We have collected a few Graduate entry personal statements for you as many of you have asked. The personal statements are from students who all received offers at medical schools for the graduate entry course. We have presented them under the undergraduate degree the student studied before Medicine. These degrees are not an exhaustive list.
Remember, these personal statements are not 'perfect' - none ever will be! Each medical school is looking for something different. Be careful not to plagiarise personal statements you read online - UCAS will detect this.
I view medicine as a career with a diverse range of roles that all ultimately care for and improve people’s health. This diversity is why I want to be a doctor because I will care for patients, whilst learning, educating and problem solving. As a doctor I would work in a team to provide effective healthcare, where everyone counts and are treated with respect, dignity and compassion. I believe I have what it takes to work to these values as a practitioner, scientist, scholar and professional.
Alongside my degree in Medical Science, I have shadowed in clinic and ward environments to contextualise my understanding. I manage my time effectively with working in retail, volunteering at St Stephens day care centre during term and St Giles Hospice during vacations both on the ward and by teaching young adults about end of life care. From these, I have developed a strong skill set for working in healthcare. Over the past 16 months I shadowed an obstetrician and gynaecologist once a month. I saw patients more than once and appreciated the importance of developing strong doctor-patient relations, and how treatment is a balance between treating the pathology and quality of life. After observing the doctor, I developed the ability to tailor my approach to individuals whilst maintaining dignity and respect.
During a week in ENT and CDU at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, I noticed how oral and written communication within the NHS multi-disciplinary team is vital for delivering the best patient-centred care. I gained an insight into the demands of a junior doctor’s routine and I was inspired by the teamwork between all staff levels that makes a doctor’s job possible. I saw the importance of being honest, compassionate and clear when talking to patients. I admired one doctor’s humanity and reassurance during a conversation with a COPD patient regarding resuscitation, as he ensured the patient would continue to receive the best care. It highlighted that whatever a person’s situation – everyone counts.
I experienced the emotional challenges of birth and death when I was awarded a bursary to work in a Tanzanian hospital for two weeks in 2015. The experience developed my resilience and ability to maintain focus in stressful environments and showed me medicine is not glamorous, but is rewarding. I realise the challenges of healthcare, but I was inspired by being part of making patients’ lives more positive.
I was awarded a competitive 8 week studentship by the Lister Institute where
I worked on patient fibroblasts with mutant DNA repair protein Treslin; where my work will contribute towards a publication. I prioritised and organised myself to carry out experiments, became resilient when faced with problems and became able to effectively analyse data to draw conclusions. I can translate these skills to treating patients as I witnessed doctors using them to provide good care. Evidence based medicine is important for improving patient care, and I have the skills to help me continue researching as a medical student and an academic doctor, as well as giving me an awareness of how research changes practise.
Experience being a retail team leader for 4 years and student ambassador for my undergraduate programme has given me the communication and teamwork skills to confidently communicate with a range of people and work under pressure. I have responsibility of leading a team by being president of the university Blood Donation Society, to increase the number of student donors and fundraise. I spend my free time riding horses and weightlifting; both allow me to focus on something I find relaxing and enjoyable, but require dedication, resilience and determination.
Although it will be challenging, I have demonstrated that I can make a positive contribution to an academic programme and I would continue this enthusiasm in my medical degree. I would take my studies seriously, demonstrating dedication and an attitude that reflects the values of the NHS Constitution.
My desire to study medicine cannot be attributed to a single phenomenon or traced back to a precise ‘lightbulb-flashing’ moment. Instead, it is steadfast and evolving, honed by years of commitment and curiosity - which resonates in the valuable NHS experiences I have seized. I enjoyed studying the complex elements driving health and disease states throughout my Biomedical Science degree, which I earned First Class Honours in; but I knew that my interests lay beyond the confines of the lab. Each module fascinated me but learning through pro-sections in Human Anatomy was a particular highlight, which led me to return this year as a practical demonstrator.
