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  • v.14(5); 2022 Oct

Ten Steps for Writing an Exceptional Personal Statement

Danielle jones.

All authors are with Emory University School of Medicine

Danielle Jones, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Section Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine Grady Section, and Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency

J. Richard Pittman, Jr

J. Richard Pittman Jr, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine, and Program Director, Fourth Year Internal Medicine Sub-Internship

Kimberly D. Manning

Kimberly D. Manning, MD, FACP, FAAP, is Professor of Medicine, and Associate Vice Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Department of Medicine

The personal statement is an important requirement for residency and fellowship applications that many applicants find daunting. Beyond the cognitive challenge of writing an essay, time limitations for busy senior residents on clinical rotations present added pressure. Objective measures such as scores and evaluations paint only a partial picture of clinical and academic performance, leaving gaps in a candidate's full portrait. 1 , 2 Applicants, seemingly similar on paper, may have striking differences in experiences and distances traveled that would not be captured without a personal narrative. 2 , 3 We recommend, therefore, reframing personal statements as the way to best highlight applicants' greatest strengths and accomplishments. A well-written personal statement may be the tipping point for a residency or fellowship interview invitation, 4 , 5 which is particularly important given the heightened competition for slots due to increased participation on virtual platforms. Data show that 74% to 78% of residency programs use personal statements in their interview selection process, and 48% to 54% use them in the final rank. 6 , 7 With our combined 50 years of experience as clerkship and residency program directors (PDs) we value the personal statement and strongly encourage our trainees to seize the opportunity to feature themselves in their words.

Our residency and medical school leadership roles position us to edit and review numerous resident and student personal statements annually. This collective experience has helped us identify patterns of struggle for trainees: trouble starting, difficulty organizing a cogent narrative, losing the “personal” in the statement, and failing to display unique or notable attributes. While a bland personal statement may not hurt an applicant, it is a missed opportunity. 4 , 8 We also have distinguished helpful personal statement elements that allow PDs to establish candidates' “fit” with their desired residency or fellowship. A recent study supports that PDs find unique applicant information from personal statements helpful to determine fit. 4 Personal statement information also helps programs curate individualized interview days (eg, pair interviewers, guide conversations, highlight desirable curricula). Through our work with learners, we developed the structured approach presented here ( Figure 1 ). Applicants can use our approach to minimize typical struggles and efficiently craft personal statements that help them stand out. Busy residents, particularly, have minimal time to complete fellowship applications. We acknowledge there is no gold standard or objective measures for effective personal statement preparation. 9 Our approach, however, combined with a practical tool ( Figure 2 ), has streamlined the process for many of our mentees. Moreover, faculty advisors and program leaders, already challenged by time constraints, can use this tool to enhance their coaching and save time, effort, and cognitive energy.

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Structured Approach to Writing a Personal Statement

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Ten Steps for Writing an Exceptional Personal Statement: Digital Tool

Note: Use the QR code to download the digital tool and follow the 10 steps highlighted in Figure 1.

Given word count and space limitations, deciding what to include in a personal statement can be challenging. An initial brainstorm helps applicants recall personal attributes and experiences that best underscore key strengths (Step 1). 10 Writing explicit self-affirmations is challenging, so we recommend pairing with a near peer who may offer insight. Useful prompts include:

  • ▪ What 3 words best encapsulate me?
  • ▪ What accomplishments make me proud?
  • ▪ What should every program know about me?

Reflecting on these questions (Step 2) helps elucidate the foundations of the narrative, 10 including strengths, accomplishments, and unique elements to be included. Additionally, the preparation steps help uncover the “thread” that connects the story sequentially. While not all agree that personal or patient stories are necessary, they are commonly included. 5 One genre analysis showed that 97% of applicants to residency programs in internal medicine, family medicine, and surgery used an opening that included either a personal narrative (66%) and/or a decision to enter medicine (54%) or the specialty of choice (72%). 9 Radiology PDs ranked personal attributes as the second most important component in personal statements behind choice of specialty. 9 Further, a descriptive study of anesthesia applicants' personal statements ranked those that included elements such as discussion of a family's or friend's illness or a patient case as more original. 3 We feel that personal and patient stories often provide an interesting hook to engage readers, as well as a mechanism to highlight (1) personal characteristics, (2) journey to and/or enthusiasm for desired discipline, and (3) professional growth, all without giving the impression of being boastful. Sketching these Step 2 fundamentals prepares applicants to begin writing with intention.

Writing and Structuring

Once key elements are identified, the next steps assist with the actual writing. Utilizing information gleaned from the “Preparing” steps, start with a freewriting exercise (Step 3), an unrestricted association of ideas aimed at answering, “What experiences have cultivated my strong interest in pursuing [______]?” At this stage, ignore spelling and grammar. Just write, even if the product is the roughest, rough draft imaginable. 10 Setting a timer for 10 to 15 minutes establishes a less intimidating window to start. Freewriting generates the essential initial content that typically will require multiple revisions. 10

Next, we recommend structuring the freewriting content into suggested paragraphs (Step 4), using the following framework to configure the first draft:

  • ▪ Introductory paragraph: A compelling story, experience, or something that introduces the applicant and makes the reader want to know more (the hook). If related to a patient or other person, it should underscore the writer's qualities.
  • ▪ Paragraph 2: Essential details that a program must know about the applicant and their proudest accomplishments.
  • ▪ Paragraph(s) 3-4: Specific strengths related to the specialty of choice and leadership experiences.
  • ▪ Closing paragraph: What the applicant values in a training program and what they believe they can contribute.

Evaluate what has been written and ensure that, after the engaging hook, the body incorporates the best pieces identified during the preparation steps (Step 5). A final paragraph affords ample space for a solid conclusion to the thread. Occasionally the narrative flows better with separate strengths and leadership paragraphs for a total of 5, but we strongly recommend the final statement not exceed 1 single-spaced page to reduce cognitive load on the reader.

This part of the process involves revising the piece into a final polished personal statement. Before an early draft is shared with others, it should be evaluated for several important factors by returning to the initial questions and then asking (Step 6):

“Does this personal statement…”

  • Amplify my strengths, highlight my proudest accomplishments, and emphasize what a program must know about me?
  • Have a logical flow?
  • Accurately attribute content and avoid plagiarism?
  • Use proper grammar and avoid slang or profanity?

While not as challenging as the other steps, optimization takes time. 10 At this stage, “resting” the draft for 1 week minimum (Step 7) puts a helpful distance between the writer and their work before returning, reading, and editing. 10 Writers can edit their own work to a point, but they often benefit by enlisting a trusted peer or advisor for critiques. Hearing their draft read aloud by a peer or advisor allows the applicant to evaluate the work from another perspective while noting how well it meets the criteria from the tool (provided as online supplementary data).

A virtual or in-person meeting between applicant and mentor ultimately saves time and advances the writer to a final product more quickly than an email exchange. Sending the personal statement in advance helps facilitate the meeting. Invite the advisor to candidly comment on the tool's criteria to yield the most useful feedback (Step 8). When done effectively, edits can be made in real time with the mentor's input.

We bring closure to the process by focusing on spelling and grammar checks (Step 9). Clarity, conciseness, and the use of proper English were rated as extremely important by PDs. 3 , 9 Grammatical errors distract readers, highlight inattention to detail, and detract from the personal statement. 3 , 9 Once more, we recommend resting the draft before calling it final (Step 10). If the piece required starting over or significant rewriting based on feedback received, we also suggest seeking additional feedback on this draft, ideally from someone in the desired residency or fellowship discipline. If only minor edits (eg, flow, language) were incorporated, the personal statement can be considered complete at this time.

Writing a personal statement represents a unique opportunity for residency and fellowship applicants to amplify their ERAS application beyond the confines of its objective components. 3 Using this stepwise approach encourages each personal statement to be truly personal and streamlines the process for applicants and reviewers alike. All stakeholders benefit: applicants, regardless of their scores and academic metrics, can arm themselves with powerful means for self-advocacy; PDs gain a clearer idea of individual applicants, allowing them to augment the selection process and curate the individual interview day; and faculty mentors can offer concrete direction to every mentee seeking their help.

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The Residency Personal Statement (2023/2024): The Insider’s Guide (with Examples)

Residency Match Personal Statement

A physician and former residency program director explains how to write your residency personal statement to match in to your top-choice residency program in 2024.

Read example residency personal statements and suggested outlines..


The residency personal statement allows residency program directors and associate directors the chance to get a sense of who you are and your commitment to your chosen specialty. 

As a former program director who understands how residency personal statements are reviewed, what “stands out,” and, most importantly, what will earn you interview invitations, the information below will help you write a residency personal statement to match!

It is imperative to make sure you get the most accurate guidance possible with regards to your residency personal statement content and optimal residency personal statement length (up to 5300 characters with spaces).

Want more personalized suggestions? Sign up for a FREE residency personal statement consultation .

Table of Contents

Goals for Writing Your 2024 Residency Personal Statement

Above all else, your residency personal statement offers the opportunity to show your interest in your chosen specialty when applying to residency to illustrate you are a good fit.

The more details you offer about why you are interested in the specialty and how your med school rotations, accomplishments and experiences have reinforced this interest, the stronger your personal statement will be, the more it will appeal to selection committees and the better you will do in the match process .

I encourage applicants to offer as much “evidence” as possible to “show” rather than “tell” what qualities, characteristics and interests they have. “Telling” a reader, for example, that you are compassionate and hard working means nothing. Instead, you must “show” that you embody these qualities based on your experiences in health care and the patients for whom you have cared.

The residency personal statement also offers the opportunity to write about who you are as a person to convey some details about your background, influences, and interests outside of your given specialty.

The Importance of a Balanced Residency Personal Statement

The key when writing your residency personal statement is to ensure that it is well-balanced so it appeals to a large group of people who might read your ERAS residency application.

However, it is important to understand that every program director and faculty member has his or her own idea of what he would like to read in a personal statement. As an applicant, you must go into this process understanding that you cannot please everyone, or a specific program, and your personal statement should therefore have the broadest appeal possible.

For example, some program directors would rather hear about your personal interests and curiosities and get to know who you are rather than have you focus on the specialty in which you are interested.

At MedEdits, we suggest taking a “middle of the road” approach; include some details about who you are but also focus on the specialty itself. In this way, you will make more traditional reviewers who want to hear about your interest in the specialty happy while also satisfying those who would rather learn about you as a person.

Above all, be authentic and true to yourself when writing your statement. This always leads to the best results! Read on to learn more about how to write a winning personal statement.

About MedEdits

Getting into a residency has never been more competitive. Founded by a former associate program director, the experts at MedEdits will make your residency personal statement shine. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been matched to one of their top-choice programs.

Need Help With Your Residency Personal Statement?

Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation with a MedEdits expert.

Residency Personal Statement Outline & Structure

Residency applicants often do well when given outlines or templates to follow, so, we will offer that, but, it is important to realize that many applicants deviate from these rigid rules. One very typical outline that serves applicants quite well in the residency admissions process is:

  • Compose a catchy introduction. Your intro can be related to your interest in the specialty to which you are applying, about a hobby or personal experience, or about your background. Regardless of the topic you choose, you want to tell a story and start with something that will interest your reader and engage him.
  • The next two to four paragraphs comprise the body of your personal statement. We encourage applicants to write about any significant experiences they have had related to their desired specialty and/or future goals. This would include information about rotations, electives, and sub internships related to the specialty, volunteer and research experiences and even significant outside interests.
  • Finally, you want to conclude your essay. In your conclusion, write about what you seek in a residency program, what you will bring to a residency program, and, if you have any idea of your future career goals, write about those as well. Your conclusion is also where you can tailor a personal statement to a specific geographic area of interest or type of program (rural, urban, community).

Residency Personal Statement Length & Residency Personal Statement Word Limit

Residency Personal Statement Length: Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be between 4000 – 5300 characters with spaces or up to 900 words in length. 

The allowed ERAS residency personal statement length is 28,000 characters which equates to about five pages!

We have been hearing from more and more applicants that the personal statement should not exceed one page when typed in to the ERAS application . Because of this overwhelming trend, we are supporting this guidance unless you have extenuating circumstances that require your personal statement be longer.

Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be a maximum of 5300 characters with spaces.

ERAS Residency Personal Statement Checklist

  • Ensure your personal statement flows well

The best personal statements are easy to read, don’t make the reader think too much, and make your path and interests seem logical. Rarely does a personal statement have a theme. Also try to have each paragraph transition to the next seamlessly. 

2. Your personal statement should be about you!

Your personal statement should be about you and no one else. Focus on your interests, your accomplishments and your path. This is your opportunity to be forthcoming about your achievements – by writing in detail about what you have done.

3. Be sure your personal statement clearly outlines your interest in the specialty.

Since the reader wants to be convinced of your understanding of, experience in, and curiosity about the specialty to which you are applying, be sure you highlight what you have done to explore your interest as well as your insights and observations about the specialty to show your understanding of it.

4. Make it human.

Again, your personal statement should be about you! The reader wants to know who you are, where you are from, what your interests are and who you are outside of medicine. Therefore, try to include those details about your background that are intriguing or important to you.

5. Express your interest in the specialty.

The reader fundamentally wants to know why you are pursuing the specialty. The more details you offer the more convincing you are about your commitment and your understanding of the specialty. Be sure to include details that might seem obvious. For example, in emergency medicine you must like acute care, but try to include more nuanced details about your interest, too. What do you enjoy about the diagnoses and pathologies involved? What do you value about the actual work you will do? What do you enjoy about the patients for whom you will care? How about the setting in which you will practice?

6. The start and evolution of your interest.

Readers want to know how and when you became interested in your specialty. Was this before medical school? During medical school? What have you done to pursue and nurture your interest in the specialty?

7. What you have done to learn more about the specialty.

You should explain what you have done to pursue your interest. What rotations have you done or have planned? What research, scholarly work or community service activities have you pursued to further your interest?

8. Where you see yourself in the future – if you know!

Without going into too much detail, write about the type of setting in which you see yourself in the future. Do you hope to also participate in research, teaching, public health work or community outreach as a part of your career? What are your future goals? Since many programs typically train a certain type of physician, it is important that your goals are aligned with the programs to which you are applying.

9. What do you bring to the specialty?

You should try to identify what you can bring to the program and the specialty to which you are applying as a whole. For example, are you applying to family medicine and have a distinct interest in public health? Are you applying for internal medicine and do you have demonstrated expertise in information technology and hope to improve electronic medical records? Do you have extensive research or teaching experience, and do you hope to continue to pursue these interests in the future? Have you developed a commitment to global health, and do you hope to continue making contributions abroad? Programs have a societal obligation to select residents who will make valuable contributions in the future, so the more ambitions you have the more desirable a candidate you will be.

10. What type of program you hope to join?

Do you hope to be part of a community or university-based program? What are you seeking in a residency program? Programs are looking for residents who will be the right “fit” so offering an idea of what you are seeking in a program will help them determine if your values and goals mesh with those of the program.

11. Who you are outside of the hospital?

Try to bring in some personal elements about who you are. You can do this in a few ways. If you have any outside interests or accomplishments that complement your interest in your specialty, such as extracurricular work, global work, teaching or volunteer efforts, write about them in detail, and, in doing so, show the reader a different dimension of your personality. Or, consider opening your statement by writing about an experience related to your hobbies or outside interests. Write about this in the form of an introductory vignette. I suggest taking this nontraditional approach only if you are a talented writer and can somehow relate your outside interest to the specialty you are pursuing, however. An interest in the arts can lend itself to dermatology, plastic surgery or ophthalmology, for example. Or, an interest in technology could relate to radiology .

12. Any personal challenges?

Also explain any obstacles you have overcome: Were you the first in your family to graduate from college? Were you an immigrant? Did you have limited financial resources and work through college? Many applicants tend to shy away from the very things that make them impressive because they are afraid of appearing to be looking for sympathy. As long as you explain how you have overcome adversity in a positive or creative way, your experience will be viewed as the tremendous accomplishment that it is. The personal statement should explain any unusual or distinctive aspects of your background.

  • Residency Match: How It Works & How To Get Matched

Common ERAS Residency Personal Statement Mistakes

Do not tell your entire life story or write a statement focused on your childhood or undergraduate career. 

Do not write about why you wanted to be a doctor. This is old news. From the reviewers perspective, you already are a doctor!

Do not write a personal statement focused on one hobby or begin with your birth. Some background information might be useful if it offers context to your choices and path, but your residency personal statement should be focused on the present and what you have done to pursue your interest in the specialty to which you are applying.

Do not preach. The reader understands what it means to practice his specialty and does not need you to tell him. Don’t write, for example: Internal medicine requires that a physician be knowledgeable, kind and compassionate. The reader wants to know about you!

Do not put down other specialties. You don’t need to convince anyone of your interest by writing something negative about other specialties. Doing so just makes you look bad. If you switched residencies or interests, you can explain what else you were seeking and what you found in the specialty of your choice that interests you.

Do not embellish. Program directors are pretty good at sniffing out inconsistencies and dishonesty. Always tell the truth and be honest and authentic. 

Do not plagiarize. While this seems obvious to most people, every year people copy personal statements they find online or hire companies that use stock phrases and statement to compose statements for applicants. Don’t do it!

Do not write about sensitive topics. Even if you were in a relationship that ended and resulted in a poor USMLE score , this is not a topic for a personal statement. In general, it is best to avoid discussing relationships, politics, ethical issues and religion.

Do not boast. Any hint of arrogance or self-righteousness may result in getting rejected. There is a fine line between confidence and self promotion. Some people make the mistake of over-selling themselves or writing about all of their fantastic qualities and characteristics. Rarely do readers view such personal statements favorably.

Do not write an overly creative piece. A residency personal statement should be professional. This work is equivalent to a job application. Don’t get too creative; stay focused.

Writing ERAS Residency Personal Statements For Multiple Specialties

An increasing number of applicants are applying to more than one specialty in medicine especially if the first choice specialty is very competitive. If you are applying to more than one specialty, even if there is disciplinary overlap between the two (for example family medicine and pediatrics ), we advise you write a distinct specialty for each. Remember that a physician who practices the specialty you hope to join will most likely be reviewing your statement. He or she will definitely be able to determine if the personal statement illustrates a true understanding of the specialty. If you try to recycle an entire personal statement or parts of a personal statement for two specialties, there is a high likelihood the personal statement will communicate that you aren’t sincerely interested in that specialty or that you don’t really understand what the specialty is about.

Writing About Red Flags in your ERAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is also the place to explain any red flags in your application, such as gaps in time or a leave of absence. When addressing any red flags, explain what happened succinctly. Be honest, don’t make excuses, and don’t dwell on the topic. Whenever possible, write about how you have matured or grown from the adversity or what you may have learned and how this benefits you.

If you have left a program or had a break in your medical education, you will also have the chance to explain this in your ERAS application . You should also write about this topic in your personal statement only if you have more to explain, however. 

If you have failed a Step exam or one course in medical school, this likely isn’t something to address in the personal statement. However, you should be prepared to discuss any failure during an interview. By the same token, it is best not to address one low grade or poor attending evaluation in your statement. 

Have you taken a circuitous path to medicine? If so you might address why you made these choices and what you found so interesting about medicine that was lacking in your former career.

Residency Personal Statement Example

Below are two great examples of residency personal statements that earned the applicants who wrote them numerous interviews and first choice matches. As you will see, these two applicants took very different approaches when writing the personal statement yet wrote equally persuasive and “successful” personal statements.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Traditional Approach

The most common approach to the personal statement is what I will call the traditional approach, in which the applicant conveys her interest in the specialty, when that interest began and what she has done to pursue the particular specialty.

