’ approach. Instead of explaining specific situations or events through which the candidate demonstrated certain attributes, they simply state them and then link them vaguely to a more general role or activity.
  • The bigger problem, however, is that the author mentions a wide range of skills but falls short in linking these back to medicine.  ‍ For example, after reflecting on their role in the school safety office and the leadership skills they developed as a result, the author could talk about the senior role that doctors have within the multidisciplinary team and the importance of good leadership in a medical setting.  Similarly, the author mentions their ability to work independently but should really round this off by describing how this would benefit them in medical school, as the ability to progress your learning independently is crucial to success there. The student mentions an understanding of and proficiency with paperwork and recording their actions. Doctors must constantly do this when writing notes for each patient, so the candidate should really try to mention this in their statement to explain why their skills would be useful. The mention of teamwork could be followed by an explanation of why it is important in a medical setting and how the applicant witnessed this during their medical work experience. Finally, when the student talks about being able to identify and work on their weaknesses, they could use this as an opportunity to demonstrate further insight into the medical profession by discussing the importance of revalidation and audit in the modern NHS, or talking about how important it is for doctors to be able to work on their areas of weakness. 

Better aspects of this example:

  • The applicant doesn’t simply list the activities they have been a part of, but also explains what they learned from these and the skills and attributes they developed as a result. This reflective ability is exactly what assessors will be looking for.
  • The tone of the section is appropriate. The applicant doesn’t appear arrogant or over-confident, but at the same time, they manage to paint themselves in a good light, highlighting their range of skills relevant to medicine.
  • This example uses the character count effectively. Unlike the earlier examples, almost all of the sentences serve a purpose and are succinct.
  • They demonstrate a wide range of skills, most of which are very relevant to medicine.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example 2

' I am a resilient and empathetic individual and I think that I have the qualities to thrive despite the social and academic challenges of university. Through my work experience I’ve gained an insight into the difficulties doctors face but this has not dampened my enthusiasm. My placements and voluntary work have only strengthened my commitment and dedication to studying medicine.'

The effectiveness of a conclusion depends on the rest of the statement before it, so it is hard to judge how good a conclusion is without seeing what the candidate has mentioned in the rest of their statement. Assuming this follows on logically from the statement, however, we can say that this conclusion is generally good for the following reasons:

  • It is brief, to the point, and highlights that the student holds some of the skills doctors need (this would of course need to be backed up with examples in the rest of the statement). 
  • The author doesn’t introduce any new ideas here, as that would be inappropriate, but rather reiterates their determination, which is exactly what admissions tutors want to see. 
  • The author demonstrates a balanced understanding of the demands of a medical career, illustrating this is a decision they have made rationally while considering the implications of their choice. 

As is always the case, this conclusion could still be improved:

  • The mention of the social challenges of university is a bit too honest, even though these exist for everyone. Mentioning them could give the impression that the student struggles socially (which is not something they would want to highlight), or that they intend to dive into the social side of university at the expense of their studies. 
  • If the candidate really insists on mentioning the social side, they should at least do this after discussing academics, and they should do it in the body of the statement, where they have space to explain what exactly they mean.
  • The student describes themselves as empathetic. This should be avoided, as it should be evident from the statement itself.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example 1

'Over the years I have built up a large and extensive set of medical work experiences and volunteering opportunities. These have allowed me to demonstrate my ability to communicate effectively and work in a team, and they will allow me to become a more diligent student and effective doctor. I think that this, alongside my ability and strength of character mean that I should be considered for this course. I am excited to get started and begin to put my skills to good use.'

This is a reasonably strong conclusion. It provides a to-the-point summary of why the author believes they should be selected to study medicine and shows their excitement for starting this journey. However, there are some parts of this example that could be improved: 

  • The author mentions 'ability' and 'strength of character.' These are nebulous terms and not specific to medicine or a medical degree in any way.
  • The mention of a 'large and extensive range of medical work experiences' indicates overconfidence. Medical applicants are not expected to have any medical ability or any 'large and extensive range' of medical experience, nor is it probable that this candidate actually does (otherwise they wouldn’t need to go to medical school in the first place). Rather, medical students need a suitable set of skills and attributes in order to make the most of their medical education and become an effective doctor.
  • On a similar note, the applicant says that their range of medical work experience will make them a better student and doctor, but this is only true if they can reflect on their experience and learn from it. Impassively watching an operation or clinic without properly engaging with it won’t make you a better doctor in the future.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example

We’ll now go on to look at an example of a strong personal statement. No personal statement is perfect, but this example demonstrates a good level of reflection, engagement and suitability to study medicine (we know this because the writer of this statement went on to receive four offers). 

It goes without saying that plagiarism of any of these examples is a bad idea. They are known to medical schools and will be flagged up when run through plagiarism detection software. 

Use these as examples of ways you could structure your own statement, how to reflect on experiences, and how to link them back to medicine and demonstrate suitable insight and motivation. 

'It is the coupling of patient-centred care with evidence-based science that draws me to medicine. The depth of medical science enthrals me, but seeing complex pathology affecting a real person is what drives home my captivation. As a doctor, you are not only there for people during their most vulnerable moments but are empowered by science to offer them help, and this capacity for doing good alongside the prospect of lifelong learning intrigues me. In recent years I have stayed busy academically - despite my medical focus I have kept a range of interests, studying Spanish and German to grow my social and cultural awareness and playing the violin and drums in groups to improve my confidence when working in teams and performing. This is similar to the team-working environment that dominates in medical settings, and I have found that my awareness of other cultures is a great help when interacting with the hugely diverse range of patients I meet during my volunteering work. The independent projects I am undertaking for my A-levels teach me how to rigorously construct and perform experiments, process data and present findings, developing my written communication. My work experience showed me the importance of these skills when making patients’ notes, and of course, medical academia must be concisely written and well constructed and communicated. Maths teaches me to problem-solve and recognise patterns, vital skills in diagnosis. Over the past two years, I have actively sought out and planned work experience and volunteering opportunities. My time last year in Critical Care showed me the importance of communication in healthcare to ensure patients understand their diagnosis and feel comfortable making decisions. I saw the value of empathy and patience when a doctor talked to a patient refusing to take her insulin and suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis. They tried to understand her position and remain compassionate despite her refusal. My experience deepened my insight into the realities of a medical career, as we were at the hospital for more than ten hours a day with breaks and lunches cut short by bleeps or calls from the ward. This helped me understand the physical resilience required by staff as I also came to appreciate the immense emotional burden they often had to bear. Despite this, the brilliant staff remained motivated and compassionate which I found inspirational. The Brighton and Sussex Medical School work experience and Observe GP courses I completed put emphasis on the value of holistic, patient-centred care, introducing me to specialities I had not previously considered such as geriatrics and oncology. Inspired by my experience I explored a variety of specialisms, reading memoirs (Do no harm) and textbooks (Oxford handbook of clinical medicine) alike. I investigated medical politics with my English persuasive piece, discussing the ethics behind the junior doctor strikes of 2016. I have been volunteering in a hospital ward since January, which helps improve my confidence and communication skills when talking to patients and relatives. I showed my ability to deal with unexpected situations when I found a patient smoking whilst on oxygen, and acted quickly to tell nurses. Over lockdown I felt privileged offering lonely patients some tea and a chat and seeing their mood change - it taught me that medicine is about treating patients as individuals, not a diagnosis. My work on the hospital door taught me to stay calm and interact assuredly with visitors, vital skills in public-service jobs like medicine. I coach tennis at a local club, planning and running sessions for younger children. I am responsible for players' safety and must manage risk while showing leadership qualities by making the sessions fun and inclusive. As a player, I am part of the self-run performance team, which forces me to better my ability without coaching. This means developing self-reflection and insight into my weaknesses, which I know to be integral skills for medics. One of the doctors I shadowed during my work experience was just starting her revalidation process and I saw the importance of self-awareness and honest reflection in meeting her targets and becoming a better doctor. I achieved my Gold Duke of Edinburgh certificate of achievement (and the Bronze and Silver awards), exhibiting my commitment and ability to self-reflect and improve. On our Silver expedition, we experienced severe rain, showing resilience by continuing when our kit was wet from day one. My diligence and academic ability will allow me to thrive in medical school, and I have the prerequisite qualities to become a compassionate and effective doctor. Despite the obstacles, I am determined to earn the privilege of being able to improve peoples' health. This is something that excites me and a career I would happily dedicate my life to.'

Strong personal statement example analysis


This statement is a good example of how a personal statement should be constructed and presented. The introduction is short and to the point, only dealing with the candidate’s motivations to study medicine while also demonstrating an insight into what the career involves. 

They demonstrate their insight briefly by mentioning that medicine involves lifelong learning. This is often seen as one of the challenges associated with the career but here they present it as an advantage which makes them seem more suited to the career. It also show they're a curious and interested individual who enjoys learning. 

The introduction's final sentence offers an opportunity for interviewers to probe the candidate further, to explore their curiosity, and ask them to explain what exactly attracts them to lifelong learning. An astute candidate would recognise this and try to think of a suitable answer in advance.

Paragraph 2 

The second paragraph opens the body of the statement by exploring the author’s academic interests. As with some of the previous example body paragraphs, the writer shows their reflective ability by explaining what each of their subjects taught them, and the skills they developed and demonstrated as a result. They improve upon this further by linking these skills back to medicine and explaining why they are important for doctors. 

This paragraph demonstrates the author’s work-life balance by showing their varied interests in languages and music, all without wasting characters by saying this directly. They also mention the diverse range of patients they encountered during their volunteering, which again implies an empathetic and conscientious nature while showing an insight into a medical career (particularly regarding the vast diversity of the patient cohort treated by the NHS). 

Their explanation of the relevance of maths could be more detailed, but again this could be something the applicant is hoping to be questioned on at interview. The candidate comes across as thoughtful and multi-talented, with the ability to reflect on their decisions and experiences, and with a suitable insight into how their strengths would play well into a medical career. 

In this particular paragraph, there isn’t much explanation as to how they drew their inferences about what a medical career entails from their volunteering and work experience (and what exactly these entailed), but these are explored in more detail later in the statement.

P aragraphs 3 and 4 

The next two paragraphs discuss the candidate’s work experience, beginning with a single work experience placement in detail. This is a better approach than the large lists of placements seen in the previous example body paragraphs. The author talks about a specific scenario and shows that they paid attention during their shadowing while also illustrating their ability to reflect on these experiences and the precise skills involved. 

The skills they mention here – communication, empathy, resilience – are skills that they specifically talk about developing and demonstrating through their activities in other parts of the statement. This shows that they have taken their learning and used it to inform the focus of their personal development. They also not only state that these skills are important for medics, but also explain why this is. For example, they explain that communication is important in helping patients relax and engage with their healthcare, and that resilience is required to deal with the antisocial hours.

In this section, the applicant briefly mentions a specific medical condition. This shows that they were engaging with the science during their placement and also provides interviewers with an opportunity to test the applicant’s scientific knowledge. Knowing this, the candidate would likely research diabetic ketoacidosis in order to be able to impress the panel. 

The author mentions some other virtual work experience opportunities they’ve been involved with and sets themselves up to discuss what these placements taught them. They then go on to explain the actions they took as a result of this, showing that they really engaged with the virtual placements and could identify what they learned and their areas of weakness. This is linked well to further reading and research they carried out, which illustrates their curiosity and engagement with medical science and literature. 

The reference to the junior doctor strikes at the end shows that they have engaged with medical news as well as the ethical side of medicine, which is something that many medical schools place a lot of emphasis on at interviews. Ideally, this section would explain how exactly they explored these different specialties and illustrate what they learned and how they developed their learning from the books mentioned.

Paragraphs 5 and 6 

These paragraphs discuss the applicant’s hospital volunteering and other extracurricular activities. The applicant doesn’t just state that they’ve volunteered in a hospital but goes into depth about the precise skills they developed as a result. They include an anecdote to illustrate their ability to react quickly and calmly in emergency situations, which is a great way to show that they’ve been paying attention (though this should really be backed up with an explanation as to why this is important in medicine). 

The candidate also shows their patient-centred approach when discussing how they cared for demoralised patients (again illustrating empathy and compassion). This style of healthcare is something that the modern NHS is really trying to promote, so showing an awareness of this and an aptitude for applying it practically will really impress your assessors. 

The author demonstrates another core attribute for medical students when talking about how their work on the front door of the hospital improved their confidence in communication, and they once more link this back to medicine. This last section could benefit from further explanation regarding the nature of their work on the hospital door and exactly how they developed these skills. 

In the second of these sections, the candidate simultaneously reflects on the skills they learnt from their tennis and explains how these apply to medicine, showing insight into the profession by mentioning and showing awareness of the process of revalidation. This will show assessors that the candidate paid attention during their work experience, reflected on what they learned, and then identified a way they could work on these skills in their own life.

The author name-checks the Duke of Edinburgh Award but then goes on to explain how exactly this helped them grow as a person. They link back to resilience, a skill they mentioned in an earlier section as being important for medics.

The conclusion is succinct and direct. Although clichéd in parts, it does a good job of summarising the points the candidate has made throughout the statement. They demonstrate confidence and dedication, not by introducing any confusing new information, but rather by remaking and reinforcing some of the author’s original claims from the introduction.

The following example illustrates how not to approach your personal statement. Now that you’ve read through the analysis of previous example passages and a complete example statement, try going through this statement yourself to identify the main recurring weaknesses and points for improvement. We’ve pointed out a few of the main ones at the end. You can even redraft it as a practice exercise.

' ‍ The combination of science with empathy and compassion is what attracts me most to a career in medicine. However, I wanted to ensure that the career was right for me so I attended a Medic Insight course in my local hospital. I enjoyed the course and it gave me new insight - the lectures and accounts from medical students and doctors helped me realise that medicine was the career for me. I was also introduced to the concept of the diagnostic puzzle which now particularly interests me. This is the challenge doctors face when trying to make a diagnosis, as they have to avoid differential diagnoses and use their skills and past experiences to come to a decision and produce the right prognosis. In order to gain further insight into both the positives and downsides of being a doctor, I organised some work experience in my local GP’s surgery. I managed to see consultations for chest pain, headaches, contraception and some chronic conditions which was very interesting. I also sat in on and observed the asthma clinic, which proved to be a very educational experience. During my experience, I tried to chat to as many doctors as possible about their jobs and what they enjoyed. I recently took up some work volunteering in a local elderly care home. Many of the residents had quite complex needs making it arduous work, but I learned a lot about caring for different people and some appropriate techniques for making them feel comfortable and at home. I became a better communicator as a result of my experience Nevertheless I really enjoyed my time there and I found it fulfilling when the patients managed to have fun or see their family. I appreciated how doctors often have high job satisfaction, as when I managed to facilitate a resident to do something not otherwise available to them I felt like I was making a real difference. My academic interests have also been very useful in developing skills that will be crucial as a doctor. I chose to study Physics and business at a-level and these have helped me develop more of an interest in scientific research and understanding; I’ve also become a more logical thinker as a result of the challenging questions we receive in physics exams. I know how important communication is as a doctor so I chose to study Mandarin, a language I know to be spoken widely around the globe. I was the lead violin in my school orchestra and also took part in the wind band, showing that I was willing to throw myself into school life. I really enjoyed our school’s concert, in which I had to perform a solo and demonstrate that I could stay calm under pressure and cope with great responsibility and i think that I’m now a better leader. This skill has also been improved in roles within my school on the pupil council and as form captain, which have improved my self-confidence. I needed to work hard in order to achieve my bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and have dedicated much of my time outside school to this endeavour over the past few years. I endured weekly sessions of Taekwondo, worked voluntarily in the charity shop Barnardo’s and took part in violin lessons.  As I’ve demonstrated throughout this statement I have an affinity for music, and so at university I plan to get involved with orchestras and bands. I also want to widen my horizons and discover new interests and hobbies, while trying to make new friends and cultivate a good work-life balance. I’m also keen to hike in the university’s surrounding territories. If I were allowed to study medicine, it would not only allow me to achieve one of my life goals, but to prove to you that I can become an effective, and successful doctor. I am absolutely dedicated to the study of medicine and know that I have the prerequisite skils and qualities to thrive in medical school and become a credit to your institution.”

Weak personal statement example analysis

  • This personal statement does have some promising features, but overall it isn’t well structured and lacks appropriate reflection and insight. You can see this by comparing it to the strong example above. The author in this weak example very rarely describes what exactly they learned or gained from an experience and rarely links this back to medicine. 
  • It reads quite like a list, with the candidate reeling off the experiences they’ve had or activities they’ve taken part in, without going into any real depth. They also use some vocabulary that implies that they really weren’t enjoying these experiences, such as when they speak of ‘enduring’ their time doing taekwondo, or of caring for residents being ‘arduous’ work. You don’t have to enjoy every activity you take part in, but implying that caring for people (a huge part of the job you are applying for and claiming to enjoy) is something you consider a chore isn’t a great start. This statement also has some questionable grammar and punctuation errors, which raises a red flag. Don’t forget to proofread your statement carefully before you submit it.
  • The candidate often starts off their sections in a promising way. For example, by stating that they started volunteering in a local GP practice to gain more insight into the profession, but they rarely actually follow through on this. You never find out what insight the candidate actually gained or how they used this to inform their decision to apply for medicine. 
  • Such lack of explanation and specificity is a theme throughout the statement. In the introduction, they say that personal accounts and lectures confirmed their wish to become a doctor, but they don’t actually explain how or why. They mention that their school subjects have helped them think more logically or improved their communication skills (which is good), but then they never go on to explain why this is relevant to medicine. They talk about leadership and self-confidence but again don’t link this back to the importance of self-confidence and the prominence of leadership in a medical setting.

To create an effective medicine personal statement, you need to provide plenty of detail. This includes concrete experiences demonstrating qualities that make a good doctor. If you can do this authentically, humbly and without selling yourself short, your personal statement will be in very good shape.

‍ ‍ If you're looking for more inspiration to craft a compelling medicine personal statement, check out our Personal Statement Online Course . It has over 100 personal statement examples, in-depth tutorials, and guidance from admissions experts, to help you create a ready-to-submit personal statement in just three days.

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Discover personal statement examples written by students accepted onto medicine and related courses. Read through the examples to help shape your own personal statement.

Medicine Personal Statements

Submitted by anonymous

Medicine Personal Statement

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best doctor personal statement

What else can you find in this article?

