USMLE Personal Statement
A personal statement is an important part of any application process. Residency programs generally require a personal statement for entry. The personal statement complements and supplements your CV with your perspective on your strengths and qualifications as a candidate. Admissions committees want to get to know the real you in a narrative that combines your goals, aspirations, and interests. The end goal is to produce an application that stands out from the rest.
Check out these preparation tips, format suggestions, and samples for writing the best personal statement. More tips to come!
Preparing To Write
- Check out the samples above or read the statements of your friends
- Think about the content of your personal statement – remember that the point is to sell yourself
- Identify important information such as what describes you best
- Organize all of your information
- Describe how specific experiences helped you develop a trait or skill
- Write the first draft of your statement
Paragraph 1: Introduction
State directly why you want this residency position. Elaborate on these points throughout the rest of the statement
Paragraph 2: Your Undergraduate Years
Relate your undergraduate education to the points you made in the introduction. Include information about your major, courses you liked, and why you liked them. Discuss extracurricular activity and medically-focused volunteer work to reflect developing traits and skills.
Paragraph 3: Your Medical School Years
Describe your experience in medical school and relate all that is applicable to the specialty you are pursuing.
Paragraph 4: Your Specialty Choice and Why You Chose It
State which specialty you are choosing and why. Focus on matters like continuity of care, dealing with the whole patient, role models, liking patients of a particular age range, challenges, variety of illnesses, etc.
Paragraph 5: The “I Seek” Paragraph
Describe what you are seeking in a program. Consider important experiences like strong academics, diverse patient populations, outreach efforts to the community, research and teaching opportunities. This is one of the most important paragraphs, so put some thought into it. Contact graduates in the residency program you are applying to for information and suggestions as to what is most important to focus on.