Medical Personal Statement Sample

We hope our collection of UCAS Medicine personal statements provides inspiration for writing your own. Please do not plagiarise them in any way, or UCAS will penalise your application. Our Personal Statement Editing & Review Services are available if you feel you need a little extra help.

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From an early age I have been fascinated by the workings of life. The human body is a remarkable machine with many diverse systems producing an organism that could never be artificially reproduced. My love of science is just one of my reasons for choosing medicine...

I have been interested in medicine since childhood. This curiosity began, when at the age of five I saw a video of child birth. I was mesmerized by this miracle of life and by the thought of being involved in something as wonderful throughout my life...

My dream of studying medicine is not a volatile one based on rumours of the fulfilling life of a medic, but rather based on research, an understanding of the profession and close-up experience. My interest in medicine began when studying biology and chemistry at school in Norway and since then I have focused my everyday life around seeking medical knowledge...

Medicine Personal Statement

I have always had a very philanthropic approach to life. Living with my one hundred year old grandfather has allowed me to appreciate the frailties of the human body. When he had prostatitis, I went with him to hospital where he was taken to the geriatrics ward...

A hungry intrigue about science and an intrinsic yearning to have a positive impact on health standards in my community have compelled me towards the challenges and pressures of studying medicine. Having observed the commitment and dedication that my father devotes to his role asa gynaecologist, I am aware of and prepared for the demands and the intensity that a career inmedicine will entail...

After working over one hundred hours a week for more than three months, I completed the project to great success. I had worked hard on this difficult assignment; on the surface, my job was going well...

What initially drew me to medicine arose from a childhood intrigue into the intricacies of biological science and disease. This interest flourished greatly during third-level education and postdoctoral research, growing a deeper appreciation for the many challenges of such an interdisciplinary career...

Ever since I accidentally burnt holes in my pyjamas after experimenting with a chemistry set on my 8th Birthday, I have always had a passion for science. Following several hospital visits during my teenage years to explore my interest, the idea of a career that would exploit my humanity and problem-solving abilities always made medicine a natural choice...

Having always been fascinated by science, I chose to pursue this interest by studying biology at university. Before starting my degree, I took a gap year travelling through central and southern Africa...

Medicine is an ever-changing field I believe to be my vocation. I enjoy working in a team but also as an individual and taking responsibility for my own actions in a challenging environment. For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a particular satisfaction when it comes to helping people...

Medical Related Personal Statement

Life as an A-level student has brought challenges and rewards that I feel have enhanced and added volumes of positive input to my character. I am a cheerful, enthusiastic and caring member of Ponteland Sixth Form College, with a burning drive to strive forward on a continuous journey of self-improvement...

My fascination with the human body is a direct result of early conversations with my mother, a nurse. She worked as a childbirth educator, and I was absolutely captivated by what she described to me about reproduction, and the incredible changes the female body undergoes during pregnancy...

Medicine Personal Statement

How can the human mind be responsible for everything we do, and shape everything we are? That is a question that I have been fascinated with for a long time, first from a psychological perspective and now from a neuroscientific perspective...

'Whoever kills a person it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.'(Quran 5:32) My choice of A-Level subjects was influenced by my fascination to form connections between science and my religious beliefs...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine is an honourable and challenging vocation many aspire to. I have always envisaged working closely with people in an intellectually stimulating environment and in my opinion, a career in medicine is one of the best ways to achieve this, blending the analytical thinking of a scientist with the compassion of a carer...

Inasmuch as I have thoroughly enjoyed the comprehension of complex and abstract phenomena during my studies of physical chemistry, a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary science, I find the continuation in that direction most appropriate and natural...

The human body is one of the most complex structures in the known Universe. This statement does not take a neurosurgeon or a General Practitioner to answer. As I began adolescent, I realised how remarkable a machine we actually are...

Failing to secure a place in medical school at 18 prompted an agonising period of self-doubt and confusion. I was forced to step back, reflect, and inevitably question the logic behind my childhood fascination...

