Starting your personal statement can be tricky. For inspiration, we’ve got an example personal statement – straight from a successful Oxbridge Medicine candidate.
Example Medicine Personal Statement
At first, medicine scared me. As such, my decision to study it was complex because the immense demands doctors face daunted me. It strikes me how much of the role is based on an exchange of trust since some of the patient’s serious health concerns may be invisible and in return, the patient needs to have faith that their words will be heard. However, I remain captivated by the dynamic field ever driven by pioneering research. I love that you never stop learning and am motivated by the incredible prospect of improving patient outcomes by being part of developing a new treatment, cure or technique during my career.
On work placements I arranged at two local hospitals, I noted the huge role of multidisciplinary teams in healthcare.
Top Tip: Including relevant work experience is great in a Medicine personal statement, though it’s worth much more if you can describe something you noticed, something you learned, or something that it made you feel.
From watching a speech therapist perform swallow assessments, I realised that to safely discharge a patient, a holistic approach with input from allied professionals is essential; reminding me of how we had to value each other’s strengths to complete the bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.
Though my time on each department was short, I got an idea of life at the start and later on in a medical career. When shadowing a F1 doctor, I found that organisation is key to manage a heavy workload and in clinic with a cardiology consultant, I learnt the importance of compassion and communication in gaining a patient’s trust, skills I developed during my three years as an SJA volunteer. Listening to a BBC4 ‘Inside Health’ podcast showed me that the media can influence how patients take drugs like statins so with people increasingly turning to the internet before their GP, I know solid doctor-patient relationships are paramount to keep these lines of communication open.
Top Tip: Having some awareness of how medicine features in current affairs, media, and culture will give you more examples to draw on, not only in your personal statement, but also in your BMAT essay, and in your interview. This might come from the news, documentaries, TV shows, or novels.
Having seen many cases of ‘diabetic foot’ on an endocrinology ward, I was surprised by the fresh perspective in ‘Survival of the Sickest’ on diseases like diabetes as aids to human survival. I especially connected with Paul Ewald’s concept of virulence management because of the potential impact in endemic areas where many cannot afford treatment or preventive solutions. This provided inspiration for my EPQ research project on pandemics.
I began to understand the intensity of study on this degree through the UNIQ summer school for Medicine. There, my love for science intensified as using centrifugation to isolate my own DNA to test for PTC receptors made me think of how chirality affects the way molecules interact with taste receptor sites, a topic I first encountered in extra lectures I attend to complement my studies. Another such talk on the discovery of blood circulation was particularly interesting in explaining the progression from Galen’s model of the body consuming then generating blood to Harvey’s, showing the fluidity of science.
My desire to embrace all aspects of medicine allows me to keep up my languages by considering the roots of new words I meet. Plus, having a medical student there during my placement was perfect for me to see doctors as educators, a side of the job that excites me because teaching maths to younger pupils as a maths angel quickly became something I truly enjoy. The role, which led to me earning a leadership position as a maths captain last year, taught me to adapt my words to communicate effectively with different people of different needs.
Top Tip: This is good, as it is always bringing experience back to relevant skills: communication is essential to be a good doctor.
This flexibility and empathy helped me when volunteering to teach basic Portuguese at a local special school, so I was proud when one boy, Jacob, left delighted with the new phrases I taught him.
Competing with my school’s Debate Society, I built solid reasoning skills when exploring new viewpoints on homeopathy, which opened my eyes to how mindset may affect whether treatments work. A social experiment with painkillers in a BBC documentary ‘The Doctor Who Gave up Drugs’ supports this link but I recognise that ethical issues around placebos leaves this a grey area.
In medicine, I have found a field I want to thrive in and I am excited to see what I can achieve.
If you still want more inspiration, take a look at our guide to weaving medical work experience into your personal statement, or explore the discipline further with our reading list for Medicine.