UCAS Personal Statement Tips - Motivation for medicine

Lets go over motivation for medicine.

Here are some of the reasons in our experience candidates list as motivating factors for choosing medicine: - 

  • Scientific
  • Caring
  • Working with People
  • Making a difference
  • Professional development
  • Career Options
  • Challenge
  • Personal Circumstances
  • Work Experience
  • Family

As it is almost certain to have a motivation station on a MMI circuit; we go through each of these in detail on our medical school interview course, and ensure every candidate is individually trained to answer any questions relating to this area. 

The important thing to remember her is not to simply list your reasons, but to offer examples of why they motivate you. For example DO NOT simply write unsubstantiated comments such as: -

“I would like to student medicine because I like biology, especially the heart”

DO NOT waffle or beat about the bush. Also I would avoid being poetic and using quotes from others. You do not have the luxury of an unlimited character count :- 

“It has always been a childhood dream to study medicine since primary school. I was fascinated by the human body during my biology class and this made me desire to study medicine even more”

An example of a better introduction would be: -

“During my biology lessons, I was fascinated by the heart. I had insight into its critical nature when I saw a patient in intensive care who had heart failure. The treatment made the patient less short of breath and able to move more easily. I saw how to the doctor used science to make a real difference to peoples lives and this is why I wish to pursue this career”

Remember, the admissions tutor is expecting writing at the level of a sixth form student. Write this in your own words and be wary of anyone who offers to write this for you from a template. 

We are often asked whether you should indicate that you come from a family of doctors. We see no harm in doing this as long as you do so in a positive way. For example: -

“I can see the long hours and pressure that my father, who is a GP, has to endure every day, seeing over 30 patients, from new born babies to the very elderly. I can also see the satisfaction he experiences, making a real difference to peoples lives and the gratitude patients offer. I wish to follow in his footsteps’

I would not write anything to do with finance, job security or prestige. Whilst these elements may be true, they are open to misinterpretation by undergraduate tutors (who are often paid less than their non academic counterparts!).