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Successful UCAS Medicine Personal Statement Example & Analysis

An example of a successful medicine personal statement.

Below is an example of a strong medicine personal statement that the Medicine Answered team improved. This medicine personal statement rewarded the applicant with interviews at all four medical schools, helping them to secure four offers. We have kindly been granted permission to post it. A complete analysis follows, showing paragraph by paragraph precisely what makes this medicine personal statement strong and how the multiple weaknesses initially present were corrected. This will help you to do the same and write a powerful medicine personal statement. Note: this medicine personal statement is of an A-level candidate. It is still very relevant to graduates. However, later in this article, we advise specifically on writing a Graduate Entry Medicine personal statement and the critical differences all graduates must consider.

ucas personal statements medicine

This medicine personal statement does an excellent job of using the limited characters available to illustrate what skills the candidate gained from their activities; rather than using most of the characters to explain what these activities are. However, this is done skilfully so that the reader still clearly knows enough from these brief descriptions to understand what the activities are. This use of succinct language frees up characters so that they can instead be used to discuss the meaning and insight that the candidate gained from these activities.

Failure to illustrate what a candidate has learned is a classic mistake in many medicine personal statements. This was a particular issue this candidate had in their initial Medicine personal statement. They had many different types of experiences to list and could not describe them succinctly, causing their Medicine personal statement to far exceed the character limit. By using a more succinct writing style and focusing on illustrating activities rather than describing them, this reviewed version corrected this common medicine personal statement weakness.

UCAS UK Medicine personal statement example which received four offers for interview

Medical school personal statement checklist

“I wish to study medicine as I have long held the ambition to pursue a career that would help others and contribute to the community. As a carer for my grandmother, who has severe arthritis, I have seen how much of a difference good healthcare can make to her life. Shadowing a GP and witnessing the reassurance and help given to patients reinforced this and strengthened my ambition to study medicine. A Medlink lecture on psychiatry sparked my interest, so in college, I co-founded and led a mentoring group called ____ mentoring. Using concepts from cognitive behavioural therapy, I mentored students with low self-esteem or who were having problems at college. I taught after-school lessons on topics such as dealing with failure, stress and goal setting. Selecting a team, delegating work and organising meetings strengthened my leadership skills, while working to strict deadlines improved my organisation. We presented our work to an NHS psychologist, who gave us valuable feedback. We are currently filming our programme to make it available online and in other colleges. I undertook a residential stay at a holiday home for disabled people, where I took guests on day trips and helped to feed and toilet them. Many guests were completely reliant on carers and could not communicate verbally. At times, they would become violent. At first, I found this intimidating, but during the two weeks I learnt how to deal with these situations. I also volunteered at a summer playscheme where several children had learning disabilities. Being responsible for groups of children increased my confidence in caring for others: I found dealing with quieter children and including them in group activities to be rewarding. To develop my understanding of the children I read several books about how learning disabilities affect peoples’ lives. Teamwork is vital in all aspects of medicine, which I find very appealing. I witnessed a live scoliosis surgery, during which I saw how the outcome depended on the skill and dedication not only of the surgeon but also of every other member of the team. At the GP, I learnt how the clerical staff and nurses were vital in the running of the practice. Medicine is a dynamic profession that will continue to undergo major advances in the next few decades. These developments will require a commitment to lifelong learning, and I find the prospect of this exciting. I have attended lectures on topics such as premature birth and pharmacogenetics. During a lecture on RNA Interference (RNAi), the lecturer stated RNAi could be the most important development in medicine since antibiotics. Intrigued by this claim, I completed a 2500-word essay on RNAi and its impact on medicine. It was a challenging topic, but I found that I enjoyed using post-A-level books and medical journals, which improved my research skills. Next year, I will be travelling through Asia and Europe. I have secured work at a Romanian orphanage and will start a placement at ______________ hospital this October. I have also applied for a 10-week development and teaching project in Africa. I am currently learning Thai Boxing and sign language and taking courses in self-development and memory improvement. I participate in basketball tournaments and play tennis. I play the violin to grade 3 and find music helps me to relax. I gained a 200-hour Millennium Volunteers award, a v50 award and I am currently completing a Gold DofE award. I am part of a focus group for a national volunteering organisation. We organise events and promote the benefits of voluntary work to individuals and organisations. My experiences have made me absolutely committed to becoming a doctor, and I believe that they have also prepared me to cope with the demands of studying medicine. I realise that the long hours and often stressful situations which doctors work in are daunting, but it is a challenge I am willing to meet because of the satisfaction that I find in making a difference to peoples’ lives.”

Analysis of this Medicine personal statement

The overall structure of this medicine personal statement..

Medicine Personal Statement Analysis

The initial medical school personal statement lacked a smooth flow as it skipped from point to point without any clear connection between the points. This also made it very easy for the reader to miss certain points or to forget them after they finished reading the Medicine personal statement. Therefore in this reviewed version, we took different scattered points throughout the document and grouped them into themed paragraphs giving the medicine personal statement structure and flow, making it easier to follow and read more like a story.

Paragraph 1 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Notice that this Medicine personal statement opening paragraph has one central theme: doctors can help people -> the author has seen this for himself -> this fuels his desire to study Medicine -> he has confirmed this through work experience.

What is done well in this edited opening paragraph, is an event is described, and this is followed up by explaining the reason why this makes the author want to study Medicine. The candidate says how he was a carer for his disabled grandmother, and he shadowed a GP. In the unedited version, this was all he wrote. These are just statements and don’t say why that would want to make him study Medicine. Plenty of people look after a disabled relative but do not want to be a doctor so why does the author? However, in the edited medicine personal statement, we added the reason why his grandmother and the GP work experience caused him to want to study Medicine. Of course, the space is so limited in a medicine personal statement that you cannot expand on points very much. A deliberate choice has to be made about which points should be developed and which should not.

Note that the reasons for studying Medicine and examples used in this opening paragraph are not original. There is no unique Medicine personal statement opening line. This is a relatively typical Medicine personal statement opening paragraph. However, that is completely fine. These are solid reasons for studying Medicine and are true for the candidate.

Paragraph 2 Of This Medical Personal Statement

The edited version of paragraph 2 does an excellent job of succinctly explaining an unknown project to the reader without becoming verbose or complicated. It demonstrates what skills the candidate has learned, and they are perfect for studying Medicine, so this is a great example to use. Very few characters are wasted on describing the contents of the lecture or attending Medlink as the other content in this paragraph is far more impressive and important to write. For this reason, it was edited in this way as the unedited version was verbose and wasted many characters on explaining things such as “I attended the Medlink residential course which had various lectures including ….etc.” These do not add anything to enhance the author’s accomplishments and are not needed for narrative purposes either. The assessor already knows what Medlink is.

Many candidates try to state in their Medicine personal statement that they possess the ability to deal with pressure and have good stress/time management skills etc. The edited personal statement makes it more obvious to the reader that the candidate has taught these skills to others. This implies to the reader that the candidate understands these concepts well enough to be able to teach them to others. This is far more effective than if the candidate merely claimed to have these skills. The original wording in the candidate’s initial medicine personal statement was sloppy, so the teaching element was less clear. This is corrected in the reviewed medical school personal statement.

Paragraph 3 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

These are two good examples of caring role work experience, and in the unedited version, the candidate gave some insightful thoughts on things he learned. However, it was mixed in with lots of unnecessary content which diluted the strength of the good points. In this edited version, this is a powerful paragraph because the writer omits the extra material. This causes the remaining text to be more powerful, and it now shows that the candidate has keen self-awareness and insight. He can extract solid learning points from his experiences.

Essentially the candidate is saying he was acutely aware of how he felt during the experiences. He knew that it was challenging to deal with people who had limited communication skills, who could become violent (he even used the word intimidating) and when he was responsible for groups of children. Despite this, he persisted with these experiences and learnt from them. This demonstrates that he is a self-reflective learner. The statement about doing further reading shows how he is an independent learner. He can identify his own learning needs and knows how to pursue them. Being a self-reflective and independent learner is essential for studying Medicine particularly in PBL courses. The candidate is showing he has these skills as well as a lot of maturity and self-awareness in this paragraph of his medicine personal statement.

Paragraph 4 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine Personal Statement Teamwork Skills Learnt

You will notice that the things mentioned in this paragraph are very routine things to put into a Medical personal statement and are very passive in nature (i.e. the candidate is not actively doing anything, he is just watching a procedure, he is watching the GP staff). In the unedited version, it very much read like this, i.e. the candidate was a passive observer. In the edited paragraph, however, it becomes more active and unique. Look how once again the author describes an event and then explains a learning point or gives a reflection. Notice how only a few of the words in this paragraph describe what the candidate did. Most of the words describe what the candidate learned and his reflections on the experiences. This is far more powerful than just listing the steps of the operation or describing the activities of the admin staff.

Paragraph 5 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

This paragraph is themed around the author’s keen scientific curiosity and passion for learning. He describes attending lectures and doing activities which are clearly outside of his A-level curriculum. This paragraph is cleverly constructed to make use of the limited character count by not wasting words on how or where he attended these lectures or stating that they are in addition to his A-levels. It is self-evident that they are extracurricular and he does not need to waste words to spell this out. The topics discussed are things that the author needs to understand well as they can be brought up in the Medicine interview. We highlighted to the candidate suggested areas which may be raised at interview, which indeed did arise.

He once again demonstrates that he is a self-reflective and independent learner by talking about various lectures he attends, and how he explored one lecture further by writing an essay on the topic. Note that the author in paragraph two also states how a Medlink talk sparked his interest and he developed things further. This is an individual with curiosity and a desire to understand things further. He once again shows self-reflection when he says that it was challenging to use post-A-level books and medical journals, but he enjoyed the challenge and looks forward to the academic challenges of the ever-evolving field of Medicine.

Paragraph 6 + 7 Of This Medicine Personal Statement

Discussing gap year in medicine personal statements

Note that with the correct reflective style it is possible to show the benefits of almost any hobby . For example, if we look at another medicine personal statement we reviewed, the candidate initially stated that playing doubles badminton enhanced their teamwork skills and gave a few basic reflections. This is not bad, but more could be extracted from this hobby. In the reviewed version this was discussed in greater depth and placed as part of an entire paragraph where the theme was teamwork – both in medicine and how the candidate also works to enhance their teamwork skills. See how it was possible to extract much more from this hobby: First we discussed teamwork in medicine and how then how the candidate also seeks to improve their teamwork skills followed by “working as a pair necessitates an awareness of each other’s strengths & weaknesses. We must then work to merge these in a way that potentiates our combined strengths & mitigates our weaknesses. We must consider how our opponents’ factor into this. The fast-pace of badminton requires the ability to make rapid decisions under pressure while still working towards an overall game plan.” This is far better than what the candidate originally said in their medical school personal statement about badminton being good for teamwork and thinking fast.

Making the most of the candidates work experience

Medical Personal Statement Work Experience

How can Medicine Answered help you with your medicine personal statement?

Our Premium Medicine Personal Statement Review Service

This is a highly specialised service. Your medicine personal statement will be reviewed by both a professional editor with specific expertise in medical admissions to ensure the writing style is flawless; and also a qualified doctor who received all four offers to study Medicine to ensure all the content is excellent. This is our minimum standard. We do not use medical students or non-professional editors.

360 Application Review

This includes a full Medicine personal statement review as detailed. Additionally, a doctor will look at your academic grades, UKCAT scores (comparing them with the current 2018 results for this cycle) and work experience. In the context of your whole application , they will also suggest topics which may be discussed at your interview. They will provide a plan for what to do next to move forward and prepare for the rest of your Medicine application. They will give tailored feedback on these elements and based on this provide further suggestions on making strategically sound medical school choices in a way that maximises your individual strengths and minimises your weaknesses.