Working alongside my studies was a challenge I overcame with meticulous time management. My role as anti-coagulation assistant, since June 2015, gives me a realistic grasp of what working in the NHS means. Daily, I overcome the challenges of working in an understaffed department with efficiency and patience. An example is when I noted the detrimental effects of an outdated clinic diary system; I took the initiative to create and apply a new template, which has since improved patient waiting times considerably. Effective communication is essential, as I liaise with members of the multi-disciplinary team to manage patients. I work carefully to safeguard patient confidentiality, as I independently prioritise and process referrals to create clinics. This requires plenty of responsibility, as does conducting INR testing in clinics, where I also support my team of nurse specialists in counselling patients. This patient exposure is deeply rewarding; it is heart-warming to see the 82-year-old lady who gets up at 6am to look her best for us, or the waving gentleman with failing eyesight who still spots me from afar. Besides humbling me, these moments serve as the strongest incentive to keep going in the face of drawbacks.
My work experiences were also insightful and consolidated my career choice. Assisting in consultant-led haematology clinics, I noted that by showing interest in the patient and maintaining eye contact, the clinician built a relationship of mutual understanding. Furthermore, techniques such as summarising and signposting gathered information quickly and effectively to guide treatment. Contrarily, whilst shadowing my local GP I was reacquainted with the unpredictability of disease during a consultation with a young girl, whose brain tumour had diminished her quality of life. Putting my sadness aside, I observed the GP’s professional detachment and reflected on the importance of being resilient in this career. I also faced challenges whilst volunteering as a dining companion on the wards, when certain patients would refuse food despite their malnourished state. I tried my best to feed patients/promote eating, but sometimes I had to walk away and respect the patient’s autonomy, even though it went against my instincts.
I consider myself to be a compassionate person. This is reflected in my role as a part time carer for my grandfather, to whom I provide everyday support in hygiene and administering medication. I also make time for charities such as Humanity First, Breast Cancer care and Team Up. My participation ranges from marshalling at walks, to working behind the scenes in logistics. Recently, I had the privilege of being appointed Youth Group leader for young girls in my local community. I mentor the girls weekly in workshops, tackling issues such as bullying, teaching Urdu, baking, and arts and crafts.
My hobbies include swimming and horse-riding, as they are fun ways to stay fit. I also enjoy reading stimulating literature – recently I read “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks”, which enlightened me on the evolution of medical ethics and the importance of informed consent. I am confident a medical career is right for me. I recognise there will be challenges, but I believe that my realistic expectations, maturity, and resolve, allow me the capability to overcome these. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to prove so.
Biomedical Sciences with a PhD
One image that has stuck with me is of a gentleman gripping the table as he learned of his cancer diagnosis. The experience highlighted how a doctors job is as much breaking bad news as it is treating people. It took place when shadowing a Urology firm, where I was able to attend surgery, outpatients’ clinics and ward rounds. Spending time with varied levels of doctors taught me how the role changes with experience and training, but that the basics of care remain the same. It confirmed how much I want to be a doctor, as every day and patient is different; it was not so much the illness but the individual that mattered most. Witnessing bad news being broken was difficult, but revealed I have the empathy and fortitude to be with those patients in difficult times. Shadowing a physiotherapist in a private clinic emphasised seeing the patient in a holistic way, as a simple foot injury may be the sign of an underlying hip condition.
When undertaking a PhD in cancer biology, I enjoyed investigating the reasons behind cellular behaviours. It taught me to have an inquisitive mind, ask questions and look for solutions, but it made me realise that what I want to do is use these skills to treat the patients whose cells were in front of me. It developed my ability to be an independent thinker, be self-motivated and in charge of my own learning; I believe these qualities will aid me during medical school and my future career.
I have been a trained first aider with St. John Ambulance for a year. Although the skills learnt and practised are undoubtedly useful, the most valuable experience has been dealing with distressed members of the public, especially children. When a performer fell off stage whilst I was on duty at an event, I used my training to take observations and ensure he kept his head still until paramedics arrived. I wanted to have the knowledge and skills to help him further. Learning some basic first aid has made me even more passionate to know the why behind the treatments and to be able to diagnose injuries and diseases.
