Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or to achieve a professional promotion.
This is because personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for Radiology clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Radiology
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“Diagnostic imaging is the mainstay of modern medicine, and its role is becoming more prominent every day and with each technological advance. Searching for a specialism that would satisfy my desire to work in a challenging and fulfilling field, I was drawn to diagnostic radiology. Not only does this specialism give me the personal and professional scope to influence some of those technological advances, but it also offers the tools and techniques to avoid the devastating consequences of hidden diagnostic dilemmas by providing the potential for accurate radiologic diagnosis.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This personal statement example is clearly written for use within a professional medical context. It begins convincingly with an informed statement that leads the writer to outline their motivation and interest in the field of radiology.
Using appropriate terminology and relevant vocabulary, the writer indicates a sound awareness of the challenges and benefits of this field and offers a personal opinion on the value of the course they are applying for.
It is an informed and professional introduction, although lacking a little personality. In many respects, it consists of a series of accurate but general statements rather than giving an insight into the person behind the words. However, it instils confidence and illustrates professional suitability quite successfully.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Subject Background
“The art of accurate diagnosis and its positive impact on patient’s lives is exemplified by the case of a 79-year-old admitted when I was an intern. We had limited success in establishing a diagnosis by applying appropriate algorithms. Still, the accurate radiological diagnosis of portal vein thrombosis changed our understanding and broadened the treatment options, resulting in a positive outcome that we may not have otherwise achieved. In another example, detecting a tiny brain arteriovenous malformation in a young adult with long-term refractory epilepsy, combined with subsequent neurosurgical intervention, led to the life-long abortion of seizures. Subsequently, I have developed a scholarly interest in the importance of diagnostic imaging within the field of neuroradiology.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This personal statement example develops well and offers personal examples of observations of the value of the field of study the writer is pursuing. Again, evidence of comprehensive professional knowledge is convincing, and the way the writer’s experiences have combined to give them a motivated insight into radiology are clearly outlined.
Again, this is a paragraph which is factually impressive but doesn’t really tell us what the writer did or learned in these situations. Their writing imparts knowledge but no skills, value or personality. That might not be as critical here as for other subjects, but you should always strive to communicate the personal value of an experience rather than simply describe it.
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 1
“I selected radiology because it is an intellectually challenging discipline. To reconstruct pictures into possible diagnoses, a radiologist must combine comprehensive clinical knowledge across the anatomy of organ systems with an individual patient’s history and findings. Furthermore, diagnostic imaging is about confidence. As radiologists, we are obliged to localise abnormality and anatomically anomalous areas, provide differential diagnoses, detect normal variations and safely use potentially lethal radiation. Over the four years of the residency program, my top priorities were hard work, diligence and follow-up of patients. Serving as the Chief Resident during my last year of residency thoroughly prepared me for my independent practice as a radiologist. The interdisciplinary work with other specialities, such as surgeons, internists, paediatrics and neurologists, has revealed to me the true nature of teamwork.”
Commentary and Analysis
The first section of this paragraph shows that the writer has a good understanding of the discipline and implies that they have the skills needed to succeed.
The second part is more valuable. The writer outlines the skills and experiences they have gained in a relevant professional role and considers how these add to their suitability for the course.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 2
“Working in rural and urban areas for over five years offered me many valuable experiences and helped me maintain the necessary skills and qualifications required of a professional radiologist. These experiences have also assisted me in amplifying my ability to think visually, pay informed attention to details and, most importantly, interpret relevant facts from the spectrum of available information and communicate them in a timely and effective manner, both verbally and in writing.
The brain is the most complex among the body systems, and as a result of my practice, I have developed an interest in brain localisation. Working with technologically advanced equipment, such as MRI machines, I have learned to analyse and interpret data, work efficiently, and apply software appropriately to solve practical problems. Since my move to the US in 2020, I have complimented my radiology practice by working as a research fellow. In this role, I have involved myself in several research opportunities and, working with my supervisor, have contributed to numerous case conferences, familiarising myself with various abnormal neuroradiology cases.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
The first paragraph above outlines further experience and suggests that the writer has gained the skills necessary for this course. However, there is very little detailed discussion of what these skills might be, how they were obtained or why they might be of value.
It’s quite a presumptive passage – the writer assumes that the impressive nature of their achievements will imply suitability and skills without really explaining what they are. This may be the case, but it is far more effective to outline the skills learned, their value and how they will be applicable to specific aspects of the course you are applying for. That way, a reader will be able to see the connection explicitly.
The second paragraph is far more effective, as it outlines experiences and the skills developed as a result. It shows depth of knowledge and commitment to the subject, and again uses a range of professional vocabulary to convince the reader. Like before, I would like to see clearer links made between these experiences and the ways in which they will support the writer in meeting the challenges of this qualification.
The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients.
It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.
Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“Radiology challenges me to excel when applying a wide range of well-developed skills, to engage my expertise and attention and to develop my personal qualities to a high level. I am now seeking a position in the neuroradiology fellowship program that will allow me to build upon this foundation of knowledge and practice, excel whilst developing my skills and continue providing outstanding patient care.
I am a dedicated, motivated and positive team member, and I look forward to adding value to your program and sharing my expertise in this revolutionary, essential and inspiring field.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This conclusion is effective but limited in scope. The writer clearly has a sound understanding of the subject matter and justifies their reasons for applying in terms of the potential for professional development. However, there is little sense of detail related to the specifics of the course they are applying to.
Why this course? What are the opportunities? What are the outcomes, and why are they important to the writer? What research opportunities does the writer hope to undertake? Who do they want to work in the programe? What are their ambitions, and how will the course help them achieve these?
These are all important questions that should be addressed in the conclusion of a postgraduate personal statement example, as they show the admissions reader that you understand the structure, content and opportunities provided by the course. This is important to evidence, as by doing so, you reassure the reader of your commitment and dedication and illustrate clearly that the course fits into a larger academic or professional plan.
The writer indicates their desire to add value but doesn’t specify how. Again, this is vital in a conclusion. How will the writer add to the body of knowledge of the faculty? What strengths and value will they bring? How will their peers and teaching staff gain value from their contributions?
In summary, this is a professional and well-written personal statement which evidences a great deal of knowledge. It is compelling in parts and shows a serious and experienced applicant. I don’t feel there’s enough development of personal value and learning, evidence of academic research or justification for the specific course being applied to.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
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Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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