For more information about both services, visit the Medical Personal Statement Review page, or contact a member of our team.

Our free guides to helping you write an excellent medicine personal statement

Medicine Answered offer the following entirely free guides which will help you to write a superb Medicine personal statement:

How to write a medical school personal statement in 10 steps – this will help to take you from step 1, with no ideas and nothing written down; to step 10, a completed medical school personal statement.

How to write a Graduate Entry Medical School Personal Statement – this discusses how graduates should write their medicine personal statement whether they are applying to Standard Entry Medicine or Graduate Entry Medicine courses.

Further Related Questions 2023

What are the Manchester Medical School “non-academic information form” or the Keele Medical School “roles and responsibilities form”?

Manchester Medical School asks all candidates to also complete a non-academic information form after submitting their UCAS application. The other medical schools do not see this form as it is sent directly to Manchester. This form is very similar to a medical school personal statement but is under a format that the medical school controls. It contains headings which are the same types of topic that you would discuss in a medicine personal statement. The headings are “Experience in a caring role” “Hobbies and interests” “Teamwork” and “Motivation for Medicine”. Keele Medical School has a similar form called the roles and responsibilities form. Again it is sent directly to Keele Medical School. Both these forms should be treated as a separate piece of work from the medicine personal statement even though there is large overlap.

What is the UCAS word limit for medical school personal statements?

A medicine personal statement must meet the following two criteria:

1. Be less than 4000 characters (the counter UCAS use to determine the character count is slightly different from the word counter on most word processors, e.g. Microsoft Word. This is because the UCAS system counts punctuation, spaces, tabs and paragraph lines).

2. Be no longer than 47 lines on the UCAS system (again this is different to what 47 lines on a word processor would look like).

Guides & Info

Medicine Personal Statement Examples

Last updated: 29/6/2023

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Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to showcase the skills, attributes, and experiences which make you suited to studying medicine. This can be quite a daunting prospect, especially when you have to boil all that down to just 4,000 characters, or 47 lines. 

In this article, we will:

  • Examine examples of strong and weak medicine personal statements (interested in dentistry? Check out dentistry personal statement examples )
  • Help you learn what you should and shouldn't include in your medicine personal statement
Want to explore more examples? Our Personal Statement Course has over 100 personal statement examples to help you find your voice.

Student looking at personal statement examples on a tablet

What you'll find in this article:

Personal statement example 1 – introduction

Personal statement example 2 – introduction, personal statement example 1 – main body, personal statement example 2 – main body, personal statement example 1 – conclusion, personal statement example 2 – conclusion, strong personal statement example, weak personal statement example, what should your personal statement include.

To get into medical school , your personal statement should:

  • Demonstrate meaningful insight into the profession, in the form of work experience or independent research. This could be partly based on medical books or podcasts when medical work experience is not possible
  • Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, and experiences
  • Mention your extracurricular activities
  • Discuss your academic interests and achievements
'At the moment I am working towards A-Level Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I achieved my AS-Level in Spanish but decided to drop it to focus on my more medically relevant subjects. I’ve been dreaming of studying medicine since I was a young child, and this was only reinforced when I contracted measles during my primary school exams. This affected my performance, but I found that this motivated me rather than discouraged me. A particularly inspiring doctor was heavily involved in helping me deal with the pressure. I was inspired by her to become a doctor myself and help others in a similar way. I am particularly interested in science and as such the practical side of medicine interested me. I’ve always enjoyed chemistry and biology the most, and have best learned when trying to link the pure science I learn in school back to it's practical and useful real-world applications. This is what is particularly interesting about medicine to me - you can apply pure, evidence-based science in a clinical and practical setting to have an obvious positive effect. Inspired by this interest, I invested in a subscription to the New Scientist magazine. I’ve read about a huge number of fascinating discoveries and how they’ve been applied in medical settings.'

This introductory section has some promising features, but there are areas the author could improve:

  • The introductory sentence doesn’t catch the reader’s attention or hold much relevance for a medical personal statement. This sentence would be better suited to a subsequent section on the author’s academic achievements, and it would need to be supplemented with a suitable explanation as to why the chosen subjects are relevant for medicine. 
  • The author uses an anecdote to illustrate why they first developed an interest in medicine. This is a good idea, but the anecdote they've chosen is not the most suitable. It references ‘primary school exams’, which uses the cliché of wanting to do medicine from a young age. This is not only overused, but is also underdeveloped. 
  • The applicant mentions feeling under pressure for these primary school exams. This won’t fill the reader with confidence that the author will be able to cope with the demands of medical school and a career as a doctor. 
  • The introduction should open with the anecdote rather than academic achievements. A strong and memorable opening line will catch the admission tutor’s attention, and gives the student an opportunity to summarise why they want to study medicine.
  • It is far too long. A good introduction should be around 4-6 lines.

There are some parts of the introduction that are more effective:

  • The part discussing why they enjoy chemistry and biology is useful – it links their love for pure science back to the passion they mentioned earlier for helping people. This demonstrates the blend of empathy and interest in science that medical schools will be looking for. 
  • The same part also introduces the candidate’s reading of medical literature, which they could choose to discuss in more depth later in the statement, or which might be something that interviewers could choose to examine in more detail.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example 1

'From a young age, my real fascination in life has been science - in particular, the incredible intricacy of the human body. My passion to discover more about its inner workings fuelled my motivation to study medicine, and the challenging yet rewarding nature of the job leaves me certain that I want to pursue it as a career. I think that my chosen A-Levels have only made me more determined to become a doctor, while simultaneously allowing me to develop and improve my skills. I have become a better problem-solver by studying physics and maths, while also learning the importance of accuracy and attention to detail. I’ve particularly enjoyed chemistry, which has again helped me improve my problem solving skills and my ability to think rationally and logically. Throughout my chemistry and biology A-Levels, I’ve been required to engage in practical work which has taught me how to design and construct an experiment. I’ve also become better at communicating with other members of my team, something I witnessed the importance of during my work experience in A&E. During recent months, I’ve started reading more medical publications such as the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. I’ve been particularly interested in how this evidence-based science can be applied to clinical practice to really make an impact on patients.'

This introduction contains some useful reflection and demonstrates some insight, but is quite jumbled. The main areas of weakness are as follows:

  • The content is good but much of it would be better suited to a later section and should be explored in more detail while being linked back to medicine (for example, the whole second half could be included in a longer segment on academia). 
  • The applicant mentions that they improved their problem-solving skills. How did they do this? Why is this important in medicine? 
  • They say that medicine is demanding but that this attracts them to the job. What experiences have they had to show the demanding nature of it? Why does this attract them to it? 
  • The author also briefly mentions a stint of work experience in A&E, but the rushed nature of the introduction means that they can’t go into detail about the experience or reflect on what exactly they learned from it. 
  • Similar to example 1, this introduction includes some clichés which detract from the author’s overall message. For example, that they have wanted to do medicine from a young age or that they love science (with no further explanation as to why). 
  • It is far too long. Again, an introduction should be a succinct summary of why you're interested in medicine, and not a brief account of all of your experiences.

The stronger parts of this introduction include the following:

  • The author does demonstrate that they can reflect on the skills they’ve improved through experience. For example, the analytical and problem-solving skills they gained from chemistry.
  • The candidate shows an understanding of the link between evidence-based science and clinical application when discussing how they did further research around their physics course. This shows a good level of curiosity and insight.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement introduction example

'I first became interested in studying medicine when I carried out a work experience placement with my father an elderly care specialist. I really enjoyed the experience and it gave me a deeper insight into the challenges doctors face. I now believe that I better understand the resilience - both mental and physical - that doctors need to cope with the heavy workload and emotional challenges. A few months ago I was given the opportunity to attend work experience in St Mary’s hospital in Manchester where I visited and observed many different specialties and areas of the hospital like A&E and the labs and witnessed how doctors carried out their jobs. For the past year I’ve been doing some other volunteering work too, such as, taking meals around to patients on the ward, asking them about their experience in the hospital and just chatting with them about how they’re feeling. They’re often delighted to have someone to talk to especially during Covid when they weren’t allowed to receive visitors. I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients. I spent a few days working in the same hospital, shadowing doctors and Allied Health professionals in the stroke ward. I became much more familiar with the process doctors used for treating stroke patients, and developed an understanding of the role that physiotherapists and occupational therapists have in their rehabilitation. On top of that I organised a placement with the emergency medicine doctors and spent time in the haemapheresis unit at St Mary’s.'

This example does contain some of the features we look for in a complete main body section but could definitely be improved: 

  • The main issue with this is the list-like presentation, which goes hand-in-hand with a general lack of reflection or insight. Although it is good to discuss your work experience in your personal statement, it would be far better if the candidate focused on just one or two of the experiences mentioned, but went into far more detail about what they learned and the insight they gained. For example, after mentioning the role of Allied Health Professionals in the rehabilitation of stroke patients, they could go on to discuss how they came to appreciate the importance of these healthcare workers, and how the contribution of all these individuals within the multidisciplinary team is so important to achieving good outcomes.
  • Statements like ‘I [...] witnessed how doctors carry out their jobs’ make it seem as if the candidate really wasn’t paying attention. They need to explain what they mean by this. Were they impressed by the doctors’ effective teamwork and communication skills, or perhaps by their positive attitude and morale? Did they seem well-trained and effective? What did they learn from this that might help them in the future?  ‍
  • Similarly, the student simply states that they saw the effect of empathy on patients: ‘I saw how my communication and empathy made a real impact on the mood of the lonelier patients.’ This adopts a ‘telling’ approach, when the student needs to adopt a ‘showing’ approach. Simply telling us that they saw something does not adequately demonstrate an understanding of why those qualities are important, or what they actually mean. What does it mean to have empathy? What does that look like in real terms? How did they use it? What was the effect? Showing the tutor that you are empathetic is important, but simply saying it is disingenuous and shows a lack of understanding.
  • The candidate spends a number of characters name-dropping the exact hospital they visited and its location, which isn’t the best use of valuable space, as it has no real impact on the message they’re trying to convey.
  • Generally, it isn’t a good idea to talk about work experience with family members. Of course, this might be the reality, but try to have some other placements that you’ve organised yourself so that it doesn’t appear as if your family are doing all the hard work for you. At the very least, you could simply leave this information out.
  • There are a few grammatical errors here, especially regarding the use of commas. It’s important to use a spell checker or to ask an English teacher to check your work for you before submitting your statement.

The better features of this example are:

  • The candidate does show some insight into the role of a doctor when they talk about the resilience required by doctors to cope with the hard hours and challenging conditions. They just need to reflect in this way in other parts of the section, too.
  • The author has clearly done a lot of work experience and is right to discuss this in their personal statement. Just remember that you don’t need to squeeze in every single little placement.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example main body

'I was pleased to be appointed as head boy in my last year of school, and as part of this role I headed up the school safety office. I carried out inspections of the dormitories, roll calls and helped in the running of school festivals and activity days. The office I was in charge of needed to ensure the safety of every student in the school and I helped plan and lead drills to prepare the students for storms, floods and fires. This role has made me a far better leader, and I also believe that I am now far more calm and logical when working under pressure or in uncertain situations. I’ve been an editor on the online school blog for over 2 years now and the experience has taught me how to work effectively in a team when under time pressure. In order to meet my deadlines I needed to remain motivated even when working independently, and I think that the diligence and work ethic I’ve developed as a result will be incredibly useful to me as a medical student. I took on the role of financial director for both the table tennis club and Model United Nations at my school. At first I struggled with the weight of responsibility as I was in charge of all of the clubs’ money and expenditures. However, I am now a far more organised individual as I came to appreciate the value of concise paperwork and of keeping a record of my actions. I not only manage the funds of the table tennis club but am also a regular member of it. I often play independently, and the lack of a specific coach means that I have to identify my own strengths and weaknesses. I am now far better at being honest about my weaknesses and then devising strategies for working on them. The sport has also allowed me to demonstrate my ability to work well in a team, but also to get my head down and work independently when necessary.'