Suggested outline:

  • Introduction: Catchy Story
  • Paragraph 2: Background Information and how Interest Started
  • Paragraph 3: Write about what you did to explore your interest
  • Paragraph 4: Second paragraph about your experiences related to your specialty
  • Conclusion: Wrap it up. Write something about your future goals.

Below is an example of the traditional approach:

I looked into her eyes and saw terror. She knew the life of her unborn baby was in jeopardy. As tears streamed down her face, she looked to the attending physician. In desperation, she pleaded, “Please save our baby.” She and her husband had been trying to conceive for more than two years, and they knew this could be their only chance to have a healthy child. She went into labor at home and because of a horrible snowstorm was not able to reach the hospital for several hours. When she arrived in labor and delivery, she was crowning. But, the baby was having late decelerations. Because of the sweat on my attending’s forehead I knew the situation was serious. Yet we all tried to remain calm and to keep the patient and her husband calm as well. 

I entered medical school with an open mind as everyone suggested. Even as a first year medical student, however, I was fascinated with embryology. I entered my third year still unsure of what I would pursue. I knew I wanted a career that would be challenging and interesting. Because of my background in drawing and painting, I always loved working with my hands. Yet I also enjoyed working with people. Thankfully, my obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) rotation was the first of my third year and I was immediately hooked.

I quickly sought out opportunities for research and became involved in a clinical study investigating the impact of a vegan diet on birth outcomes. I have always had an interest in wellness and nutrition, and this seemed like a perfect fit for me. My research is still in process, but through this experience I have learned how to analyze data, stay objective and critically evaluate the literature. So far, our findings suggest better than normal outcomes for babies born to vegan mothers. This reinforces my goal to educate my patients about the important of diet and nutrition, which I hope to make a part of my future practice. 

Early in my fourth year, I completed an elective rotation at Inner City Medical Center. There I cared for a diverse group of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I realized how much I enjoy labor and delivery, but I also value the operative aspects of ob/gyn. I appreciate the importance of understanding the female anatomy so I can operate with precision.  I also value the diversity of practice in ob/gyn. Whether caring for a woman about to give birth, helping a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer navigate her treatment options, or caring for a perimenopausal woman who is coping with symptoms of hormone fluctuations, I enjoy caring for patients with knowledge and compassion. The outpatient aspect of ob/gyn brings satisfaction as well. I look forward to building relationships with my patients, helping them to lead the healthiest lives possible. I have also realized how much I want to care for those who lack access to care. The work I have done at Medical School Free Clinic has helped me realize the gaps that exist in access to care and education. As a future practicing ob/gyn, I hope to work in such a setting at least on a part time basis.

On that snowy night, when we realized the baby was having difficulty being born because of shoulder dystocia, a simple maneuver eased the situation. The baby’s first cry brought such joy and relief to everyone in the room and, at that moment, I knew I had to be part of this specialty. I hope to join a program where I will have the clinical exposure that will give me the skills and experience to care for a wide range of patients. I do not yet know if I will subspecialize, and I will seek out mentors and experiences as a resident to make an informed decision. I would be honored to interview at your program and thank you for your consideration.

Why It’s Great

This is a great personal statement because it clearly conveys the applicant’s interest in, and understanding of, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and what the applicant has done to pursue that interest. Not only does this applicant have a long-standing interest in OB/GYN, but, she conveys that she has experienced the specialty in different settings and understands the diverse nature of the specialty. She also includes information about her hobbies and interests and writes about her exploration of OB/GYN outside of the clinical arena. An added bonus is that the applicant writes well and uses descriptive language making her statement interesting and fun to read.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Outside Interests Approach

Many mentors advise applicants to tell the reader something about them that is unrelated to medicine or the specialty they are pursuing. This is a fine idea, but be sure your personal statement also includes some details about your interest in your specialty if you decide to move in this direction.

Suggested Outline:

  • Introduction: Write a Catchy Introduction. Be creative! Think outside the box.
  • Paragraph 2:Elaborate on your introduction offering more details
  • Paragraph 3: Write about your specialty choice and what appeals to you.
  • Paragraph 4: Write more about your explorations in medical school.
  • Concluding paragraph(s): Write about your future goals, the type of program you hope to join and consider looping back to your introduction.

Below is an example of the outside interests approach:

The landscape before me was lush and magical. We had been hiking for hours and had found a great spot to set up camp. As I was unloading my backpack and helping to pitch the tent, I saw a scene I knew I had to capture. I quickly grabbed my carefully packed Leica before the magnificent sunset disappeared. Trying to get the perfect exposure, I somehow managed to capture this image so accurately that it reflected the beauty of what was before us high in the mountains of Utah, so far away from the hustle and bustle of New York City where we attended medical school.

Throughout my life, I have pursued my interests and curiosities with focus and creativity. One of those interests is photography. Even as a small child, I wanted my own camera, and I started snapping interesting scenes and images at the age of 6. As I grew older, this hobby took on more significance. I took a college level course in photography as a high school student, worked as a photographer’s assistant and even considered a career in photography. Paralleling my interest, however, was a desire to travel and experience new places, foods, and cultures.

I have been fortunate to travel all over the world. Rather than stopping in a city or place for a couple of days and seeing the sights, I prefer to immerse myself in my surroundings, eating the food, meeting the people, and staying for as long as I can. My fluency in Spanish and Italian has made it easier to “fit in” naturally. My most recent trip to Costa Rica allowed me to visit sugar cane fields and rain forests. I also volunteered in a clinic that helps the most desperate citizens. Of course, because I never travel without my camera, I also captured the beauty of this country; those pictures can be found on my blog.

Surgery seemed like a natural choice for me. It is a very tactile and visual field that requires patience, attention to detail and creativity—just like photography. The operating room setting is invigorating. I love to be a member of a team, and in surgery team work is an essential part of practice. The ability to deal with anatomical variations also satisfies my creative side; I have always been fond of puzzles, and the field of surgery represents a real-world puzzle to me. I also appreciate the intensity of surgery and believe I have the personality and demeanor for the field. I have always enjoyed solving problems quickly, something the field of surgery requires. My rotations in surgery – in addition to my core surgery rotation I have done trauma and cardiothoracic surgery – have helped me to understand the tremendous opportunities and diversity of the field. I have heard some residents lament that the only reason they went into surgery is to operate. However, I really enjoy seeing patients postoperatively. It is only at that time that a surgeon can really appreciate the impact of his or her work.

Finally, my trip to Honduras with a surgical team from my hospital and medical school made me realize that I can make a great contribution globally in the field of surgery. There we saw patients who had no resources or access to care. The facilities in which we worked were bare-bones. Yet the impact we made was tremendous, given that this was a group of people who otherwise would have no surgical care. In this way, I hope to combine my interests in travel and surgery as a resident, if I have time, and certainly as a practicing physician. My ultimate goal is to use my training to help populations globally and domestically.

To gain the most clinical exposure possible, I hope to train in a busy urban hospital. I believe that such a setting will give me the operative experience I need to be able to navigate many situations in the future. Such a setting will also give me the outpatient experience to understand how to manage patients once the surgery is completed.

I look forward to the day when I can be snapping my camera intraoperatively, documenting what I am doing and seeking to help other surgeons. For some, such pictures may not represent the art of those pictures I take in the wilderness, but for me they reflect the beauty of surgery and the great opportunity to make a lasting impression on another human being’s life.

This is a really intriguing personal statement because the author writes about his outside interests in a compelling way that makes him instinctively likable. He then goes on to explain what he enjoys about surgery and what he has done to pursue that interest. As you can see, this applicant writes less about his specialty (surgery) than the applicant in statement #1 did, but, he still convinces the reader of his understanding of, and commitment to, surgery. In this statement, the reader gains a much broader understanding of who the applicant is as a person and what he likes to do in his free time.

Final Thoughts

Writing your residency personal statement should be about telling your story in your own voice and style. You want to highlight your interest in the specialty for which you are applying while also conveying some ideas about who you are as a person to keep your reader engaged in learning about you as a person.

Residency Personal Statement Consulting Services

MedEdits Medical Admissions offers comprehensive guidance and document review services for residency applicants to every specialty in medicine. With more than twenty years of experience in residency admissions and founded by a former residency admissions officer and physician, MedEdits understands what program directors want to read and can help you decide what aspects of your background to focus on in your residency personal statement to earn the most interviews possible.

Getting into a residency has never been more competitive. Let the experts at MedEdits help you with your ERAS personal statement. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been matched to one of their top-choice programs.

Sample Residency Personal Statement Page 1

Sample Residency Personal Statements

Residency Personal Statement Example Page 2

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  • Residency Match Statistics
  • Residency Personal Statement
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Residency personal statement: the ultimate guide.

writing a personal statement residency

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

Are you planning on writing your personal statement for residency? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the process.

all about your residency personal statement graphic

The residency application personal statement is an essential part of applying to programs, but it can be intimidating. We get it. It can be challenging to write about yourself and your life experiences within 3,500 characters. We’ll cover everything you need to know about writing a powerful statement!

Get The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Unforgettable Personal Statement

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Importance of Your Personal Statement in a Residency Application

The importance of your personal statement in your application cannot be overstated. Yes, you have secured solid letters of recommendation from physicians and crushed your USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) .

However, your personal statement is the one component of your application where you can make a case for yourself and leave a lasting impression on program directors. 

Think about it this way: program directors receive thousands of applications From aspiring medical residents and review thousands of standardized, quantitative factors like grades and test scores across the board. They also read thousands of essays and want to see something that will pique their interest. 

Your personal statement is an opportunity to show program directors specific qualities that make you stand out and shine . Program directors want to know the person behind the stellar numerical achievements. 

They want to know that you will thrive, reach your greatest potential in their program, and continue to have an exceptional career as a leader in healthcare.

importance of residency personal statement

Because of how competitive programs can be, your writing may very well be the tiebreaker that leads to your acceptance into a top program over another applicant. 

While a strong personal statement might not compensate for low exam scores, a weak one will definitely hurt an otherwise strong application.

Residency Personal Statement Outline

Knowing what you should include in your personal statement will help you get started. Your statement should include and reflect on a combination of the following:

  • What draws you to medicine/your specialty?
  • The desirable qualities, attributes, and skill sets make you well-suited to a  program and will help you succeed.
  • Your long-term plans as a practicing physician after you complete your program. This can include what you hope to accomplish in your residency and your preferred setting.
  • What attracts you to a particular program, and how would it make you a good fit?

Ultimately, program directors are looking for residents who are the best candidates and colleagues to work with and train. Combining the above suggestions will give program directors a good sense of what having you on their team would be like.

What to include in your residency personal statement

3 Tips to Help You Start Writing

Here are three tips to help you get started! 

1. Consider Why You’re Pursuing a Particular Residency

Before you start your application personal statement, you should be clear on why the specialty you’ve chosen is the right one for you . Program directors want to know that you have a realistic idea of what the specialty entails. 

If your writing fails to convey solid, meaningful reasons for pursuing the chosen specialty, you will likely not be invited for an interview. Don’t hurt your chances by sounding disinterested in the field or focusing on superficial aspects of the specialty, like high salaries and benefits.

UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine urges you to “remember that this is your chance to focus on your medical career objectives, i.e., what specialty you'd like to go into and what your ultimate goals might be.” 

2. Brainstorm 

To begin drafting your personal statement, brainstorm. Brainstorming allows you the freedom to be creative and informal. When brainstorming, you do not have to worry about grammar, spelling, or editing. You want to write down your ideas and get your creative juices flowing. 

After you have a body of ideas, you can work on weaving one or several elements into a strong, concise narrative. 

3. Ask Yourself Questions 

The following questions will help you get started brainstorming ideas for your personal statement:

  • What first drew you to the specialty? 
  • What are your greatest qualities, and how have you demonstrated these qualities? Focus on a few desirable qualities for a medical professional during specialization.
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • Name an experience, clinical or otherwise, that significantly impacted you. Why was the experience meaningful, and how did it change you?
  • What obstacle, challenge, or failure did you overcome, and what did it teach you about adversity?
  • When did you know you wanted to pursue your chosen specialty?
  • What is your most meaningful extracurricular activity?
  • Who are your role models? What qualities do they possess that inspire you to be like them? How does this translate in your chosen field?
  • What medical cause do you care about the most, and what led you to care about it?

Remember, brainstorming aims to put down everything you can remember with as much detail as possible without worrying about grammar, sentence structure, spelling, or revisions. 

The more details you explore while brainstorming, the easier it will be to extract and expand upon the stories you want to tell.

How to Write An Amazing Residency Application Personal Statement

Now that you have completed your preliminary brainstorming, let’s review how to write a personal statement. Later in this guide, we will review samples of other applicants’ personal statements and analyze what makes them successful.

How to write a med school personal statement

Start With A Catchy Introduction 

A captivating introduction pulls the reader in and makes them want to read to the end. Your introduction should lead with detail. Don’t rely on platitudes, clichés, and vague language . 

One way to accomplish this is to have an anecdote or two in mind that will be the central focus of your narrative. Then, introduce that anecdote while being aware of both brevity and detail. 

Focus on Things That Aren’t on Your CV

The personal statement should never regurgitate what’s already on your CV . Instead, focus on important aspects about you, your experiences, and your qualities that do not appear on your CV.

For example, if you have a hobby that demonstrates personal growth over time, tell a story about it and tie it together with your goals.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine suggests that if you want to repeat accomplishments, ensure they’re “relevant to your personal/professional growth. You want the emphasis to encourage the reader to bring this up in the interview.” 

Talk About You and Your Desirable Qualities 

Program directors want to get to know you as an individual and what you would bring to their program. While this might seem like a no-brainer, it is important that your personal statement remains about you. 

Program directors often read narratives that include information about the program they already know and not enough information about the candidate. Shift your tone to reflect on what makes you desirable to the residency. 

When talking about your attributes, remember that quality is more important than quantity . Narrow your focus to one or two qualities, and work on incorporating them as part of your storytelling.

Make Use of Storytelling

Avoid generic and superficial declarative statements when you write about yourself and your desirable qualities. For example, don’t simply say, “I am empathetic and compassionate.” This is forgettable, and you will not stand out from all the other applicants. 

Instead, it is better and more memorable to show how you exhibited empathy and compassion by telling a story about a real event. Show, don’t tell. People will remember your name if you tell a great story.

Include What You Expect From a Residency Program 

Program directors want to know why you are pursuing their program and what you want to gain from the experience. Tie this in with nuanced details about what you have done to pursue your particular interests and how your interests will align with what the program offers. 

How will your interests and goals support their mission? What specific strengths will you add or hope to cultivate? Again, the focus should be on you and your expectations, not on over-explaining a program to its directors. 

Cite Strong Reasons to Choose a Particular Specialty

Clearly outline your interest in a particular specialty. Program directors want to know your understanding of and interest in a specialty. Highlight what you have done in your career to explore a specialty and detail some of your insights and observations. 

Perhaps you’ve researched the length of the residency and were swayed by it. Or you were intrigued by the nature of another one. The more details you can provide, the more persuasive you will be. 

For example, you might like acute care in emergency medicine but try to be more specific than that. What do you enjoy about the diagnoses and pathologies involved in emergency medicine? What do you enjoy about the patients in your care? What do you enjoy about the setting in which you will practice?

Include Your Personal and Professional Achievements 

Your achievements should demonstrate personal and professional growth over time. Your unique personal or professional achievement may not be listed on your CV. The personal statement is where you can delve into those exceptional and distinctive details about yourself that will set you apart from the crowd. 

Always uphold your credibility by being honest and authentic. People will pick up on subtle cues of inauthenticity. Remember, you don’t have to use your personal statement to convince someone of how perfect you are because perfection doesn’t exist. 

For example, if you achieve something with a group of colleagues, give credit where it’s due and don’t take the credit all for yourself. Remain true to who you are and the experiences you’ve had thus far. You don’t need to embellish or dramatize them to impress program directors. 

They’re looking for someone reliable, credible, and genuine.

Address Areas of Improvement on Your Application 

If anomalies are anywhere in your application, such as gap years or leaves of absence, address them with a brief explanation. You don’t need to dwell on areas that need improvement, and you shouldn’t provide long explanations or be defensive. 

It’s more important for your readers to see that you faced hardship but took steps to overcome it.

Deliver a Strong Closure

Lastly, end your statement with a punch. Don’t lose steam. Succinctly and naturally wrap up your story. You don’t want to end with a weak declarative statement like, “And that’s why I would be a great resident.” 

Instead, try to deliver a callback to your introduction and include the imagery and insights that bring everything together.

5 Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement

There are certain things that you should avoid in your personal statement. As a rule of thumb, avoid topics and language that risk alienating your readers. Be aware of the following:

1. Acronyms and Jargon 

Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon. Don’t assume that your reader knows everything. Be courteous and spell everything out. According to The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), “If there’s a shorter, simpler, less pretentious way of putting it, use it.” 

2. Poor Writing Mechanics

Avoid informal, casual writing and poor sentence structure. Be professional and ensure your writing is free of grammatical and spelling errors. You don’t want programs to be distracted by errors while they read your story! 

3. Controversial Topics 

Avoid controversial topics like ethical issues, religion, and politics. You don’t want to make polarizing or offensive statements, so don’t cross the line. Even if the statements you make aren’t offensive, there’s no guarantee the person reviewing your application will agree with you. 

4. Rehashing Why You Want to Be a Doctor 

Avoid going into the origin story of why you wanted to become a doctor. You are not applying to medical school, so your personal statement should reflect deeper insights that support your professional and personal experiences. UCSF’s Office of Career & Professional Development offers this advice : 

“Presumably, new things have happened in the past four years that inform your decision to choose your specialty or career path, or that illustrate your dedication, leadership, and teaching skills, ability for empathy, etc.” Use these new experiences in your statement! 

5. Using Vague/Generic Language

Avoid vague and generic language. The most seasoned writers draw readers in with rich detail and nuance. Using descriptive language makes your statement easier to read and is much more likely to keep the reader’s attention. 

With these tips, you should be able to write your personal statement with ease.

Mistakes to avoid in a residency personal statement graphic

Get Professional Help Writing Your Residency Personal Statement

Contrary to popular belief, writers don’t need to hole up in a dark room, slouch over a messy desk, hit a wall with writer’s block, and suffer in solitude. Ask for help! Even the world’s bestselling authors need editors. 

Your storytelling ability and writing skills will only improve when you receive editorial feedback from trusted professionals. Getting professional help on writing your narrative will get you closer to being accepted at your first-choice program.

Inspira Advantage is here for you. We are an admissions consulting firm with extensive experience helping candidates get accepted to their dream programs. An expert residency application consultant can ensure you get the support you need at every step while you write and edit your personal statement.

Residency Personal Statement Examples

​​Reading examples of residency personal essays that program directors consider effective is advantageous. Not only will you gain insight into how to structure your writing, but you will also learn why program directors and career advisors find certain personal statements more successful than others. 

We’ll review two good personal statement examples below. Please note that both have been anonymized to protect the authors’ privacy. 

