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Make it Personal: How to Make Your Med School Application Stand Out

Do Medical Schools Even Know You Exist?

This guide helps pre-med students prepare their personal statement for the medical school application so they can get interviews and make it to med school.

Everybody Wants to Be a Doctor – So Why You?

The personal statement is a key part of the medical school application. Telling your story may seem simple but you have to try and be unique, cohesive, & compelling to stand out from the ocean of similar minded applicants.

You need to tell your story in a way that answers the question: “Why do you want to become a physician?” While it may seem like a good idea to write about the toy stethoscope you got as a child, that you came from a family of doctors, or that you really want what you do to help people, those answers are some of the most common and are definitely ones that you assessor has read many times before.

To stand out and impress the judges, you want to make it clear that you have a specific goal in mind for your career. You can’t be vague and say you want to help people. Millions want to help people, what can you do and why should anyone believe you?

Why Should Your Future Medical School Care About You?

One client of mine wanted to become a doctor because she is passionate about children. During her time as a pre-med student, she shadowed pediatricians in both the United States and China. In the summers, she worked as a research assistant in a child development lab and during her off time she volunteered to teach social skills to kids suffering from mental illnesses. It was easy for her to translate her skills, experience, & passion into one beautifully cohesive and unique personal statement. After her secondary applications went out, she quickly received invitations to interview at four top-tier medical schools.

Just because she was successful due to her passion for helping children does not mean that you have to follow suit. It does mean that to write a compelling and memorable personal statement you need to have a clear focus along with skills and experiences that support it. If you have the time, you should try and find this passion in the early stages of your pre-med career and build your skills and experiences from there.

Prove Your Value within the Personal Statement

But what if you’re about to start your med school applications and you only just recently found a passion you want to explore? It’s still very possible to write an effective personal statement, though it is a bit harder.

Another of my clients had just started his junior year of pre-med. Even though he didn’t have a planned out story with clear “bullet-point” skills and jobs mapped out, he was able to nail his personal statement. When looking through his experiences we found that there was a common thread woven through them. He had worked as a high-school tutor, advised his classmates on what classes to take, & seemed to have a knack for teaching. So we went over all of this information and he was able to present himself as a pre-med student who didn’t just want to become a doctor, but wanted to use his knowledge to teach. He too received many med school interview requests.

Everyone who applies to med school wants to become a doctor and wants to help people. What makes YOU different and what have YOU done to prove it?

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