Medical School Requirements: Role of Medical School Personal Statement

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, October 31, 2013

From "candidate profile" to "individual": in one essay

Medical schools can easily see from the rest of your packet whether or not you meet the medical school requirements for a given institution.  But the numbers tell the committee little about you.  Medical school admissions committees rely on the personal statement to assess your interests, goals and personality because knowing these things about you will help the committee assess the “fit” between the you and the school.

Why you are a good fit for the schools you are applying to

It is true that your AMCAS statement is a “general” statement that can be sent to any of the schools in the AMCAS system.  But you are not going to do this. There are only a few schools you will be applying to.  What do they have in common?  Can you play to this characteristic of the target medical school(s) in your AMCAS statement by showing in the essay why you are such a good fit for such a program? Of course you can.  For example, if the target schools are all very strong in one particular area (e.g. internal medicine), it would help to develop internal medicine as a specific area of interest in your essay.   

Does anyone actually read my essay?

Your AMCAS statement is a critical element of your application to medical school; it is often read many times, by many different individuals, particularly if two candidates are almost “equal” in terms of their numbers but there is room only for one.

How important is the content in my essay?

The content of your essay is very important, not just because your selection of content reflects your skills and aptitudes as a candidate. Keep in mind that when the time comes for your interview, your essay is often the source of many, if not most, of your interviewer’s questions.  This is why, when preparing your personal statement for medical school admissions, it is critical that you be able to easily converse about your content with your interviewer.  This is especially important to keep in mind if you are a mature or nontraditional candidate (e.g. career-changer).  Mature candidates may have references to research performed years ago in their personal statements, or they may have completed the medical school requirements years ago.  When this is the case, a thorough review of the essay’s content helps immeasurably in the interview.

If you're looking for more info about med school essays, then go check out the experts at EssayEdge.

Medical School Essay Editing Service

Medical Programs
About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

More articles by this author
Find a graduate school that's right for you!
1Choose a state

2Choose a major
3Choose a degree type

Graduate Schools you might like...

Forgot Your Password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email.

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.