Residency Personal Statement Example 1

Here is an ERAS sample personal statement: 

One of my most formative memories of medical school was a patient high-fiving me. A seemingly minute detail, that moment came as a culmination of spending hours with a neurologically devastated patient. At the young age of 40, he was unable to speak or even interact with any of the dozens of healthcare workers at his bedside every day. I felt helpless, yet compelled to spend my time talking and reading to him, and urging him to do simple things like turning his head. He suddenly dramatically improved, and it peaked when he gave me a high-five during rounds, after I had playfully asked for one every day for three weeks. In that moment, I felt elation that he was able to lift his arms and regain some ability and autonomy. Pride, in the healthcare system that I had chosen to be a part of. And surprise, that he had been hearing and processing my words all this time when he had given no indication of doing so. On that last day before transfer to a rehabilitation facility, he hung onto my arm and sobbed “thank you” while refusing to let go. I was so impacted by this patient because for such a long time, he was unable to communicate his wants and needs to the outside world. 

I believe medicine is the most fundamental form of equity and equality – ensuring someone’s health is the most elemental way to ensure justice for their being. As physicians, we are inherent agents of change, on both an individual and community level. I want to bring this to people all around the world – those desperately fighting just to survive and whose voices are not being heard. Global health is my calling – a consummation between my interest in humanity and my desire to heal historical traumas. This came as a lifelong dream after growing up on both the East Coast and Midwest, having been surrounded by large immigrant and refugee populations. My vested interest in global health has been reaffirmed through my experiences rotating at a children’s hospital in [city], Ghana, and taking trainings and courses aimed at decolonizing global health. Both in and out of my passion for global health came a natural attraction to med-peds. Both medicine and pediatrics have always drawn me in as they both afford me the opportunity to provide holistic care – fitting the puzzle pieces between physical, mental, and social health. Med-peds will also help me become the best trained and most adaptable physician for anyone, womb-to-tomb, in local and global medicine due to the vast fund of knowledge I will develop. 

One reason I best fit with med-peds is my adaptability and persistence. I have faced setbacks in my academic career, the biggest of which was after I failed a course during my second year and had to retake the semester. During a hiatus, I pursued independent sociology courses to expand my knowledge base. In the new semester, I developed new study techniques to truly learn medicine instead of just memorizing it. This experience helped me form a cycle of analyzing, changing, and re-examining the way I learn in different scenarios; I built on that methodology repeatedly as modes of learning changed, as evidenced by my step exam scores. I learned the value of reaching out, and I strived to become that person to lean on for my peers going through similar hardships. I am also proud that despite flaws in my test-taking acumen that I have worked on during my later years of medical school, I have always been able to readily apply my medical knowledge in the wards and clinics in a way that is reflected by my patient care. 

Furthermore, I see multiple sentiments of the med-peds community reflected in myself. Med-peds folk are mobilizers of change, always creating life-changing and systemic reforms – ideals to which I fiercely relate. I have done my best to embody the amplification of voices that I have seen so vigorously amongst my med-peds mentors both on an individual and community level. To that end, I have always prided myself on being a strong advocate for patients and acting as a loudspeaker for their voices. On a broad level, I started an organization early in my medical training called [organization name] which aims to alleviate food insecurity in [city], which has a complex racial history causing countless food deserts. I have been excited and proud to help [organization] partner up with local organizations and the student-run free clinic to expand access to nutritious foods. I learned to engage with religious and community leaders in [city] to build strong community relationships to sustain change. To address upstream causes, I am starting a voter registration drive for patients in my institution’s safety net med-peds clinic. These experiences taught me the strategy and logistics of organizing systemic changes and enlightened me to people’s powerful stories. 

I picture myself practicing a mix of both hospitalist medicine and primary care to adapt to any low-resource community. I want to establish continuity of care amongst those who need it most while also managing higher acuity situations. After rotating in Ghana, I hope to pursue a fellowship in global health after completing my residency. My first-hand experience exposed me to the unique conditions of disenfranchised nations that are not readily discussed in the US. I hope to utilize fellowship training to gain the critical knowledge and translational skills required to establish the greatest benefit. All in all, I am excited to use my experiences and skills to provide care to every type of patient, especially in low-resource settings. I am committed to amplifying the voices of the disenfranchised and helping navigate the difficult road towards better, more equitable healthcare. If, in the process, those voices come in the form of more high-fives, I would not complain.

Residency Personal Statement Example 2

Here is another example: 

It was not even the end of the first week of medical school, and I was fighting for my life — and the life of others. On September 19th 2017, Hurricane Maria hit and battered the Island of Dominica. I woke up the next day from a concussion after being thrown 20 feet in the air during the storm. This once lush island was reduced to brown sticks, live wires, and broken glass. I survived the storm, but the destructive aftermath was our new reality. 

During the evacuations and rescue missions, I solidified my purpose to become an Emergency Medicine physician. I joined the [EMS name], which was the only organized medical personnel available. One of my most inspiring experiences was the emergency medical evacuation of a six-month-old girl. This patient was an infant with untreated pneumonia. She came in with respiratory distress to our pop-up clinic at 1am. The child was assessed by the only physician on the island and her prognosis was poor, she was unlikely to survive the night. As a student, I realized that in these critical moments I want to be the first responder to aid and to make the best decisions for the patient. She needed to be on a ventilator, and we did not have the facilities or equipment to help the child, only the capacity to provide supplemental oxygen. With limited resources, we had to secure the airway if needed, and I was given the role to disinfect plastic tubing left on the ground. As we provided supportive care, we also organized the logistics of the medical evacuation – from security to cleaning a landing zone for the helicopter. As the helicopter finally arrived at 3am, the sign of relief was clouded by the debris inadvertently thrown towards us during the landing. Despite the difficulties, all team members were safe, and we were finally able to get the patient to a definitive center of care.  

To work in medicine, one must be able to function in a team. This event gave me first-hand experience of coordination of care. I was a part of this team for the little girl and learned the importance of delegating tasks, cooperation among members, and having defined goals. Moreover, I was tested to perform under pressure and think clearly. I have been able to translate these skills as I have moved forward with my education, always considering my responsibilities within a team in order to provide the best care. We found out that the little girl survived, and I could not help but feel relieved that our efforts were successful. At times, there is not always the end result that is hoped for however, it is important to persevere and act for the benefit of the patient. These challenges faced during the hurricane also reaffirmed my desire to address the needs of the population during emergency situations. I was exposed to making quick, yet thoughtful decisions in order to produce the best plan of action. These attributes are integral for patient care in the emergency room and I hope to continue to develop these skills as an emergency medicine physician.  

As my medical school journey continued, I experienced another challenge – completing my studies on a boat. We had no internet and there was limited space. I learned to cohabitate with four students in a 20 square foot living arrangement. We were docked at [country] during the night, but the school was at sea for four months during the days and we as a school were then displaced to various locations to complete our preclinical studies including [multiple cities]. The difficulties unfortunately continued, with the pandemic occurring at the start of my clinical rotations. The adversities of my limited learning environment did affect my academic performance and impeded me from participating in research opportunities. I struggled with trying to reset my foundational knowledge and had to repeat my third semester. Unfortunately, I shared similar setbacks in my USMLE step 1. I knew that my results did not reflect my abilities to become a clinician. I adapted and made appropriate changes in order to better my scores. I worked on expanding my medical knowledge by attending workshops, study groups, and taking extra time after class to talk to my professors in order to better understand the more complicated concepts. As a result, my clinical acumen improved. I strengthened my time management skills allowing me to study more efficiently, which proved successful as I bettered my Step 2 scores. I have learned how to study well despite distractions and this will be of benefit to me as a future physician.  

I did not have the conventional education as others, however the experiences that I encountered molded me into the individual I am today. My desire to help others brought me to the Ukrainian refugee camps as they faced a desperate humanitarian crisis during the war. I was drawn to volunteer this summer in [city] and joined the [organization name] to provide medical services to displaced civilians I wanted to improve people’s well-being through community healthcare services, medical care, and mental support. Having had my own experiences with disaster and crisis, I provided much needed empathy for those people who sensed that they have lost control of their livelihood. Being able to provide support and healthcare to this disenfranchised group of people was extremely gratifying. I continue to expand on my medical knowledge through my involvement in relief efforts and through my clinical education. I have learned to manage the external stressors of my environment, along with my academic deficiencies, by refocusing my efforts into robust translational skills. It is an important facet in my practice to take care of the welfare of the individual. Emergency Medicine would enable me to do so, providing a solid foundation to continue involvement in public health affairs and ability to impactfully respond to relief efforts. 

Medicine is a universal language that transcends borders, cultures, and languages. To know that someone is there to help you in your time of need, you do not have to understand the language they are speaking to feel that impact. Emergency medicine truly has no borders. The “ER” is a centralized area of care. However, as an emergency medicine physician, I will be able to apply my knowledge outside the walls of the hospital to the rest of the world. I want to be that healing hand, to help as many lives as I can – whether it be in global health or in my surrounding community. With Emergency Medicine, I can achieve that and protect those who need help the most. I hope to continue to pursue opportunities for community aid and patient advocacy as an effective first line of care. I want to not only be able to identify life-threatening conditions, but have the capacity to treat patients and provide access to the appropriate avenues for their continued care. I will always strive to be someone who runs towards people in need, never away. 

More Sample Residency Statements

Looking for more personal statement samples that worked? These medical schools also have examples: 

  • University of California – San Francisco 
  • University of Alabama School of Medicine 
  • University of Nevada School of Medicine 

You can view these statements to better understand the tone and format programs look for.

If you still have questions about writing your personal statement, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. Is It Better to Cover All My Relevant Experiences, or Should I Discuss a Few in Particular?

When in doubt, quality over quantity. You should always aim to focus on one or two themes and include a few experiences in particular. Never sacrifice depth and detail just to accommodate quantity. If you write about all your relevant experiences, their significance will get lost in trying to compete for attention in a limited space. 

It looks better to hone in on key experiences and provide depth, self-reflection, and nuance. Your CV should list all your relevant experiences, not your essay.

2. Do I Have to Write a Personal Statement for Every Residency Program I Apply to?

No, you should not write a different personal statement for every program you apply to, but you should write one for every specialty. For example, prepare one for family medicine and one for emergency medicine. 

You do not have to completely rewrite personal statements for each specialty—you can use elements that will work across the board, like introductory or concluding sentences. Use your best judgment of what will work as a template, then tailor your personal statement for every specialty. 

3. I’m Applying to Multiple Specialties. Is There a Limit on the Number of Personal Statements I Can Upload?

No, there is no limit to the number of personal statements you can upload. Your writing should be tailored for the specific specialty.

4. How Long Should a Residency Personal Statement Be?

The length of your personal statement can vary depending on the specific requirements of the program or institution to which you are applying. However, as a general guideline, most programs recommend that essays be approximately one page long.

Typically, a one-page personal statement consists of around 750 to 850 words. Your writing should be concise, focused, and well-structured to effectively communicate your experiences, motivations, and qualifications.

Final Thoughts

Writing a residency application personal statement is stressful, but our step-by-step guide will make the process much easier as you navigate your application timeline . Now go forth and match into the residency program of your dreams. We believe in you.

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Writing a Personal Statement for Residency Application

Personal statements are an essential, required part of applying to residency. Residency programs screen thousands of applications every cycle and read many hundreds of these statements in the process. You should aim to write an interesting statement that showcases your personality as well as your achievements. Perhaps most importantly, you will need to skillfully articulate the reasons for your interest in family medicine and the particular program you're applying to.

How to Write a Great Personal Statement

A great personal statement sets itself apart from a good personal statement in several ways.

  • First, it includes a level of specificity that shows your motivations and interests are authentic. For example, when conveying why you want to match into family medicine, show awareness of the exciting developments in the specialty, or describe your experience with or knowledge of topics like population health management, care coordination, and the social determinants of health.
  • Feel free to highlight items in your CV if they help remind your reader of the experiences you’ve had that prepared you for the position. This is your opportunity to expand upon activities that are just listed in the CV but deserve to be described so your reader can appreciate the breadth and depth of your involvement in them. It should not be another comprehensive list of your activities, but rather should refer to activities that are listed in detail on the CV.
  • The personal statement is also an appropriate place to address anything that may be ambiguous on your CV. In particular, you should address any nontraditional path you’ve taken through medical school, such as time off or an altered curricular journey. It is better to address these than to leave a program wondering. If you write about academic or personal challenges that you faced during medical school, make a positive impression by focusing on what you've learned from those experiences and how they brought you to where you are now. 

You may choose to relate significant personal experiences, but do so only if they are relevant to your candidacy for the position.

Sharpen Your Writing Skills 

The importance of good writing in a personal statement cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, not only are good writing skills allowed to deteriorate during medical school, but in some sense, they also are deliberately undermined in the interest of learning to write concise histories and physicals. For the moment, forget everything you know about writing histories and physicals. While preparing your personal statement:

  • Avoid abbreviations.
  • Avoid repetitive sentence structure.
  • Avoid using jargon. If there is a shorter, simpler, less pretentious way of putting it, use it.
  • Don't assume your reader knows the acronyms you use. As a courtesy, spell everything out.
  • Use a dictionary and spell check. 
  • Use a thesaurus. Variety in the written language can add interest, but don't get carried away.
  • Write in complete sentences.

If you need a crash course in good writing, read  The Elements of Style ,  Fourth Edition  by Strunk and White. If you have friends or relatives with writing or editing skills, enlist their help. Student organizations at your school may host personal statement clinics, or your school may offer review services. Many student, medical, and specialty societies, local and national, may offer personal statement reviews or workshops.

Even if you're a great writer and feel confident about your application, you should ask trusted advisors, mentors, and friends to critique your personal statement (and your CV! ). They can help you make your statement as flawless as possible by giving you feedback about areas that might have been unclear or things that should be added.

Don't cross the line

Your personal statement should remain an original composition, even as you seek input and advice. Retain your voice as you refine your writing and don't ever plagiarize. Be aware of other ethical lines you shouldn't cross as well, for example, don't use vague references that would allow for the reader to misinterpret the nature of your experience, and don't take full credit for a project if others worked on it with you.

Copyright © 2024 American Academy of Family Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

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Residency Personal Statement – Guide for 2024

April 1, 2024

Crafting your residency personal statement requires careful planning and strategic thinking. Your personal statement is more than just a document; it’s your opportunity to convey your passion, experiences, and aspirations to residency program selection committees. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of writing a compelling personal statement that effectively highlights your unique qualities and suitability for your chosen specialty. We’ll also provide you with invaluable insights and practical tips to navigate the writing process with confidence and clarity.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or approaching this task for the first time, this guide will equip you with the tools and strategies needed to create a standout personal statement. You’ll be one step closer to becoming the doctor or surgeon you’ve always dreamed about.

How Long is a Residency Personal Statement?

Generally, the residency personal statement should be between 500 to 800 words in length, roughly equating to one page. This statement is a critical part of your residency application, allowing you to communicate your personal and professional background, career goals, and reasons for pursuing a particular specialty, such as plastic surgery . In addition, it’s your chance to showcase your unique experiences, skills, and motivations that make you a strong candidate for your chosen specialty and residency program.

While it’s important to be concise, make sure your statement effectively conveys a compelling narrative that highlights your strengths and aligns with the values and objectives of the program you’re applying to. Crafting a concise yet impactful personal statement is crucial for making a memorable impression on selection committees. However, unlike the medical school personal statement , which tends to be longer, your residency personal statement is on the shorter side. In essence, it should focus specifically on your experiences and aspirations within your chosen specialty.

What Should You Write About in a Residency Personal Statement?

When writing your residency personal statement, consider incorporating the following topics to effectively convey your qualifications and motivations:

1) Passion for the Specialty

Discuss what initially drew you to the specialty and why you’re passionate about pursuing it as a career. Share personal anecdotes or experiences that highlight your interest and commitment.

2)  Clinical Experiences

Reflect on significant clinical experiences that have shaped your understanding of the specialty and reinforced your decision to pursue it. Also, describe memorable patient interactions, challenging cases, or research projects that have influenced your career path.

3) Skills and Attributes

Highlight specific skills, attributes, and qualities that make you well-suited for the specialty. This could include problem-solving abilities, communication skills, empathy , resilience , or teamwork . Furthermore, provide examples that demonstrate how you’ve demonstrated these qualities in clinical or academic settings.

4)   Career Goals

Clearly articulate your short-term and long-term career goals within the specialty. Explain what you hope to achieve professionally and how you envision making a meaningful impact in the field. Additionally, discuss any specific areas of interest or subspecialties you’re passionate about exploring.

5)  Fit with the Program

Explain why you’re interested in the residency program you’re applying to and how it aligns with your career goals and interests. Specifically, highlight specific aspects of the program, such as its curriculum, clinical opportunities, research resources, or faculty expertise, that appeal to you.

6) Unique Experiences and Contributions

Showcase any unique experiences, perspectives, or strengths that set you apart from other applicants. This could include cultural or linguistic diversity, research achievements, leadership roles, community involvement, or overcoming significant challenges. Also, discuss how these experiences have shaped you as a candidate and how they will contribute to the residency program’s diversity and excellence.

What Should You Avoid When Writing a Residency Personal Statement?

  As you compose your residency personal statement, it’s common to encounter pitfalls along the way. If you haven’t previously tackled a similar writing task, such as a medical school personal statement , you may inadvertently stumble into errors without recognizing them. Hence, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with potential missteps before diving into the writing process. By recognizing these common mistakes, you can ensure that your residency personal statement effectively communicates your qualifications and aspirations.

Content to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statement

1)  Generic Statements

Instead of resorting to generic phrases, focus on highlighting unique experiences, skills, and aspirations that specifically align with the residency program and specialty you’re applying to. For example, rather than stating a broad interest in helping people, discuss a particular patient encounter or clinical experience that ignited your passion for the specialty.

2)  Irrelevant Details

When discussing your experiences and qualifications, ensure they directly relate to your interest in the specialty and your suitability for the residency program. Avoid including extraneous information or unrelated anecdotes that may distract from your main narrative. Instead, each detail should serve to strengthen your candidacy and provide insight into your motivations and capabilities as a future resident.

3)  Negative Experiences without Reflection

While it’s important to acknowledge and discuss challenges or setbacks you’ve faced, it’s equally important to reflect on how these experiences have shaped you as a candidate. Merely listing difficulties without demonstrating resilience or growth may leave a negative impression on the selection committee. Therefore, use these experiences as opportunities to showcase your ability to overcome obstacles and adapt in the face of adversity.

4)  Overly Technical Language

While demonstrating medical knowledge is essential, avoid using overly technical language that may be inaccessible or alienating to readers outside your specialty. Remember that selection committee members may come from diverse backgrounds, so aim for clarity and simplicity in your writing. Use layman’s terms when possible and explain complex concepts in a way that is understandable to a general audience.

5)  Plagiarism

Integrity is paramount in the residency application process, so never plagiarize content from online sources or sample personal statements. Your personal statement should be an authentic reflection of your own experiences, insights, and aspirations. Plagiarism not only undermines your credibility as a candidate but also violates ethical standards expected of medical professionals.

Styles and Tones to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statement

1)  Arrogance

  Although it’s important to present yourself confidently, avoid crossing the line into arrogance. Instead of making sweeping declarations about your abilities or achievements, focus on providing concrete examples and letting your accomplishments speak for themselves. Humility and self-awareness are valued traits in prospective residents.

2)  Overly Formal Tone

While professionalism is essential, aim for a tone that is approachable and engaging. Avoid overly formal language that may come across as stiff or impersonal. Your personal statement should feel like a genuine expression of your personality and motivations, so don’t be afraid to inject some warmth and authenticity into your writing.

3) Inappropriate Humor

Humor can be a valuable tool for connecting with readers, but it’s important to use it judiciously and appropriately. Avoid jokes or anecdotes that could be construed as offensive or insensitive. Instead, opt for light-hearted anecdotes or observations that showcase your personality without detracting from the seriousness of your application.

