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Analysing Example Conclusions

In this video, Ankit Chadha analyses some example conclusions from a medical personal statement.
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Aside from the opening, I feel that the conclusion is the second most important paragraph of the personal statement. You’ve built a platform. You’ve discussed a journey. But if you don’t close it properly, it doesn’t give the reader a long lasting message. And he won’t remember you. The good thing is that the conclusion doesn’t have to be very long at all. And there’s quite a few different ways of writing it. However, a conclusion must do the following two things. Number one, it must state some qualities that you developed that make you suitable for a career in medicine. And number two, it must explicitly state that you want to study medicine. Now, this might sound really simple.
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But you’ll be surprised at the number of conclusions I read which don’t do these two things. This can make the reader feel really confused and feel like something is missing. However, if you do include these two simple things, it will end your journey really well and complete the personal statement. So again, let’s take a look at some examples.
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The first one, it’s very long. And it’s a great example of how you can end up rambling. If the conclusion was just the last line, it would work very well. He’s demonstrated some qualities. And he’s clearly stated that he wants to study medicine. However, the beginning is a bit long winded. The area where the student has gone wrong is that he’s introduced extra reasons why he wants to study medicine. Remember, the conclusion is meant to be the end of the journey, not the beginning. In addition, the language is not very convincing at all. He’s used words like sounds like. What you want to do is show a strong desire to study medicine and sound really convincing.
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So let’s look at example two, which is short and sweet. Notice how this example does one of the two things. She’s clearly stated that she wants to study medicine. However, it doesn’t include any qualities at all. And that’s why it ends up sounding a little bit weak. Example number three, and again, you should be familiar with this conclusion. It’s Ben’s after all. This conclusion ticks all the boxes. He’s mentioned three key qualities that make him suitable for a career in medicine. And he’s clearly stated that he wants to study at university. And it just shows if you follow that simple formula, provided you backed it up with evidence in your paragraphs before, the reader will believe you.
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And it’ll sound very credible and genuine. Example number 4, now this example starts off very well. She’s clearly stated that she wants to study medicine and mentions two key qualities, the academic curiosity and drive. However, at the end of her statement, she shot herself in the foot by saying that she wants to become a paediatrician. How can she know at the age of 17 or 18 that that speciality is the one for her? I’ve been in medical school for a long time. And I still don’t know exactly which speciality I want to go into. So how can a student, who’s never even experienced life on the wards, know that she wants to be a paediatrician?
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Saying something like this is going to sound very ignorant and make you seem really immature. Now don’t get me wrong. You can of course say that you’re interested in certain speciality. And I’d encourage you to do so. But you can’t explicitly state that one speciality is the one for you. So I’d urge you to keep it simple. Keep your conclusions short and make sure you focus on including the two most basic points. That is you must highlight some qualities that make you suitable for a career in medicine, and number two, must explicitly state that you want to study medicine.
Bring all your points together in a brief summary that reminds the reader of your strengths and leaves them with a positive attitude towards your application. This does not have to be very long, and it is up to you how you wish to end your personal statement.
The 2 main rules about writing a good conclusion are:
  • You should clearly state at least 3 qualities that make you suitable for a career in medicine (e.g. dedication, empathy, scientific acuity)
  • You need to clearly state that you want to study medicine.
Take some time to analyse the example conclusions and see what you like and dislike about them.
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