A strong finish to your medical school personal statement leaves a lasting impression on the medical school admissions committee. The end of your essay doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-winning, but you can make medical schools remember your essay if you pay extra attention to how your craft the conclusion.
Medical School Personal Statement Ending: “The Bookend”
After you’ve set up your vision/purpose for medical school and illustrated it throughout your essay(see how to start your essay), you can make a call back to your vision/purpose in the conclusion of your essay. This is a tried-and-true literary technique called “The Bookend.”
A bookend is a direct callback to an earlier part of your essay. If you begin your essay with a strong statement about your motivation to medicine, end it with that same statement of motivation rephrased. If you illustrate your motivation/purpose with an impactful story from your personal life, conclude your essay with a reference to that story.
A bookend repeats your strongest message to the reader right when they need to read it the most. When you repeat yourself at the end you come across as confident and resolute in your motivation to medicine, and confidence is key.
Do Not End Your Medical School Essay Like This: These Endings Suck
- Don’t use terms like “In conclusion” or “In sum” — Academic “term paper” language pulls your reader out of your essay and gives undesirable attention to style. Keep it personal and write the way you talk.
- Don’t make statements of uncertainty and self-deprecation — “I know I’m not the best, but…” or “My grades aren’t the highest, but..” Don’t put yourself down. Negativity and self-deprecation aren’t attractive to medical schools, so focus on the positive.
- Don’t list your character traits — Your essay should demonstrate your character traits, so you don’t need to list them all out at the end. Waste of characters, and boring. For example: “I’m a hard worker, dedicated, with a strong work ethic.” These are traits every premed claims to have.
Use the conclusion of your medical school personal statement to make medical schools sit up and pay attention. Show them your heart and let your true passion shine. You’ll make a lasting impression.