Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it.
Today, we are looking through a Medicine applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Cambridge University. The Medicine Course at Cambridge aims to educate students to become compassionate, thoughtful, skilled members – and leaders – of the medical profession.
Read on to see how this candidate wrote a Personal Statement that demonstrates the qualities to work in a medical profession.
Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement:
The universities this candidate applied to were the following:
INTERVIEW + REJECTED
INTERVIEW + REJECTED
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Medicine Personal Statement
I realise that medicine may not always have positive outcomes, having witnessed two deaths at a young age. However, the inevitable fallibility of the human body has driven my desire to acquire a better understanding of the complicated processes and mechanisms of our body. I am captivated by the prospect of lifelong learning; the rapid and ceaseless pace of change in medicine means that there is a vast amount of knowledge in an astonishing number of fields.
Work experience and volunteering have intensified my desire to pursue the profession; it gave me the chance to observe doctors diagnosing problems and establishing possible routes of treatment; I found the use of monoclonal antibodies in kidney transplantation fascinating. A doctor needs to be skilled, dexterous and creative. Medicine is a scientific discipline that requires a profound understanding of the physiology of the body, but the application of medicine can be an art, especially when communications between the doctor and the patient can influence the outcome of the treatment. I admire the flexibility of doctors; an inpatient needs to be approached with sensitivity and reassurance, whereas an acute admission patient would benefit more from hands-on assessments. I have been volunteering at Derriford Hospital since 2010. The most valuable part is taking time to converse with the patients to alleviate their stress and appreciate their concerns, demonstrating my understanding of the importance of listening. I appreciate that the quality of life is more important than the quantity of years, as a recent death at the ward made me realise that despite all the technological advances and our increasing understanding of the human body, there is a limit to what we can achieve.
My Nuffield Bursary project was based on finding potential medical treatments for sepsis by working on the molecular genetics of bacteria-infected cells. Using theory to interpret laboratory experiments allowed me to show how an enzyme was involved in the inflammatory response mechanism. My skills of organisation and time management were recognised by the Individual Achievement Award for my role as Finance Director in the Young Enterprise team. I used my leadership skills to assign team members to tasks to which their talents were best suited and demonstrated effective communication and teamwork to meet the deadlines. I took part in the British Mathematical Olympiad after receiving the Gold and Best in School prize for the Senior Maths challenge last year. Regular participation in the Individual and Team Maths Challenge enhanced my lateral thinking. The numerous awards I have won such as Best Results at GCSE and Bronze in the Physics Olympiad not only show my ability in a range of subjects but also my commitment to my academic career. As a subject mentor, I developed my ability to break down problems, explaining them in a logical, analytical yet simpler way. I cherished the opportunity to work with the younger pupils; enabling them to grasp new concepts, and I believe that discussing ideas, problems or case studies with colleagues will be even more rewarding.
A keen pianist, I have been playing for 14 years. At the age of 12, I became the pianist for the Children’s Amateur Theatre Society. Perseverance was essential as I was learning numerous songs each week showing commitment, resilience and attention to detail, which are transferable skills applicable to medicine. Playing in front of 300 people regularly helped me to build my confidence and taught me to stay calm under pressure. Playing the piano is a hobby that I love and I will continue to pursue it to balance my academic life.
I believe I possess the ability, devotion, diligence and determination required for this course that demands a holistic understanding of both the sciences and the arts. I will relish the challenges on an academic and personal level and I look forward to following this vocation in the future.
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Good Points Of The Personal Statement
A well-written statement that guides the reader from one point to the next, delivering good insight into personal development and the motivations to becoming a doctor. The student shows that they have a very diverse background, both academically as well as work experience. One of the strongest parts of the statements is that the student recognises the limitations of medicine and acknowledges the challenges in delivering medical care under those limitations. The student is also able to demonstrate experiences made in non-medical fields and how they contributed to their personal development. This is important as some of the skills necessary to becoming a good doctor are transferable from other professions.
Bad Points Of The Personal Statement
The student provides extensive detail on awards and prizes won. This part is somewhat unnecessary as it does not add anything to the quality of the statement itself. Most, if not all students applying for medicine will have a history of academic excellence, therefore, listing awards and achievements is less relevant. This space could be better used to provide more insight into lessons learned from work experience.
UniAdmissions Overall Score:
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A strong statement with a lot of information on the student’s development and academic achievements. The statement succeeds at raising interest in the student and providing an overview of the individual’s development. There are a few minor weaknesses that could be optimised in order to improve the overall strength of the statement even further.
And there we have it – a Cambridge Medicine Personal Statement with feedback from our expert tutors.
Remember, at Cambridge, the Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.
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