Monday, April 30, 2012

Residency Application Personal Statements

The following is a guest post by Jedd H. regarding how to approach the dreaded 'personal statement' when you start ERAS and apply for residency programs. 

The medical profession is one of the most sought careers by many people. In fact, there are universities that specialize in providing medical education. In the United Kingdom, leading medical schools include the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. But medical training does not end after a person has  graduated from a medical school. The tertiary-level education offered at a medical college is not enough for those intending to pursue this career to a greater extent.

Since medical training in schools is not enough to make a person expert in handling medical situations, education at this level is only considered an entry-level. Additional training could be obtained by a medical school graduate from a hospital or any medical institution that offers residency program. But before one could become an intern on one of these medical institutions,  the medical student must  convince the hospital’s residency directors to offer him as slot to become a resident.

Residency directors most likely have already read an applicant’s credentials from his transcript or from his curriculum vitae. They may already have a grasp of what the applicant is intellectual-wise and skill-wise. However, there might be information about the applicant that cannot be read or inferred by just reading the transcript or the CV, like the candidate’s motivations, interest, skills, relevant experiences and other interesting details. Thus, residency directors often require applicants or candidates to submit their personal statements.

The residency applicant’s personal statement is his best opportunity to convince the residency directors that he is qualified to become a medical intern. It allows an applicant to stand out from other candidates, especially if has submitted a well-written and very persuasive statement. A good application should be coupled with a first class statement to ensure that a candidate would be able to stand out from others.

Basically, a well-written personal statement should be able to answer two key questions. The first question refers to the applicant’s choice of expertise or specialization: Why is the candidate applying for the specialization? The applicant should be able to show his motivation for applying for the residency. The candidate must be able to present the reason why the medical specialization has drawn his interest. The candidate should be able to show that he knows what he is applying for and he fully understands the sacrifices required to master the certain specialization.

The second question refers to the applicant’s suitability to the medical specialty he has chosen: Why is the candidate suitable to become a medical resident? The candidate must be able to show that he is well-qualified to undergo residency. The applicant must showcase certain skills, experiences and personal qualifies that he believes would help during his residency years. The applicant could highlight his clinical skills as well research skills. The applicant could also highlight his patient or teaching experiences.

If the applicant’s personal statement contains the answers to these questions, then he has a high chance of being accepted a resident in a medical institution.

Jedd H. is a freelance writer with years of experience consulting with students on writing and personal statement drafting. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Figure Out If You Really Want to Become a Nurse or Doctor

This guest post is by Carolyn, who discusses what it takes to become a healthcare professional.

Careers in the medical field can be rewarding, but they can also be very challenging. Becoming a nurse or doctor is a huge commitment, and it’s something you should decide to do if you will truly be passionate about it. Hard work will get you far in the medical field, but without the proper amount of passion for what you’re doing, you’ll likely burn out. If you’re trying to figure out whether you want to become a nurse or doctor, there are several things you should consider. Here are some of them:

Your Commitment to Education

As you probably already know, becoming a nurse or doctor requires you to commit to several years of schooling. If your financial situation is uncertain, it may not be wise to commit to going to school to become a nurse or doctor. And if you aren’t driven to succeed in school or a training program, you’ll have a difficult time reaching your career goals in the medical field. Consider what type of student you are and how much of yourself you can realistically commit to your education. If you’re going to become a doctor, you’re going to have to keep your GPA high in college and spend a significant amount of time preparing for the MCAT. Then you’re going to have to go through four years of medical school and possibly another 3 to 8 years of being an intern and a resident. There’s a lot to learn before you become a nurse or doctor, and you have to honestly assess whether you’re ready to soak up all the required knowledge.

Your Desire to Help People

If your goal is to make money, you shouldn’t enter the medical field. Making a decent amount of money is definitely one of the perks of being a nurse or doctor. However, it shouldn’t be the reason you go into the field. A desire to help people should be the primary reason you enter the medical field. This type of desire will ultimately be what motivates you to do your job well and help save lives on a daily basis.

Your Tolerance for Stress

Getting through nursing school or med school will require you to have excellent time management skills and an ability to work under pressure. Once you start working as a doctor or nurse, you’ll be working long and odd hours, and you’ll have a lot of responsibility. People’s lives and health will literally be in your hands. If you don’t have the coping mechanisms that are necessary to handle stress in place, another sort of profession may be a better fit for you.

Your Resiliency

Chances are that you won’t be able to help every patient, and you’ll even lose some of them, particularly if you’re working at a hospital. Being a nurse or doctor can be emotionally draining. If you’re not adept at bouncing back from hardship, you’ll likely struggle at your job. Being a nurse or doctor can take a lot out of you, but it can also enrich your life in ways that many other kinds of jobs can’t.

Carolyn is a guest post writer on the subjects of medicine, self-improvement, and RN schools.


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