Recently, a client shared their academic advisor’s thinking on medical school personal statements with us. ‘Try to move away from the facts…show what you learned!’ While this advice was sound, there’s still something more valuable than ‘learnings’ in your personal statement: ACTION.
We’re not talking about cleaning glassware at your lab or operating the centrifuge, here; we’re talking about specific action that shows your strengths in practice vs principle. Action not only makes for more interesting, story-driven personal statements, it also allows you to seamlessly and subtly showcase your strengths and point of view. What you felt after seeing a trauma patient is one thing; how you handled your self with the patient’s family is another.
The added benefit of a more action-based personal statement is that you won’t feel the common (and misguided) tendency to meditate on ‘what good medicine is’ or ‘how Dr. X made an impression on you’ or even ‘how practicing medicine makes you feel.’ While some of this material can be useful inside your personal statement, action speaks louder than words, and can turn a flat personal statement into a robust, cogent narrative.
Looking for free initial feedback on your medical school or residency/fellowship personal statement? Visit us at www.ivyeyesediting.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org — we’re here to help!
Ivy Eyes Editing