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:
OK, I've done some research and lots of thinking, now what? Write down some ideas and topics that you think are relevant and then expand them into sentences and paragraphs. Next show your personal statement to as many people as possible to get feedback and advice and draft it again and again until you are happy with it. Always read it with a critical eye and imagine you are the admissions officer for your chosen course and ask this question: Would you give you a place on this course after reading your personal statement and WHY? _ What should I focus on if I'm an EU or International student and English is not my first language?