Skip to main content

Medical Student Resources: Personal Statement

Program directors will be looking at your personal statement for things like your character and ambitions, which cannot be found in your CV. A personal statement is typically used by candidates to highlight their qualities and outline their experiences to show why they are a good fit for a program. Your personal statement is a good place for you to expand on anything in your CV that might be ambiguous.

We've included some tips below that you should follow when crafting the perfect personal statement:

  • Don't use jargon
  • Avoid using acronyms — your reader(s) may not know them
  • Write in complete sentences
  • Ask mentors, advisors, and friends to critique your personal statement
  • Use a thesaurus for some variety
  • Make your personal statement stand out among the rest

Outline any nontraditional paths

Be sure to outline any nontraditional paths you've taken during your schooling journey to avoid any confusion about gaps on your CV. If you choose to write about any challenges you have faced, put a positive spin on them and follow up with what you've learned from those experiences. Writing an intriguing opening paragraph can be intimidating, so feel free to skip it and write it last. Your opening paragraph should stand out among others and should do more than just summarize your personal statement.

Consider free personal statement review.

Avoid relying on your personal statement to rescue your residency application — program directors do not solely use personal statements when selecting candidates for residency interviews Your personal statement could, however, affect your application if it is too generic or has an abundance of grammar and spelling mistakes. Therefore it's important to proofread your personal statement yourself, and to have others look it over, as well. At PracticeMatch, we offer free personal statement review to help you submit a personal statement that will highlight what makes you an excellent candidate for residency.

  • Join the Physician Ambassador Program to earn additional income during training;
  • Create your free PracticeMatch profile so you can apply for jobs with a click of a button;
  • Download the Career Fair List so you can save the dates.