Reviewing my own personal statement

At the end of my second round of applying I only had one hard offer. Waiting lists just don’t cut it! So had I applied again, my PS is one thing I would have really worked on. With hindsight and experience, my comments on my statement will be in blue:


As a mature student, I took the time to find a career that would challenge me, seeking academic rigour in an interpersonal environment with a foundation in science.

I like this. It took me ages. While it doesn’t specifically say medicine, it is concise and explains why I came to medicine as a career option.  

At 16 I left education due to the financial constraints of independent living. During this time I focussed on what career I really wanted to pursue and gained valuable life experiences.

This was fairly important to me at the time and it explained my gap between college and high school. It isn’t actually doing anything for me that couldn’t have been in a reference though.

Living independently I have overcome many obstacles, balancing homework and housework, education and earning.

This is good. Shows a little about what I have been doing and suggests skills I may have developed. Could be better though. 

Since October 2007 I have worked in Worthing Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department.

Long and irrelevant introduction. Working in A&E since 2007 – would have been better. October? Who cares. Worthing? Who cares!! And it has it’s own place on UCAS if they really wanted to know.

Performing initial triage allows me to see a range of complaints, familiarise myself with a patient orientated environment and develop an understanding of patient confidentiality.

Good – could have been elaborated though. I have started talking in the present tense which is weird. Stick to past tense.

Working in a front line multidisciplinary team also gives me an understanding of how every person plays a vital part in maintaining excellent patient care under pressure.

Every “person” is a bit generic but good point.

 Being confronted with often traumatic injuries, I learned the value of organ and blood donations and have now become a regular blood donor. In these sessions I learned how blood is taken and preserved before it is used whole or split into its constituents, for example the plasma is used reverse the effects of anti-coagulants.

This was important to me at the time but again, really not relevant to me as a medical student wannabe.

Returning to college was a challenge I enjoyed and I quickly settled in. Taking contrasting subjects allowed me to grow my research and essay writing skills but also my problem solving and logic.

Again, not highly relevant. They know what I took and what I got from it. Doesn’t matter how quickly I settled in either. It shows adaptability but could have thought of a better example for sure.

I have taken advantage of every opportunity available,

“every” is a stretch. I certainly didn’t join a sport or a club etc.

including leading group study in lessons, organising and running revision classes, and coordinating charity events. This helped to hone my leadership skills and taught me how to bring out the best of everyone in teamwork situations.

Leadership is important but so is being a team player.  Good point though. 

I accepted a place on the BrightMed course last year where I had the privilege to experience anatomy at its best and observed a dissection. During the session I learned how each cadaver is treated with respect, and the importance of body donation.

Again the sentiment is nice but this doesn’t make me a better applicant. 

It was fascinating to see the human body in such detail as to be able to identify the cause of death, in this case a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.


Inspired by this, I initiated a college visit to the Body Worlds exhibition “The Mirror of Time” which explores human development and aging. Being able to see the intricacies of the human body was fascinating, providing a more detailed understanding of different systems and processes such as the circulatory system and foetal development, both topics that I had enjoyed during my Biology studies.

Organising the event was good, but the rest of this is irrelevant. My college encouraged talking about college – which is rather misguided. 

Having volunteered at Worthing Hospital for over two years, I appreciate the often challenging work that comes with treating individuals with individual needs.

Ditch the place name but otherwise good. 

I have learned that medicine is often not a simple case of diagnosis and treatment as individuals can have unique symptoms.

Okay… this could be more interesting but it’s a good point.

Talking to patients on the wards showed me how much medicine can improve quality of life which I found thoroughly rewarding.

Nice sentiment but again not great. 

This has led me to take up further volunteering at Worthing Society for the Blind, helping those with vision impairment enjoy a range of craft activities. I found it very humbling to see how people adjusted to the loss of their sight but it was inspiring to see how this was overcome and activities such as knitting were still enjoyed. This firsthand experience of making a difference has reinforced my aspirations to work in a healthcare environment to improve the lives of others.

This is okay. But I certainly could have elaborated on HOW they overcame it. And what I actually did!

My experiences have widened my familiarity with differing levels of care of patients with a range of difficulties.


I am keen to learn more I have obtained a work experience placement with a GP in November.

This doesn’t make sense

Through work experience and college I have a developed an understanding of the demands of a medical career both academically and professionally and feel that my experiences have presented me with the potential to flourish in both.

I like the ending haha.

Overall I think this had potential (luckily Southampton saw that!) but needed a lot of work. Writing a PS is hard work so I recommend getting started nice and early!!

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