5 Key Tips For a Graduate Entry Medicine Personal Statement
Clearly detail your motivation for wanting to study Graduate Medicine
This is always a crucial element of any personal statement, regardless of whether candidates are applying for undergraduate or graduate Medicine. However, it is particularly important in a personal statement for graduate Medicine.
Many graduate applicants apply for medicine at a late stage. Some may apply straight after their undergraduate degree, whilst some may apply after years of working in a different industry. Detailing your motivation may be simpler if you have just completed a bioscience-related undergraduate degree but applying after completing a non-related degree or working in a non-related industry may provide a unique and interesting viewpoint for your reasons for studying at a graduate level. For this reason, many graduate programmes accept candidates from a range of backgrounds, although it is always worth checking this first to ensure no applications are wasted!
In addition, motivation may be displayed by detailing examples of your extensive work experience, what you may have learned from these encounters, and how they have influenced your motivation going forward to study graduate Medicine.
Due to the increased competition for graduate places compared to undergraduate places, candidates’ motivations for studying Medicine will be scrutinised even more extensively. Selectors must be certain that candidates are willing to undertake the career-long commitment of continuous skill development and hard work.
Make use of your previous degree/ job to give examples of transferable skills
Examples of these transferable skills may include the ability to work well under pressure from experience of exams or coursework in your undergraduate degree. In addition, you may have worked as a part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team whilst working as a care assistant, and it is crucial to explain what skills you may have developed from this experience and how they relate to your Medicine application.
Experience of clinical environments will help with this section of your personal statement, as you will be able to put across a realistic view of what being a doctor entails, and which transferable skills from your previous experience may be most crucial.
Be sure to detail any academic interests
As a Graduate Medicine application is centred around the result of your last degree, some medical schools are less interested in your high school results. This may be helpful for some applicants; however, it is important to remember that Graduate medical schools are looking for an extremely high current academic standard. This standard, along with excellent organisational skills, is necessary in order for students to cope with a four-year degree.
As a result of this essential high standard, emphasis should be placed on any particular academic achievements you may have had in your last degree. These may include any publications, academic awards, conferences attended or poster presentations. In addition, if you have any particular areas of research interest from your previous degree, be sure to emphasise these. They will help you stand out against other applications!
Emphasise your maturity
Graduate Medicine programmes will expect an extra level of maturity in successful candidates. After all, graduate applicants are at least three years older than school leaver applicants. Your maturity can be put across in a variety of ways. For example, be sure to emphasise life skills, experiences and accomplishments from the last couple of years. These may have been gained in a variety of ways, whether from working or whilst studying your last degree. Regardless, they reflect a key difference in graduate Medicine personal statements compared to undergraduate Medicine personal statements.
Ensure your writing style is coherent and your statement has a logical structure
These are crucial elements for all personal statements. However, at a graduate level there really is no room for error. Years of studying an undergraduate degree should also have improved your grammar and punctuation. However, if you still feel uncomfortable with this aspect of your personal statement, ask a friend or parent to proof-read your document, or make use of online spellchecker software. Your structure should flow well, and your paragraphs should be themed (for example, sections on work experience, academic achievements, motivation). An enhanced level of maturity should be displayed throughout.
Elliot Noble, 3rd year medical student, Newcastle University
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