4) Excessive Self-Promotion

It’s natural to want to highlight your strengths and accomplishments, but avoid coming across as overly self-promotional or boastful. Instead of simply listing achievements, provide context and insight into how these experiences have shaped your aspirations and prepared you for residency. Focus on demonstrating your potential as a future resident rather than simply listing accolades.

5) Lack of Proofreading

  Careless errors or typos can detract from the professionalism and impact of your personal statement. Before submitting your application, thoroughly proofread your statement for grammatical mistakes, typos, and inconsistencies. Consider asking trusted mentors, colleagues, or peers to review your statement for feedback and suggestions for improvement.

When Should You Start Writing Your Residency Personal Statement?

Writing your residency personal statement is a significant task that requires careful consideration and ample time. Ideally, you should start the writing process several months before the application deadline to allow sufficient time for brainstorming, drafting, revising, and polishing your statement. Starting early enables you to craft a compelling narrative that effectively communicates your qualifications, experiences, and motivations to the selection committee.

The timeline for starting your residency personal statement may vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances. However, a good rule of thumb is to begin the process at least three to six months before you plan to submit your residency applications. This timeframe allows you to gather your thoughts, reflect on your experiences, and develop a cohesive narrative that showcases your strengths and fit for your chosen specialty.

Starting early also provides you with the opportunity to seek feedback from mentors, advisors, or peers throughout the writing process. Sharing your draft with trusted individuals allows you to receive valuable insights and suggestions for improvement, helping you refine your statement and ensure that it effectively highlights your qualifications and aspirations.

Moreover, beginning the writing process early gives you the flexibility to iterate and revise your statement multiple times. By allowing for ample time between drafts, you can step away from your writing and return with a fresh perspective, making it easier to identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your message.

Personal Statement Residency – What’s Next?

  After completing your residency personal statement, the next steps involve refining and finalizing your application materials before submission. Take the time to review your personal statement carefully, ensuring that it effectively communicates your qualifications, experiences, and motivations. Consider seeking feedback from mentors, advisors, or peers to gain valuable insights and suggestions for improvement. Additionally, make sure to thoroughly review all other components of your residency application, such as your CV, letters of recommendation, and transcripts, to ensure they are accurate and compelling.

As you prepare to submit your application, take confidence in the knowledge that you have put forth your best effort in crafting a personal statement that reflects your dedication and passion for your chosen specialty. Trust in your abilities and the experiences you have shared, knowing that you are well-prepared to embark on the next phase of your medical career .

  • Medical School Admissions

Emily Schmidt

Emily is currently a professional writer in the healthcare industry. As a former journalist, her work focused on climate change, health disparities, and education. She holds two bachelor's degrees in English and Spanish from Stanford University, and a master's in journalism from Arizona State University. Her first published novel debuted in 2020, and she hopes to finish her second novel by the end of this year.

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Writing a Winning Personal Statement

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You're probably experiencing a mixture of excitement and anxiety as you begin the application process. That's normal. Once you've applied and been selected by a residency program,…

Med School Insiders

Residency Application Personal Statement Guide

  • By Med School Insiders
  • July 4, 2022
  • Medical Student
  • Personal Statement , Residency Application

The residency application personal statement is an opportunity to detail your professional development over the course of medical school. Why do you want to join your chosen specialty? Why are you qualified to do so? What will you contribute to the program?

Continue reading our residency application personal statement guide for detailed advice on how to craft your personal statement. We’ll also share residency personal statement examples and common mistakes to avoid.

The ERAS Personal Statement

The majority of your residency application focuses on your scores and grades, and this doesn’t shed much light on who you are as a person. If there is anything you feel is underrepresented in the rest of your residency application, your personal statement is the place to highlight it. This is your chance to tell your story the way you see it.

Do not enter this process believing all you need to do is rewrite your medical school personal statement from a few years ago. While they are both technically personal statements, they are very different. When you wrote your medical school personal statement, you were a wide-eyed premed. But residency programs aren’t looking for medical students—they’re looking for young professionals who have earned their doctorate, deepened their dedication to medicine, and immensely improved their medical knowledge.

The success of your personal statement depends on your ability to effectively communicate these changes. Keep the focus of your residency personal statement on your professional development and how your experiences in medical school have crystalized your desire to pursue your chosen specialty.

Why is that specialty the one for you? What unique experiences, skills, and qualities can you contribute to the program? Speak passionately about what you hope to accomplish. Be confident yet humble about what you have achieved so far.

Remember, outside of residency interviews, this is your only chance to share your perspective and provide context to your accomplishments. Why you ? What’s your story?

ERAS Personal Statement Length

The residency personal statement length technically allows for 28,000 characters, but you do not need to utilize this entire space. We recommend keeping your residency personal statement to one typed page, which is anywhere from 500-800 words, depending on your writing.

Don’t try to fill the space to create a longer essay if you’re not actually adding anything relevant or new to your personal statement. Remember, you want to keep your audience’s attention and engage each member of the admissions committee. Being overly long-winded or repeating what they already know is a surefire way to bore committee members.

One page is the standard length for residency personal statements. Be clear and concise with your language.

How to Craft a Personal Statement for Residency

Hand writing journal Personal Statement prompts

1 | Illustrate Your Growth And Maturity

While residencies are educational, they’re quite a bit different from medical school. Residencies provide on-the-job training for people to acquire their medical license so that they can become a practicing physician. In order to be accepted into residency, your application needs to demonstrate that you are qualified.

Your residency personal statement must reflect your vastly deepened knowledge of and dedication to medicine. You are not the same innocuous premed you were when you wrote your medical school personal statement all those years ago. You are now a young professional with a doctorate, and this must be made abundantly clear to the residency program.

How have you developed professionally? Which aspects of your medical education have meant the most to you? Where have you made the greatest impact, where do you most want to make an impact in the future, and what about your experiences have made it clear to you why you belong in your chosen specialty?

Back up your ambitions with concrete, anecdotal examples of your accomplishments. Residency programs don’t care what you say you can do—they want the proof. Stay humble, but be confident about all you have achieved so far.

2 | Develop a Narrative Across Your Application

Your residency personal statement does not exist in isolation. It’s one aspect of your entire residency application, and that means it must work alongside all of the other components.

Do not simply regurgitate or rehash aspects of your CV or extracurriculars. The personal statement is an opportunity to expand and elaborate on aspects of your life, experience, skills, and assets that are not otherwise noted in your application. Don’t look at the personal statement as one more task to complete, but rather an opportunity to help decision makers see who you really are and why you would make an ideal residency candidate.

Use the personal statement to continue unraveling your personal narrative. This aspect of your application should work hand-in-hand with everything else to establish a clear and cohesive narrative of who you are and why you’re qualified.

Learn more: How to Develop a Cohesive Narrative Across Applications .

3 | Keep Your Word Count Down

You may technically have 28,000 characters, but that is far, far from what you should aim for. The standard length of a residency personal statement is one page in ERAS, which equals anywhere from 500-800 words.

Challenge yourself to be as clear and concise as possible. Show restraint and get your points across clearly and effectively in a short amount of space. Remember, you’re trying to engage your reader and entice admissions committee members. You don’t in any way want to bore them or risk that they don’t finish your personal statement due to its length.

If the first draft of your personal statement is longer than one page, continue editing and revising it until you’ve pared it down.

What aspects are superfluous? What words are not serving a clear purpose? How can you convey the same message in a shorter amount of space? Are there any areas (besides the conclusion) where you repeat yourself?

Utilize clear and direct language. Long sentences written with flowery language you got out of a thesaurus will not impress residency admissions committees.

4 | Start Early And Give Yourself Time

Starting early will give you the time you need to brainstorm, outline, write, revise, and edit your personal statement. Even though you’ve written a personal statement before, the residency personal statement is a different beast entirely, and it will require plenty of your time and attention.

Start thinking about your personal statement at the beginning of the year, many months before application season begins. Start by brainstorming ideas and reflecting on your time in medical school. What have you learned? How have you changed? What values do you continue to hold? Why were you drawn to a specific specialty?

Keep a journal or online document where you can continue to add your ideas and thoughts for your residency personal statement. By late spring or early summer, you should be outlining and writing a first draft of your personal statement.

This timeline will give you a few months to continue to revise and edit your personal statement.

View our breakdown of what you should prepare and work on each month leading up to residency: Residency Application Timeline and Month-by-Month Schedule .

5 | Take Time Revising and Invest in Professional Editing

Remember to allocate adequate time to the feedback and editing process. Spell checking tools are okay to start with, but remember these tools are only bots, and they will not be able to catch all mistakes or contextual issues.

Review your essay many times over yourself and gather feedback from qualified friends, family, acquaintances, or by hiring a reputable editing service. Whether or not you need to hire a service depends on if you know editors with adcom experience or who are intimately familiar with the residency admission process. For best results, look for an editing service that utilizes doctors with real admissions committee experience.

Learn more: How to Choose the Best Medical School Admissions Consultant .

Example of Residency Personal Statements

Utilize examples of successful residency personal statements to get a better idea of what admissions committees are looking for. It’s important that you use these examples to strengthen your knowledge of what’s expected, not to guide your own topic. Your own personal statement will be completely unique to your medical school journey, your specialty preferences, and what makes you an ideal candidate.

View our database of Residency Personal Statement Samples from real students who successfully matched into residency.

These sample personal statements are for reference purposes only and should absolutely not be used to copy or plagiarize in any capacity. Remember that plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements.

If you still feel stuck after reading residency personal statement examples, try completing a variety of prompts to get your ideas flowing. For example:

  • What is your greatest strength, and how can that strength be applied to your residency?
  • What major failures or setbacks did you encounter during medical school, and what did you learn from those experiences?
  • When did you first know you wanted to become a doctor?
  • What values are the most important to you?
  • What do you believe is the most important trait to have as a doctor?

Utilize our 25 Medical School Personal Statement Prompts to Spark Ideas .

Residency Application Personal Statement Mistakes to Avoid

Woman unhappy reading a paper Bad Personal Statement Examples

Common pitfalls are common for a reason. Admissions committees see these mistakes time and time again, no matter how many times medical students are warned. These common mistakes come into play when students rush their personal statement and don’t put adequate time into receiving feedback and acting on that feedback.

Avoid the following common residency personal statement mistakes.

  • Don’t treat your residency personal statement like your medical school application.
  • Don’t miss spelling or grammar errors in your essay. Ensure you have plenty of time for revisions and editing.
  • Don’t list your accomplishments or rehash your CV and extracurriculars.
  • Don’t use a thesaurus to come up with larger, more complicated words.
  • Don’t overuse the word I. Doing so makes you more likely to state your accomplishments instead of telling a story.
  • Don’t state the obvious or use clichés, such as your passion for science or wanting to help people.
  • Don’t ignore the feedback you receive from experienced editors or editing services.
  • Don’t speak negatively about another student, physician, or healthcare professional.
  • Don’t lie or make up stories. You may be asked about anything in your personal statement during interviews.
  • Don’t discuss anything in your personal statement that you won’t feel comfortable speaking about during residency interviews.
  • Don’t plead for an interview or opportunity.
  • Don’t procrastinate on your personal statement. You should be thinking about it months before your application is due.
  • Don’t submit your personal statement before gathering feedback from multiple, reliable sources.
  • Don’t use a personal statement editing service that does not utilize real doctors with admissions committee experience.

Residency Application Personal Statement Editing

Med School Insiders can help you prepare a stand out residency application that will help you match into your ideal program. We offer a number of Residency Admissions Consulting Services tailored to your needs, including comprehensive personal statement editing .

Our residency personal statement editing services include careful analysis of content and tone in addition to insights on how to improve your essay to impress residency program admissions committees. Your essay will be edited by a real doctor with admissions committee experience who knows the residency program admissions process inside and out.

For more strategies as well as the latest medical school and industry news, follow the Med School Insiders blog , which has hundreds of resources, guides, and personal stories, including a detailed guide on the residency application process. Read our ERAS Residency Application Guide , which is updated each application cycle.

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The College Application

The Residency Personal Statement Guide w/Prompts & Examples

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Intro- Writing a Great Residency Personal Statement

When you get ready to apply for residency, which could happen as early as your third year of med school, there are really  two main components  to the application process: submitting your application packet to various programs and completing the required interviews for the programs interested in you. But how exactly do you make sure you get that call for an interview? One way is by including an original, memorable residency personal statement as part of your application packet.

Residency Prerequisites

Before we get to the personal statement, though, let’s look at the steps required for you to be eligible for residency.

Step 1: Receive Your Degree

Although you’ll possibly start applying for residency during the fall semester of your third year at medical school, before you can be accepted, you must have your degree. It doesn’t matter if your application looks great and your interview blows the minds of the residency selection committee; if you don’t receive your M.D. or D.O., you won’t be eligible for residency.

Step 2: Pass the Examinations

In the U.S., you’re required to pass an exam before you can become licensed to practice medicine. Traditionally, students have taken the  USMLE  (United States Medical Licensing Examination), but some schools now require you to take the  COMLEX  (Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination) either instead of the USMLE  or  in addition to it.

For Foreign Students

If you’re a foreign student hoping to be placed in a residency within the U.S., there are a few  additional requirements  you’ll have to meet.

These include, but aren’t limited to, being certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), obtaining a legal VISA that gives you the right to work in the United States, procuring additional letters of recommendation from U.S.-based providers and more.

Applying for a Residency

What you’ll need.

As you’re putting together your residency application packet, you’ll be responsible for gathering:

  • Your completed application
  • Your residency personal statement
  • Your letters of recommendation

There are a few other things that must be included in your application packet, but your medical school will handle those items. They include:

  • Your complete and sealed transcripts
  • A copy of your MSPE (Medical School Performance Evaluation)
  • Your licensing exam transcript

Once you’ve gotten your half of the documents ready to submit, your medical school should take care of the rest. It’s important to fill out your application completely and accurately, as every bit of information included in the packet will be verified by multiple agencies.

The ERAS: What It Is and How to Apply

To apply for residency with almost all programs in the United States, you’ll be required to fill out an application through the  Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) . The ERAS was created and is maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

It makes applying for residency much easier because you only have to fill out one application at a centralized location. That application then gets sent to all the different programs you’re interested in becoming a part of during your residency.

If you used the Common App as an undergraduate, you already have an idea of what the ERAS is like. Unlike the Common App, though, there’s one really great thing about the ERAS that many other centralized applications don’t include: the ability to submit multiple personal statements.

Why Submit Multiple Personal Statements

You may be wondering why you’d want to write more than one personal statement when writing one is stressful enough.

The simple answer is that writing multiple personal statements gives you the opportunity to personalize your statements for the specific program to which you’re applying. For example, if you’re applying for a pediatric residency in Brooklyn, you can write your personal statement specifically about why you chose that specialty and that geographic location. Additionally, if you also apply for an internal medicine residency in Washington D.C., you can write a second personal statement outlining your reasons for that choice as well.

ERAS Portal

There are  four main sections  of the ERAS application portal.

Section 1: MyERAS

This is the part of the ERAS that’s your responsibility. Using MyERAS, you’ll complete the centralized application, submit your required documentation and personal statements and select the programs to which you’re applying. When it comes to filling out the ERAS, this is the only section you’ll personally have to complete.

Section 2: DWS

The DWS, or Dean’s Office WorkStation, is where the designated person in your Dean’s office will submit what s/he is required to submit on your behalf. This will include your transcripts and performance evaluations.

Section 3: LoRP

The LoRP is the Letters of Recommendation Portal. You’ll direct people who’ve agreed to provide you with letters of recommendation to this location and have them submit their recommendation letters through the portal.

Section 4: PDWS

The PDWS, short for Program Director’s WorkStation, is where the programs you’ve applied to will receive and review their incoming applications.

Help with the ERAS

In addition to having everything you need for all your prospective programs in one place, another great thing about the ERAS is that the website provides you with  a lot of great resources  to help ensure you get everything done correctly and submitted in a timely manner.

There’s an  Applicant Worksheet  that allows you to see everything the application asks before you even start working on it. There’s also a  User Guide , an  Applicant Checklist , a  FAQ Section  and an  Application Timeline  to keep you on track.

Writing Your Residency Personal Statement

Although each residency personal statement you write should be different depending on the program to which you’re applying, there are some things that’ll remain similar or even the same in each statement, most notably the length and overall format of the statement.

Standard Residency Personal Statement Length

The ERAS allows you to use 28,000 characters (including spaces and punctuation marks) to complete your residency personal statement. This generally translates to about five to seven pages in length.  Don’t  use all 28,000 characters for your statements. That is entirely too long.

You have to be considerate of the time of the person reading your statement. S/he likely has thousands of personal statements to read through, and s/he doesn’t want to spend too much time on any one statement. If possible, you should keep your personal statements to about 3,500 to 5,000 characters. This translates to about a page to a page and a half for your statement. That’s a good length that should give you enough room to say everything you need to say without rambling on about non-essential information.

Standard Residency Personal Statement Format

The format of your statements will also be quite similar. You don’t have to worry about choosing your font, font size, or anything like that. With the ERAS, you’ll be using an embedded plain text box to type your personal statement. The only formatting options available to you will be:

  • Italics, Bold, Strikethrough and Underline
  • Center, Left or Right Alignment
  • Bullet Points
  • Numbered Lists
  • Add Embedded Hyperlink
  • Increase or Decrease Indent

Beyond those items, you won’t be able to change anything in the formatting, but your  content  format is important. You should have a short introduction of three to five sentences, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion of about three to six sentences. The information you put into these paragraphs will depend largely on what exactly you’re writing in your personal statement.

Red Flags of Residency Personal Statement to Avoid

There are definitely some things you want to avoid while writing your personal statement for your residency application. Let’s call them the “Don’t List.”

Don’t Use All 28,000 Characters

We’ve already discussed this, but it warrants being said twice. No one wants to read seven pages worth of a personal statement. Absolutely  do not  use all the provided characters for your personal statement.

Don’t Send the Same Statement to Every Program

This is another one that we’ve touched on already, but it, too, is worth repeating. The reasons you’re applying for various programs are bound to be different for each particular program. If you try to write one single personal statement that gets sent to every program, it’s going to end up sounding generic and unauthentic.

Different programs want to know that you chose them for a reason. They want to know what it is about their program that drew your interest. If you don’t give them actual reasons for your interest, they’re going to assume you’re just desperately applying everywhere you can in hopes of getting an acceptance. That doesn’t look good in a prospective residency candidate.

Don’t Spend a Lot of Time Talking About Why You Want to Be a Doctor

By the time you get to the residency portion of your career, you’re already a doctor. Why you decided to become one is kind of a moot point. This is one place where people often get tripped up. Your residency application is  not  a med school application. By this point, you’ve already proven you want to be a doctor by putting in all the work to become one. Why you did it doesn’t matter. You were obviously motivated to succeed. Don’t waste precious characters rehashing your reasons for going into medicine.

Don’t Be Generic

Be specific about why you’ve chosen pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery or whatever program you’ve chosen to pursue in your residency. The person reading your statement doesn’t want to hear that you’ve chosen pediatrics because you “just love babies!” You’re an adult with a medical degree. Use all those years of education and be specific about why you’ve made the choices you’ve made.

Don’t Be Overly Dramatic

You want your personal statement to be interesting and memorable, but you  don’t  want it to sound like the first page of a movie script. You don’t have to set the scene dramatically with overused and cliched stories about “Patient X lying on the bed, blood rushing down his head and barely conscious as I walked up and took his hand, looked into his eyes and told him I would save his life.” Just don’t do this.

