College of Medicine and Life Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘personal statements’

Bake a Personal Statement PIE

apple pie

Home Made Apple Pie

A frequent issue with personal statements is that they are not coherent. You only get about a page to make your case–as such, it is crucial that your reader is able to easily follow your flow and immediately understand what you are trying to communicate.

Along with being honest and accurate as well as 100% free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, having a coherent, well-organized and logical structure is the very least of what your personal statement should be.

One writing tool that may help in this regard is using a PIE [Point-Illustration-Explanation] structure for your paragraphs of your statement.


About YOU: Professional Branding for Medical Residency Personal Statements

There are two related issues I often see when reviewing students’ drafts of their residency application personal statements: one issue involves not making the statement specific enough about the student and the other issue involves writing a statement that is more appropriate for a medical school application, but not so appropriate for a residency application. Both issues stem, I believe, from a more

Google-Coke logo mashup

Google-Coke logo mash-up,

fundamental issue: Many students have not thought enough about what their professional brand is at this point in their training, nor are they able to adequately articulate this brand.

Your Personal Statement Should Be About YOU

This sounds like a pretty obvious statement. But you may be surprised at how many statements I have read where this obvious rule did not seem to be followed.

And actually, making the personal statement personal is often harder than you may think.

A personal statement is like a 1-page movie trailer with the potential to interest a reader enough that she will want to invite you to her program to interview for a residency position. Just as it would be foolish for the producers of one of the “Hunger Games” movies to try to get people see the film by including footage from “Frozen” in their trailer, it is not to your advantage to use your personal statement to highlight anyone other than you.


Personal Statement: Get It Out of Your Head!



That is the first rule of writing your personal statement for your medical residency application.

Frequently I meet with students to review their personal statements and they tell me, “I have a pretty good idea in my mind what I want to write, but I can’t seem to get started…”

The only answer to that is to start somewhere.
Having trouble getting started? Start by writing down your answers to 3 major questions:

1. What specialty are you applying to, and why is the specialty a good fit for you?
2. What will you bring to the specialty and how will you be an asset to a residency program in that specialty?
3. Where do you hope to go in the future in terms of your career and how do you hope your residency training will prepare you for that?