"The aim of Medicine is not to know the disease, but to relieve the suffering it causes." This quotation from Miguel Angel Garcia sums up why Medicine is my career choice. A close relative of mine fought cancer for two years...

'Sorry nurse, but what's a leg bag?' I realise that this is one of the most important pieces of writing that I will have to produce and I find it exhilarating that it will hopefully aid me in my desire to become a doctor...

My interest in studying medicine stemmed from a deep curiosity about the human body and a wish to work with people. As I researched what was involved in being a doctor, I realised that this was what I really wanted to do...

The human body is a very remarkable thing. Astrid Alauda once said "Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one". There is no truer fact in life, I appreciate this so much I always do my best to look after myself and I want to be able to do the same for others...

My decision to study Medicine stems from a deep-rooted interest in the human body, how it functions, above all what causes it to function abnormally. It is this interest that makes medicine the career for me, a decision that has been strengthened by my becoming a first aider with St John Ambulance...

For me, a career in medicine is the perfect opportunity to stimulate my mind in a fascinating field in which I am highly motivated to succeed. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to be able to combine my caring personality with the practical aspects of the subject, and so have a major impact on people's lives...

Medicine Personal Statement

When I was a child, I always dreamt of a career in the Humanities. I loved languages and Literature. As I grew up and began studying subjects in more depth, this love became overshadowed by my love for the sciences...

Shadowing and working with doctors is just one of the reasons for my passion to study medicine. Unequivocally enthusiasm has derived from shear pursuit and multifaceted experiences. Having completed posts at the North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospital Bristol NHS, paying attention to the activities of doctors and staff of wide-ranging precedence; care is achieved using staff variety and multi-disciplinary approaches...

I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to give up on something if I know I can achieve it. After finding a broken laptop in a bin I decided to take it home and repair it. I was advised by computer experts that it was a lost cause as the laptop was irreparable...

Medicine Personal Statement

My passion for medicine sprouted in me at a very tender age. My father being a medical doctor(radiologist) and my mother a nurse(opthalmic medical assistant), I can say I was born in the field. As I grew up, I came to realise that the curiousity I displayed at some practices my parents usually performed gradually developed into a passion, a dream I felt complied to fulfill for it became obvious that it was the course for me to study...

Living in two different countries has been a blessing, but not without its challenges; I have spent most of my life in either the United Kingdom or the XXXXXXXXXX. The contrasts in culture and lifestyle have been pivotal in making me the person I am today, giving me a more informed view of the World and its diversity...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine for me is a unique profession in that it does not discriminate in its universality of application. It has therefore captivated me as a challenging field of continuous learning that allows me to explore my love of science in a way that is beneficial to humanity...

Failing to secure a place in medical school at 18 created a seed of uncertainty and self-doubt in my mind. It made me question my childhood dream and I asked myself, why do I want to study medicine? Is it because of money? Is it to boost my public image? And then the answer hit me like a bullet, I did not choose medicine for the money or the fame but I chose it because I made a promise after a visit to my homeland, Somalia, that I would choose a path where I can be a great influence in someone's life by helping them physically and emotionally...

Medicine Personal Statement

Growing up in a country where a terrorist war has been raging for a quarter century,has uncovered the depths of poverty where medical care and facilities are woefully inadequate. This,combined with my interest in Science, and my desire to assist people have inspired me to choose medicine...

Medicine Personal Statement

Over the years, I have often found myself intrigued by the sheer exquisiteness of the science of medicine. It's truly admirable how the knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, together in a chemical context, can help people sustain a healthy life...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine is an ever growing, ever changing field. Doctors and researchers can spend their whole lives trying to find a cure for a disease only to realise that when they have, a new disease takes its place and hence the cycle begins again...

Medicine Personal Statement

I choose to study medicine as I believe that every person should contribute to the future by doing what they aim to do best. Individuals attempt to create or discover something new and to improve previous innovations...

