Personal Statement: Motivation for Medicine


Possibly one of the most important questions that you need to address in your personal statement is โ€œWhy medicine?โ€. So what should you include in your personal statement to answer this and where should you write this?

In a nutshell, thereโ€™s no right answer! Some students chose to include this in their introduction, while others chose to explore their reasons for choosing medicine later in their personal statement in its own paragraph. This is entirely down to personal preference, with no right of wrong answer, perhaps try doing both and see which flows better with the rest of your personal statement.

How do I show my motivation for medicine? 

There are a few key things to consider when thinking about why medicine, these include:

  • Science –  Why do you like the academic side of medicine? Was there a key thing you studied that sparked your interest in medicine from the basic sciences at school?
  • Caring – Why do you want to do a job where you care for people? Being a doctor is a โ€œclient facingโ€ role, so why does this appeal to you?
  • Experiences – have you had a certain experience that inspired you to do medicine? Maybe a personal story about your own health or someone close to you. Donโ€™t worry if you havenโ€™t or donโ€™t want to share this, some students find it a very personal reason as to why they choose to pursue medicine rather than enjoying science and caring for others. 

Do many sure that you add personality to these three rather generic statements above. Most applicants to medicine were inspired to apply to medicine for the same reasons, by adding depth and personality it is just another way to make your personal statement stand out. 

Many people ask, should I say if anyone in my family are doctors – You can mention that you have doctors in your family, but you have to show the value of adding this. Think about if they did something inspiring that made you want to follow in their footsteps and become a doctor too, or perhaps your relative helped you see the day-to-day role of a doctor which you found something that appealed to you. An example of this could be: โ€œBy living with my uncle, who is a doctor, I have seen first hand how a doctor manages their work life balanceโ€. 

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Worked Examples

โ€œI want to do medicine because it is a prestigious job, and I want to challenge myself academically with the opportunity to earn good money as a bonusโ€

This is a poor explanation, the student comes across as being driven by the title, prestige and money associated with medicine. 

โ€œI love medicine, and have had a dream of going to medical school since young. Viewing my fatherโ€™s life-depending operation at the age of 16, I was given an insight into the intricacies of a hospital, and the pressure-driven, yet intellectually engaging, environment of medicineโ€

The answer starts off a tad idealistic, and there is a concern that the stereotypical โ€œlife-changingโ€ event will be used poorly. However, the student links his experience to what he gained and learnt from it, so it is a fairly good answer, albeit far from perfect.

โ€œI enjoy the detailed scientific academia which intellectually stimulates and challenges me, alongside the human engagement involved in clinical practiceโ€

This is a good answer, because it links together two different, but equally important, sides of medicine – scientific theory and clinical practice. 

โ€œThe fusion of science and society in medicine appeals to me, as the vocation combines the stimulating study of human anatomy with the practical application of this science in a clinical environment, with an altruistic objective.โ€

This example, although short, has demonstrated several reasons that the candidate wants to study medicine. 

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    Final Note

    Try to think about what you could say for the following key points:

    • Interest in the human body
    • Work experience
    • Scientific news and journals
    • Caring and helping others

    By completing exercises such as this, you will be able to construct your answer for why medicine in your personal statement easily. This will also help you when it comes to preparing for medical school interviews. 

    The key takeaway here is ensuring you donโ€™t just list a few points – try and focusing on one or two and expanding. You need to integrate the fact that medicine is a fusion of science and social. Hopefully these tips will help you show to medical schools that they should interview you.

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    Frequently Asked Question

    โ†’What is a personal statement for medicine?

    A personal statement for medicine is a written statement of your motivations and experiences that have led you to pursue a career in medicine. It is an essential part of your medical school application process that allows you to showcase your unique qualities and abilities to admissions committees.

    โ†’What should I include in my personal statement for medicine?

    You should include your motivations for pursuing a career in medicine, any relevant experiences you have had in healthcare, research or volunteer work, and any personal qualities or traits that make you a strong candidate. You should also highlight any challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them.

    โ†’What is the structure of a personal statement for medicine?

    A personal statement for medicine should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide a brief overview of what the statement will cover. The body should contain the main content of your statement, including your motivations, experiences, and personal qualities. The conclusion should summarize your main points and reinforce your desire to pursue a career in medicine.

    โ†’How can I make my personal statement for medicine stand out?

    To make your personal statement stand out, you should focus on highlighting your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart from other candidates. You should also showcase your passion for medicine and your dedication to making a positive impact in the field. Additionally, you should ensure that your statement is well-written and error-free.

    โ†’How should I approach writing my personal statement for medicine?

    You should approach writing your personal statement for medicine by first brainstorming and outlining your main points. Then, you should focus on writing a strong introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and provides an overview of your statement. You should then develop the body of your statement, ensuring that each paragraph is focused on a specific topic. Finally, you should write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your commitment to pursuing a career in medicine.

    โ†’How do I write a motivation letter for medical school?

    When writing a motivation letter for medical school, you want to showcase your passion for medicine, your qualifications and experiences that make you a strong candidate, and your reasons for wanting to attend the specific medical school. Here are some tips to help you write a strong motivation letter:

    Start with a strong opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for your letter.

    Discuss your academic qualifications and achievements, including any relevant coursework or research experience.

    Highlight your experiences in the healthcare field, such as volunteering at a hospital or shadowing a physician. Discuss how these experiences have shaped your desire to pursue a career in medicine.

    Discuss any personal qualities or traits that make you a strong candidate, such as your strong work ethic, leadership skills, or ability to work well under pressure.

    Explain why you want to attend the specific medical school, highlighting any specific programs or opportunities that interest you.

    Emphasize your commitment to making a positive impact in the field of medicine and how attending medical school will help you achieve your career goals.

    Close with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your passion for medicine.

    Remember to proofread your letter carefully for grammar and spelling errors and to tailor your letter to the specific medical school you are applying to. With these tips, you can write a compelling motivation letter that showcases your qualifications and passion for medicine.

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