6. REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. Have another person (several persons) critique your work. Use fellow students, trusted professors, your parents or significant other _ anyone who will read your statement closely and give you constructive advice. You, yourself, should read your statement out loud; the ear will hear errors (sentence fragments, grammatical missteps) the eye misses. Be aware of unconscious mistakes, like starting every sentence with the work "I", using cliches (example: saying you want to be a doctor to "help people"), or over_stating or exaggerating accomplishments or emotions. Once satisfied, put the statement down, do not over_write it and drain it of all intensity and enthusiasm. Lastly, think on this. Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell your "story" and a window into your humanity _ ultimately, that is what makes it engaging and memorable to the schools you are applying to.
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.