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.
The first place that you should look for sample personal statements is on the website of the school in which you are attempting to get into. If you can find samples of the admission essays of others who have already been accepted into the school then you can really begin to dig deep and find out what will be expected of you. Depending on the school in which you are trying to gain entry to, finding these samples can be easy or darn near impossible. When the latter happens you can always turn to the internet for help. Just as with anything else these days, the internet has an unbelievable amount of websites with samples of various types of admission essays. You can begin by conducting a Google, Yahoo, or Bing search on 'personal statement examples' and then begin to look at the different results that come up.