What is a medicine personal statement, how do i write a medicine personal statement, what should i include in my medicine personal statement, how do i structure my medicine personal statement, how do i write an introduction for my medicine personal statement, how do i write a conclusion for my medicine personal statement, how do i write an effective medicine personal statement.

  • What can I do with a medicine degree?

Your medicine personal statement should tell the university all about your strengths, skills, experience and ambitions, as well as your personal traits that will help you become a great doctor.

It should also convey your enthusiasm for medicine and what aspects of the subject you enjoy and why.  

Your medicine personal statement will be used by universities to decide whether you are a good candidate to study medicine, and whether they want to offer you a place.

One way is to start your statement with why you want to study medicine at university. Try to pick one or two specific aspects that you like in particular and why they appeal to you.

Make sure you back up everything with examples (always show, don’t tell). You need to convince the admissions tutors that you they should offer you a place on their medicine course over anyone else.

A successful medicine personal statement should be written clearly and concisely, with a good introduction, middle, and conclusion. Remember, medicine is a highly competitive subject, so your personal statement needs to be as polished as possible.

Our personal statement template can help guide you through writing your first draft.

For inspiration on how to write your own unique statement, take a look at some of our medicine personal statement examples above.

It’s important to include skills and experience from all areas of your life and try to relate them to hobbies or extracurricular activities if they helped you to build on certain strengths.

Think about how any work experience has benefitted you, and how it might be useful in your degree.

University admissions tutors want to know what you can bring to their department and what value you can add.

Think about how and why you might treat patients the way you do, and what skills such as empathy, compassion and communication, are important for becoming a doctor. How might you demonstrate this?

Mention your personal traits and how they make you suited to a career in medicine.

You need to be a well-rounded individual in terms of academic talent, people skills and practical experience in order to have a chance of being successful with your medicine UCAS application.

For more help and advice on what to write in your medicine personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement FAQs
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

A good medicine personal statement should start off with an engaging introduction that tells an anecdote or picks out a specific aspect of the subject that explains why you are passionate about medicine, and why you wish to study it further.

For the middle sections, focus on your work experience and any extracurricular activities, hobbies or clubs you take part in outside of school/college, and how these have helped you develop skills that are important for medicine. For example, you might talk about how shadowing a doctor on a ward taught you about how to relate to patients and their problems, and how to empthasis with their situation.

Your conclusion should round off your statement in a memorable way that will confirm to the admissions tutors that you are a student that they want on their course, and make them offer you a place.

This might include reiterating your enthusiasm for the subject and why you think you would make a good student, or mentioning your future plans and ambitions, and how you hope your medical degree will help you achieve these.

To craft a memorable introduction to your statement, you should focus on:

  • Grabbing the reader’s attention with an interesting and relevant anecdote.
  • Avoiding cliches, such as "I've always wanted to study medicine from a young age..." or "Since primary school I've always been interested in the human body..."
  • Conveying personal qualities that show you willl be able to cope with the demands of medical school and a career as a medical doctor.
  • Not repeating information that is already in another part of the application form, such as academic achievements.
  • Keeping it to an appropriate length (usually no more than 4-6 lines in total). Remeber, you have the main body and conclusion to write as well.
  • Demonstrating their enthusiasm and passion for certain subjects relevant to medicine, such as biology and chemistry.
  • Showing personal traits that are important for a career in medicine such as empathy, communication and respectfulness.
  • Relating relevant experiences, what you learned from them and how they demonstrate you are suitable for a career in medicine.
  • Crafting a succinct summary of why you're keen to study medicine at university.

As much as the first impression is crucial, the last impression is very important as well. You need to make sure the admission officers that will read your personal statement are left feeling like you are the right candidate. And that’s why you need to sum up or all the facts that make you a great doctor!

The best way to conclude your personal statement is to loop back to what you were writing about in the introduction. Do not just rewrite it, but reinforce why you think you are a good candidate based on your qualities and your deep interest in Medicine.

Think about what personally motivates you, and why you want to be a doctor. You may have already expressed this in your personal statement, but now is the time to make sure the examiner know this.

You should also consider what has sparked your interest and what you have already spoken about in your personal statement. You may also want to think about some of the challenges that the NHS is facing.

The conclusion should include the following:

  •     A list of your attributes and qualities that will help you in your medical career
  •     Your views on medicine and motivation based on your past experiences
  •     What you hope to achieive once you've completed your medical degree.

Try and keep the conclusion to 3 or 4 lines, you shouldn’t be introducing too much new information at this point. Remember – use the conclusion as an opportunity to remind the admissions tutors why everything you’ve written about makes you so fantastic and worthy of a place at their Medical School!

To write a medicine personal statement that stands out, we recommend you follow these top tips:

  • Structure is essential - this is because it can make or break your personal statement. We recommend dedicating one or two paragraphs to each part of your personal statement.
  • Plan ahead - we suggest getting down some notes during the summer holidays and putting together a first draft before you go back to school/college for your final year
  • Be original - this means picking an aspect of the course you enjoy and explaining why in a way that doesn't include cliches, or any over-used words or phrases
  • Explain why you're right for the course, including any relevant skills, work experience and hobbies/extracurricular activities
  • Think about what you want to gain from your course and how this will help you with your future career plans
  • Include a balance of academic and extracurricular content - admissions tutors want to see that you are a well-rounded individual
  • Be positive and enthusiastic about the subject
  • Revise and edit thoroughly by asking friends, family and teachers for feedback and incorporating their suggestions to try and improve it
  • Proofread carefully (don't just rely on a Spellchecker!)

Further resources

For more information about applying for a medicine degree and careers in medicine, please see the following:

  • Medicine Courses & Undergraduate Degrees - The Uni Guide
  • Becoming a doctor in the UK - GMC
  • What can I do with a medical degree?
  • Medical School Finance - BMA
  • Careers in Medicine - RSM
  • Healthcare Careers

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15 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement

This is a bit late, but for those of you who are still working on your personal statements or don't plan to apply until next year, hope these tips will help you!

1) Answer the prompt

The AMCAS prompt reads “Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to medical school.” This is, hands down, the shortcoming I’ve seen the most of. I’ve read quite a few essays where the applicant's way of answering the prompt was by retelling a patient encounter that really inspired them. While that’s great, that doesn’t quite answer the prompt.

You can be inspired by a patient as a medical assistant or a scribe, and you can love working with patients, but that explains why you want to go into healthcare. After all, you can continue working with patients in your current position. If you love helping people and making fulfilling connections, you can do that as a psychologist or a social worker. You don’t need to explicitly say why you don’t want to go into other fields, but it does need to be clear why you specifically want to be a physician . The question you want to address is this: “What can’t you do right now that a doctor can do? How would going to medical school allow you to benefit others?”

2) Start early

When you first start shadowing and/or taking care of patients, write down any patient encounter that stands out to you or made an impact on you. This way, you’ll hopefully have a good variety of anecdotes to draw from for not just when you write your personal statement, but also when you go to medical school interviews.By accruing anecdotes early on, when it’s time to write your personal statement, you can see which experiences would be most powerful and would be more likely to tell your story to medical schools. Additionally, because our memories tend to falter over time, you’ll be able to draw from specific details because you’ve already written them down rather than trying to remember what happened a few months or years later

3) Addressing writer’s block

Your goal isn’t to write well, it’s to think well - Admissions committees understand that you’re not a journalist or an author. The goal here is to persuade and to express, and you can do that without delving in the complexities and formalities of writing.Write down your reasons for wanting to pursue medicine, and set up an outline. Then, forget all the formal rules and just let the words flow out. You’re not going to write a perfect personal statement the first time you set pen to paper, and that’s okay. That’s what revisions and edits are for.

4) Organize

General format of an essay The general format of an essay starts off with the intro paragraph, followed by two or three body paragraphs, and ending with a concluding paragraph. It’s up to you how you want to organize the order of your paragraphs. A common one is through chronological order, but you can always write your experiences from least impact to most impactful or in some other order, so long as the ideas flow well from one to the next.If you do choose to write chronologically, there’s no need to write an origin story of what got you initially interested in medicine if that story isn’t a compelling one. There’s nothing wrong with jumping into the middle of your journey and writing from there--we won’t know the difference.

Have a compelling hook - In the intro, you start off with the hook, which is the starting sentence that’s written to engage the viewer. As the name implies, the hook should hook the viewer’s attention and make them want to keep reading. A good way to write a hook is to describe a specific scenario rather than jump into why you want to pursue medicine.

Intro paragraph - This generally includes the thesis, the main idea of your personal statement. Without needing to go into details yet, the reader should have an idea of why you want to pursue medicine within the first paragraph.

Body paragraph - Start off with the topic sentence that touches upon the point you’ll be discussing through the rest of the paragraph. Then you have the body of the paragraph, which is essentially the middle section where you go into details. And then you end with a concluding sentence, wrapping up the ideas that you wrote about in the paragraph.

Concluding paragraph The conclusion should briefly summarize your reasons for wanting to go into medicine. A nice way to tie it up would be to connect your conclusion back to some other part of your essay, or to expand upon an idea--but doing so without bringing up any new ideas.

5) Ensure fluidity - With each new paragraph or idea, you want to make sure that you have a proper transition. For example, common ones are “Furthermore,” “On the other hand,” etc. Just something to indicate that you’re either elaborating on a topic or going into another topic.You can also use chronological transitions, such as “Once I moved away for college,” “When I first started working as a CNA,” etc. Regardless of what transition you use, the idea here is to connect different topics so that you’re not jumping from one to the next and confusing the reader.Furthermore, another way to ensure fluidity is to write in the same tense. So you don’t want to jump from past tense to present tense and back again. And of course, once you’re done writing, you want to get rid of any grammatical errors because that can undermine the reading experience as well.

6) Be aware of your audience

Avoid controversial topics - Just as people are advised not to bring politics into the workplace, you have to be wary of the topics you choose to discuss in your personal statement. For instance, abortion is a hotly debated topic in healthcare. Regardless of where you stand on it, writing about an abortion case may upset some readers.Think about how your personal statement would read from the perspective of an admissions committee. Since you don’t know who’ll be reading your essay, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Don’t use medical jargon - Yes, there will be some admissions committee members that are physicians, but there are others that are researchers or other faculty. Don’t use medical jargon unless you explain what those terms mean. Along the same lines, unless it’s clear that the majority of readers would understand what you’re saying, make sure you elaborate on any complex ideas or words.

If using acronyms, write them out first - Not everyone will know what a PA or an MA or a CNA is. So it’s best to first write out a physician assistant, medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, etc. After writing out the full title, then you can add parentheses afterwards to denote the use of abbreviations from now on. This will ensure you don’t confuse any readers.

7) Show rather than tell, and be specific

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Any applicant can say they’re kind and compassionate in a personal statement, but not everyone has experiences showing that they embody these qualities. Describe your actions and allow the readers to understand the positive qualities you possess without explicitly saying them. Oftentimes, the stronger message lies in between the lines.

Furthermore, by being specific and retelling a patient encounter, you add a unique story to your personal statement. Many students have similar experiences. The problem is that many of the lessons they learned will be the same: they learned about the value of connecting with patients, the importance of teamwork, etc. By telling the reader what you learned or why you’re passionate, you risk losing yourself amidst the mass of other applicants who can say the exact same thing.

By writing about a specific patient encounter, you’re able to describe an experience that is solely unique to you and let the lessons speak for themselves. After all, a million people can work as a medical assistant, but each one will have a different experience. The way you write about and show this experience will be how you make your personal statement stand out from the rest.Tips on how to show rather than tell:

Focus on objective statements - Avoid talking about emotions explicitly, like saying something was done “with excitement,” “with sadness,” etc. With excitement or with sadness doesn’t paint a clear picture because people show emotions in different ways. Instead, use commonly known actions that are used to express emotions to show these emotions rather than explicitly describing them.

Avoid adverbs; instead, use strong verbs - For instance, instead of saying “He angrily took back the paper.” You can say “He ripped the paper out of my hands.” Use different verbs to denote positive or negative emotions rather than explicitly saying what you or someone else felt.

Elaborate on relevant descriptions - Describe the scene so that the reader can get a clear sense of what’s going on. One way to do this is to include sensory details--what did the environment look like? Smell like? Taste like? Feel like? Sound like? You don’t need to include descriptions for all of the senses, but if you’re struggling to think about what details you can include, answering those questions in your writing can help you describe a scenario.

However, you only want to elaborate on relevant descriptions. Just writing about the color of the wall or whether someone smelled nice without relating it to the story you’re trying to tell doesn’t exactly strengthen any points. And when every word counts, you want to make sure that you’re either using your words to answer the prompt or strengthen your story. Otherwise, revise it.

8) Incorporate variety

Sentence variety - Many of the personal statements that I’ve read are riddled with run-on sentences. I understand that you have many ideas that you want to elaborate upon, but you can still do that by using appropriate semicolons and commas, and dividing long sentences into two or more shorter ones. This is especially true when describing a patient encounter or a scenario that’s filled with action.

Experience variety - Taking care of patients is a major component of medicine, but there are other components as well. If you’ve already discussed clinical experience in one paragraph, don’t be afraid to talk about research experience, volunteer experience, or other experiences so long as they relate back to the prompt. They give you the opportunity to display other facets of your personality and your reasons for wanting to pursue medicine, as well as add more diverse and interesting components to your personal statement.

9) Don’t be repetitive - I often read essays where the author writes about their job duties or that they learned about the different parts of the heart in their anatomy class. Don’t tell me about anything that can be found in your resume, your activities section, or any other part of the medical school application. Each individual section of your application is an opportunity to showcase a different side of you. Don’t waste that opportunity by reiterating the same information that can be found elsewhere. By doing that, you’ll also bore your reader.

10) Don’t speak negatively

Don’t speak negatively of any healthcare provider A common example I see of why someone wants to go into healthcare is that they were a patient themselves or knew someone who was a patient, and the physician in charge of their care didn’t treat them well. So then they’re like I want to go into medicine because I was upset about my lack of proper care, and I want to become a doctor so that I can do better and ensure everyone gets treated well.By writing this as your reason, you’ve just implicitly revealed yourself to be petty and/or resentful. No one wants a doctor who chose to enter this profession just so that they could show they were better than other people.

If that truly is your reason for wanting to pursuing medicine, think of something that that physician did well that may have also inspired you. For example, maybe you thought they were impatient and had a short temper with you (don't mention this part though), but you were impressed with how quickly they were able to diagnose and treat you. Or maybe there was another physician you admired.

Focus on what they did well, and how that made a difference in your life and set you on the path to recovery. Concentrate on what was done properly and what positive emotions that doctor’s actions elicited, and use those reasons to explain why you want to be a doctor who can do the same for future patients.

Don’t speak negatively of yourself Another common introduction I see is how the applicant didn’t know what they wanted to do for the majority of their life or that they hadn’t always wanted to be a doctor unlike their pre-med peers or that their parents forced them into it but they eventually grew to be passionate about it.

The prompt asks why you want to be a doctor, not why you didn’t want to be a doctor and then changed your mind. Giving admissions the idea that you were pressured into this profession and don’t actually care about patients but instead just want to make money, you’re painting yourself in a negative light as an applicant. Remember, you want the reader to like you and to think you would become a good doctor. Be honest about your mistakes and shortcomings, but don’t focus on your negative traits.

Expanding upon the notion of not speaking negatively of yourself, you want to lead with positive phrases. For example, you would lead with the negative by saying “I was sad, but my resolve strengthened over time.” Instead, you can say “My resolve strengthened to replace my distress.” It’s a slight difference, but it shines a better light on you by highlighting the positive aspects first. Take any chance you can to emphasize your positive qualities and encourage the reader to think of you as someone they would want to accept to their school.

Don’t speak negatively of others - Don’t write about patients as though you’re above them. As a healthcare professional, you have the opportunity to help others in need, but that doesn’t make you superior in any way. This particularly applies to talking about those with different physical / mental abilities.

11) Discussing challenges

Don’t make it a sob story - Whatever negative experience you had, write about it in a sentence or two. Don’t make it a sob story. Everyone has failed or struggled sometime in their life. You writing about a terrible experience doesn’t set you out from anyone else. Instead, write about what you learned from that experience, and what you consequently did as a result of that lesson.

If, however, the hardship you experienced was related to medicine, then you can write more about it. For instance, I’ve read quite a few essays of applicants who struggled financially or lived in underprivileged communities. Because of that, they were able to get a better understanding of how healthcare tends to be of poorer quality in those communities, and that understanding subsequently inspired them to want to be a doctor so that they can provide quality care to their own communities. You still want it to be rather short and concise when you describe your own challenges so that it doesn’t become a sob story, but you can elaborate more on what you learned and how that made you a more empathetic person or how that inspired you to want to pursue medicine.

Don’t write about anything you wouldn’t be willing to discuss in interviews - Anything that you include in your personal statement and med school application is fair game for interviews. If an interviewer has taken the time to read through your entire application, then it’s only fair that they get to ask you for clarification on any part of that application. So if talking about a certain challenge will bring back too many negative emotions and make it hard for you to maintain your composure during the interview, don’t mention that challenge in your personal statement or application.

12) Be concise and deliberate

Make the word limit count. Everybody has enough life experience to write more than the word limit allows while still remaining concise. With every sentence that you write, ask yourself: “Does this answer the prompt or is it at least relevant to the prompt? Does this strengthen my story?” If the answer is no for either of those two questions, then delete or rewrite that sentence or paragraph.

Don’t rewrite the same thing - For example, don’t write “In my opinion, I think.” You’re using different words to essentially say the same thing, and as a result, you’re not being resourceful with your word count. On that note, don’t even include phrases like “In my opinion” or “I think.” Instead of saying “I think it’s important that all patients are taken care of,” you can say “It’s important that all patients are taken care of.” Something being important is a matter of opinion and clearly not a fact. So the “I think” is implied and you don’t need to explicitly say it.

Be aware of your word choice - You can use different words to say similar things, but even words that are synonyms can be different in regards to the tone they set. For example, “I crashed into his car” implies a more severe accident than “I hit his car” or “I bumped into his car.” Even though they all tell the reader that one car drove into another car, the tone of each description is different.

Don’t use flowery language - Admissions committees can tell when you’ve essentially just puked up Thesaurus.com all over your personal statement. Don’t use any complex terms when simpler ones will do just fine. It’s not your expansive vocabulary that will impress them, but rather, how you choose to write.