Medicine Personal Statement

For most of my life, I lived in Uzbekistan. When I was there, my passion for medicine was triggered when I shadowed a doctor at a hospital and gained an insight into the demands of the profession. My roles involved helping the patients to move wards, giving assistance to the doctor and nurses and comforting the patients, when needed...

Medicine Personal Statement

I have always had a special interest in scientific and medical matters. My father died from lung cancer when he was just 29 years old. This did not make a lot of sense to me at the time and it wasn't until I was older that I was able to understand this properly...

From a very early age I have been fascinated by the workings of the human body, an extraordinary machine with such remarkable functions that it still cannot be artificially reproduced using any kind of modern technology! My love for science and the human body was initially sparked when in 1997 my younger sister had a convulsion, lingering on the threshold between life and death...

Pharmacy Personal Statement

The enthusiasm I have for the sciences - specifically Chemistry - encouraged me to think about my future career and how a chemistry-related degree could be a possibility for me. I have always enjoyed maths and science throughout my education and I have recognised that I can combine both in a career in pharmacy...

I survived. Born 6 weeks premature, if it wasn't for medicine, I may not have lived. From the earliest stages I have had a fascination with the sciences and my first 'Encyclopaedia of Science' incited an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding of these subjects...

Pharmacology Personal Statement

I am of Haitian descent and my country is one known for its harsh living conditions. There is a constant struggle for survival and poverty is an endemic burden. Despite numerous advances in technology, Haiti has remained the least-developed country in the Western Hemisphere...

Pharmacology and Human Sciences Personal Statement

From the race to find a vaccine for the H1N1 virus to the almost daily reports of breakthroughs in the field of cancer research, science has always fascinated me.On a more personal note, my interest has largely stemmed from school, work experiences, and science in the news...

Medicine Personal Statement

Prevention is better and not just cheaper than cure. I learnt this, when the dentist that handled my cousin's dental surgery told me that the surgery would have never been an alternative if only my cousin had avoided too much of sugary things especially chocolates...

Medicine Personal Statement

I graduated from the University of Southampton in July 2008 with an upper second class honours degree in podiatry. Since leaving university I have worked as a locum podiatrist. The majority of my role involves working independently in the community providing a high standard of quality clinical care to patients who self present or are referred to the service...

Postgraduate Medicine Personal Statement

Quite simply it is my curious nature which has always underpinned my desire to study medicine; the sheer complexity of both the human body and its healing processes have always fascinated me and, during my time in 6th form and subsequently while studying for my BSc...

Medicine Personal Statement

For me there is nothing more remarkable than understanding how the human body functions. Applying this understanding enables doctors and scientists to heal injuries and cure diseases, an ability which amazes and intrigues me...

The world of Science and Medicine has gone through overwhelming advances in the last century and so it is difficult to believe how much we still do not know. A few years ago my uncle suffered a cardiac arrest...

Medicine Personal Statement

The ever-evolving nature of medical science and the certainty that we will know more about the many different healthcare practices has inspired me to pursue a career in Medicine. My dedication to studying Medicine has been confirmed by the experience I have gained in different hospitals and practices and I look forward to the academic discipline and challenges that will arise...

Medicine Personal Statement

I decided on medicine as a career at the age of eight and as the years have passed my determination has not faultered. The trigger was reading a book about Florence Nightingale while I was still in my primary school...

Medicine Personal Statement

After a week in the obstetrics department of the John Radcliffe Hospital, I was utterly exhausted. It was hot, stressful and terrifying; an alien environment of blood and apparently incessant confusion...

Medicine Personal Statement

My fascination with the innermost workings of the human body began at the age of twelve when my excellent, if somewhat eccentric, science teacher dissected a pig's heart in front of the class. From that point onwards my interest in human physiology has only increased, and from the common cold to coronary heart disease I have always queried their possible causes and solutions...

Postgraduate Pharmacy Personal Statement

I am interested in the Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm) Programme because I am interested in the modules on which it is based. I want to do the MPharm programme so as to extend my knowledge in Medicines. I would like to get a deeper understanding of how to formulate and administer drugs safely...