This example is generally well written and showcases some of the features of a good main body section. However, there are some areas that can be improved:

  • This section would benefit from the ‘show, don’t tell’ approach. Instead of explaining specific situations or events through which the candidate demonstrated certain attributes, they simply state them and then link them vaguely to a more general role or activity.
  • The bigger problem, however, is that the author mentions a wide range of skills but falls short in linking these back to medicine.  ‍ For example, after reflecting on their role in the school safety office and the leadership skills they developed as a result, the author could talk about the senior role that doctors have within the multidisciplinary team and the importance of good leadership in a medical setting.  Similarly, the author mentions their ability to work independently but should really round this off by describing how this would benefit them in medical school, as the ability to progress your learning independently is crucial to success there. The student mentions an understanding of and proficiency with paperwork and recording their actions. Doctors must constantly do this when writing notes for each patient, so the candidate should really try to mention this in their statement to explain why their skills would be useful. The mention of teamwork could be followed by an explanation of why it is important in a medical setting and how the applicant witnessed this during their medical work experience. Finally, when the student talks about being able to identify and work on their weaknesses, they could use this as an opportunity to demonstrate further insight into the medical profession by discussing the importance of revalidation and audit in the modern NHS, or talking about how important it is for doctors to be able to work on their areas of weakness. 

Better aspects of this example:

  • The applicant doesn’t simply list the activities they have been a part of, but also explains what they learned from these and the skills and attributes they developed as a result. This reflective ability is exactly what assessors will be looking for.
  • The tone of the section is appropriate. The applicant doesn’t appear arrogant or over-confident, but at the same time, they manage to paint themselves in a good light, highlighting their range of skills relevant to medicine.
  • This example uses the character count effectively. Unlike the earlier examples, almost all of the sentences serve a purpose and are succinct.
  • They demonstrate a wide range of skills, most of which are very relevant to medicine.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement main body example 2

' I am a resilient and empathetic individual and I think that I have the qualities to thrive despite the social and academic challenges of university. Through my work experience I’ve gained an insight into the difficulties doctors face but this has not dampened my enthusiasm. My placements and voluntary work have only strengthened my commitment and dedication to studying medicine.'

The effectiveness of a conclusion depends on the rest of the statement before it, so it is hard to judge how good a conclusion is without seeing what the candidate has mentioned in the rest of their statement. Assuming this follows on logically from the statement, however, we can say that this conclusion is generally good for the following reasons:

  • It is brief, to the point, and highlights that the student holds some of the skills doctors need (this would of course need to be backed up with examples in the rest of the statement). 
  • The author doesn’t introduce any new ideas here, as that would be inappropriate, but rather reiterates their determination, which is exactly what admissions tutors want to see. 
  • The author demonstrates a balanced understanding of the demands of a medical career, illustrating this is a decision they have made rationally while considering the implications of their choice. 

As is always the case, this conclusion could still be improved:

  • The mention of the social challenges of university is a bit too honest, even though these exist for everyone. Mentioning them could give the impression that the student struggles socially (which is not something they would want to highlight), or that they intend to dive into the social side of university at the expense of their studies. 
  • If the candidate really insists on mentioning the social side, they should at least do this after discussing academics, and they should do it in the body of the statement, where they have space to explain what exactly they mean.
  • The student describes themselves as empathetic. This should be avoided, as it should be evident from the statement itself.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example 1

'Over the years I have built up a large and extensive set of medical work experiences and volunteering opportunities. These have allowed me to demonstrate my ability to communicate effectively and work in a team, and they will allow me to become a more diligent student and effective doctor. I think that this, alongside my ability and strength of character mean that I should be considered for this course. I am excited to get started and begin to put my skills to good use.'

This is a reasonably strong conclusion. It provides a to-the-point summary of why the author believes they should be selected to study medicine and shows their excitement for starting this journey. However, there are some parts of this example that could be improved: 

  • The author mentions 'ability' and 'strength of character.' These are nebulous terms and not specific to medicine or a medical degree in any way.
  • The mention of a 'large and extensive range of medical work experiences' indicates overconfidence. Medical applicants are not expected to have any medical ability or any 'large and extensive range' of medical experience, nor is it probable that this candidate actually does (otherwise they wouldn’t need to go to medical school in the first place). Rather, medical students need a suitable set of skills and attributes in order to make the most of their medical education and become an effective doctor.
  • On a similar note, the applicant says that their range of medical work experience will make them a better student and doctor, but this is only true if they can reflect on their experience and learn from it. Impassively watching an operation or clinic without properly engaging with it won’t make you a better doctor in the future.

Key takeaways from Medicine personal statement conclusion example

We’ll now go on to look at an example of a strong personal statement. No personal statement is perfect, but this example demonstrates a good level of reflection, engagement and suitability to study medicine (we know this because the writer of this statement went on to receive four offers). 

It goes without saying that plagiarism of any of these examples is a bad idea. They are known to medical schools and will be flagged up when run through plagiarism detection software. 

Use these as examples of ways you could structure your own statement, how to reflect on experiences, and how to link them back to medicine and demonstrate suitable insight and motivation. 

'It is the coupling of patient-centred care with evidence-based science that draws me to medicine. The depth of medical science enthrals me, but seeing complex pathology affecting a real person is what drives home my captivation. As a doctor, you are not only there for people during their most vulnerable moments but are empowered by science to offer them help, and this capacity for doing good alongside the prospect of lifelong learning intrigues me. In recent years I have stayed busy academically - despite my medical focus I have kept a range of interests, studying Spanish and German to grow my social and cultural awareness and playing the violin and drums in groups to improve my confidence when working in teams and performing. This is similar to the team-working environment that dominates in medical settings, and I have found that my awareness of other cultures is a great help when interacting with the hugely diverse range of patients I meet during my volunteering work. The independent projects I am undertaking for my A-levels teach me how to rigorously construct and perform experiments, process data and present findings, developing my written communication. My work experience showed me the importance of these skills when making patients’ notes, and of course, medical academia must be concisely written and well constructed and communicated. Maths teaches me to problem-solve and recognise patterns, vital skills in diagnosis. Over the past two years, I have actively sought out and planned work experience and volunteering opportunities. My time last year in Critical Care showed me the importance of communication in healthcare to ensure patients understand their diagnosis and feel comfortable making decisions. I saw the value of empathy and patience when a doctor talked to a patient refusing to take her insulin and suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis. They tried to understand her position and remain compassionate despite her refusal. My experience deepened my insight into the realities of a medical career, as we were at the hospital for more than ten hours a day with breaks and lunches cut short by bleeps or calls from the ward. This helped me understand the physical resilience required by staff as I also came to appreciate the immense emotional burden they often had to bear. Despite this, the brilliant staff remained motivated and compassionate which I found inspirational. The Brighton and Sussex Medical School work experience and Observe GP courses I completed put emphasis on the value of holistic, patient-centred care, introducing me to specialities I had not previously considered such as geriatrics and oncology. Inspired by my experience I explored a variety of specialisms, reading memoirs (Do no harm) and textbooks (Oxford handbook of clinical medicine) alike. I investigated medical politics with my English persuasive piece, discussing the ethics behind the junior doctor strikes of 2016. I have been volunteering in a hospital ward since January, which helps improve my confidence and communication skills when talking to patients and relatives. I showed my ability to deal with unexpected situations when I found a patient smoking whilst on oxygen, and acted quickly to tell nurses. Over lockdown I felt privileged offering lonely patients some tea and a chat and seeing their mood change - it taught me that medicine is about treating patients as individuals, not a diagnosis. My work on the hospital door taught me to stay calm and interact assuredly with visitors, vital skills in public-service jobs like medicine. I coach tennis at a local club, planning and running sessions for younger children. I am responsible for players' safety and must manage risk while showing leadership qualities by making the sessions fun and inclusive. As a player, I am part of the self-run performance team, which forces me to better my ability without coaching. This means developing self-reflection and insight into my weaknesses, which I know to be integral skills for medics. One of the doctors I shadowed during my work experience was just starting her revalidation process and I saw the importance of self-awareness and honest reflection in meeting her targets and becoming a better doctor. I achieved my Gold Duke of Edinburgh certificate of achievement (and the Bronze and Silver awards), exhibiting my commitment and ability to self-reflect and improve. On our Silver expedition, we experienced severe rain, showing resilience by continuing when our kit was wet from day one. My diligence and academic ability will allow me to thrive in medical school, and I have the prerequisite qualities to become a compassionate and effective doctor. Despite the obstacles, I am determined to earn the privilege of being able to improve peoples' health. This is something that excites me and a career I would happily dedicate my life to.'

Strong personal statement example analysis


This statement is a good example of how a personal statement should be constructed and presented. The introduction is short and to the point, only dealing with the candidate’s motivations to study medicine while also demonstrating an insight into what the career involves. 

They demonstrate their insight briefly by mentioning that medicine involves lifelong learning. This is often seen as one of the challenges associated with the career but here they present it as an advantage which makes them seem more suited to the career. It also show they're a curious and interested individual who enjoys learning. 

The introduction's final sentence offers an opportunity for interviewers to probe the candidate further, to explore their curiosity, and ask them to explain what exactly attracts them to lifelong learning. An astute candidate would recognise this and try to think of a suitable answer in advance.

Paragraph 2 

The second paragraph opens the body of the statement by exploring the author’s academic interests. As with some of the previous example body paragraphs, the writer shows their reflective ability by explaining what each of their subjects taught them, and the skills they developed and demonstrated as a result. They improve upon this further by linking these skills back to medicine and explaining why they are important for doctors. 

This paragraph demonstrates the author’s work-life balance by showing their varied interests in languages and music, all without wasting characters by saying this directly. They also mention the diverse range of patients they encountered during their volunteering, which again implies an empathetic and conscientious nature while showing an insight into a medical career (particularly regarding the vast diversity of the patient cohort treated by the NHS). 

Their explanation of the relevance of maths could be more detailed, but again this could be something the applicant is hoping to be questioned on at interview. The candidate comes across as thoughtful and multi-talented, with the ability to reflect on their decisions and experiences, and with a suitable insight into how their strengths would play well into a medical career. 

In this particular paragraph, there isn’t much explanation as to how they drew their inferences about what a medical career entails from their volunteering and work experience (and what exactly these entailed), but these are explored in more detail later in the statement.

P aragraphs 3 and 4 

The next two paragraphs discuss the candidate’s work experience, beginning with a single work experience placement in detail. This is a better approach than the large lists of placements seen in the previous example body paragraphs. The author talks about a specific scenario and shows that they paid attention during their shadowing while also illustrating their ability to reflect on these experiences and the precise skills involved. 

The skills they mention here – communication, empathy, resilience – are skills that they specifically talk about developing and demonstrating through their activities in other parts of the statement. This shows that they have taken their learning and used it to inform the focus of their personal development. They also not only state that these skills are important for medics, but also explain why this is. For example, they explain that communication is important in helping patients relax and engage with their healthcare, and that resilience is required to deal with the antisocial hours.

