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.
In conceptualizing a theme, you have to consider the main question, "What would you like to say with your essay?" For example, do you want the admissions committee to understand your choice of major and career in relation to your family background, or do you want to share your passion for your chosen field and your desire to achieve excellence in it? Whichever theme you come up with, this has to be unique to you as an applicant and should be related to your personal background, choice of major, and choice of career. The more unique a theme is, the more interesting the essay will be. In this sense, you can capitalize on personal facts you believe are noteworthy of exposition.