Medicine Personal Statement

A dissection of the eye decided that my future career would be rooted in medicine. The fascination of how such a complex biological system encompassed both physics and chemistry enticed me, and prompted me to begin researching what it means to be a doctor...

Pharmacy Personal Statement

My true passion lies in helping others in a safe and effective way with the use of innovative pharmaceutical medicines. I have become inspired by my personal ambition of becoming a Pharmacist as I aspire to improve people’s daily lives...

Medicine Personal Statement

Given that over ninety nine percent of the body consists of just six elements, it is hard to imagine the human body as an intricately synchronised and immensely complex machine. Yet, it has done well to puzzle even the brightest minds in history-but I am drawn to a challenge; I cannot think of anything else more fascinating to work with...

Growing up in a developing country during a war, I have been through a lot. Having spent most of my childhood in hospital, being treated for severe injuries. I have come to realize how incredibly complex and vulnerable the human body is...

Medicine Personal Statement

A career in Medicine has been my burning desire for many years. This was triggered when a road accident hospitalised my brother. Watching sick, motionless children come in but leave smiling a few days later was so incredible I wanted to be part of it...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine Personal Statement The human body is an intricate organism having several systems and mechanisms working together in remarkable harmony. Thus, a mere thought of becoming an engineer of the most enigmatic, yet captivating machine of the whole universe: the human body; stimulates my innate curiosity to jump into the ever-evolving field that is medicine...

Medicine Foundation Year Personal Statement

Medicine is a combination of care, treatment and research which I am actively interested in. It is a general acknowledgement that good doctors are some of the hardest working and committed people you will meet...

Medicine Personal Statement

I had never seen a human fetus before that day. Sitting in a jar on the top shelf of my biology classroom, that human-like mere figure made me wonder “What is it?” Curiosity kept me looking through my grandparents’ vast library for a month, and when the truth was finally revealed, the enthusiasm made me think that I shall confine my studies to biology only...

Medicine Personal Statement

I have asked myself many times what it takes to be a great doctor, but like many questions there is never a straight answer. Keeping an open mind with regards to my career has meant that I have been able to pinpoint the one field which has fascinated me unlike any other, medicine...

As a Pediatrician’s son, I have witnessed all my life the fathomless tragedy of diseases, countless odd hours of emergencies and life saving efforts, melancholy at loss of life, ecstasy at recovery and infinite happiness at birth of new life...

Medicine Personal Statement

I have always been intrigued by science and its workings in the world. My fascination of how the human body functions has led me to appreciate the complexity of physiological anatomy and the tremendous skill required by a doctor...

The human body is undoubtedly one of the greatest natural phenomena known to man, and in its sheer complexity and intricacy is the inevitability of something going wrong, thus highlighting the tremendous role that doctors play in ensuring that the many diverse systems of the body are working flawlessly...

Pharmacy Personal Statement

The course of the medical world has been phenomenally changed by the discovery of Penicillin, one of the most effective life-saving drugs. Such advances intrigue me to learn about the formation of drugs, how they produce an effect in the body and their correct usage on people...

Medicine Personal Statement

My enthusiasm for the advances of medical science, understanding and technology drive me towards Medicine.I yearn to discover further the wonder and complexities of science, and have a greater understanding of the illness' and diseases we face...

Medical Foundation Year Personal Statement

For me, being a Doctor is having the capability to help someone else on a day to day basis. The variety of work is exciting and a career of constant learning is very appealing to me. I previously didn’t have the confidence I do now-I want to pursue my ultimate goal...

Medicine Personal Statement Graduate/Undergraduate

Although I have always wanted to be a doctor, at the age of 17 I felt too immature and lacked the confidence required to fully commit to a lifelong career. I therefore chose to study a subject that I believed would be invaluable in my future career, human anatomy...

Medicine Personal Statement

My desire to study medicine grew from a young age when my mother was diagnosed with hypertension. The regular visits to the GP gave me a glimpse into the profession but particularly the thirst to learn more about heart disease...