In this section, the applicant briefly mentions a specific medical condition. This shows that they were engaging with the science during their placement and also provides interviewers with an opportunity to test the applicant’s scientific knowledge. Knowing this, the candidate would likely research diabetic ketoacidosis in order to be able to impress the panel. 

The author mentions some other virtual work experience opportunities they’ve been involved with and sets themselves up to discuss what these placements taught them. They then go on to explain the actions they took as a result of this, showing that they really engaged with the virtual placements and could identify what they learned and their areas of weakness. This is linked well to further reading and research they carried out, which illustrates their curiosity and engagement with medical science and literature. 

The reference to the junior doctor strikes at the end shows that they have engaged with medical news as well as the ethical side of medicine, which is something that many medical schools place a lot of emphasis on at interviews. Ideally, this section would explain how exactly they explored these different specialties and illustrate what they learned and how they developed their learning from the books mentioned.

Paragraphs 5 and 6 

These paragraphs discuss the applicant’s hospital volunteering and other extracurricular activities. The applicant doesn’t just state that they’ve volunteered in a hospital but goes into depth about the precise skills they developed as a result. They include an anecdote to illustrate their ability to react quickly and calmly in emergency situations, which is a great way to show that they’ve been paying attention (though this should really be backed up with an explanation as to why this is important in medicine). 

The candidate also shows their patient-centred approach when discussing how they cared for demoralised patients (again illustrating empathy and compassion). This style of healthcare is something that the modern NHS is really trying to promote, so showing an awareness of this and an aptitude for applying it practically will really impress your assessors. 

The author demonstrates another core attribute for medical students when talking about how their work on the front door of the hospital improved their confidence in communication, and they once more link this back to medicine. This last section could benefit from further explanation regarding the nature of their work on the hospital door and exactly how they developed these skills. 

In the second of these sections, the candidate simultaneously reflects on the skills they learnt from their tennis and explains how these apply to medicine, showing insight into the profession by mentioning and showing awareness of the process of revalidation. This will show assessors that the candidate paid attention during their work experience, reflected on what they learned, and then identified a way they could work on these skills in their own life.

The author name-checks the Duke of Edinburgh Award but then goes on to explain how exactly this helped them grow as a person. They link back to resilience, a skill they mentioned in an earlier section as being important for medics.

The conclusion is succinct and direct. Although clichéd in parts, it does a good job of summarising the points the candidate has made throughout the statement. They demonstrate confidence and dedication, not by introducing any confusing new information, but rather by remaking and reinforcing some of the author’s original claims from the introduction.

The following example illustrates how not to approach your personal statement. Now that you’ve read through the analysis of previous example passages and a complete example statement, try going through this statement yourself to identify the main recurring weaknesses and points for improvement. We’ve pointed out a few of the main ones at the end. You can even redraft it as a practice exercise.

' ‍ The combination of science with empathy and compassion is what attracts me most to a career in medicine. However, I wanted to ensure that the career was right for me so I attended a Medic Insight course in my local hospital. I enjoyed the course and it gave me new insight - the lectures and accounts from medical students and doctors helped me realise that medicine was the career for me. I was also introduced to the concept of the diagnostic puzzle which now particularly interests me. This is the challenge doctors face when trying to make a diagnosis, as they have to avoid differential diagnoses and use their skills and past experiences to come to a decision and produce the right prognosis. In order to gain further insight into both the positives and downsides of being a doctor, I organised some work experience in my local GP’s surgery. I managed to see consultations for chest pain, headaches, contraception and some chronic conditions which was very interesting. I also sat in on and observed the asthma clinic, which proved to be a very educational experience. During my experience, I tried to chat to as many doctors as possible about their jobs and what they enjoyed. I recently took up some work volunteering in a local elderly care home. Many of the residents had quite complex needs making it arduous work, but I learned a lot about caring for different people and some appropriate techniques for making them feel comfortable and at home. I became a better communicator as a result of my experience Nevertheless I really enjoyed my time there and I found it fulfilling when the patients managed to have fun or see their family. I appreciated how doctors often have high job satisfaction, as when I managed to facilitate a resident to do something not otherwise available to them I felt like I was making a real difference. My academic interests have also been very useful in developing skills that will be crucial as a doctor. I chose to study Physics and business at a-level and these have helped me develop more of an interest in scientific research and understanding; I’ve also become a more logical thinker as a result of the challenging questions we receive in physics exams. I know how important communication is as a doctor so I chose to study Mandarin, a language I know to be spoken widely around the globe. I was the lead violin in my school orchestra and also took part in the wind band, showing that I was willing to throw myself into school life. I really enjoyed our school’s concert, in which I had to perform a solo and demonstrate that I could stay calm under pressure and cope with great responsibility and i think that I’m now a better leader. This skill has also been improved in roles within my school on the pupil council and as form captain, which have improved my self-confidence. I needed to work hard in order to achieve my bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and have dedicated much of my time outside school to this endeavour over the past few years. I endured weekly sessions of Taekwondo, worked voluntarily in the charity shop Barnardo’s and took part in violin lessons.  As I’ve demonstrated throughout this statement I have an affinity for music, and so at university I plan to get involved with orchestras and bands. I also want to widen my horizons and discover new interests and hobbies, while trying to make new friends and cultivate a good work-life balance. I’m also keen to hike in the university’s surrounding territories. If I were allowed to study medicine, it would not only allow me to achieve one of my life goals, but to prove to you that I can become an effective, and successful doctor. I am absolutely dedicated to the study of medicine and know that I have the prerequisite skils and qualities to thrive in medical school and become a credit to your institution.”

Weak personal statement example analysis

  • This personal statement does have some promising features, but overall it isn’t well structured and lacks appropriate reflection and insight. You can see this by comparing it to the strong example above. The author in this weak example very rarely describes what exactly they learned or gained from an experience and rarely links this back to medicine. 
  • It reads quite like a list, with the candidate reeling off the experiences they’ve had or activities they’ve taken part in, without going into any real depth. They also use some vocabulary that implies that they really weren’t enjoying these experiences, such as when they speak of ‘enduring’ their time doing taekwondo, or of caring for residents being ‘arduous’ work. You don’t have to enjoy every activity you take part in, but implying that caring for people (a huge part of the job you are applying for and claiming to enjoy) is something you consider a chore isn’t a great start. This statement also has some questionable grammar and punctuation errors, which raises a red flag. Don’t forget to proofread your statement carefully before you submit it.
  • The candidate often starts off their sections in a promising way. For example, by stating that they started volunteering in a local GP practice to gain more insight into the profession, but they rarely actually follow through on this. You never find out what insight the candidate actually gained or how they used this to inform their decision to apply for medicine. 
  • Such lack of explanation and specificity is a theme throughout the statement. In the introduction, they say that personal accounts and lectures confirmed their wish to become a doctor, but they don’t actually explain how or why. They mention that their school subjects have helped them think more logically or improved their communication skills (which is good), but then they never go on to explain why this is relevant to medicine. They talk about leadership and self-confidence but again don’t link this back to the importance of self-confidence and the prominence of leadership in a medical setting.

To create an effective medicine personal statement, you need to provide plenty of detail. This includes concrete experiences demonstrating qualities that make a good doctor. If you can do this authentically, humbly and without selling yourself short, your personal statement will be in very good shape.

‍ ‍ If you're looking for more inspiration to craft a compelling medicine personal statement, check out our Personal Statement Online Course . It has over 100 personal statement examples, in-depth tutorials, and guidance from admissions experts, to help you create a ready-to-submit personal statement in just three days.

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UCAS Personal Statement Examples

Personal statement examples for the ucas medical school application.


UCAS personal statement examples can be a great coaching tool for applicants applying to  medical schools in the UK through UCAS. Students will need to submit a personal statement with their UCAS application, to demonstrate why they want to be a medical doctor and how they meet the requirements of the discipline. UCAS personal statements need a blend of the relevant personal, professional, and academic qualities of the applicant in a compelling narrative. In this blog, we’ll tell you what is required of your UCAS personal statement and show you 5 prime examples of UCAS personal statement examples.

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Article Contents 18 min read

If you are applying through UCAS to study medicine, your medicine personal statement has one key goal: to demonstrate why you want to become a medical doctor. This must be done by conveying your motivations, explaining why you are a good fit for the profession, and demonstrating what you have done to learn about medicine as a career. A strong personal statement will weave a narrative that paints a picture of who you are as a student, as a candidate for the program(s) to which you are applying, and as a person.

The medicine personal statement for UCAS must be no longer than 4,000 characters (including spaces), and is submitted as part of the overall UCAS application. The due date for UCAS is mid-October, and thus this is also the due date for your personal statement and the rest of your application materials.

I’ve had a good deal of privilege in my life. My family isn’t wealthy, but we’ve always had enough food, access to resources, reasonable shelter, the ability to fulfill all needs and many wants. The biggest realization of my life has been understanding just how privileged that basic description is. Through volunteer work and guided inquiry, I have come to see how central physicians are to contributing to their communities and to increasing equitable access to healthcare worldwide. At home and abroad, for individuals and populations, physicians play a critical role in advancing well-being and equality. I want to be on the frontlines of providing access to care, so I can contribute to that global effort.

Two years ago, the Missing Maps Project came to my school. Missing Maps is a project founded by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which crowdsources map creation for vulnerable developing areas. While we take something as basic as maps for granted, many places in the world still need mapping; Google Maps doesn’t chart places like rural South Sudan. These maps help groups like MSF reach those in need of care, particularly following conflicts or other disasters. Participating in this project and learning about MSF introduced me to the world of humanitarian medical aid, expanding my understanding of how physicians can contribute to social justice work. It also gave me a whole new perspective of what such work requires in our shared world. If something as fundamental as basic mapping can mean the difference between someone receiving aid or not, this means the gaps in access to care are much larger than I’d once assumed; it also means that there are ways for medical and humanitarian individuals to come together to make real and lasting impact in the struggle for social justice.

Working on this project sparked my interest in pursuing medicine as a career. It was immensely satisfying to contribute meaningfully, but the deeper I looked into the issue, the more I wanted to be one of the people heading to the areas we mapped. I started volunteering at King’s College Hospital and took on several shadowing opportunities with local physicians. I was scheduled for a volunteer shift at King’s at 8am on June 14. When I awoke that morning, news of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire was everywhere. I rushed to the hospital, knowing that there would be patients in need, worried families, and dedicated staff, all whom I could help in some way – even if only with a warm blanket, a kind word, or a cup of tea. Being in the hospital that day and seeing the camaraderie of the health team, the precision of their efforts, and their love for the community put so many things into perspective for me. I was grateful to contribute and support them in any way, but I also determined there and then to pursue medicine not just as a career, but as a calling.

Along with shadowing physicians and pushing myself to excel academically, I completed an Emergency First Aid course. Soon after, I received advanced First Aid training and began working as an Event First Aid Volunteer through the Red Cross. Physician shadowing and first aid work helped me understand the practicals of healthcare work. I learned that I have a knack for the technical elements of providing such care, and that I can maintain composure in tense situations. I also learned that the mundane realities and long hours of a physician’s work are well worth the meaning derived from that work. 

I have excelled in my science A levels and enjoy the precision and problem-solving needed to do so. More than that, though, I am driven by the desire to know enough to bring people care when they need it, to run toward those in crisis and provide aid. I want to become a physician so I can use my academic skills, my experiences, and my privileges to acquire more knowledge and advance wellness, caring for my community and building bridges over the gaps of access to care, both at home and abroad. (3966 characters)

In essence, your UCAS personal statement for medicine has one job: to answer the question, “ Why do you want to be a doctor ?” This singular goal, however, is more complex than it seems. Discussing your motivation requires more than simply articulating your own personal reasons for pursuing medicine; it also requires you to show what makes you suitable for such a profession, what you’ve done to learn more about the profession, and what drives you to follow this particular path.