Include patient names - For privacy reasons, you may want to change a patient’s name. However, you don’t want to say Patient X. People connect with names, not by being called “some guy” or “some girl,” but by the name that they’ve had their whole life.Similarly, you don’t want to say “the patient” or “Patient X” because that takes away any personal connection that the reader may feel with this patient. And remember, humans are, at the end of the day, emotional creatures. Readers will be more likely to remember a personal statement that resonated on a personal level with them.

Furthermore, going back to being concise, you can just write quotations around the patient name to indicate that that’s not their real name. You don’t need to say “The patient, who we’ll call Annie.” Just write “Annie” in quotations the first time you write her name.

13) Make logical conclusions

Creativity vs cohesion - There’s nothing wrong with creativity. When done right, it can really make a personal statement more unique and interesting to read. However, you want to avoid creativity for the sake of creativity--remember that regardless of what you write about or how you write about it, your words should always relate back to medicine and why you want to get into medical school.

Make connections for the reader rather than expecting them to do this themselves

Don’t write about an example or a patient encounter and assume the lesson or what you gained from that experience is evident to the reader. It’s important that you explain the lessons you learned or the impact you made, especially if you’re making bold claims for either of these components.

Don’t be the hero

Small interactions with other people can make a really big impact on their lives, but this is often rare. When you think about the day-to-day interactions in your life, chances are there aren’t many moments that stand out to you. And that’s the nature of how our brain works--if everything was important, nothing would be important because that would take too much cognitive effort to compute. So don’t write about your interactions as if you completely changed a patient’s life.

14) Rewrite and recheck

Get feedback from various people Get feedback from friends, family, etc. It may not be a bad idea to ask a willing acquaintance for their opinion as well as they’d be less biased. If you know someone in the healthcare field or someone who majors in English or writing, that may be beneficial as either of those parties will have had experience with this.

You want to be receptive to their criticism and always express your gratitude, but also be aware of the source and the value of the criticism. Just because a suggestion is made doesn’t mean that it’ll be beneficial for you to implement that suggestion, so take time to ponder others’ advice with a grain of salt.

Recheck everything And I do mean everything. Check for grammar, fluidity, organization, etc. Does each sentence make sense? Does each sentence have a purpose? And going back to the most important question you can ask yourself: does it relate back to the prompt?

Take some time away from your personal statement. Similar to how if you spend enough time with another person, you don’t really notice how they change over time. But if you visit a relative who you haven’t seen in awhile, they’ll be like oh my, you’ve gotten fat. Along the same line, when you take time away from your personal statement, you can look at what you’ve written with a fresh perspective and have a better idea of what you can change to improve your essay.

15) If you have space, talk about what you can offer

Medical schools want to admit students that they believe will become good physicians. What positive qualities can you contribute to not only the medical school, but to the medical field as a whole? What lessons can you teach? What ideas and qualities do you want to see more in the field of healthcare?

Alright, those are my tips for writing a strong personal statement. Remember, your personal statement is your chance to highlight your strengths as an individual. Don't give them reason to doubt your desire and/or ability to become a physician.

Best of luck :)

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Successful UCAS Medicine Personal Statement Example & Analysis

An example of a successful medicine personal statement.

Below is an example of a strong medicine personal statement that the Medicine Answered team improved. This medicine personal statement rewarded the applicant with interviews at all four medical schools, helping them to secure four offers. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. A complete analysis follows, showing paragraph by paragraph precisely what makes this medicine personal statement strong and how the multiple weaknesses initially present were corrected. This will help you to do the same and write a powerful medicine personal statement. Note: this medicine personal statement is of an A-level candidate. It is still very relevant to graduates. However, later in this article, we advise specifically on writing a Graduate Entry Medicine personal statement and the critical differences all graduates must consider.

best doctor personal statement

This medicine personal statement does an excellent job of using the limited characters available to illustrate what skills the candidate gained from their activities; rather than using most of the characters to explain what these activities are. However, this is done skilfully so that the reader still clearly knows enough from these brief descriptions to understand what the activities are. This use of succinct language frees up characters so that they can instead be used to discuss the meaning and insight that the candidate gained from these activities.

Failure to illustrate what a candidate has learned is a classic mistake in many medicine personal statements. This was a particular issue this candidate had in their initial Medicine personal statement. They had many different types of experiences to list and could not describe them succinctly, causing their Medicine personal statement to far exceed the character limit. By using a more succinct writing style and focusing on illustrating activities rather than describing them, this reviewed version corrected this common medicine personal statement weakness.

UCAS UK Medicine personal statement example which received four offers for interview

Medical school personal statement checklist

“I wish to study medicine as I have long held the ambition to pursue a career that would help others and contribute to the community. As a carer for my grandmother, who has severe arthritis, I have seen how much of a difference good healthcare can make to her life. Shadowing a GP and witnessing the reassurance and help given to patients reinforced this and strengthened my ambition to study medicine. A Medlink lecture on psychiatry sparked my interest, so in college, I co-founded and led a mentoring group called ____ mentoring. Using concepts from cognitive behavioural therapy, I mentored students with low self-esteem or who were having problems at college. I taught after-school lessons on topics such as dealing with failure, stress and goal setting. Selecting a team, delegating work and organising meetings strengthened my leadership skills, while working to strict deadlines improved my organisation. We presented our work to an NHS psychologist, who gave us valuable feedback. We are currently filming our programme to make it available online and in other colleges. I undertook a residential stay at a holiday home for disabled people, where I took guests on day trips and helped to feed and toilet them. Many guests were completely reliant on carers and could not communicate verbally. At times, they would become violent. At first, I found this intimidating, but during the two weeks I learnt how to deal with these situations. I also volunteered at a summer playscheme where several children had learning disabilities. Being responsible for groups of children increased my confidence in caring for others: I found dealing with quieter children and including them in group activities to be rewarding. To develop my understanding of the children I read several books about how learning disabilities affect peoples’ lives. Teamwork is vital in all aspects of medicine, which I find very appealing. I witnessed a live scoliosis surgery, during which I saw how the outcome depended on the skill and dedication not only of the surgeon but also of every other member of the team. At the GP, I learnt how the clerical staff and nurses were vital in the running of the practice. Medicine is a dynamic profession that will continue to undergo major advances in the next few decades. These developments will require a commitment to lifelong learning, and I find the prospect of this exciting. I have attended lectures on topics such as premature birth and pharmacogenetics. During a lecture on RNA Interference (RNAi), the lecturer stated RNAi could be the most important development in medicine since antibiotics. Intrigued by this claim, I completed a 2500-word essay on RNAi and its impact on medicine. It was a challenging topic, but I found that I enjoyed using post-A-level books and medical journals, which improved my research skills. Next year, I will be travelling through Asia and Europe. I have secured work at a Romanian orphanage and will start a placement at ______________ hospital this October. I have also applied for a 10-week development and teaching project in Africa. I am currently learning Thai Boxing and sign language and taking courses in self-development and memory improvement. I participate in basketball tournaments and play tennis. I play the violin to grade 3 and find music helps me to relax. I gained a 200-hour Millennium Volunteers award, a v50 award and I am currently completing a Gold DofE award. I am part of a focus group for a national volunteering organisation. We organise events and promote the benefits of voluntary work to individuals and organisations. My experiences have made me absolutely committed to becoming a doctor, and I believe that they have also prepared me to cope with the demands of studying medicine. I realise that the long hours and often stressful situations which doctors work in are daunting, but it is a challenge I am willing to meet because of the satisfaction that I find in making a difference to peoples’ lives.”

Analysis of this Medicine personal statement

The overall structure of this medicine personal statement..

Medicine Personal Statement Analysis

The initial medical school personal statement lacked a smooth flow as it skipped from point to point without any clear connection between the points. This also made it very easy for the reader to miss certain points or to forget them after they finished reading the Medicine personal statement. Therefore in this reviewed version, we took different scattered points throughout the document and grouped them into themed paragraphs giving the medicine personal statement structure and flow, making it easier to follow and read more like a story.

Paragraph 1 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Notice that this Medicine personal statement opening paragraph has one central theme: doctors can help people -> the author has seen this for himself -> this fuels his desire to study Medicine -> he has confirmed this through work experience.

What is done well in this edited opening paragraph, is an event is described, and this is followed up by explaining the reason why this makes the author want to study Medicine. The candidate says how he was a carer for his disabled grandmother, and he shadowed a GP. In the unedited version, this was all he wrote. These are just statements and don’t say why that would want to make him study Medicine. Plenty of people look after a disabled relative but do not want to be a doctor so why does the author? However, in the edited medicine personal statement, we added the reason why his grandmother and the GP work experience caused him to want to study Medicine. Of course, the space is so limited in a medicine personal statement that you cannot expand on points very much. A deliberate choice has to be made about which points should be developed and which should not.

Note that the reasons for studying Medicine and examples used in this opening paragraph are not original. There is no unique Medicine personal statement opening line. This is a relatively typical Medicine personal statement opening paragraph. However, that is completely fine. These are solid reasons for studying Medicine and are true for the candidate.

Paragraph 2 Of This Medical Personal Statement

The edited version of paragraph 2 does an excellent job of succinctly explaining an unknown project to the reader without becoming verbose or complicated. It demonstrates what skills the candidate has learned, and they are perfect for studying Medicine, so this is a great example to use. Very few characters are wasted on describing the contents of the lecture or attending Medlink as the other content in this paragraph is far more impressive and important to write. For this reason, it was edited in this way as the unedited version was verbose and wasted many characters on explaining things such as “I attended the Medlink residential course which had various lectures including ….etc.” These do not add anything to enhance the author’s accomplishments and are not needed for narrative purposes either. The assessor already knows what Medlink is.

Many candidates try to state in their Medicine personal statement that they possess the ability to deal with pressure and have good stress/time management skills etc. The edited personal statement makes it more obvious to the reader that the candidate has taught these skills to others. This implies to the reader that the candidate understands these concepts well enough to be able to teach them to others. This is far more effective than if the candidate merely claimed to have these skills. The original wording in the candidate’s initial medicine personal statement was sloppy, so the teaching element was less clear. This is corrected in the reviewed medical school personal statement.

Paragraph 3 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

These are two good examples of caring role work experience, and in the unedited version, the candidate gave some insightful thoughts on things he learned. However, it was mixed in with lots of unnecessary content which diluted the strength of the good points. In this edited version, this is a powerful paragraph because the writer omits the extra material. This causes the remaining text to be more powerful, and it now shows that the candidate has keen self-awareness and insight. He can extract solid learning points from his experiences.

Essentially the candidate is saying he was acutely aware of how he felt during the experiences. He knew that it was challenging to deal with people who had limited communication skills, who could become violent (he even used the word intimidating) and when he was responsible for groups of children. Despite this, he persisted with these experiences and learnt from them. This demonstrates that he is a self-reflective learner. The statement about doing further reading shows how he is an independent learner. He can identify his own learning needs and knows how to pursue them. Being a self-reflective and independent learner is essential for studying Medicine particularly in PBL courses. The candidate is showing he has these skills as well as a lot of maturity and self-awareness in this paragraph of his medicine personal statement.

Paragraph 4 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine Personal Statement Teamwork Skills Learnt

You will notice that the things mentioned in this paragraph are very routine things to put into a Medical personal statement and are very passive in nature (i.e. the candidate is not actively doing anything, he is just watching a procedure, he is watching the GP staff). In the unedited version, it very much read like this, i.e. the candidate was a passive observer. In the edited paragraph, however, it becomes more active and unique. Look how once again the author describes an event and then explains a learning point or gives a reflection. Notice how only a few of the words in this paragraph describe what the candidate did. Most of the words describe what the candidate learned and his reflections on the experiences. This is far more powerful than just listing the steps of the operation or describing the activities of the admin staff.

Paragraph 5 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

This paragraph is themed around the author’s keen scientific curiosity and passion for learning. He describes attending lectures and doing activities which are clearly outside of his A-level curriculum. This paragraph is cleverly constructed to make use of the limited character count by not wasting words on how or where he attended these lectures or stating that they are in addition to his A-levels. It is self-evident that they are extracurricular and he does not need to waste words to spell this out. The topics discussed are things that the author needs to understand well as they can be brought up in the Medicine interview. We highlighted to the candidate suggested areas which may be raised at interview, which indeed did arise.

He once again demonstrates that he is a self-reflective and independent learner by talking about various lectures he attends, and how he explored one lecture further by writing an essay on the topic. Note that the author in paragraph two also states how a Medlink talk sparked his interest and he developed things further. This is an individual with curiosity and a desire to understand things further. He once again shows self-reflection when he says that it was challenging to use post-A-level books and medical journals, but he enjoyed the challenge and looks forward to the academic challenges of the ever-evolving field of Medicine.

Paragraph 6 + 7 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Discussing gap year in medicine personal statements

Note that with the correct reflective style it is possible to show the benefits of almost any hobby . For example, if we look at another medicine personal statement we reviewed, the candidate initially stated that playing doubles badminton enhanced their teamwork skills and gave a few basic reflections. This is not bad, but more could be extracted from this hobby. In the reviewed version this was discussed in greater depth and placed as part of an entire paragraph where the theme was teamwork – both in medicine and how the candidate also works to enhance their teamwork skills. See how it was possible to extract much more from this hobby: First we discussed teamwork in medicine and how then how the candidate also seeks to improve their teamwork skills followed by “working as a pair necessitates an awareness of each other’s strengths & weaknesses. We must then work to merge these in a way that potentiates our combined strengths & mitigates our weaknesses. We must consider how our opponents’ factor into this. The fast-pace of badminton requires the ability to make rapid decisions under pressure while still working towards an overall game plan.” This is far better than what the candidate originally said in their medical school personal statement about badminton being good for teamwork and thinking fast.

Making the most of the candidates work experience

Medical Personal Statement Work Experience

How can Medicine Answered help you with your medicine personal statement?

Our Premium Medicine Personal Statement Review Service

This is a highly specialised service. Your medicine personal statement will be reviewed by both a professional editor with specific expertise in medical admissions to ensure the writing style is flawless; and also a qualified doctor who received all four offers to study Medicine to ensure all the content is excellent. This is our minimum standard. We do not use medical students or non-professional editors.

360 Application Review

This includes a full Medicine personal statement review as detailed. Additionally, a doctor will look at your academic grades, UKCAT scores (comparing them with the current 2018 results for this cycle) and work experience. In the context of your whole application , they will also suggest topics which may be discussed at your interview. They will provide a plan for what to do next to move forward and prepare for the rest of your Medicine application. They will give tailored feedback on these elements and based on this provide further suggestions on making strategically sound medical school choices in a way that maximises your individual strengths and minimises your weaknesses.

For more information about both services, visit the Medical Personal Statement Review page, or contact a member of our team.

Our free guides to helping you write an excellent medicine personal statement

Medicine Answered offer the following entirely free guides which will help you to write a superb Medicine personal statement:

How to write a medical school personal statement in 10 steps – this will help to take you from step 1, with no ideas and nothing written down; to step 10, a completed medical school personal statement.

How to write a Graduate Entry Medical School Personal Statement – this discusses how graduates should write their medicine personal statement whether they are applying to Standard Entry Medicine or Graduate Entry Medicine courses.

Further Related Questions 2023

What are the Manchester Medical School “non-academic information form” or the Keele Medical School “roles and responsibilities form”?

Manchester Medical School asks all candidates to also complete a non-academic information form after submitting their UCAS application. The other medical schools do not see this form as it is sent directly to Manchester. This form is very similar to a medical school personal statement but is under a format that the medical school controls. It contains headings which are the same types of topic that you would discuss in a medicine personal statement. The headings are “Experience in a caring role” “Hobbies and interests” “Teamwork” and “Motivation for Medicine”. Keele Medical School has a similar form called the roles and responsibilities form. Again it is sent directly to Keele Medical School. Both these forms should be treated as a separate piece of work from the medicine personal statement even though there is large overlap.

What is the UCAS word limit for medical school personal statements?

A medicine personal statement must meet the following two criteria:

1. Be less than 4000 characters (the counter UCAS use to determine the character count is slightly different from the word counter on most word processors, e.g. Microsoft Word. This is because the UCAS system counts punctuation, spaces, tabs and paragraph lines).

2. Be no longer than 47 lines on the UCAS system (again this is different to what 47 lines on a word processor would look like).

Dr Disrespect Issues Lengthy Statement on Twitch Ban: 'I'm Not Perfect,' but 'I'm No Predator'

"i should have never entertained these conversations to begin with.".

Alex Stedman Avatar

Guy Beahm, the popular streamer best known as Dr Disrespect, has issued a lengthy statement on the recent allegations that have emerged over his ban from Twitch in 2020.

It's the most substantial response Beahm has ever issued on the situation, which was reignited last week after a former Twitch employee said on X/Twitter that he was banned from the streaming platform for inappropriate messages with a minor on the Twitch Whispers feature, a claim corrobated by reporting in The Verge and Bloomberg . Beahm's response addresses that claim, as well as his recent ousting from the game studio he co-founded, Midnight Society.

THE TWITCH BAN Hello, I'd like to make a quick statement.. Lets cut the fucking bullshit, as you know there's no filter with me. I've always been up front and real with you guys on anything that I can be up front about, and I'm always willing to accept responsibility... which… — Dr Disrespect (@DrDisrespect) June 25, 2024

In the statement, Beahm admits that there were indeed "twitch whisper messages with an individual minor back in 2017." (The word "minor" was edited out from the original version of the post, but then added back in).

"Were there real intentions behind these messages, the answer is absolutely not," he adds. "These were casual, mutual conversations that sometimes leaned too much in the direction of being inappropriate, but nothing more."

He goes on to say that no charges were brought forward, and re-iterates that "nothing illegal happened."

"Now, from a moral standpoint I'll absolutely take responsibility," he says. "I should have never entertained these conversations to begin with. That's on me. That's on me as an adult, a husband and a father. It should have never happened. I get it. I’m not perfect and I’ll fucking own my shit. This was stupid."

Beahm insists, however, that he's "no fucking predator or pedophile," and that despite a previously announced "extended vacation," he seemingly plans to continue streaming.

Guy Beahm, best known as Dr Disrespect, has issued a lengthy statement about his Twitch ban. (Image credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

"They want me to disappear... yeah fucking right," he concludes.

IGN has asked Twitch, which has not commented on the situation in recent days, for comment.

As for his ousting from Midnight Society, Beahm says the decision for him to part ways with the studio was something he and the team came to "collectively." Shortly after Beahm posted his statement, studio co-founder Robert Bowling issued his own personal statement on X/Twitter, caveating that it had not been run through a PR or legal department.

