How to Write a Standout Internal Medicine Personal Statement

Learn how to write a standout internal medicine personal statement that will allow you to be a standout applicant to adcoms.

Posted January 10, 2024

personal statement im residency

Table of Contents

If you're applying for an internal medicine residency program, writing a standout personal statement is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of getting accepted. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of crafting a compelling personal statement that showcases your unique qualities as an applicant, highlights your academic and clinical achievements, and demonstrates your commitment to the field of internal medicine.

Why a Strong Personal Statement is Important for Internal Medicine Residency

The personal statement is your chance to introduce yourself to the residency program directors and show them why you're the best fit for their program. It's your opportunity to explain why you chose internal medicine as your field of study and what makes you stand out from other applicants. A well-written personal statement can help you overcome any shortcomings in your application and persuade the program directors to invite you for an interview.

Additionally, a strong personal statement can also demonstrate your passion for internal medicine and your commitment to the field. It can showcase your unique experiences and skills that make you a valuable asset to the residency program. Furthermore, a well-crafted personal statement can help you stand out from the thousands of other applicants and increase your chances of being accepted into your desired program. Therefore, taking the time to write a compelling personal statement is crucial for anyone pursuing a career in internal medicine.

Step 1: Start Early and Plan Strategically

Effective personal statement writing is a process that requires careful planning and ample time. Begin early to allow for brainstorming, drafting, revising, and proofreading. Here's a strategic plan to guide your timeline:

  • Months 6-12 before application: Start brainstorming ideas, reflecting on your experiences, and researching programs.
  • Months 4-6 before application: Develop an outline, write a first draft, and seek feedback from mentors, advisors, or peers.
  • Months 2-4 before application: Revise and refine your draft, paying close attention to clarity, structure, and grammar.
  • Month 1 before application: Finalize and proofread your personal statement, making sure it adheres to word limits and formatting guidelines.

Step 2: Find Your Unique Narrative

Your personal statement should tell a unique and engaging story about your journey into internal medicine. Avoid clichés and generic statements. Consider the following strategies to help you find your unique narrative:

  • Reflect on pivotal moments: Think about experiences, patients, or encounters that influenced your decision to pursue internal medicine. Share these stories to showcase your genuine passion.
  • Highlight your growth: Discuss how you evolved personally and professionally throughout your medical journey, demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Incorporate your values: Explain the values and principles that drive your desire to become an internal medicine specialist. Showcase your dedication to patient care and evidence-based practice.

Step 3: Structure and Content

A well-structured personal statement is easier to read and conveys your message effectively. Consider the following structure and content guidelines:

  • Introduction: Begin with a captivating hook that grabs the reader's attention. Briefly introduce yourself and your interest in internal medicine.
  • Body paragraphs: Organize your experiences and narrative into coherent paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your journey or qualities that make you an excellent candidate.
  • Demonstrated qualities: Showcase qualities like empathy, teamwork, resilience, and adaptability through specific examples from your experiences.
  • Program fit: Explain why you are interested in the specific internal medicine program and how it aligns with your career goals.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your key points, reiterate your passion for internal medicine, and leave a memorable impression.

Step 4: Proofread and Edit

After drafting your personal statement, proofreading and editing are crucial. Errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling can detract from your message. Here's a checklist for effective proofreading:

  • Grammar and syntax: Ensure correct grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation.
  • Clarity and conciseness: Eliminate unnecessary words and phrases to make your writing more concise and focused.
  • Consistency: Check that your writing style, tone, and formatting are consistent throughout the statement.
  • Avoid clichés: Remove clichés and overused phrases to make your statement more original.
  • Seek feedback: Work with a Leland Coach to review your statement for feedback and suggestions. Here are some coaches we highly recommend:

Writing a standout personal statement for internal medicine residency requires careful planning, thoughtful reflection, and a lot of hard work. By following the tips and advice in this article, you can craft a compelling personal statement that showcases your unique qualities as an applicant and increases your chances of getting accepted to your dream residency program.

Here are some other articles you may find helpful:

  • Mastering Medical School Interviews: Questions and Strategies
  • How to Craft the Perfect Medical School Interview "Thank You" Letter
  • Navigating Psychiatry-Focused Medical Schools: Top Choices and What to Expect
  • The Top 10 Medical Schools in Texas -- and How to Get In
  • Preparing for Medical School: A Comprehensive Guide

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles

personal statement im residency

March 20, 2024

Writing a Strong Medical School Update Letter for Admission

Learn how to craft a powerful medical school update letter that will impress admissions committees and increase your chances of acceptance.

personal statement im residency

January 10, 2024

How to Write a Powerful Personal Statement for Medical School

The personal statement can make or break your medical school application. Learn how to write it and strategies to make it stand out to admissions committees in this expert guide.

personal statement im residency

March 18, 2024

Medical School Curriculum Overview: Year-by-Year

Explore the comprehensive breakdown of the medical school curriculum, from the foundational preclinical years to the hands-on clinical rotations.

personal statement im residency

March 21, 2024

The Most Common Physician Assistant (PA) School Interview Questions – and How to Answer Them

Discover the most common physician assistant (PA) school interview questions and expert tips on how to craft winning responses.

personal statement im residency

March 22, 2024

How to Nail Your Stanford Medical School Secondary Essays

Learn how to craft compelling and impactful secondary essays for Stanford Medical School.

personal statement im residency

The Expert's Guide to Stanford Medical School Letters of Recommendation

Discover the insider tips and strategies for securing stellar letters of recommendation for Stanford Medical School.

personal statement im residency

March 25, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Secondary Essays

Unlock the secrets to acing the Harvard Medical School secondary essays with our comprehensive guide.

personal statement im residency

March 26, 2024

How to Ace Your Harvard Medical School Interview

Learn the insider tips and strategies to ace your Harvard Medical School interview.

personal statement im residency

March 24, 2024

How to Get Powerful Harvard Recommendation Letters

Learn the insider tips and strategies for securing powerful recommendation letters from Harvard.

personal statement im residency

March 28, 2024

How to Get Strong UCSF Letters of Recommendation for Medical School

Learn the insider tips and tricks for securing powerful letters of recommendation from UCSF faculty to boost your medical school application.

personal statement im residency

March 31, 2024

How to Nail Your Yale School of Medicine Secondary Essays

Learn how to ace your Yale School of Medicine secondary essays with our comprehensive guide.

personal statement im residency

April 4, 2024

Yale School of Medicine: Letter of Recommendation Guide

Learn how to navigate the Yale School of Medicine's letter of recommendation process with our comprehensive guide.

BrightLink Prep

Example Personal Statement Residency (Internal Medicine)

personal statement im residency

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field.

Here is an excellent example of a personal statement of a medical student who got accepted to seven top residency programs in internal medicine, including Columbia, Vanderbilt, and Arizona.

You will find that this personal statement includes all of the major ingredients of success that you can find here . 

Sample Personal Statement for Residency in Internal Medicine

Being the youngest of four sisters was a challenge, but it taught me the skills to be a problem solver at a very young age. What drew me to medicine was the desire to confront and solve the puzzle to restore a patient’s health.

I completed my medical education at XYZ Hospital under the supervision of competent professionals. Having been trained in a developing country, situations often arose when patients were treated with limited resources in harsh circumstances and taxing environments. My teachers became my inspiration, working beyond their capacity to meet the challenges of the demanding profession. That is the kind of doctor I desire to be, helping the sick and bringing comfort to them in every conceivable manner. During this time, I saw the range of diseases peculiar to our region but seldom confronted by the developed world, such as malaria, dengue, polio, and tuberculosis. In any medical ward, one would find more than fifty percent of patients with infectious hepatitis, owing mainly to the lack of awareness and access to clean supplies. This gave me ample opportunity to educate and treat patients effectively.

After getting married and relocating to the United States, I committed to acquiring the best graduate medical education. I have worked in an inpatient and outpatient US-based clinical setting, which has adequately acquainted me with the system. Additionally, being the spouse of a medical resident, I saw the transformation of new, amateur residents into successful, confident physicians over three years of vigorous training. This further prompted me to strive for my goal.

Internal medicine has always appealed to me for its diverse nature. During my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to see various spectrums of diseases. Internal Medicine deals with ailments, from common flu to multiple sclerosis. This diversity of conditions and patient population, from young to elderly, make it a very fulfilling career choice for me during a rotation with house staff medicine. I particularly remember caring for an anxious young patient with Crohn’s disease. She refused treatment and was clinically depressed. We addressed all her concerns through effective counseling and pain relief and successfully treated her. Cases like these make internal medicine very stimulating since it deals with all the aspects of the patient’s health.

Belonging to a military background and having undergone training at an army hospital, I learned to adapt. Since childhood, my surroundings instilled in me the discipline I consider my forte. Every two to three years, we moved. With these moves came new schools, homes, and friends. To survive, I had to learn to acclimatize to new environments. As exciting as it may seem, adjusting to different surroundings was always challenging. I can proudly claim that I have succeeded at it. Since moving back to the United States, I have been a homemaker, mother to my child, and a struggling medical student. These experiences have taught me perseverance, consistency, compassion, and determination, which are essential for achieving my long-cherished goal.

The inevitable constraints have not deterred me. On the contrary, I am even more committed to working hard to further my objective. I aim to work in a friendly environment, actively participate in research and use every opportunity to grow as a physician. I will be honored to match and work in your program. I believe I will be a strong candidate for your residency program, bringing resourcefulness and diversity.

This residency essay doesn’t attempt to lure us with flashy stories or impress us with the “too good to be true” achievements. Instead, it chooses a simple storyline. The essay takes the reader into her childhood and portrays her upbringing in a military family where she was always on the move, adapting to a new environment.

The essay is holistic and completely captures all aspects of a residency’s statement. It has a definite beginning, middle, and end. It describes how she was overwhelmed by the plethora of patients in third-world countries suffering from diseases unimaginable in the west.

This projects her as an applicant who has a lot of exposure to working in a challenging environment where the number of patients per doctor is usually in the hundreds. Such a high number is usually not the case here in the US and hence tells the admissions board that she is highly apt at handling an immense workload in a milieu where resources are minimal.

Moreover, the essay also portrays her as someone with so much diversity. She has worked in both developed and underdeveloped countries, which means that she will bring a lot of uniqueness to the residency program. Residency programs value applicants with diversity in background, and she is one with tons of disparate experiences.

The personal statement also gives a sneak peek into her personality. She is caring and has a soft heart, critical ingredients for success in the medical field. Not only that, but she also listens to her patients attentively and goes the extra mile to ensure they live healthy lives.

She also indicates the relentless effort she has put into working as a homemaker and a medical professional. This sheds light on her ability to multitask.

Even though her residency essay depicts success, she doesn’t end it in triumph. This is important because if you always try to finish your essay successfully, even if there isn’t one, you will sound fake. But, on the other hand, you have the whole essay at your disposal to talk about your achievements.


  • 100+ Outstanding Examples of Personal Statements
  • The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Winning Personal Statement
  • Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  • Writing a Killer Opening Paragraph for Your Personal Statement
  • Ideal Length for a Graduate School Personal Statement
  • 100 Inspiring Quotes to Jumpstart Your Personal Statement

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business My journey began amidst the kaleidoscope of Qatar's landscapes, setting the stage for a life attuned to cultural nuances. Transitioning to Riyadh in my teens, I absorbed a mosaic of traditions, sparking a...

Sample Personal Statement for Family Medicine Residency

Personal Statement Prompt: A personal letter is required. We are looking for mature, enthusiastic physicians who bring with them a broad range of life experiences, are committed to providing excellent patient care, and can embrace the depth and breadth of experiences...