Witnessing how unglamorous the job can be, I was covered in a violent patient’s blood after he removed a cannula. One evening a week, I volunteer in the ED of a large teaching hospital, helping care for patients by speaking to them, transporting and giving food and drink. Never knowing what I will encounter, I have realised the uncertainty that comes with being a doctor, and how exciting yet daunting this can be. I have seen how communication is key when treating patients, as many people do not mind waiting if kept informed. A lady had been on a trolley for 3 hours and was becoming distressed. When I explained we were waiting for a bed, the calming effect was clear.
Communication is vital in all areas of the hospital. I have worked in an NHS hospital for almost two years. Firstly, in the finance department of a DGH, which helped me understand the economic complexities and strains the health service is under. Currently, I work within the Pharmacy quality department. It has given me an awareness of how therapies work and how important timely discharge is to patients and staff. Several incidents could have been avoided with effective communication between staff members.
I gained insight into the world of a medical student when employed as a simulated patient. Many students in their first week did not explain procedures or introduce themselves. By the end of the year, the communication skills had greatly improved, and a simple introduction made me feel much more at ease. I have taken part in events to encourage more children into science, including ‘I’m a scientist, get me out of here!’ and the Bodyworlds exhibition. I taught undergraduates during my PhD and, as teaching is a part of Medicine, it would be enjoyable building on these skills.
I enjoy running, reading crime novels and learning French. I play the flute, previously as part of an orchestra that toured Belgium, playing in Ghent Cathedral.
Master of Pharmacy
As a hospital pre-registration pharmacist, I have had the opportunity to witness doctors’ application of clinical knowledge during decision making and their devotion and empathy towards patients. This has deepened my admiration for clinical practice and reinforced my aspiration to become a doctor. Working alongside clinicians has strengthened my desire to gain a deeper understanding of the human body and my desire to play an integral role in differential diagnosis to assist patients.
Pharmacy has helped me to develop a broad range of skills necessary to study medicine. At Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), I liaise within an MDT to provide patient-centred care and deliver an efficient and seamless service, especially when undertaking ward based medicine management. I take accurate drug histories from patients through the use of pertinent questions and observation skills. Using my professional judgement in the interest of patient safety allows me to readily detect and reduce the occurrence of medication errors. Furthermore, I have also gained a comprehensive understanding of the diverse range of patients in primary and secondary care, which has taught me how to adapt the way I communicate to meet my patients’ unique needs. I understand the importance of patient confidentiality and safeguarding vulnerable adults and children as well. These attributes that I have developed will help me to become a safer, efficient and confident clinician in the future.
Due to my clinical rotations at HEFT I have developed a particular interest in genetic disorders. I recently met a patient who had been diagnosed with Shapiro Syndrome. I took this opportunity to converse with the patient which helped me gain an understanding of the disorder and the pharmacological treatment involved. My rotation within cancer services, including a placement at Marie Curie Hospice, has shown me how the Liverpool Care Pathway is implemented and helped me understand the importance of empathy. I shadowed consultant haematologists in various roles at Heartlands hospital including haematology clinics and ward rounds. I observed a doctor administer chemotherapy via the intrathecal route and witnessed a patient with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia receive a bone marrow transplant. In addition, I saw the importance of clinical trials in the treatment of cancer and conversed with patients at different stages of their treatment. These experiences have made me appreciate the physical and emotional demands of a career in medicine. Next summer I will be undergoing a placement at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Pakistan, which will offer me an insight into current healthcare issues where resources are limited. Moreover, I remain up-to-date with treatment changes by reading the PJ, BMJ and NICE Guidance and to reflect on my learning I regularly complete CPDs. My technical knowledge is compounded by my First-Class Honours in my Master of Pharmacy degree which provides me with an excellent base of biological and pharmacological knowledge.
Besides my interest in medicine, I also enjoy playing sport; I was part of the University football team and I swim regularly. Furthermore, I play an active part within the local community, having previously volunteered for a local care home, Barnardo's Charity shop and the Anthony Nolan Trust. Currently, I am a volunteer for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. During my pharmacy degree, I was the Aston University Student Champion for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Through this role, I learnt leadership, organisational and interpersonal skills, which have helped both my personal and academic development.
