Personal Statement for Residency Programs

Wring a personal statement can be a daunting task as it must be be carefully conducted and reviewed over and over again to have the right tone for residency program directors to notice it.  I didn’t know how important a person statement was until I had to research about it.  Your school may also need your personal statement before writing the MSPE letter (Dean’s letter).  Apparently it does carry a lot of weight because the personal statement is not based on any test scores or on any subjective perception from attending doctors or other people.
The personal statement should not be taken lightly as it could make you or break you when residency program directors read it. Some programs may give your personal statement a high priority and other programs may not, either or you want to be on the safe side and make the best out of your personal statement.
The following are some questions I gathered from researching online that could help you in writing your personal statement:
  • Why are you interested in the field you’ve chosen?
  • What are you looking for in a residency program?
  • What are your professional goals in the field you’ve chosen?
  • Why should a residency program select you?
  • What accomplishments should emphasize?
  • What contributions can you make to field you’ve chosen?
  • What contributions can you make to the residency program?
Other things to consider when wriring your person statement are as follows:
  • Make sure you have proper grammar on your statement as it will define professionalism.  
  • Choose your diction wisely.
  • Keep the length in 1 page or less, but not too less.
  • Make sure it’s high quality.
  • Review it over and over again. Also have at least 3 people, preferably medical students or doctors, to read it to give you a feed back of what they think.
The American Medical Association (AMA) have provided recommendations for writing a personal statement. Take a look at the AMA’s page, it has a sample of the personal statement.