Personal Statements are quite possibly the most important thing in your entire residency application. Getting this right is absolutely crucial. No pressure - right?
Lets dive into what makes up a great Personal Statement!
A typical personal statement involves either the applicant telling a personal story about their journey into medicine, a family members medical issues that inspired them, or something along those lines. Personal statements can often seem pretty bland or boring as a Program Coordinator or Director reviews applicant after applicant. But there is one thing in particular that we want to see from your personal statement. This one particular thing is something that does not always come easily but sets an average paper apart from an amazing and memorable one. What can set your personal statement apart is your ability to show who you really are. What I mean by that is in order for a Program Director to know who you are, you need to be able to open up and be vulnerable.
Most often this occurs when you share an experience that is dear to you. When you make yourself a little bit vulnerable, it creates the ability for the reader to relate to you through your personal statement. When you show that you are willing to share what your hopes and dreams are, and maybe even share some of the hard times you went through to get where you are today, it makes you seem real. In the mind of the reader, you aren't just an application or an ERAS photo, you have a real character and personality. You are a real person. Often if you are able to create a relationship through your personal statement, you will be able to get an interview. This is because we, as the GME admin team, remember you! We even feel like we know some candidates before they arrive. Now that is the dream situation; where you go into an interview day where the people already feel like they know you! You can already be a known commodity!
Now the question is, how can you be able to open up and make your personal statement ... well, personal? This takes effort, soul searching, and your ability to be comfortable in your own skin. Here are a list of a few things in particular that can help with this.
First off, put yourself in the right state of mind before you write your Personal Statement. Whether it is going on a walk, doing yoga, cooking, serving your community or going to church; do something that makes you feel good about who you are! Then write down some of the thoughts that come to your head. Write about your dreams, worries, trials and anything that comes to mind!
Because this is just the "101 course", I will keep it simple. From this point, I would just start transforming your thoughts slowly but surely into your personal statement. Formatting is important but the content is what reigns supreme. Focus on having personal content and then just put it on paper. Next, the best step would be to have your Personal Statement professionally reviewed with https://www.navigateresidency.com/contact-sign-up where you will be able to receive personalized feedback on how to make your personal statement stand out from the crowd.
Do you have questions or comments? Write them down below. Thanks for reading!