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What Should Be in a Residency Personal Statement

posted Sep 22, 2017, 11:18 AM by Explore More   [ updated Sep 22, 2017, 11:22 AM ]
So what do residency directors want to know about you? Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. You have many great applications in front of you but you have to weed through them in order to select a few for interviews. Besides grades and awards and accomplishment, what would you want to know about a prospective candidate?


Most likely, you want to know whether you can get along with this person. With that in mind, you want to let the residency directors who you are.

You want to talk about why you’re a good fit for a team. Many residency directors have had to contend with brilliant residents who knew their stuff but couldn’t get along with other residents. This poses major problems for residency directors because again, they want you to succeed, and it’s hard to do that when you can’t get along with your peers.

It’s probably best not to describe yourself in baldly generic terms like outgoing, passionate or bubbly. You want to demonstrate that you have those qualities based on what you’ve done. For instance, if you’ve help open or run a free clinic as a student, you can describe this experience, which will demonstrate how passionate, outgoing or bubbly you are without having to spell it out.

So, you can write something like, “My passion for helping the underserved led me to help open a free clinic,” and then go on to describe that experience. But try to steer clear of general statements like “I’m a passionate and outgoing person,” without offering some instance to back those general claims up.

You also want to highlight the skills that will lead you to become a successful candidate. Residency directors don’t want their residents to fail, so they want to know why you will succeed, and you can state that in clear terms to allay their fears.

Remember this is like a sales pitch, so before you write a personal statement, think about what you’d want to hear if you were a residency director when selecting residents. If you can write it from their perspectives focusing on what they want, you will likely find success with your personal statement.
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