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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Personal Statements Examples and Tips for Residency
This blog will teach you the tips and tricks on how to write a Successful Personal Statement PS for your residency application. Whatever was the specialty you are applying to we do have samples posted on the top of this page like Anesthesiology, Combined Med-Peds, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngiology ENT, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Surgery and Urology . This step by step guide will tell you what to mention and what to avoid in your statement. We will enlight you to the most effective personal statement format accepted by various program directors.
Facts you have to know about personal statements
1-You can upload from your computer to your MyEras account as many as personal statements you want. Not only you can assign each specialty a different PS but also you can assign each program a personalized PS.
2-The PD will be receiving only one PS i.e. the one you assign for that specific program.
3-Don’t use any paid service over the internet to write or edit your PS. This document must and must stay confidential. Many applicants are banned from the match because of personal statement plagiarism. Over the previous years these companies cross copy paste the PSs from different applicants and when the ECFMG software or the PDs find shared sentences between applicants the PS will be annotated by a warning flag as a start (and this will decrease your chance for getting interviews) then later a final decision will be taken after full investigation.
4-After you finish writing it, either show it to an English teacher you trust to correct any spelling/grammar mistake or paste it on to Word and it will automatically underline for you the mistakes and give you the clues to correct.
5-Your PS doesn't need in necessary to look like a genius state of art monument, keep it humble as much as you can. Program directors know your language limitations and will be more than wellcome to invite honest people.
How to write a PS
-Your personal statement should not be more than 1 Word page i.e. 400-600 words, not more than 4 paragraphs.
-To make sure it is one page only, print it out from the ERAS application after you upload it and see if it is coming out only one paper or more.
-The first paragraph is the most important, and most PDs will focus on it, since they don't have much time to read 2000+ personal statements.
-Your PS should show your interest in one specialty ONLY, this is why you can upload different statements to different specialties.
-Don’t use abbreviations and don’t repeat sentences.
-Don’t mention your weak points or any life misery, be always positive and show only the shiny aspect of your life.
-Don't repeat all your achievments you mentioned in the CAF of ERAS application, just concentrate on one of them if you find it eye catching.
What is the structure of the PS
As we said before, it should be 1 page composed of 4 paragraphs layout. These paragraphs will focus on the following things in the same order as they appear in your PS:
1) The first sentence should be eye-catching. Don't write a joke, but write something that will draw a small smile on the PDs face, better to be related to your preferable specialty. Then continue writing about What made you interested in the specialty you are applying to. What are the particular things that attracts you to this specialty.
2) What are you looking for in a residency program. (team work, lectures,….). Also mention your strengths/ characteristics here in a way showing that you are compatible with this type of profession. Mention what you can contribute to the program (rounds, teaching manners, friendly attitude, on calls,…).
3) What are your expected goals in the specialty you have chosen (academic, subspecialty/fellowship, American board…..) What are the special features you like in that program (this is only in case you want to personalize a PS to a specific institution).
4) A closing commentary mentioning in brief your overall goal and where you find yourself in the future. Also you may finish by thanking the program for considering you.
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