To venture into the realm of science and medicine is to pursue a path of boundless discovery;I am in awe of how much humanity has been shaped by medical advances, paving the way for new cures and better anatomical understanding...

Medicine Personal Statement

I want to be able to understand the human body and repair it when it malfunctions. During my work experience at King's College Hospital in the liver transplant unit, I saw much open surgery carried out on the abdomen...

Medicine Personal Statement

As my understanding of the immensely complex human body grows, I find myself increasingly fascinated with the way by which the various components of the body are able to work together to produce the wonder that we call life...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medical science is a field that I find fascinating. Studying the intricate mechanisms that integrate to produce biological processes, and the consequences that arise when these mechanisms are impaired truly captivates me...

Medicine Personal Statement

While the idea to care for others is appealing to me, the applications of medicine for finding remedies to the complexities of the human body fascinates me even more. Studying medicine opens several career options from general practice to clinical research! Having the interest and aptitude for scientific knowledge and the awareness to promote health safety, it encourages me to choose this highly rewarding and satisfying course...

Medicine Personal Statement

When two, I suffered a large third degree burn on my chest. Living in a small town in Romania, I was not able to get appropriate treatment, so I grew up with complexes about the aesthetical appearance of the scar...

Medicine Personal Statement

My passionate interest in the sciences has been a major influence upon the choices I have made in terms of my academic studies. From a young age I wanted to understand how and why everything worked. In particular, I became fascinated with the sheer complexity of the human body and the way the different body systems work together seamlessly...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine as a career has always infected me as it feeds on my never ending curiosity for human body, especially the brain, as these intricate natural things cannot be imitated. My kind nature and ability to help people with whatever I have, has further helped the infection to strengthen and spread its ever wanting roots in me...

Medicine Personal Statement

Medicine is a fascinating, ever changing and evolving field which makes my decision to study it an exciting life long commitment. I am eager to take on any opportunity to combine my caring personality with my interest for science to make a direct impact on people's lives...

Medicine Personal Statement

White coats, stethoscopes hung around necks and the sense of playing hero were popular amongst childhood dreams. However, unlike others around me, this dream was not lost when I realised reality paved a much tougher road- instead, it grew to become a fierce ambition...

Being born in an era where Science flourishes and is relentlessly used as a base to solve all of mankind's problems makes me yearn for the knowledge it bestows. I first discovered Science at the age of 10, when I read a set of junior encyclopaedias, which introduced me to a world full of diversity...

Medicine Personal Statement

Studying the history of medicine made me realise what a huge impact Doctor’s have on people’s lives. I’ve always wanted a career involving people as I’m fascinated by our unique nature and the human body itself...

Medicine Personal Statement

Without modern medicine, I would be dead. At birth, my head was too big to emerge naturally; I owe my life (and possibly my mother's) to an obstetrician at Basingstoke Hospital who carried out a caesarean section after a 72-hour labour...

Medicine Personal Statement

October 10, 2011, I walked into the First United Methodist Church Activity Center in Knoxville, Iowa. This was my first time at the Knoxville Free clinic. I took in the volunteers, patients and environment at the clinic...

Medicine Personal Statement

The challenge of spending my working life immersed in the fascinating, ever-evolving world of the medical sciences, and the opportunity to use this knowledge to benefit others, has drawn me to seek a career in medicine...

Medicine Personal Statement

A whole team was present, ready and prepared to care for my cousin. Seeing my aunt give birth was an eye opening experience at the age of twelve. It was my first memory of genuinely considering a career in medicine through observing the commitment of doctors, who spend their lives ensuring others are healthy and well...

Medicine Personal Statement

Driven by a huge appetite for knowledge, a powerful urge to satisfy a continuously growing sense of curiosity, and an incredible desire to help those in need, I was all set to pursue a career in medicine...

Medicine Personal Statement

My interest in psychology and sociology started very early, so naturally I enrolled in several courses about these subjects; to say that the content was eye-opening is an understatement. I learned that every individual’s attitude and behavior is molded by nature or nurture (or both) and that these factors are often not controllable...

