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5300 Character Limit
Why Medicine?
What Experiences pushed you to medicine?
Why not nurse, social worker, PA?

Medical School Personal Statement Information

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Essentially, I need to take a 2-3 experiences, and create a cohesive 5,300 character personal statement to apply to medical school. As you read through this document you will see that although significant, I need this organized, grammatically correct, and flowing. My hope is to have an expanded upon essay with this outline. I want to give the writer a lot creative control and go wild, so to speak. It is not absolutely necessary or imperative for you to use all experiences or ideas I have provided. I just want a personal statement that says “a community service oriented, intelligent, leader who is a older non-traditional applicant”


  • Introduction: approximately 800-1000(?)Characters
  • Body: approximately2000-3000(?) Characters

1st Experience

2nd Experience

3rd Experience

  • Conclusion: 1000-2000(?) Characters

Tying it all together, why medicine, qualities, experiences, etc.



Examples of questions that might want to be answered in the Personal Statement:

Why have you selected the field of medicine?

What motivates you to learn more about medicine?

What do you want medical schools to know about you that hasn’t been disclosed in other sections of the application?


In addition, you may wish to include information such as:

Unique hardships, challenges, or obstacles that may have influenced your educational pursuitsComments on significant fluctuations in your academic record that are not explained elsewhere in your application


I would like the reader to hopefullytake away and bolded the more important ideas I hope will be displayed.

  • He was a smart but disinterested student (ie bad grades 10 years ago)
  • Many vocations and many experiences.
  • Came back to college after working his wily youth out of his system.
  • Growing interest in medicine after new found studious habits.
  • Came back to the idea of medicine after “watering the seeds planted in his youth”.
  • He has lived a fulfilling life so far, and further wants to develop it, in medicine.
  • Now wants to serve his community.
  • Compassion and empathy for marginalized groups and the underserved.
  • Professional, team player, communicative, a leader, fully aware of his destination.
  • He’s not like a 22-24yr old who doesn’t have as much life experience.
  • Although his parents were in healthcare, he seems to have come to the idea on his own, maybe with some influence or experience from an early age.
  • Obviously, he would make a great addition to the student body and the field of medicine….


34 years old, Caucasian, Male

Active lifestyle, currently a bartender.



I grew up in rural Michigan town

Both parents are in healthcare

Small heart murmur diagnosis so saw a pediatric cardiologist since I was 7.

Adventurous child with a lot of visits to the emergency room.

Worked factories and farms until 18, went to college.



Enrolled in 4yr University, left after 2 years with 1.5 cGPA,

Transferred to local community college, studied photography, left after 2 years with another 1.5cGPA.



Packed up my car, drove to Seattle and immediately started working as freelance photographer for about 4 years, still do sometimes.

Working many other side jobs, contractor, painter, boats, factories etc.

Many travels and adventures.

Began bartending in my mid-twenties, and at 29yrs finally reenrolled back into local community college. Started volunteering, shadowing, research etc. etc.



Returned to college, planned on Medicine, took my prerequisites and transferred to University of Washington, graduating with a BA in (MAGH) Medical Anthropology and Global Health, cGPA of 3.5ish, so I matured after returning to college, showed some discipline, but my terrible grades in my past a very haunting and affecting my overall GPA. I think I need a sentence of “an immature approach to college in my early youth” or “behind me was the immature student.


Experiences as an adult/why medicine

Use what YOU feel is best fit. It is not necessary for all experiences be included!

These are some of the “main” experiences I am having trouble tying together into a cohesive personal statement that answers “why medicine/why now?” while also demonstrating qualities found in a physician, AND also why I want to be a physician and am not drawn to a career as nurse, social worker, physician assistant, paramedic, etc. etc.

  • Primary Care shadowing showing dedication to community service,leadership, curiosity.
  • Saw the problem with healthcare from UDSM as Director
  • Developed passion for underserved with homeless teenagers.
  • Saw the responsibility tied with privileges of medicine in the ED/CICU



  • Trying to get homeless teen to enroll in community college.

Self-development begins with seeking answers. Working with a marginalized group provided this and with those experiencing homelessness I was able to clearly see their struggle to gain footing in society.

Natasha wanted to go back to school.  enrolled in community college after I had connected her to a school counselor I was ecstatic. a theme of both individual and community level intervention began appearing frequently in my journey.


Privileged to take the role of Director of University District Street Medicine, I recalled the physicians I had interacted with. Engaging my community, working with a marginalized group on a large scale, guiding and directing a team was great to see the “God View” of healthcare.


