When putting together your personal statement, 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. This is also your opportunity to highlight your strengths and to really be clear about what your goals are. This is one of the few places where you can let your personality come through. Don't forget that you want to make sure that you are clear about why you want to go into the specialty and what you want to accomplish.
Furthermore, your personal statement gives you an opportunity to bring to light any hardships you or your family overcame (especially significant for underserved or disadvantaged students).
Your personal statement should include the following:
- Why do you want to go into your chosen specialty? What about it attracted you and what led to your decision?
- What activities, research projects, or rotations helped make your decision? What are you currently doing or what have you done in the past to show your commitment to the specialty and profession?
- Why would you be a good candidate for this specialty? What special qualities or unique characteristics make you special in regards to this specialty?
- What is important to you in a program, clinically and academically (make sure that what you say matches what the program offers)
- What are your future goals in regards to the specialty?
Tips for writing your personal statement:
- Keep it short (1 pg maximum)
- Avoid abbreviations & jargon
- Make sure to allow enough time to prepare and write your statement
- Have others read through it to make sure it makes sense
- Read it aloud to make sure it flows together nicely
- Always double and triple check for any spelling, grammar, or other mistakes
- Come to the SAO to have an advisor look over your personal statement