In conclusion, my role in pharmacy and the NHS has provided me with first-hand experience and essential qualities that have bettered me as a person and applicant. Being a hardworking and driven individual, I believe I have the ability to be an excellent medical school student and thereafter a successful doctor within the NHS.
Science has interested me from a young age, but it was through studying pharmacy that I found myself drawn to the more patient centred aspects of healthcare. Realising my limitations as a pharmacist and wanting to be at the forefront of clinical decision making, this well considered choice to pursue medicine was made.
Placements in primary and secondary care as well as my current position as a pre-registration pharmacist at Southampton General Hospital have offered me much insight into medicine as a career. Having visited a range of medical and surgical wards as well as attended various clinics, I have found the scope of medical specialities to be enlightening. The rise of technology and its support in diagnosis has made me appreciate how much this career sits at the forefront of scientific advancement. I have also admired the trusting relationship between patients and their doctors. It has emphasised the importance of being warm, approachable and able to communicate with individuals at their level of understanding. These skills have been demonstrated through my current position and previous job as a healthcare assistant. Earlier this year, I was a first responder to a cardiac emergency just outside of my pharmacy school. Despite my efforts and the timely arrival of the paramedics, the casualty passed away. The nature of this event highlighted to me the challenging sides of medicine. Facing end of life situations isn't easy however, being there to offer the casualty both emotional and physical support was humbling.
Now working within a multi-disciplinary team, I carry out medicines reconciliations, review patient drug charts, and prepare discharge summaries. This has developed my teamwork and communication skills which are both invaluable in medicine. Outside of work, I have been collaborating with nurses, GPs and specialists in Hampshire to deliver health awareness workshops to hard to reach ethnic minority groups at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Supported by Wessex Heartbeat, I have been involved in measuring BP, BM and cholesterol levels as well as providing personalised lifestyle advice.
I am hardworking and self-motivated, as demonstrated by my 1st class honours degree. Pharmacy has equipped me with knowledge of the therapeutic uses of medicines, their side effects and interactions. I have also learnt about the human body systems and many diseases. This provides me with a good foundation going into medicine. Having completed a 4th year research project which was recently presented as a poster at the 2018 International Pharmaceutical Federation congress, I have also developed skills that will prove useful in medical research. These include; literature searching, data analysis and critical writing. Alongside my degree, I was part of the student support service at Cardiff University (CU). Being a mentor then mentor consultant, I developed coaching and leadership skills. This has also demonstrated good time management and organisation which are key to meeting the demands of a medical degree. I am constantly taking on leadership roles and this has been recognised through two consecutive nominations for the Welsh Pharmacy Student Leadership Award. Recently, I was commended for my push to increase first aid training and accessibility within CU following the cardiac incident I was involved with. Initiative drives innovation and improvement which I believe is important in medicine.
Beyond academics, I have a black belt in taekwondo, a sport that has taught me self-discipline and perseverance. I also play the piano and engage in charity work within my community. These activities provide me with a good work-life balance.
I aspire to become a medic who will progress and ultimately give back to society. I have the passion, skills and experience that will allow me to embrace every opportunity and overcome any challenge. Therefore, I believe I am a suitable candidate for graduate entry medicine.
My interest in medicine was sparked after losing a close friend to cancer. I was grateful and inspired by the medical professionals involved in her care and knew I wanted to follow a medical career making a difference to people’s lives. As a third-year pharmacology student I am fascinated by the mechanisms, interactions and treatments of disease leading me to a part time job in a research lab. I gained an appreciation of how treatments go from bench to bedside, improved my aseptic technique and aided the latest research in C. elegans cancer biomarkers.