"If you inappropriately message a minor. I can not work with you," Bowling wrote. "Period. I promised to only act on facts, and I did."

This is a statement from me personally. It does not reflect any of my companies and has not gone through any legal or PR approvals. If you inappropriately message a minor. I can not work with you. Period. I promised to only act on facts, and I did. — Robert Bowling (@fourzerotwo) June 25, 2024

Gaming headset and accessory company Turtle Beach also announced earlier on Tuesday, before Beahm posted his statement, that it would be ending its partnership with the streamer.

The situation surrounding Beahm's four-year-old ban from Twitch caught fire last Friday, June 21, thanks to a X/Twitter post by former Twitch account director of strategic partnerships Cody Conners ( Disclosure: Conners briefly worked at IGN in 2011). Conners didn't mention Beahm by name, but it was both widely assumed and later confirmed in The Verge's and Bloomberg's reports that he was referring to the popular streamer when he wrote, "He got banned because got caught sexting a minor in the then existing Twitch whispers product. He was trying to meet up with her at TwitchCon."

Conners' post became massive news, shedding light on Beahm's mysterious ban that came down almost exactly four years ago . Twitch offered no specifics on the reason for the ban, and Beahm himself claimed not to have been informed why initially. He would go on to sue Twitch over the ban in 2021 , and the legal dispute was resolved in 2022 .

In the days following Conners' post, Beahm had issued a number of statements, but none as substantial as the one posted on Tuesday (he claims that he's able to offer more information "now that two former twitch employees have publicly disclosed the accusations"). In previous statements , he continued to stress that "no wrongdoing was found" in regards to his dealings with Twitch.

You can read Beahm's most recent statement in full below:

Thumbnail credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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Biden-Trump 2024 debate highlights: Biden stumbles as Trump fires off falsehoods

What to know about tonight's debate.

  • President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump held their first presidential debate of the cycle tonight in Atlanta. The two candidates were in a studio without an audience.
  • Biden struggled at times, stumbling over answers with a raspy voice — a campaign aide said he has a cold — and adding fodder to concerns about his age and mental fitness. Near the halfway mark, Biden started gaining his footing again, mocking Trump's physical fitness and calling him a "whiner" and a "loser."
  • Trump, meanwhile, offered numerous falsehoods and misleading statements in his responses. He hammered Biden on immigration and the border, even when he was asked about other issues . And he repeatedly dodged questions about whether he would accept the results of the election.
  • Both candidates also hurled personal insults at each other, with Biden hitting Trump for his alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels and Trump calling Biden a "complainer" and the "worst president" in American history.

How Obama and Pelosi react to Biden's debate performance could shape the race

best doctor personal statement

Just how consequential was Biden’s poor debate performance? We will find out in the next 72 to 96 hours. Based on the number of panicked texts and emails I received from various leaders in the Democratic Party, there is a lot more consternation about Biden’s running for a second term than I’ve heard since he took his first oath in 2021.

Here are a few things to watch in the next few days.

1. How does Team Biden calm the Democratic waters?

The obvious answer is to flood the zone with Biden, signing him up for interviews with multiple outlets, from the Sunday shows to Jon Stewart and everything in between. Whether he’s up to it or not, they may have no choice but to put him out there if they want to shore up the nervous nellies.

2. What Democrats step up and defend Biden as staying on as the nominee?

The two Democrats I’m most intrigued to hear from are former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama. They are, arguably, the two most influential Democrats not named Joe Biden right now, and if they went public saying, “Thank you for your service but it’s time for new blood,” I’m not sure Biden could survive as the nominee.

Of course, they are also the two Democrats Team Biden needs the most right now to go public and calm the waters. The most influential donors who are nervous about Biden will follow the lead of Pelosi and Obama on this. One way or another, I expect to hear from them. The longer it takes for them to rally around Biden publicly, the more the Democratic chattering class will start talking about a convention scenario.

When Ronald Reagan had his poor first debate performance, he didn’t have to wait nearly three months for a second bite at the apple. But before folks start looking up the rules of an open convention, expect the Biden campaign to remind many of us of the Reagan comeback. His best hope right now is that the country is so polarized that the debate barely moves the poll needle. That having been said, the biggest problem Biden has right now is that, at best, he’s a good six weeks away from being able to have a chance to prove the growing number of doubters wrong. It could be the start of a long, hot summer of intrigue inside the Democratic Party.

Biden-supporting House member calls for open convention

best doctor personal statement

Andrea Mitchell

One House member who is a Biden supporter said after having watched the debate that there has to be an open convention and that more people are going to be calling for it.

Biden makes a pit stop at a Waffle House

best doctor personal statement

Megan Lebowitz

Biden is making a stop at a Waffle House on his way to the airport.

He will talk with diners and pick up pre-ordered food.

Democrats are talking about replacing Joe Biden. That won’t be so easy.

best doctor personal statement

Ben Kamisar

Alex Seitz-Wald

Biden’s performance in the first debate tonight has sparked a  new round of criticism from Democrats , as well as public and private musing about whether he should remain at the top of the ticket.

Party rules make it almost impossible to replace nominees without their consent, let alone smoothly replace them with someone else. And doing so would amount to party insiders' overturning the results of primaries when Democratic voters overwhelmingly to nominate Biden. He won almost 99% of all delegates.

Still, the Democratic National Committee’s charter does make some provisions in case the party’s nominee is incapacitated or opts to step aside, and an anti-Biden coup at the convention is theoretically possible, if highly unlikely. So how would it work?

Read the full story here.

Fact check: Are immigrants taking 'Black jobs'?

Elleiana Green Elleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

Asked about Black voters who are disappointed with their economic progress, Trump claimed Black Americans are losing their jobs because of illegal border crossings under Biden’s administration.

“The fact is that his big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come through the border. They’re taking Black jobs now,” Trump said.

There's no evidence that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Black Americans. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the Black unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in April 2023 — an all-time low. Before that, the Black unemployment rate was as high as 10.2% in April 2021.

Biden’s performance in the first presidential debate is raising questions about whether Democrats might try to replace him as the nominee.

A peppier Biden addresses debate watch party crowd: 'We're gonna beat this guy'

best doctor personal statement

Ghael Fobes

Biden began his remarks in front of the debate watch party crowd with an anecdote he’s used before about a John Wayne movie and lying, dog-faced pony soldiers. 

Appearing more energetic than he did during the debate, Biden used the anecdote to make the case that Trump lied throughout the debate and that fact-checkers would be sifting through his responses.

He said: "They’re gonna be fact-checking all the things he said. I can’t think of one thing he said that was true. I’m not being facetious. Look, we’re gonna beat this guy; we need to beat this. I need you in order to beat ’em. You’re the people I’m running for."

Kamala Harris: Biden had a 'slow start' but a 'strong finish'

best doctor personal statement

Alexandra Marquez

Vice President Harris defended Biden after the debate, acknowledging to CNN, "Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish."

She said Biden was "extraordinarily" strong on "substance, on policy, on performance."

Asked why Biden’s performance was significantly different from his performances in primary debates against Harris and other Democrats in 2020, she continued her wholehearted defense of him.

“I got the point that you’re making about a 1½-hour debate tonight. I’m talking about 3½ years of performance and work that has been historic,” she said before listing Biden’s work on infrastructure and his strength in the Oval Office and the Situation Room.

Her characterization of “substance” echoed remarks earlier in the night from a Biden campaign aide and California Gov. Gavin Newsom .

“People can debate on style points, but ultimately this election and who is the president of the U.S. has to be about substance, and the contrast is clear,” Harris said.

Sen. JD Vance: Trump 'has not asked me' to be his running mate

best doctor personal statement

Bridget Bowman

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, told NBC News that Trump has not asked him to be his running mate.

"He has not asked me," Vance said in the spin room after the debate.

Trump recently said that he knows who he wants to be his running mate and that his pick would be at the debate. NBC News has reported that Vance, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are the top contenders to join the Trump ticket.

GOP Senate candidates try to turn Biden's performance against Democrats

best doctor personal statement

Henry J. Gomez

Republican Senate candidates in key battlegrounds were quick to respond to tonight's debate with a coordinated message rooted in Biden's shaky performance: This is the candidate my opponent votes with nearly all of the time.

"Think about the Joe Biden you saw tonight," Bernie Moreno, the GOP nominee seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio, posted on X . "That’s who Sherrod Brown supports for President and votes with 99% of the time."

In Michigan, former Rep. Mike Rogers, the front-runner in August's GOP Senate primary, posted that Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, "votes with Joe Biden 100% of the time but she hasn’t said a word about tonight’s debate."

Dave McCormick, the GOP Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, posted a clip of Biden stumbling through an answer and remarking that "we finally beat Medicare."

"This is the Joe Biden that Bob Casey votes with 98% of the time," McCormick, referring to the Democratic incumbent, wrote on X.

And in Arizona, GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake noted that Rep. Ruben Gallego, her likely Democratic opponent, "went into radio silence for the debate."

"He knows it was an embarrassment to his party & the man he’s supported 100% of the time," Lake posted on X.

Brown, Slotkin, Casey and Gallego have yet to weigh in on X.

Tracking candidate speaking times and questions

Macklin Fishman

How long did each candidate speak?

Biden: ~ 35.5 minutes 

Trump: ~ 40 minutes

How many questions was each candidate asked?

'Double haters' want a new name

best doctor personal statement

Reporting from a debate watch party in Phoenix

“Double haters” who assembled in Arizona have come up with new terms for their feelings after watching the debate tonight in Phoenix.

“Double cringe,” Jeff Herr, a self-identified “McCain Republican,” said of how he felt watching the debate tonight.

“Double frustrated,” said Nicole Aguirre, a conservative Christian who doesn’t plan to vote for president this year.

Fact check: Does Biden want to raise 'everybody's taxes' by four times?

best doctor personal statement

Jane C. Timm

“Nobody ever cut taxes like us. He wants to raise your taxes by four times. He wants to raise everybody’s taxes by four times,” Trump claimed. "He wants the Trump tax cuts to expire."

Biden’s tax plan “holds harmless for 98% of households,” said Kyle Pomerleau, senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. And Biden wants to extend the majority of the Trump tax cuts, too, though he has advocated for hiking taxes on very high earners.

Gavin Newsom: 'You don't turn your back' on Biden

California Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed back on his fellow Democrats who panicked after Biden's debate performance, telling them, "Worry less and do more."

"We have the opportunity to universally have the back of this president, who’s had our back," Newsom told MSNBC after the debate, adding, "You don’t turn your back. You go home with the one that brought you to the dance. One hundred percent all in."

Newsom also lauded Biden, calling his debate performance a win on "substance."

"I’m old-school. I’m old-fashioned. That's what matters to me," Newsom said.

Fact check: The Jan. 6 crowd was not 'ushered in' by the police

best doctor personal statement

Adam Edelman

"If you would see my statements that I made on Twitter at the time and also my statement that I made in the Rose Garden, you would say it's one of the strongest statements you've ever seen. In addition to the speech I made in front of, I believe, the largest crowd I've ever spoken to, and I will tell you, nobody ever talks about that. They talk about a relatively small number of people that went to the Capitol and, in many cases, were ushered in by the police. And as Nancy Pelosi said, it was her responsibility, not mine. She said that loud and clear." Trump

During a lengthy answer to a question about whether he would accept the result of the 2024 election and say all political violence is unacceptable, Trump made several false statements, including the claim that police "ushered" rioters into the U.S. Capitol and that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it was her responsibility to keep the chamber safe.

Video and news reports of the Jan. 6 riots clearly captured a U.S. Capitol under attack by pro-Trump crowds who overran the law enforcement presence around and inside the complex.

On Pelosi, Trump was most likely referring to video shot by Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra for an HBO documentary that showed her during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, tensely wondering how the Capitol was allowed to be stormed.

“We have responsibility, Terri,” Pelosi says to her chief of staff, Terri McCullough, as they leave the Capitol in a vehicle. ”We did not have any accountability for what was going on there, and we should have. This is ridiculous.” 

“You’re going to ask me in the middle of the thing, when they’ve already breached the inaugural stuff, ‘Should we call the Capitol Police?’ I mean the National Guard. Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?” Pelosi says in the video.

“They clearly didn’t know, and I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more,” Pelosi said.

Many allies of Trump have tried for the more than three years since the riots to paint Pelosi as somehow being responsible for the violence.

Some Trump-backing Republicans have, for example, falsely claimed that she blocked the National Guard from going to the Capitol during the riots.

Trump downplays role on Jan. 6 and says some Capitol rioters are 'innocent'

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Ryan J. Reilly

Trump downplayed his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during the first presidential debate tonight, saying some people “asked me to go make a speech,” minimizing his involvement in efforts to overturn the election and the summoning of thousands of his followers to Washington for what he promised would be a “wild” time .

Trump faces four federal criminal charges in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but the case is on hold as the Supreme Court decides whether he is  protected by presidential immunity . He has  pleaded not guilty .

Expect more attacks on VP Harris in the coming days

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Katherine Doyle

Trump’s camp was already planning to ramp up attacks on Harris in the coming weeks by saying a vote for Biden is a vote for the vice president. Expect these attacks to escalate rapidly.

'Can Jill Biden intervene?' Democrats panicking over Biden's performance

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Sahil Kapur

Monica Alba

How bad is the overall Democratic panic about Biden's performance? One longtime Democratic strategist who works with the Biden campaign said, “Like nothing I have ever seen."

A Democratic official who supports Biden texted NBC News, "Can Jill Biden intervene? Omg"

The official added, “And I’m sorry voters don’t take the democracy stuff seriously if you’re just willing to continue with a nominee who can’t speak."

“Man, absolute disaster," the official said.

Jill Biden on husband's performance: 'I hope you heard his heart'

In a video posted on social media following the debate, first lady Jill Biden defended her husband's debate performance and told viewers that they "heard Joe's heart tonight on the debate stage."

"He wakes up every morning thinking about how he can make the lives of Americans better. He's the president we need, the president you deserve," she added.

In a statement, a campaign aide echoed the first lady, saying, "Ultimately, style over substance is what matters to voters."

Democrats are panicking about Biden’s shaky debate performance, in which he stumbled repeatedly and suffered from a hoarse speaking voice. Meanwhile, Republicans are crowing about Trump’s strong appearance on the stage by comparison.

Burgum says 'only person' who knows Trump's VP pick is Trump

North Dakota GOP Gov. Doug Burgum declined twice to directly answer whether Trump has asked him to be his running mate, but he suggested he was not aware of whom Trump has selected.

"There's only one person who knows who the next VP is, and that is President Trump," Burgum told NBC News after the debate.

Trump recently said that he knows who he wants to be his running mate and that his pick would be at the debate. Burgum is one of multiple possible running mate picks who were in the spin room in Atlanta, along with Sens. JD Vance of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida.

NBC News reported that Burgum, Vance and Rubio are the top contenders to join the Trump ticket.

Fact check: Biden said the U.S. trade deficit with China is at its lowest since 2010

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Jennifer Jett

Jiachuan Wu

“We are at the lowest trade deficit with China since 2010,” Biden said.

The U.S. had $279 billion more in imports than exports to China last year, the lowest trade deficit with the world's second-largest economy since 2010. The highest deficit in recent years was $418 billion in 2018, when Trump began a trade war with China.

The decline has been driven largely by tariffs that Trump imposed in office and that Biden has maintained and in some cases expanded.

Fact check: Did Trump have the 'best environmental numbers ever'?

“During my four years, I had the best environmental numbers ever, and my top environmental people gave me that statistic just before I walked on the stage, actually,” Trump said.

The figure Trump is referring to is the fact that carbon emissions fell during his administration. He posted the talking points his former Environmental Protection Agency chief emailed him on social media before the debate.

And it's true that carbon emissions are falling — they have been dropping for years. Emissions particularly plunged in 2020, dropping to levels around those in 1983 and 1984. That drop was in large part thanks to Covid lockdowns, and emissions rose again when air travel and in-person working resumed.

Still, climate activists and experts are quick to note that those drops are nowhere near enough to head off predicted catastrophic effects of global warming. Other major countries cut their emissions at a much faster rate during the Trump administration.

Former Biden spokesperson: 'Not a good debate for Joe Biden'

Former Biden White House communications director Kate Bedingfield spoke candidly about her concerns on CNN after the debate.

She said the debate was "very disappointing" for many Democrats. "There are no two ways about it, that was not a good debate for Joe Biden," she said.

David Axelrod, who was one of Barack Obama's top strategists, raised the possibility of a contested convention for Democrats to find a new nominee.

"There is a sense of shock at how he came out at the beginning of this debate, how his voice sounded. He seemed a little disoriented," Axelrod said.

"There are going to be discussions about whether he should continue," Axelrod added.

Former Rep. Justin Amash says nominating Biden would be 'political malpractice'

Zoë Richards

Former Rep. Justin Amash , R-Mich., said on X that Democrats would be committing "political malpractice" by nominating Biden after tonight's debate performance.

"It would be unprecedented political malpractice for Democrats to nominate Joe Biden," said Amash, who is seeking a Senate seat in Michigan as a GOP candidate.

Biden campaign co-chair admits 'the president started off slow'

Speaking to NBC News' Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie immediately after the debate, Biden campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu said, "Well, I thought it was a bare-knuckled brawl," before adding: "They're right. The president started off slow, but then he came back."

Landrieu then pivoted to immediately attacking Trump, saying, "When Donald Trump was speaking, he was lying," blasting Trump for being "untethered from the truth."

Landrieu also criticized Trump for his defense of some Jan. 6 protesters and his celebration of the Supreme Court's decision to overrule Roe v. Wade.

Fact check: Did Trump lower the cost of insulin?

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Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Trump claimed credit for lowering the cost of insulin for seniors.

"I am the one who got the insulin down for the seniors,” Trump said.

Mostly false

In 2020, Trump created a voluntary program under Medicare Part D. The program allowed Medicare Part D plans to offer some insulin products for no more than $35 per month. It was active from 2021 to 2023, with less than half of the plans participating each year.

In 2022, Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which included a provision that lowered the out-of-pocket cost for people on Medicare to $35 a month and covered all insulin products. The cap did not apply to those with private insurance. However, after the law was implemented, insulin manufacturers voluntarily lowered the out-of-pocket cost to $35 a month for people with private insurance.

