Podcast Episodes

Podcast 42: Writing Your Personal Statement

It’s April 2019 and we are in the heart of the application cycle. A lot of students are putting together their primary application and focusing on their personal statement. Dr. David Flick hosts this episode to give advice about what your personal statement should and shouldn’t contain.

[0:57] Evaluating example personal statements.

Looking at examples can be very informative, but it can also be very misleading. The worst personal statement might get somebody accepted because the rest of their application is stellar, so take every sample with a grain of salt.

[2:04] Beginning a personal statement.

The foundation should be a simple, five-paragraph structure. The introductory paragraph serves to introduce a theme, and there should be creative writing to lure the reader in. For the rest of the body paragraphs, Dr. Flick advises student to stay away from storytelling.

[4:40] The issue of rehashing your activities or resume.

If you’ve already discussed an activity in depth elsewhere, don’t talk about it again in your personal statement.

[5:57] “What motivates you to learn more about medicine?”

Think about what you want to accomplish in medicine. A lot of applicants get caught up in trying to find a unique way of describing why they want to go into medicine, but we all go into medicine for the same reasons: we like science and helping people.

[8:12] Common personal statement approaches that are problematic.

Talking about a family member going through an illness or talking about another doctor’s shortcomings are not useful topics.

[10:17] The conclusion.

You don’t necessarily have to use any creative writing techniques, but you’ll probably want to use an emotional appeal. Don’t focus on the logical reasons of why medicine is the best choice for you, but rather your passion.

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