The following is an example of a personal statement. It is a preliminary draft of my personal statement of my 2009 medical school primary application.
Personal Statement Example from My Own Personal Files
My desire to become a doctor, and hence the necessity of going to medical school, resulted from the process of elimination. In my prior job as a staff accountant in a public accounting firm, work can be categorized in two groups: tax work and non-tax work. Of the two groups, tax work is more interesting, not because of tax preparation itself but because of the people. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing the clients, getting to know them, and learning about their family and financial situation. Hopefully, I was able to channel those into the best tax return possible — one which legally minimizes taxes paid. Unfortunately, tax season spans only a period of three months per year. The other aspects of accounting work are not particularly stimulating and I cannot envision myself in the field for the rest of my working life.
For the summer of 2009, I am shadowing doctors in an outpatient clinic in Bergen Regional Medical Center. From what I have seen, the role of the primary caregivers is quite similar to the role of the tax preparers. Both involve client / patient interactions, empathy, and providing the best service possible. While accounting’s focus is money management, medicine’s focus is life management. My service as a doctor will have a bigger impact. Unlike accounting, medicine is more universal. The functions of the body are the same in the United States as in South Africa as in China. This cannot be said about business entities as there are variations in the laws across different states let alone different counties. Therefore, being a doctor offers me a greater degree of mobility because I will be able to take my knowledge and skills with me as I travel across state and country borders.
The role of the doctor is that of a servant-leader, with an emphasis on serving over leading. As trite as it may sound, I want to help people, not because I am such a good person but because I know what it feels like to be helpless. My grandmother currently resides in a hospital in Taiwan, confined to the bed because of an injury to her head. She cannot speak, cannot eat, and cannot walk. The doctors have no cure for her. My family, especially my grandfather, is deeply saddened. The most I can do is try to cheer him up. In my case, the lack of a cure is not because of a lack of doctors. However, there are some places that are underserved with illnesses that can be but are not cured with today’s knowledge. There are families grieving because of a lack of help. I hope to be part of the future that can offer a cure, maybe by discovering a cure for a previously incurable sickness or maybe by being somewhere my presence and expertise is needed most. I want to be a servant-leader; I want to be a doctor.
Do Not Fall into a Trap of Rigid Thinking
This personal statement example is a good idea of what the medical school admissions committee is looking for. However, I must warn you not to fall into a trap of crafting your essay around mine. Do not be afraid to make yours completely different. I’m not a very verbose writer; I only have three paragraphs. Maybe you are, so feel free to use more paragraphs. Remember to be unique! Make it your story, not mine. I’m sure your life experiences are different. If you have never been abroad of the US, do not force it into the essay.
Lastly, do not lie about yourself. Not only is that unethical, if you do get caught, you can be expelled for dishonesty.
I hope my personal statement example inspires and guides you to write your own personal statement. Check out the section regarding medical school personal statements for more tips.
This article is part of the Get into Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about getting accepted into medical school.