[2024] 4 Law School Personal Statement Examples from Top Programs

In this article, I will discuss 4 law school personal statement samples. These statements have been written by successful applicants who gained admission to prestigious US Law schools like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. The purpose of these examples is to demonstrate...

Sample Personal Statement Cybersecurity

In this article, I will be providing a sample grad school personal statement in the field of cybersecurity. This sample was written by an applicant who got admitted into George Mason, Northeastern and Arizona State University. This example aims to show how prospective...

100+ Grad School Personal Statement Examples

Introduction Importance of a Strong Personal Statement A personal statement is essential in the graduate school application process, as it plays a significant role in shaping the admissions committee's perception of you. In fact, a survey conducted by the Council of...


  • 100+ Personal Statement Templates

MedEdits Logo

The Residency Personal Statement (2023/2024): The Insider’s Guide (with Examples)

Residency Match Personal Statement

A physician and former residency program director explains how to write your residency personal statement to match in to your top-choice residency program in 2024.

Read example residency personal statements and suggested outlines..


The residency personal statement allows residency program directors and associate directors the chance to get a sense of who you are and your commitment to your chosen specialty. 

As a former program director who understands how residency personal statements are reviewed, what “stands out,” and, most importantly, what will earn you interview invitations, the information below will help you write a residency personal statement to match!

It is imperative to make sure you get the most accurate guidance possible with regards to your residency personal statement content and optimal residency personal statement length (up to 5300 characters with spaces).

Want more personalized suggestions? Sign up for a FREE residency personal statement consultation .

Table of Contents

Goals for Writing Your 2024 Residency Personal Statement

Above all else, your residency personal statement offers the opportunity to show your interest in your chosen specialty when applying to residency to illustrate you are a good fit.

The more details you offer about why you are interested in the specialty and how your med school rotations, accomplishments and experiences have reinforced this interest, the stronger your personal statement will be, the more it will appeal to selection committees and the better you will do in the match process .

I encourage applicants to offer as much “evidence” as possible to “show” rather than “tell” what qualities, characteristics and interests they have. “Telling” a reader, for example, that you are compassionate and hard working means nothing. Instead, you must “show” that you embody these qualities based on your experiences in health care and the patients for whom you have cared.

The residency personal statement also offers the opportunity to write about who you are as a person to convey some details about your background, influences, and interests outside of your given specialty.

The Importance of a Balanced Residency Personal Statement

The key when writing your residency personal statement is to ensure that it is well-balanced so it appeals to a large group of people who might read your ERAS residency application.

However, it is important to understand that every program director and faculty member has his or her own idea of what he would like to read in a personal statement. As an applicant, you must go into this process understanding that you cannot please everyone, or a specific program, and your personal statement should therefore have the broadest appeal possible.

For example, some program directors would rather hear about your personal interests and curiosities and get to know who you are rather than have you focus on the specialty in which you are interested.

At MedEdits, we suggest taking a “middle of the road” approach; include some details about who you are but also focus on the specialty itself. In this way, you will make more traditional reviewers who want to hear about your interest in the specialty happy while also satisfying those who would rather learn about you as a person.

Above all, be authentic and true to yourself when writing your statement. This always leads to the best results! Read on to learn more about how to write a winning personal statement.

About MedEdits

Getting into a residency has never been more competitive. Founded by a former associate program director, the experts at MedEdits will make your residency personal statement shine. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been matched to one of their top-choice programs.

Need Help With Your Residency Personal Statement?

Schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation with a MedEdits expert.

Residency Personal Statement Outline & Structure

Residency applicants often do well when given outlines or templates to follow, so, we will offer that, but, it is important to realize that many applicants deviate from these rigid rules. One very typical outline that serves applicants quite well in the residency admissions process is:

  • Compose a catchy introduction. Your intro can be related to your interest in the specialty to which you are applying, about a hobby or personal experience, or about your background. Regardless of the topic you choose, you want to tell a story and start with something that will interest your reader and engage him.
  • The next two to four paragraphs comprise the body of your personal statement. We encourage applicants to write about any significant experiences they have had related to their desired specialty and/or future goals. This would include information about rotations, electives, and sub internships related to the specialty, volunteer and research experiences and even significant outside interests.
  • Finally, you want to conclude your essay. In your conclusion, write about what you seek in a residency program, what you will bring to a residency program, and, if you have any idea of your future career goals, write about those as well. Your conclusion is also where you can tailor a personal statement to a specific geographic area of interest or type of program (rural, urban, community).

Residency Personal Statement Length & Residency Personal Statement Word Limit

Residency Personal Statement Length: Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be between 4000 – 5300 characters with spaces or up to 900 words in length. 

The allowed ERAS residency personal statement length is 28,000 characters which equates to about five pages!

We have been hearing from more and more applicants that the personal statement should not exceed one page when typed in to the ERAS application . Because of this overwhelming trend, we are supporting this guidance unless you have extenuating circumstances that require your personal statement be longer.

Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be a maximum of 5300 characters with spaces.

ERAS Residency Personal Statement Checklist

  • Ensure your personal statement flows well

The best personal statements are easy to read, don’t make the reader think too much, and make your path and interests seem logical. Rarely does a personal statement have a theme. Also try to have each paragraph transition to the next seamlessly. 

2. Your personal statement should be about you!

Your personal statement should be about you and no one else. Focus on your interests, your accomplishments and your path. This is your opportunity to be forthcoming about your achievements – by writing in detail about what you have done.

3. Be sure your personal statement clearly outlines your interest in the specialty.

Since the reader wants to be convinced of your understanding of, experience in, and curiosity about the specialty to which you are applying, be sure you highlight what you have done to explore your interest as well as your insights and observations about the specialty to show your understanding of it.

4. Make it human.

Again, your personal statement should be about you! The reader wants to know who you are, where you are from, what your interests are and who you are outside of medicine. Therefore, try to include those details about your background that are intriguing or important to you.

5. Express your interest in the specialty.

The reader fundamentally wants to know why you are pursuing the specialty. The more details you offer the more convincing you are about your commitment and your understanding of the specialty. Be sure to include details that might seem obvious. For example, in emergency medicine you must like acute care, but try to include more nuanced details about your interest, too. What do you enjoy about the diagnoses and pathologies involved? What do you value about the actual work you will do? What do you enjoy about the patients for whom you will care? How about the setting in which you will practice?

6. The start and evolution of your interest.

Readers want to know how and when you became interested in your specialty. Was this before medical school? During medical school? What have you done to pursue and nurture your interest in the specialty?

7. What you have done to learn more about the specialty.

You should explain what you have done to pursue your interest. What rotations have you done or have planned? What research, scholarly work or community service activities have you pursued to further your interest?

8. Where you see yourself in the future – if you know!

Without going into too much detail, write about the type of setting in which you see yourself in the future. Do you hope to also participate in research, teaching, public health work or community outreach as a part of your career? What are your future goals? Since many programs typically train a certain type of physician, it is important that your goals are aligned with the programs to which you are applying.

9. What do you bring to the specialty?

You should try to identify what you can bring to the program and the specialty to which you are applying as a whole. For example, are you applying to family medicine and have a distinct interest in public health? Are you applying for internal medicine and do you have demonstrated expertise in information technology and hope to improve electronic medical records? Do you have extensive research or teaching experience, and do you hope to continue to pursue these interests in the future? Have you developed a commitment to global health, and do you hope to continue making contributions abroad? Programs have a societal obligation to select residents who will make valuable contributions in the future, so the more ambitions you have the more desirable a candidate you will be.

10. What type of program you hope to join?

Do you hope to be part of a community or university-based program? What are you seeking in a residency program? Programs are looking for residents who will be the right “fit” so offering an idea of what you are seeking in a program will help them determine if your values and goals mesh with those of the program.

11. Who you are outside of the hospital?

Try to bring in some personal elements about who you are. You can do this in a few ways. If you have any outside interests or accomplishments that complement your interest in your specialty, such as extracurricular work, global work, teaching or volunteer efforts, write about them in detail, and, in doing so, show the reader a different dimension of your personality. Or, consider opening your statement by writing about an experience related to your hobbies or outside interests. Write about this in the form of an introductory vignette. I suggest taking this nontraditional approach only if you are a talented writer and can somehow relate your outside interest to the specialty you are pursuing, however. An interest in the arts can lend itself to dermatology, plastic surgery or ophthalmology, for example. Or, an interest in technology could relate to radiology .

12. Any personal challenges?

Also explain any obstacles you have overcome: Were you the first in your family to graduate from college? Were you an immigrant? Did you have limited financial resources and work through college? Many applicants tend to shy away from the very things that make them impressive because they are afraid of appearing to be looking for sympathy. As long as you explain how you have overcome adversity in a positive or creative way, your experience will be viewed as the tremendous accomplishment that it is. The personal statement should explain any unusual or distinctive aspects of your background.

  • Residency Match: How It Works & How To Get Matched

Common ERAS Residency Personal Statement Mistakes

Do not tell your entire life story or write a statement focused on your childhood or undergraduate career. 

Do not write about why you wanted to be a doctor. This is old news. From the reviewers perspective, you already are a doctor!

Do not write a personal statement focused on one hobby or begin with your birth. Some background information might be useful if it offers context to your choices and path, but your residency personal statement should be focused on the present and what you have done to pursue your interest in the specialty to which you are applying.

Do not preach. The reader understands what it means to practice his specialty and does not need you to tell him. Don’t write, for example: Internal medicine requires that a physician be knowledgeable, kind and compassionate. The reader wants to know about you!

Do not put down other specialties. You don’t need to convince anyone of your interest by writing something negative about other specialties. Doing so just makes you look bad. If you switched residencies or interests, you can explain what else you were seeking and what you found in the specialty of your choice that interests you.

Do not embellish. Program directors are pretty good at sniffing out inconsistencies and dishonesty. Always tell the truth and be honest and authentic. 

Do not plagiarize. While this seems obvious to most people, every year people copy personal statements they find online or hire companies that use stock phrases and statement to compose statements for applicants. Don’t do it!

Do not write about sensitive topics. Even if you were in a relationship that ended and resulted in a poor USMLE score , this is not a topic for a personal statement. In general, it is best to avoid discussing relationships, politics, ethical issues and religion.

Do not boast. Any hint of arrogance or self-righteousness may result in getting rejected. There is a fine line between confidence and self promotion. Some people make the mistake of over-selling themselves or writing about all of their fantastic qualities and characteristics. Rarely do readers view such personal statements favorably.

Do not write an overly creative piece. A residency personal statement should be professional. This work is equivalent to a job application. Don’t get too creative; stay focused.

Writing ERAS Residency Personal Statements For Multiple Specialties

An increasing number of applicants are applying to more than one specialty in medicine especially if the first choice specialty is very competitive. If you are applying to more than one specialty, even if there is disciplinary overlap between the two (for example family medicine and pediatrics ), we advise you write a distinct specialty for each. Remember that a physician who practices the specialty you hope to join will most likely be reviewing your statement. He or she will definitely be able to determine if the personal statement illustrates a true understanding of the specialty. If you try to recycle an entire personal statement or parts of a personal statement for two specialties, there is a high likelihood the personal statement will communicate that you aren’t sincerely interested in that specialty or that you don’t really understand what the specialty is about.

Writing About Red Flags in your ERAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is also the place to explain any red flags in your application, such as gaps in time or a leave of absence. When addressing any red flags, explain what happened succinctly. Be honest, don’t make excuses, and don’t dwell on the topic. Whenever possible, write about how you have matured or grown from the adversity or what you may have learned and how this benefits you.

If you have left a program or had a break in your medical education, you will also have the chance to explain this in your ERAS application . You should also write about this topic in your personal statement only if you have more to explain, however. 

