2. Make excuses _ Lots of applicants have weaknesses in their application files, especially in their transcripts. Maybe you got low grades your freshman year. Maybe you had to leave school and work for a while. Maybe you got an F in that statistics class and had to retake it. Or maybe you got a degree in one field and are applying to grad school in a different field; or you didn't pass your medical residency exams the first time. Whatever your weakness is, do not offer excuses and do not bad_mouth anyone. So it wasn't your fault that the professor lost your final exam and flunked you, or jobs dried up in your original field of study, or you had the flu when you took the GRE. Don't say anything that sounds like an excuse or sounds like you are blaming someone else for you failing to achieve a goal. Even when it is true, it may make you seem whiny and unable to accept responsibility for your actions. Instead, address the weakness at the end of your statement, and explain how you have overcome it, learned from it, and are a better candidate now because of it.
4. HAVE AN ENGAGING OPENING. Given the limited time committee members have to initially review each packet and read each personal statement, an interest_catching opening is essential, playing off the unified theme you have decided on. Choose a quote which sums up a hurdle overcome or an attitude which has brought you success in the past. Begin with an anecdote, a brief personal story which serves as a lead to your ambition and drive to follow in a mentor's or family member's footsteps. Ask a question, one which frames a hobby or a major life event that has set you on the path to medical school. Whichever opening you choose, it should be professional rather than chatty, and more importantly, get immediately to the heart of whatever it is about yourself you are highlighting. You have a limited number of characters at your disposal ), so setting the scene with your introduction should use up very little space. We all tend to be taken by personal stories, but the point is how your story leads directly to those characteristics that medical schools will feel best fit their program and faculty.