Primary care introduced me to intervention over a wide range of patients. A 79 year old with a , a 22 year old with a , and circumscion of a newborn. A photo shown to me by the physician of a patient he had given a bicycle to that. The patient had been overweight and facing other health issues. Looking fit and healthy in the photo, he was thanking the doctor for the new lease on life he had given him. He had lost weight, condition improved, and wasn’t seeing the doctor so often.



  • Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (Seattle Children’s Hospital)
    • Shadowing docs made me realize the ultimate responsibility physicians have

Accountability is expected as physicians. Actions have consequences, with this responsibility come autonomy. In the CICU a doctor told this person to do this blah blah. This is provided with the understanding that a doctor is making a decision and guiding the team under them with this knowledge. This  ultimate responsibility eludes NPs, PA’s, RNs, Techs, social workers etc.

  • Harborview Emergency Department
    • Professionalism and leadership seeing a calm Attending instruct residents.

The emergency department was a buzz with activity, this was the experience that made me rethink what role I want to play in medicine. The direction that the attending gave a group of four student as they worked on a patient with bilateral femur fractures and a collapsed lung was remarkable. Awed by the composure and calm instructions of the attending in the high stress environment allowed me to keenly see the qualities expected of physicians.

  • Bartending: multi tasking,
    • High stress/high volume/teamwork/communication

Bartending downtown during a hot Seattle summer, the high volume and stress left little room for error. Overseeing a crowd of nearly two-hundred people, demeanor was key.



“So, what’s stopping you?” she responded. It was Halloween, dressed in scrubs and a lab coat, I was tending bar when she approached with an excited smile. An energetic greeting she told me she appreciated my costume, revealing she was actually a practicing physician. Blurting out the first thought that popped in my head, I said “I’ve always thought about medical school.”

When I began volunteering with those facing homelessness, or challenges in housing, I knew it was to get out of my comfort zone and give serve my community. Although some personal experience drew me this population, I still didn’t have the whole picture of the problem. Allowed to educate myself on about the issues they face, I began to engage on a personal level, mostly being there to listen, but also being able to provide them with support in some of their problems with resources such as healthcare, employment, or education. When a guest told me they wanted to study Medical Anthropology, my own major, I connected her to counselors and financial aid at Seattle Central Community College and she enrolled. I felt incredible knowing I had made a small impact on someone’s life. With small impacts you can make a huge difference, I find this applicable in medicine too.



I had seen empathy demonstrated by a physician in the CICU, and while patients recovered, the physician continued to impart compassion to the patients parents. His emotional intelligence and ability to read people seemed important for his work. His path to the role he occupied in the unit seemed direct and linear. Seeing the similarities, I also saw subtle differences.

  • TeenFeed

“Queenie” a Transgender youth had a hand injury and I cleaned and bandaged, it wasn’t actually a serious injury at all, she just wanted someone to listen and talk to, and care for her, at least this was the sense I got..


The young couple drew my attention after I noticed the father’s attire. An orange utility hoody and worn work pants speckled with dried paint stuck out to me. Growing up in rural Michigan I was familiar with this uniform, donning it myself years prior.

My duties had me engage with various people and to make them feel welcome. Making myself known with some quick greetings, I did my best to relax them with some light conversation peppered with a small amount of humor. From Eastern Washington, they had brought their newborn daughter to Seattle Children’s Hospital CICU.

Following their case over the next month we became very friendly. Five weeks of this and the day I feared finally came, when the mother, donning a morose look said “do you want hear the bad news?”. With honest voice I replied “I think I know what you’re about to tell me, and want you to know I am so sorry.” She continued “they’ve done everything they can. They’re going to put her to sleep tomorrow, forever” Ten seconds seemed like ten minutes, and finally I said “I know this pain must so heavy right now. Remember, after everything you’ve tried, this is what any loving parents would do, again I am so sorry.” We then stood there, acknowledging the situation and recognizing the emotions we felt with subtle nods. Moments later I was called away to yet another urgent need. Engaged with another young couple patiently waiting, I watched the devasted couple prepare to leave. They waved quickly seeing the hurried atmosphere that I was trying to control. I asked the new couple to give me a moment and excused myself. Moving with quick precision I put down my cocktail shaker, removed my bar rag, and walked out from behind the spanning wood top. Meeting them at the door I offered a hug. With a warm embrace they reciprocated and thanked me for everything. They knew and I knew, that this was an experience we would share for the rest of our lives. Smiles through misty eyes, softly saying goodbye, they walked out of the bar and into the cold Seattle night.