If you have failed a Step exam or one course in medical school, this likely isn’t something to address in the personal statement. However, you should be prepared to discuss any failure during an interview. By the same token, it is best not to address one low grade or poor attending evaluation in your statement. 

Have you taken a circuitous path to medicine? If so you might address why you made these choices and what you found so interesting about medicine that was lacking in your former career.

Residency Personal Statement Example

Below are two great examples of residency personal statements that earned the applicants who wrote them numerous interviews and first choice matches. As you will see, these two applicants took very different approaches when writing the personal statement yet wrote equally persuasive and “successful” personal statements.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Traditional Approach

The most common approach to the personal statement is what I will call the traditional approach, in which the applicant conveys her interest in the specialty, when that interest began and what she has done to pursue the particular specialty.

Suggested outline:

  • Introduction: Catchy Story
  • Paragraph 2: Background Information and how Interest Started
  • Paragraph 3: Write about what you did to explore your interest
  • Paragraph 4: Second paragraph about your experiences related to your specialty
  • Conclusion: Wrap it up. Write something about your future goals.

Below is an example of the traditional approach:

I looked into her eyes and saw terror. She knew the life of her unborn baby was in jeopardy. As tears streamed down her face, she looked to the attending physician. In desperation, she pleaded, “Please save our baby.” She and her husband had been trying to conceive for more than two years, and they knew this could be their only chance to have a healthy child. She went into labor at home and because of a horrible snowstorm was not able to reach the hospital for several hours. When she arrived in labor and delivery, she was crowning. But, the baby was having late decelerations. Because of the sweat on my attending’s forehead I knew the situation was serious. Yet we all tried to remain calm and to keep the patient and her husband calm as well. 

I entered medical school with an open mind as everyone suggested. Even as a first year medical student, however, I was fascinated with embryology. I entered my third year still unsure of what I would pursue. I knew I wanted a career that would be challenging and interesting. Because of my background in drawing and painting, I always loved working with my hands. Yet I also enjoyed working with people. Thankfully, my obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) rotation was the first of my third year and I was immediately hooked.

I quickly sought out opportunities for research and became involved in a clinical study investigating the impact of a vegan diet on birth outcomes. I have always had an interest in wellness and nutrition, and this seemed like a perfect fit for me. My research is still in process, but through this experience I have learned how to analyze data, stay objective and critically evaluate the literature. So far, our findings suggest better than normal outcomes for babies born to vegan mothers. This reinforces my goal to educate my patients about the important of diet and nutrition, which I hope to make a part of my future practice. 

Early in my fourth year, I completed an elective rotation at Inner City Medical Center. There I cared for a diverse group of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I realized how much I enjoy labor and delivery, but I also value the operative aspects of ob/gyn. I appreciate the importance of understanding the female anatomy so I can operate with precision.  I also value the diversity of practice in ob/gyn. Whether caring for a woman about to give birth, helping a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer navigate her treatment options, or caring for a perimenopausal woman who is coping with symptoms of hormone fluctuations, I enjoy caring for patients with knowledge and compassion. The outpatient aspect of ob/gyn brings satisfaction as well. I look forward to building relationships with my patients, helping them to lead the healthiest lives possible. I have also realized how much I want to care for those who lack access to care. The work I have done at Medical School Free Clinic has helped me realize the gaps that exist in access to care and education. As a future practicing ob/gyn, I hope to work in such a setting at least on a part time basis.

On that snowy night, when we realized the baby was having difficulty being born because of shoulder dystocia, a simple maneuver eased the situation. The baby’s first cry brought such joy and relief to everyone in the room and, at that moment, I knew I had to be part of this specialty. I hope to join a program where I will have the clinical exposure that will give me the skills and experience to care for a wide range of patients. I do not yet know if I will subspecialize, and I will seek out mentors and experiences as a resident to make an informed decision. I would be honored to interview at your program and thank you for your consideration.

Why It’s Great

This is a great personal statement because it clearly conveys the applicant’s interest in, and understanding of, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and what the applicant has done to pursue that interest. Not only does this applicant have a long-standing interest in OB/GYN, but, she conveys that she has experienced the specialty in different settings and understands the diverse nature of the specialty. She also includes information about her hobbies and interests and writes about her exploration of OB/GYN outside of the clinical arena. An added bonus is that the applicant writes well and uses descriptive language making her statement interesting and fun to read.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Outside Interests Approach

Many mentors advise applicants to tell the reader something about them that is unrelated to medicine or the specialty they are pursuing. This is a fine idea, but be sure your personal statement also includes some details about your interest in your specialty if you decide to move in this direction.

Suggested Outline:

  • Introduction: Write a Catchy Introduction. Be creative! Think outside the box.
  • Paragraph 2:Elaborate on your introduction offering more details
  • Paragraph 3: Write about your specialty choice and what appeals to you.
  • Paragraph 4: Write more about your explorations in medical school.
  • Concluding paragraph(s): Write about your future goals, the type of program you hope to join and consider looping back to your introduction.

Below is an example of the outside interests approach:

The landscape before me was lush and magical. We had been hiking for hours and had found a great spot to set up camp. As I was unloading my backpack and helping to pitch the tent, I saw a scene I knew I had to capture. I quickly grabbed my carefully packed Leica before the magnificent sunset disappeared. Trying to get the perfect exposure, I somehow managed to capture this image so accurately that it reflected the beauty of what was before us high in the mountains of Utah, so far away from the hustle and bustle of New York City where we attended medical school.

Throughout my life, I have pursued my interests and curiosities with focus and creativity. One of those interests is photography. Even as a small child, I wanted my own camera, and I started snapping interesting scenes and images at the age of 6. As I grew older, this hobby took on more significance. I took a college level course in photography as a high school student, worked as a photographer’s assistant and even considered a career in photography. Paralleling my interest, however, was a desire to travel and experience new places, foods, and cultures.

I have been fortunate to travel all over the world. Rather than stopping in a city or place for a couple of days and seeing the sights, I prefer to immerse myself in my surroundings, eating the food, meeting the people, and staying for as long as I can. My fluency in Spanish and Italian has made it easier to “fit in” naturally. My most recent trip to Costa Rica allowed me to visit sugar cane fields and rain forests. I also volunteered in a clinic that helps the most desperate citizens. Of course, because I never travel without my camera, I also captured the beauty of this country; those pictures can be found on my blog.

Surgery seemed like a natural choice for me. It is a very tactile and visual field that requires patience, attention to detail and creativity—just like photography. The operating room setting is invigorating. I love to be a member of a team, and in surgery team work is an essential part of practice. The ability to deal with anatomical variations also satisfies my creative side; I have always been fond of puzzles, and the field of surgery represents a real-world puzzle to me. I also appreciate the intensity of surgery and believe I have the personality and demeanor for the field. I have always enjoyed solving problems quickly, something the field of surgery requires. My rotations in surgery – in addition to my core surgery rotation I have done trauma and cardiothoracic surgery – have helped me to understand the tremendous opportunities and diversity of the field. I have heard some residents lament that the only reason they went into surgery is to operate. However, I really enjoy seeing patients postoperatively. It is only at that time that a surgeon can really appreciate the impact of his or her work.

Finally, my trip to Honduras with a surgical team from my hospital and medical school made me realize that I can make a great contribution globally in the field of surgery. There we saw patients who had no resources or access to care. The facilities in which we worked were bare-bones. Yet the impact we made was tremendous, given that this was a group of people who otherwise would have no surgical care. In this way, I hope to combine my interests in travel and surgery as a resident, if I have time, and certainly as a practicing physician. My ultimate goal is to use my training to help populations globally and domestically.

To gain the most clinical exposure possible, I hope to train in a busy urban hospital. I believe that such a setting will give me the operative experience I need to be able to navigate many situations in the future. Such a setting will also give me the outpatient experience to understand how to manage patients once the surgery is completed.

I look forward to the day when I can be snapping my camera intraoperatively, documenting what I am doing and seeking to help other surgeons. For some, such pictures may not represent the art of those pictures I take in the wilderness, but for me they reflect the beauty of surgery and the great opportunity to make a lasting impression on another human being’s life.

This is a really intriguing personal statement because the author writes about his outside interests in a compelling way that makes him instinctively likable. He then goes on to explain what he enjoys about surgery and what he has done to pursue that interest. As you can see, this applicant writes less about his specialty (surgery) than the applicant in statement #1 did, but, he still convinces the reader of his understanding of, and commitment to, surgery. In this statement, the reader gains a much broader understanding of who the applicant is as a person and what he likes to do in his free time.

Final Thoughts

Writing your residency personal statement should be about telling your story in your own voice and style. You want to highlight your interest in the specialty for which you are applying while also conveying some ideas about who you are as a person to keep your reader engaged in learning about you as a person.

Residency Personal Statement Consulting Services

MedEdits Medical Admissions offers comprehensive guidance and document review services for residency applicants to every specialty in medicine. With more than twenty years of experience in residency admissions and founded by a former residency admissions officer and physician, MedEdits understands what program directors want to read and can help you decide what aspects of your background to focus on in your residency personal statement to earn the most interviews possible.

Getting into a residency has never been more competitive. Let the experts at MedEdits help you with your ERAS personal statement. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been matched to one of their top-choice programs.

Sample Residency Personal Statement Page 1

Sample Residency Personal Statements

Residency Personal Statement Example Page 2

Residency Related Articles and Guidance

  • Residency Match Statistics
  • Residency Personal Statement
  • How to write a residency interview thank you letter.
  • What Outfit To Wear To Your Residency Interview
  • Medical Residency Timeline & Length
  • Medical Residency Salary By Specialty
  • How To Master MyERAS, The Medical Residency Interview, and Common Residency Interview Questions
  • Master the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) & ERAS Timeline
  • Residency Letters Of Recommendation (with ERAS Samples)
  • Residency Letter of Intent
  • How to Write a Residency Letter of Intent
  • Residency Love Letters
  • Residency Match Success: Lessons Learned

Residency Specialty Articles

  • Family Medicine Residency Match: Beat more than 4400 Applications
  • Pediatrics Residency Match: Beat more than 3000 Applicaitons
  • Internal Medicine Residency Match: Beat more than 10,000 Applications
  • General Surgery Residency Match: BEAT more than 1900 Applications
  • Emergency Medicine Residency Match: BEAT more than 2600 Applications
  • Anesthesiology Residency Match: BEAT more than 2,000 Applicants

MedEdits Medical Admissions Founder and Chairwoman, Jessica Freedman, MD

  • Website Disclaimer
  • Terms and Conditions
  • MedEdits Privacy Policy

personal statement im residency

Writing a Personal Statement for Residency Application

Personal statements are an essential, required part of applying to residency. Residency programs screen thousands of applications every cycle and read many hundreds of these statements in the process. You should aim to write an interesting statement that showcases your personality as well as your achievements. Perhaps most importantly, you will need to skillfully articulate the reasons for your interest in family medicine and the particular program you're applying to.

How to Write a Great Personal Statement

A great personal statement sets itself apart from a good personal statement in several ways.

  • First, it includes a level of specificity that shows your motivations and interests are authentic. For example, when conveying why you want to match into family medicine, show awareness of the exciting developments in the specialty, or describe your experience with or knowledge of topics like population health management, care coordination, and the social determinants of health.
  • Feel free to highlight items in your CV if they help remind your reader of the experiences you’ve had that prepared you for the position. This is your opportunity to expand upon activities that are just listed in the CV but deserve to be described so your reader can appreciate the breadth and depth of your involvement in them. It should not be another comprehensive list of your activities, but rather should refer to activities that are listed in detail on the CV.
  • The personal statement is also an appropriate place to address anything that may be ambiguous on your CV. In particular, you should address any nontraditional path you’ve taken through medical school, such as time off or an altered curricular journey. It is better to address these than to leave a program wondering. If you write about academic or personal challenges that you faced during medical school, make a positive impression by focusing on what you've learned from those experiences and how they brought you to where you are now. 

