Writing the Personal Statement for Residency. Writing Consult Center and Office of Student Affairs. Goals for the Personal Statement essay:. Get an interview Guide the interviewer. How do they choose?. What are the program directors looking for?.
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Writing Consult Center
Office of Student Affairs
Get an interview
Guide the interviewer
What are the reviewers trying to learn about you?
It’s like remembering a face– ‘Oh yes, I
remember her.’ Some personality,
some individuality should come
through. I want to be able to say,
“That’s the person who….”
“Personal life events that had an impact on
you are important, positive or negative, but
don’t spend half the essay on them.”
“I want to know who you are, why you are a
doctor and why you want to become an
anesthesiologist [or xxxx] and where you’re
possibly going with this training in the
comments about your strengths. All
residency directors know that not every
student will be at the top of the class or have
every possible “stellar resident” attribute.
However, some comments about
determination, hard work, intellect, values,
and special skills will catch my attention.”
“Just a bit if it is conventional, more if it is unusual & relevant.”
Concrete, not abstract:
“I look for personal stories that really tell me something about the applicant. The ‘I love kids’ doesn’t work as well as a patient encounter or any kind of story about how things could have been done better. Insight is always good.”
difficulty doesn’t mean we won’t see it on the
transcript or read it in the Dean’s letter. This
is a good opportunity to explain what
happened– and is particularly important if
the explanation suggests that the problem is
not likely to recur.”
Why you’re well-suited to this field
“Most of the reasons we’ve heard
before. But an applicant’s own process
of decision is individual and needs to
be heard in his or her own words.”
“I like the essays that tell about the
applicant’s past– if it was a struggle, or
why in general he or she would make a
good [ pediatrician, anesthesiologist,
surgeon,etc.]. Insight is always good.”
program. I’m going to invite people to
interview who I believe are looking for the
things that we offer. Be honest about your
future goals. If you want to do clinical or
basic science research, make sure you bring
“This might not be appropriate in an
essay that is, of necessity, very serious
or in which a good portion of effort is
devoted to explaining academic
difficulty, for example.”
“The personal statement should be specialty
personal and real. I use it a lot to
structure my interview.”
“Above all, be honest. specialty
Dishonesty will kill the application.”
Create a coherent
Logically connected & intelligible
Hook your reader.
Show logical flow.
Begin with a personal story,
Go to theory, or what the story means.
A different opening
“Make sure to check for errors– this is the biggest no- no to me. If you don’t write well, it doesn’t bode well for you.”
Grammar, spelling, diction, syntax, punctuation, tone, and style.
“If you don’t have confidence in yourself as a
writer, keep it simple. One idea per
“ Don’t be dramatic or effusive.”
“ Be careful in touting your accomplishments. Tone is important. Sounding egotistical or boastful makes a bad impression.”
“Get input from others. Have at least
one other person read the essay.”
“Good writing is re-writing. Read and
edit it several times.”
“Let it cool off before submitting it with the
application. If it sounds corny or trite to you or
perhaps even too strong, rewrite!”
Writing clear prose
Identify me as Ishmael. specialty
Several twelvemonths past– disregard the exact period– being somewhat impoverished financially and possessing nothing remarkable to intrigue me on terra firma, I reflected I would navigate about somewhat and observe the liquid, aqueous component of the globe.
Call me Ishmael. specialty
Some years ago– never mind how long precisely– having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
Make your reader work as little as possible.
Keep the degree of difficulty as low as possible.
Robert Gunning’s Fog Index:
measuring the degree of difficulty of writing based on the length of the words we choose.
the world’s richest, most expressive language.
Heteroglot: constant absorption
American Indian: chipmunk, moose
Italian: balcony, umbrella
Persian: shawl, paradise, sherbet
Greek: acrobat, catastrophe, elastic
Spanish: alligator, vanilla, hammock
Language exploded– and separated into 2 classes:
Home / Residence
Eat / Dine
Loving / Amorous
cogitate, ruminate, reflect, meditate,
privation, destitution, indigence,
amenable, compliant, submissive, tractable
Equitable Fair, Equal
Endeavor – Try
Initiate – Begin
Is desirous of – Wants
Cognizant of – Knows
Ascertain – Find out
Implement – Start, create, carry out, begin
Eventuate – Happen
Transpire – Happen
Transmit – Send
It would thus appear that….
It is considered that….
It is this that….
It is possible that the cause is…. specialty
The cause may be….
In light of the fact that….
It is often the case that….
It is interesting to note that…. specialty
It is not impossible that….
It seems that there can be little doubt that…
In the course of
In the event that specialty
In the majority of instances specialty
In the near future specialty
In the nature of specialty
Like (similar to)
In the neighborhood of specialty
In the not too distant future specialty
In the vicinity of specialty
In view of the fact that specialty
It is imperative that specialty
Be sure that
It is interesting to note that specialty
It would thus appear that specialty
Make decisions about specialty
Needless to say specialty
(Then why say it?)
On a few occasions specialty
On the assumption that specialty
Prior to specialty
Subsequent to specialty
Take action specialty
Take into consideration specialty
With regard to specialty
With the exception of specialty
Please find enclosed, herewith, my new paper, which was published in January of this year.
Here is my January 2003 paper.
Clarity = Economy + Precision published in January of this year.