I would recommend you to grab a coffee☕, relax💆🏽 and enjoy 🧘🏻♂️the reading.
It’s kind of a long post, but you follow it top to bottom, you will create an 𝗼𝘂𝘁𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗦 that will differentiate from the crowd!
This is your opportunity to stand out from everybody else!
At the bottom of the post you will find my own Personal Statement
𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐮𝐲𝐬 so much and feel that we have 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐭 during this time that I started making my posts, so I don’t mind sharing my personal stuff with you
I also mention:
•What you should and should not include?
•What wording to use?
•Tips & phrases for each specialty.
I start my OB/GYN residency July 1 - You can 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 my daily 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 as a resident in NYC on my Instragram @doctor.sebas
I wanted to get this post done before that, because then I'll be very busy.
The "𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁" is your personal essay where you describe why you like the specialty, enriching your personal experiences and virtues that distinguish you as a human, doctor and professional, it should reproduce a picture of you.
For me, this was something completely new because this was never part of the requirements during my medical carrier and jobs in Argentina 🇦🇷 and I did not know exactly on what it consisted of or how to do it.
But here, in the US 🇺🇸, it is very common to get asked for your "𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁" as one of the requirements to apply for schools, universities, student housing and different kind of jobs. It’s used in many areas, not only in the medical field.
It is a way to highlight virtues of your personality and share personal experiences that are not included in the CV and thus distinguishing yourself and stand out from the crowd.
PDs don’t want to see just numbers (your scores), or just the way someone else described you on a LORs. They also want to get to know you as a person, they want to know who you are, how do you describe yourself other than scores, school and your job.
You will join their team for at least 3 years and you live tons of new experience with them. You all will laugh, cry, spend Hollidays, birthdays and celebrate with them!
Become part of their family and they want to make sure that you are someone that will get along well.
My personal opinion is that despite so many requirements to select the best candidate and avoid unprofessional and/or underperforming individuals,
The same behavior patterns are always seen everywhere in the world regardless of the selection system:
•People that are mediocre, non-workers, greedy or trouble makers.
•Really hard working, outstanding, charismatic, selfless, extraordinary people.
I want you to 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 the that incredible, extraordinary, outstanding individual - That will make history & be a legend
Also, I have seen more than one individual who 𝐰𝐚𝐬 very charismatic during their interviews, with great credentials, amazing scores and an outstanding "personal statement", and then turned out to be a problematic resident with his peers as well as in his academic interactions and work performance.
Being a resident is very different from being a student.
The resident has a heavy workload, greater responsibilities, needs to be efficient and study in the little time that remains. The programs hope to detect some of these capabilities and other virtues in your "personal statement".
A Program Director from a Hospital in New York City told me that they had to fire an OB/GYN resident because he was making up notes, saying that he saw some patients followed up with them, when he actually didn’t even see them!! 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗟𝗘𝗧𝗘𝗟𝗬 𝗨𝗡𝗘𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗟 & 𝗪𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗚!! You studied and worked so much to get here and you will do something like this??? Well apparently... believe or not some people do it!
If you are applying this year and don't have research experience, then work on a great Personal Statement, and this it what 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲! 💪
Ok let’s get to the point now:
When writing your Personal Statement check your grammar 1000 times, have doctors and non-doctors read it! If you don’t know anyone – Hire someone from the internet! But have your PS reviewed please.
NEVER SUBMIT YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT WITH GRAMMATICAL ERRORS!!
Despite all the existing information and editorial services offered on the Internet about and for the "𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀," there are people (nationals and foreigners) who send them with spelling and grammatical errors, or with negative descriptions about their personality, family environment or 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, among other things.
All the above aspects are “warning signs” or "red flags"
They can automatically discard you from an interview or generate questions about it during the interview.
"What you say about other people says way more about you than the people you talk about"
•Limit your "personal statement" to one page (each program has its requirements 500, 600, 650 words, one page, etc.)
•Watch the spelling and grammar.
-•Do not repeat your CV information.
•Write a 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 that will ready grab the readers attention
•Follow the following format, without losing the coherence
Format of the "Personal Statement:
2. 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡: 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
A sentence describing why you want to do this certain specialty.
Other people recommend talking about yourself and your family and why you chose to be a doctor (the latter is widely used so try to write it in an original manner with a catchy first paragraph, if it takes up a lot of space you can ignore the reasons of why you chose to study medicine and focus on why you felt in love in the specialty that you are applying for).
3. 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡: 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬 in your life, college, medical school or Hospital work, that helped you choose this specialty (related to the introduction) and what subjects you liked the most and why.
You can also add your extracurricular activities or volunteer work (they reflect the development of certain skills and characteristics of your personality).
In the USA, direct contact with low-income or rural individuals is not so accessible and infrequent and many students do volunteer work inside and outside the country to be able to live these experiences (in addition to look good in the CV).
In 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀, medical students are constantly working with low-income and rural populations under deplorable working conditions, thus strengthening their ability to solve problems constantly and effectively, in addition to exposing themselves to the care of certain types of diseases and unique experiences.
Experiences in the amazon rainforest, if you helped during a landslide or earthquake, medical care for prisoners or in dangerous areas, you can even add if you volunteered for COVID-19, etc.
Take the most out of these experiences and capabilities in your "personal statement".
Here in the US you would have to volunteer to have these experiences.
Doctors 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 to 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀 of stories, so 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 for your 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.
My former PI from Cedars Sinai (a great doctor and very well-known surgeon, that studied in Mayo Clinic) told me many times to mention my home town experiences working as a doctor - on my PS - since that’s some experience that lack a lot of applicants.
If you are an 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐈𝐌𝐆𝐬 but have a lot of experience in your field, 𝐃𝐄𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐈𝐓𝐄𝐋𝐘 𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐈𝐓!!