Describing personal experiences that shaped your perspective and aspiration is definitely part of the personal statement essay, but you also need to summarize key roles you’ve had and activities you’ve completed, in ways that show your reader that you are already taking this pursuit seriously. That is to say, while desire and motivation are part of your story, these must be backed up with evidence. What have you done to learn more about the day-to-day realities of practicing medicine? What volunteer or paid work have you done that have helped you develop the qualities sought in aspiring medical professionals? What self-directed learning have you undertaken to personally advance your knowledge?

Admissions committees review your personal statement to determine how your experiences have shaped you and your desire to practice medicine, and how you have used your experiences and opportunities to demonstrate key qualities of the medical profession. Per the Medical Schools Council’s Statement on the Core Values and Attributes Needed to Study Medicine , those key qualities are:

  • Motivation to study medicine and genuine interest in the medical profession
  • Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses
  • The ability to reflect on your own work
  • Personal organization
  • Academic ability
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • Manage risk and deal effectively with problems
  • Ability to take responsibility for your own actions
  • Conscientiousness
  • Insight into your own health
  • Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Ability to treat people with respect
  • Resilience and the ability to deal with difficult situations
  • Empathy and the ability to care for others

My passion for medicine was sparked in an unconventional place: my garden. I have vivid memories from my youth, spending time nourishing life in the flower and vegetable beds my mother diligently tended every year. When I was very young, I admittedly just liked playing in the dirt. As I grew, however, I understood the beauty of watching each tiny seed reach invariably toward the sun, taking on new and evolving forms at each stage of growth, struggling defiantly from the soil with a singular goal: to live. I witnessed how my mother’s care strengthened the tiny seedlings, the response each fragile life had to her efforts. A bit more nitrogen here, a bit less calcium there; snip this off, secure that with a tie; protect them from anything that could harm them. That sense of awe at life’s workings has propelled me toward the field of medicine.

Two years ago, I began volunteering in a local retirement home, helping residents to meals and ensuring basic needs were met. In the hours before or after my shifts, I visited with welcoming residents, keeping them company and learning about their lives. The lessons they taught me, their zest for life in its golden years, helped me connect my fascination with life’s processes to my desire to foster wellness in others. I also began learning the daily realities of providing care from the medical staff. I saw them burst into action when a code was called, and I watched them develop meaningful relationships with the residents, who thrived under their expertise and warmth. Being part of a team devoted to the care and comfort of others quickly became a calling.

I began shadowing physicians at Lincoln County Hospital, particularly in the rehabilitation ward. Watching doctors and other medical professionals work with patients overcoming tremendous injury, watching those patients themselves in their tenacious effort to heal and thrive, helped me see both the highs and lows of medicine. I cannot help but be invested in the patients’ efforts – efforts that sometimes exceed expectations, and that sometimes fall short. I’ve seen doctors, nurses, and patients alike light up as a trauma patient took his first independent steps in months; I have seen the dashed hopes when a similar patient was not able to support herself in the expected timeframe. What draws me in, though, is that drive – shared by medical professionals and those under their care – that continuous reaching toward the light, toward wellness, toward growth. Between my scholastic accomplishments, my innate curiosity, and my sense of awe for all those who strive for their own well-being and that of others, I am confident that my vocational path leads to the practice of medicine.

My A levels have left me enthralled with the sciences, especially the hands-on learning that takes place in labs. Learning more about biology and chemistry, the living systems of all bodies, has nurtured the curiosity I developed in my youth, while also helping me refine my practical problem-solving skills. Uncovering the hidden processes that sustain life, and the equilibrium that keeps those processes running, leaves me eagerly anticipating new modules and assignments for the knowledge they will bring. As demonstrated in my supporting materials, this dedication has resulted in excellent marks and the gold medal in the Biology Olympiads. What matters most to me, though, is the refined understanding and the deeper questions I am able to ask with each step of the learning process.

My mother’s love of gardening instilled in me a love for caring and tending and a sense of wonder for the functions of life, and my own academic interests have propelled me toward the sciences. The field of medicine allows me to combine both of these, while also learning more about how to prioritize the wellness and well-being of others. To pursue this in the noble field of medicine would be to combine my deepest passions and follow my most intense interests, and to do so in the service of others. (3999 characters)

Check out our video for a recap:

I’ve been lucky in my life not to have to think about my health status. I’ve always been healthy. I’ve never broken a bone or had to take more than one or two visits to the emergency room in my childhood. I do my best to eat right, to exercise plenty, and I have the luxury of good genetic health, too. And being an able-bodied, healthy person is a luxury. It’s a privilege I’ve enjoyed. Others have not been as lucky as me.

I first realized how fortunate I was many years ago, when I first met Tim. Tim was the first friend I made as the new kid in fourth grade. As a shy kid, having moved across the country the previous week, introducing myself to a crowd of students who’d all known each other for years was scary. Tim made the transition easier, by immediately coming up to me and offering the hand of friendship. Tim was funny, outgoing, athletic, and a supportive friend. Tim also used a wheelchair every day of his life.

At the time, I’d never met someone who uses a wheelchair. I had no idea of the physical, mental, and emotional struggles Tim dealt with everyday, as a disabled person in a rural town, often without access to proper accommodations. Our school only had one ramp. Before I met Tim, I had no idea how much extra effort he needed to put in just to live his life the same way I did. After finding out about the ramp, I did some at-home research with my dad’s help on how much wheelchair ramps cost to install and the specifications needed for a proper ramp. Then I went around my neighbourhood, the schoolyard and even the local park asking for donations until, many weeks later, I had enough to present to the school to get Tim another ramp.

In our teens, Tim and I started competing together in obstacle runs. Essentially, a foot race with some extra challenge thrown in for fun. On top of running, it requires jumping, climbing, crawling and other physical feats of strength and endurance to complete. Together, Tim and I have completed seven races. Me on foot, Tim on wheels. Tim even purchased an expensive new wheelchair with modifications like smaller wheels with wider treads and a lowered back that would make it easier and more comfortable for him to compete.

Six of those races, we organized together. Our first race was completed in a nearby city, which had been organizing the event for many years, and had the facilities and crew to make it happen. There were hundreds of racers. Some of them were in wheelchairs, like Tim. From them, we learned it was possible to host an athletic event that was all-inclusive and all fun. We got to work planning and executing our own race in our rural town.

Where we lacked the paved foot trails and equipment to set up challenging obstacles, we used dirt paths through the woods. We climbed over and under logs, hung from the support beams of a bridge, scaled up rope ladders we made ourselves. We did a trial run, and Tim was able to complete our homemade obstacle course in the woods after we cleared out any safety concerns like rocks and sticks and installed some ropes and handholds for him to use.

Researching and installing these adaptations to the course reminded me of my campaign to install a wheelchair ramp at our school. It reinforced how important it was for Tim to have access to proper equipment. The more I researched, the more I realized how much extra expense it is for patients to get the medical equipment and aid they need to succeed. On top of that, how important it was to install equipment like ramps properly to avoid accidents and deterioration. My interest in learning about medical accessibility prompted me to look seriously at it as a future career.

My friendship with Tim is what inspired me to seek a career in medicine. No one should have to struggle to live their life as they please, without access to the infrastructure and equipment they need. Tim is living proof that people like him can succeed in spite of a lack of access. But he shouldn’t have to. It is my goal to contribute the skills I have learned through this experience to finding better solutions and providing easy access to all. Good living shouldn’t be a luxury for only a few.

UCAS Personal Statement Example #4

The hardest part of being a paramedic is not knowing. My patients are in my care for minutes at most, in the mad rush to the emergency room. For my patients, they will be the most critical minutes of their lives. For me, they are some of the longest minutes I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes long enough for me to learn their names, to learn about their lives. And then I pass them into the care of the emergency room staff, and my job is done. My care ends at the closed hospital doors.

Most of the time, I don’t get to find out what happened to my patients. If I was successful, and got them there in time, or not. If I’m lucky, I might hear something through the grapevine or on the news. But usually, it’s back on the rig and on to the next emergency call.

I chose to become a paramedic because I couldn’t imagine another profession that suited me more. But now, after having served as a paramedic for nearly a decade, I decided it was time to change course, and take my passion for patient care further. So, I decided to apply for medical school.

Being a physician means committing to contributing positively to the profession and knowing that caring for a patient goes beyond the boundaries of diagnosing a problem and prescribing a fix. Ensuring my patients make it through their emergency requires much more from me than my medical knowledge, my technical skill and my focused attention. It requires my care. I need to give my patients the best possible care by investing in them. Many times, I wouldn’t have been able to provide to answer to a question without knowing all the facts. Those personal questions that EMTs and doctors ask you do have a reason!

Attending medical school will give me a chance to grow. Not just through the expansion of my medical knowledge and the practice of my medical skill, but it will give me a chance to apply my experience as a paramedic to patients who are coming out of the other side of an emergency. I already know I possess the grace under pressure, the ability to make quick decisions and act on them, needed of a doctor. But I know by specializing my skillset and learning more about the medical profession, I’ll be able to step through the hospital doors and continue in my mission to care for my patients.

At this point in my life, I feel I am ready to don the white coat. I have nine years as an EMT and have received numerous commendations for my service. I know I provide the best care I possibly can, on every call. I am ready to learn, to develop myself, and to take my skills into the emergency room. It is my goal to be the empathetic presence patients can expect after their care. To be the voice of wisdom they can turn to. With a medical degree from [University], I believe I will achieve my goal.

Check out this video for how to write a killer introduction to your personal statement:

I have always held a special connection with the elderly. As a child, I would often visit my great-grandmother in the small-town care home where she lived. Living so close and being able to visit her every week was a blessing for me. Hearing her stories and recollections was a unique learning experience for me, and an insight into another time.

My great-grandmother grew up in a rural area in the early 20th century. When she was a child, her family relied on lamps to light their home instead of electricity, and a water pump instead of a faucet for cooking and cleaning. Healthcare consisted of home remedies and a visit to the local doctor three towns away.

During my weekly visits, we would talk and play cards, and she would share her experiences with me. As I grew older, I began to take more notice of the nursing staff at her care home. I noted how they were perpetually understaffed, but always working hard to provide for the patients in our small town, some of whom had lived in the area their entire lives, like my great-grandmother. When I was a teen, I decided to volunteer my free time at the care home. It gave me a chance to continue visiting my great-grandmother and the other residents I had befriended, and I was able to do some good and add a gold star to my resume. Not only that, I was able to get hands-on experience caring for senior patients, learning what is required of senior care and expanding my knowledge of their healthcare.

But while I was volunteering there, working with patients sparked my passion. As I prepared for the end of high school and started working on my college applications, I realized the answer to what I wanted to do was right in front of me. I wanted to go into healthcare.

One patient in particular—a long-time resident and friend of my grandmother’s—related to me a story I will never forget. She’d grown up on a dairy farm with four siblings, and often helped her parents with the chores. After a fall off a ladder where her brother broke his arm, she and her brothers and sisters were able to quickly fashion a homemade splint for him, having crafted them before to fix a calf’s broken leg. The splint held until they were able to get her brother to the nearest town doctor.

