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.
An excellent introduction _ The first goal of any PS is to generate a compelling lead and engage the readers. Start with a powerful selling point to catch the reader's (usually an admission officer) eye. Given the high volume of application submissions, admission officers generally give each personal statement a quick scan before separating the outstanding submissions for a more thorough reading. Therefore, it is extremely important for the personal statement, specifically the lead, to be compelling and unique. This means that your words need to be short and punchy. The members of an admissions committee pore over thousands of submissions on a daily basis. From these, only a handful will catch their attention from the outset. They do not have the time to go over each of these essays, thus an essay's introduction should be arresting enough to make the readers want to continue reading on. An excellent introduction is therefore crucial if you wish your essay to stand out from the rest. In the next section, we will present ways to achieve an excellent introduction and some samples to demonstrate these.