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Medical Residency Application: The Personal Statement Writing Well to Sell Yourself Elizabeth Lefebvre, McGill University UGME Career Planning Office May.

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Presentation on theme: "Medical Residency Application: The Personal Statement Writing Well to Sell Yourself Elizabeth Lefebvre, McGill University UGME Career Planning Office May."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medical Residency Application: The Personal Statement Writing Well to Sell Yourself Elizabeth Lefebvre, McGill University UGME Career Planning Office May 19, 2010

2 What Is a Personal Statement? Narrative picture of you “What I’ve done” = residency application + CV “Who I am” = personal statement Essential element of your application package A good one won’t guarantee you a match A bad one CAN ruin your chances

3 Structure: Overview MUST have a logical flow Verify with individual program descriptions or websites any unique required topics and maximum word count Create generic template, then tailor as necessary

4 Structure: Starting Point Introduction Why this Specialty Why You for this Specialty General Career Goals Why this Institution Conclusion

5 Structure: Introduction DO Be concise, interesting, and personal Employ a brief “story” or vignette from your life AVOID Vast generalities about medicine/the specialty Giving an exhaustive history of your life

6 Structure: Why This Specialty DO Provide honest information about your path Be specific and use brief, concrete examples AVOID Generalizing without providing evidence from your personal experience

7 Structure: Why You DO Identify your personal strengths Relate your strengths to your chosen specialty Provide concrete examples of how your strengths “look” in real life Draw upon items in your CV, contextualizing their relevance for this program/specialty

8 Structure: Why You AVOID Citing traits applicable to all medical students without illustrating from your life/making it personal Simply listing the items on your CV

9 Structure: Career Goals DO Describe: Your ideal practice setting How research will fit with your career (if at all) Indicate subspecialty interests (generally) What you hope to accomplish AVOID Committing yourself to one subspecialty or practice location, etc.

10 Structure: Why This School DO Identify several unique points of the program Explain why these are positive to you Identify geographical factors (family, recreational/cultural opportunities, etc.) AVOID Speaking only to geographic location Citing common program characteristics

11 Structure: Conclusion DO Refer back to your intro if possible Be concise, interesting, and personal Express enthusiasm about specialty/program AVOID Bland, generic statements that “end” the statement but add little to overall impact

12 Length? Check on CaRMS - “Main Residency Match (R- 1)” – “Program Information” – “Program Descriptions”www.carms.ca Always watch for max. word length for each program

13 How many versions? Generally, a basic version with some modifications for each program can be ok, BUT… Check on CaRMS! Each program may give very specific guidelines about what they want from you.

14 Resources: General McGill Career Planning Website y_6d.htm Resumes & Personal Statements for Health Professionals by James Tysinger AMA Website sections/minority-affairs-consortium/transitioning-residency/writing-your- personal-statement.shtml

15 Resources: Personal We are happy to review and assist with editing drafts of your personal statement(s) Send Word documents by to Expect one-week turnaround time at peak periods (October/November)


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