Whilst shadowing an anaesthetist, ENT surgeon and nurse throughout surgery I was impressed at how they explained procedures clearly and reassuringly to patients. When complications occurred, I learnt how vital teamwork was when everyone communicated well under pressure to achieve the best outcome. Palliative procedures helped me appreciate the aim isn’t always to cure but improve the patient’s end of life experience. In Falls and Syncope, I was excited to shadow a physiotherapist, ward sister and consultant. I was fascinated by the individualisation of treatments designed by the professionals whilst considering the NICE guidance and the NHS budget. The patient’s opinion was included throughout and their confidentiality maintained. It was valuable to see doctors accept their limits and refer patients for other professional opinions. In neurodegenerative disorder clinics I was impressed by consultant geriatricians communicating devastating news in an empathetic and compassionate way, ensuring adequate support following this. I also built on my knowledge of polypharmacy, ensuring drugs didn’t interact or exacerbate symptoms and learnt a diagnosis is rarely straight forward. It’s common for a mental health condition to accompany the initial illness.
A main aspect drawing me to medicine is a passion of working with people which has grown over 8 years of voluntary and paid work. When volunteering for Nightline, a 12 hours listening service for students, I found it challenging not being allowed to give advice. I improved my communication skills by listening for long periods of time and maintaining appropriate tone of voice, key skills required in medicine. Some calls were emotionally challenging teaching me to control my emotions to help the caller. Volunteering with Sexpression teaching sex and relationship education in schools was an enjoyable experience teaching me how to sensitively engage adolescent audiences. Throughout my degree I expanded my level of knowledge taking extra or relevant modules including Healthcare Organisation and Practise to improve my awareness of the NHS. This thirst for knowledge lead to being the only student selected from my university to represent the British Pharmacological Society in parliament where I discussed medical issues like Ebola, anti-vaccination groups and encouraging young people into science. Being a member of my university cheer team allowed me to compete nationally in front of thousands, greatly improving my confidence of entering unfamiliar situations. Teamwork and communication were essential to prevent injury during stunts. If a stunt didn’t work we’d create new ideas together to replace it. This improved my problem solving and creativity skills something used every day in medicine.
I’m exceptionally hard working and committed and have the communication skills, work ethic and motivation to excel in a career as a doctor. From placements within the NHS I feel I’ve grasped a realistic idea of working in a healthcare organisation. I have always enjoyed caring for others and even though medicine is a challenging degree I feel I am emotionally, mentally and physically strong enough to cope with its demands. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Pharmacology degree and wish to build on my knowledge to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor.
Following a serious sporting injury aged 14, I wanted to be a physiotherapist (PT). I was fortunate enough to study and qualify at King’s College London (KCL). As PT students, we’re taught to view the body and mind holistically, whilst developing an exceptional understanding of anatomical functioning and a sound knowledge of physiological processes. However, I knew I had only begun to scratch the surface of what makes us human. My application is borne out of a fascination at the complex equilibrium between different bodily systems and an admiration for human resilience to life-changing circumstances; which drives the pursuit of further knowledge and skills.
Medicine is about seeing patients as individuals and providing them with the foundations to maximise their functioning and quality of life through advice, pharmacological, therapeutic, and if necessary, surgical interventions. For this to be achieved, doctors require a grasp of fundamental skills, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening and empathy, skills on which I pride myself and believe will be directly transferable into practice of medicine. Furthermore, skills such as clinical reasoning, critical analysis and a flexible approach to patient management have provided me the foundation for evidence-based practice that will benefit me as a medical practioner.
I have been fortunate enough to gain experience in a variety of clinical settings, most of which have been ward-based, including: Intensive care (ITU); hyper-acute stroke; oncology and orthopaedics. These acute placements were complimented by long-term rehabilitation placements including The Children’s Trust & Psychiatry. Throughout these rotations, I gained invaluable experience treating and managing a variety of complex conditions, and have always challenged myself to learn new skills and techniques. I achieved this through shadowing various healthcare professionals, including: nurses; midwives; radiographers and most relevantly; doctors. I witnessed first-hand the exceptional depth of knowledge and expertise shown by all the doctors I shadowed, all the while juggling the difficult balance between the medical model and patient-centred care. This was exemplified through contemporary discussions around the moral implications of do not attempt resuscitation orders. Intuitively we should do everything we can to preserve life, yet informed consent is the bedrock of patient-doctor trust and must be respected above all else.