Working in the care home, speaking to the different residents about their memories and experiences, it was fascinating to hear how much medicine and healthcare had evolved over the years. It was inspiring to compare the 40 km trek my great-great-grandparents had undertaken to ensure their children could see a doctor, to having full-time care in their very own home today. And it forged a bond between myself and senior patients, who remind me of how far we’ve come, and the areas where we’re lacking and need improvement.

I want to become a doctor so I can continue the work of caring for the senior patients like my great-grandmother. As a volunteer, I’ve already been able to experience what it is like to work in a seniors’ care home, but I know as a fully-fledged medical doctor I will be able to step up in numerous ways. Seniors have specialized healthcare needs, and many of them have lived through the continuous evolution of the field of medicine, so they have experiences to share, too.

I believe I can bring this first-hand and hands-on learning with me into medical school. But I am also eager to deepen my medical knowledge and learn how to be the best doctor I can be. I know I will be an asset to this program and an excellent future example of the kind of physicians this program can produce.

A UCAS personal statement is part of your application to chosen medical schools. It’s an opportunity to express your passion for a field of study, and demonstrate the skills and experience you have that would be an asset to the profession.

A UCAS personal statement should answer the question: why do you want to be a medical doctor? It should include information on your personal motivations and experiences, as well as any professional experience in the medical field or extracurricular or volunteer activity relating to your motivation for applying.

UCAS personal statements should be around 550-600 words, or no more than 4,000 characters.

Personal statements should always include an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Yes! Proofreading is always important to make sure your essay is polished and free of errors. If an admissions committee sees you haven’t proofread your work, it may indicate you don’t have attention to detail or care for your work.

It depends on how quickly you write, but it generally will take more than a day. Before you start writing, you’ll need to brainstorm ideas, research the schools you plan to apply to, draft your essay and make time for rewrites and edits. This is why it’s best to start writing as soon as possible.

Focus on the information about the school’s culture, program curriculum and values. See how they align with your own values and experiences to see if it would be a good fit for you.

It depends on the program you’re applying to, but in general it is a requirement of most UK medical schools.

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Abubakari Leila

Please I want the personal statement letter which covers educational background and working experience in nursing

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Abubakari! Thanks for your comment! When we update the blog, we will be sure to include a sample like this. 

Medha Namala

Have all of these examples essays been accepted?

Hey Medha! Thanks for your comment. Some of these were, while others were written by our admissions experts as examples. 

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UCAS Medicine Personal Statement (UK) Example

Hands typing on laptop on wooden desk

Quick introduction and disclaimer

I’ve enclosed my UCAS personal statement for UK medical school applications in full. My hope is that it can give you some inspiration. My in-depth review of my own essay comes with useful tips embedded on how to write your own. Please note that plagiarism will not be condoned, as clearly indicated on the UCAS website .

My full essay and line-by-line analysis

“Gastric cancer.” My heart contracted; it was years before I had dared to ask my mother what had taken her father from her. The malignancy of cancer became even more poignant as I served at the National Cancer Centre. Though only skirting its periphery, I saw how it eroded the spirits of patients and caregivers.

I attempted to start off with a “hook”, tying in personal experience with my volunteering at the NCCS. Mentioning that I’ve encountered cancer patients before would mean that I have to be well-read, or at least have some knowledge of this disease.

Volunteering weekly at the Moral Home exposed me to a plethora of age-related ailments. I experienced firsthand caring for seniors with debilitating conditions from cataracts and arthritis to dementia. The senior I am closest to had her arm paralysed by stroke. In my first months there I reread Gawande’s “Being Mortal”, triggering ruminations on life, death, and medicine at the intersection of the two. In the years since, I witnessed the brutal realities of senility and the demands of a medical career that are far from alluring. I find solace in the genuine glow in their smiles when I talk to the elderly and engage them in physiotherapy.

This was an experience that touched me personally, so I dedicated a whole paragraph to it. Despite the word limit, this is alright and may even be good practice, since cursory mentions and namedropping convey next to nothing to whoever is reading your personal statement .

Notice that I didn’t just stop at “age-related ailments” but mentioned specific conditions (cataracts, arthritis, dementia, and stroke) that I’d observed in the residents there. (These I will likely be drilled on in the interviews and would be wise to prepare as such.)

Details are crucial for your UCAS personal statement —it shows a certain depth of knowledge and experience (your interest in the subject has pushed you to probe deeper), as well as a level of authenticity (you’ve truly lived that experience and gained something valuable from it).

But be selective about the details . Mention specific diseases and conditions you’ve witnessed, for instance, but leave out inconsequential details like the full names of the nursing homes or places you’ve volunteered at, the number of residents or patients, and so on. I hope you get the idea.

Last point here: I integrated one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve read on healthcare and ageing into the description of my volunteering experience. Rather than just blankly mentioning that I read “Being Mortal” in one of the later paragraphs, presenting it in this way shows how the book holds personal meaning for me.

In team projects, I contribute my utmost but empower others to step up too. Beyond leading in the school’s Faculty Committee, my belief in servant leadership led me to two overseas CIP trips. Teaching underprivileged children, I used my creativity to infuse engaging elements into lessons and connected to the kids on a personal level.

This is quite a nondescript paragraph. I hoped to bring across my strong personal identity as both a servant leader and a team player. Of course, the original version was much longer, but brutally trimmed due to the word count. Nevertheless, I would say that in this case, it sufficed.

Full disclosure: Despite it spanning only one-and-a-half sentences in my personal statement, I was actually asked in quite some detail about my OCIP experience in one of my interviews.  

I was honoured to receive the PM Book Prize for academic aptitude and bilingualism. Pursuing Bicultural Studies imbued in me an acute cognizance of different cultures, which will enable me to empathise with patients from diverse backgrounds. Fueled by undying curiosity, I took up H3 as a challenge in breadth and depth of content. I relished the self-directed learning, reading beyond the syllabus titles by Mukherjee, Dawkins and more. Kolbert’s book reaffirmed my efforts in climate action. Delving into evolution gave me a more complete understanding of life. Ideas only touched upon, such as medical implications of genomics and proteomics, intrigued me so deeply I did my own research.

The first sentence is not a very good start to this paragraph. It was jammed in only after someone pointed out to me that any achievements—academic or otherwise—are not captured in the UCAS application (it is really just grades and BMAT/UCAT scores). I believe I could have omitted this sentence nonetheless; I’m not sure if the UK professors would have known of this award anyway. Of course, if I had received a prestigious national award as a student in the UK, that could warrant a place in my personal statement, perhaps towards the end.

Fortunately, the main focus of this paragraph was on my academic pursuits. UK medical schools, especially top ones like Oxbridge and Imperial, hold academics to high regard. This is evidenced not just in their selection process but also in the focus on a strong scientific grounding in their teaching and education. Be sure to devote the bulk of your personal statement to academic and Medicine-related activities (roughly 80% academic and 20% non-academic , as stated in this article on how to write your UCAS Medicine personal statement ).

In this paragraph, when talking about Bicultural Studies—which formed a huge part of my learning but appears to be more “Humanities”-based—I linked it back to Medicine, specifically, the humanistic aspect of the profession. Importantly, everything you mention in your personal statement—indeed, every line—should say something about why you wish to pursue this course (Medicine) and what makes you a prime candidate for it .

Next, as I wrote about H3 Biology, I didn’t simply say that I “read beyond the syllabus” but gave concrete examples of books I’ve read. Again, this level of detail is needed . Rather than providing the full titles which would have slaughtered the word limit, I put the authors’ names instead. Needless to say, if you mention any books in your personal statement, make sure you’ve actually read them in full and are prepared to discuss them at the interviews .

Likewise, I didn’t just leave it at “I learnt a lot of different topics” (extremely vague and useless statement) but gave specific examples (impact of climate change, biological evolution, medical implications of genomics and proteomics).

I frequented the General Hospital and was admitted. Yet my love for learning never ceased. I learnt to read my electrocardiogram and observed the technique as blood was drawn from my veins. I read up on endoscopy before it was performed on me—and was thrilled to try manoeuvring the scope in one of the many programmes I attended. My parents implored me to discontinue school before my final exams, but I would not acquiesce. Even in the ward, I was constantly absorbed in my books, self-learning every missed lesson.

This is just a ‘different’ experience I had. I kind of wanted to highlight my rapacity for knowledge and a certain inexplicable drive that endured even through pain. It was very hard, however, to convey the true extent of growth that the experience engendered. A personal statement also should not become a philosophical ramble. So that was deliberately left out.

Note that if you did have similar experiences, you may include these in your personal statement. Focus on your growth and how you persevered in spite of the challenging circumstances (in terms of health, finances, or others). And maybe even how that has fortified your resolve to practise Medicine (a bit of this comes in the following paragraphs for my personal statement).

Emotionally invested in every pursuit, I trained relentlessly in basketball. The sport shaped me; above all, it fortified my courage and tenacity.

The focus should be on academics, so I kept this very short. In retrospect, perhaps I should have left these two lines out entirely. This paragraph seems a bit out of place, mostly because I didn’t have any other ‘opportunity’ to mention it. The sport truly shaped who I am as a person, but it is really difficult to show any of that in the limited number of words I have left.

Once I was with my doctor and realised—profoundly—how she had to bear the emotional brunt of her patients, never once revealing her own. There was an invisible—yet ponderous—weight she carried. Interacting with patients, I found myself feeling for them with a compassion that transcended all I had known. I discovered that it is inherent in my nature to uplift others, even if in pain myself.

Finally tying in a bit of my experience as a patient with why I want to do Medicine, although this paragraph is not particularly well-written. The link to the preceding paragraph is nonexistent. This may not be grievously problematic, but it does help to have a nice flow to your personal statement, making it a coherent and smooth read. As mentioned, therefore, maybe the previous paragraph could have been omitted, or integrated more seamlessly at another point in the essay.

Not-so-important stylistic note but the frequent use of em dashes (including more in the next paragraph) makes me want to stab myself. Remove the completely unnecessary ones around “yet ponderous” at least! That would have removed two precious characters from the word count (UCAS has a 4,000-character word limit). (I held fast to them at that time believing they were essential to show emphasis in that particular line.)

I was never inured to the asperity of the job—the daily work, burnout, grappling with death. Only after learning the unadorned details—by speaking to doctors, attending various programmes and reading widely—did I set my heart on this. I believe you never know if something is truly for you until seeing the worst of it; you never know what you can endure until pushed beyond your limits.

The tutors would like to see that you have an understanding of exactly how tiring, gruelling and unglamorous the whole medical journey is going to be. (And that in spite of this knowledge you’re hell-bent on doing it anyway.)

This paragraph is okay, but the last sentence is a bit too superficial. I lacked the word count allowance to expand on “ pushed beyond your limits ”, and anyway really did not want to victimise myself in any way by recounting my struggles. So maybe it would have been better to rethink this line and add a more valuable insight.

I always thought my mother brave, for living through her father’s death. It was not until confronted with pain and loss myself that I realised how our state of mind in adversity defines how we fight through every struggle. A doctor must have great mental strength—to remain steadfast in the most trying circumstances, yet at times learn to let go—in life as it is in death.

Here I’m echoing my starting line by bringing back the loss in my family due to cancer, now fusing it with my own “coming-of-age”. I knew there was much more that I wanted to write, but as usual, we have to keep our insights concise. Aim for simple but trenchant expressions.

Disease will never cease to afflict us. To devote myself to a vocation that alleviates this perennial suffering, so others can have the liberty to pursue their dreams—to me there is no greater purpose.

Looking back, I do not like this conclusion much. Although it is what I genuinely believe, it sounds high-minded and somewhat clichéd when expressed in this way.

It is standard, though, to conclude by restating why you want to do Medicine . Perhaps mine could have been improved by tying in some of my personal qualities, e.g. my innate compassion and my love for both science and human interaction.

