The Personal Statement
The AMCAS application autobiographical sketch (personal statement) is your opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants. This part of your application should not be taken lightly, and considerable effort and thought should be expended to make a positive statement. The following questions should serve to stimulate your thinking, but they need not all be answered.
- What experience or background makes you unique?
- What experiences have motivated you to pursue medicine as a career?
- What attributes do you have that qualify you to successfully complete a rigorous medical school curriculum?
- What personal strengths of yours will make you a competent, caring physician?
- What experiences have served to enlighten you on what medicine is all about and why you think you have the qualifications and commitment to successfully complete medical school and be a competent physician?
Some people use this opportunity to explain fluctuations in their academic record. If you feel this is necessary, be very careful that you don't just sound as if you are making excuses for poor performance.
A suggested plan of attack for preparing the personal statement is as follows:
- List specific points you wish to make.
- Develop each topic fully with a complete paragraph.
- Decrease the quantity of words in each paragraph so that each point is presented crisply and concisely.
- Rigorously check for correct grammar and punctuation.
- Make sure the statement reads smoothly in addition to being concise.