Barts And The London Medicine Personal Statement

My Interview at Barts

When I first started applying for medicine, I heavily relied on TSR and blogs for advice and guidance. Subsequently I have always seen my blog as a learning tool for others following in my footsteps. Now that I have an offer I can share my interview. People can understand what I was asked and how I responded.

Before the interview I was asked to read this article and "hear my thoughts" on the issue.

14th February 2012
I arrive, register and am taken to the Common Room. I am then taken to the Old Library where I sit with a few of my fellow coursemates and some people I don't know. The Old Library is a big, spacious room and they have set up several booths to conduct the interviews. I can hear little snippets of each conversation i.e. "New Scientist", "What would you do...", "Passion".

Me and a friend talk with the medical student. All being 21 we are more confident than the 17/18 year olds next to us, waiting for their interviews.

I'm finally called and the interview knows exactly who I am. It was hard, two guys and the rest girls. I'm Caucasian and the other guy is Asian. If you knew my name, you'd make the same judgement as well.

She leads me to the very last booth in the room telling me about who she and the other interviewer are.

I sit down, announce "So this is it" and they both smile. We begin by discussing the process in which I am applying. Deferred entry for 2013. This moves onto my modules choices for third year of Biomed and I discuss the SBCS restructuring. One of my interviewes is a medical scientist and is very concerned about this. She is a lecturer on my third year module of Endocrine Physiology. We have a genuine conversation on it, before we realise that I'm here for a medicine interview.

We discuss the benefits of having a degree before medicine, and one of my interviewers thinks that all applicants should have a degree before hand because it matures you and makes you a better medicine applicant. I'm loving this interview already.

I am then asked about the article we were asked to read. I start by discussing the journalistic points of the article and then move onto the ethical reasons. I talk for a few minutes, running through my prepared answer and coming to a logical conclusion.

We then discuss a scenario about someone who is obese and would they remain the same weight after the operation. I am repeatedly pushed to defend my opinion at this point. I assumed it was a test to make sure I would stand my ground on the subject.

I am then asked "Why Barts?". I start with my mention of Hackey, Shoreditch and Bagels (all my friends laughed at this). I then move onto clinical reasons such as local prevalent diseases. They stop me at this, as if they have heard enough already and I wish I could have talked about PBL and dissection.

We move on to "What have I done to prepare for medicine?"

I discuss work experience, volunteering, working for DWP. This briefly leads them to review my personal statement and ask me how JD Wetherspoon could possibly be beneficial to Medicine. I explain about my A&E work experience. How I dealt with drunk people in both situations.

"Has anyone tried to put you off medicine?"

I discussed how I know medical students who have cried at exams. That the course was so intense they broke down. This was a difficult answer. I was criticised for this because if students can't deal with exams, how can they deal with being a doctor? I responded and defended my statement.

I also talked about other negatives I've viewed from my work experience and what I know.

"How would I deal with death as a doctor?"

I started off answering this about in terms of a medical student. I was stopped and they reasked the question. I then talked about empathy and professionalism and I knew I had hit the buzz words. Lots of nodding from one.

"Any questions?"

This surprised me. They said it had been "a good interview" and I was very pleased to hear that. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't believe it was over so quickly, so I just ended with "Barts has always been my first choice. Plus I'm in love with the library." They agreed. One of the interviewers wished she could enjoy bagels with no consequences. We all laughed, I shook hands and left.

Apart from one job at the student union, I have got every job I have interviewed for. I felt confident about this but at the same time I felt like I could have said so much more. I lived in nervous wait for over a month before I heard. I love the two woman that interviewed me and when I meet them again, I will thank them over and over!

Advice for Barts
Barts are so nice. It blew me away how nice they were. At the same time, I heard from friends that their interviews were not as nice as mine.

In my opinion, Barts made you feel comfortable but were not afraid to push you so that you would defend your opinion/answer. I felt on a few occasions that they were being conflicting, just to see how I would deal with the pressure, how I would respond to the attack on my view.

I can't fault Barts. They were lovely to me and I got an offer. Plus I'm probably known as 'Bagel Guy" in the admissions office.

How Universities Use Your Medicine Personal Statement

Writing your medicine personal statement? You may be wondering how universities use your personal statement in the admissions process.

Some universities, like Brighton and Sussex, do not use your personal statement in the selection process, whereas others, like Nottingham, use a scoring system – and others, like Imperial, will use it in your interview. We’ve created a table below to show how different schools use your medicine personal statement.

Please note that while we’ve tried to ensure that this information is as up to date as possible, admissions procedures are subject to change so we’d recommend contacting the different universities if you’re unsure.

