When it comes to applying to a medical school, there are a plethora of factors that play a key role in deciding whether or not you are eligible for gaining admission in the medical school of your preference. An impressive GPA, stellar MCAT scores, strong letters of recommendation and involvement in extracurricular activities are the key factors that can increase your chances of gleaning admissions in your favorite medical school. However, one aspect of your medical school application that sets you apart from hundreds of thousands of applicants is your personal statement or essay. It has a great potential to turn your medical school rejection around into an acceptance.
If you want to pen down a stellar and engaging personal statement, you have to spend a significant amount of time getting it right. Here are six deadly sins that can wreak havoc on your admissions essay, and should be steered clear of:
Don’t Make it Boring
Medical school admission committees receive copious volumes of applications which they have to skim through. Try to make your essay thought-provoking and engaging instead of droning on purposelessly and incorporating run-of-the-mill passé sentences that your admissions committee must have been bombarded with for years on end. You can capitalize on stories and real-life experiences to elucidate your reasons for pursuing a career in this rewarding and challenging field, instead of citing cliched pretexts. For instance, if you volunteered at a hospital, provide specific details about the experience and how it has led you to cultivate a passion and a profound sense of respect for the profession.
Not Being Insincere
When it comes to crafting a personal statement, try to be yourself. Write a professional and down-to-earth statement that accentuates your positive traits. Being fake and using clichés will not help you gain admission in an accredited Caribbean medical school. If your personal statement and essay answers don’t reflect on your true self, how will the admission panel get to know you? Your medical school admissions essay should incorporate enough content to prove to the admissions committees why you want to pursue a career in this field.
Not Stressing on Your Experience
It is another common mistake that many medical school applicants make when writing a statement. While it is great to list down your skills and characteristics, how can the medical school admissions committee believe you until you highlight situations where your got to apply those skills in real life.
Therefore, it is suggested to use a narrative to show to the admission officers that you possess all the traits that medical schools are looking for. Showing your work experience will definitely persuade the admissions committees that you are the right fit and are ready to take the medical school plunge.
Not Seeking Feedback
You know your story better than anyone else and you may think that your essay makes sense but it is pretty easy to overlook your own spelling or grammatical mistakes. To get a perfect statement, have someone you trust read it for you. Seek their feedback regarding the essay and ask them what their thoughts are after reading the piece, and if it needs any improvement. Inquire if you captured the right tone with the essay and if any section needs your immediate attention. It is not necessary to only request physicians and healthcare professionals to read your statement. Many admission officers evaluating your medical school application have no medical background and clinical experience of any kind. Have friends, family, and colleagues read your draft. The more diverse an audience you can engage, the better your story will be articulated.
Not Answering Properly
If you are writing for your secondary application, make sure you answer all the questions presented to you. Secondary essay applications may vary from discussing your volunteering work, favorite book, hobby or any real-life work experience. Review each answer carefully to make sure you have properly addressed the questions.
Top Caribbean medical schools receive thousands of applications each year, and they don’t have enough time to read your long, tedious and seemingly interminable essay. To stay ahead of the pack, keep your essay brief and to-the-point. Don’t be too concise, as it won’t be able to convince the panel why you are a competitive applicant. Be concise and narrow down the message you want to convey to the school. In a nutshell, choose your words wisely.
- Final Words
The ultimate purpose of your personal essay is to show to the medical school the real person behind your MCAT scores and GPA. In fact, it is the short summary of your personal skills and experience that makes you unique from other applicants. It is important to spend time getting this right as admissions committees will use this essay to decide whether or not to read the rest of the application. Seek out as many eyes as you can get on your admission essay to get it right. Avoiding these deadly sins will help you come up with a persuasive personal statement that will surely increase your chances of getting into a Caribbean medical school.