You may choose to relate significant personal experiences, but do so only if they are relevant to your candidacy for the position.

Sharpen Your Writing Skills 

The importance of good writing in a personal statement cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, not only are good writing skills allowed to deteriorate during medical school, but in some sense, they also are deliberately undermined in the interest of learning to write concise histories and physicals. For the moment, forget everything you know about writing histories and physicals. While preparing your personal statement:

  • Avoid abbreviations.
  • Avoid repetitive sentence structure.
  • Avoid using jargon. If there is a shorter, simpler, less pretentious way of putting it, use it.
  • Don't assume your reader knows the acronyms you use. As a courtesy, spell everything out.
  • Use a dictionary and spell check. 
  • Use a thesaurus. Variety in the written language can add interest, but don't get carried away.
  • Write in complete sentences.

If you need a crash course in good writing, read  The Elements of Style ,  Fourth Edition  by Strunk and White. If you have friends or relatives with writing or editing skills, enlist their help. Student organizations at your school may host personal statement clinics, or your school may offer review services. Many student, medical, and specialty societies, local and national, may offer personal statement reviews or workshops.

Even if you're a great writer and feel confident about your application, you should ask trusted advisors, mentors, and friends to critique your personal statement (and your CV! ). They can help you make your statement as flawless as possible by giving you feedback about areas that might have been unclear or things that should be added.

Don't cross the line

Your personal statement should remain an original composition, even as you seek input and advice. Retain your voice as you refine your writing and don't ever plagiarize. Be aware of other ethical lines you shouldn't cross as well, for example, don't use vague references that would allow for the reader to misinterpret the nature of your experience, and don't take full credit for a project if others worked on it with you.

Copyright © 2024 American Academy of Family Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Writing the Perfect Residency Personal Statement

If you’re in your third year of medical school, it’s time to sharpen your personal statement writing skills again for the ERAS application .

The good news is you already wrote a great one that got you accepted into medical school ! Now, you’ll need to dig deep and channel the same creative spirit that was there about 3 years ago. 

Many applicants are looking for a special formula for writing a personal statement . But here’s the truth: There’s no secret formula. A fantastic residency personal statement includes well-written storytelling detailing your experiences as a medical student and why you’re an excellent fit for the residencies you’re applying to.

In this article, we’ll talk about inspiration, length, structure, and dynamic writing. Let’s dive in.

What is the ERAS personal statement, and why do you need to write one?

Your residency personal statement is similar to your medical school personal statement in that it’s your chance to directly make a case for yourself . Residency program directors use these essays to get to know you beyond your CV. They can only learn so much about you from your medical education history.

Most of the information program directors use to determine if you’re a good fit is quantitative —  GPAs, USMLE scores, etc. Odds are, these numbers will be fairly similar across the board. 

What sets you apart from other applicants will be qualitative — your personal experiences and career goals, whether you’re hard-working or a team player.

What should you include in your residency personal statement ?

In your residency personal statement , include your experiences and interests that have driven your ambition to mature as a medical professional.

Take time to think about what qualities you’d expect in an exemplary physician. Then, create a list of topics reflecting these qualities from your background.  

Create a list of ideas of what to write from these prompts:

  • Memorable or “a-ha” moments during medical school (including specific rotations ) that changed the way you think about medicine.
  • Volunteering or non-profit work.
  • Your greatest skills and qualities and how you use them when practicing medicine.
  • Specific instances of when you used strong teamwork skills.
  • A personal anecdote that isn’t included on a resume, like an elective that led to an unexpected encounter with a patient that you won’t forget.
  • Professors, mentors , family, friends, or anyone else that has inspired your path.
  • Your goals in your future career.
  • Reasons you are drawn to your specialty.
  • Meaningful experiences in medical school or extracurriculars .
  • Your most commendable achievements.

Why did you choose your specialty?

When you explain why you chose a specialty, discuss the reasons why you enjoy that specialty and how your strengths will apply to your future career. 

Make your answer heartfelt and honest. If your only reasons are money and the lifestyle, your chances of an interview with the program directors will plummet.

Answer these questions while brainstorming :

  • What appeals to you about this specialty?
  • Did past experiences or clinicals influence your decision for this program?
  • What do you believe are the most important qualities for a physician in this specialty? How have you begun to cultivate these qualities in yourself?
  • Are there future goals you want to achieve in this specialty?
  • Have you done any research related to this field or the advancement of this specialty?

How long should a personal statement be for residency?

The personal statement essay section on ERAS allows for 28,000 characters (about 5 pages). 

Our advice? Don’t max out your character count.

Program directors must read the demographics, transcripts, MSPE, experiences section, personal statement , and letters of recommendation before making a decision. That’s a lot of reading.

Your goal is to make your point concisely — writing about a page plus a paragraph is the sweet spot.

Personal Statement Structure

Many applicants don’t know where to start, so we suggest breaking the essay into bite-sized pieces. Use a standard 4-5 paragraph structure. This way, you’ve got small, manageable goals.

Write your residency personal statement using:

  • An introduction paragraph.
  • 2-3 paragraphs to expand on your theme.
  • A conclusion paragraph to tie it all together.


Draw the reader in with a story or anecdote, and introduce a theme. A narrative voice works well here to engage the reader and get them interested. 

Don’t tell an extensive story; provide just enough to provide context and introduce a theme.

Body Paragraphs (2-3)

Explore and expand on the central theme of your personal statement . You can talk about the traits or life experiences that will make you good at family medicine , dermatology , or whatever specialty you’re pursuing. 

Ensure you’re being specific to the specialty — you don’t need to prove you’ll be a good doctor so much as a good doctor in the field you’re applying to .

Wrap everything up and end with a “bang.” The conclusion should serve to bring all your points together in one place. When I say end with a “bang,” I mean to finish strong . 

Stating: “For the reasons above, I believe I will make an excellent internist, ” doesn’t leave the reader with much.

Try something a bit more passionate, idealistic, and enthusiastic. Here’s an example:

“ Internal medicine is centered around improving lives, orchestrating, and managing complex patient care . To me, the true challenge is in the art of internal medicine — to tailor to patients’ needs to maximize their health and improve their overall quality of life.”

With this approach to the structure of your personal statement , the essay becomes more manageable. You can set yourself mini-assignments by just developing one component at a time. Complete one portion each week, and you’ll be done by the end of the month!

Should a residency personal statement have a title? 

There is no hard and fast rule about whether a residency personal statement should have a title. Ultimately, the decision about whether or not to include a title in your personal statement is up to you.

Consider these factors when deciding whether or not to include a title:

  • A good title can serve as a headline for the reader, making your essay stand out before they even start reading. 
  • A good title can make your statement stand out and help it to be more memorable.
  • On the other hand, a poorly chosen or overly generic title could actually detract from your personal statement.

Most residency programs do not require, or even want, a title for personal statements. Be sure to check the program’s guidelines before including one.

If you do choose to include a title, make sure it is relevant, concise, and impactful. Avoid overly generic or cliche titles, and focus on conveying the main message or theme of your personal statement. 

It is less common to have a title, so if you do it right, you may stand out from the crowd.

How To Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out

Take time to brush up on your writing skills to make your personal statement stand out . 

These skills may not have been your focus in the last few years, but concisely expressing your dedication to the specialty will retain a program director ’s attention. 

Oh, and always remember to proofread and check your grammar! If you specifically prompt ChatGPT to “review your personal statement for grammar and punctuation only,” it does a pretty good job. 

Just be sure not to have AI write your personal statement, as it doesn’t know your stories, and can’t convey your sentiment, tone, or emotion.

Language and Vocabulary

The simpler, the better. Hand your essay to a friend or family member to proofread. If they have to stop and look up any word, it’s probably the wrong word choice. Maybe it’s the perfect word for the sentence, but anything that distracts the reader from the content is a problem.

Avoid the following:

  • Contractions. Contractions are informal language. They aren’t appropriate for applications or professional writing.
  • “Really” as in “I really learned a lot.” Try the word “truly” instead. It sounds more sincere.
  • “Really” or “very” as in “it was a really/very great experience.” Here, “really” is a qualifier that holds the place of a better word choice; e.g., Really great = fantastic, wonderful, exquisite; Very important = paramount, momentous, critical.

Simple sentence structure is usually the best. Follow these rules:

  • Avoid quotations if you can. This is your essay, and it should focus on what you have to say, not someone else. There may be exceptions to this rule (like a statement a professor made that changed the course of your medical career), but these are rare.
  • Punctuate correctly. Misplaced commas or a missing period can distract a reader from your content. If grammar isn’t your strong suit, have a friend (or a spellchecker like Grammarly) check your essay for errors.

Avoid Clichés

Saying you want to go into pediatrics because you love kids might be true, but it’s also a given. Everyone going into healthcare is interested in helping people. 

This is your opportunity to make it more personal. Talk about the life experiences that have uniquely informed your career path and what makes you different from every other med student trying to get a residency interview . 

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

Be simple, straight to the point, and authentic. 

Aim for clear wording that communicates your central theme. If you talk about your professional future and goals, they should be realistic and carefully considered. Your goal is to leave program directors with a strong impression of your character and maturity. 

Try Dynamic Writing

Dynamic writing is all about feel and rhythm. Even good content written poorly can come out flat. Here are some cues to evaluate and improve your writing:

  • Read your writing out loud. Do you have to catch your breath in the middle of a sentence? If so, the sentence is too long and needs some additional punctuation, editing, or to be split up.
  • Vary your sentence structure and/or the length of the sentences. When you’re reading, do you feel like there is a repetitive rhythm? This usually results from too many short sentences stacked on top of each other.

Be Prepared To Revise Your Statement

You’ve done this part before. Once the bulk of your statement is done, have someone else read it, then start revising. The great thing about the revision process is that you don’t have to write the first draft perfectly. 

If you can afford it, consider working with a professional team for help with the residency application process , including personal statement editing.

Our friends at MedSchoolCoach can help you with personal statement editing. 

Should you write multiple ERAS personal statements ?

Write a residency personal statement relevant to each specialty you apply to, each with a clearly stated goal.

While it’s a good idea to write a personal statement for every specialty you apply to, you don’t have to write one for each specific program . Maybe you have research experience in a few different specialties and aren’t sure where you’ll get residency training .

A blanket personal statement to cover all specialties is bland at best and, at worst, a red flag . Your interest in becoming an OB/GYN should be informed by different experiences than your interest in anesthesiology or plastic surgery .

Anyone who reads your personal statement should have all the relevant information for integrating you into their program. Don’t overshare experiences or learnings from irrelevant rotations , classes, or experiences.

Let’s say you send your personal statement to a program director for a radiology residency program . If he reads that you’re torn between radiology and emergency medicine , is he more likely to accept you, or an applicant who seems all-in for his program’s specialty?

Ready to write? Get your residency personal statement prepared!

It’s time to knock out that first paragraph ! We have given you the structure and tools to write a personal statement that reflects your strengths. Remember, there’s no formula for the perfect personal statement , but there are tried and true methods for strong writing.

Schedule a free consultation with MedSchoolCoach to see how we can help you increase your chances of matching into the residency of your choice. 

Related posts:

  • Becoming a Doctor
  • How to Become a Doctor
  • Five Reasons Why People May Fail
  • Things I Wish I Knew Before the 4th Year of Medical School

Photo of Kachiu Lee, MD

Kachiu Lee, MD

Related articles.

