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Nailing your personal statement

Residency Match, ECFMG, ERAS, NRMP.
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Nailing your personal statement

Postby David-RIQ » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:02 pm

The 2016-2017 season is about to kick off. The process of writing a personal statement can be challenging. What is the story that you want to tell? What are the key highlights of your application that you need to identify? Should you bring up 'red flags' such as failed Step scores or a long time from medical graduation?

How important is the personal statement?
The 2016-2017 season is about to kick off. The process of writing a personal statement can be challenging. What is the story that you want to tell? What are the key highlights of your application that you need to identify? Should you bring up 'red flags' such as failed Step scores or a long time from medical graduation?

How important is the personal statement?

The personal statement is always a challenge for candidates, particularly IMGs. We have a strong opinion on personal statements. We’ve written dozens of them. We’ve edited many more. We’ve asked Program Directors about personal statements. Our advice here in is the same thing other consultants would charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars for. Most importantly, we’re going to use our ACTUAL essays to give you an EXACT example of what we are talking about.

American medical school graduates have the luxury of writing personal statements for college AND medical school. They instinctively know how to write personal statements that are able to sell their interests and skills. This Chapter will help level the playing field using OUR OWN personal statements as outlines.

1) A good personal statement will open the doors for a great interview. A good personal statement gives the interviewer something to break the ice for.
2) A good personal statement will probably not get you an interview if your grades or USMLE scores are too low. This is the true hard facts.
3) A bad personal statement may actually prevent you from getting an interview EVEN if your grades or USMLE scores are good enough
Keep it under 1 page. If it's longer than that, you run the risk that an interviewer will not even read it.

The most important sentence of the entire personal statement is the FIRST one. Remember, faculty members and interviewers are SKIMMERS. If you do not catch their attention with your first line, then you will lose the interviewer.

After this, the overall structure after this is going to incorporate a discussion of your clinical interest in the specialty you are applying to and then a research interest in the specialty you are applying to. Be specific about situations and contributions. Do not simply state you are interested in internal medicine. Discuss a patient case that convinced you this was the field for you.

When should you include a statement about a red flag?
1) If you failed any of the steps

If you scored low or didn't match before, we often times do not recommend you write about it.

There are a lot of services offering to edit/improve your personal statement. We have a blog post that uses our actual personal statements as examples. Check it out here along with many more tips.

http://www.residencyinterviewquestions. ... -statement
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David @ RIQ
David-RIQ
 
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