Why it’s very important to write a good personal statement? Most residency programs use personal statements of applicants when selecting them for interview.
Attractive personal statement can improve your chances of getting a residency interview
even if you have average USMLE scores.
Remember, that personal statement is not just autobiography in free-form. It should describe who you are as a person, because residency committee need to get an idea of who are you.
There’s no any fixed form for personal statement. You are free to write and organize it as you want. Usually it’s organized in 3-4 paragraphs with 400-600 words and no more than 1 print page.
5 Tips for Awesome Personal Statement
- Make the first sentence of your personal statement to look eye-catching. Draw PD's attention from the very beginning. Make him laugh and he will like you from the first sentences. The first paragraph of your personal statement is the most important.
- Write new personal statement for each residency program. It’s always better to write personalized personal statement for each single residency program. You can upload to your ERAS account as many personal statements as you want, so don’t miss this opportunity. You don’t need to write fully original personal statements for each program. Think about the basis of your personal statement, which could be similar for all residency programs. Than try to make your personal statement match specific requirements of each residency program by mentioning that or those qualities that will describe you in just the way they need. When writing personal statement for Radiology or Anesthesiology residency program – tell about how good team player you are. For residency programs in Internal or Family Medicine describe yourself as great diagnostician.
- Be honest, but don’t ever mention your failures. You must be honest just enough to avoid being caught in a lie. Don’t ever mention any negative events but try to highlight your strengths, positive qualities and achievements. Explain what makes you unique in comparison with other applicants. Tell about your experiences that can be helpful in chosen specialty.
- Describe yourself like applicant they are looking for. Knowledge is power. Make a little research online before starting to write your personal statement. Get to know who will be your audience. Next try to know what they are looking for in applicants. Finally, make evidence that you are just what they need.
- Don't plagiarize! This is strongly recommended not to use any paid services for writing personal statement. Keep your personal statement confidential. Don’t let other applicants to copy any part of your personal statement.
If you are International Medical Graduate – don’t forget to tell about why you decided to do residency in USA, how it appeals to you. Tell about what you have been doing since graduated from your medical school. But never say you are here for money.