Democratic lawmaker deflects when asked about Biden's performance

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Asked by NBC News about Biden's debate performance, a Democratic lawmaker said, "The best thing I can do to help Joe Biden is to pretend I didn’t get your text."

Fact check: Did Trump end catch and release?

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Julia Ainsley

"We ended catch and release," Trump said.

Trump did not end "catch and release," a term used to describe the practice of releasing migrants into the country with court dates while they await court hearings. The U.S. does not have enough facilities to detain every migrant who crosses the border until they can see judges, no matter who is president, so Trump — like Obama before him and Biden after him — released many migrants back into the U.S.

Trump calls Biden 'a complainer' during closing statement, says we're 'living in hell'

In closing statements, Trump called Biden "a complainer."

He argued that Biden "doesn't do anything" and attacked the president's handling of the southern border and foreign policy.

"For three-and-a-half years, we're living in hell," Trump said.

The former president also argued that the country is witnessing something many times worse than Charlottesville, referring to the white supremacist rally in Virginia that Biden has cited as his reason for launching his 2020 bid.

Biden homes in on taxes in closing argument

In his closing statement, Biden focused on taxes, blaming Trump for increasing taxes and inflation.

"I ask anyone out there in the audience or anyone out there watching this debate: Do you think the tax system is fair?" Biden asked.

He also referred to "the debacle" Trump left behind related to the economy.

Biden ended his statement touting his administration's work to lower drug prices and reduce the federal deficit.

"We're going to continue to fight to bring down inflation and give people a break," Biden concluded.

Biden supporters find a reason to cheer

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Gabe Gutierrez

At a Biden watch party in Atlanta, some supporters expressed concern about the president throughout the evening. But the party erupted in cheers when he told Trump, “You’re such a whiner." That led to a chant of “Let’s go, Joe!”

Arizona woman complains about Trump's question-dodging

Nicole Aguirre, an Arizona woman watching tonight's debate at a party in Phoenix, said she's been frustrated by Trump’s habit of attacking Biden’s record instead of answering the questions posed by the moderators.

When Trump gave a more direct response to one of the questions, she said: “Look, he finally answered a question!”

That response followed a question about taking a cognitive test.

Trump dodges questions about accepting election results

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Alicia Victoria Lozano

The moderators were forced to ask Trump multiple times whether he would accept the results of the coming election.

Instead of providing a straight answer, he reverted to a familiar refrain about accepting the results only if the election is "fair and legal."

Fact check: Did the Border Patrol union endorse Biden?

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Didi Martinez

"By the way, the Border Patrol endorsed me, endorsed my position," Biden said.

The National Border Patrol Council, the labor union for U.S. Border Patrol agents and staff members, has endorsed Trump.

"The National Border Patrol Council has proudly endorsed Donald J. Trump for President of the United States,” the group's vice president, Hector Garza, said in a statement shared exclusively with NBC News.

The union posted on X, "to be clear, we never have and never will endorse Biden."

Biden may have been referring to a Senate immigration bill that he backed, which earned  that union’s endorsement .

Trump says U.S. is barreling toward World War III

Trump repeated his claim that Biden is driving the country toward World War III.

"We are very, very close to World War III, and he's driving us there," Trump said about Biden, arguing that authoritarian leaders like Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin do not respect nor fear him.

Biden hit back, suggesting that Trump would let Putin "do what you want with NATO."

Biden has made support for Ukraine — and standing up to authoritarian leaders — a major foreign policy pillar of his campaign.

Biden calls Trump a 'whiner' as he taunts him over election loss

Biden said something "snapped in" Trump after losing the 2020 presidential election, leading him to embark on a meritless campaign to hold onto power. Biden continued to prod Trump, twice calling his Republican rival a “whiner.”

“Let’s see what your numbers are when this election is over,” Biden said. “You’re a whiner. When you lost the first time, you continued to appeal and appeal to courts all across the country.”

Were Trump to lose the race in 2024, “I doubt whether you’ll accept it because you’re such a whiner,” Biden jabbed. “You can’t stand the loss. Something snapped in you when you lost last time.”

Biden to Trump: 'Something in you snapped' after losing in 2020

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Allan Smith

Biden took some of his biggest shots at Trump after the former president refused to accept the results this fall regardless of who won. (Trump said he would only accept "if it's fair and legal and good.")

"You’re a whiner," Biden said. "When you lost the first time ... you appealed and appealed to courts all across the country. Not one single court in America said any of your claims had any merit, state or local, none. But you continue to promote this lie about somehow, there’s all this misrepresentation, all this stealing."

"There’s no evidence of that at all. And I tell you what, I doubt whether you’ll accept it, because you’re such a whiner, the idea if you lose again, you accepting anything. You can’t stand the loss. Something snapped in you when you lost last time," he added.

The moderators then cut to a commercial.

Biden tells Trump he'll golf 'if you carry your own bag'

Addressing questions about his age, Biden tried to mock Trump's fitness but stumbled through an answer criticizing Trump's height and weight.

"You can see he is 6-foot-5 and only 223 pounds or 235 pounds ... well, anyway," Biden said.

Later, he agreed to Trump's challenge of a golf match, on one condition: "If you carry your own bag" (a joke he made earlier this year, too) .

Still, Biden's cheeky dig at Trump's golf game may do little to assuage the fears emerging among Democrats that Biden has done little in this debate to tamp down on concerns about his age and mental faculties.

Black voters 'disgusted' by Trump's and Biden's comments on race

Yamiche Alcindor

Black voters are telling NBC News they’re disappointed in the way both candidates talked about Black people.

Most historically vote for Democrats and say they will vote for Biden despite what they see as a weak debate performance tonight, because they see Trump’s past comments and actions as “racist.”

That having been said, a Black voter in Pennsylvania who said he or she will likely vote for Biden told NBC News, “I’m honestly disgusted by the way both of them speak about the Black community."

"Biden has a better record with the Black community," the voter added. "In fairness, Trump did positive things for the Black community, and he’s strategic enough to appeal to Black voters now.”

It's also striking that Trump revived attacks on Biden and Democrats over the crime bill from the 1990s and some Democrats’ calling Black teens “super predators.” That line of attack was effective against Hilary Clinton in 2016, and it was reportedly a message that was amplified by Russia, which saw the comments as particularly effective in trying to have an impact on Black voters.

Black voters often pointed to Clinton’s statement as a reason for not voting her in 2016, even though she overwhelmingly won the votes of Black voters in that election.

Scores of protesters gather near debate site

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Charlie Gile

Nnamdi Egwuonwu

About 60 protesters were gathered on 14th Street here in Atlanta, a few blocks from the debate site. 

Trump claims he took two cognitive tests

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Daniel Arkin

Trump, responding to a question from Bash about his age, claimed he took two cognitive tests and insisted he was in "very good shape." He also touted his golf game and said of Biden: "He can't hit a ball 50 yards."

The two candidates then briefly bickered about their respective golf handicaps.

Trump invokes imprisoned WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich

Asked about how he would help people in the throes of addiction, Trump at one point invoked Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is imprisoned in Russia.

"Now we have a hostage, a Wall Street Journal reporter, I think a good guy, and he's over there because Putin is laughing at this guy probably asking for billions of dollars for the reporter," Trump said. "I will have him out very quickly as soon as I take office, before I take office."

There is no indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin would release Gershkovich on Trump's timeline.

Trump defends his tariffs as being tough on China

As Trump attacked Biden for a rising deficit, saying Biden "gets paid by China" and is "a Manchurian candidate," he also defended the tariffs on goods he imposed during his administration.

Those moves have been criticized by some as effectively increasing prices on everyday goods.

"You'll notice [Biden] never took out my tariffs, because we bring in so much money with the tariffs that I imposed on China. He never took them away. He can't, because it's too much money. It's tremendous," Trump said.

Trump and Biden finally go back and forth — over who's the worst president ever

The candidates finally found a subject they really wanted to argue back and forth about — which one is America's all-time worst president.

The moderators had been working to prevent them from having many extended exchanges with each other and have not given them much space to direct the debate themselves.

This was an exception.

After Trump went on an extended monologue about how he believed Biden was America's all-time worst president, Biden cited a ranking by more than 150 presidential historians who rated Trump to be the nation's worst president.

"This shouldn’t be a debate," Trump said as part of his lengthy response. "He is the worst president. He just said about me because I said it. But look, he’s the worst president in the history of our country. He’s destroyed our country."

Biden shot back, asking Trump to "look it up" online.

"Don’t hold me the exact number of presidential historians," he said. ( It was 154 .) "They’ve had meetings and they voted who’s the worst president in American history, one through best to worst. They said he was the worst in all of American history. That’s a fact. ... That’s not conjecture. He can argue they’re wrong, but that’s what they voted."

In his response, Trump insisted that "we have polling" and "we have other things" that rate Biden "the worst."

"Because what he’s done is so bad," he said. "And they rate me, I’ll show you, I will show you, and they rate me one of the best, OK? And if I’m given another four years, I will be the best. I think I’ll be the best."

Biden hits Trump on tariffs

Biden argued that tariffs serve as a tax on the middle class and criticized Trump's proposed 10% tariff on goods entering the U.S.

Citing economists, Biden said the tariffs would cost families in the U.S., who are "going to have to pay the difference in food."

Biden ally in Congress says it's 'time to talk about' open convention, new nominee

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Hallie Jackson

A Democratic member of Congress who has been a solid Biden backer, responding to the president's performance tonight, said it's "time to talk about an open convention and a new Democratic nominee."

Nicholas Kristof calls on Biden to withdraw from race

Expect to hear a lot of concerns about Biden from Democrats and left-of-center thought leaders in coming days.

After watching the first half of the debate, liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was ready to call it. "I wish Biden would reflect on this debate performance and then announce his decision to withdraw from the race, throwing the choice of Democratic nominee to the convention," he s aid on X.

He added that he thought another Democrat, like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio or Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, "could still jump in and beat Trump."

Double haters disappointed by both Biden and Trump

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Emma Barnett

Shaquille Brewster

Seth Anderson-Oberman, who voted uncommitted during the Pennsylvania primary, is disappointed by both Biden’s and Trump’s answers to the question about the Israel-Hamas war.

Seth Anderson-Oberman side profile as he watches the debate

“I don’t think Biden helped himself with that answer in terms of, you know, attracting the support of younger voters, peace voters, folks who want to see a cease-fire,” he said.

William Latif Little, an undecided voter, is frustrated with the condition of the economy but said he liked Biden’s answer on the economy “because of the hope that he will do the right thing in the next four years.”

Trump can’t stop talking about the border

Whether it's abortion, the economy or firing staffers, Trump continues to bring up immigration and the border every chance he gets. He's repeatedly called Biden the worst president ever, in part, he says, because he has allowed "criminals" into the country.

Trump says Biden should've fired more people

Trump — who was once synonymous with the phrase "You're fired" as host of "The Apprentice" — attacked Biden for not firing more people in his administration.

He went on to say Biden should have fired the military leaders involved in the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, for instance.

"He never fired people," Trump said. "I’ve never seen him fire anybody. I did fire a lot. I fired [FBI Director James] Comey because he was no good. I fired a lot of the top people at the FBI, drained the swamp. They were no good — not easy to fire people."

Biden tried to rebut Trump's 'worst president' attack, but his mic was muted

Biden attempted to push back on Trump’s referring to him as the worst U.S. president, but his microphone was muted. Trump nonetheless acknowledged him and responded to what he said.

Referring to Biden as the "worst president" in American history is a frequent attack by Trump on the campaign trail.

Fact check: Trump says Biden didn't run for president due to 2017 Charlottesville rally

"He made up the Charlottesville story, and you'll see it's debunked all over the place. Every anchor has — every reasonable anchor has debunked it, and just the other day it came out where it was fully debunked. It's a nonsense story. He knows that, and he didn't run because of Charlottesville. He used that as an excuse to run," Trump said about Biden.

The "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 featured torch-bearing white supremacists marching to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and chanting racist slogans like "You will not replace us." It turned deadly when a car plowed into a crowd.

In recent months, Trump has downplayed that violence, saying it was "nothing" compared to recent pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses.

Meanwhile, Biden has always pointed to Trump's 2017 comments as the primary reason he decided to seek the presidency in 2020, including in his campaign announcement video back in April 2019.

Trump fundraising email claims 'I'm kicking Biden's BUTT'

The Trump campaign sent a fundraising pitch shortly after 10 p.m. ET, around the first commercial break, with the subject line "I'm kicking Biden's BUTT."

"This is President Trump, I don’t have much time," the email read. The email continued in all caps, "Despite everything stacked against me, I'm winning."

Trump has leveraged his email fundraising list to fuel his campaign, helping him close the money gap with Biden in recent weeks. Donations have typically spiked around major events in his legal cases, including his recent conviction in the New York document-falsification case.

Biden’s response on Roe: A political miss?

Biden and the Democrats have made abortion one of the fundamental issues in the 2024 race, noting the ways it’s energized voters in recent elections since the Supreme Court overturned Roe two years ago. But when it came up tonight, Biden spent more time ceding ground than defending the right to abortion access.

Biden reiterated his support for Roe v. Wade, which protected abortion access before viability. But in trying to explain the court's ruling, he put himself on the wrong side of where many in his coalition are.

It’s true that Roe allows states to restrict abortion after viability — a fact glossed over by those who use the tagline “Codify Roe” to call for Congress to pass constitutional abortion protections.

But in saying he backed Roe, Biden shifted the focus to the idea of “late term” abortions — an exceptionally rare practice that’s usually done when the woman’s life is in danger or if an abnormality makes the pregnancy nonviable. Abortion-rights advocates argue that backing restrictions on abortions that late in a pregnancy could hinder doctors' ability to provide care to those who badly need it while also opening the door to restricting abortion broadly.

“Roe v. Wade does not provide for that, that’s not the circumstance, only if a woman’s life is in danger, if she’s going to die. That’s the only circumstance in which that can happen. We are not for late-term abortion, period, period, period,” Biden said when he was pressed about late-term abortions.

“I supported Roe v Wade, which had three trimesters. First time is between the woman and the doctor. Second time is between the doctor and an extreme situation. The third time is between the doctor. I mean between the woman and the state.”

The moment underscores why advocates have whispered concerns about Biden’s being the party’s central messenger on an issue that could turn the election toward Democrats.

Trump says he wants 'absolutely clean air' despite having rolled back EPA rule on emissions as president

Trump was asked whether he planned to take any action as president to slow the climate crisis.

Trump responded, "I want absolutely immaculate, clean water, and I want absolutely clean air. And we had it."

Trump repeatedly tried to undo actions to curtail the effects of climate change during his administration.

In 2020, his administration rolled back an Obama-era rule  that required the country's coal plants to reduce mercury and other harmful emissions, and in 2017, he notably pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement aimed at reducing emissions.

Fact check: Biden suggests no troops died under his watch

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"The truth is, I'm the only president this century that doesn't have any this decade and any troops dying anywhere in the world like he did," Biden said

The Defense Department confirmed that 13 U.S. service members were killed in a suicide bombing attack at Abbey Gate at the Kabul airport by a member of ISIS-K as the U.S. was leaving Afghanistan. 

Biden team betting on 'convicted felon' line

The president’s team hopes clips of strong Biden moments will reach a wider audience than the live one that watched the painful first 30 minutes of the debate as it happened.

They think Biden delivered several lines that will resonate with voters. One is: “Only one of us is a convicted felon, and I’m looking at him.”

They also liked the Jan. 6 part of the debate, saying it tested horribly for Trump and well for them, according to someone familiar with the Biden campaign’s internal polling dials, which they are doing in real time during debate.

Trump attacks Hunter Biden's felony conviction and ties his foreign business dealings to the president

After Biden called Trump a convicted felon, Trump took a swipe at Biden’s son Hunter Biden, who was convicted on felony gun charges this month. Hunter Biden has been indicted on tax charges, with a trial expected in September. It’s a strategy Trump’s Republican allies predicted .

“When he talks about a convicted felon, his son is a convicted felon at a very high level,” Trump said. “His son is convicted, going to be convicted probably numerous other times.”

Trump said Biden had escaped scrutiny for his record at the border and as vice president, when Trump falsely accused him of leveraging aid to Ukraine to benefit his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. It is an argument Republicans have used as they try to tie Biden to his son's foreign business dealings. Biden has denied any wrongdoing or involvement in his son's business matters.

Trump was impeached in 2019 for pushing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate the Bidens.

Trump tries to turn Medicare and Medicaid on Biden

Trump hit Biden on Social Security issues, arguing that the president is "destroying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

Trump pointed to migrants, asserting that they are "taking over our schools, our hospitals, and they're going to be taking over Social Security."

Biden said his plan to tackle Social Security was to raise taxes on the very wealthy.

Biden tested negative for Covid, sources say

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Kelly O'Donnell

Two sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that "President Biden has a cold."

Biden was administered a Covid test, which was negative, three sources said.

Biden has sounded hoarse throughout the debate.

Biden, Trump spar over record among Black voters

Polls indicate that some groups of Black voters are undecided about who m they'll vote for , and both candidates are vying for their support on the debate stage.

Biden spoke at length about his efforts to eliminate federal student loan debt, provide tenant tax credits and stimulate job growth for Black families.

Trump, in his latest attempt to court Black voters, criticized Biden's record, saying: "He caused the inflation, and it's killing Black families and Hispanic families and just about everybody. It's killing people."

"I gave him a country with no, essentially no inflation. It was perfect. It was so good, all he had to do is leave it alone. He destroyed it," Trump added.

Notably, though inflation has risen under Biden, wages are also up and unemployment is down .

Biden touts 'most extensive' climate change action in history

Biden, defending his record on environmental issues, hailed his administration for achieving the "most extensive climate change legislation in history."

He was referring to the roughly $783 billion in energy and climate change investments that were part of the Inflation Reduction Act, a massive package that he signed into law in August 2022.

Fact check: Trump says Biden allowing 'millions' of criminals to enter U.S.

“I’d love to ask him … why he’s allowed millions of people to come in from prisons, jails, and mental institutions, to come into our country and destroy our country,” Trump said.

There's no evidence of this.

Venezuela doesn't share law enforcement information with U.S. authorities, making it very hard to verify criminal histories of immigrants coming to the U.S. But there's no evidence that Venezuela is purposefully sending "millions" of people from mental institutions and prisons to the U.S.

Biden echoes a campaign ad he released today

In his last answer before the first commercial break, Biden echoed a campaign ad he released today related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"We saw with our own eyes. We saw what happened on Jan. 6. We saw the people breaking windows," Biden said onstage.