Don’t Include Anything Considered Too Controversial

Your personal statement isn’t the place for activism. Don’t get into topics such as pro-life vs. pro-choice or why you think cloning is a sin against God. It’s okay to mention that you’re a regular church member; you don’t have to shy away from religion altogether, but you don’t want to include a strong stance you hold on something that’s known to be polarizing.

The person reading your personal statement might feel just as strongly as you do about an issue, but s/he might be on the other side of that issue. That could get your application discarded quickly.

Don’t Submit Unedited Statements

Never, never, never, never send in your first draft. Don’t ever send in a statement that hasn’t been proofread, edited, and then edited some more. Bring in a second pair of eyes to look it over ( hey! see our personal statement editing packages here ) if you need a fresh perspective, but never send in something that hasn’t been thoroughly edited for grammar, spelling, organization, and content errors.

Don’t Plagiarize!

Last but certainly not least: Don’t plagiarize your personal statement! We can’t overemphasize this point. If you aren’t a strong writer, it’s okay to reach out and have a friend, mentor or former professor help you organize your thoughts and edit the statement at the end, but no matter how much you may be tempted,  do not plagiarize  your personal statement.

First and foremost, you’ll get caught.

There are just way too many plagiarism checkers ( we recommend you use Grammarly plagiarism checker ) on the market today for you to get away with stealing someone else’s work – even if you only take a small part of it. Then, once you’ve been caught, you lose all professional respectability.

If you’ve plagiarized your personal statement, odds are you’ve cheated before now. No one trusts a doctor who cheats, and the person/people who caught you cheating have to wonder if you’re even a good doctor. Perhaps you just cheated your way through med school and really don’t know an obstetrician from an ophthalmologist.

Put simply, just don’t cheat. It isn’t worth it.

Residency Personal Statement Prompts

Although the ERAS doesn’t give you a specific prompt to follow while writing your residency personal statement, there are a few programs that do ask specific questions. If a program does ask a specific question on its website, you should strongly consider that question when writing your personal statement. Try to answer it as honestly and completely as possible.

Most programs don’t provide you with specific prompts, but there are still some questions to ask yourself to help guide your writing.

Below are some of the most commonly asked prompts and questions.

1. What are your professional goals?

This is a commonly covered question in many residency personal statements. Remember, at the residency stage of your career, you’re already a doctor, so this personal statement is no longer why you want to be a doctor; it’s about what you want to do now that you’ve become one.

Don’t be afraid to go into detail here. Talk about both your short-term (during residency and immediately after completing residency) and your long-term goals (15+ years from now).

Do you want to open your own practice? Do you plan to stay within the U.S., or would you prefer to take your expertise elsewhere through Doctors Without Borders or some other organization? What specific skills are you hoping to gain from the residency that’ll help you further your career goals?

2. What types of patients do you enjoy working with?

This question really concerns the specialty you’re interested in pursuing. For example, if you’re interested in working in pediatrics, the obvious answer here would be that you like to work with children. You shouldn’t leave it at that though.

Are there certain types of children you like to work with best? For example, would you prefer to work with special needs children as opposed to healthy children just coming in for check-ups? Perhaps you have a passion for women’s health or simply prefer to work with women.

If this is the case, an OBGYN specialty might make more sense for you. Do you want to work with the elderly? Would you prefer to work in neighborhoods full of predominantly low-income or minority households? If you hope to pursue plastic surgery, are you doing so because you want to work with amputees in order to build them new limbs?

All of these questions can be taken into account when talking about the types of patients with whom you most prefer to work.

3. What contributions can I make to the specialty and the residency program?

Chances are, the program you’re applying to knows why you want to be accepted for a residency position by them, but why should  they  want to accept  you ? When answering this prompt, talk about what makes you a good fit for the specialty you’ve chosen. If you have any particular skills or strengths that would fit well with what you’re hoping to achieve during residency, mention those.

Something else to discuss is anything you’ve done in your history that would prepare you for working with the population you’re likely to encounter in that particular residency spot. If you have an undergraduate degree in psychology, that could be hugely beneficial if your residency serves a large veteran population.

If you grew up in a low-income, first-generation neighborhood or have teaching experience at a Title I school, that could prepare you for working at a hospital in a similar neighborhood.

4. What are your strong points?

This question is really just another way of asking what benefits you’d bring to the residency if you were accepted. Many of the same things you’d write about if answering the above-listed prompt are the same things you’d write about here. You could discuss the characteristics you have that make for a good doctor.

You could also list any strengths you have academically. For instance, if you excelled at one or two particular subjects, it’s a good idea to mention those. Receiving superior performance evaluations is also something worth noting.

Residency Personal Statement Examples

The following are some of the best examples of what to do and what not to do when writing your residency personal statements. Note that these are just examples; don’t use them in your own statements.

Example Personal Statement 1

“During my third year, I rediscovered my reasons for pursing [sic] a career in Pediatrics. […] I enjoy teaching young patients and their parents about their disease and how they can conquer hardships. Also, I am excited about taking care of patients from birth to adulthood. Working with young people is rewarding because of the chance to be involved in a growing relationship with patients as they mature and learn. […] Pediatrics gives me the determination to think through problems, the curiosity to learn, and the energy to stay awake at three in the morning. When you love your patients it becomes easy to work hard for them.”

– Read the rest  here

This is a very well-written personal statement. The writer clearly has a passion for working with children, but she doesn’t just come out and say that with no detail. She talks about the specific things she enjoys about working with children.

Furthermore, she talks about how she believes pediatric medicine to go beyond just treating kids. She talks about “a growing relationship” with the patients she treats and her desire to treat them as they grow and mature into adulthood.

In addition to being a moving example of a personal statement, it also shows that the writer plans to be in the medical field for the long haul. You don’t build relationships and treat patients from infancy into adulthood unless you plan to stick with the career.

This is her way of saying, “I plan to do this for the rest of my life” without having to come out directly and say those words.

Our Verdict:

Image of a smiling face with heart-shaped eyes emoji

Example Personal Statement 2

“I have many attributes to contribute to internal medicine. My experiences as a secondary education school teacher, Special Olympics swim coach, and elected class officer attest to my ability to lead and educate others. I am also analytical and detail-oriented. […] After my first year of medical school, I was awarded a scholarship to conduct research in the field of trauma surgery, an experience which enhanced my problem solving skills. These qualities include a never-ending quest for personal improvement, pride in my work or training, and the ability to focus on several tasks while balancing personal and professional obligations.”

– Read the rest  here

This is another good example, written in response to  prompt number three above . The writer tells about all the things he brings to the team, but he doesn’t focus specifically on medicine.

If you’re applying for residency as this author is, you’ve obviously achieved what you needed to achieve in order to become a doctor. You’ll bring all kinds of medical knowledge to the team. The problem is that every other applicant has also received his or her doctoral degree and also brings medical knowledge to the table.

The writer knows that and goes beyond medicine when talking about his strengths and what he has to offer. He talks about being a teacher and helping with the Special Olympics. This shows that he already has experience working with children – both healthy children and children with special needs.

He brings up being an elected class officer to show he has leadership potential and that he’s well-liked and well-respected by others (otherwise they wouldn’t have elected him). Only after listing all those extra strengths does he bring up med school. This is a very impressive list of accomplishments.

Example Personal Statement 3

“Every finger of the little boy’s hand was adhered to his palm except for the extended third digit. I examined the severe burn injury as the plastic surgery attending discussed how we were going to fix the damage. Several contracture releases, K-wires, and skin grafts later, I excitedly realized he would eventually regain function of his little hand. I didn’t know what I wanted to be at the start of my third year, but after patients and cases like this one, I was energized by learning what I found in no other rotation. […] I have found my place in medicine.”

While this personal statement is well-written grammatically, it breaks rule number five on the “Don’t List.”  Don’t be overly dramatic.  This is supposed to be his personal statement, not the opening scene to  The Resident  on Fox. The writer wastes an entire paragraph – his entire introduction – on a dramatic scene that ends with one single sentence telling us this is why he wants to work as a plastic surgeon.

First of all, an introduction should be more well-rounded and introduce the reader more fully to who you are. It shouldn’t set a scene that thousands of other prospective residents have told some version of already.

Secondly, one has to hope that one single child’s broken hand is not the sole basis for this person’s decision to become a plastic surgeon. I want a doctor who has thought carefully about his/her chosen profession and decided to pursue medicine because of numerous different reasons, not just because he saw a child’s hand being fixed once.

While these types of stories may seem like an easy, interesting way to catch the reader’s attention quickly, they’re best avoided. Trust us when we say that the person reading your personal statement has read  countless  other “war stories” about prospective residents’ experiences in ERs and other situations. As amazing as your story may seem to you, it isn’t likely to impress them.

writing a personal statement residency

Example Personal Statement 4

“Then disaster struck. I applied to Medical School and I didn’t get in. I was heartbroken. It never occurred to me that I might not get accepted. I felt completely lost. The only dream I ever had, the one that I had spent so many hours working on, was now dead. A part of me just died. It was one of the few times I ever cried. I know [sic] had to live with a void that could never filled [sic].

Looking back, not getting accepted to Medical School in 1985 was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It fueled a desire in me to find something else. Fortunately, I found an area where I have become more financially successful than I deserve. […] Years later, I decided to give Medical School one last try. This time I was accepted. The void began to fill. I would like the opportunity to learn more and complete the process.”

This is absolutely, 100% what you should  not  do in your personal statements. If you visit the original statement, you’ll see we only removed about two total lines from this personal statement. That means it was about ten lines long altogether, which translates to about 1,200 characters.

That is  much  too short for a personal statement. You don’t want to use the entire 28,000 characters, but you don’t want to write something less than a page long either. There’s almost no usable information here.

The writer doesn’t mention what specialty she’s hoping to pursue, nor does she mention a single strength that would make her a good candidate for the position. Beyond not mentioning any strengths, though, she highlights her failures!

If there’s something negative on your transcripts or application, it’s fine to touch on it and give a brief explanation for it and how you corrected it, but it certainly shouldn’t make up the bulk of your personal statement.

This one is just bad from beginning to end.

An image of an unamused face emoji

Example Personal Statement 5

“While medical school can teach a student the science behind medicine, I truly believe it’s a doctor’s personality and character that ultimately determines his or her success with patients. One of my greatest qualities […] is my ability to quickly connect with people. At an orientation lecture […] a speaker discussed how […] anesthesiologists are among the best at making great first impressions. […] Patients always seem to fear going to sleep more than [surgery]. Yet, an anesthesiologist may have but just a few moments […] to instill confidence in their patients. […] Since that orientation, I’ve prided myself on mastering how quickly I can earn a patient’s trust. Enjoying the challenge of making a great first impression in the shortest amount of time is among the most important reasons that have guided me into the specialty of anesthesiology.”

Let’s end on a strong note. This is another exceptional example of what your personal statements should look like. This writer has a good grasp of number three on the “Don’t List.”  Don’t waste a lot of time talking about why you want to be a doctor.  

The writer touches on med school by saying, “ While medical school can teach a student the science behind medicine. ” Then she immediately goes beyond school into the real world.

In doing so, she also showcases a very important characteristic she’s developed – putting people at ease – and tells us the specialization she’s chosen. She also explains why her ability to put people at ease is so important for her chosen specialization.

She ends by saying that this skill was challenging for her, but the way it’s written shows that she was not only up for the challenge but legitimately  loved  it.

This whole statement is well-written, well-organized, and covers all the important aspects of what the residency selection committee wants to know about a person.

Image of a star-struck grinning emoji

In Conclusion

The most important things to remember when writing your residency personal statement are, to be honest, authentic, specific, and grammatically correct. You’ve already earned your degree; that alone shows the selection committee that you have what it takes to be a doctor because you already are one.

You just have to show that you have a passion for medicine and that you’ll bring something unique and important to their team. If you can do those things, you should be well on your way to the interview process.

Related Readings:

The Best Laptop for Medical School Guide Here

5 Best MCAT Prep Books, According to Med Students

5 Best MCAT Prep Courses, According to Med Students

The Ultimate Medical School Personal Statement Guide: (w/ Common Prompts & Examples Analyzed by Our Admissions Experts)

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Writing the Perfect Residency Personal Statement

If you’re in your third year of medical school, it’s time to sharpen your personal statement writing skills again for the ERAS application .

The good news is you already wrote a great one that got you accepted into medical school ! Now, you’ll need to dig deep and channel the same creative spirit that was there about 3 years ago. 

Many applicants are looking for a special formula for writing a personal statement . But here’s the truth: There’s no secret formula. A fantastic residency personal statement includes well-written storytelling detailing your experiences as a medical student and why you’re an excellent fit for the residencies you’re applying to.

In this article, we’ll talk about inspiration, length, structure, and dynamic writing. Let’s dive in.

What is the ERAS personal statement, and why do you need to write one?

Your residency personal statement is similar to your medical school personal statement in that it’s your chance to directly make a case for yourself . Residency program directors use these essays to get to know you beyond your CV. They can only learn so much about you from your medical education history.

Most of the information program directors use to determine if you’re a good fit is quantitative —  GPAs, USMLE scores, etc. Odds are, these numbers will be fairly similar across the board. 

What sets you apart from other applicants will be qualitative — your personal experiences and career goals, whether you’re hard-working or a team player.

What should you include in your residency personal statement ?

In your residency personal statement , include your experiences and interests that have driven your ambition to mature as a medical professional.

Take time to think about what qualities you’d expect in an exemplary physician. Then, create a list of topics reflecting these qualities from your background.  

Create a list of ideas of what to write from these prompts:

  • Memorable or “a-ha” moments during medical school (including specific rotations ) that changed the way you think about medicine.
  • Volunteering or non-profit work.
  • Your greatest skills and qualities and how you use them when practicing medicine.
  • Specific instances of when you used strong teamwork skills.
  • A personal anecdote that isn’t included on a resume, like an elective that led to an unexpected encounter with a patient that you won’t forget.
  • Professors, mentors , family, friends, or anyone else that has inspired your path.
  • Your goals in your future career.
  • Reasons you are drawn to your specialty.
  • Meaningful experiences in medical school or extracurriculars .
  • Your most commendable achievements.

Why did you choose your specialty?

When you explain why you chose a specialty, discuss the reasons why you enjoy that specialty and how your strengths will apply to your future career. 

Make your answer heartfelt and honest. If your only reasons are money and the lifestyle, your chances of an interview with the program directors will plummet.

Answer these questions while brainstorming :

  • What appeals to you about this specialty?
  • Did past experiences or clinicals influence your decision for this program?
  • What do you believe are the most important qualities for a physician in this specialty? How have you begun to cultivate these qualities in yourself?
  • Are there future goals you want to achieve in this specialty?
  • Have you done any research related to this field or the advancement of this specialty?

How long should a personal statement be for residency?

The personal statement essay section on ERAS allows for 28,000 characters (about 5 pages). 

Our advice? Don’t max out your character count.

Program directors must read the demographics, transcripts, MSPE, experiences section, personal statement , and letters of recommendation before making a decision. That’s a lot of reading.

Your goal is to make your point concisely — writing about a page plus a paragraph is the sweet spot.

Personal Statement Structure

Many applicants don’t know where to start, so we suggest breaking the essay into bite-sized pieces. Use a standard 4-5 paragraph structure. This way, you’ve got small, manageable goals.

Write your residency personal statement using:

  • An introduction paragraph.
  • 2-3 paragraphs to expand on your theme.
  • A conclusion paragraph to tie it all together.


Draw the reader in with a story or anecdote, and introduce a theme. A narrative voice works well here to engage the reader and get them interested. 

Don’t tell an extensive story; provide just enough to provide context and introduce a theme.

Body Paragraphs (2-3)

Explore and expand on the central theme of your personal statement . You can talk about the traits or life experiences that will make you good at family medicine , dermatology , or whatever specialty you’re pursuing. 

Ensure you’re being specific to the specialty — you don’t need to prove you’ll be a good doctor so much as a good doctor in the field you’re applying to .

Wrap everything up and end with a “bang.” The conclusion should serve to bring all your points together in one place. When I say end with a “bang,” I mean to finish strong . 

Stating: “For the reasons above, I believe I will make an excellent internist, ” doesn’t leave the reader with much.

Try something a bit more passionate, idealistic, and enthusiastic. Here’s an example:

“ Internal medicine is centered around improving lives, orchestrating, and managing complex patient care . To me, the true challenge is in the art of internal medicine — to tailor to patients’ needs to maximize their health and improve their overall quality of life.”

With this approach to the structure of your personal statement , the essay becomes more manageable. You can set yourself mini-assignments by just developing one component at a time. Complete one portion each week, and you’ll be done by the end of the month!

Should a residency personal statement have a title? 

There is no hard and fast rule about whether a residency personal statement should have a title. Ultimately, the decision about whether or not to include a title in your personal statement is up to you.

Consider these factors when deciding whether or not to include a title:

  • A good title can serve as a headline for the reader, making your essay stand out before they even start reading. 
  • A good title can make your statement stand out and help it to be more memorable.
  • On the other hand, a poorly chosen or overly generic title could actually detract from your personal statement.

Most residency programs do not require, or even want, a title for personal statements. Be sure to check the program’s guidelines before including one.

If you do choose to include a title, make sure it is relevant, concise, and impactful. Avoid overly generic or cliche titles, and focus on conveying the main message or theme of your personal statement. 

It is less common to have a title, so if you do it right, you may stand out from the crowd.

How To Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out

Take time to brush up on your writing skills to make your personal statement stand out . 

These skills may not have been your focus in the last few years, but concisely expressing your dedication to the specialty will retain a program director ’s attention. 

Oh, and always remember to proofread and check your grammar! If you specifically prompt ChatGPT to “review your personal statement for grammar and punctuation only,” it does a pretty good job. 

Just be sure not to have AI write your personal statement, as it doesn’t know your stories, and can’t convey your sentiment, tone, or emotion.

Language and Vocabulary

The simpler, the better. Hand your essay to a friend or family member to proofread. If they have to stop and look up any word, it’s probably the wrong word choice. Maybe it’s the perfect word for the sentence, but anything that distracts the reader from the content is a problem.

Avoid the following:

  • Contractions. Contractions are informal language. They aren’t appropriate for applications or professional writing.
  • “Really” as in “I really learned a lot.” Try the word “truly” instead. It sounds more sincere.
  • “Really” or “very” as in “it was a really/very great experience.” Here, “really” is a qualifier that holds the place of a better word choice; e.g., Really great = fantastic, wonderful, exquisite; Very important = paramount, momentous, critical.

Simple sentence structure is usually the best. Follow these rules:

  • Avoid quotations if you can. This is your essay, and it should focus on what you have to say, not someone else. There may be exceptions to this rule (like a statement a professor made that changed the course of your medical career), but these are rare.
  • Punctuate correctly. Misplaced commas or a missing period can distract a reader from your content. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, have a friend (or a spellchecker like Grammarly) check your essay for errors.

Avoid Clichés

Saying you want to go into pediatrics because you love kids might be true, but it’s also a given. Everyone going into healthcare is interested in helping people. 

This is your opportunity to make it more personal. Talk about the life experiences that have uniquely informed your career path and what makes you different from every other med student trying to get a residency interview . 

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

Be simple, straight to the point, and authentic. 

Aim for clear wording that communicates your central theme. If you talk about your professional future and goals, they should be realistic and carefully considered. Your goal is to leave program directors with a strong impression of your character and maturity. 

