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.
oMake sure you haven't used over long, unwieldy sentences or paragraphs. If you have you must break these up. _ oThat you've started your personal statement with a powerful introduction so this captures your reader's attention _ straight away. oThat your structure is easy to follow and that each sentence hooks into the next line. oThat you finish with your future career goals. _ A key advantage is to use a professional to edit and improve your personal statement. If, however you are working in isolation and do not have that advantage, be wary of allowing family or friends to read and comment on it. For one thing, an outside will be objective and critical: they may be full of praise or go to the other extreme so far as style, at least, is concerned.