Create an Effective Residency Personal Statement

While no personal statement is going to guarantee an interview or ensure that you match, a poorly written one can definitely hurt your chances. So how do you develop a statement that reads well and clearly communicates your specialty choice, your qualifications, and your plans for the future?

The Anatomy of the Residency Personal Statement

The personal statement should not be a biography. Rather, it should consist of three basic parts. First, the statement should explain what it is about your specialty that most appeals to you. Second, it should present information from your background that provides evidence that you have acquired the skills, traits and abilities to succeed in that specialty. The third section should communicate any particular aspects you are looking for in a residency program, a brief description of your goals, a summation line that lists the strengths you would bring to that program if accepted, and finally, a thank you for their consideration of your credentials.

Any writer will tell you that their work goes through a number of drafts and many revisions before they feel it truly communicates what they want it to say. You can then work with it, eliminating what doesn't need to be there and choosing the right words to highlight the messages that you most want to communicate. The final version should be no more than a single page that clearly expresses why you are well suited for a position in the specialty of your choice.

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