Try Dynamic Writing

Dynamic writing is all about feel and rhythm. Even good content written poorly can come out flat. Here are some cues to evaluate and improve your writing:

  • Read your writing out loud. Do you have to catch your breath in the middle of a sentence? If so, the sentence is too long and needs some additional punctuation, editing, or to be split up.
  • Vary your sentence structure and/or the length of the sentences. When you’re reading, do you feel like there is a repetitive rhythm? This usually results from too many short sentences stacked on top of each other.

Be Prepared To Revise Your Statement

You’ve done this part before. Once the bulk of your statement is done, have someone else read it, then start revising. The great thing about the revision process is that you don’t have to write the first draft perfectly. 

If you can afford it, consider working with a professional team for help with the residency application process , including personal statement editing.

Our friends at MedSchoolCoach can help you with personal statement editing. 

Should you write multiple ERAS personal statements ?

Write a residency personal statement relevant to each specialty you apply to, each with a clearly stated goal.

While it’s a good idea to write a personal statement for every specialty you apply to, you don’t have to write one for each specific program . Maybe you have research experience in a few different specialties and aren’t sure where you’ll get residency training .

A blanket personal statement to cover all specialties is bland at best and, at worst, a red flag . Your interest in becoming an OB/GYN should be informed by different experiences than your interest in anesthesiology or plastic surgery .

Anyone who reads your personal statement should have all the relevant information for integrating you into their program. Don’t overshare experiences or learnings from irrelevant rotations , classes, or experiences.

Let’s say you send your personal statement to a program director for a radiology residency program . If he reads that you’re torn between radiology and emergency medicine , is he more likely to accept you, or an applicant who seems all-in for his program’s specialty?

Ready to write? Get your residency personal statement prepared!

It’s time to knock out that first paragraph ! We have given you the structure and tools to write a personal statement that reflects your strengths. Remember, there’s no formula for the perfect personal statement , but there are tried and true methods for strong writing.

Schedule a free consultation with MedSchoolCoach to see how we can help you increase your chances of matching into the residency of your choice. 

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Join my mailing list, how to write a residency personal statement (april 2024).

Updated: Apr 19

Students who matched because of their great personal statements

Follow my proven formula for writing your medical residency personal statement because it’s easy and it works. How do I know it's effective? Because I’ve personally played a role in hundreds of successful matches .

Table of Contents:

The One Rule for Writing Your Medical Residency Personal Statement

My residency personal statement writing suggestions, the cheeseburger method: the best residency personal statement outline, the introduction, or your residency personal statement’s top bun, the middle, or the meat of your personal statement, the conclusion, or your residency personal statement’s bottom bun, the final sentence (or two) of your medical residency personal statement.

Toppings, or the Added Tasty Stuff Like Cheese, Bacon, Ketchup, Etc.

3 Takeaways

Faq: red flags, transitions, revision process, how to ask for help, etc..

This guide is meant to be a one-stop shop for personal statement writing. However, I cover additional tips and tidbits if you're interested in digging deeper. For those, check out:

4 Critical Medical Residency Personal Statement Writing Tips

5 Easy Guidelines for Residency Personal Statement Writing

Signs that says "NO"

No matter what anyone says, there are no hard and fast rules you MUST adhere to in writing your medical residency personal statement.

Sure, there are suggestions .

There are good decisions and bad decisions.

For instance, some people would advise you never to use informal writing in your residency personal statement. Readers will see “isn’t” or “I’m” and immediately toss it in the trash!

Nope. Not true. A few readers may grimace. Still, some readers might actually prefer conversational writing. Perhaps your casual tone will be the crucial little thing that nudges the scales in your direction and ultimately opens the door of that coveted dream residency spot.

So, what’s the ONE RULE for writing your ERAS personal statement? It’s that there are no true, set-in-stone, ironclad, must-follow-or-else rules.

Okay, so no rules, but here are the tried-and-true parameters I follow:

1) Your ERAS personal statement length should be between 600 and 800 words.

2) Don’t capitalize specialties. It’s incorrect.

3) Don’t name the the doctors/mentors you’ve worked with. This personal statement is about you, not them.

4) Include a patient story from rotations that relates to your chosen specialty and shows you in action doing things residency programs like.

Really, that’s it. Now let’s learn about my magic CHEESEBURGER method for writing a great medical residency personal statement. Yum!

Big delicious cheeseburger

A strong first sentence or two are important, but it’s a mistake to try too hard to grab attention.

Many people will tell you that immediately captivating your reader is critical. It’s not. In fact, so many students attempt to blow minds with their opening sentences that you’ll probably stand out by NOT doing so.

Instead of going for INCREDIBLE, try just being INTERESTING. Here are some examples:

Residency personal statement first sentence examples

Just go for a strong first sentence. After that, focus on answering the following two questions:

Why are you becoming a doctor?

Why do you love your chosen specialty?

Remember that this personal statement is not for your medical school application. You’re applying for RESIDENCY here. Thus, touch lightly on the first question and devote more energy to the second. What is it about psychiatry that you enjoy so much? Why are you so fascinated by surgery? Is there an interesting story that pushed you toward family medicine?

Cheeseburger patty - the meat of your residency personal statement

Your patient story is the juicy good stuff in the middle of your ERAS personal statement. This is where you win your readers over by showing yourself in action in the clinical setting.

Unfortunately, for many applicants, this is the most difficult part. You might be wondering to yourself: Do I REALLY need one?

Including a patient story is one of my core guidelines. There are some rare exceptions. However, when a client tells me they’d rather not share one, I do everything I can to convince them otherwise. Why?

First of all, your audience expects a patient story.

More importantly, it’s a great vehicle for selling yourself as a phenomenal prospective resident. Your readers know you’re just a “lowly student,” but they want to see initiative. They want to picture you in action in circumstances similar to those you’ll encounter in residency.

Here’s how to generate an effective patient story:

1) Remember: just as with your opening sentence, you do NOT need to blow your reader away. Don't try to portray yourself as a physician superhero.

2) Consider your intended specialty. If you’re applying to family medicine, brainstorm a story that shows you building a longer-term relationship. Focus on education and prevention, and/or other similar family medicine “buzz words.” Internal medicine? Teamwork, detail analysis, etc. Surgery? Calmness under pressure, dexterity, leadership, teamwork. You get the idea.

3) Include pertinent details. Details help paint a vivid picture, but too many weigh down the narrative. In choosing your details, think about what each one conveys to the reader about you. For instance, recalling an exact lab value or catching a subtle symptom or bit of prior history says you’re observant. Bringing a patient an extra blanket relates that you’re compassionate and thoughtful. Some attributes are higher on the list for certain specialties but perhaps lower for others, so prioritize details carefully.

4) Keep yourself at center stage. Sure, your attending did some amazing things that inspired you, but this personal statement needs to show how capable YOU are. Many students say they were “in awe” of what another doctor did and use that as the point their story revolves around. This is a huge mistake.

Still can’t think of a good patient story? Rack your memory or look back through your patient logs. Ask your family and friends to remind you of the interesting stories you’ve told them from rotations.

When did you go above and beyond?

What are your most memorable patients?

It’s totally fine if nothing stands out. I said it earlier, but the patient story is where applicants typically struggle the most. That just means it's time to get creative!

But PersonalStatementMan, is it okay to embellish a so-so encounter? What about completely making a story up out of thin air? Do people do that? Do they actually lie?!

YES, they absolutely do. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines if necessary.

To be very blunt, whether it’s ethical or not, your competition will do anything they can to get ahead of you. This isn’t the time to over-worry about morals.

Bottom bun - the conclusion of the medical residency personal statement

In your conclusion, I recommend briefly answering, in 2-3 sentences at maximum, two questions:

1) What are your aspirations for your medical career after residency?

Readers typically want to see that you’re open-minded. Think about where you were when you began medical school and know that a lot can change in the coming years. Thus, there’s no need to get too specific.

Also, many programs give extra points to applicants they think might stick around after residency. So if you’re absolutely certain about your exact path, and it doesn't involve working for your program, consider sharing that information AFTER you match.

2) What are you looking for in a residency program?

Be brief and general here. You want to come across as humble, that you’re not expecting too much above the basics like a positive workplace, an environment that promotes growth and learning, and good attendings.

I suggest NOT mentioning you want things like research opportunities unless EVERY program you’re applying to offers them.

Additionally, I encourage you NOT to state that you’re looking for a program that promotes resident wellness. Wellness SHOULD of course be a given. I know that’s not always the reality, but like it or not, some readers will view you adding that expectation into your personal statement as a sign you might not be a dream employee/teammate.

Then finally, you will use your conclusion to sum up and reinforce the rest of your medical residency personal statement. How to do this most effectively? Touch back on your introduction. This wraps everything together and creates a satisfying, full-circle reading experience.

You can also sprinkle in a little from your patient story if it fits.

Personal statement transition to conclusion example

The dreaded ending. Don't be intimidated, it's really not that difficult. Just as with everything else, your goal should not be to knock off any socks or blow any minds.

My winning formula for residency personal statement final sentences boils down to a mix of at least two of the following elements:

1) Enthusiasm to start residency

2) A reinforcement of your dedication

3) A reminder about what you offer to your team and patients

This is a lot to include in a single sentence, right? It is, but after writing and revising hundreds upon hundreds of medical residency personal statements, I’ve found this formula to tie the tightest bow.

Be declarative and confident. This is the career you’ve worked so hard for, and you DESERVE this residency position.

Finally, and this is VERY important: The surest way to accomplish a confident ending without sounding arrogant is to mention your team.

Here are some examples:

Personal statement final sentence examples

If you still don’t like how your ending sounds after trying your very hardest, I have a trick for you. It works every time:

Begin a new paragraph and conclude with something like:

“Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Personal statement ending example

Looks pretty good, right?

Ending this way forces a finality to your medical residency personal statement. It also implies that you’re respectfully aware of your reader and appreciative of the time they spent going over your application.

Personal Statement Toppings, or the Added Tasty Stuff Like Cheese, Bacon, Ketchup, Etc.

The toppings of your medical residency personal statement

Make your residency personal statement cheeseburger more unique by adding your favorite toppings!

Is there something interesting and different about your path to residency? Did you put yourself through college by working at Old Navy? Were you raised or did you study in a foreign country? Are you particularly proud of your research or volunteer work?

Do you fly airplanes in your free time? Run your own business?

Maybe you play an instrument at a high level, were a collegiate athlete, or have a black belt in karate.

Sharing one or two morsels like these can help you stand out among your competition. However, avoid too much emphasis and always keep in mind that the purpose of your medical residency personal statement is to show what you will bring to your program as a resident.

A common trap some students fall into is reciting their CV experience items to try to prove that they’re qualified.

Firstly, your reader holds that exact information in their hands already. Secondly, listing items from your past makes for very boring writing. You’re telling a story here! Let your other application materials speak for themselves while you make your ERAS personal statement as engaging and readable as possible.

In that spirit, do not include your toppings if they don’t fit naturally. Getting the narrative to flow together takes a lot of work and finesse, but when you get it right, it will place your personal statement among the top 1%. What does that mean? Well, it means your readers will LOVE you and your dream residency will BEG to interview you!*

*Okay you got me. This might be a slight exaggeration.

1) Your residency personal statement's length should be between 600 and 800 words.

2) Don't waste time trying to blow your readers' minds with "incredible" opening or closing sentences. Go for "interesting" instead.

3) A simple, cheeseburger-like outline has been proven over and over to achieve spectacular results: Top bun (introduction), meat (patient story), bottom bun (conclusion). And don't forget to include a few delicious toppings.

Hand waving red flag

I go into more detail about many of these topics in the linked posts, but here are quick answers to some common questions. If you require further clarification and want to set up a meeting to discuss in person, please never hesitate to reach out to me .

Personal Statement FAQ

Hand raised

Do I need different versions of my personal statement for different specialties?

YES. You do not want residency programs thinking their specialty may not be your first choice.

For an obvious example, a surgeon has a different set of skills than an internist. They excel in different environments, cultivate different knowledge bases, and encounter different types of patients.

Less obvious is that even if you're applying to both family medicine and internal medicine, both primary care specialties, you must write two separate personal statements.

Though similar on the surface, the two fields have subtle (but critical) differences. For example, family medicine is more outpatient focused while internal medicine revolves more around inpatient medicine. FM prioritizes relationships, continuity, and prevention. Yes, these are also important in IM, but IM is more centered in analysis, diagnosis, and teamwork.

The takeaway? You must have separate personal statements for each specialty.

Should I tailor different versions of my personal statement to each program I’m applying to?

Short answer: No, but there are exceptions.

Personalizing versions of your personal statement for each residency program can be cumbersome, confusing, and risky.

I've worked with more than one student who made the fatal mistake of accidentally uploaded the wrong version to the wrong program. Oops! Needless to say, their top choices did not extend interview invitations.

Additionally, I doubt tailoring different versions is very effective. Most students try to lift key phrases from the program's website and saying things like:

"I know I am a great fit for < insert program name > because, like you, my core values are teamwork, results, and patient satisfaction."

Or they google the geographical area and say something like this:

"When I am not working hard my team and patients, I look forward to hiking the area's plentiful nature trails and exploring < insert nearby city >'s vibrant culinary scene."

Does that seem compelling to you?

Now, there are exceptions to this advice, and the biggest one is if you rotated at the program. Adding in a personal sentence or two will remind your readers they know you, just in case they forgot your name.

That said, if you choose to tailor your personal statement to different programs, learn from my previous clients' tragedies. Make sure you triple- or quadruple-check that you've attached the correct one in ERAS.

Who actually reads my residency personal statement?

Program directors and attendings are NOT the only people who you will have the chance to impress with your ERAS personal statement.

It depends on the program, but any number of staff members and current residents might also be given access to your application. Choosing new residents is often a group effort!

It's important to keep this in mind when writing your personal statement. For instance, going way out of your way to appeal to a PD might turn off prospective co-residents. Consequently, you want to remain as authentic and honest as possible, knowing you're communicating with a fairly wide audience.

When and how do I ask for help?

Having another set or two of eyes during the writing process can be very helpful.

However, be wary of having too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone you ask -- your friends, parents, attendings, teachers, janitors -- will have a different opinion they're sure is correct. Too much input quickly devolves into a counterproductive and confusing ball of stress, anguish, and sleepless nights.

Here's what I recommend:

Complete your first draft before asking for help. Then limit your proof readers/feedback givers to just TWO people. ONE reader is even better. Of course, make sure you choose very carefully.

Then, after another draft or two, hire a professional writing service ( like mine! ) to tighten things up.

It's extremely important you keep in mind that the only opinion that truly counts is yours. If you believe strongly in a certain passage or story that one of your readers criticizes, defend it. I encounter a lot of students who look to others for the correct answers about their personal statements.

Unfortunately "correct answers" don't exist for things that are subjective.

Remember: Just like our ONE RULE that there are no rules, there is no such thing as a "correct" way to present yourself in your personal statement. No matter what you do, some readers will respond well and others not so well.

Should I hire someone to help?

Given my job, you should know my answer to this question: Yes!!

Here's my in-depth discussion about why and how to hire the BEST ERAS personal statement writing service you can find.

How do I address red flags?

Follow the link for my discussion about the two best methods for addressing red flags .

Can I use ChatGPT or another AI?

You can use it to help you write, but DO NOT use it to write your ERAS personal statement for you. More discussion here !

How do I write great transitions? (coming soon)

What is a good revision process (coming soon), how do i know when i’m done is my personal statement good enough (coming soon), i’m still struggling what do i do (coming soon), residency application faq table of contents:, what if my attending asks me to write my own letter of recommendation (coming soon), what are the eras experiences and how do i write them (coming soon).

Photo credits:

Students Who Matched: https://depositphotos.com/portfolio-12531762.html

Signs that say "NO" - https://depositphotos.com/portfolio-1655708.html

Cheeseburger & Accoutrements: Abby Curtin

Residency personal statement examples: https://www.personalstatementman.com

Red Flag: https://depositphotos.com/portfolio-1020422.html

Hand raised: https://depositphotos.com/portfolio-4218696.html

  • Residency Personal Statement
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4 Critical Medical Residency Personal Statement Writing Tips (April 2024)

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5 Easy Guidelines for Residency Personal Statement Writing (April 2024)

A Guide To Writing Your Personal Statement for Medical Residency

Table of contents, the importance of your personal statement, 1. set a goal, 2. self-check questions to help you write the personal statement, 3. writing your first draft, 4. final edits and proof-reading.

Your Personal Statement is one of the many important requirements that you need in applying for a medical residency program . Many applicants are often stuck on where to begin writing the personal statement and often underestimate how much sway it has in getting an interview invitation for a residency program . Your Personal Statement is one of the major deciding factors in selecting applicants for an interview according to an NRMP 2016 Program Directors Survey

The personal statement is a great opportunity for medical resident applicants to express themselves and provides the residency admissions committee with a fresh and new perspective other than your academic performance, clinical experiences, and other details in your curriculum vitae. The personal statement is also a great tool to make a first impression on the admissions committee so what you write really matters.

How to Write a Personal Statement

There are many ways to write a personal statement but following well-established best practices will greatly improve your chances of getting the interview. How you write your personal letter can also be used to determine your written communication skills so pay a lot of attention to your text, grammar, and spelling.

The first step in writing a personal statement is to establish a goal on what you hope to accomplish with your statement. By setting a goal you are then able to determine what information to include in your statement to help you achieve that goal.

Setting the Goal for Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement should include, from the name itself, personal details to help give a great first impression to the residency admission committee. These details typically include the reason why you want to be a physician, the reason why you chose your field, the attributes, skills, and qualities that will help you in your chosen field and residency program.

Your Personal Statement should achieve the following goals:

  • It provides the residency admission committee with a positive first impression. Your personal statement provides a showcase of qualitative traits and skills.
  • It will help you stand-out against hundreds of applicants that are vying for limited interview slots.
  • It should convey the purpose of your application and why you chose the specialty and the residency program.
  • It should also provide an overview of your short term and long term goals in the residency program.
  • It should highlight your skills and experiences and why you are the best fit for the residency program.

Your personal statement is a professional document and should not be taken lightly. It is expected that you go through several drafts and edits to iron out misspelling and mistakes. Most applicants often find it hard to write the first line because of being intimidated by the sheer importance of the document but after pushing through the wall most applicants will find it as a pleasant experience.

Writing takes a couple of tries to get used to especially when writing formally so writing your first draft normally like you would address your friends or family will help you quickly jot down your ideas into writing. Brainstorming and writing down ideas that pop-out is a great way to get started on your first draft.

Pointers That Will Help You Get Started

If you are having trouble starting then one of the best ways to start writing is by asking questions to yourself and write down one line answers.

  • What made you decide to be a physician?
  • Why did you choose your specialty or field ?
  • What do you seek to accomplish in your medical residency?
  • What made you decide to choose the medical residency program?
  • How do you see yourself succeeding in the medical residency program?
  • Who are your role models in the medical profession?
  • What is your most proud accomplishment?

Once you are able to write down a few lines that answer your self-check questions then the next step is to structure your first draft for your personal statement. Your first draft should outline your personal statement as a whole. Your goal in writing your first draft is to create your personal statement without focusing too much on grammar and syntax but instead focus on your content. Focusing too much on grammar can potentially distract you and stall your progress.

Your personal statement should be no more than 2000 words and must contain the following structure:


The introduction of your personal statement should help draw the attention of your readers and provides an overview of what you hope to convey in your personal statement.