Medicine Personal Statement

When my grandmother was diagnosed with colon cancer I took care of her. I helped her eat, put clothes on, wash herself, go to the hospital and I kept her positive that she will be healthy again. I did research about colon cancer and its treatments in order to better understand her disease...

Medicine Personal Statement

As a ten year old boy living with my grandmother, I realised the fragility and delicacy of the human body as I watched my grandmother’s gradual decline in health due to being infected by shingles, prior to my grandfather passing away from cancer...

Medicine Personal Statement (Graduate Entry)

My conviction for Medicine has aptly followed a certain period of introspection. A recent family visit to South Africa encouraged thoughtful consideration of my reasons for applying to Medical school, and also granted the opportunity to explore healthcare practice in my home country...

Medicine Personal Statement

Residing in clinical grounds of Zimbabwe I discovered myself in unintentional healthcare recruitment. 2008 cholera epidemic outbreak initial effects tackled my path to medicine as I had witnessed the destruction it rayed...

Medicine Personal Statement

The human body is an intricate system of bones, nerves and cells. I learnt this at a young age when my mother would be up late at night studying for a nursing exam. I would read off her card as she would rapidly recite the answer to me...

Medicine Personal Statement

Ever since year 7 biology class where students were given the opportunity to discuss and examine frog cadavers I have been fascinated with anatomy, physiology and medicine. This passion for medicine led me to college in order to study the sciences with a view to progress into a medical profession, however at the time I was unsure which medical field I wished to join, but like most teenagers I decided that I would figure out the finer details when the time came...

Medicine Personal Statement

The world of medical science has always been intriguing to me, wanting to explore the depths of logic and reasons behind the various phenomenon that occurs in our body. The complexity, the awe, the wonder of the occurrence of various processes has never failed to pull me towards the world of biology, one of the pillars of science...

Sample Medical School Essays


This section contains two sample medical school essays

  1. Medical School Sample Essay One
  2. Medical School Sample Essay Two

Medical School Essay One

Prompt: What makes you an excellent candidate for medical school? Why do you want to become a physician?

When I was twelve years old, a drunk driver hit the car my mother was driving while I was in the backseat. I have very few memories of the accident, but I do faintly recall a serious but calming face as I was gently lifted out of the car. The paramedic held my hand as we traveled to the hospital. I was in the hospital for several weeks and that same paramedic came to visit me almost every day. During my stay, I also got to know the various doctors and nurses in the hospital on a personal level. I remember feeling anxiety about my condition, but not sadness or even fear. It seemed to me that those around me, particularly my family, were more fearful of what might happen to me than I was. I don’t believe it was innocence or ignorance, but rather a trust in the abilities of my doctors. It was as if my doctors and I had a silent bond. Now that I’m older I fear death and sickness in a more intense way than I remember experiencing it as a child. My experience as a child sparked a keen interest in how we approach pediatric care, especially as it relates to our psychological and emotional support of children facing serious medical conditions. It was here that I experienced first-hand the power and compassion of medicine, not only in healing but also in bringing unlikely individuals together, such as adults and children, in uncommon yet profound ways. And it was here that I began to take seriously the possibility of becoming a pediatric surgeon.

My interest was sparked even more when, as an undergraduate, I was asked to assist in a study one of my professors was conducting on how children experience and process fear and the prospect of death. This professor was not in the medical field; rather, her background is in cultural anthropology. I was very honored to be part of this project at such an early stage of my career. During the study, we discovered that children face death in extremely different ways than adults do. We found that children facing fatal illnesses are very aware of their condition, even when it hasn’t been fully explained to them, and on the whole were willing to fight their illnesses, but were also more accepting of their potential fate than many adults facing similar diagnoses. We concluded our study by asking whether and to what extent this discovery should impact the type of care given to children in contrast to adults. I am eager to continue this sort of research as I pursue my medical career. The intersection of medicine, psychology, and socialization or culture (in this case, the social variables differentiating adults from children) is quite fascinating and is a field that is in need of better research.

