The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast 76: How to Tackle the Medical School Personal Statement


The medical school personal statement can be daunting, but it is a huge part of your application! Dr. Marinelli breaks the essay down so that you can learn how to craft a compelling and unique personal statement!

[2:30] When to start writing your personal statement.

You don’t want to write it too early, such as when you’re a freshman in college. Wait until you’ve done a lot of extra curricular activities and leadership experiences in order to provide some commentary on them. If you’re applying in June, December is a good time to start writing. The latest time you should start is in April.

[4:09] The introduction.

Most people have written plenty of five-paragraph essays in high school, and Dr. Marinelli suggests the same format: an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. The introduction paragraph needs to be used to catch the committee’s attention and make them want to continue reading. To do this, Dr. Marinelli advises writing an anecdote in the introduction before getting into a thesis statement. You should avoid clichés, such as “I always loved science and working with people.” Even if they’re true, admissions committees won’t get excited about these.

[9:19] The body.

Dr. Marinelli recommends talking about who you are as a person. What is it about you that makes you unique? Tell your own story to the admissions committee. Don’t just repeat what you’ve already said in the activities area of your application. Continue with the theme you established in the introduction and relate it back to you as a person.

[12:35] The conclusion.

Bring the statement back to why you want to become a physician. Everybody’s will be different, but you should at least touch on this desire. You should also summarize and then have a conclusion statement about how you’re sure pursuing medicine is the right path for you. Also, it’s okay for the conclusion paragraph to be only a few sentences.

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