Get your Personal Statement reviewed by an expert

UniversityHow do they use your personal statement?
AberdeenYour personal statement is not scored, but may be used at the interview stage.
BartsYour personal statement is not scored. It does not form part of the assessment to reach interview and is there to support the candidate during the interview process. The personal statement does not form part of the scoring at interview, however, in addition to your academic ability, your interviewers will consider your interests and talents.
BirminghamYour personal statement is examined for key criteria. In your personal statement, the University looks for evidence that the applicant has gained work experience in the healthcare sector. This does not have to include shadowing a doctor but must involve the applicant interacting with vulnerable people in a healthcare setting (broadly defined). This can include voluntary work on a hospital ward, in a nursing home, a hospice or with
individuals with disabilities.
Brighton and SussexYour personal statement is not used in any part of the admissions process for UK applicants.
BristolYour personal statement is allocated weighting in the application process. All applications are allocated scores on the academic record and the personal statement / reference; the combined score determines which applicants will be invited to attend an interview. The personal statement is given a weighting of 70%.
CambridgePersonal statements are used in conjunction with other factors. Cambridge state that the main priority is academic ability.
CardiffYour personal statement is not scored but is reviewed after meeting academic cut-off requirements. Your personal statement will be reviewed for non-academic criteria, such as motivation for Medicine and evidence of self-directed learning.
DundeeYour personal statement is not used in the application process.
EdinburghYour personal statement is highly important in the application process. Edinburgh does not normally interview applicants and therefore the reference, alongside the personal statement, is extremely important. Weighting is as follows: 50% academic; 30% non-academic (15% personal statement and reference; 15% Situational Judgement section of the UKCAT test); 20% - UKCAT (excluding Situational Judgement).
ExeterYour personal statement is not scored or assessed with any set criteria. Personal statements and references are checked for evidence of mitigating
or extenuating circumstances. The assessment of an applicant will be determined primarily through predicted/achieved academic grades, the UKCAT and interview.
GlasgowYour personal statement is not scored but is read thoroughly and must be deemed satisfactory for medicine. Personal statements should contain satisfactory evidence of suitability for a medical course and career, an insight into medical education and practice, and additional activities and achievements.
Hull YorkYour personal statement not formally scored. However, they will read it carefully and may use the information it contains as part of their shortlisting process at any point. If you are invited for interview, your statement is likely to prove useful preparation for interview questions.
ImperialYour personal statement is not scored, but will be referred to during the interview, and you will be asked questions/for elaboration as part of this process. After academic requirements, they make the majority of their interview selections based on the BMAT.
KeeleYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. Information from your personal statement and reference is taken together in the overall assessment of the application. Decisions to invite for interview are based on the following criteria: caring/voluntary experience; extracurricular activities; team working; communication and intellectual potential.
King'sYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. These include exam results, UKCAT scores and your reference to select candidates for interview.
LancasterYour personal statement is scored after assessing academic aptitude. It is read and scored according to the following criteria: relevant work experience and insight into a medical career and your own suitability, drawn from your work (and voluntary) experience; a commitment to society and working for the benefit of others, including voluntary work or significant caring roles and effective written communication skills; a coherent, well-structured and insightful personal statement.
LeedsYour personal statement is an important part of the selection process and is used not only during selection for interview but is likely to be explored during the interview itself.
LeicesterAlthough not routinely read, your personal statement may be assessed in some situations and so should be clear and concise outlining your ambitions and experiences, and how they have shaped your personal development. Medical work experience is not essential, but you should be able to demonstrate that you have undertaken some kind of work where you are able to communicate with the public. From the information on your UCAS form they will calculate a numerical score. The highest scoring applicants will be invited to interview.
LiverpoolYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. The admissions process consists of 3 stages: academic criteria, personal statement and then interview if invited. Only those that are deemed to have met the academic criteria sufficiently would progress to the personal statement stage, which is assessed for non-academic criteria including: healthcare career awareness and insight, caring for the community, a critical, coherent, and informative approach to written communication and the values that embody and underpin good healthcare practice.
ManchesterA Non Academic Information Form is used instead of your personal statement. It's a more structured version of the personal statement that is designed to help you get the information we need to see across to us efficiently and succinctly. While we expect it to contain much of the information we would ordinarily expect to see in a personal statement, we ask you to not copy chunks of your Personal statement word for word. We may read a small number of personal statements in certain circumstances.
NewcastleYour personal statement is not scored. It is only used as the final step in the application process.
NorwichYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. All on-time applications proceed to Primary Screening, where checks are made to see that applicants meet, or are predicted to meet, our minimum academic entry criteria, have a satisfactory personal statement and reference and have taken the UKCAT in the summer prior to submitting the application.
NottinghamPersonal statements are scored after academic ability and UKCAT scores. A maximum score of 16 can be achieved for the personal statement and reference. Attributes considered are: an understanding of the challenges of a medical career; motivation; commitment; voluntary experience; extracurricular activities; school/college contribution and supporting evidence in reference. The score given for the PS and reference are added to the score for academic ability and UKCAT. Candidates with the highest overall score are then invited to interview.
OxfordYour personal statement is not formally scored. For Medicine at Oxford, GCSE and BMAT performance data are predominantly used initially to determine whether or not you are short-listed for interview. However, although they do not formally score your statement, they do read it carefully. If you are invited for interview, the statement is likely to provide a focus for the questions that you are asked.
PlymouthYour personal statement is not formally scored, but assessed to examine an applicant's commitment to Medicine.
Queen'sPersonal statements are not scored as part of the selection process. However, there should be evidence of commitment and motivation for Medicine.
SheffieldYour personal statement is not scored as part of the selection process. However, the activities, interests and values that candidates express in their personal statements are commonly explored during the MMIs.
SouthamptonYour personal statement is not formally scored and is only considered if you are invited to a selection day. If invited to a selection day the personal statement is used by selectors to formulate interview questions. Applicants must be able to show they: are self -motivated and resilient, have reflected on and learnt from life experiences (this may include work experience, paid employment and personal experiences both in and outside health and social care settings), can communicate effectively, are able to interact successfully with others and can demonstrate an understanding of the values of the NHS constitution.
St AndrewsYour personal statement is used in conjunction with other factors. To be considered for interview applicants must have a strong academic record, a positive reference and relevant, medically related work experience. Applicants meeting these requirements will then be ranked according to their UKCAT score.
St George'sYour personal statement is not used in the admissions process for Medicine. All those who meet the minimum entry requirements are invited for interview where they ask students to talk about their work experience, among other things.
UCLYour personal statement is use in conjunction with other factors and is assessed using a range of factors, including motivation for Medicine, evidence of teamwork, communication and previous experience.


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