White blood cell - Stock photography

A Look into the Field of Internal Medicine

Physician Pays Off Med School Debt

The 3 Most Aggressive Ways to Pay Off Your Medical School Debt!

girl learning at home

A Case for Active Learning

Daniel Nagasawa, MD

Neurosurgery – Daniel Nagasawa MD

Med School Insiders

Residency Sample Personal Statements

These are real personal statements from successful residency applicants (some are from students who have used our services or from  our advisors ). These sample personal statements are for reference purposes only and should absolutely not be used to copy or plagiarize in any capacity. Plagiarism detection software is used when evaluating personal statements. Plagiarism is grounds for disqualification of an applicant.

Disclaimer: While these essays ultimately proved effective and led to successful residency matches, there are multiple components that comprise an effective residency applicant. These essays are not perfect, and the strengths and weaknesses have been listed where relevant.

Sample Personal Statements

Encouraged by the idea of becoming well rounded, I collected many hobbies and passions as I grew up from snowboarding and cooking to playing board games and practicing meditation. Despite the increasing demands on my time, however, I never learned how to get more than 24 hours out of a day. Since I entered medical school, I have been searching for ways to continue pursuing my one my most influential hobbies, playing the violin. While my violin may be gathering more dust than I would like to admit, I discovered that the same motivations that gave me an affinity for my favorite pastime are still fulfilled in the practice of anesthesia.

Learning to play the violin was challenging; for the first few years, everything that came out of my violin sounded as if it had been scratched out on a chalkboard. Through daily practice and enormous amount of patience from my parents whose ears were being tortured, playing violin slowly came to be effortless. My violin teacher went beyond teaching me how to play but also challenged me to envision my future and write down my aspirations. While achieving my milestones gave me a jolt of confidence, I learned that setting goals are part of a broader journey of constant improvement. Developed from years of practicing violin, my discipline to work tirelessly towards my goals provides the framework that will help me to master anesthesiology.

I found violin to be most rewarding when I had the opportunity to share my music with others. Through the simple act of pulling my bow across a string, I was able to convey my emotions to my audience. The desire to directly and physically affect change is a large part of my motivation to pursue anesthesiology where problems are identified and immediately met with a potential solution. Drawn to science because of my desire to understand the world around me, I enjoy creating a hypothesis and executing a plan in order to test it. While I was at [UNIVERSITY], I identified areas in which the school could improve the student experience and then implement projects that could address these areas. As the Academics and Research Committee chair, I planned as a summer math course for incoming freshmen to prepare them proof writing, which was a topic that many were to which they were not previously exposed. I derive satisfaction from the ability to take an idea and carrying it through to completion. As a life long learner, I take pleasure in finding ways to grow and expand my mind. My love of learning started from a young age where my favorite use of my computer was to browse my CD-ROM “the way things worked.” My golf team nicknamed me ‘Encyclopedia’ because of my tendency to share interesting facts with them as we drove to tournaments around [STATE]. To this day, it is difficult for me to have dinner with my friends without bringing up an interesting fact I learned from a podcast.

When playing violin became second nature, practicing became a sort of therapy where the world around me disappeared and my mind became quiet and focused. Throughout my life, I have been drawn to tasks that require intense concentration to transform thoughts into physical action from rehearsing a swing to hit a perfect drive to carefully executing a protocol for an experiment. The direct and focused care that takes place in the OR actually turned out to be tranquil and relaxing for me. Monitoring the patient, forming differentials, testing my hypothesis, and planning ahead, I found my mind completely immersed while I was assisting in cases. Able to use my own hands to care for a patient, I left the OR feel satisfied that my efforts were wholeheartedly directed towards providing the best possible care for my patient.

I first discovered chamber music at violin camp and immediately fell in love with beautiful harmonies and intricate counter melodies. One of the most shocking things about chamber music was how foreign the music sounded when I practiced at home because the individual parts frequently do not capture the beauty of piece. It isn’t until rehearsal as a group that the true form of the song emerges. Chamber music, similar to the operating room, involves a small group of people working together toward a single goal. Everyone from the surgeon to the nurses has his or her own role, which is needs to be executed appropriately in order to provide the best care for the patient. The teamwork required in the OR reminds me of seemingly impossible feats humans are able to accomplish through coordinated efforts. This collaboration is an essential characteristic of the type of environment in which I would like to work. In addition, I hope that the anesthesia residency I attend values the spirit of self-reflection and constant improvement. I am excited to pursue a career in anesthesiology where I will continue to build on my interests and strengths that were honed through years of practicing the violin.

The author did a masterful job of integrating one of his/her main outside passions (violin) into an interesting and engaging narrative as to why the applicant was fit for anesthesia.

Compared to the common “writing your CV” mistake that many applicants make, this personal statement is a breath of fresh air. The theme of violin is not irrelevant, as the author relates seemingly unrelated aspects of its practice or performance to key elements of anesthesia, medicine, or being part of a team in the operating room. 

The author allows his/her personality and voice to come through. Reading this, it is easy to imagine a quirky and intellectual applicant who is genuinely curious and excited to pursue the career of anesthesia, along with some interesting hobbies. It is no surprise, then, that this applicant interviewed at top programs across the nation and multiple residency admissions committee members cited the applicant’s personal statement during the interview.

As I stand on stage in front of 500 audience members, they are all eagerly awaiting my next line. In order to start the scene, I need a suggestion from the audience. “What am I holding?” I raise my empty hand in the air. One brave soul replies “Bacon!” My fellow improvisers and I proceed to perform a scene set around a bacon dinner party. We deliver our lines punctuated by laughter until the scene comes to a close. I recall this scene during my first night in the emergency department (ED). I am struck by how much improvisation has taught me. Emergency Medicine (EM) and improv have very similar motifs. Every scene in improvisation is different, as is every ED patient. Scenes are fast paced and force you to draw from life experiences while working in a team setting, similar to the controlled chaos often encountered during an ED shift. Ultimately, ingenuity, communication and resourcefulness are the main draws I have to EM which are traits that have been instilled into my character by my experience with improvisation.

During my third year of medical school, an elderly woman presented to the ED with acute vision loss. Reassessing the patient was difficult because I had no way of documenting the improvement of her vision. Improvisation had prepared me to use creativity and whatever tools available to find a solution for any given situation. I created a system where she could mark an ‘X’ wherever she could see on a grid drawn on paper. Each hour she would add more X’s to the grid as she received corticosteroid treatment. Helping patients with improvised solutions gives me the feeling of being an artist which can complement the logic and criteria needed in EM.

New and imaginative ideas in improvisation are born from constant communication between improvisers. Emergency physicians are constantly communicated information which changes their management of a patient. A growing discipline in EM is the idea of shared decision-making (SDM). My research aims to improve the communication between the emergency doctor and the patient using SDM which is when the patient relies on their life experiences, values, and preferences while the EM physician contributes his/her medical knowledge to improve decision-making. I have been involved in several projects to help identify barriers to SDM in the emergency department, and I am currently leading a research project on the implementation of SDM in oral anticoagulation therapy for patients with new onset atrial fibrillation. Through this novel concept, I learned how to effectively communicate with patients about their illnesses and the benefit of giving them an active role in choosing their care plan.

Entering medical school, I developed an original research project incorporating my life experiences. Five years ago, my grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. In medical school, I learned of the benefits of various alternative treatments of neurodegenerative diseases. Combining my experience with Alzheimer’s and improvisation, I developed a study where elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were enrolled in an eight-week improvisation class. My efforts to improve the participants’ verbal fluency, level of depression and cognition using a treatment that had not yet been explored gave me the ability to administer care with the tools given to me by past experiences. Approaching the undifferentiated ED patient similarly requires resourcefulness and problem-solving which can stem from past life experiences. I believe I will be able to pull from these experiences salient information applicable to the situation because improvisation has helped me nurture this characteristic.

In my future career, I see myself working with underserved populations and performing research. There I can lift those who are in need as well as continue to research improvements in patient engagement through SDM. I know if I am given the chance to practice medicine in an environment that fosters ingenuity, communication and resourcefulness I can continue to be strong advocate for my patients and become a great EM physician.

Building from a unique background, the author of this residency personal statement brings a unique element to the table – improvisation. Similar to the personal statement above, the author uses their passion and interests outside of medicine to illustrate how the skills they have developed in that area will translate to their being an effective physician. 

Notably, the author also describes his novel research project incorporating improvisation into research and the backstory of how this idea was derived from Alzheimer’s dementia effecting his own family members. This simple anecdote reinforces the applicant’s passion for improvisation, their interest in furthering the scientific literature through research, and the personal connection to a condition. 

The applicant comes across as interesting. However, to further improve the impact of the essay, the author may consider tightening up the conclusion with a reference back to improvisation or other parting words that are more unique.

personal statement im residency

Stuck on Your Personal Statement?

We can help, from brainstorming to in-depth essay editing, and everything between

Join the Insider Newsletter

Join the Insider Newsletter

Receive regular exclusive MSI content, news, and updates! No spam. One-click unsubscribe.

Customer Note Premed Preclinical Med Student Clinical Med Student

You have Successfully Subscribed!

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • AEM Educ Train
  • v.6(5); 2022 Oct

Logo of aemeductrain

Creating a high‐quality personal statement for residency application: A guide for medical students and mentors

Adaira landry.

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts, USA

Wendy C. Coates

2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor‐UCLA Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles California, USA

Michael Gottlieb

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago Illinois, USA


In 2022, a total of 50,830 applicants applied to residency programs in the United States. 1 The majority of the application are data driven, including Step 1 and 2 scores, preclinical and clinical grades, and the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE or “Dean's Letter”). While there is some flexibility in choosing who writes one's letters of recommendation, there are caps on the number allowed and the contents are usually unknown to the applicant. Therefore, a high‐quality personal statement adds subjectivity and provides flexibility to frame an applicant in the strongest light. Prior research reveals that the personal statement has not always been valued universally. 2 , 3 However, the personal statement may be gaining importance with the recently increased focus on holistic review as well as the transition of USMLE Step 1 to pass/fail and the increasing prevalence of pass/fail grading in U.S. medical schools. 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 This is relevant as objective metrics inconsistently predict a student's ability to practice medicine and succeed in residency 8 , 9 and may present a potential for racial and other forms of bias in applicant selection. 10

While the objective aspects of the application emphasize comparison based on standard measures, the subjective narrative is curated and individualized by the applicant. Moreover, the National Residency Matching Program 2021 Program Director survey data suggest that personal statements influenced some applicants' likelihood of receiving an interview offer, especially when the application was near a program's self‐directed objective cutoff metric; however, its impact on rank list position was less influential. 11 Therefore, it is in the candidate's interest to craft a statement that engages the reviewer. The primary goal of the personal statement must be honest and reflective and be able to tell the story of the applicant (e.g., the influence of their background, key current personal interests, and future goals). Linear and crisp writing makes a personal story easier to read. Despite the stakes, there are few published resources guiding applicants on how to write an effective personal statement. 12

In this paper, we provide recommendations for creating a high‐quality personal statement. The authors have served as advisors to medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty for over 35 years across four separate major academic institutions. They have held core faculty roles, medical school, residency program, or fellowship leadership positions and have served on resident selection and interview committees and in the dean's office. The information compiled here was based on consensus of opinion as well as relevant literature where available. While the primary audience of this article is medical students, the principles may also be valuable for their mentors.


The personal statement provides context to your personal and professional experiences and ambitions. It should not be a line‐by‐line recap of your entire application. Rather, it should highlight aspects which deserve greater attention and detail than are provided in your curriculum vitae. 13 Resist the urge to exaggerate truth, but do not undersell your accomplishments. Stating what you learned from experiences can strike a balance. The personal statement offers a prime opportunity to discuss gaps in training, motivation to pursue a particular field, notable extracurricular activities, general career plans, and concerns with your application. Controversial topics, such as social or political issues, may occasionally be included after careful consideration on how to frame your message and language. A trusted specialty‐specific advisor or mentor can help determine which key points are strategic to address.