Although much headway has been made in this area in the past twenty or so years, I feel there is a still a tendency in medicine to treat diseases the same way no matter who the patient is. We are slowly learning that procedures and drugs are not always universally effective. Not only must we alter our care of patients depending upon these cultural and social factors, we may also need to alter our entire emotional and psychological approach to them as well.

It is for this reason that I’m applying to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as it has one of the top programs for pediatric surgery in the country, as well as several renowned researchers delving into the social, generational, and cultural questions in which I’m interested. My approach to medicine will be multidisciplinary, which is evidenced by the fact that I’m already double-majoring in early childhood psychology and pre-med, with a minor in cultural anthropology. This is the type of extraordinary care that I received as a child—care that seemed to approach my injuries with a much larger and deeper picture than that which pure medicine cannot offer—and it is this sort of care I want to provide my future patients. I turned what might have been a debilitating event in my life—a devastating car accident—into the inspiration that has shaped my life since. I am driven and passionate. And while I know that the pediatric surgery program at Johns Hopkins will likely be the second biggest challenge I will face in my life, I know that I am up for it. I am ready to be challenged and prove to myself what I’ve been telling myself since that fateful car accident: I will be a doctor.


Medical School Essay Two

Prompt: Where do you hope to be in ten years’ time?

If you had told me ten years ago that I would be writing this essay and planning for yet another ten years into the future, part of me would have been surprised. I am a planner and a maker of to-do lists, and it has always been my plan to follow in the steps of my father and become a physician. This plan was derailed when I was called to active duty to serve in Iraq as part of the War on Terror.

I joined the National Guard before graduating high school and continued my service when I began college. My goal was to receive training that would be valuable for my future medical career, as I was working in the field of emergency health care. It was also a way to help me pay for college. When I was called to active duty in Iraq for my first deployment, I was forced to withdraw from school, and my deployment was subsequently extended. I spent a total of 24 months deployed overseas, where I provided in-the-field medical support to our combat troops. While the experience was invaluable not only in terms of my future medical career but also in terms of developing leadership and creative thinking skills, it put my undergraduate studies on hold for over two years. Consequently, my carefully-planned journey towards medical school and a medical career was thrown off course. Thus, while ten-year plans are valuable, I have learned from experience how easily such plans can dissolve in situations that are beyond one’s control, as well as the value of perseverance and flexibility.

Eventually, I returned to school. Despite my best efforts to graduate within two years, it took me another three years, as I suffered greatly from post-traumatic stress disorder following my time in Iraq. I considered abandoning my dream of becoming a physician altogether, since I was several years behind my peers with whom I had taken biology and chemistry classes before my deployment. Thanks to the unceasing encouragement of my academic advisor, who even stayed in contact with me when I was overseas, I gathered my strength and courage and began studying for the MCAT. To my surprise, my score was beyond satisfactory and while I am several years behind my original ten-year plan, I am now applying to Brown University’s School of Medicine.

I can describe my new ten-year plan, but I will do so with both optimism and also caution, knowing that I will inevitably face unforeseen complications and will need to adapt appropriately. One of the many insights I gained as a member of the National Guard and by serving in war-time was the incredible creativity medical specialists in the Armed Forces employ to deliver health care services to our wounded soldiers on the ground. I was part of a team that was saving lives under incredibly difficult circumstances—sometimes while under heavy fire and with only the most basic of resources. I am now interested in how I can use these skills to deliver health care in similar circumstances where basic medical infrastructure is lacking. While there is seemingly little in common between the deserts of Fallujah and rural Wyoming, where I’m currently working as a volunteer first responder in a small town located more than 60 miles from the nearest hospital, I see a lot of potential uses for the skills that I gained as a National Guardsman. As I learned from my father, who worked with Doctors Without Borders for a number of years, there is quite a bit in common between my field of knowledge from the military and working in post-conflict zones. I feel I have a unique experience from which to draw as I embark on my medical school journey, experiences that can be applied both here and abroad.

