The Basic Outline

The basic outline

When you write your personal statement, start by outlining it in the following way:

  • First Paragraph: My initial interest in medicine
  • Two to Three Body Paragraphs: Activities I did that made that interest grow into a passion
  • Conclusion: What you see yourself doing and why you can’t see yourself doing anything else

As you start this outline, you may have your initial interest in medicine, then lots of experiences that helped your interest grow into a passion. As you’re brainstorming, use the exercise above. Ask yourself “What made me want to go into medicine?,” then write down a bunch of experiences. Go through these later and circle the ones  that you can easily write a specific story about. Those are the experiences you should choose to write about. This will make your essay much better and more meaningful for you and the reader.

As you’re doing this, you will almost certainly realize a theme of what got you interested. Some common themes of why people choose medicine include:

-Love of helping others

-Love of science

-Love of puzzles/figuring things out

-Love of research

-Wanting to help people like a family member or friend who had an illness

-Desire to help underserved communities

You’ll probably notice one of these stands out to you more than others. It’s completely possible that you have more than one reason and that several of these appeal to you. Maybe it’s the combination of several of these that makes medicine the perfect fit for you.  Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear to you why you’re choosing medicine. If it’s clear to you as you’re writing, it will be more clear to the reader as well.

For a full personal statement example from a successful applicant, view this document: Full Personal Statement Example

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