Most importantly, your personal statement should be unique and reflect your personal journey and not be at risk of being mistaken for a different applicant or plagiarized from a published work. We recommend that you craft your personal statement directly from your voice and through your lens. While it is prudent to consult a proofreader to check spelling and grammar, it is unacceptable to hire a writer to construct your statement.

Before writing your personal statement, we recommend engaging in self‐reflection. Focus on the crossroads of your path and application that you want to highlight. These form the central points of your essay and may stimulate conversation during your interview. Your trusted network (mentors, significant others, siblings, parents, and close friends) can help early to identify significant traits and experiences. Anything written in a personal statement is available for discussion during the interview, including some topics that are frequently disallowed. Be prepared to discuss what you disclose. Table  1 summarizes general pearls and pitfalls for the personal statement.

Pearls and pitfalls for the personal statement


Writing can be a challenge but following a few basic writing strategies can simplify the task. Creating an outline helps adhere to purposeful clarity and flow. The flow should be linear so that the application reviewer can easily follow the discussion without having to decipher the relevance of content or the meaning of vague analogies. The ability to compose clear, easily readable prose will reflect favorably on your communication skills.

Writing with brevity and paying attention to the word count yields readable, short, and sharp sentences. For many specialties, a one‐page personal statement is the norm; however, ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) does have a cap of 28,000 characters (approximately 5 pages). 12 Your mentor can advise on the preferred length for your intended specialty. Use simple words that convey your meaning to enhance comprehension, and avoid overly colorful language and unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Minimize the temptation to provide extraneous details, especially when trying to set the scene of a clinical environment, patient encounter, or historic event (e.g., a family member with a medical encounter). You should be the focus of your personal statement.

After creating this first draft, several strategies can be used to improve it. Waiting a few days to edit the statement allows you to reread it from a fresh perspective. Trusted allies may offer valuable insights and assess for flow, context, and comprehension. Mentors can evaluate your statement from the lens of a reviewer. Listening to the statement being read aloud can help identify errors. It is common to need several revisions before settling on your ideal personal statement. As a last step, be sure to check the document for spelling and grammar. Table  2 provides resources that will help with the technical craft of writing.

Writing resources


There is no rigid template for a personal statement. Its design and development should be sculpted to describe your unique experiences and ambitions, while being mindful of the storytelling and writing principles outlined above. To that end, no singular format or framework will work for every student. The goal is not to capture the reviewer's or programs's exact preferences, because there is too much variability to predict what is desired. 2 The primary goal of the personal statement is to write clearly about your journey so that reviewers understand who you are. In this section, we provide examples of components to consider including in your personal statement. We do not expect that each of these components will be included in everyone's personal statement. Instead, each author should decide which components best represent their desired message. We understand the temptation to be creative with your writing; however, we recommend caution. A lively statement, specifically in the opening, runs the risk of being cliché or distracting. Table  3 offers suggestions of how to structure the description of your experiences.

Approach to describing experiences in personal statement

Motivation for pursuing medicine overall (consider including, if desired)

The decision to pursue the field of medicine is significant and worthy of discussion. Often students open with a brief description of an educational or clinical encounter, a relative's journey as a patient, or even a personal illness. You may briefly state your reasons for becoming a physician (e.g., enjoyment of clinical medicine, desire to improve health care delivery). No matter the influence that inspired you to pursue medicine, reviewers will appreciate your authenticity.

Motivation for selected residency field (included by many applicants 14 , 15 )

Describe why you are applying to your specialty and highlight personal traits and experiences that make you an ideal fit. Mentors in your desired specialty can discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and future of the field and can assess your compatibility. Avoid superficial phrasing such as “I am applying to emergency medicine because I am interested in helping people.” While this answer is honorable, it lacks a detailed understanding of the nuanced aspects of the field and could apply to any student and specialty. There is no need to describe the specialty to the readers—they are living it daily and want to learn why you will succeed within the specialty's framework.

Tentative plans for residency and career (included by strongest applicants)

If you have tentative plans for residency, possible fellowship, and your subsequent career path, you can include them and any supporting evidence. For instance, “Based on my research thesis studying cardiac biomarkers, I plan to focus on early signs of cardiac disease. I will pursue a fellowship in population health, obtain a Master of Public Health degree, and later work in an academic setting.” You may also link these ambitions, whether clinical or nonclinical, back to why you pursued medicine or the specific discipline. Selection committees value your ability to create a global plan, but they also understand that it may change during residency and will not be disappointed if you revise your path as you discover new opportunities during your training.

Brief context of academic experiences (consider including, if applicable)

The variety of applicants' experiences is as varied as the applicants themselves. It is important to clarify your motivation for engaging in an activity, the depth of your role, and how you improved as a result of your participation. For example, the experiences of a student who is listed as an author on a publication may vary from data entry to principal investigator. An honest reflection of your role and lessons learned is far better than hyperbole. Describe your decision making behind a project and how your skills improved or how it influenced your personal mission as a result. Detailed descriptions are not necessary. Instead, focus on the key components of one or two influential experiences. You may be expected to elucidate the details during your interview.

Relevance of extracurricular activities and prior employment (consider including, if applicable)

Most applicants have a long list of activities to report, and many may not be well understood by the selections committee. The personal statement gives you an opportunity to frame selected experiences. Highlight your important role in an activity or why the activity endorses your potential success in your specialty. There is a significant distinction between a student who created a student‐run clinic (e.g., generated the idea, sought approval, built a team, gathered supplies, scheduled students and faculty) and a student who staffed the clinic twice during medical school. Similarly, your role in a previous job, whether it was career focused or casual, can shed light on your skills (e.g., to highlight management skills, you could recount your experience as a residence hall assistant in college or your role as a team leader in industry).

Special considerations (consider including, if applicable)

The following are selected special considerations for writing your personal statement. They can carry a higher level of sensitivity, so be mindful of word choice. We want to emphasize the importance of discussing your approach with a trusted advisor or mentor. Be prepared to discuss any topics mentioned in the statement during your interview. While this may seem daunting at first, it is an opportunity to directly answer a question that the selection committee may have while reviewing your application. Reading your thoughtful explanation may allay their fears about the event in question and spur their decision to take a chance on extending an interview invitation. No matter the issue, be sure to demonstrate personal and professional growth and how, if at all, the concern enhanced your ability to become a physician.

Leave of absence

If you took a formal leave from medical school, we suggest you acknowledge it in your application. While ERAS has a designated section for leave of absences, consider also mentioning the absence in the broader context of the personal statement. You are not obligated to provide details. You are free to state, “I took 3 months off for a familial obligation.” However, further details can help the reviewer contextualize the absence: “This allowed me to spend the necessary time addressing the issue without compromising my training. Upon my return from leave, I fulfilled the expectations of my medical school.” It is important that your reason for the leave of absence is viewed by the school in the same fashion. If there is any conflict in the purpose of the leave, speak with your medical school leadership to discuss and resolve any disconnect.

Medical history

You are not mandated to disclose medical conditions. However, if the condition precludes you from performing your duties completely or partially, it is in your best interest to assess whether the program is supportive of providing the least restrictive accommodations for you to participate fully in the training program. While the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, it does not require that you disclose your disability until they are needed. Early disclosure gives employers ample lead time to put accommodations into place but may also lead to bias. 16 , 17 We recommend you discuss with your support system when and whether to disclose a disability and whether this decision will cause relief or worry for you and your potential employer.

Shelf exam/board scores/grades

Standardized test scores may influence students' interview opportunities and ability to match in residency. 11 It is prudent to discuss low scores or failures. A brief but clear description of the likely cause, remediation process, and subsequent successful outcome is needed. Any additional positive data points can be mentioned. For example, “I have since passed all of my shelf exams and my Step 2 score was in the Xth percentile.”

Concerning evaluation

Clerkship evaluations on the MSPE may contain negative comments that might be detrimental to the application. You are generally allowed to review your MSPE prior to finalization. If a detrimental comment is found, you should discuss evaluation concerns with your mentor as soon as possible to plan how to mitigate any negativity. Some negative comments are truthful and constructive and will remain in the MSPE. If the comment remains in the MSPE, the personal statement is available to explain the circumstances clearly and concisely and without casting blame on others. It is important to share the most important stage of processing feedback: self‐reflection and identifying areas of growth. 18 , 19 It is reasonable to direct the reader to subsequent instances of how the initial concern later was cited as a strength.

Limited access to extracurricular activities

Statements often highlight select activities so the reviewer can focus on what you perceive to be the most influential activities. However, not all students have access to the same experiences. There is no clear quantitative marker for how many extracurricular activities such as research, volunteering, or leadership roles one should obtain. Resources can vary from one institution to another, and individuals may not have time to engage in copious activities if they have other financial or family obligations during medical school. The personal statement is an opportunity to briefly explain any limitations with obtaining extracurricular activities.

Social and political factors

Often our personal identity is closely entwined with our societal and political experiences. It is an individual choice how to tell your perspective through your personal lens and whether to disclose your preferences. Incorporating personal identifiers, such as your gender, race, age, ability, sexual orientation, parenting status, religion, or political affiliation, informs the reader on aspects of your life that you feel have influenced your journey. 6 , 7 Revealing these can run the risk of unfair or discriminatory judgment but can also demonstrate your comfort with yourself and positively support the reasons you will shine as a resident physician. 12 Depending on your passion and involvement in a particular topic, this can be an opportune segue to explain your interest and future ambitions. Be prepared to discuss any of these disclosures during your interview. Consulting with your mentor is a good way to gauge the impact this decision may have on your application.

Writing a personal statement can be a challenging task. A thoughtful, organized approach will help you create a meaningful personal statement that enhances your application. Streamline the writing to convey your message concisely. The best personal statements are clear and brief and contain specificity to reflect and explain your unique perspective. This is your opportunity to highlight why you are the ideal candidate for a residency in your chosen field. While this guide cannot guarantee an interview invitation or a match into a desired program, we hope this resource will help ensure that your personal statements can showcase your best possible self.


AL has received funding personally from EchoNous for consulting. The other authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


The authors acknowledge Drs. Michelle Lin at UCSF and Sara Krzyzaniak at Stanford for their advice on leave of absences.

Landry A, Coates WC, Gottlieb M. Creating a high‐quality personal statement for residency application: A guide for medical students and mentors . AEM Educ Train . 2022; 6 :e10797. doi: 10.1002/aet2.10797 [ CrossRef ] [ Google Scholar ]

Supervising Editor: Dr. Jason Wagner

Sample Personal Statement: Internal Medicine

Throughout medical school I have committed myself to finding the one specialty that aligns perfectly with my personality and future goals. While this task seemed straightforward and uncomplicated, I soon realized during my third-year clerkships that every area of medicine offered aspects I enjoyed. After exploring other specialties, I reflected on the qualities that I wished to possess as a physician. I envisioned myself as compassionate, respected, and knowledgeable, traits which I realized embodied the field of internal medicine. My intense self-reflection, combined with my medical school experiences, solidified my decision to pursue a residency in internal medicine.

The first patient I admitted while on my third-year internal medicine clerkship was an African American lady who was diagnosed with sarcoidosis. After I completed my history and physical, I realized the questions I had asked relied upon my ability to combine my knowledge of pathophysiology along with the clinical presentation of a disease process. At last I comprehended the importance of the basic science years as it related to patient care. I continued to follow this patient every day, and the responsibility of caring for someone's health had both a significant and fulfilling impact on me. I gained immense satisfaction from treating the whole person: her emotional needs as well as her medical needs. After completing my twelve weeks on internal medicine, I discovered that four months later this patient was re-admitted for a pulmonary embolus, which combined with her diminished lung function, ultimately resulted in her passing away. Although I was only a small part of this woman's care, I still felt connected to her. While her death saddened me, it also made me conscious of the potential rewards, such as lasting patient-doctor relationships, which could only come out of providing a lifetime of care to each of my patients.