The ad features video from news organizations and security cameras of protesters breaking into the Capitol.

Trump invokes George Floyd protests, inaccurately claims he broke up protests

It’s been four years since protests broke out after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. Tonight, Trump defended his response to the summer of unrest, including sending the National Guard and federal law enforcement officers to Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Minneapolis. 

“They saw them coming, and they left immediately,” Trump said inaccurately of the protesters. 

Protests continued in Portland for more than 100 days, sometimes dissolving into violence as demonstrators confronted federal police forces. And protesters set up an encampment in the middle of Seattle that remained in place for several weeks.

Muslim community leader: Biden 'seems ill,' is 'struggling'

One of the Muslim community leaders who met privately with Biden in a small group at the White House in April says Biden looks “physically weak and tired” and not as “sharp” as he did during the meeting in April.

The person told NBC News that Biden “seems ill right now."

"He’s struggling, it seems," the person said. "Biden seems more honest and sincere, but still I’m concerned. There is weakness in his voice."

"Trump is sharp, although calculated. He is on message,” the person continued.

The person also said that on Gaza, he or she is worried Trump’s comments mean Israel would kill more Palestinian civilians if he were re-elected. The person said Biden’s comments show he is consistent in the war, but it’s still unclear “what his true red line is when it comes to continuing to send aid to Israel.” The person believes Biden’s three-stage plan shows he is trying to end the war between Israel and Hamas.

Biden's zingers lack some zing

Biden has had difficulty sticking the landing on several familiar attacks on Trump. While Biden has perked up significantly since the first half-hour of the debate, his raspy voice and his tendency to trail off have led to some whiffs.

Trump: 'I didn't have sex with a porn star'

Trump pushed back on Biden's assertion, saying, "I didn't have sex with a porn star."

Biden had accused Trump of having the "morals of an alleycat" for allegedly having sex with a porn star while his wife, Melania Trump, was pregnant.  (Actually, Mrs. Trump had given birth to their son, Barron, four months before the alleged encounter.)

Fact check: Did Trump have 'the safest border in the history of our country'?

“We had the safest border in the history of our country," Trump said.

This is clear exaggeration. In 2019, the last year before the Covid-19 pandemic brought down border crossings, there were roughly 860,000 illegal border crossings, far more than in any year during the Obama administration.

Biden starting to gain his footing

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Peter Nicholas

Biden got off to a slow start, but as the debate approaches its halfway point, he's steadying himself and speaking with more force and clarity. "I've never heard so much foolishness," he said in response to one of Trump's answers.

Biden also spoke with conviction about the idea that Trump, if elected, would seek vengeance against his political rivals.

"The idea that you have a right to seek retribution against any American just because you're president is wrong," Biden said.

His campaign was quick to respond to questions about his poor start.

"He has a cold," an aide said.

Biden shows fight when talking about Trump's trials

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Kristen Welker

Biden showed arguably his most fight in responding to Trump’s allegations in talking about his criminal convictions and civil cases.

Biden said Trump has the "morals of an alley cat," referred to his felony conviction in his document-falsification trial in New York and the civil judgments against him and alluded to the pending cases against him.

Biden hits Trump on NATO

During an exchange about the war between Ukraine and Russia, Trump said, "I will have that war settled between Putin and Zelenskyy as president-elect. Before I take office on Jan. 20, I'll have that war settled."

Biden answered, "The fact is that Putin is a war criminal." He added: "He wants all of Ukraine. That's what he wants. And then you think he'll stop there? Do you think he'll stop when the, if he takes Ukraine? What do you think happens to Poland, Belarus? What do you think happens to those NATO countries?"

Biden's answer reinforced the notion that Trump frightens NATO leaders who've partnered with the U.S. to supply Ukraine with weapons over the last two years.

Trump said at a rally this year that he would  encourage Russia  to “do whatever the hell they want” to a NATO country that "didn't pay" enough for defense.

"At this point, our NATO allies have produced as much funding for Ukraine as we have. That's why, that's why we're strong," Biden said.

Biden to Trump: 'You have the morals of an alley cat'

In one of his most forceful moments of the debate so far, Biden accused Trump of poor personal character, referring to his alleged sexual relationship with pornographic film star Stormy Daniels — a story at the center of Trump's recent criminal trial in New York.

"You have the morals of an alley cat," Biden told Trump.

Fact check: Trump said there was 'no terror' during his tenure

“That’s why you had no terror, at all, during my administration. This place, the whole world, is blowing up under him," Trump said

There were two ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks while Trump was president. The first occurred in October 2017 when Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people and injured a dozen more in a vehicle ramming attack on the West Side Highway bike path in New York City. The second occurred in December 2017, when Akayed Ullah injured four people when he set off a bomb strapped to himself.

Immigration section devolves into mudslinging

Biden and Trump both claimed to have done a better job at securing the border.

“We found ourselves in a situation where, when he was president, he was separating babies from their mothers, put them in cages, making sure their families were separated,” Biden said of Trump. “That’s not the right way to go.”

The Biden administration has reversed many of Trump’s immigration policies, but he recently made it more difficult for people to claim asylum even as border crossings continue to increase. 

Meanwhile, Trump claimed to have created “the safest border in the history of our country” and accused Biden of allowing criminals and terrorists into the U.S., echoing a familiar refrain from his presidency. 

In attacking Biden’s policies, Trump evoked the death of a 12-year-old girl in Texas. Two migrants from Venezuela were charged with capital murder after authorities found her body; she had been strangled.

Fact check: Trump skipped World War I cemetery visit because the soldiers who died were 'losers'

Trump "refused to go to" a World War 1 cemetery ... "He was standing with his four-star general" who said Trump said, "I don't want to go in there, because they're a bunch of losers and suckers," Biden said about Trump.

In 2018, during a trip to France, Trump canceled a visit to an American cemetery near Paris, blaming weather for the decision.

But in September 2020, The Atlantic reported that Trump had axed the visit because he felt that those who'd lost their lives and been buried there were "losers." The magazine cited "four people with firsthand knowledge of those discussions."

According to The Atlantic, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In another conversation, The Atlantic reported, Trump said the 1,800 American marines who died were "suckers."

Several media outlets confirmed the remarks, and Trump's former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly also said those specific comments were true.

Trump deflects responsibility for Jan. 6

Trump was asked about what he would say to voters concerned about Jan. 6.

Trump said that "we were respected" around the world on that date in 2021, which was the day of the attack on the Capitol. He deflected responsibility, pointing to other politicians and officials in office.

Trump also pointed to his words in a speech that day asking protesters to make their voices heard "peacefully and patriotically."

Trump is the first to bring up his own criminal indictments

Trump just briefly referred to his legal issues in baselessly accusing Biden of weaponizing the justice system against a political opponent, a frequent talking point at his rallies and in his post-court remarks.

So far, Biden has not alluded to Trump's conviction in the New York trial related to a hush money payment or the other criminal indictments against him.

Roughly 40 minutes in, Biden still holding his fire on Trump conviction

Biden's advisers said he was prepared to trigger Trump in the debate.

But 40 minutes in, there has been nary a word about Trump’s felony conviction last month, which is central to the case Biden is making against Trump with voters who are wary about Trump's ability to defend democracy if elected.

First mention of Hunter Biden comes from Trump

Trump mentioned Hunter Biden, the president's son who was recently convicted on gun charges in Delaware, during his pushback on Biden's allegations that Trump disparaged soldiers and veterans.

"Fifty-one intelligence agents said that [Hunter's] laptop was Russia disinformation. It wasn't. That came from his son Hunter. It wasn't Russia disinformation," Trump said onstage.

His reference to Hunter Biden and the laptop, which was seized by federal agents and presented as evidence in Hunter's trial, didn't elicit any visible response from the president.

Reproductive rights group leader pushes back on Trump's claim he would support abortion pill

A leader of a reproductive rights group is reacting to Trump's saying he would protect medication abortion.

The person told me: “Trump’s allies at Project 2025 have outlined a plan to revoke approval for medication abortion. His appointed judge in Texas let this case move forward without standing. Trump’s statements have been full of lies and inaccuracies. Voters cannot trust Trump on abortion.”

The person added, “Leaving the issue to the states means letting abortion bans like Texas and Idaho in place with devastating consequences.”

Trump says he can settle war in Ukraine, criticizes Zelenskyy

Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin's terms to end the grinding war in Ukraine — keeping Ukrainian territory seized by Moscow as Kyiv drops its bid to join NATO — are not acceptable to him.

He went on to say that he would have the conflict "settled" if he wins in November.

Trump then took a shot at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, deriding him as a "salesman" who he said has taken too much U.S. military aid.

Trump: The world would have been calmer if I were president

Trump is employing a familiar argument when it comes to foreign policy. He's saying Russia would never have invaded Ukraine if he had been president. That's impossible to prove either way, of course.

John Bolton, one of Trump's White House national security advisers, predicted that Trump would trot out this argument.

In an interview before the debate, Bolton said: "Trump’s   answer on almost any foreign policy question with respect to something bad that’s happened is that it wouldn’t have happened if he were president."

Fact check: Did Virginia’s former governor support infanticide?

“They will take the life of a child in the eighth month, the ninth month and even after birth. After birth. If you look at the former governor of Virginia, he was willing to do so, and we'll determine what we do with the baby. Meaning we’ll kill the baby. ... So that means he can take the life of the baby in the ninth month and even after birth. Because some states, Democrat-run, take it after birth. Again, the governor, the former Virginia governor, put the baby down so that we decide what to do with it. He’s willing to, as we say, rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month and kill the baby. Nobody wants that to happen, Democrat or Republican; nobody wants it to happen," Trump said.

While some Democrats support broad access to abortion regardless of gestation age, infanticide is illegal, and no Democrats advocate for it. Just 1% of abortions are performed after 21 weeks’ gestation,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump first made the claim in 2019, after Virginia’s governor at the time, Ralph Northam, made controversial remarks in discussing an abortion bill. NBC News  debunked the claim  then, reporting that Northam’s remarks were about resuscitating   infants with   severe deformities or nonviable pregnancies.

Asked on a radio program   what happens when a woman who is going into labor desires a third-trimester abortion, Northam noted that such procedures occur only in cases of severe deformities or nonviable pregnancies. He said that in those scenarios, “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Biden calls Trump a 'sucker' and a 'loser'

Four years ago, The Atlantic reported that Trump had derided Americans who died in war as "suckers" and "losers" — comments that Trump and his allies have vehemently denied. Biden referred to those reported remarks in defending his record on veterans affairs, heatedly telling Trump that his late son Beau, who served in Iraq, was not "a sucker and a loser."

"You're a sucker. You're a loser," Biden told Trump.

NBC News' Monica Alba reported ahead of the debate that Biden might use the word "loser" to provoke Trump to lash out.

Trump has called the quote "fake news," but his former chief of staff John Kelly last year confirmed the story was true.

Fact check: Did Biden lower the cost of insulin to $15 a shot?

"We brought down the price of prescription drugs, which is a major issue for many people, to $15 for an insulin shot — as opposed to $400," Biden said.

Biden capped the cost of insulin to $35 a month under Medicare, not $15 a shot, and some drug companies have matched that cap. The price cap doesn't apply to everyone , however.

What's more, Biden’s also significantly overstating how much insulin cost before this change. A 2022 report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that patients using insulin spent an average of $434 annually on insulin in 2019 — not $400 a shot.

Trump mocks Biden: 'I don’t know what he said'

Trump has begun mocking Biden's verbal stumbles, beginning a reply to one Biden statement by saying, "I don’t know what he said, and I don't think he knows what he said, either."

Democratic strategist: 'Biden sounds and looks terrible'

A Democratic strategist told NBC News that "Biden sounds and looks terrible."

The source, who was granted anonymity to speak freely, said they think "this is the worst start in presidential debate history for an incumbent."

Incumbents historically underperform in their first debates.

A Biden aide told NBC News that he "just needed to warm up."

So far, it's a disciplined Trump who's shown up.

Reporting from Washington

Heading into tonight, a key question was which Donald Trump would show up. Would it be a disciplined Trump or the Trump we've seen on the campaign trail who goes off on angry tangents?

So far, Trump has been fairly composed in his answers. He's stayed on topic and largely avoided interruptions — helped in part by the muted mic. He's been tough on Biden but hasn't indulged in the personal taunts and insults that are a staple of his campaign rallies.

Trump tries to take credit for the coronavirus vaccine — even as he swipes at Biden for mandating the jab

Trump, whose administration surged resources via public-private partnerships to bring a variety of Covid vaccines and therapeutics to market, has struggled to find a consistent message on the issue as vaccine skepticism spread.

The jab became a potent attack line during the Republican primaries when Florida Gov. Ron De Santis used it to compare his response to the pandemic to Trump's.

Facing off against Biden, Trump took credit for developing the vaccine even as he attacked Biden for what he billed as government overreach that pushed to mandate vaccine uptake.

“I gave him an unbelievable situation with all of the therapeutics and all of the things that we came up with,” Trump said of his administration’s Covid response. “But he had far more people dying in his administration, who did the mandate, which is a disaster, mandating it.”

Trump dips into immigration issue during abortion response

Trump gave a preview of his response to questions about immigration while responding to questions about whether he supports abortion in certain cases.

"We have a border that’s the most dangerous place anywhere in the world, considered the most dangerous place anywhere in the world, and he opened it up, and these killers are coming into our country, and they are raping and killing women, and it’s a terrible thing," he said.

Trump runs into muted mic during abortion exchange

Trump was attempting to respond to Biden's points about abortion rights when his microphone was muted.

Trump's claims about abortion clash with current GOP platform

Trump’s claim that “everybody” wanted abortion to be decided by states clashes with the current  GOP party platform , which was crafted in 2016 and re-adopted in 2020 amid the Covid pandemic. That platform calls on Congress to enact a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Trump is doubling down on the messaging that he wants abortion to be back to the states, and he is now saying he would not block access to the abortion pill. But the Biden campaign’s strategy is to tell voters that Trump should not be trusted and that if given the opportunity it would ban abortion nationwide.

Trump says he supports access to abortion pill

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The second question came from Bash, directed to Trump: "As president, would you want abortion medication?"

"First of all, the Supreme Court just approved the abortion bill, and I agree with their decision to have done that," Trump said.

He said he also believes in exceptions for abortion.

"I believe in the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I think it’s very important," Trump said.

But the Supreme Court didn’t approve the abortion pill. It said the people who sued didn’t have standing, and so it dismissed the case. That doesn’t mean the court condones the pill or will dismiss a future lawsuit.

In fact, not “everybody” wanted to send the issue of abortion access back to the states, as Trump claimed, as evidenced by the ways Democrats have tried — and failed because of congressional realities — to codify Roe at the federal level.

Biden stumbles while speaking about his work on health care

As he was hitting Trump for his administration's tax cuts and arguing that taxing billionaires would eliminate the deficit and fund "child care [and] elder care," Biden stumbled, saying, "Making sure that we're able to make every single solitary person eligible for what I was able to do with the Covid — excuse me — with dealing with everything we have to do with — look — if we finally beat Medicare."

After the question was redirected to Trump, the former president instantly picked up on Biden's stumble, saying, "He's right. He did beat Medicare. He beat it to death, and he's destroying Medicare."

Fact check: Biden did not inherit 9% inflation

"He also said he inherited 9% inflation. Now, he inherited almost no inflation, and it stayed that way for 14 months, and then it blew up under his leadership," Trump said about Biden.

The inflation rate when Biden took office in January 2021 was not 9%. It was 1.4%. It has risen on his watch, peaking at about 9.1% in June 2022, but by last month had come down to 3.3%. Pandemic-related stimulus policies put in place by both Trump and Biden were blamed, in part, for the rise in the inflation rate.

Double hater: 'This is going to be hilarious'

As Biden and Trump walked on the stage, Seth Anderson-Oberman said, “It’s insane that these are our two candidates.”

William Latif Little, who voted for Biden in 2020 and is not sure whom he is voting this time around, said, “This is going to be hilarious”

William Latif Little sits and watches

Why is Biden's voice so hoarse?

Biden has been off the campaign trail and out of public view for days. He’s had a chance to conserve his speaking voice while sequestered at Camp David, prepping for tonight.

So it’s a bit surprising to hear how hoarse he sounds tonight. Whatever points he makes could get lost if viewers have trouble hearing them.

Double hater buries her head in her hands as Biden stumbles over answer

As Biden stumbled while talking about Medicare, Denise Lewis, a double hater from Scottsdale, Arizona, buried her head in her hands.

Denise Lewis puts a hand over her face

Biden skates over Kabul bombing in claim about military deaths

Biden tried to attack Trump on national security by claiming he was the only president in recent history "that doesn't have any troops dying anywhere in the world, like [Trump] did."

Not only is that not true, but it tries to sidestep a potentially significant political weakness for Biden: his administration's oversight of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"When he was president, they were still killing people in Afghanistan. He didn't do anything about that," Biden said.

"The truth is, I'm the only president this century that doesn't have any, this this decade, that doesn't [have] any troops dying anywhere in the world like he did."

That's not true. But even if accidents and other non-wartime deaths aren't included, Defense Department statistics show 13 deaths by hostile action in 2021 — the 13 killed in the August 2021 attack at the Kabul International Airport. It's true that the Trump administration set in motion the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but that attack happened during Biden's presidency.

Not only was this a dark period in the Biden White House, the Afghanistan withdrawal was a politically difficult period for Biden, as polling showed his post-inauguration honeymoon ending amid criticism of the handling of the withdrawal.

Candidates go toe-to-toe on inflation

When Trump was asked whether a tariff he proposed would raise costs, he said no. He then turned on Biden, saying he inherited nearly no inflation.

Moments earlier, Biden hit Trump for job loss during his term, reiterating one of his go-to campaign trail lines by comparing him to Great Depression-era President Herbert Hoover.

When Biden took office in January 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found, all items increased by 1.4% before seasonal adjustment.

Biden's voice is noticeably hoarse

The president sounded like he needed a drink of water almost as soon as he started speaking, setting a subdued mood during his opening remarks in a debate at which many had anticipated yelling.

First question goes to Biden on the economy

The first question came from Tapper, directed to Biden: "Since you took office, the price of essentials has increased. For example, a basket of groceries that cost $100 then now costs more than $120, and typical home prices have jumped more than 30%. What do you say to voters who feel they are worse off under your presidency than they were under President Trump?"

