The basic question to be addressed in the essay is why you want to be a doctor/dentist/medical professional and to supply evidence that you are prepared for that journey.
The personal essay follows the same format as is required for the AMCAS application. The essay should be approximately one page or 5300 characters.
For many applicants the personal essay is the most difficult part of the application. This may be challenging for you to articulate at first and you should avoid the obvious cliche “I want to help people.” Your message can be conveyed through your personal story which is rooted in your real experiences and reflection on those experiences. But you also need to be careful of getting carried away by storytelling, and overly dramatic and emotionally overwrought text. Keep your writing professional and succinct. Start early, give yourself plenty of time for some self-exploration, write often, and share your essay with your peers and/or advisors.
How to prepare over your four years:
- Throughout college keep a record and deeply reflect on memorable interactions with patients, mentees, research, leadership and volunteering experiences. You will use some of these stories later in your essay(s).
- Reflect on the impact your family, friends and early life experiences had on your desire to pursue a career in the health profession.
- Attend and/or review the workshop Powerpoint on the personal statement and attend the peer-to-peer essay feedback workshop during the writing stage.
- Receive feedback on your essay from the Pre-Health Advising office in the spring before the application cycle opens.