The Three Common Oversights when writing medical residency personal statements: 1. Not Paying Attention To the Question _ Almost every single teaching hospital poses one or more very specific questions that they want residency applicants to answer. One has to assume that these questions were worded the way they were for a very specific reason(s). Nevertheless, you would be amazed at how many draft personal statements that I get for editing in which it appears that the applicant has not even attempted to answer the specific question(s) posed by the target institution. In fact, most draft statements I receive are generalized essays that fail to address the actual question(s) posed in the target institution's requirement statement. This is an important, if not fatal, oversight.
Being an Apologist _ You do not use your personal statement to explain why you lack certain skills or experience. The point of writing this short paragraph is to sell yourself and this involves highlighting your strengths instead of apologizing for your weaknesses which in itself is a sign of weakness. The time and place for discussing flaws in your suitability is the interview and at that point, you must focus on how you plan to overcome any holes in experience/skills etc.