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.
Planning Part A _ Flesh out the information you can provide including your experience/motivations. Writing prompts will give you cues for the content when you hit the writing stage. Here are some questions that you could use to formulate information: _ Who do I really think I am? Who do others think I am? (include characteristics and skills e.g. loyal, hardworking, born leader, attention to detail)_ What has caused changes to who I am over the years? How have I grown as a person and what caused these changes or growth? How did these experiences affect me? What makes me unique? This is an extremely hard question to ask ourselves without filling in cliché's. This is a great time for honesty and self reflection to kick in. You may in reality be like a lot of other people; however, no two people experience the same thing in the same way with the same results. Here is one of the great answers I have enjoyed in the past "Yes, I am unique, just like everybody else." add a BUT on to that and I am sure it will get you thinking. If you're really stuck it is time to do the trusted colleagues, friends and family survey _ you might be surprised with what comes up.