Career Planning > The
Residency Application Process > Personal Statement
What it is: Your personal statement is a chance
to highlight things about yourself that may make you stand out among
other students. For some sample personal statements, generously donated
by recent graduates, please visit our Pulse
site. (Click Organizations > JMC Student Affairs > Career
Planning to find
sample personal statements).
- Use complete sentences and proper grammar. Perhaps ask a friend or family member to review it from this perspective.
- Avoid abbreviations
- Be sure to spell check. For ERAS applications, cut and paste your document from a word document.
- Avoid lengthy sentences. When you can, be brief.
- You want to stand out among other applicants, but be careful not to be too abstract.
Suggestions: Some things you might want to include in your personal statement are:
- Personal background: Is there a life experience, family member, or perhaps travel exposure that may have led you to medicine in general or a particular field of medicine?
- Medical experiences: Was there a patient encounter, a doctor-patient interaction, or other experience that told you “This is for me”?
- Gaps in your education: Did you take time between college and medical school or during medical school? If so, this is a perfect place to briefly explain how you spent your time, and if applicable, how that may have affected your desire to enter medicine.
- Research/community work/time spent abroad: You might also consider focusing on something you have done during medical school- research in a certain field, community service work, significant time abroad- and how that has affected your choice.
- Field of medicine: Why do you see yourself in the field to which you are applying? No matter what you choose to include in your personal statement in order to distinguish yourself, try to relate it to how this means you will fit in this particular field of medicine.