  • You don’t need to be a doctor to make a positive impact on people’s lives, and demonstrating attributes like empathy, professionalism, leadership, and ownership of community, I’ve been able do this through my experiences. My reason to attend medical school though is the physicians I saw with these qualities were making positive impacts while elevating the health their patient’s and communities. My wish is not only to be of service to others, my wish is improve the health of my future patients, peers, and community to fully enjoy the service and positive impacts from my intervention.


  • What does success mean though. Is it identifying the type of infection or prescribing the correct medication for accounting for drug interactions. Produces a physician who gets into the field and solves problems in an objective manner. Though medicine needs this. Some populations require solving problems in a big picture way. The “unable to see the forest because they are focused on the trees”. I can do that.


  • My journey was roundabout, and my life paints an atypical backdrop than most. Adversity in my youth, an early trial run at college, a career as a vagabond photographer, all helped instill a sense adaptability and continual self-development in myself


  • Undeniably, I had a decent amount of exposure to medicine from an early age. A slight heart murmur, some rambunctious childhood accidents, and a few family members in the field, led me to link healthcare in a Pavlovian response, to comfort, security, and familiarity. This was a seed that was planted but had to wait to be watered until later on in my life. Yes, that foundational aspect has been an influence in exploring medicine. But it was my work with my community, roles in leadership, and the clinical observations experienced that undeniable make me we want to pursue medicine further.
  • Far removed from a childhood in rural Michigan. I had enjoyed an adventurous career as a freelance photographer. “So, what’s stopping you?” I thought. Now a matured twenty-something urbanite, I had begun exploring a more rooted life as a bartender, and was a newly enrolled student at the local college.
  • Five years later, finally arriving at a check point in a journey, I’ve come to realize it was just as important as my intended goal.
  • Experiences during my journey exposed me to harsh truths and beautiful realities to medicine as well as life.
  • The destination was medical school when I decided to go back to college. Looking back now, I see the journey has been as significant as getting to that destination.
  • I want to not only provide care to my community and patients, but replicate the same comfort, security, and familiarity I found in my youth. I know though, with the privilege of practicing medicine or not, I will continue to demonstrate the qualities of leadership, empathy, and continued self-development I’ve found in my journey.



Experience with medicine in my youth, I don’t really see the point in connecting these, maybe something in the 1st or 2nd experience…

  • Both parents in healthcare, father is a doctor, mother a nurse. Childhood diagnosis of heart murmur, rambunctious childhood leading to Emergency Dept visits. Always associated healthcare medicine with comfort, familiarity, and security because of this.


  • At thirteen I had a conversation with a physician that impressed upon me some important thoughts on medicine, the barriers some patients face, and the issues with healthcare systems. The physician owned one of the two private practices providing women’s health care in my rural town. In relating to me their career and what they do, they also talked about some of their frustrations with medicine. Their practice received a lot of patients whom had been turned away from the other practice for inadequate or non-existent health insurance. Taking on these turned away patients and providing care resulted in the physician and their practice essentially having to pay for these patient to be seen, thus losing income. I asked “Why not just refuse them too, like the other OB/GYN, if they can’t pay you?” A noticed the hint of anger in their voice with the quick, terse response “because they need care, regardless if they can afford it or not!”.


  • At twenty-one I was working at the local college pizzeria. A customer we can call Miriam would come in often, order, and talk while she ate. She began asking for rides back to her home up the street, her health declining, finding it hard to walk home. Her husband sounded vindictive, he would angrily tell her she needed to go for walks around the block, which I thought was odd. Miriam reiterated that he was upset that I had being give her a ride home and she didn’t want to upset him anymore. She stopped coming in, and I stopped seeing her walking around the block as frequently as I had. One day while working in the shop an older genial man came in an approached me. He stated “you must be Jeff, I’m Miriam’s husband” frozen with fear at what the horrible man I heard all about was doing at my work. I asked nervously “ugh, yea how can I help you?” He then told me Miriam was in the hospital, she had terminal brain cancer and was dying, the last year after her diagnosis he had been encouraging her to utilize her finite time to go for walks and experience life. He wanted to give me the option to see her in her final moments, and felt she would’ve wanted me to be able to say goodbye based on our relationship. She died I was sad I hadn’t realized that I had given this person support in and touched them in a way that was significant.



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