How to write a medical school personal statement: Motive _ Third is having a compelling motive. It's the underpinning of the whole essay. Unless you speak to a compelling motive, the default result from the reader's point of view is this student is writing a general medical school essay, but doesn't really know why. You've got to be willing to flaunt the motivation and be really willing to shout at the top of your lungs standing on a chair in the middle of a crowded auditorium. Be THAT committed to what you have to say. All of this sounds incredibly unrealistic and incredibly overdone, but once you put these concepts down on paper, the very act of reading mutes so much of the impact of language, that you've got to be willing to trust that you can be very committed and very over the top in how you articulate, and it will still carry off.
Engage the Reader from the Start. When it comes to your application, all the information you submit is already set in stone__ except the personal statement. This is your chance to get your program's attention, especially if you feel that your MCAT scores or GPA may be lacking. You want your reader to be interested from the very start of the essay. Admission committee members are often short on time and may be more likely to gloss over your essay if it has a generic, flat, or boring beginning. One way to begin an essay is with a personal vignette__ a quick snapshot of a moment in your life that relates to your decision to apply to medical school. Consider the following two opening statements: a) I've always known that I want to be a doctor. Since my first encounter with death, I've recognized that it is my responsibility to help people. b) The lights flashed, and the sirens wailed as I watched the ambulances cart my next_door neighbor to the hospital. I was ten years old, and it was my first encounter with death. Do you see how the second example engages the reader's attention right away? It is a snapshot rather than a factual statement, which immediately catches the reader's interest. Personal vignettes are not the only way to start your essay, but they are easy to shape into engaging opening statements.