The Body (At least 2-4 Paragraphs)

The body of your personal statement is where you can freely express yourself. You can use the answers to your self-check questions to help you write this section. This section allows you to express your individuality and gives you the opportunity to stand out from the rest of the applicants. This section should genuinely demonstrate your interest in the medical field and the medical residency program and conveys your purpose and goals. Use real-life experiences to help highlight your skills, attributes, and personalities and relate them when your medical specialty.

The conclusion should recap the points that you mentioned in the body of your personal statement. This section is a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader so be sure to address all the goals of your personal statement.

The next step is to streamline your personal statement to ensure that your readers do not jump back and forth between your introduction, body, and conclusion. When doing your final edits you should ensure that there is a smooth flow of your message from start to end to minimize distracting your audience with unnecessary breaks. Ask a peer , mentor , or advisor to help you proofread your personal statement.

Read on more interesting entries from our blog .

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Personal Statement

Personal statements may be used to customize the application to a specific program or to different specialties. 

In This Section:

Creating the personal statement, formatting the personal statement, previewing the personal statement, reviewing/editing the personal statement, assigning the personal statement.

You create your own personal statements in the MyERAS portal from the Personal Statements section listed under Documents. 

  • Each personal statement must contain a Personal Statement Title and the Personal Statement Content. The title will be visible only to you to help you correctly assign it to programs, and the content will be visible to both you and the programs it is assigned to. 
  • The personal statement is limited to 28,000 characters, which include letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation marks. 
  • There is not a limit to how many personal statements applicants can create. 
  • Personal statements created outside the MyERAS application should be done in a plain text word processing application such as Notepad (for Windows users) or SimpleText (for Mac users). The statement should reflect your personal perspective and experiences accurately and must be your own work and not the work of another author or the product of artificial intelligence. 
  • Personal statements created in word processing applications not using plain text may contain hidden and invalid formatting. 
  • Note: A number of websites provide examples of personal statements. Do not copy any information from these sites and use it in your personal statements without giving credit to the author. Such use is considered plagiarism. 
  • The ERAS program will investigate any suspected acts of plagiarism. 
  • Any substantiated findings of plagiarism may result in the reporting of such findings to the programs to which you apply now and in subsequent ERAS seasons. 

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When creating a personal statement in the MyERAS application, the following formatting options will be available: 

  • Bold. 
  • Italic. 
  • Underline. 
  • Strikethrough. 
  • Bullets. 
  • Numbering. 
  • Align left. 
  • Center. 
  • Align right. 
  • Increase indent. 
  • Decrease indent. 
  • Insert hyperlink. 

After entering the personal statement title and content, you will have the opportunity to preview your personal statement before saving it. This preview allows you to view your personal statement just as the programs will view it, including the number of pages.  

You are responsible for reviewing your personal statements before assigning them to programs. 

The Preview/Print option under the Actions column will allow you to view and/or print your personal statement. 

Personal statements can be edited at any point during the application season — even when assigned to programs that have been applied to. 

Personal statements that have been edited will be reflected on the programs’ side by an updated status containing the date of the updated version, but programs are not guaranteed to view or review updated versions of personal statements. 

You may designate the assignment of one personal statement for each program. 

  • Personal statements can be assigned to any saved or applied to programs from the Personal Statements page by selecting “Assign” under the Actions column of the intended personal statement. 
  • When assigning by personal statement, programs listed with a disabled checkbox already have the selected personal statement currently assigned. 
  • When assigning by personal statement, you should review any personal statements that are listed under the Assigned Personal Statement column before making selections or changes. 
  • Personal statements can be assigned by program using the Assign option under the Actions column on both the Saved Programs and Programs Applied To pages. 
  • Changes to personal statement assignments can be made throughout the application season, but programs are not guaranteed to view or review newly assigned personal statements. 
  • A personal statement cannot be assigned to programs that are closed. 
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Anesthesiology Residency Personal Statement Examples

With tips for writing a great residency personal statement.

Anesthesiology residency personal statement examples

Looking for anesthesiology residency personal statement examples to get a better idea of what to write? Reading some residency personal statement examples is a great place to start as you begin drafting your own personal statement and work on your residency app. It can be tricky to know what to write and how to write what motivated you to study anesthesiology and why you are passionate about a career in the specialty. In this blog, we’ll look at some anesthesiology residency personal statement examples and some tips for writing an awesome personal statement.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 10 min read

Anesthesiology is an interesting and rewarding specialty and securing an anesthesiology residency match is generally less competitive than some other sought-after specialties. Anesthesiology has a high match rate at 94.9% for US MD seniors, so it is not considered one of the most competitive residencies to match into.

Anesthesiology as a medical career requires a great deal of skill and broad base of medical knowledge, particularly in internal medicine. It also demands a good level of surgical skill, dexterity and precision. On top of this, anesthesiologists need to be cool and calm under pressure, able to adapt to changing situations quickly and with authority. They need to be excellent communicators with patients and their fellow medical staff team members. Anesthesiologists are crucial in critical medical situations, and can literally make the difference between life and death, so it’s a challenging but rewarding specialty to pursue.

If you’re curious about how long residency will be, anesthesiology requires a 5-year long residency training and demands a great deal of skill and excellence. But it also has one of the highest rates of job satisfaction among medical professionals, and anesthesiologists are the highest paid medical profession in the US.

Applying for an anesthesiology residency means you will be part of the NRMP match. For US MD seniors, you’ll be applying through the ERAS application , whereas Canadian applicants will be applying through CaRMS for their residency match.

After spending 5 years as an EMT, I made the life-changing decision to go to medical school. My plan was to explore working in an emergency department so I could keep using the skills I had gained as an EMT. On the more extreme side, I was considering becoming a trauma surgeon so I could take my skills to the next level. I wanted to find a specialty as a doctor that would complement the skills I had and also push me into an entirely new realm. Soon enough, though I came to the realization that my possible new career paths were leading me right back to the origin point. I wanted to go back to school and stop being an EMT because I needed a break from the work, and I needed a change. If I did fulfill my wish to work in emergency medicine or surgery, I would instead be adding on more of the aspects of the job I wanted to change.

Working as an EMT is very rewarding, but it can have its setbacks. If you’re lucky, you will have a “boring” career where you won’t see any terrible, truly traumatizing calls. But not all of us are so fortunate. It’s true that not every call is to an awful accident or disaster. But there are always calls that stay with you. It was one such call that has stayed with me, that prompted me to make this change in my career trajectory. And it was the call that convinced me my future was in anesthesiology and not surgery or emergency med.

When we arrived at the scene of this collision, its easy to overlook something. Contrary to what we think, vehicle collisions don’t always leave a giant trail to follow. The car had bowled through the guardrail in bad weather and careened straight into the ravine on the other side. A bent guardrail, not entirely uncommon, was the only sign if you didn’t know what to look for. It takes precious minutes to gear up and descend a steep ravine with ropes and harnesses and helmets. Our headlights eventually illuminated the sight of the crumpled car and its two passengers. I was on the driver’s side, working to cut through to the patient, while my partner rescued the passenger. I’d had plenty of patients be miraculously conscious and talking with me as I worked, but it’s always amazing how much pain the brain can numb us to. When a patient tells you he can’t feel anything, it stops your heart. When he passes out, it goes into overdrive. I worked with this patient, still pinned inside the car, for untold minutes before I was able to get him back. We carried him out of that ravine and into the ambulance all the way to the hospital. I stayed with him the entire time, monitoring his vitals. He remained unconscious, but I handed him off to the ER staff with the hope that he would make it through. As an EMT you don’t get to find out. You’re the first responder, the person responsible for keeping someone alive until they can get to the hospital. It started the desire to be the person in there with the patient, seeing them through, instead of being the one to discover and rescue them.

Anesthesiology appeals to me because it will allow me to further develop my skillset and demand an even greater amount of training and discipline from me. But it will steer me away from the more demanding and stressful aspects of my former career. I know as an anesthesiologist my job will not always be routine and calm, but I have shown I can roll with the punches and adjust to unexpected situations. But as a career this specialty will give me room to breathe, so I can focus on helping patients, easing their pain. As an anesthesiologist you’re a critical part of the team. As an EMT, even if many others working with you, it can often feel lonely. You against the problem, with the stakes literally life and death. In anesthesiology the stakes are the same, but you’re not the only lifeline.

I believe my experiences and skills will make me an ideal anesthesiologist. I have always been sure of what I wanted to achieve in my medical career, and I believe this specialty will be the best way for me to fulfill it in a way that both helps patients and helps me to keep growing as a medical professional.

Still deciding on your residency career? Check out this infographic on resident career counseling services.

I remember the first time I was able to watch a child succeed. As a teenager, I took on some part-time babysitting jobs to bring in extra cash. I rotated with a few different families in the neighborhood, but there was one child, Casey, who stood out. All kids have unique and naturally captivating personalities, but Casey was a neon pink light on a string of Christmas lights. She was loud and passionate and colorful. She loved dance more than anything. When I watched her compete in her dance company’s Spring Recital, executing the movements she’d spent so many weeks perfecting, the biggest smile on her face, it occurred to me how amazing it is to witness a child succeed in their goals, and how humbling it feels to be a supporting pillar for them.

Casey’s journey to the Spring Recital had setbacks, obstacles and plenty of work. But her optimism, natural talent and hard work saw her through. Kids are resilient, no matter the challenge. As a volunteer at the Miller Foundation Children’s Hospital, this was proven to me over and over as I witnessed the journeys of dozens of kids fighting the toughest battles anyone can face. Whether they were undergoing chemo, facing a trauma or getting a commonplace operation, these kids faced it with all the bravery and resilience Casey had shown me in preparing for her dance recital. With Casey, it was endless practice, encouragement, and advice. The rest was on her. With the children I worked with in the hospital, it was difficult at first to accept that I couldn’t fight the battle for them. All I could do was be a supporting character, showing them care and encouragement and positivity. It was up to them to do the rest. And just like Casey taking her final bow, they blew me away every time.

In working with children for so many years, I came to realize how important and how underrated it is. Parents, I know, want to decide the outcome of all their children’s efforts, to make sure they always reach their goals. But being there and supporting them often does so much to counter the fear of an unfamiliar and scary situation. Being a calm, steady presence gives kids something to hold onto when they’re undergoing a procedure or even getting a needle in the arm. In what will be some of the most frightening scenarios in a young child’s life, it was incredibly fulfilling for me to be able to hold a hand or offer words of encouragement and see the tiniest bit of a smile in return.

As I continued with my medical studies, I realized my original dream of becoming a pediatrician could be adjusted. As an anesthesiologist, I can be that calming, soothing person who is with a child undergoing a scary medical procedure, walking them through, offering support, seeing them through to process. I would not have missed Casey’s recital performance for the world and knowing that my support meant something to her makes all my efforts worth it. I can only imagine how magnified those feelings are for sick kids facing the hardest battles they will ever face, knowing they have someone in their corner. It is my goal to show up for kids like this, to soothe their pain, to talk with them through their fears, to ensure they know they’re not going through this alone.

I have continued to work at the Miller Foundation Children’s Hospital as a volunteer and was fortunate to be able to shadow some of our best anesthesiologists. One of them was also kind enough to write one of my recommendation letters. In the future, I plan to pursue a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology, so I might realize my goal and keep working with all those bright, beautiful kids who inspire me to follow their example.

Preparing for your residency interview? Watch this video!

Anesthesiology residency personal statement example #3

I have always prided myself on being the type of person to take action and do what needs to be done. I have never been the kind of person who sits idle and have always had at least two hobbies on the go at the same time I threw myself into athletics, academics and extracurriculars. I’ve always had a multitude of interest and an abundance of energy. I participated in clubs, music lessons, sports, leadership clubs, mathlete decathlons. I was constantly looking for the next challenge, the next big thing to learn or achieve or complete. As a classic overachiever, I strived to do everything. My one problem was trying to do everything at once, all the time.

When I applied for medical school, my achievements and drive for excellence and diversity in my interests was a huge plus. It helped me succeed at school, balance my studies, work and personal life. It ensured I fought against medical student burnout by staying engaged and hungry to keep learning and experiencing everything medical school had to offer me. I soaked up every lesson and new opportunity I could, hardly pausing to take a breath, much less slow down. Just as I’d had so much trouble narrowing down my interests and ambitions to one singular goal, I struggled in med school to choose a specialty, to focus on just one thing. I wanted to try too many things. Everything was new and interesting, and I could see myself doing any of them. But I knew eventually I would need to find my place. And it was in medical school I experienced something that changed my entire perspective.

The rotation I most looked forward to was my turn in gynecology and obstetrics. Maybe not the most popular rotation, but I had held onto a passion for women’s advocacy and health from my high school and university days, and I found the prospect of working in obstetrics ranked just a bit higher on the list than some other equally fascinating specialties. While assisting with a pregnant patient who was due to be induced, complications came up and her blood pressure dropped. The head of the medical team rushed in, directing me and my colleagues. As expected, I jumped into action, but our initial efforts produced no changes. The anesthesiologist arrived on scene in what I think was just in time. They stepped right in to take over the patient’s care and were able to successfully intubate her so she could be taken into surgery for an emergency c-section. Throughout the tense ordeal, which lasted only a few minutes, I was blown away by the calm confidence of the anesthesiologist. I know in a crisis I can think on my feet, take action and get the job done, but my heart will be racing and my mind whirling. The anesthesiologist approached the same emergent situation with a level of cool headedness that inspired me. Seeing them act as the patient’s literal lifeline while the team transported her to the OR, keep their calm and intent focus, I realized how often we forget that life-saving care doesn’t rely on one capable person directing a team. It requires a capable team, and it requires a teammate who can not only do it all but do the one critical thing perfectly.

Anesthesiology will be a perfect match for me, as it will allow me to help people in a direct and rewarding way. It also matches well with my natural demeanor and action-oriented personality. I believe anesthesiology will give me the focus and calm I have wanted to achieve, by allowing me to hone my talents and energies into a life-saving and critical skillset. My goal is to pursue a career in obstetric anesthesiology, so I can continue to work with mothers and mothers-to-be, advocating for women’s health and well-being. I believe if there were more anesthesiologists such as the one I met, that women preparing to give birth would have one more lifeline in the delivery room and more of a chance to deliver safely for themselves and their newborns. 

Writing may not be your strong suit, or maybe you want some expert eyes on your personal statement for this critical residency application. Either way, getting some feedback from residency match services or a residency advisor is a great way to polish your personal statement or identify the most compelling experiences to mention from med school, clinical rotations, research opportunities or even your early years. For international medical graduates, an IMG residency consultant can help you organize your application and find those compelling stories in your background to highlight in your personal statement.  ","label":"Consult the experts","title":"Consult the experts"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

Anesthesiology is not considered the most competitive residency. For US MD seniors, the match rate is very high at 94.9%. It is also considered a specialty that is more friendly towards international medical graduates and DO seniors.

A residency personal statement is usually about one page long, or between 500-750 words.

Start your personal statement off with a “hook” or attention-grabbing first sentence. It’s a good idea to start with a strong statement or start telling a story to reel your reader in.

A great personal statement will be polished and free of errors, with a serious but conversational tone. It’s also best to use some storytelling and provide details about the past experiences you have which led you to apply to the program.

Anesthesiology residency training lasts 5 years.

Your personal statement should include your motivation for applying to the program, explain why you are the best candidate to fill the position and any attributes or accomplishments of yours that made you a good fit. 

Avoid using cliches or repeating information that can be found in your residency CV. Your aim is to tell a program about who you are and why you are a good fit, not to simply restate your academic and professional accomplishments.

Anesthesiology can be a demanding specialty and it requires many years of training. However it is also a specialty with a very high pay rate and high job satisfaction, so for some residents it can be the start of an exciting and very rewarding career.

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How to Write a Personal Statement That Will Impress

Our ways to lead your personal statement residency to win.

We craft each statement based on the filled Questionnaire exclusively from scratch. There’re no templates or cliche phrases to make your document only about you.

Your residency application document will be 100% customized to a particular residency program, emphasizing your traits & program's specifics, proving you're the best fit.

Every application document we produce is crafted by our medical experts with strict conformity to the ERAS® application system requirements & standards.

Request as many document revisions as needed until you're totally satisfied with it – we’ll be glad to rework and polish your residency personal statement to perfection.

All of our writing service experts are verified degree holders with years of field expertise, knowledge of admission processes & experience in application docs creation.

Your money will be returned if there're any issues with the text we cannot fix. Just drop a line to our support managers, and get a refund effortlessly without any questions.

We guarantee high-quality writing & editing assistance with all types of residency admission documents!

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Our medical admission experts provide top-notch help no matter where you’re applying for!


Our personal statement writers.

“I am always in touch with the support team to get feedback from my clients. And knowing that they were satisfied with my assistance and were successfully accepted warms my heart.”

Not a single imperfection will be left in your document if Lyndsey take it over. Professional writing & editing are her specializations, and perfectionism is her main trait. So be confident in the flawless results – she will not agree to anything less.

“I feel true satisfaction and big joy assisting everyone in finding the right words to tell their unique story that sounds in their voice”

Patrick’s prominent trait is the ability to create masterpieces from a vast range of random facts. He likes to communicate with customers and delve into their unique stories. Many clients often feel like Patrick has known them for years.

"My experience in crafting residency admission documents can serve you well."

You’ll be surprised by the variety of programs Carlos has dealt with. He’s a passionate expert whose smooth transitions and ability to structure large amounts of information give him the highest praise.

“I can assist with all types of admission documents you may require when applying for residency. And your positive feedback about my work is what I love specifically.”

His expertise and talent are remarkable. Having Joe’s writing or editing service is always a winning option.

“Feeling your voice in application documents is what makes them unique and remembered by the committee. And I’m good in such transmissions!”

Angela is not only our leading writing service expert but a respectable member of the admission committee. So she knows how to write a personal statement for residency that wins – the results of her work are always incredible.

“It doesn’t matter to me what residency program you’ve chosen. With my assistance, you’ll be accepted everywhere!”

Jessica is the top pro when it comes to complicated admission cases. She successfully copes with in-demanded program enrollment and helps her clients beat even the highest competition. Having such an expert means victory only, so entrust your document to her, without a doubt!

“I love to pay attention to details and particular facts, covering which allow me to create non-trivial & eye-catching documents.”

Remarkably, it was Conrad who assisted us in compiling the Questionnaires provided for your document personalization. He knows about the perfect structure and the information the committee wants.


How we work.

Place an order using our simple order form, 24/7 online chat, or a callback. Choose the service you need, deadline & volume. Don't forget to attach the filled Questionnaire and other materials, if any (like a CV, previous statements, resume, etc). You can upload them while ordering or add later via your Customer Area. We’ll assign your residency personal statement to your writer only after receiving materials for personalization.

As our service providers are full-time experts, they work only on prepayment. So pay for the writing or editing services securely online. After, you'll get a payment confirmation by email and data for the Customer Area login.

When our company is notified of your successful payment, we will immediately provide you with details for you to enter your Customer Area. You can always edit your password for even better website experience. This area is particularly designed for your one-on-one contact with the medical expert & support agent. Plus, transferring the final doc to your computer, requests for corrections, and ordering other residency application docs are possible with this feature!

We work in such a way that when the writing expert finishes with the first draft, you'll get a notification of its readiness and be able to download it to review. After that, feel free to request a residency application doc revisions & add comments. Unlike other services, you can request edits as many times as you need. Whether it's 2 editing circles or 20 – you have 14 days to get them made free of charge.

Select the most convenient way to supervise the process of order fulfillment!

