Personal Statements

A good personal statement should focus on your medical career
objectives, your specialty choice and aspirations. It should not be a
rehash of why you came to medical school or a summary of your curriculum
vitae (CV), rather a succinct statement of your career goals that
reflects your own unique personality and style.

It’s perfectly normal to experience a certain degree of stress and
anxiety when you begin writing your personal statement; you’re not
alone! Jimmy Renfro in Career Services is available to help you develop
and edit your personal statement prior to submitting it to the residency
program of your choice.

Tips for Successful Writing

What to Do:

One page statement of your unique goals and objectives. It should be
customized to each specialty if you are applying for two different
areas. It should answer three basic questions:

  1. Explain your specialty choice and how you arrived at it,
    including a discussion of medical school rotations and clerkships that
    helped you formulate your decision to pursue "X" specialty
  2. Describe what you are seeking in a residency program, i.e. research opportunities, academic research, etc.
  3. Discuss your career goals; what do you plan to do in your chosen field?

What to Avoid:

  • Don’t write your life story. Concentrate on your professional goals.
  • Don’t be dramatic in your writing, i.e. "It was a dark and
    stormy night". Tell a story when needed but do so with caution. Your
    Personal Statement should fit your personality and be a good
    representation of who you are.
  • Don’t write with a thesaurus at your side and replace every
    fourth word with something clever you find…it doesn’t work and it will
    not flow.

Keep your personal statement to one page. Use a readable 11 or 12
point font such as Times New Roman, Palatino Linotype or Georgia.

Sample Personal Statements:

Sample Personal Statement – Emergency Medicine/Military

Sample Personal Statement – Surgery

Sample Personal Statement – Pathology

Sample Personal Statement – Family Medicine