The personal statement is your opportunity to personalize your medical school application. Your essay—or “personal comments,” as the application services for health professional schools officially call it—should reveal something about yourself that is not discussed at length elsewhere on the application, and it should make admissions deans want to meet you. They often use this part of your application to sort through their “maybe” piles and determine who to invite for interviews. Ultimately, the personal statement is one of the only parts of this process that you still have control over at the time you’re actually applying. Your GPA, test scores, and experiences are largely behind you at this point, but you can still improve your chances by writing well.
For more information and guidelines for writing your personal statement, read the handout Personal Statement and email for the 2014 recording of the Personal Statement Pre-Application Meeting.