Reach out to your medical specialist, get the final doc, and register new orders with no bother.

Don’t second-guess but turn to our support crew if you have questions regarding your order!

Why & How to Write a Personal Statement for College

Applying to college is exciting and hectic at the same time because while there is a lot to anticipate for the future, you still have to nail the application. Among the most crucial documents of any university application is the personal statement, and creating it might be challenging. Generally, it’s a synopsis of your achievements, goals, skills, interests, and involvements to present when applying for higher education and some scholarship programs. However, you may need to delve into what is a personal statement in detail, as various applications have their unique features to consider if you want to succeed.

Why is knowing how to write a personal statement necessary? Because of the number of applicants colleges receive, section panels often have a hard time determining suitable candidates from academic accolades alone. Personal statements make it easier to pick the right choices by allowing each student to make their application case even before any interviews.

Through this document, they learn about a student’s personality, passion, and anything that makes them suitable to study the particular course. It implies there’s pressure to make yours stand out. But don’t let that scare you. We’ve prepared some powerful writing tips and a guide to make it a fun and meaningful writing experience.

Several Essentials to Remember

Like any other form of crucial application document, you should prepare it before creating a personal statement. Preparation makes the process much easier as it helps gather all relevant information. Here’re crucial preparation steps you can follow.

What college or program are you applying to? Find out more about them, what they look for in their students, and what they anticipate from you as a potential student. The information will help you tailor your statement to meet their expectations.

The greatest essential tip on how to write a good personal statement is to tell a great story, and for that, you should reflect on your involvement. Think about your exposures, passion, interests, and any noteworthy achievements.

  • Brainstorm 

Develop ideas and write it all down, don’t worry about the structure. Just list down the ideas as they come to you. Once you’ve exhausted them, pick the best and start trying to develop your statement.

Proven Guidelines on How to Begin Personal Statement

Another significant component of our guide on how to write a personal statement for college is constructing the structure you should consider before writing. This encompasses three sections:

  • An introduction
  • Body paragraphs

The intro is where you provide background information about yourself, highlighting your involvements, interests, and knowledge. This section should set the basis of the statement.

Next are the body paragraphs, where you go into detail about the central theme of the personal statement. After exhausting all the vital details and information, you are ready to conclude. The outro is supposed to sum up the whole statement.

A Bit More Regarding Beginning

Beginning a personal statement could be challenging because many students try too hard and overthink it. However, it is still a crucial part of your writing piece because it dictates the first impression you will have on the reviewers. So, here is some advice on your opening.

  • Don’t Go Overboard

Don’t overthink your opening sentence. Aim to engage the reviewers with relevant information but don’t throw yourself off-topic trying to impress them.

  • Consider Writing It After 

As mentioned, many students get stuck trying to figure out how to begin personal statement, which may consume a lot of time. One way to avoid that is to jump into the main content and leave the opening for later. It would be easier because you’ll already know what you’re trying to introduce.

  • Begin with a Hook 

Once you’re ready to start writing, consider opening with a hook. The “hook” is a sentence or phrase that draws in the reader and makes them curious about what you have to say. Your hook can be an anecdote, a question, a quote, a statistic, or anything related to your personal statement’s main topic. After your hook, dive in and explain why you are applying for that specific program, highlighting your motivations and goals.

How to Sign a Personal Statement Correctly

In your final paragraph, restate the main points you’ve made in your personal statement. Restate your skills, experiences and reiterate your commitment to the course.

Then, thank the reviewers for taking the time to consider your application and granting you the opportunity to apply to their school. It shows you are appreciative and respectful, which works in your favor.

Finally, sign off at the end providing your name and contact information but use the official names like the rest of your applications; avoid using initials or nicknames.

There is another approach to consider when thinking about how to sign a personal statement. You can also use the bookend strategy; you link the introduction to the conclusion and use both to support the body. It favors those who prefer to write the intro after the rest of the text.

How Many Words Should a Personal Statement Be? The Right Length

One of the main questions applicants have is how many words should a personal statement be? There is no universal answer because different colleges and programs have varying requirements regarding word count. Some programs limit applicants to about 1-2 pages or 500-700 words, while others opt for more. Applicants should always stick to the provided guidelines.

Great Tips on How to Write a Personal Statement

A well-composed personal statement can be the difference between acceptance and rejection in your preferred institution. Here are some great tips to make yours stand out.

  • Take your time – don’t rush the document. Start early to have ample time to write it.
  • Be authentic – don’t copy or paraphrase someone else’s work. Seize the opportunity to express yourself.
  • Keep it simple – write short and simple sentences and avoid fancy words.
  • Organize your writing logically – use a chronological order to write about your experiences.
  • Focus on your strengths – the personal statement is about selling yourself, so show yourself in a positive light.
  • Proofread your statement multiple times and get a second opinion from a trusted individual.

The above tips on how to write a personal statement should prove useful, but here is a bonus for your peace of mind. Once you write and submit your application, don’t keep reading it; wait for the response. Rereading it makes you expect the worst.

Personal Statement How Many Words Are Needed for ERAS Application

Ultimately, we’d like to answer the question, ‘personal statement how many words should I write if there is no specified guideline?’ If there are not any recommendations from the admission committee, keep in mind that 700 words should be enough to write all the essential information without making it too long that you lose the reviewers’ attention. It’s also a versatile size if it comes to ERAS applications.

Do You Still Need Help With Your Personal Statement?

If you still need more answers or even help with your personal statement, we’re always ready to assist you to write one that leads to your success! Being a professional service with years of experience, we have access to many skilled writers well-versed in admission to numerous programs. Our experts are experienced with all types of application documents, so getting a quality personal statement from them is quick and enjoyable.

Don’t let the personal statement stress you; contact our writers today, and get one that will easily win!

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Unique Personal Statement

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The Medical Residency Personal Statement is one of the most important pieces of the ERAS Residency Application puzzle. No other component of the application gives you as much control in shaping the impression you make on Program Directors and others reviewing your application as the Residency Personal Statement.

Personal Statement Writing Service

Complete your Questionnaire and stand-by as a professional Writer crafts a unique, top-quality Personal Statement from scratch based on your responses. No templates are used, and you will communicate directly with your Writer throughout the process.

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Our Editing Service will transform your existing Personal Statement into a polished, professional, and persuasive piece of writing. We will refine, reorganize, and develop your ideas into a comprehensive Personal Statement that is sure to impress.

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How It Works

The process for both Writing and Editing Services includes:

  • 1 Submit your first draft (Editing) or your completed Questionnaire (Writing)
  • 2 Your Writer will deliver your first draft or reach out with any clarifications they need to get started (all communication takes place via our In-House Messaging Platform)
  • 3 After reviewing your first draft, you can work with your Editor/Writer on any necessary revisions until you are completely satisfied
  • 4 Once we get your approval, the statement is finalized and available for export in PDF and Word format

#1 Choice for USMG & IMG Residency Applicants

Who Are Our Writers?

Residency Statement’s dedicated team is comprised of all US-based, professional medical Writers and Editors with extensive academic backgrounds and additional training in Medical Residency Personal Statements as well as the nuances of the residency application process.

Everyone on our team is well-qualified to work on statements for each residency specialty, sub-specialty, and even fellowship training.

Founded by Dr. Musa in 2008, our team has worked with over 20,000 applicants to perfect their Personal Statements. Read our Member Testimonials , and join thousands of satisfied clients today.

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I used both editing and writing services, and both were amazing experiences with their professionalism and attitude with anything that I needed to change or delete. Everything was a 5 stars experience, and regarding my PS, I showed it to my mentor back home, he said it was one of the best he had ever seen.

I just wanted to say I really appreciate all the work you've done to help me make this personal statement and I'm very happy with the results! You've done an excellent job of being accommodating, understanding, and just generally helpful and it really meant a lot to me; so again, thank you for all of your help.

You have no idea how much this personal statement means to me. It literally brought me to tears reading it. I was red-lining stress last week. But, thanks to you, reading the statement was the turning point in my week, after which things started falling into place. I want to sincerely thank you for the service you provided me. With the personal statement we crafted, I have confidently submitted my application.

This is exactly what I'm looking for! Thank you so much! The residency team will be reading hundreds of these. The application is so short that the only real opportunity I have to connect with the team is through this essay. I'm sure you know that where I go for the next 3 years of my life may weigh heavily on this statement. You described exactly what I'm looking for, thanks so much!

The Value of Personal Statements

The Personal Statement is rated as one of the most important documents included in the ERAS Application by Program Directors when making interview and ranking decisions.

The Medical Residency Personal Statement can boost a weak application, help secure an interview, provide content for residency interview questions, and even assist Program Directors in making final selections for their Rank Order Lists. A well-crafted Personal Statement helps you stand out and leave a lasting impression when contending for limited residency program positions.

Residency Statement will provide you with the Personal Statement you need to apply with confidence.

Tailored Solutions

Every residency candidate has a story to tell. Whether you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG) or US Medical Graduate (USMG), your personality should be the foundation of your Personal Statement. Residency Statement’s Editing and Writing Services are tailored to include your individual strengths and experiences while capturing your unique voice. If you have written a Personal Statement you would like polished and refined, the Editing Service is right for you. If you are struggling to begin writing your Personal Statement or don’t have the time to draft a full statement, you’ll find everything you are looking for in the Writing Service.

Unlimited Resources

Residency Statement does not believe in limitations or restrictions. When it comes to your Personal Statement, the sky is the limit, and we are dedicated to providing the resources you need to succeed. Not only does our professional team have your back through every step of the Writing or Editing process, but you also have the opportunity to receive expert guidance and access numerous free online resources as well.

Member Success

A strong Personal Statement greatly increases your chances for a Match, while a poorly written, weak, or generic statement can be a red flag to residency programs. Ensuring you submit an optimized Personal Statement is critical for residency Match success. We understand how much is riding on your residency application and are committed to supporting your efforts.

What is Residency Statement?

Will programs know i used a writing/editing service, how do i know i will like my statement, why residency statement.

There are so many reasons why you should choose Residency Statement, it’s hard to pick just one!

  • We have 14+ years of Medical Residency Personal Statement experience.
  • Each Personal Statement showcases the applicant’s personality and specialized knowledge.
  • Your content is safe within our secure, encrypted interface.
  • Our qualified Editing and Writing team is comprised of adept and highly trained professionals who have read, edited, and written thousands of Medical Residency Personal Statements.
  • We have experience helping applicants of all backgrounds: IMGs, USMGs, DOs, and applicants with red flags of every kind (low scores, attempts, gaps, long time since graduation, serious academic divergences, and beyond).

Is Your Personal Statement Ready to Impress?

Many residency applicants believe their Personal Statement is ready to submit. Yet, based on our assessments, very few Personal Statements would meet the standards and expectations set forth by Residency Interview Selection Committees.

  • 59% Do not pass Residency Program Standards and need more work
  • 38% Do not pass Residency Program Standards and need to be re-written
  • 3% Pass Residency Program Standards

Personal statements are an important part of your application to residency programs in the United States. A personal statement is intended to complement your other qualifications by allowing you to express who you are and why you are applying to residency. This is your opportunity to discuss your passion for medicine and/or your chosen specialty, why you want to practice medicine in the United States, important milestones that have happened to you thus far, and your goals for the future. The personal statement should show what kind of person and physician you are and wish to become.


Personal Statements are among the top 5 reasons candidates are invited for interviews.


Your personal statement is an integral part of a successful application. Unless a program’s faculty or residents know you personally through a rotation, your application — including personal statement — presents your entire professional persona to those who extend interview invitations. Competitive programs have hundreds of qualified applicants, so your personal statement must help you stand out.


A well written personal statement can strengthen your application and open opportunities for you. Some application reviewers only skim through the personal statement, while others read it carefully. Since you have no way of knowing how your personal statement will be read or the weight it carries at each program, it is in your best interest to write a high quality personal statement.

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writing a personal statement residency


  1. Personal Statement For Residency Application

    writing a personal statement residency

  2. In a statement the company published the Surgery residency personal statement can give

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  3. Best Residency Personal Statement Examples for Inspiration

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  4. Personal statement for residency sample that will assist you in writing a perfect statement. Get

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  5. Secrets of a Winning Medical Residency Personal Statement

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  6. FREE 13+ Sample Personal Statement Templates in PDF

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  1. Sharing my experience of writing PERSONAL STATEMENT for UGRAD 2024

  2. This is How Long Your Personal Statement should be 📏📑

  3. Tips to writing personal statement

  4. Write an Incredible Personal Statement: 3 Steps with Examples

  5. How to write your personal statement for residency- step by step and top mistakes to avoid

  6. How you should discuss weaknesses in your residency personal statement!


  1. Residency Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide (Example Included)

    Part 3: How to write an amazing residency personal statement Start with an outline. With so many great ideas and a narrative in mind, you might be tempted to start writing your essay now. But an outline will keep your ideas organized and help you write more efficiently. Even if you don't start draft one with an outline and instead just ...

  2. Ten Steps for Writing an Exceptional Personal Statement

    Writing a personal statement represents a unique opportunity for residency and fellowship applicants to amplify their ERAS application beyond the confines of its objective components. 3 Using this stepwise approach encourages each personal statement to be truly personal and streamlines the process for applicants and reviewers alike. All ...

  3. Residency Match: 4 tips for writing a standout personal statement

    A residency application is more than metrics and research. Ideally, a good residency application is well-rounded, and the personal statement is what helps shape it. Read on for these essential tips on how to write personal statements for residency. Sonja Raaum, MD, is an assistant professor of ...

  4. Residency Personal Statement : An Insider's Guide

    Goals for Writing Your 2024 Residency Personal Statement. Above all else, your residency personal statement offers the opportunity to show your interest in your chosen specialty when applying to residency to illustrate you are a good fit.. The more details you offer about why you are interested in the specialty and how your med school rotations, accomplishments and experiences have reinforced ...

  5. Residency Personal Statement Examples from Matched Residents

    Writing a residency personal statement? Here are the top books for residency applicants: Residency Personal Statement Examples #4: Emergency Medicine. One of the most surprising things that I learned through my emergency medicine (EM) electives is that working in an emergency department is like leading a horse. I grew up on a farm in the [name ...

  6. Residency Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide

    The residency application personal statement is an essential part of applying to programs, but it can be intimidating. We get it. It can be challenging to write about yourself and your life experiences within 3,500 characters. We'll cover everything you need to know about writing a powerful statement!

  7. Writing a Personal Statement for Residency Application

    For the moment, forget everything you know about writing histories and physicals. While preparing your personal statement: Avoid abbreviations. Avoid repetitive sentence structure. Avoid using ...

  8. Residency Personal Statement

    She holds two bachelor's degrees in English and Spanish from Stanford University, and a master's in journalism from Arizona State University. Her first published novel debuted in 2020, and she hopes to finish her second novel by the end of this year. Residency Personal Statement Guide - we offer advice on how to write a personal statement for ...

  9. Writing a Winning Personal Statement

    How important are personal statements to the residency application process, ... Writing a Winning Personal Statement . Jeanette L. Calli, MS, former program manager for Careers in Medicine, director of match operations at the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®)

  10. Residency Application Personal Statement Guide

    ERAS Personal Statement Length. The residency personal statement length technically allows for 28,000 characters, but you do not need to utilize this entire space. We recommend keeping your residency personal statement to one typed page, which is anywhere from 500-800 words, depending on your writing.

  11. The Trusted Residency Personal Statement Guide w/Examples

    Intro- Writing a Great Residency Personal Statement. When you get ready to apply for residency, which could happen as early as your third year of med school, there are really two main components to the application process: submitting your application packet to various programs and completing the required interviews for the programs interested in you.

  12. Residency Personal Statement Writing Tips & Structure

    In your residency personal statement, include your experiences and interests that have driven your ambition to mature as a medical professional. Take time to think about what qualities you'd expect in an exemplary physician. Then, create a list of topics reflecting these qualities from your background. Create a list of ideas of what to write ...

  13. What To Include in a Residency Personal Statement (Plus Example)

    A residency personal statement is a short essay that medical school graduates often write when applying to residency programs. It typically includes personal information, such as achievements, goals and interests. It often highlights personal motivations, experiences, goals and career plans. A residency personal statement is one typed page in ...

  14. How to write a personal statement for residency

    According to the most recent National Resident Matching Program® Program Director Survey, 78% of residency directors reported that the personal statement was a factor in selecting applicants for interview; on a scale from 1 to 5, they scored the importance of the personal statement 3.7 on average.(Class ranking was only 70% and 3.9. Think of how hard you worked during medical school.)

  15. How to Write a Residency Personal Statement (April 2024)

    My Residency Personal Statement Writing Suggestions. Okay, so no rules, but here are the tried-and-true parameters I follow: 1) Your ERAS personal statement length should be between 600 and 800 words. 2) Don't capitalize specialties. It's incorrect. 3) Don't name the the doctors/mentors you've worked with.

  16. A Guide To Writing Your Personal Statement for Medical Residency

    Set a Goal. 2. Self-Check Questions to Help you Write the Personal Statement. 3. Writing Your First Draft. 4. Final Edits and Proof-Reading. Your Personal Statement is one of the many important requirements that you need in applying for a medical residency program. Many applicants are often stuck on where to begin writing the personal statement ...

  17. Personal Statement

    The personal statement is limited to 28,000 characters, which include letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation marks. There is not a limit to how many personal statements applicants can create. Personal statements created outside the MyERAS application should be done in a plain text word processing application such as Notepad (for Windows ...

  18. PDF Writing Residency Personal Statements

    5. Common Problems: • Residency statement is a barely updated version of the medical/dentistry school application essay. • At this point in your career, you don't have to justify your interest in medical school or dentistry school. Rather, you have to make a strong case for why you would be a great, fit for the specialty.

  19. How to Write a Personal Statement

    Residency Personal Statement Reviews: https://www.motivatemd.com/residency/personal-statement-editing/Becca's Contact Info for any questions: Text or call: 9...

  20. Writing Resources: Personal Statements, Fellowships, Scholarships and

    Tips for Writing Residency Personal Statements; Read the Medical Residency Personal Statement Dissected Sample; AAMC Careers in Medicine (password protected): Writing a Winning Personal Statement; Personal Statement Resources from Dr. James Woodruff, Dean of Students, at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine:

  21. Anesthesiology Residency Personal Statement Examples

    Anesthesiology residency personal statement example #1. After spending 5 years as an EMT, I made the life-changing decision to go to medical school. My plan was to explore working in an emergency department so I could keep using the skills I had gained as an EMT. On the more extreme side, I was considering becoming a trauma surgeon so I could ...

  22. Residency Personal Statement Editing & Writing Services

    Professionals from our residency personal statement writing service believe a personal statement is a decision-maker when it comes to selecting people for a medical residency program or fellowship. Creating this kind of document can be a stern challenge. If you would like to be a radiologist, pathologist, cardiologist, or family doctor, a ...

  23. Residency Personal Statement Editing & Writing Services

    Our qualified Editing and Writing team is comprised of adept and highly trained professionals who have read, edited, and written thousands of Medical Residency Personal Statements. We have experience helping applicants of all backgrounds: IMGs, USMGs, DOs, and applicants with red flags of every kind (low scores, attempts, gaps, long time since ...

  24. What's your biggest challenge when writing your residency personal

    What's your biggest challenge when writing your residency personal statement? Open • total votes Getting started Structuring the essay Choosing the right experiences to highlight Meeting the word count Other, specify in the comments. Vote ... I'm getting kicked out in 7 weeks with 2 years of residency left