Overall comments

Each paragraph is generally fine, but this personal statement lacks a sense of cohesion when read as a whole. How I structured it was more of one activity or idea after another, with each paragraph being quite distinct from the others. And this was all while trying to fit everything into 4,000 characters. It turned out, therefore, slightly disjointed, and the flow could have been improved.

I would advise, however, for you not to be overly concerned about this aspect of your personal statement. The UCAS personal statement is unlike the personal essay for US colleges, where they’re looking for a compelling and well-written story. Here, the ‘narrative’ is not the focus. Make sure that the key elements are there first. (You may wish to read this guide to writing the UCAS Medicine personal statement for more.)

Note: I applied to Oxford, Imperial and UCL, and received interview offers from Oxford and Imperial.

Have a question? Leave a comment below, contact me , or DM me on Instagram @thelowkeymedic .

Medicine Personal Statement

ucas personal statements medicine

Your medicine personal statement is one of the most important elements of your medical school application. Competition for medical school is always fierce, and 2023 entry is set to be no different, therefore your personal statement will be key for distinguishing yourself from other applicants. It will be used in the decision making process by universities, when comparing candidates either prior to or following an interview , along with the result from your admission exam (if applicable) and your predicted grades. Therefore, you should see it as an opportunity to show universities more about you, your experiences and your motivation for applying.

How to write a personal statement for medicine

Your personal statement is a key opportunity to show your chosen universities your skills and experiences that make you a suitable candidate, and your ambitions for a career within medicine. You’ll find some guidance on what you should aim to include in your personal statement in the next section but it’ll also be useful to consider the following when preparing to write your personal statement:

1. The UCAS character limit

One of the biggest challenges when looking at areas that you need to cover is trying to include everything within the tight UCAS character limit. Remember, you only have 4,000 characters, which is roughly two sides of A4. Consider which elements are most important to you, and which qualities and experiences you want to demonstrate, as there may be things you have to sacrifice to avoid exceeding the character limit.

2. Your writing style

The quality of your writing is important within your personal statement, so consider your choice of language carefully and remember your audience and what you’re trying to convey. Equally, ensure that your writing is cohesive and flows well; so while you'll undoubtedly have a list of skills, experiences and information you want to include, you want to avoid it reading like a list.

3. Making your experiences relevant

Whether you’re discussing work experience you’ve undertaken or hobbies or clubs that you partake in, you should always focus on making them relevant to your future studies. Universities aren’t looking for a narrative of work experience that you’ve carried out, they’re interested in what you learnt as a result of the experience. Your personal statement should reflect on any work experience and demonstrate what skills and/or qualities you’ve developed which are required within the medical profession. Similarly with your hobbies or clubs, you should reflect on relevant skills and qualities that you have developed as a result of these.

4. How you will demonstrate your knowledge of working within the medical profession

As well as demonstrating your motivation for working within the medical profession, it’s also important to show that you have a realistic understanding of what this entails, which can be achieved by acknowledging the less attractive side of medicine. However, ensure that you put a positive spin on any negatives you present and allow your passion for medicine to come through. Linking to your work experience is a great way of doing this. For example, you could highlight challenges that you observed within medical practice, but focus on the positives that came from this: was it multidisciplinary team working, effective communication, or challenging individuals to continue to develop their skills and knowledge?

Medicine Personal Statement Structure

There isn’t a set personal statement template which you need to follow, however, there are some essential things which you should try to include. The UCAS website advises that university admissions tutors are looking for evidence of the following:

1. Your understanding of the subject area and the demands of the medical profession, as well as your motivation to study and fulfil the requirements of your future role.

This can be demonstrated in a number of ways:

  • Relevant work experience and shadowing - remember to focus on what you learnt and the skills and qualities you developed as a result of the work experience, and only include concise descriptions of what tasks you did, and only when relevant.
  • Reference to additional reading around key issues, topics and the latest research - only include things you will be confident discussing at your interview, should it be referred to.
  • Membership of relevant societies / clubs - don’t simply list these, make meaningful links between the knowledge, skills and qualities you have developed through your participation in these.

2. Your interests outside of your academic study.

For example, sports, music, volunteering. Again, remember to use these to demonstrate your skills and qualities that will make you a suitable candidate for medical school.

3. Your ability to work individually and as a member of a team.

Give examples of occasions when you’ve demonstrated that you can work effectively within a team and as an individual. You may also want to include examples of situations where you’ve led a group, if you have experience of this.

4. Your personal qualities which make you suitable for a career in medicine.

Try to provide examples which demonstrate your personal qualities which make you a suitable candidate for medical school, for example your empathy, your resilience, your drive, etc., by linking to your work experience, your hobbies and even your academic studies.

5. Your analytical and critical thinking skills demonstrated through a well written personal statement.

The most effective way to demonstrate your skills is by providing examples, using your experiences to show that you process the required analytical and critical thinking skills to make you a suitable candidate.

Excellent Medicine Personal Statement Tips

Writing a Medicine Personal Statement

Writing your personal statement can seem daunting; keep it simple with the following useful tips:

1. Plan what you want to include

Using the information above to help you, create a plan of what you want to include, whether that’s using a mind map, lists or any other way which works for you, to ensure you know which experiences, skills and qualities you want to share before starting your personal statement.

2. Draft, draft and draft again

Don’t worry about making your personal statement perfect the first time around (or keeping within the character limit for that matter). Once you’ve written everything you want to include you can begin rewording sentences, moving sections around and editing parts which are less significant so you can get within the character limit.

3. Give yourself lots of time

It's simple but so important. All those drafts take time, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to write. You don’t want your personal statement to appear rushed or to miss important information that will help your application.

4. Draw on trusted family members, friends or teachers to check over your statement

Getting a second opinion is useful for picking up errors you might have missed or showing you where you can sell yourself more. Just be careful to avoid taking on board too many opinions, as you want you to make sure it’s your voice which comes through.

5. Read it aloud

It’s so basic but it makes spotting punctuation and grammatical errors easier. It’ll also help to ensure that it flows and reads well, which admissions tutors will be looking for.

How to Start a Medicine Personal Statement

Often the most difficult part with any written piece is getting started; there is generally a focus on ensuring that your first paragraph captivates your reader and makes them want to read more, which can create a stumbling block when you begin writing. A useful tactic to help you to avoid staring at a blank page for hours, is to ignore your opening altogether, and to begin as if you’re picking it up after an introductory sentence or two. Once you’ve written your first draft you’ll find it easier to draw out interesting points and to rework them to create an opening statement.

It’s important within your opening paragraph to show your passion and your reasons for wanting to study medicine; the difficulty is trying to avoid cliches, when it’s highly likely that your reasons for wanting to study medicine are similar to many students who have come before you. Sharing your interests which are related to medicine, or your personal experiences (your work experience, volunteering, etc.) which have developed your passion, is an effective way to achieve this in an individual way. Don’t get fixated on trying to stand out, focus on giving an honest account of why you want to study medicine and your interests and experiences which have helped you to decide this, and avoid using unrealistic or exaggerated reasons or experiences.

Remember, while your opening section is important, it is also just one part of your overall statement; make sure that it adds to your personal statement (remember that tight character limit) and isn’t just there to grab attention.

Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement

If you’re applying for the graduate entry route, not only will the UCAS rules be the same for your personal statement (for example the character limit, deadline, etc.), but what you should aim to include will also remain the same. However, university admission tutors will have higher expectations for graduate entry applicants’ skills, competencies and experiences, given that you have undertaken a degree previously and likely have more experience; sharing relevant work experience, as well as any academic achievements or other accomplishments which are relevant, will allow you to demonstrate that you meet these expectations.

Even if your current or previous employment is not health related, it may still be relevant to your application, if you're able to demonstrate the transferable skills which will be useful for a career in medicine. Where possible, provide examples of additional work experience within medical or care settings, if your employment isn’t health related, to demonstrate your commitment to studying medicine and your development of skills to support this. Remember to limit your descriptions of your work experience, to include only what is necessary, and focus on reflecting on your experiences and the skills and qualities you have developed as a result of them.

Writing a Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement

As with other routes into medicine, you’ll be expected to demonstrate why you want to study and your passion for a future career in medicine. Admission tutors will also be assessing if you have the required attributes for a career in medicine and a realistic view of what it entails. Again, reflecting on your previous work experiences, either voluntary or paid, as well as your previous degree, if it’s relevant, will allow you to demonstrate that you meet these requirements.

You can find more guidance on entry requirements, funding and admissions exams in our Graduate Entry Medicine blog .

A Good Medicine Personal Statement

Finally, remember that a good medical personal statement will look completely different depending on the candidate. Focus on sharing your unique experiences, skills and qualities, and your personal ambitions and passion for a career in medicine. That’s what admission tutors want to see and that’s what will make you stand out as an individual.

For more personal statement tips visit the UCAS ‘How to write your undergraduate personal statement’ . You can also find support with all aspects of your medical school application and interview in our dedicated ‘Applying to medical school’ section.

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Personal Statement: Motivation for Medicine


Possibly one of the most important questions that you need to address in your personal statement is “Why medicine?”. So what should you include in your personal statement to answer this and where should you write this?

In a nutshell, there’s no right answer! Some students chose to include this in their introduction, while others chose to explore their reasons for choosing medicine later in their personal statement in its own paragraph. This is entirely down to personal preference, with no right of wrong answer, perhaps try doing both and see which flows better with the rest of your personal statement.

How do I show my motivation for medicine? 

There are a few key things to consider when thinking about why medicine, these include:

  • Science –  Why do you like the academic side of medicine? Was there a key thing you studied that sparked your interest in medicine from the basic sciences at school?
  • Caring – Why do you want to do a job where you care for people? Being a doctor is a “client facing” role, so why does this appeal to you?
  • Experiences – have you had a certain experience that inspired you to do medicine? Maybe a personal story about your own health or someone close to you. Don’t worry if you haven’t or don’t want to share this, some students find it a very personal reason as to why they choose to pursue medicine rather than enjoying science and caring for others. 

Do many sure that you add personality to these three rather generic statements above. Most applicants to medicine were inspired to apply to medicine for the same reasons, by adding depth and personality it is just another way to make your personal statement stand out. 

Many people ask, should I say if anyone in my family are doctors – You can mention that you have doctors in your family, but you have to show the value of adding this. Think about if they did something inspiring that made you want to follow in their footsteps and become a doctor too, or perhaps your relative helped you see the day-to-day role of a doctor which you found something that appealed to you. An example of this could be: “By living with my uncle, who is a doctor, I have seen first hand how a doctor manages their work life balance”. 

ucas personal statements medicine

Worked Examples

“I want to do medicine because it is a prestigious job, and I want to challenge myself academically with the opportunity to earn good money as a bonus”

This is a poor explanation, the student comes across as being driven by the title, prestige and money associated with medicine. 

“I love medicine, and have had a dream of going to medical school since young. Viewing my father’s life-depending operation at the age of 16, I was given an insight into the intricacies of a hospital, and the pressure-driven, yet intellectually engaging, environment of medicine”

The answer starts off a tad idealistic, and there is a concern that the stereotypical “life-changing” event will be used poorly. However, the student links his experience to what he gained and learnt from it, so it is a fairly good answer, albeit far from perfect.

“I enjoy the detailed scientific academia which intellectually stimulates and challenges me, alongside the human engagement involved in clinical practice”

This is a good answer, because it links together two different, but equally important, sides of medicine – scientific theory and clinical practice. 

