Palmy Residency Personal Statement

ERAS Personal Statement

So you want to apply to two specialties.

Are you wondering how the process works?

Applicants may compose and upload as many personal statements for their residency applications as they wish.

Applying to two medical residency specialties.

So what if I’m applying to two specialties?

This means you can compose a personal statement for each (which I recommend!).

What else?

It also means that you can target specific types of programs.

Such as?

You might write one personal statement for programs that are research focused and a different personal statement for programs that are not.


If you are trying to target a geographic area, you might write a personal statement to highlight that specific interest.

But there’s more…

A unique title for each ERAS personal statement.

When you upload your personal statements to ERAS, you will create a unique title to identify each.

What will program directors (PD’s) see?

PD’s will not be able to see these titles and thus will be unaware that you wrote different, and targeted, personal statements.

RELATED:Residency Match Success: Lessons Learned

Residency Personal Statement(s): Target Your Audience

Need help with your residency personal statement? Our expert team can help. Contact MedEdits:

Jessica Freedman MD

JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., is president of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of the MedEdits Guide to Medical Admissions and The Medical School Interview. Follow Dr. Freedman and MedEdits on Facebook and Twitter.

To get into medical school, you explained why you wanted to be a physician. Now that you're an M.D., you need to secure that critical residency interview so you can show them what you've got. To that end, your residency personal statement should give the residency committee a taste of what you're all about, and make them want more.

Easier said than done? Here are some of the critical pieces of a residency personal statement to get you started.

Focus on the medical specialty in residency personal statement

Your rotations let you sample each medical specialty. By now, you should have a pretty clear idea which one you want to pursue. Just tell the residency committee how you reached that decision. What convinced you that you wanted to know more about neurology, and that you could never see yourself setting broken bones? What is it about delivering babies that thrills you more than caring for them after they're born? Use anecdotes to illustrate your story and bring out your unique experiences and perspectives. Most importantly, where do you see yourself in the future? Make your choice unambiguous and your commitment undeniable.

The personal statement should focus on your personal strengths

You've gained some valuable technical skills and exposure to clinical practice, but so have all your classmates. Which of your unique qualities will make your #1 residency program rank you as their #1 choice? Your personal experiences, both in medical school and outside, reveal a lot more about you than your C.V. and USMLE step exams. A good way to think about this is in the context of what's needed for that specialty. Will the listening skills you developed in college debate help you as a family practitioner? Have your quick reflexes, honed through years of playing piano, prepared you for the technical dexterity you'll need in emergency medicine? Will your teamwork skills developed as captain of your soccer team improve your coordination as part of a surgical team? Select specific examples that demonstrate your strengths and make your essay come alive.

Focus on the residency program

You obviously don't want to write about your love for pediatric medicine if you're applying for a surgical residency program. What's less obvious is that you can - and should - write about the specific advantages of a research-oriented residency program in one essay and the benefits of a purely clinical experience in another. You can even write a different personal statement for every program. It sounds like a lot of extra work, but don't underestimate the bonus points you can get for this approach. Tailoring your essay to specific programs or types of programs demonstrates that you've done your homework and are genuinely interested.

Tips for writing a better residency personal statement

Now that you have an idea what to write about, you need to know how to write it. Your tone of voice should be personable, but professional. Your story should be interesting and draw the reader into the story with specific examples, but use humor sparingly. Throughout your writing, keep your purpose in mind - you're trying to land the interview, not detail every aspect of your medical school training or research project.

By Cydney Foote, Senior Editor. Copyright 2003.

For more information

Understanding the basics of a medical residency, ERAS, NRMP, the Residency Match, and the Scramble

A residency selection committee chairman offers advice on medical residency interviews

An assistant dean for career counseling shares her knowledge about the medical residency application process

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