Over the past decade I have written and/or edited scores of medical residency personal statements for MDs applying for medical specialty residency positions at dozens of teaching hospitals. Although it was never my intention to become an expert on writing these documents, that qualification just sort of evolved naturally over the years. Not long after I set up my two main "writing help" websites and started to create my series of writing_help how_to books, MD's from all around the world started inquiring as to whether I could help them write or edit their medical residency personal statements. As a professional business writer who had already published a book on how to write college admission essays, I found the transition to medical residency personal statements to be pretty straightforward. That's because, in the final analysis, it really IS all about how best to communicate a specific message in writing, regardless of the particular application. It wasn't long after I started receiving these draft residency personal statements and personal letters from MDs, until I noticed that there were three areas in particular where a lot of the applicants were missing the mark when drafting their statements. Consequently, the following are what I have come refer to as:
When you choose someone to look over your admission essay, you should choose someone who will not be afraid to tell you like it is. In other words, don't just show it to your mom or your significant other. When you show it to someone who isn't afraid to give you criticisms then you are doing yourself a giant favor. Remember, those who review it when you turn it in will be looking not only for the good, but the bad as well. If your statement is not among the good, then it will get weeded out with the rest of the bad.