Optimising Your Personal Statement - Royal College of ...
Optimising Your Personal Statement Mr Zahid Raza Consultant Vascular Surgeon MBChB Admissions, University of Edinburgh Why a personal statement?
Overview of the applicant Sell yourself on paper Will he/she make a good doctor? Does he/she have adequate insight? What non-academic qualities does the applicant have? Will the applicant manage to complete their degree?
Writing your personal statement
Stay focused Keep it simple Only mention things you have done Keep it relevant for Medical School application Dont break the rules Mention your unique angle Dont overdo it and be truthful Get others (medical students, doctors) to go over it What does everyone have in their Personal Statement?
(the boring bits) Duke of Edinburgh award Working in a care home
Working for a charity Watched ER, Holby City (or worse have a box set) Went abroad Play a musical instrument/sport Personal Bits: Broke a bone Had an operation Have a sibling with a chronic disease You have a chronic disease Granny died Saved someones life at Tesco
What do very few people have in their Personal Statement? Evidence of communication skills Appreciating the multidiciplinary team
Reflection Commitment to lifelong learning and intense work Humility and a sense of pride in the caring professions Intellectual curiosity Background reading (GMC, Ethics, Student BMJ) What must I do to score in the Personal Statement? The marking scheme is split 1. Personal Qualities
2. Insight & Career Exploration 3. Non Academic Activities You need to score in all three domains 10% of applicants get full marks Marks will vary from 0 to 12 (Edinburgh) Each reviewer allocates up to 6 marks Large discrepancy between reviewers 3rd reviewer Examples of Personal Statements
and several times a week I play football, basketball, rugby and squash. I am also a grade 8 in piano and grade 7 in singing. I enjoy travelling, photography and in my spare time, play the guitar and drums Does this person actually have time to study Medicine? as I arrived in A & E, the nurse gave me some painkillers and the doctor then took over and confirmed that I had broken my femur. I was impressed
by her professionalism as she kept me calm whilst I was brought into the Orthopaedic ward. The doctors professionalism and caring attitude made me determined to follow the caring profession of medicine. What? You want to do medicine because a pretty female doctor kept you calm and diagnosed your broken bone lets face it, you fancied her? I am fascinated by the science of genetics. The fact that simple deletions, translocations and
inversions in the human chromosome can give rise to such variations in the phenotype has always intrigued me. I have spent my summer holidays in the Cavendish Laboratory isolating DNA from fruit flies in order to find a promoter of mutations Maybe a genetics degree would be better? during my week with a GP, I came across several interesting cases. This included a patient with a thigh sarcoma, an abdominal aortic
aneurysm, phenylketonuria and Marfans syndrome. All these patients had different needs and I was impressed how primary care gave support and advice Looks like these are the rare diseases your Daddy has seen in his whole career as a GP Examples of good personal statements Choosing to study medicine is not a decision I
have taken lightly. It isn't a career I have wanted to do since a particularly young age, nor did a life changing event prompt my choice. I have thought very long and hard before deciding to apply. No arresting opening statement or a desire to be a doctor since birth. Honest and down to earth. and during their journey to theatre, the emphasis on multi-disciplinary teamwork was evident and the versatility of all healthcare staff
and their ability to make collaborative team decisions was clear. The surgeon, anaesthetist and nursing staff all worked in unison with patient safety as their prime concern Reflects on a patient journey to an operating theatre; how the process involves a multi team approach I have no doubts about my ambition to pursue a career in medicine. I genuinely believe that I have the academic ability and the mental drive to
become one of Tomorrows Doctors, which, for me, would be a great privilege. Finishing off the personal statement which highlights their drive and determination and a subtle message that the candidate is aware of the GMC guide. Tips Dont make shopping lists of what you have done Try to keep Churches, Mosques, Synagogues and
Temples out of it Do your first paragraph last Make sure it runs well Youre trying to tell the university how amazing you are without boasting about it If you get an interview know EVERYTHING about what you have in your personal statement Awareness of other issues
There is a quota system present State school versus private school Widening participation scheme
Doctor bashing Parents profession Parents education Have you been in care? Are you a carer? Criminal record? Finally It takes me 10 to 15 mins to score a personal statement I have a batch of 25 per week
I have to get through 200 300 over 2 to 3 months Its quite laborious until an interesting candidate crops up Make sure you stand out! Good Luck
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