The Application: Personal Statement

Writing a personal statement is harder than it seems! What do you include and what do you leave out?

I have talked a LOT about my work experience and tried to include what I learned from the experiences but that doesn’t leave much room for much else! It’s the bit I am most proud of at the moment so I guess I’ll just stick with it.

It’s a bit cheesy but I’ll leave it here to perhaps inspire someone who is stuck!

As a mature student, I took the time to find a career that would challenge me. I sought academic rigour in an interpersonal environment with a foundation in science. At 16 I left education for two years due to financial constraints, but during this time I focussed on what career I really wanted to pursue and gained valuable life experiences. My fascination with the complexities of the human body grew when I joined a team setting up a new clinic called the Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment Service (MSK) on behalf of West Sussex Primary Care Trust. The project gave me insightful experience of working in a specialist orthopaedic team and my passion for human anatomy and biology was reinforced with the variety of cases presented. It was here that I decided my return to college would be to strive for medicine.

Working for the MSK developed essential communication and teamwork skills. As a small group, we relied on each other to ensure a smooth progression of each referral from GP, potentially to trauma and orthopaedics at any Sussex hospital. This complicated process relied on the communication between the team across three sites spanning a large and varied demographic area. My role demanded an extended medical vocabulary and the ability to interact with a diverse range of people. This was useful when working in reception of an Accident and Emergency department and my first patient could not speak English! With the careful use of basic sign language and diagrams, the problem was established, the patient reassured and the correct medical care provided. This ability to find simple solutions to presenting problems is an advantage in the emergency department.

Within accident and emergency, the demand for efficient prioritisation is vital, especially with the constant flow of different and often difficult cases ranging in severity. It was here that my skills for prioritising flourished, managing patients, phone calls and maintaining hygiene. I learned how to take a detailed yet concise history of the patient’s condition, key in the triage process and in ensuring the right level of care is provided at the right pace. The variety and complexity of the cases, dealing with both patients and staff and the pace of work was an environment in which I flourished and enjoyed. To widen my experiences of the hospital surroundings, I have undertaken roles in the Radiology and Medical Records department, fulfilling a range of clerical roles. In the last year I have volunteered on wards and soon a children’s hospice.

Recently, I took part in MedEx at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. This gave me the unique opportunity to sample the medicine course and participate in a human dissection session. I also took the opportunity to learn clinical skills, including taking blood pressure, historys, and heart exams. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and it has helped develop my sense of what lies ahead in the path to medicine. Learning clinical skills and being able to partake in a dissection has reinforced my choice to study medicine fervently.

I have lived independent both physically and financially from my family home for three years, successfully maintaining a self supported lifestyle whilst juggling college, volunteering, and an active social life. To unwind I enjoy exercise, participating in holistic classes at my gym, and also making and selling various craft items such as handmade cards and jewellery. Running an independent lifestyle has its own demands, including managing an often tight budget and maintaining a household. Overcoming these challenges has developed me personally, giving me an increased level of maturity and self-determination. Medicine has already become a large part my life and I will not stop until I get there.

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