How To Write A Dentistry Personal Statement
Your personal statement is your unique opportunity to tell your chosen dental schools exactly why they should give you a place. In an increasingly competitive world, you will need to produce a personal statement that is succinct yet informative and every line is relevant. It stands out from the rest, is original and unique to you and makes the reader remember your statement above and beyond the other thousands they are reading.
Your personal statement needs to convey a few crucial points and explore vital areas. These include:
- Passion/interest and enthusiasm
Why do you want to study dentistry? Why is it the career path you are choosing to undergo? What made you choose dentistry over medicine or other health care sciences and fields? Why would you like to look at teeth forever?
What have you completed in terms of work experience to bring you to your decision to pursue dentistry? Where did you do this work experience, what did you learn & did it cover different disciplines and sectors within dentistry? What did you enjoy the most, what stood out? Which procedures did you see first-hand? Did you notice any challenges?
It is always favourable to see a wide array of dentistry in action and to portray this in your personal statement. Whilst its beneficial to see general dentistry in play, being able to demonstrate that you have had experience in oral surgery or shadowing an endodontist or even a taster for special care dentistry – this certainly will make you a cut above the rest. Dentistry is a broad career pathway and having an appreciation for its different disciplines in your statement will surely tell the reader that you’ve done your research.
Try to briefly include a procedure you have shadowed in your statement. Don’t simply explain the procedure but rather elaborate and elucidate on the challenges you saw, what you learnt from it, how it interested you and the list goes on.
If you are an international student, include a section on why you wish to pursue dentistry in the UK.
This is essential in your personal statement. It is all about YOU. Why I am suitable to enter dental school and why I have what it takes to be a dentist. This is the part where you inadvertently ‘sell’ yourself to the dental school. This is the section where you list the qualities you have, the skills you have gained and most importantly how each of these link to dentistry. It’s one thing to mention I am caring and empathetic and another to show how you displayed these traits and how it interlinks with dentistry.
Every fact must be supported by evidence. It’s not enough to mention you are a team player. Where have you displayed this & why is it central to dentistry?
Key qualities that make a successful dentist – think about ways you have demonstrated this to date and include them in your personal statement. A few are:
empathy, caring nature, good listener, time management, being able to work under pressure, a team player, a team leader organised, manual dexterity, hard-working, well rounded and excellent communication skills
This section is a key one to include any voluntary work you have carried out, what it taught you and how it can help in your future career pathway. This could include community work, volunteering at a nursing home, charity work, helping children, special needs community endeavours and the list goes on.
- ‘I am well-rounded’
Whilst academia is important and an essential part to dentistry, your chosen dental school wants to know that you are well rounded, you have a variety of interests and your hobbies extend to aspects outside of dentistry as well. This part of your personal statement should describe your extra-curricular activities, your hobbies, what you like to do in your spare time and all in all, demonstrate that you are in fact well rounded and not just academic.
7 Key points to consider:
- The opening line and concluding line are crucial. Make these short, snappy, succinct yet of substance and something to remember. They have to be powerful as opposed to general.
- Every fact must be supported by evidence. Stating a trait you have? How did you demonstrate this?
- Every line must be of substance. Avoid repetition and try and always keep the reader engaged.
- Remember, the assessor will be reading thousands of applications and each applicant will have had similar work experiences and backgrounds. You need to make your statement stand out, be unique.
- Have a good structure to your statement. Divide up the necessary points you would like to include into coherent sections and paragraphs ensuring they flow well and link appropriately together.
- Have a thesaurus handy. Sometimes changing up a word here and there can make the statement read a whole lot better.
- Finally, always be truthful!
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