My desire to pursue a career as a doctor was reinforced during my final year of study. I took part in an optional module focussing on inter-professional working, choosing to focus on the role of doctors. I found that the experience helped me further enhance my reflective practice skills, which are vital in both personal and professional growth. I have always considered myself a reflective person, and this module consolidated previous teaching, guiding reflection; learning from all experiences and leading to the development of one of my strongest traits. Furthermore, I chose my dissertation subject on mental health, rather than a topic exclusively PT, displaying my sway towards medical management.
I was fortunate enough to be awarded the KCL Jelf Medal, awarded to one student per year, for academic, societal and sporting excellence. It is the highest honour the college can bestow, and reflected my involvement in football, swimming and water polo teams; charity and grassroots development programs and being the elected student representative to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. I believe this demonstrates my ability to be a well-rounded candidate, capable of working individually or as a team, succeeding and promoting progression not only for myself, but for my peers, in a variety of settings.
My time at KCL provided me with an insight into the medical world, and while I enjoyed the PT aspect, I’m eagerly anticipating the new challenges a medical career will bring.
Work is very important to me and I enjoy being busy. Throughout my academic life and professional career to date, I have demonstrated an excellent work ethic, receiving top appraisals, early promotion and progression, and special access to fast path training and mentoring as a result. After graduating I chose a career in IT as it required continuous self-improvement and learning to stay abreast of constantly evolving industry advances. My career at IBM has allowed me to gain detailed knowledge of the IBM Cloud, working as part of a team to apply those advances and deliver successful solutions for clients’ real life situations. My IBM work has been, and continues to be very interesting and challenging, but I have come to realise from helping people directly through volunteer work, that I now seek a more fulfilling professional life to complement my deep interest in people and the human condition, a desire that had already led me to read psychology at university.
I thoroughly enjoy volunteer work contributing 100+ hours this year so far. During university I spent a semester in Canada where I worked in a homeless shelter for Project Serve. This first raised my awareness to the challenges faced by vulnerable members of our society. Since then I have undertaken a number of volunteer roles and work-shadowing placements, enabling me to experience first-hand the critical role healthcare has to play. I volunteer at a local care home as a care assistant, working as part of a team providing a quality of life to elderly and mentally ill residents. The home strives to maintain residents’ dignity and self-respect despite the challenges of dementia, incontinence and removal from previous family life. As part of the team I’ve learnt a balance of compassion, but without undue attachment, to gain the residents’ trust and cooperation.
Most recently I have volunteered at a local homeless shelter, serving hot food, giving out clothing and being a friendly face for people suffering from extreme poverty, substance and alcohol abuse. Despite language barriers and sometimes aggressive behaviour I have found this experience a rewarding one. I have also had the privilege of shadowing various medical professionals most notably a paediatric surgical consultant. I’ve experienced ward rounds, witnessing team leadership skills resulting in efficient, detailed assessment of patient status and determination of clinical care plans. I have also observed surgery and seen the professional control in execution that’s required. I have found the absolute commitment of the medical team to provide quality care in often challenging circumstances, including recent strike action, an inspiration.
In my spare time I enjoy participating in a variety of activities including climbing, skiing and yoga. Maintaining an active and varied social lifestyle outside of work helps me create a healthy balance to a busy professional life, and as a result has made me a better “people person” having met many people from different walks of life. Whenever possible, I’ve strived to couple my participation with responsibility through being a student ambassador, team captain, or coaching all ages in both climbing and football.
I strongly believe that my journey to this point, taking into account my academic and professional achievements and volunteering experiences, has provided me with a broader perspective and furnished me with more of the attributes required to undertake a medical career. I have become more focussed on my goals in life and know I can contribute more by dedicating my time to a career in medicine. I am determined, capable and highly motivated to transfer this success to a life in medicine and to achieve my ambition to become a doctor – I believe my true vocation in life.