Upon the completion of my third-year rotations, I felt that the role of the internist most closely matched my interests and abilities. The variety and complexity of the problems I encountered offered the intellectual stimulation that I desired in a medical field. I admired my attendings' breadth of knowledge across various medical disciplines, and I took pleasure in collaborating with physicians of all specialties, especially when the diagnosis proved to be difficult. The opportunity for close patient contact was also an appealing aspect. With fewer responsibilities than an intern, I found that as a third-year medical student I was able to spend more time with my patients, explaining how a diagnosis is made and what treatments might be required. Encouraged by these experiences with my patients, I was inspired to learn more about their conditions, not only for my own personal knowledge but also for their education as well.

I have many attributes to contribute to internal medicine. My experiences as a secondary education school teacher, Special Olympics swim coach, and elected class officer attest to my ability to lead and educate others. I am also analytical and detail-oriented, characteristics which originally led me to complete an undergraduate degree in economics. After my first year of medical school, I was awarded a scholarship to conduct research in the field of trauma surgery, an experience which enhanced my problem solving skills. In addition, my years as a varsity swimmer at Duke University have endowed me with certain traits that will not only make me a successful internist but also a well-balanced physician. These qualities include a never-ending quest for personal improvement, pride in my work or training, and the ability to focus on several tasks while balancing personal and professional obligations.

personal statement im residency

  • Free Study Planner
  • Residency Consulting
  • Free Resources
  • Med School Blog
  • 1-888-427-7737

How to Make a Statement with Your ERAS Personal Statement

  • by Med School Tutors
  • Jun 29, 2023
  • Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD

personal statement im residency

Dr. Leila Javidi, Taylor Purvis, and Dr. Brian Radvansky contributed to this article.

Starting your residency application can feel like an overwhelming task, especially when it comes to writing your ERAS personal statement. It’s not clear why essays of this nature are so intimidating—maybe it’s because not all medical students are well-versed in language arts, many of us dislike writing, or maybe just the thought of putting “who you are” onto paper brings to the surface some uncomfortable feelings of self-awareness (whoa—this just got intense!).

This is a joke or course, but to be honest, sometimes when we sit down to write our ERAS personal statement we immediately think things like, “I’m not that interesting,” or “I haven’t done anything cool in life, I’ve spent most of my time in school thus far.” And that is completely normal. The majority of us haven’t had those pivotal moments in life that shake the ground beneath us and form a new foundation for who we are, and that’s OK!

Your ERAS personal statement isn’t intended to be a best-selling memoir. It’s intended to add another dimension to the otherwise black-and-white application full of scores and grades. It is an opportunity to show program directors your personality, what motivates you, and what you’re looking for in a residency program.

While you’ve probably heard all of this before, we bet you have more specific questions about how to tackle the ERAS personal statement. All of us sure did! So, without further ado, h ere are answers to the 12 most important questions about medical residency personal statements.

12 Frequently-Asked Questions About the ERAS Personal Statement

residency application timeline

1. How big of a deal is my ERAS personal statement to program directors?

According to the 2020 NRMP program director survey , 78% of program directors cite the ERAS personal statement as an important factor in deciding which candidates to interview,  making it the fourth-highest ranked factor behind USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2, and letters of recommendation. So, it’s pretty important in the grand scheme of your application!

Now, from experience in talking to different program directors and mentors, it’s clear that the most important thing is that your ERAS personal statement is well organized, well written, with proper grammar, no red flags, and that it’s only one page single-spaced. The standard ERAS personal statement length is typically 500-800 words (roughly four paragraphs).

A personal statement typically isn’t the “maker” of your residency application—however, it can be a deal “breaker” if it doesn’t have those attributes. That said, if you have a memorable, well-written personal statement, program directors will mention it, and it will make you stand out as an applicant. If they are on the fence about whether or not to interview you, a personal statement could potentially be the deciding factor. So, it’s pretty important!

2. What are things I should include in my ERAS personal statement?

A good ERAS personal statement should include the following: 

A catchy introduction to grab the reader

There are different ways to go about doing this, but if you’re stuck, an effective way to grab the reader’s attention is to open with a patient vignette. An interesting case is sure to pique the curiosity of your reader and keep them engaged as they read. Preventing boredom is something to strive for, as your application is one of perhaps hundreds that they are reading.

Ultimately, though, remember this is a personal statement. After you reveal the diagnosis or outcome of the patient vignette, you need to let the reader know what the case meant to you! The point of relating the vignette is to reveal something about yourself, not just present an interesting story about a patient. 

An overview of your desirable qualities

When letting the reader know what your positive qualities are, it’s important to remember a basic rule of good writing: SHOW, don’t tell. For example, instead of saying you are compassionate, describe a story from your life that demonstrates your compassion.

Highlights from your life experience 

This includes jobs, extracurricular activities, and hobbies that would help you to be an ideal candidate for whichever residency you are applying to. Pro tip: DON’T REGURGITATE YOUR CV. This is your opportunity to tell people things that aren’t on your CV. Do you play chess in the park every Saturday, or have you traveled to some amazing places? Tell us about it!

You shouldn’t rehash your CV in your personal statement, but it is a great place to elaborate on activities listed on your CV. It can be used to explain why those activities are so important to you, how they have helped you grow as a person, and other things that don’t often shine through on the CV itself.

Proof of why you should be accepted 

The most important part of your statement is providing proof of why you should be accepted. Describe your strengths, but do not talk about things too generally. You should be able to back up everything you say. Give details and examples. Which doctors have you shadowed? What kind of research have you been involved in, and where was it published? Don’t just mention that you have volunteered, say the names of places you were at and what you were doing.

Why you are interested in your specialty

This doesn’t have to be a profound story, but it should be the truth!

What you are looking for in a residency program

Is a strong procedural curriculum important to you? Is the culture of the program more important? Try to mention things you know your programs of choice embody.

Address any red flags on your application

Did you do poorly on Step 1? Did you take a leave of absence for a long time? Best to just come out and talk about it without being defensive. Show how you have grown from the experience, rather than apologizing for it!

A cohesive closing statement

Sometimes the first and the last sentence of the statement are the hardest to come up with, but it’s worth your time to make it tidy, even if it isn’t profound.

3. What are things I shouldn’t include in my ERAS personal statement?

Controversial topics.

Stay away from extreme religious or political statements. It doesn’t mean you can’t say you are an active member of church, but don’t use this as an opportunity to discuss whether or not you are pro-choice. You never know who is going to be reading this, and anything too polarizing can be off-putting for some readers. 

Feelings of bitterness or negativity

Leave out any traces of bitterness, defensiveness, or anger about anything that has happened in your life. Everything must have a positive spin.  

Too much self-praise or too much modesty

Avoid talking about yourself in a glorifying manner, but don’t go too far the other way and come off as too modest.

Too many qualifiers

You don’t want to go overboard with the qualifiers, which are words such as “really,” “quite,” “very,” etc. In fact, in many cases, it’s better not to use them at all. 

“Flowery” language you wouldn’t use in real life

It’s a personal statement, not a creative writing assignment. Keep the language in your statement simple. You’re not going to score any points by using unnecessarily fancy words. Your goal is clear communication.

Also, don’t try to sound like a doctor. This is just another way of trying to impress the reader. You want the reader to like you based on the way you write, not be turned off because you are trying to impress them.

“Try to avoid using a lot of jargon and abbreviations,” advises Mary Dundas, educator at Academized. 


Avoid talking hyperbolically about how passionate you are. As noted earlier, it’s better to show than tell so give examples of things you have done. Above all, keep the writing in your statement professional.

If you avoid these common mistakes, you’ll be way ahead of most applicants! 

4. How can I make my ERAS personal statement unique?

As evidenced by The Voice and American Idol , it is everyone’s impulse to divulge their “sob story” to help them stand out and garner sympathy from the audience. While it’s important to include stories that helped shape you as a person, it is very transparent and cliché to talk about that person you know who was struck by a medical tragedy, and how ever since you vowed to “save people.”

The best way to make your statement unique is to allow your personality to shine through. Use your words, your humor, and your depth to tell your story. Find a way to show yourself to your reader, and if you do this, your essay will be unique!

5. Should I have more than one ERAS personal statement to upload?

In short, absolutely have multiple personal statements to upload. Especially if you are applying to more than one specialty, it’s essential that you have several versions of your personal statement.

That doesn’t mean you have to write a whole new one, you just have to tailor it to fit that specialty. If you’re applying for a preliminary year, tailor your personal statement to explain how important you feel a solid foundation in medicine is for dermatology (or whichever specialty you are applying to) and what you’re looking for in a preliminary year.

Furthermore, I found that for the programs I really wanted to interview with, I would upload a tailored personal statement for that program saying something like, “I am seeking a family medicine residency position with ABC University program because of their dedication to XYZ.” Simply name-dropping their institution and noting the strength of their program demonstrates your attention to detail and interest in their institution. Even if you are an amazing applicant, if a program doesn’t feel you are interested in their specific program, they won’t interview you. It’s best to make sure you give those out-of-state programs some extra attention so they know you are willing to relocate for them!

Lastly, you should know that you can upload as many versions of your personal statement as you like onto ERAS, but be especially careful when uploading and make sure you apply the correct personal statement to each program! Triple-check your work! Pro Tip: Use your file names to help you stay organized. Pick a format and stick with it, such as “PS-JohnsHopkins,” “USCF-PS,” etc.

6. When should I start writing my ERAS personal statement?

The sooner the better, people. Get cracking now! You can even begin to think of ideas during your third year as you develop your interests in specific specialties. As ideas come to you, jot them into your phone so you don’t forget!

One of the best ways to begin writing your personal statement is to go over some questions about yourself. Ask yourself, who are you and what drives you forward? Think about the kinds of things that interest you and why you developed those interests. Maybe consider some mistakes you have made, how you learned from them, and how they have changed you. Or ask yourself, how do your interests and personality contribute to the goals you have set? 

Think about those kinds of questions and write down the answers. Reflect on them, put them away, and come back to them. Then, use them to form an outline—this will help you figure out all your points and what you want to say before you start writing. 

If you still feel like you just don’t know how to get started, give the five-point essay format a shot and see if it works for you. In short, you begin with a paragraph that is about four or five sentences long. The goal of this first paragraph is to grab a reader’s attention. Use the next three or four body paragraphs to talk about yourself. Try and have one of them focus on your clinical understanding, while another talks about service. Then end with a solid conclusion paragraph that mirrors your introduction, summarizes who you are, and ends by looking toward the future. 

7. Should I ask for any help with my ERAS personal statement?

Yes. Yes. A thousand times, YES! Absolutely ask for feedback on your personal statement. After getting your draft finished, show it to whoever will look at it—however, please remember to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt and to strongly consider the source. It is absolutely essential to have your personal statement reviewed by an objective third party to ensure that the message you are trying to communicate is loud and clear. This means that you shouldn’t give it to a friend or family member who is going to placate you with a useless, “Yeah, looks great!”

Find a mentor, advisor, chief resident or attending, someone who is accustomed to reading ERAS personal statements, and get feedback from them. You can be certain that going through this step will only make your personal statement better. If you take their advice and don’t like how things are panning out, you can always revert back to an older draft.

