The personal statement can be difficult to write and a source of much frustration for students, but it is a useful tool to give the selection committee some idea of your background, goals and character. Think of this as an opportunity to highlight your strong points. 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 CV, but rather a succinct statement of your career goals that reflects your personality and style.
Four concise paragraphs that answer the following:
1) Why medicine? Why specialty X? (Not how you arrived at specialty X…rather WHY did you chose your particular specialty? Write with passion when you explain your choice!)
2) What lead you to your chosen specialty? (Patient encounter/s? Family member with an illness? Other?) Be specific and cite examples / patient vignettes.
3) Why are you a good fit for specialty X? (Discuss your attributes and assets…what you can bring to the program? What makes you stand out from the other applicants?)
4) What are your plans after residency? (Research? Academic Medicine? Fellowship? International Medicine? Undecided? — it’s okay!)
Some tips for writing your personal statement:
- Keep it to one page, neatly typed with proper grammar and composition.
- Avoid abbreviations.
- Avoid repetitive sentence structure.
- Get help! Request a review of your personal statement from TCOM Career Development Office.
- Give yourself adequate time to prepare a well-written statement.
- Read it aloud or have someone read it aloud to you to make sure it flows and makes sense.
- Be error-free…proof your work for grammar, spelling, and typographical errors.
- Get started sooner rather than later!
Need a review of your personal statement…professional review and editing?
Contact Melva Landrum for assistance. Please allow up to three business days for turnaround. You may email your document and formal request to Melva directly.