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.