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Personal Statement

You should start working on this as early as possible. You revise your personal statement multiple times before you send it. This should be what it says: “personal”. You want to describe specific experiences that inspired, motivated, shaped you. After reading your PS, a person should have a sense of who you are, what your goals are, what is important to you, why you chose the field you are applying to, and what you are looking for in a residency program (you may, but don’t need to, explain why you chose medicine). You want to highlight all your strengths.

You should ask lots of people to help you edit your statement. Even if you don’t agree with that person’s advice, you should take it into consideration. Who is to say that a residency director won’t think the same thing after reading it?

DO NOT LIE OR EXAGGERATE. If you write something really impressive in your personal statement, your interviewer might just ask you about it. You should remember that doctors are not literary people. You don’t want to impress them with your vocabulary; you want to impress them with your clarity. You want the reader to remember the content, not your writing style. Americans like simple, straight-forward language so don’t make your personal statement too flowery. And try to keep your sentences short. You definitely should not exceed a page. Although the website gives the provision for a three page personal statement, it is an unsaid rule to keep it limited to one printed page. This will keep it crisp and will prevent rambling. Try to avoid the passive voice; use words that are energetic and expressive. Start and end paragraphs with strong statements. Ideally, the first sentence of every paragraph should grab the reader and make him/her want to read the rest of the paragraph. Remember, residency directors read hundreds of personal statements; they only have a few minutes to spend on yours.

 It might be helpful to make an outline before starting to write, of all the topics you want to cover.

The following link has some useful tips on this subject:

Note: This article has been derived from "Roadmap to Residency" authored by AKU graduates, with permission from few of the authors. Name of the original author, has purposely not been mentioned on request of one of the authors, for privacy reasons. If you are the original author of this article and want your name to be mentioned or wish this article to be modified/ removed from this website, please contact us and we would be more than happy to entertain your request. We fully respect your privacy, acknowledge your efforts put in authoring this article and appreciate your hard work involved in it.

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