Personal Statement

The primary application is where you include your personal statement, conveying to a medical school why you are interested and passionate about pursuing a career as a physician. This is an important part of your application because medical schools will hopefully understand how you have been influenced, inspired, or motivated to pursue medicine as a career. You will describe your life experiences and perhaps highlight those that have really helped you to confirm that medicine is the right career choice.

An average number of drafts that you may write before arriving at your final version is between 8 – 12 drafts. When writing your statement, do your best to be introspective. Think deeply about your desire to become a physician and avoid writing superficial and obvious statements such as, "I find that helping people is the most rewarding thing to do in life." Your statement will be limited to a very strict 5,300 characters on the AMCAS application so anything beyond this number will be cut off.

Include in your statement lessons you have learned throughout your various experiences and avoid writing your statement as if you are writing a book. Present the challenges that you may have had to overcome in your life in a "matter of fact" tone and "controversial issues" should be presented with a connection to medicine in mind.

If you plan to apply to an MD/PhD program, there will be additional questions to answer.


Pre-Health Advising offers a personal statement review service to current UC Berkeley students and Alumni Advantage members applying to health professional school in 2017 (for 2018 entrance). This service is for personal statements for the primary application only (e.g., AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS). Applicants may submit a statement for review only once; to maximize the benefit of this service, we advise submitting a near-final/polished draft, within stated character limits. Feedback will be provided in writing, in the document you submit via the online submission form.


  • Applicants to Medical School: Statements may be submitted starting Friday, April 21, 2017 and ending Friday, June 30, 2017.
  • Applicants to Other Health Professional Schools: Statements may be submitted starting Monday, June 12, 2017 and ending Friday, June 30, 2017.
  • Written feedback will be provided within 7 BUSINESS DAYS of your submission of the form (
  • *Please plan ahead to ensure you allow enough time to receive feedback prior to your planned primary application submission date.*

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