3. Not Focusing On the Target Institution _ Many medical institutions ask residency applicants to elaborate on why they have chosen to pursue a specialty residency at that particular facility. I have found that many applicants do not pay enough attention to answering this question when it is asked. This is not a difficult thing to do these days since every medical facility/program has a website with web pages where they make a point of explaining in detail, how they are unique and different from all of their peer organizations. All an applicant has to do is spend a few minutes studying the target website to find out what that institution is saying about itself in terms of: vision, mission, philosophy, priorities, demographics, special capabilities, etc., etc. Armed with this information, it is not difficult to work some of those themes and facts into one's personal statement. This will show application reviewers that you are truly interested in their program and not just going through the motions while submitting multiple applications. Not focusing sufficiently on your target institution is another major oversight that can hurt your medical residency personal statement.
So how do I know what universities want? Start by reading about the university, the course you want to study and the "entry profiles" as these will give you information about the type of student the university is looking for. Universities also want the truth so do not lie about your abilities and they want your writing so do not ask someone to write the personal statement for you. Some areas to cover include why you want to study this subject, what your future career plans are, what you do in your free time, what skills you have (academic and non_academic), what's interesting and/ or different about you.