In ten years’ time, I hope to be trained in the field of emergency medicine, which, surprisingly, is a specialization that is actually lacking here in the United States as compared to similarly developed countries. I hope to conduct research in the field of health care infrastructure and work with government agencies and legislators to find creative solutions to improving access to emergency facilities in currently underserved areas of the United States, with an aim towards providing comprehensive policy reports and recommendations on how the US can once again be the world leader in health outcomes. While the problems inherent in our health care system are not one-dimensional and require a dynamic approach, one of the solutions as I see it is to think less in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and more in terms of access to primary care. Much of the care that I provide as a first responder and volunteer is extremely effective and also relatively cheap. More money is always helpful when facing a complex social and political problem, but we must think of solutions above and beyond more money and more taxes. In ten years I want to be a key player in the health care debate in this country and offering innovative solutions to delivering high quality and cost-effective health care to all our nation’s citizens, especially to those in rural and otherwise underserved areas.

Of course, my policy interests do not replace my passion for helping others and delivering emergency medicine. As a doctor, I hope to continue serving in areas of the country that, for one reason or another, are lagging behind in basic health care infrastructure. Eventually, I would also like to take my knowledge and talents abroad and serve in the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders.

In short, I see the role of physicians in society as multifunctional: they are not only doctors who heal, they are also leaders, innovators, social scientists, and patriots. Although my path to medical school has not always been the most direct, my varied and circuitous journey has given me a set of skills and experiences that many otherwise qualified applicants lack. I have no doubt that the next ten years will be similarly unpredictable, but I can assure you that no matter what obstacles I face, my goal will remain the same. I sincerely hope to begin the next phase of my journey at Brown University. Thank you for your kind attention.

To learn more about what to expect from the study of medicine, check out our Study Medicine in the US section.

Sample Essays

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Tips for a Successful Medical School Essay

  • If you’re applying through AMCAS, remember to keep your essay more general rather than tailored to a specific medical school, because your essay will be seen by multiple schools.
  • AMCAS essays are limited to 5300 characters—not words! This includes spaces.
  • Make sure the information you include in your essay doesn't conflict with the information in your other application materials.
  • In general, provide additional information that isn’t found in your other application materials. Look at the essay as an opportunity to tell your story rather than a burden.
  • Keep the interview in mind as you write. You will most likely be asked questions regarding your essay during the interview, so think about the experiences you want to talk about.
  • When you are copying and pasting from a word processor to the AMCAS application online, formatting and font will be lost. Don’t waste your time making it look nice. Be sure to look through the essay once you’ve copied it into AMCAS and edit appropriately for any odd characters that result from pasting.
  • Avoid overly controversial topics. While it is fine to take a position and back up your position with evidence, you don’t want to sound narrow-minded.
  • Revise, revise, revise. Have multiple readers look at your essay and make suggestions. Go over your essay yourself many times and rewrite it several times until you feel that it communicates your message effectively and creatively.
  • Make the opening sentence memorable. Admissions officers will read dozens of personal statements in a day. You must say something at the very beginning to catch their attention, encourage them to read the essay in detail, and make yourself stand out from the crowd.
  • Character traits to portray in your essay include: maturity, intellect, critical thinking skills, leadership, tolerance, perseverance, and sincerity.

Additional Tips for a Successful Medical School Essay

  • Regardless of the prompt, you should always address the question of why you want to go to medical school in your essay.
  • Try to always give concrete examples rather than make general statements. If you say that you have perseverance, describe an event in your life that demonstrates perseverance.
  • There should be an overall message or theme in your essay. In the example above, the theme is overcoming unexpected obstacles.
  • Make sure you check and recheck for spelling and grammar!
  • Unless you’re very sure you can pull it off, it is usually not a good idea to use humor or to employ the skills you learned in creative writing class in your personal statement. While you want to paint a picture, you don’t want to be too poetic or literary.
  • Turn potential weaknesses into positives. As in the example above, address any potential weaknesses in your application and make them strengths, if possible. If you have low MCAT scores or something else that can’t be easily explained or turned into a positive, simply don’t mention it.

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