Medical schools want candidates with excellent academic records who have realistic views of a career in medicine. They need people who are mature enough to know their own strengths and limitations, and who are willing to work hard to overcome those limitations. This means that you need excellent grades, good predictions for future exams and have enough work experience to convince medical schools that medicine is the right career for you. A good UCAS personal statement should highlight your understanding of medicine and your commitment and suitability to be a doctor.

A good structure to your personal statement allows you to communicate the maximum amount of information to interview shortlisters in the limited space allowed. Here are a few tips to get your started:

  • Introduction (paragraph 1): this only needs to be one single sentence to engage the reader

  • Explain why you want study medicine (also paragraph 1)

  • Commitment to medicine (paragraph 2): this section should be about your work experience and what you’ve learned from it, making you a better candidate

  • Non-academic pursuits (paragraph 3): focus on your interests and hobbies that tie into the skills required to be a medical student and to become a doctor

  • Personal qualities (also paragraph 3): use this section to point out your personal talents that haven’t been mentioned elsewhere

  • Gap year (optional; paragraph 3): if you’re taking a gap year, explain your plans here

  • Conclusion (paragraph): a brief summary of your passion for medicine and why you feel you’re a suitable candidate