Residency Personal Statement: What's Your Best Strategy and How Do You Execute It?

4 months ago, Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 02:49:13
Residency Personal Statement: What's Your Best Strategy and How Do You Execute It?
Author: Michelle Finkel, MD I frequent get residency applicants asking me if they need to showcase their accomplishments in their residency personal statements if they have already drafted a strong, full ERAS activities section. The simple answer is yes. First, remember that you don't know at what part of your application the readers will be starting. If some start with your residency personal statement, and it's pale, you will have lost those readers from the beginning. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Also, note that the faculty members seeing your application are reading many more ERASes than just yours. If you only mention an important achievement once in your application, the program director might simply forget your accomplishment. After all, she is reading scores or even hundreds of similar applications. Your readers have to be reminded several times of your candidacy's strengths. (You'll mention those accomplishments in your interviews as well.) Lastly, the personal statement should be a persuasive one (not a narrative one). You are defending your thesis that you are a valuable applicant who will be a strong resident and a future leader in the field. You will need to use examples to prove your point of view. To a program director who hasn't yet met you, you are what you've done. You need to use substantive examples of your achievements in your residency personal statement to demonstrate your worthiness for a potential position. In that way you will be showing – not telling. Evidence is persuasive; use it!

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