A personal statement is required in your primary application (i.e. AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS).
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The personal statement accomplishes a variety of goals:
- It explains why you are choosing a career in medicine
- It puts a "face" to your application
- It helps medical schools understand your experiences, interest and values
- Evidence that you understand the realities of medicine
- Your view on why you have chosen a career in medicine
- Your life story - How did you get to this point?
- Your values/experiences - Why is medicine a good fit for you?
- Writing only about medicine and not about yourself
- Not giving yourself enough time to revise multiple drafts
- Cutting and pasting the statement from a Word document into the application, which introduces formatting errors. Make sure to write statement in a text-only program like notepad or directly into the essay
- Not proofing the final draft carefully
- Not being aware of the tone of essay; coming across as arrogant or entitled to a career in medicine
- Relying only on your ideas of medicine and not showing how you tested your decision with experiences
- Writing a personal statement that could apply to any applicant
- Repeating information that can be found elsewhere in the application
- Personal statement workshops are held in winter and spring quarters. They are designed to help you begin the writing process.
- Individual advising appointments are available for preparation and feedback.
- You can review examples of successful personal statements at UAAC, room 305.
- Essay Workshop 101 on studentdoctor.net is a good resource.
- The Writing Place can help with grammar and expression (but not with content).
- If you procrastinate on a personal statement, you delay the whole application process.
- Overwrite at the beginning of the process; any extra material can often be used in secondary applications and preparing for interviews.
- Edit the final draft to 5,300 characters (including spaces) for AMCAS statements (usually a page and a half single spaced).