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John B. Coleman Library Ask A Librarian

Personal Statements for Medical School Admission: Home

Tips and resources for writing the best possible personal statement for medical school

Personal Statements

A personal statement is one of several components required for submitting an AMCAS, AACOMAS, or TMDSAS application for admittance to medical school. When done correctly, the personal statement can be a great opportunity to make yourself stand out as a candidate and show off your skills and your desire to work in medicine. However, crafting the perfect personal statement takes planning, time, and a lot of hard work. 

This guide provides tips and resources for how to write the best possible personal statement and provides examples of what not to do

What Do I Write About?

Before you even start writing the essay itself, you need to figure out what you're going to write about. The best way to do this is to think about what the schools you're applying to want to know.

Start by creating a bullet-point list of your personal experiences, accomplishments, and aspirations as they apply to the following questions: 

1. Why do you want to work in medicine and what type of medical career do you want to have?

2. What do you want to go to the specific school that you're applying to? (NOTE: If you're applying to more than one school, make sure to customize the essay to each school).

3. Why would you be an asset to the school you're applying to?

4. What have you done to prepare yourself for the challenges of medical school? Take this time to list out any activities, volunteer projects, internships, coursework, or personal experiences that you have done. 

Personal Statements: What To Do v. What Not to Do (Infographic)

Do's and Don'ts of writing personal statements. Do's: Start early, write and revise, have a least two people help you with grammar, be engaging, make sure your writing is organized, use active voice, be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses, use paragraphs, and explain why you would be an asset to medical school. Don'ts: write the essay the last minute, submit your first draft, use passive voice, write in an unorganized or stream-of-consciousness way, submit without feedback, ignore character count and prompts, skip over your weaknesses, or act like your don't the school a favor by applying.

Tips for Crafting a Great Personal Statement

Sample Personal Statements

Editing and Revising

For additional assistance with writing and revising your personal statement, contact Ms. Brekke or Ms. Staker in the UMA. 

 

Gail Brekke: gabrekke@pvamu.edu

Kathleen Straker: kastraker@pvamu.edu

 

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