Biden answered by hitting Trump's leadership during Covid and the economic downturn that came as a result of the virus.

Biden and Trump don't shake hands

Biden and Trump did not shake hands, bucking the traditional way candidates have opened debates. As Trump walked onstage, after Biden, he barely looked at his opponent.

They did not shake hands in 2020 because of Covid concerns.

Undecided Black Pennsylvania voters say they want economy addressed in debate

Nikki haley voters ponder their options.

Nikki Haley voters may be struggling with their options tonight.

So many of them — in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond — told NBC News the moment they could no longer support Trump was his actions on and around Jan. 6, 2021, be they the election denialism that led to the riot or his hours of inaction as it unfolded.

Many said they would never vote for him again after, in some cases, having voted for him twice, in 2016 and 2020. To those voters, Biden’s focus on democracy is important and could help them make a pick. 

But that doesn’t mean it assuages their concerns about Biden, either, particularly given many of their other ideological differences. It’s a paradox voters have grappled with for months — and it's coming to a head as the general election nears.

Black voters in Philadelphia sound off on what they're hoping to hear tonight

Anthony Terrell

Reporting from From a debate watch party in Philadelphia

Both Biden and Trump are looking to win over Black voters in Philadelphia to secure their paths to victory. NBC News is watching the debate with a group of Black voters at The Cigar Code in Philadelphia.

All three of the voters cast their ballots for Biden in 2020. This time around, only one of them is currently supporting the president.

William Latif Little is one of those undecided voters who says this debate could be a deciding factor for him. The issue at the front of his mind is the economy — specifically, housing and gas prices.

Cherron Perry-Thomas plans to vote for Biden in November. She said, “There aren’t that many other choices for this [election].”

Perry-Thomas made it clear that Trump is “not an option,” adding she is concerned about some of the think groups supporting him.

Seth Anderson-Oberman voted uncommitted in the Pennsylvania primary and is disappointed with how Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas war.

“[Biden] is not using his full power to push for a cease-fire and peace, and I really need to see that,” Anderson-Oberman said.

The economy is also at the top of his mind.

"I need Biden and the Democratic Party to acknowledge that the economy is not great for working people,” he said. Anderson-Oberman said he feels “gaslit by Democratic Party, who is telling us the economy is great and there are no problems.”

It's 9 p.m. ET

The debate is about to get underway. Follow along for live coverage and analysis.

Lara Trump on her father-in-law's veep pick: 'He's told some people'

Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump toyed with the prospect of her father-in-law's vice presidential running mate pick shortly before the debate, telling NBC News: "He's told some people."

Asked by NBC News' Tom Llamas on NBC News NOW's debate pre-show whether she knew whom her father-in-law would pick, Trump responded: "Maybe, maybe not. We play it pretty close in the Trump family."

When Llamas replied by asking, "He's already told people, then?" Lara Trump replied: "He's told some people, yeah."

Biden mocks Trump's baseless claims about drugs

Biden took a swipe at Trump's baseless allegations that the president may be on drugs during the debate.

"I don’t know what they’ve got in these performance enhancers, but I’m feeling pretty jacked up," Biden said in a post on X with pictures of him holding a branded can of water. "Try it yourselves, folks."

A close up of a hand holding a can of water that says "Zero malarkey. Biden. Dark Brandon's secret sauce. Get real, Jack. It's just water."

The Biden campaign is now selling the water cans labeled as "Dark Brandon's Secret Sauce," nodding at the meme embraced by the campaign.

"The secret to a good debate performance? Staying hydrated," the campaign's website says. "Get yourself the same performance enhancers Joe Biden took before going on stage. 100% water, zero malarkey."

How Biden could counter Trump on inflation

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Inflation is slowing down, now around a 3.3% annual rate after having reached more than 9% in 2022. Still, grocery prices and shelter costs are more than 20% higher since December 2019, right before the pandemic hit. And Biden has paid a price in the polls, in which voters have regularly given Trump an overwhelming edge. So expect Trump to unload on Biden when it comes to inflation.

But Biden is likely to counter that a second Trump term could pour more gasoline on a so-far subsiding inflation fire. This week, 16 Nobel Prize-winning economists warned that Trump's goals — such as lower taxes on corporations, jacked-up tariffs on imported goods from trade partners and a Federal Reserve chair who favors low interest rates — would create more affordability problems for Americans.

Indeed, the Biden campaign has already seized on the economists' missive this week: "Top economists, Nobel Prize winners, and business leaders all know America can’t afford Trump’s dangerous economic agenda."

More inflation data is due tomorrow morning, by the way. The personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation, hits at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Double hater: Trump and Biden haven't addressed homelessness

Jillian Wilson, 30, who hates both candidates and worries tonight’s debate will be a “hot mess,” said she hopes Biden and Trump discuss the issues affecting her community in Phoenix.

Jillian Wilson.

“I hope they talk about the cost of living and homelessness,” Wilson said.

“Here in Phoenix, you see people laying on the ground in front of the buildings, in front of businesses, at the train stop, at the bus stops. It’s too hot for people to just be on the streets out here,” she said on a 106-degree day in the Arizona capital.

Wilson is disgruntled that she hasn’t heard from Biden and Trump about their plans to tackle the homelessness crisis.

“I don’t think they talk about it at all,” she said.

Corey Lewandowski: Trump won’t let Biden trigger him

Reporting from the debate in Atlanta

Longtime adviser Corey Lewandowski, who flew with Trump to the debate, said moments before it began that the ex-president won’t let Biden get inside his head and provoke him, as NBC News has reported he will try to do .

“It reminds me of Tom Brady at the Super Bowl," Lewandowski told NBC News. "The other teams always think they’re going to get in his head — they’re going to do some trick play and they’re going to get to him — but the greats always play great. And tonight is a night that’s a big game night, and Donald Trump is ready for it."

“I don’t think there’s anything that Joe Biden could do or say there’s going to throw Donald Trump off his game," he added.

Elise Stefanik posts photo with some rumored running mate contenders — with one notable exception

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House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., posted a photo on her X account moments ago, showing a gaggle of close Trump allies and potential vice presidential running mate contenders gathered in Atlanta ahead of tonight’s debate. 

Visible toward the center of the group is former GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who is hosting a watch party fundraiser tonight.

One notable absence from the picture: Burgum. The governor is however expected to be in the spin room tonight on behalf of the Trump campaign. 

Expect Black unemployment to come up tonight

Atlanta is a bastion of Black entrepreneurship and culture , so expect Trump to use his economic pitch to keep up his attempts to pick off Black voters , who traditionally vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Under Trump, the Black unemployment rate fell from 7.5% when he took office in January 2017 to 5.3% in the late summer of 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . That was months before Covid forced millions out of work — disproportionately affecting Black workers.

Biden, meanwhile, can point to the fact that Black unemployment fell to an all-time low of 4.8% in April 2023 after having been as high as 10.2% in April 2021, according to the BLS. The rate has since ticked up, however, to 6.1% last month.

Biden could claim another win, as well. During his administration, as he has routinely pushed for good-paying union jobs, Black union membership rose to 2.26 million as of 2023, according to the BLS. The figure stood at 2.21 million during Trump's first year in office, 2017, and fell during his tenure to 2.06 million in 2020.

Vivek Ramaswamy: Trump ‘has not asked me to be his vice president’

Lindsey Pipia

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said tonight that Trump has not asked him be his running mate .

"We’ve had a lot of conversations about the future. He has not asked me to be his vice president," Ramaswamy said. "Whoever he asks is going to have, I think, a remarkable ability to serve this country and taking that America First agenda even further."

Double hater: Trump's a 'loudmouth' and Biden won't realize if his mic's off

Denise Lewis, 57, is a double hater from Scottsdale, Arizona, who’s leaning toward writing her own name in come November.

Denise Lewis sits

Lewis doesn’t believe CNN’s mute button will have any effect on the outcome of the debate.

“He’s [a] loudmouth. You’ll be able to hear him,” Lewis said of Trump.

“You never know. He might walk over and go to Biden’s mic,” she said.

As for Biden, Lewis thinks he might not even realize his mic has been cut.

“Biden’s not going to realize that his mic is turned off, and then he has to stop talking,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be just awful,” she predicted pessimistically.

Former Nikki Haley voters hoping for 'substance' in tonight's debate

The New Hampshire Primary helped solidify Trump’s path to the Republican nomination while also making it clear that many Republican and independent voters were looking for an alternative in Nikki Haley. So what are those New Hampshire Haley voters watching for during the debate tonight?

Eric Garland, of Ebson, says he wants to see “substance, not theatrics.” He added, "If this becomes a circus, like four years ago, pretty sure Haley voters will turn it off."

Garland, who is leaning toward not voting for either Biden or Trump, made it clear he believes Trump could lose the election if he upsets Haley voters this evening. Garland agrees with Trump’s policies but not his character, and he is debating whether to “vote for the lesser of two evils or write in another in protest [vote]."

Dawn Brockett, of Hampton, says she is “looking for one of them to wow me with intelligence, decorum and substance.”

She plans to write someone in. Asked whether Trump or Biden can do anything to change her mind tonight, she said: “My mind is made up. I don’t like either candidate. The debate, for me, is an opportunity for one of them to talk to me and change my mind. I am doubtful that will happen.”

ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot repeat false debate claim

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Two of the most popular generative AI products, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot, regurgitated false information about tonight's debate just hours after it first appeared online and  was debunked .

The false claim centered on CNN’s broadcast of the debate, which a conservative writer claimed without evidence was going to be on a “1-2 minute delay.” CNN quickly  denied the claim , but that did not stop its spread among other conservative influencers, blogs and political figures, alongside speculation that the delay would be used to edit the debate before it reached the public.

Biden campaign tops best hour of fundraising — one hour later

The 6-to-7 p.m. hour was the Biden campaign's best grassroots fundraising hour of the 2024 campaign — besting the 5-to-6 p.m. hour, which had been the record hour for grassroots fundraising, according to a campaign official.

The hour-by-hour fundraising updates from the Biden campaign come as Trump's campaign has experienced a windfall of grassroots donations recently , particularly since Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts in New York last month.

The Gavin Newsom show arrives

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Gavin Newsom speaks to a reporter

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a top Biden surrogate, held court in the spin room before tonight’s debate, chasing away disparagements of Biden and unleashing a series of criticisms of Trump.

“This has an impact around the globe. This is about electing the leader of the free world. America matters. It’s about our moral authority, not just our formal authority,” Newsom said.

“You got someone that brings a moral voice in the work as president and someone that did just the opposite and has no moral compass whatsoever,” he added.

Newsom answered questions for so long that his spokeswoman tried to cut the Q&A session off five times. Finally, on the sixth warning, Newsom walked away.

Top Biden official explains why campaign bucked bipartisan debate committee

Michael Tyler, the Biden campaign's communications director, told NBC News that the campaign had a number of "issues" with the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debat e, explaining why it agreed to pull out of the compact, which has hosted every presidential debate since 1988.

Tyler told NBC News Now that the main grievances included that Americans wouldn't have "the opportunity to hear from the candidates before they actually cast their ballots," because the CPD debates didn't begin until after early voting windows opened in some states.

Tyler also panned previous debates as "spectacles," specifically accusing Trump of showing up to the first debate in 2020 "with Covid, trying to interrupt the president [Biden], trying to use these like a spectacle."

Trump revealed shortly after the first debate in 2020 that he had tested positive for Covid. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows wrote in his book that Trump tested positive three days before the debate but subsequently tested negative, which Trump called "fake news" in a 2021 statement.

Biden and Trump agreed to two debates this cycle, pulling the rug out from under the bipartisan CPD and making tonight's debate the first general election presidential debate not to be conducted by the body in 40 years.

Why Kennedy isn’t on the stage tonight

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is spending debate night doing his own thing on X (formerly known as Twitter) instead of onstage with Trump and Biden.

Why? Because the independent presidential hopeful fell short of the criteria CNN established for the event, which mainly required candidates to prove they had ballot access in enough states to mathematically win the presidency and to hit 15% in at least four polls recognized by the network.

Kennedy fell one poll and more than 100 electoral votes short, although he could have a better chance to make ABC's debate in September if he doesn't suffer any ballot access setbacks and can secure enough support in the polls. (Other candidates were even further from making the debate than Kennedy was.)

While Kennedy has cried foul and sought to petition the Federal Election Commission to intervene, he finds himself on the outside looking in tonight.

Biden campaign has its best hour of fundraising

The 5-to-6 p.m. hour before the start of the debate was the “best fundraising hour of the entire campaign,” a Biden campaign official told NBC News.

It raised more money during that hour than any other, including during its launch, Biden’s State of the Union speech this year and the Trump verdict, the official said.

The source argued that it validates the campaign’s belief that many voters, including likely Biden supporters, have yet to fully engage with the campaign.

Biden campaign communications director to accompany him on the trail

The Biden campaign's communications director, Michael Tyler, will travel on Air Force One alongside the president as he hits the campaign trail after the debate, the campaign told NBC News.

By deploying campaign staffers to travel with Biden, the Biden-Harris team expects to fill an information gap because “as we get closer to the election, more and more daily conversation is around the election and the politics of the campaign.” 

According to Biden campaign aides, this updated communications strategy will happen with a “regular cadence” but not a set schedule, “as the president is doing more political travel and when it makes sense.” A “rotation” of campaign communicators will participate.

Under a law known as the Hatch Act, federal employees are not permitted to carry out campaign work, including discussing the politics of the election. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who typically flies with Biden on Air Force One and Marine One, is barred from discussing campaign issues as a federal worker. Having Tyler travel with Biden will allow the campaign to answer questions directly while Jean-Pierre handles matters involving the administration's official business.

Costs for the use of Air Force One, such as airfare, meals and expenses in using government-owned aircraft, will be paid by the Biden-Harris campaign to relieve taxpayers, campaign officials said.

Biden has the chance to be the first Democrat to confront Trump over Jan. 6

Trump is likely to be confronted for the first time by an elected Democrat over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and his role in it when he squares off with Biden.

It wouldn't be the first time he has been pressed about the matter, given that he has dealt with questions from reporters. But Trump hasn't had to deal with a political opponent confronting him face to face on the subject.

Given that Jan. 6 and Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election are at the center of Biden's campaign messaging, it's likely the president will raise the issue early and often.

Trump avoided an earlier potential direct confrontation over Jan. 6 when he defied a subpoena issued by the House Jan. 6 committee. He has been indicted by special counsel Jack Smith over his role in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election that culminated in the Jan. 6 attack; he pleaded not guilty, but that case has yet to go to trial.

No Biden signs in spin room

The Biden campaign plans to forgo the typical postdebate spin room free-for-all by ditching the traditional cardboard signs used to identify surrogates and by also cutting down on their speaking time.

A campaign official says the plan is to send in a team of its top surrogates to deliver brief statements and take just a few questions before they leave. They’ll stand as a group and speak one at a time. 

The goal is to focus on substance and not spectacle, the official said.

'Double hater' predicts ‘hot mess’

A Phoenix woman who could be considered a “double hater” because of her frustration with both major-party choices in the presidential election predicted “a hot mess” at tonight’s debate, telling NBC News she hopes the candidates stick to issues rather than lean into personal attacks. 

“Like, what about what you’re doing for the people? I don’t care about you guys as gossips between each other,” Jillian Wilson, 30, said.

Wilson also described Biden as “tired” and “not being all the way there” and Trump as “off the wall,” anticipating that he would be “basically saying a whole bunch of nothing.”

Tonight's debate the first in 40 years not sponsored by Commission on Presidential Debates

Why is tonight different from all other nights? For starters, this will be the first presidential general election debate since the 1984 presidential cycle not sponsored by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

While the first televised presidential debate took place during the 1960 election, there were none during the next three presidential races. So after three more cycles when debate negotiations were left up to the campaigns themselves, the CPD took the reins of the debate process in 1988, according to a history published by the group . The goal was to take the negotiations out of the hands of the campaigns, guaranteeing the American people would see debates and farming out the discussion about the rules and criteria to the commission.

But both the Biden and Trump camps soured on the CPD after the last cycle — the Republican National Committee withdrew from the debates in 2022 and accused it of bias, and the two sides ultimately agreed to debates this cycle not sanctioned by the CPD .

The CPD has defended its role in the process, and it initially announced it would move forward with its plans to hold four debates as planned. But Monday, the CPD said it would release the four college campuses that were picked to hold its debates from their contracts.

Here's whom the Biden campaign will host in the postdebate spin room

The Biden campaign is planning for more than a dozen campaign officials and surrogates to represent the president's re-election bid in the spin room after the debate.

Biden surrogates in the spin room will include Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas; Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.; and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Not only are these leaders some of the most effective, trusted voices on the President’s agenda, they also represent our broad, diverse coalition — and will help make sure our message gets to the voters who will decide this election," said Biden communications director Michael Tyler in a statement.

Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, will also be in the spin room. She has forcefully denounced her uncle, saying he “cannot be trusted.”

In a first, the campaign will also host a handful of content creators and influencers.

Top Biden campaign officials will be in the spin room, including Tyler, Quentin Fulks and Rob Flaherty.

Biden posts pictures with supporters ahead of debate

The president posted photos on X of him meeting with supporters before tonight's debate.

Suspect in Arizona election center theft is also a suspect in a burglary at the Arizona State Capitol

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the temporary election worker  connected to the theft of a key and a fob from a Maricopa County tabulation and election center is also the suspect in a burglary at the Arizona State Capitol. The suspect, Walter Alphonso Jamel Ringfield Jr., was arrested June 21.

At a news conference Tuesday, county Board of Supervisors member Bill Gates and Sheriff Russ Skinner provided new details about the alleged theft of a key and a fob from a ballot tabulation center last week. 

The new conference laid out the timeline: The key, the fob and a lanyard were taken from the tabulation center on June 20, and Ringfield was arrested after it became clear that the key and the fob had disappeared and security camera video was examined. 

They said Tuesday that they had yet to identify a motive and that while there’s no evidence the theft was politically motivated, they’re not ruling it out. No one other than Ringfield has been identified in connection with the case. 

In a response to NBC News’ question Tuesday about the potential for the theft to spur a new wave of Maricopa County election-related conspiracies, Gates responded: “We have been subjected to many conspiracy theories over the past few years, which had been debunked time and time again. I certainly hope that people don’t take this incident to spin up new conspiracy theories.” 

Mary Trump: Biden is 'the best president of my lifetime'

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Vaughn Hillyard

The former president's niece, Mary Trump, told NBC News that she believes Biden is "the best president of my lifetime" when she was asked why she is attending the debate.

