So the title was originally going to be called “Personal Statement Tips” but I guess it’s now called Personal Comments. Sounds so weird to me! ANYWAYS, this post will share some tips on arguably one of the most important parts of your medical school application.
Click HERE to see what AAMC has to say about writing your personal comments essay.
How are you supposed to write why you want to be a doctor, how you stand out, what makes you you, what you bring to the table, life experiences, etc. in 5,300 characters?! It’s hard. That’s why my number one tip is to:
- give yourself TIME
It’s currently March and the earliest you can submit your application is June. That is a little under 3 months to write your essay, edit it, completely change it, edit it again, erase half of it, and FINALLY finish it. Seriously though, I changed my essay a ton before I was 100% satisfied with it. That being said, editing is very important…
- have at least one outside person edit your essay
I had my dad tear my essay apart multiple times. It was so difficult because just when you think you have it perfect, there is another flaw. It’s frustrating, you want to cry, but this really is the main part where your voice and unique character is heard. This is how you stand out! Something that I didn’t do, but would have been super helpful…
- write your essay in a text pad or some program that has ZERO formatting.
I wrote mine in word, of course not listening to the AAMC directions above, and then noticed that some commas or periods were weirdly formatting. I had to go through my entire essay erasing every type of punctuation and retyping it. This could have been avoided if I simply followed directions.
Try to remember that by saying you want to be a doctor because you want to help people isn’t groundbreaking. Isn’t that for the most part the reason why all of us want to be doctors?
- think outside the box!!! remember, most people know that you want to become a doctor because you want to help people…
I applied to med school twice, therefore I had two completely different essays. My first essay was about myself doubting if medicine was for me after a troubling volunteering experience, how the experience shaped me, and how I transitioned into knowing medicine was for me. My second essay was about how my love of puzzles and how that transformed and now relates to my belonging in medicine.
Enough about me, remember this essay is all about you. It might feel weird talking about yourself but this is the whole point.
- narrow down your essay to one theme, not all over the place!
One page is all you have so you might feel inclined to list everything that comes to your mind about why you want to be a doctor. I advice that you pick one thing, and really dig deep into it rather than having a million things in your essay.
Writing is tough, but you can do this!!! Hardest part of becoming a doctor is literally just getting in. So if you can do this, you can do anything!