A good personal statement should focus on your medical career objectives, your specialty choice and aspirations. It should not be a rehash of why you came to medical school or a summary of your curriculum vitae (CV), rather a succinct statement of your career goals that reflects your own unique personality and style.
It's perfectly normal to experience a certain degree of stress and anxiety when you begin writing your personal statement; you're not alone! Jimmy Renfro in Career Services is available to help you develop and edit your personal statement prior to submitting it to the residency program of your choice.
Tips for Successful Writing
What to Do:
One page statement of your unique goals and objectives. It should be customized to each specialty if you are applying for two different areas. It should answer three basic questions:
- Explain your specialty choice and how you arrived at it, including a discussion of medical school rotations and clerkships that helped you formulate your decision to pursue "X" specialty
- Describe what you are seeking in a residency program, i.e. research opportunities, academic research, etc.
- Discuss your career goals; what do you plan to do in your chosen field?
What to Avoid:
- Don’t write your life story. Concentrate on your professional goals.
- Don’t be dramatic in your writing, i.e. "It was a dark and stormy night". Tell a story when needed but do so with caution. Your Personal Statement should fit your personality and be a good representation of who you are.
- Don’t write with a thesaurus at your side and replace every fourth word with something clever you find…it doesn’t work and it will not flow.
Keep your personal statement to one page. Use a readable 11 or 12 point font such as Times New Roman, Palatino Linotype or Georgia.