Your personal statement matters! Whether you’re a graduate of UCLA’s medical school or an international medical graduate from Sri Lanka, we know that the residency application process has a few transparent absolutes. One of them is a personal statement. When your application for residency or fellowship is being reviewed, the personal statement will decide if you are granted an interview – so here are a few tips on what makes a good one.
Keep it short
In any given year there are hundreds of applicants. As a matter of practicality, no one can read two-page statements. Your personal statement should be succinct. Write briefly and express your point clearly.
Explain any gaps or negative aspects in your application
Many just stick their heads in the sand, hoping the reader won’t pay attention to an older year of graduation, gaps in experience, or low USMLE scores. This is your chance to explain – but not to give excuses.
Past, present, future
Speak of your past, what you are doing presently, and your future goals. Don’t just recite your CV. What draws you to the specialty? Highlight skills that will help you flourish in residency and share your long-term plans in medicine.
What attracts you to the program
If you are applying pre-Match cater your personal statement to a particular program. In fact if possible cater your personal statement to every program you apply to. If you write generically, write about what you are looking for.
Your personal statement should be grammatically correct and flow nicely. Although typing assistants like Grammarly may help you with spelling and the basics of grammar, you need a deeper dive. Does your personal statement address the five essay writing points? Be confident and make sure you are not too negative. Stick out of the bunch. Remember ERAS gives you 3,500 characters – don’t use them all.
Residents Medical has experts to edit and guide you on your ERAS personal statement. We are the only educational group that has current deans and program directors editing our students’ personal statements to the specifications the decision-makers look for in an ERAS application.