Personal Statement

Savvy Pre-med's Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Medical School Personal Statement

Savvy Pre-med's Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Medical School Personal Statement

By: Ryan Kelly

The personal statement is a cruel beast - but what kind of beast?

For some, it might be a leviathan with countless tentacles going in every direction. For others, a sphinx or a centaur - some hybrid monster that can’t decide what it wants to be. Or perhaps it’s a hydra whose new heads keep growing no matter how many you cut off.

How to Know Your Personal Statement is Finished

How to Know Your Personal Statement is Finished

By: Ryan Kelly

“Voila! Magnifique! It’s perfect - my masterpiece, my opus - it’s finally complete!”

I’ve never once heard these words come out of a pre-med’s mouth. Since the personal statement is challenging and the stakes are high, pre-meds usually struggle to know when their essays are finished.

This doubt can cause them to overthink, share their essays with too many people, and make unnecessary changes that reverse their progress.

Our First Facebook Live Event - February 2018

Our First Facebook Live Event - February 2018

Our first Facebook Live event answered questions about applying to medical school, with a special emphasis on writing your personal statement. Do you have questions you want answered live? Email your medical school admissions questions to our Head Advisor, Rob Humbracht, for our next Facebook Live event. All questions welcome.

Should You Write Your Personal Statement While Drunk?

Should You Write Your Personal Statement While Drunk?

By: Ryan Kelly

Plenty of writers have lauded the effects of alcohol. Some use it to cope with their solitary and thankless job; others use it as a way to lubricate the brain and help ideas flow more freely. It can even be used as a tool while writing your personal statement for medical school.

Does alcohol really help your brain as a writer? According to Medical Daily, drinking alcohol decreases your working memory but does indeed enhance your creative abilities.

21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge

21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge

You've heard us stress the importance of good writing in your medical school application, and being a good writer, just like staying in shape, takes training and practice.

Would you show up to a marathon without a single day of training? Of course not. Unless you enjoy passing out from physical fatigue, you’ll probably start practicing months in advance.

For your application, this is the time to start training. We're putting you, and ourselves, to the test by kicking off the 21-Day “Write Everyday” Challenge.

3 Tricks to Getting Started on Your Personal Statement

3 Tricks to Getting Started on Your Personal Statement

Few things are as intimidating as a blank screen. What should I say? Where do I begin?

That’s the reason I'm doing this 21-day writing challenge in the first place: to thwart the perfectionism, excuses, and other BS that prevent me from writing on a regular basis.

You, dear pre-med, may harbor this same perfectionism. If I tell you to write a personal statement exercise, you may find yourself freezing up. Why? Because it feels so unfamiliar. It's like taking a jog after a long break from exercise: you know how to use your legs, but they feel weak. You've written plenty of lab reports, but after years of science classes, your creative writing muscles have atrophied.

Caution! Medical School Personal Statement Don’ts

Caution! Medical School Personal Statement Don’ts

By: Ryan Kelly

Sometimes it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do.

Google “Personal Statement Don’ts” and you’ll get a host of obvious advice: “Don’t have any typos” or “Don’t discuss political topics like abortion.”

This article aims to go deeper. We’ll focus on specific mistakes that plague average personal statements. Steer clear of these pitfalls:

How to Sell Yourself Without Sounding Full of Yourself

How to Sell Yourself Without Sounding Full of Yourself

By: Ryan Kelly

You’re in competition with thousands of qualified medical school applicants for a limited number of spots, so you have to “sell yourself” to stand out. But you don’t want to come across as pompous, pretentious, or self-righteous. The dreaded “holier than thou” tone that will make admissions officers’ skin crawl.

So, how do you “sell yourself” without sounding full of yourself in your medical school personal statement?

Finding Your Angle in the Personal Statement (Part 2)

Finding Your Angle in the Personal Statement (Part 2)

By: Ryan Kelly

Most pre-meds struggling to write their personal statements are worried about two things:

  1. They feel like they don’t stand out
  2. They feel like their essays are cliche

These two problems are related, of course: the definition of cliches is the overuse of essay tropes, which then fail to stand out.