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:
Then look at some resources for writing personal statements and get some advice. There are lots of websites which will offer you advice for writing a personal statement but it is best to look at websites from reputable organisations such as UCAS or student advice websites which are well used such as The Student Room. Remember to ask your teachers, friends and family for advice. A good question to ask them is "what do you think makes me different from other people? or "how would you describe me?" because the answers often give you some interesting information that you hadn't thought about. The personal statement is not something you can write quickly so be prepared to think a lot about yourself, your qualities, skills, experience, likes and dislikes. You are unlikely to meet the people who read it so your personality needs to come though on paper; this is difficult.