Mary Trump is joining the Biden campaign in the postdebate spin room.

Biden "had to do so much just to make up for all the egregious assaults on America that my uncle committed, and Donald Trump should never be allowed near the levers of power ever again," she said. "And I just want to do my part.”

Trump exits plane with plenty of advisers but no family

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Jake Traylor

Trump got off his plane around 5:36 p.m. ET, walking down the steps to cheers from his supporters on the ground. He pointed and pumped his fist and then walked to his car — not stopping to make remarks or take questions from reporters.

No other people walked off the plane’s front steps behind Trump. Exiting by the back steps were 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, longtime adviser Dan Scavino, adviser and RNC official Chris LaCivita, senior campaign adviser Susie Wile, campaign adviser Jason Miller, communications aide Margo Martin, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, spokesman Steven Cheung, political director James Blair and deputy campaign manager David Bossie.

NBC News did not spot any of Trump's family members or rumored running mate contenders getting off the plane with him. The motorcade started rolling at 5:38 p.m. ET.

Trump lands in Georgia, briefly greets supporters

Trump exited his plane shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET to the cheers of supporters.

He pumped his fist a few times as supporters chanted his name.

The former president then entered his motorcade.

Steven Cheung, Jason Miller, Susie Wiles, Chris LaCivita and other senior officials exited the plane. Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., were also seen getting off the plane.

Will Biden call Trump a felon onstage? Top campaign official says: 'If the shoe fits'

Biden may refer to Trump as a "convicted felon" onstage tonight, Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of Biden’s re-election campaign, told Hallie Jackson in an interview on "NBC Nightly News."

"I don’t think he’s going to gratuitously throw it out there," Richmond said. "He’s called Donald Trump a felon before, so I don’t think that he wouldn’t do it. And if the shoe fits, you wear it, and former President Trump is a convicted felon."

Tune in to NBC Nightly News at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT for more (or check local listings).

Debate spin room to include top VP contenders for Trump

Some of the top contenders to join Trump on the GOP ticket this fall will be in the spin room after tonight's debate: Burgum, Rubio, Vance and Scott.

NBC News has reported that Trump is focused on Burgum, Vance and Rubio as a potential running mate.

Others in the spin room for Trump will include campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles, as well as Stephen Miller, a White House adviser during the Trump administration.

Trump arrives in Atlanta ahead of the debate

Trump's plane has touched down in Atlanta. His plane was greeted by cheering fans decked out in MAGA gear.

Melania Trump's former chief of staff says it would be 'very surprising' if she doesn't attend

It's unclear whether former first lady Melania Trump will attend the debate.

Her former New Jersey chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NBC News today that it would be "very surprising if she didn't attend."

"While Melania can be scarce for regular campaign events, she knows the importance (and significance) of being supportive as a spouse by attending events such as a presidential debate," Grisham said in a text message.

Kristen Welker: 5 things to watch for in the first 2024 presidential debate

The first 2024 debate between Biden and Trump will provide plenty of moments of opportunity and potential peril for both candidates. As the moderator of Biden and Trump’s last debate, I will be watching for some particular exchanges that could sway the small group of undecided voters who will be decisive in the election.

I’ll also be looking for how the rules of tonight’s debate affect how their performances appear to voters and whether that setup introduces new opportunities or perils for them. The decision to completely mute the candidates’ microphones when the other is talking, for instance, is a shift from the first 2020 debate, when insults and interruptions dominated.

Partygoers near debate hall rally to 'Make America DRUNK Again'

Reporting from Atlanta

The Biden-Trump debate hall is right next to a frat house, where they are partying under a sign that reads “Make America DRUNK Again.”

People can be seen partying in a house under a banner that says "Make America DRUNK Again"

Trump's niece says 'he must be stopped'

The former president's niece, Mary Trump, slammed her uncle in a statement, saying she has seen his "narcissism and cruelty" her whole life.

"I’m in Atlanta tonight to remind everyone who Donald is as a person and how he would rule as a president because the stakes are far too high for us to get this wrong: We cannot afford to allow Donald Trump anywhere near the levers of power again," she said.

Mary Trump will join the Biden campaign in the spin room after the debate.

She said Trump is "desperate for power" and wants to regain it "purely for his own benefit."

"He must be stopped," she said.

Jill Biden lands in Georgia ahead of debate

Sydney Carruth Sydney Carruth is a digital assistant for NBC News.

Caryn Littler

First lady Jill Biden touched down at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta this afternoon less than five hours before her husband is scheduled to debate Trump in Atlanta. She was greeted in Marietta by a group that included Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chair Robb Pitts; Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens; former state Sen. Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter; and Cobb County of Commissioners Chair Lisa Cupid.

House Republicans advance contempt resolution for Biden's ghostwriter

The House Judiciary Committee voted this afternoon in support of a resolution that would hold Biden's ghostwriter in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over documents and other materials tied to his work on the president's memoirs.

The GOP-led panel advanced the measure targeting Mark Zwonitzer in a party-line vote. The next step would be the House floor, where it must be approved before it can be sent to the Justice Department for further action.

The committee said it had first requested documents and communications related to Biden’s memoirs — “Promise Me, Dad” and “Promises to Keep” — in February, days after special counsel Robert Hur released his report  declining to recommend charges against Biden  over his handling of classified documents. The committee in March issued a subpoena that the panel said was challenged by Zwonitzer’s attorney.

Fact-check: Is there a lengthy delay on tonight’s debate?

On social media and right-wing blogs, the claim that tonight’s debate will be broadcast on a “1-2 minute delay” has been viewed millions of times and shared among influential conservative accounts, including by the former president's oldest son,  Donald Trump Jr . The claim has been accompanied by conspiracy theories that the broadcast would be edited to the advantage or disadvantage of one candidate.

“BREAKING: CNN will implement a 1-2 minute delay for tonight’s presidential debate instead of the standard 7-second delay, potentially allowing time to edit parts of the broadcast,” conservative X personality Patrick Webb wrote in a viral post that has over 1 million views. Post on X

CNN spokesperson Emily Kuhn said no intentional delay will be programmed into the tonight’s debate.

Delays are sometimes intentionally introduced to programming that’s billed as “live,” such as some award-shows, but there is no consistent standard practice across network. A “7-second delay” is common on live TV programming, but CNN insists none will be used in this debate.

Trump criticizes CNN ahead of the debate

Trump criticized CNN yesterday afternoon when he was asked during a roundtable event whether he thought he would get a fair shot from debate moderators tonight.

"Well, I think you’re looking good for them if they did it. I think probably not," Trump said, adding, "So, am I going to get a fair — probably not — but it would be very good for CNN."

He said he thought "it’d be very good for CNN, actually, in terms of its credibility.”

He called into the roundtable, which his campaign hosted in Atlanta.

Biden, Trump campaigns recruiting rappers to support them

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Rebecca Shabad

Both major presidential campaigns are recruiting rappers to support them. As first reported by The Shade Room, rappers Fat Joe and E-40 will join Biden and first lady Jill Biden at their postdebate campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, tomorrow.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has  been enlisting rappers  to attend its events in battleground states as it seeks to win over more Black voters.

Biden greets supporters in Atlanta

Biden has arrived in Atlanta for tonight's debate. He stopped outside and shook hands with supporters who were gathered on an Atlanta street outside the hotel where he is staying.

Trump skips traditional debate preparations

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Dasha Burns

With just hours left until he faces Biden on the debate stage, sources close to Trump told NBC News he remains “confident and relaxed” and expects to emerge victorious this evening so long as "CNN doesn't put their thumb on the scale."

Rather than stage mock debate rehearsals, like the ones Biden has been holding at Camp David, Maryland, for the last week, Trump advisers have said he prefers to prepare in informal settings with aides.

They said Trump frequently makes his case at rallies, fundraisers and other events on the campaign trail. He prefers not to test out his best lines even in informal settings, to avoid sounding rote on the debate stage, sources said.

Trump echoed that sentiment in a Newsmax interview this week , saying, “I think I’ve been preparing for it for my whole life, if you want to know the truth, and I’m not sure you can lock yourself into a room for two weeks or one week or two days and really learn what you have to know.”

Trump's mystery running mate expected to attend the debate, but unclear if Melania Trump will be there

At a campaign stop in Philadelphia on Saturday, Trump told NBC News he has already decided on his vice presidential running mate pick. That person will be at the debate in Atlanta tonight, according to Trump.

Sources close to some of Trump’s top vice presidential contenders — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Sens. JD Vance of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida — have confirmed they will attend the debate, but none has been spotted at the debate campus in Atlanta as of this afternoon.

It remains unclear whether Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, will be there. The former first lady has not campaigned alongside her husband yet this year.

First lady Jill Biden, who has been a consistent presence on the Biden campaign trail this season, will greet her husband onstage once the debate concludes.

Donald Trump Jr. will not attend because of a family commitment involving his oldest daughter, according to a source familiar with his plans. Eric Trump is not expected to be in Atlanta for the debate, but his wife, Lara Trump, will attend in her official capacity as Republican National Committee co-chair. 

The RNC is hosting a watch party fundraiser in Atlanta because the debate is being held in a closed studio.

Election latest: Starmer calls for 'summer of change'; Davey bungee jumps off a crane - as campaign enters final straight

Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are beginning a frantic final few days of campaigning as polling day rapidly approaches. Meanwhile, Ed Davey bungee jumped off a crane in his latest campaign stunt.

Monday 1 July 2024 10:33, UK

Election essentials

Taking questions from the media, Sir Keir Starmer is asked by our political editor Beth Rigby whether he worries about his own popularity if he enters Number 10.

Is he concerned that his mandate could be wide - but shallow?

The Labour leader says he "stands by" his record.

He adds: "I stand on my record - four and a half years ago when I took over as leader of the Labour Party I got similar questions.

"Which is - your party has lost really badly, it may never win an election again... are you capable as leader of the Labour Party of pulling it around and seriously putting it before the electorate as a credible force for change.

"And I said yes."

He says Labour is a changed party, claiming his "track record as a leader is clear".

Beth comes back, asking if a pillow handed out to journalists by the Labour Party today is what he sleeps on at night.

The pillows are printed with a mocked-up photo of the prime minister in bed and the words "Don't wake up to five more years of the Tories".

Sir Keir laughs: "No."

He goes on to say: "A very, very good pillow for us to have across the country."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is in Hertfordshire today, where he is addressing those gathered at a campaign event.

He says: "We have one job - which is to make this a summer of change."

The Labour leader says the Labour campaign, this "fight for change", is for the people of the UK - but "change only happens if you vote for it".

"This is the final mile, these are the last hard yards - but the last steps are always the hardest," Sir Keir adds. 

"We have to remember that people need convincing, there are undecided voters out there.

"We need to convince people that change is possible."

Sir Keir was joined by Alistair Strathern, the Labour candidate for Hitchin.

The Labour leader says: "The choice is stark, the prize is huge in terms of taking our country forward - but it will only happen if you vote for it."

The other candidates for Hitchin are:

Sir Ed Davey has continued his out-of-the-box campaigning by bungee-jumping from a crane this morning. 

The Liberal Democrat leader has helped raise the party's profile by taking part in a series of stunts - including falling off his paddle board and riding on a roller coaster.

Interestingly, Henry Morris, who runs the Secret Tory parody X account, posted weeks ago predicting this very stunt...

You can see how the polls are looking ahead of the election here...

Adrian Ramsay, the co-leader of the Green Party, says his MPs would "push" a potential Labour government "to be bolder" on climate.

He says the party is expecting a "record" result at the election on 4 July.

Mr Ramsay adds: "We are on track to having a Labour government with a big majority. 

"Well, rather than adding to that majority further or electing another Conservative MP to add to their numbers, it would make a far bigger difference if people elect green MPs who can bring diversity of views into this next parliament."

The party co-leader insists that this would push the next government "to be bolder".

He says the Greens would "move Keir Starmer beyond the U-turns he's been making on climate and on funding for public services".

"And that's why we're on track to having a record green result of this election."

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says there's a conspiracy of silence at this election - that all of the major political parties aren't being honest enough about their fiscal plans.

And it has a point. Most obviously (and this is the main thing the IFS is complaining about) none of the major manifestos - from  Labour , the  Liberal Democrats  and the  Conservative  parties - have been clear about how they will fill an impending black hole in the government's spending plans.

No need to go into all the gritty details, but the overarching point is that all government spending plans include some broad assumptions about how much spending (and for that matter, taxes and economic growth) will grow in the coming years. Economists call this the "baseline".

But there's a problem with this baseline - it assumes quite a slow increase in overall government spending in the next four years, an average of about 1 per cent a year after accounting for inflation. 

Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates and Politico's Jack Blanchard with their guide to the election day ahead. 

This is day 40 of the campaign. Jack and Sam look at where the parties are now as the election approaches, with Labour’s attack ads and the Conservatives pushing back against Reform UK. Plus, the reaction to the first round of the French elections which has seen the far-right make significant headway.

Email Jack and Sam: [email protected]

👉 Tap here to follow Politics at Jack and Sam's wherever you get your podcasts 👈

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, has insisted that the election isn't over until "the final whistle blows" as politicians gear up for polling day.

Labour has consistently been 20 points ahead of the Conservatives throughout the six-week campaign, with all pollsters pointing to a victory on Thursday.

But despite this, the party has continued to emphasise that it will fight for every vote.

Mr Ashworth said: "There's an election on Thursday, and if people want to bring an end to the chaos, to the scandals from the party in Number 10 to the insider gambling scandals, if people have had enough of being stuck on an NHS waiting list, if people who've had enough of having their family finances hammered and pay more on their mortgage, they've got to come out and vote Labour.

"Don't wake up, don't switch on Sky News on Friday morning and hear that Rishi Sunak has been re-elected. 

"If you don't want that, we don't want that feeling in the pit of your stomach."

He does on to explain that there are still "a lot of undecided voters".

"But let me give you some meat," Mr Ashworth adds.

"We're going to deliver 40,000 extra appointments in the National Health Service. 

"We are going to help young people get on the housing ladder by significant reforms to planning."

By Tom Cheshire , online campaign correspondent 

If you want a good idea of what matters to each party - its deepest desires, its darkest fears - look at where it's spending money.

What it shows is a story of Labour spending big and spending everywhere, as it pursues a plausible supermajority, while the Conservatives retreat to fight for some of their heartland constituencies, and spend much less. 

It shows the current state of play for all parties across the country. The map shows which is the biggest spender in each constituency - which parts of the country they're fighting to win, or not to lose.

The map was created by Who Targets Me (WTM), which tracks digital political advertising and has partnered with Sky News as part of our online campaign team.

"Our map of advertising activity shows where the parties have targeted their Facebook and Instagram ads in the last week," Sam Jeffers, executive director of WTM, says.

Steve Reed, the shadow environment secretary, just handed out pillows to journalists on the Labour campaign bus - emblazoned with Rishi Sunak's face.

By Nick Martin , people and politics correspondent

"We eat according to price rather than enjoyment," Sarah Bowmer tells me when we meet on the high street of her hometown of Bakewell, Derbyshire.  

It's a sunny day and the tourists have flocked to this picturesque market town in the heart of the Peak District.

Day-trippers wander around the souvenir shop and queues have formed to buy the famous Bakewell pudding, which has made this town famous since the 1820s.

But Sarah isn't feeling it.

Food prices are still 25% more expensive than when I first met Sarah and Paul in 2022. She calls that period the "dark days".

Be the first to get Breaking News

Install the Sky News app for free

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    Show your enthusiasm: Demonstrate your enthusiasm for medicine and your eagerness to learn and contribute to the field. Avoid sounding cliché or insincere. Be concise: Keep your introduction brief and to the point. Remember, you only have a limited amount of space for your personal statement, so use it wisely.

  17. Medical School Personal Statement Advice: 8 Key Factors

    Consider choosing experiences that correlate to some of the following categories. This is by no means an exhaustive list—your own personal statement should reflect your personal experiences. Compassion/passion for patient interaction. Intellectual curiosity for medicine (academics, research, etc.)

  18. "Why Medicine" & "Why Do You Want To Be A Doctor"

    Common answers our Cracking Med School Admissions team hears for "Why Medicine" and "Why do you want to be a doctor" that we strongly advise you to not write: I want to help people. I want to practice culturally-competent care. I want to make a connection with people. I want to improve people's lives. I want to help the underserved.

  19. Medicine Personal Statement Examples 2024

    The personal statement is changing to a series of free text questions for 2026 entry onwards, however it remains unchanged for 2025 entry. Keep an eye on our live updates page for guidance on these changes.. Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to showcase the skills, attributes, and experiences which make you suited to studying medicine. This can be quite a daunting prospect, especially ...

  20. Medicine Personal Statement Examples

    Browse our range of Medicine personal statement examples. Gain inspiration & make sure you're on the right track when writing your own personal statement. Order Prospectus

  21. Medicine Personal Statement Examples

    Medicine Personal Statement Example 1. My love of science is just one of my reasons for choosing to study medicine at university. Medicine Personal Statement Example 2. I have been interested in medicine since childhood. This curiosity began, when at the age of five I saw a video of child birth.

  22. 15 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement : r/premed

    So don't write about your interactions as if you completely changed a patient's life. 14) Rewrite and recheck. Get feedback from various people Get feedback from friends, family, etc. It may not be a bad idea to ask a willing acquaintance for their opinion as well as they'd be less biased.

  23. Medicine Personal Statement Example & Analysis

    Below is an example of a strong medicine personal statement that the Medicine Answered team improved. This medicine personal statement rewarded the applicant with interviews at all four medical schools, helping them to secure four offers. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. A complete analysis follows, showing paragraph by ...

  24. 10 Best Personal Statement Essay Examples

    Discover the 10 best personal statement essay examples to inspire your own writing. Learn what makes these essays stand out and get tips to craft a compelling personal statement. ... The doctor I was shadowing moved with a precision and calm that seemed almost superhuman. Observing the seamless integration of compassion and science, I knew I ...

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    Guy Beahm, the popular streamer best known as Dr Disrespect, has issued a lengthy statement addressing the recent allegations that have emerged over his ban from Twitch in 2020.

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    President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off in the first debate of the 2024 election cycle. It was the first time they'd met since the 2020 campaign.

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    Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are set to begin a frantic final few days of campaigning as polling day rapidly approaches. Both men will today reiterate their core messages as they try to ...