“The fusion of science and society in medicine appeals to me, as the vocation combines the stimulating study of human anatomy with the practical application of this science in a clinical environment, with an altruistic objective.”

This example, although short, has demonstrated several reasons that the candidate wants to study medicine. 

Try to think about what you could say for the following key points:

  • Interest in the human body
  • Work experience
  • Scientific news and journals
  • Caring and helping others

By completing exercises such as this, you will be able to construct your answer for why medicine in your personal statement easily. This will also help you when it comes to preparing for medical school interviews. 

The key takeaway here is ensuring you don’t just list a few points – try and focusing on one or two and expanding. You need to integrate the fact that medicine is a fusion of science and social. Hopefully these tips will help you show to medical schools that they should interview you.

Frequently Asked Question

→what is a personal statement for medicine.

A personal statement for medicine is a written statement of your motivations and experiences that have led you to pursue a career in medicine. It is an essential part of your medical school application process that allows you to showcase your unique qualities and abilities to admissions committees.

→What should I include in my personal statement for medicine?

You should include your motivations for pursuing a career in medicine, any relevant experiences you have had in healthcare, research or volunteer work, and any personal qualities or traits that make you a strong candidate. You should also highlight any challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them.

→What is the structure of a personal statement for medicine?

A personal statement for medicine should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide a brief overview of what the statement will cover. The body should contain the main content of your statement, including your motivations, experiences, and personal qualities. The conclusion should summarize your main points and reinforce your desire to pursue a career in medicine.

→How can I make my personal statement for medicine stand out?

To make your personal statement stand out, you should focus on highlighting your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart from other candidates. You should also showcase your passion for medicine and your dedication to making a positive impact in the field. Additionally, you should ensure that your statement is well-written and error-free.

→How should I approach writing my personal statement for medicine?

You should approach writing your personal statement for medicine by first brainstorming and outlining your main points. Then, you should focus on writing a strong introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and provides an overview of your statement. You should then develop the body of your statement, ensuring that each paragraph is focused on a specific topic. Finally, you should write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your commitment to pursuing a career in medicine.

→How do I write a motivation letter for medical school?

When writing a motivation letter for medical school, you want to showcase your passion for medicine, your qualifications and experiences that make you a strong candidate, and your reasons for wanting to attend the specific medical school. Here are some tips to help you write a strong motivation letter:

Start with a strong opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for your letter.

Discuss your academic qualifications and achievements, including any relevant coursework or research experience.

Highlight your experiences in the healthcare field, such as volunteering at a hospital or shadowing a physician. Discuss how these experiences have shaped your desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Discuss any personal qualities or traits that make you a strong candidate, such as your strong work ethic, leadership skills, or ability to work well under pressure.

Explain why you want to attend the specific medical school, highlighting any specific programs or opportunities that interest you.

Emphasize your commitment to making a positive impact in the field of medicine and how attending medical school will help you achieve your career goals.

Close with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your passion for medicine.

Remember to proofread your letter carefully for grammar and spelling errors and to tailor your letter to the specific medical school you are applying to. With these tips, you can write a compelling motivation letter that showcases your qualifications and passion for medicine.

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Conclusion of UCAS personal statement for Medicine

Your conclusion should highlight what you would like admissions tutors to know about your interest in Medicine

In the conclusion of your Medicine personal statement, your goal is to leave a positive and clearly defined impression on admission tutors.

Popular methods of concluding the personal statement when applying to UK medical schools include: short summaries, memorable anecdotes, and a candidate’s goals for a career in Medicine.

Whatever approach you take, avoid the pitfall of concluding by simply repeating points you made earlier in your personal statement.

Try to make your concluding paragraph refreshingly memorable!

Try to make the conclusion of your personal statement positively memorable, as a reflection of your key ideas about Medicine.

As explained by UCAS : "Be positive and remember concluding your personal statement is a reminder to the admissions tutor on why they should choose you over someone else."

Ultimately, concision is important in your concluding paragraph. Remember to express in your own words (avoiding quotations, generalisations, and clichés) what makes you a distinctly suitable candidate for medical school.

As recommended by 6med , draft your conclusion freely and then come back to trim and shape it:  "The conclusion tends to be the place where you will waffle the most. To help you avoid this, first, embrace it. Get all your words down on paper, don’t try to cut words and content now as you can come back to this and you might miss out on some key points from being too concise and careful. You also don’t want your personal statement conclusion to sound robotic so let the words flow first. Then, either later in the same day or the next day, come back and see what can be cut out to make your conclusion stronger and more concise ".

See all Medicine personal statement guidelines

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UCAS and the Personal Statement (AMS Advice Zone)

Ucas and the personal statement.

UCAS stands for the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. It is an organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. Your application is submitted to UCAS, who then pass it on to the university (or universities) of your choice. The process is all online. You can find out much more on the UCAS  website .

Applications to study medicine in UK medical schools open on the UCAS website at the beginning of September. The deadline date for equal consideration for medical applications is normally 15th/16th October in the year before you wish to start your studies. Always check the application deadline on the UCAS website. For example, if you wanted to attend Aston Medical School in September 2024 you would submit your UCAS application between the beginning of September 2023 and 16th October 2023. You can start filling out your application around a month prior to applications opening.

The online application requires the following information: 

  • Personal details – your name, contact details and similar information. 
  • Your academic profile – the school that you attend, what qualifications you are currently studying (e.g. A Levels or the IB) and what you have already achieved (e.g. GCSEs). Remember to check all of our entry requirements on our course page before applying.
  • A personal statement – a section about you and why you should be accepted onto the course. 
  • An academic reference – your current teacher will complete this section. If you are applying independently, you will need to contact your referee separately .   . 
  • Work experience – details of any work experience or voluntary work that you have completed (paid or unpaid) and is relevant to your chosen course.

You can apply to up to five courses through UCAS, although only four may be for Medicine. These could be at multiple institutions or more than one relevant course at the same institution. However, you are only able to submit one Personal Statement. If your personal statement is not focused on Medicine, you may be asked to submit a new personal statement via email.

There are over 37,000 courses on UCAS. Research is important – look carefully at the websites of all the different universities that you are interested in. Remember that even a course like Medicine can vary between universities. 

You should also ensure that you check the entry requirements to ensure that you have a chance of being accepted. You can see the entry requirements for the Aston Medical School MBChB here .

The cost is approximately £27.50 (subject to change by UCAS). Your school or college may fund this cost for you.

This section is written by your teacher/tutor. They will write about you as a student and will also include what grades they think you will achieve. Make sure that you talk to your teacher/tutor in advance, so they know which course you are applying for and can tailor the reference. If you are retaking qualifications, please ensure your referee covers any reasons as to why you are retaking.

We strongly advise that you seek to obtain an academic referee however where this is not possible your reference must come from your current/previous employer. 

The personal statement is a short piece of writing, no more than 4,000 characters in length (including spaces). It is your opportunity to demonstrate to the Admissions team that you are passionate about studying Medicine and that you should be accepted on to the course. Your voice should shine through.

Below is rough outline of what we would expect to find in your statement. This is not set in stone and should be used more as a guide.

  • Paragraph one : should be about you, why you want to study the course and perhaps what has inspired you.
  • Paragraphs two and three : should expand on your academic achievements and how they relate back to the course. If appropriate, you could also mention any work experience or something that you have read that has inspired you to want to progress your studies in this area. 
  • Paragraph four : should relate to your extra-curricular activities. 
  • Paragraph five : is your closing paragraph. 

Paragraphs do not need to be of equal length, however we do recommend/suggest  that paragraphs two and three should be the largest.

Make sure your personal statement shows us why you want to study medicine and why we should take you onto this course. Things that can make you stand out include:

  • Identifying a gap in your skills and working on it.
  • Being a prefect at school or a peer mentor supporting younger pupils.
  • Volunteering.

It is important to show us what you have learnt from your experiences and how this will be relevant for your course in the future.

Check spelling, grammar and punctuation – this is very important. Proofread as many times as you can, and get someone else to check your application too.

Use an appropriate email address that features your name and surname, not something like [email protected].

In addition to the UCAS application form, applying to Aston Medical School involves the UCAT test and the MMI .

Visit the UCAS website for lots more information: www.ucas.com .

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How Universities Use Your Medicine Personal Statement

Check our table to see how every Medical School uses your Personal Statement - and find out which ones place a strong emphasis on this part of your application.

Med Schools And Personal Statements

  • Find out how Med Schools use Personal Statements
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You need to understand how universities use your Medicine Personal Statement because you’ll need to know whether it can make – or break – your UCAS application .

How Do Med Schools Use Personal Statements?

In general, there are five main ways that your Personal Statement could be used by Medical Schools:

  • Not used in any part of the selection process at all
  • Read but not assessed
  • To shortlist candidates to invite to interview
  • To form the basis of questions at interview
  • To help decide between two candidates who are otherwise equally tied

For example, Brighton and Sussex say they will not use your Personal Statement in the selection process – whereas others, like King’s College London , will look at it when considering applicants to shortlist for interview.

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Why Do I Need to Know This?

It’s important that you know how your target Medical Schools will use your Personal Statement, so you can decide how much effort to put into it.

For example, if you’re applying to universities that won’t use the Personal Statement for shortlisting candidates at all, you may be wiser to dedicate more time to preparing for the UCAT or BMAT . Likewise, if you’re applying to universities that place a greater emphasis on your Personal Statement for Medicine, you’ll need to really scrutinise how you structure and how you write your Personal Statement to boost your chances.

How Every Med School Uses Personal Statements

This table sums up what Medical Schools are currently saying about how they will use your Personal Statement. For more detail, and for the most up-to-date information, make sure you check their websites directly.

Once you understand how your Personal Statement for Medicine will be used, it’s time to start planning it to ensure your application is as strong as possible.

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How To Structure Your Medicine Personal Statement

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UCAS personal statement for Graduate Entry to medicine

UCAS personal statements are used differently by each medical school. Some medical schools use personal statements after looking at pre-entry test results, others include them in their initial short-listing, either way, it is an important part of your application.

Key elements to include:

  • Motivation for medicine – what makes medicine right for you?
  • Approach to academic learning – what has helped you be successful during your first/previous degree/s?
  • Relevant skills – how have you developed these, what do they say about you as a potential clinician? The skills can come from any aspect of your experience – they don’t have to be based on clinically-related experience
  • Career aspirations – how does medicine fit with how you see your future?

How to write your personal statement

  • Ensure you spend time reflecting on your skills and experiences. Learning from what has gone before and how you have done things is central to both learning on a medicine degree and continuing professional development as a clinician. You may want to ask other people what they feel are your strengths and when they have seen you using these strengths. Feedback from others can be useful to capture things we don’t yet know about ourselves.
  • Always use examples from your own experience. If you are saying that you wish to study medicine to provide a service to humankind – explain where this motivation has come from, what other experiences have you had of ‘service’, how did you decide that medicine would be the right sort of ‘service’?
  • Check your writing. If a sentence does not include something about your own experience, consider if it is really needed (or whether you can rewrite it to include experience).
  • Check your writing for typing errors, spelling, and making sense. Get someone else to proof-read your personal statement for you (the Careers Service does not offer this service, ask a friend or relative who writes well).

The Medical Schools Council has devised skills and attributes of an ideal medical school candidate . You could use this list as a starting point to reflect on what examples highlight these skills for you.

Top tips: Medicmind personal statement

Examples of successful statements:

  • University Compare: Example Medicine personal statements
  • University of Oxford - Medicine: Anatomy of a personal statement
  • 6Med: Medicine personal statement inspiration
  • Aspiring Medics: Medicine personal statement
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