But in just about every case, another set of eyes to give you big-picture feedback on what you’ve written will improve your piece. Do this early in the process, when you have gotten a simple draft together, so that you don’t present someone with an idea that you are married to, only to find out that it doesn’t come through clearly.

Be sure to ask other people what they think of your draft, but be careful about asking other students for help. Sometimes they get weird, and try to give you advice about making your statement more like theirs because they want to feel justified in their own efforts.

Finally, it should be mentioned that there are services out there that will “write your personal statement” for you. Aside from the obvious reasons why not to do this, you have to be really careful. Those services don’t know you, don’t know your voice, and oftentimes have very generic ways of putting these statements together.  Using a service to help polish your statement, though, is A-OK. Some you may find useful in that regard are ViaWriting , Writing Populist , StateofWriting , and SimpleGrad .

Lastly, you may consider working with a residency counselor who can help set your application apart with insider advice and ensure you optimize all elements of the residency application process. Our residency consultants are residents and attendings who have successfully guided hundreds of students from residency applications through the Match!

Typical residency consulting work consists of:

residency consulting

Not sure if a residency consultant is the right fit for you? Take this quiz to see if you would benefit from some extra guidance during the residency application process!

8. Where can I find examples of ERAS personal statements to inspire me?

Every good writer learned how to write by reading the works of other people. This includes personal statements! Very often your career offices from your undergraduate studies will have examples of personal statements that can serve as inspiration for your own masterpiece. You can also ask older classmates and recent graduates if they would feel comfortable sharing their personal statements with you. 

Remember, too, that inspiration can come from nontraditional sources. Try reading poetry or a novel before sitting down to write your statement. You might be surprised by how it helps to get your creative juices flowing!

9. Is it better to cover all of my experiences, or focus on a few in particular?

It’s better to focus on several key experiences rather than provide a broad overview of your life up to the present time. Your resume will fill in any gaps for your reader. The point of the personal statement is to spend a few paragraphs reflecting on one or two themes that define who you are as a person. Stay focused, and go deep!

10. How much should I share about my career goals in my ERAS personal statement?

Remember, the majority of training programs you will be applying to are academic medical centers. For those programs in particular, make sure to emphasize why an academic environment is a good fit for you. This does not have to mean research! Perhaps you like the idea of becoming a clinician educator and want to be at XYZ program for the opportunity to teach medical students. 

Likewise, if you are applying to a program at a community hospital, make sure to reflect on how your career goals are suited for that environment. Maybe private practice is on your radar, or you want to practice in a hospital that is more close-knit than a large academic center.

Whatever the case, try to make your stated career goals align with the orientation of the program you’re applying to. In reality, you may have no idea what direction you want your career to go in. But for a personal statement, try to commit to one general theme if possible.

11. What about my personal statements for preliminary or transitional year programs?

For applicants who are also applying to preliminary or transitional year programs, it can seem daunting to tailor your personal statement to a position that isn’t part of your ultimate specialty. But don’t worry—preliminary and transitional year programs still want to know who you are as a person and why you’re interested in anesthesiology, dermatology, or whatever advanced specialty you’re aiming for. You don’t need to change your personal statement as much as you may think!

The goal of a personal statement for these one-year programs is not to convince the reader that you suddenly love internal medicine despite going into radiology. The reader knows this is a temporary stopping place for you. Instead, emphasize the traits that make you YOU and will enhance their hospital!

12. What if I’m interested in a non-traditional path after residency?

Some of you may be thinking of alternative career paths after residency such as consulting or pharmaceutical work. It’s probably best to leave those specific goals out of your ERAS personal statement and allow readers to assume that you want to continue in clinical medicine after graduating from residency. You might want to instead phrase it as something you want to be incorporated into your clinical career, but not something you would leave medicine for, even if that’s what you have in mind!

Remember, you are under no obligation to share your every thought and desire in a personal statement! These statements are being read by reviewers who dedicated their lives to education and clinical medicine, so keep that in mind.

Further Reading

Keep these tips in mind as you write your ERAS personal statement, and you’ll be way ahead of the other applicants. If you start to get stressed out, remember, you have an amazing story to tell, and we are here to help tease that story out from the confines of your brain! For more help, reach out to one of our residency advisors .

Looking for more help during the residency application process? We’ve got you covered with more (free!) content written by Blueprint tutors:

  • How to Get Standout Letters of Recommendation for Your Residency Application
  • How to Maximize Your Chances of Matching With Your Dream Residency
  • What’s It Like Working With a Medical Residency Consultant?
  • Residency Interview Tips & Tricks: The Ultimate Guide
  • Dual Applying for Residency: Is It Right For Me?

CTA Logo

Related Posts

The Ultimate Patient Case Presentation Template for Med Students

The Ultimate Patient Case Presentation Template for Med Students

The Most Competitive Medical Specialties & How to Prepare

The Most Competitive Medical Specialties & How to Prepare

My Journey to Medicine: Charmian’s Story

My Journey to Medicine: Charmian’s Story

Search the blog, try blueprint med school study planner.

Create a personalized study schedule in minutes for your upcoming USMLE, COMLEX, or Shelf exam. Try it out for FREE, forever!

Could You Benefit from Tutoring?

Sign up for a free consultation to get matched with an expert tutor who fits your board prep needs

Find Your Path in Medicine

A side by side comparison of specialties created by practicing physicians, for you!

Popular Posts

personal statement im residency

Need a personalized USMLE/COMLEX study plan?

Inspira futures logo

Sign up to our Newsletter

Residency personal statement: the ultimate guide.

personal statement im residency

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, & Admissions Officer, Columbia University

Reviewed: 08/08/23

Are you planning on writing your personal statement for residency? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the process.

all about your residency personal statement graphic

The residency application personal statement is an essential part of applying to programs, but it can be intimidating. We get it. It can be challenging to write about yourself and your life experiences within 3,500 characters. We’ll cover everything you need to know about writing a powerful statement!

Get The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Unforgettable Personal Statement

image of teacher icon

Importance of Your Personal Statement in a Residency Application

The importance of your personal statement in your application cannot be overstated. Yes, you have secured solid letters of recommendation from physicians and crushed your USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) .

However, your personal statement is the one component of your application where you can make a case for yourself and leave a lasting impression on program directors. 

Think about it this way: program directors receive thousands of applications From aspiring medical residents and review thousands of standardized, quantitative factors like grades and test scores across the board. They also read thousands of essays and want to see something that will pique their interest. 

Your personal statement is an opportunity to show program directors specific qualities that make you stand out and shine . Program directors want to know the person behind the stellar numerical achievements. 

They want to know that you will thrive, reach your greatest potential in their program, and continue to have an exceptional career as a leader in healthcare.

importance of residency personal statement

Because of how competitive programs can be, your writing may very well be the tiebreaker that leads to your acceptance into a top program over another applicant. 

While a strong personal statement might not compensate for low exam scores, a weak one will definitely hurt an otherwise strong application.

Residency Personal Statement Outline

Knowing what you should include in your personal statement will help you get started. Your statement should include and reflect on a combination of the following:

  • What draws you to medicine/your specialty?
  • The desirable qualities, attributes, and skill sets make you well-suited to a  program and will help you succeed.
  • Your long-term plans as a practicing physician after you complete your program. This can include what you hope to accomplish in your residency and your preferred setting.
  • What attracts you to a particular program, and how would it make you a good fit?

Ultimately, program directors are looking for residents who are the best candidates and colleagues to work with and train. Combining the above suggestions will give program directors a good sense of what having you on their team would be like.

What to include in your residency personal statement

3 Tips to Help You Start Writing

Here are three tips to help you get started! 

1. Consider Why You’re Pursuing a Particular Residency

Before you start your application personal statement, you should be clear on why the specialty you’ve chosen is the right one for you . Program directors want to know that you have a realistic idea of what the specialty entails. 

If your writing fails to convey solid, meaningful reasons for pursuing the chosen specialty, you will likely not be invited for an interview. Don’t hurt your chances by sounding disinterested in the field or focusing on superficial aspects of the specialty, like high salaries and benefits.

UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine urges you to “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.” 

2. Brainstorm 

To begin drafting your personal statement, brainstorm. Brainstorming allows you the freedom to be creative and informal. When brainstorming, you do not have to worry about grammar, spelling, or editing. You want to write down your ideas and get your creative juices flowing. 

After you have a body of ideas, you can work on weaving one or several elements into a strong, concise narrative. 

3. Ask Yourself Questions 

The following questions will help you get started brainstorming ideas for your personal statement:

  • What first drew you to the specialty? 
  • What are your greatest qualities, and how have you demonstrated these qualities? Focus on a few desirable qualities for a medical professional during specialization.
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • Name an experience, clinical or otherwise, that significantly impacted you. Why was the experience meaningful, and how did it change you?
  • What obstacle, challenge, or failure did you overcome, and what did it teach you about adversity?
  • When did you know you wanted to pursue your chosen specialty?
  • What is your most meaningful extracurricular activity?
  • Who are your role models? What qualities do they possess that inspire you to be like them? How does this translate in your chosen field?
  • What medical cause do you care about the most, and what led you to care about it?

Remember, brainstorming aims to put down everything you can remember with as much detail as possible without worrying about grammar, sentence structure, spelling, or revisions. 

The more details you explore while brainstorming, the easier it will be to extract and expand upon the stories you want to tell.

How to Write An Amazing Residency Application Personal Statement

Now that you have completed your preliminary brainstorming, let’s review how to write a personal statement. Later in this guide, we will review samples of other applicants’ personal statements and analyze what makes them successful.

How to write a med school personal statement

Start With A Catchy Introduction 

A captivating introduction pulls the reader in and makes them want to read to the end. Your introduction should lead with detail. Don’t rely on platitudes, clichés, and vague language . 

One way to accomplish this is to have an anecdote or two in mind that will be the central focus of your narrative. Then, introduce that anecdote while being aware of both brevity and detail. 

Focus on Things That Aren’t on Your CV

The personal statement should never regurgitate what’s already on your CV. Instead, focus on important aspects about you, your experiences, and your qualities that do not appear on your CV.

For example, if you have a hobby that demonstrates personal growth over time, tell a story about it and tie it together with your goals.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine suggests that if you want to repeat accomplishments, ensure they’re “relevant to your personal/professional growth. You want the emphasis to encourage the reader to bring this up in the interview.” 

Talk About You and Your Desirable Qualities 

Program directors want to get to know you as an individual and what you would bring to their program. While this might seem like a no-brainer, it is important that your personal statement remains about you. 

Program directors often read narratives that include information about the program they already know and not enough information about the candidate. Shift your tone to reflect on what makes you desirable to the residency. 

When talking about your attributes, remember that quality is more important than quantity . Narrow your focus to one or two qualities, and work on incorporating them as part of your storytelling.

Make Use of Storytelling

Avoid generic and superficial declarative statements when you write about yourself and your desirable qualities. For example, don’t simply say, “I am empathetic and compassionate.” This is forgettable, and you will not stand out from all the other applicants. 

Instead, it is better and more memorable to show how you exhibited empathy and compassion by telling a story about a real event. Show, don’t tell. People will remember your name if you tell a great story.

Include What You Expect From a Residency Program 

Program directors want to know why you are pursuing their program and what you want to gain from the experience. Tie this in with nuanced details about what you have done to pursue your particular interests and how your interests will align with what the program offers. 

How will your interests and goals support their mission? What specific strengths will you add or hope to cultivate? Again, the focus should be on you and your expectations, not on over-explaining a program to its directors. 

Cite Strong Reasons to Choose a Particular Specialty

Clearly outline your interest in a particular specialty. Program directors want to know your understanding of and interest in a specialty. Highlight what you have done in your career to explore a specialty and detail some of your insights and observations. 

Perhaps you’ve researched the length of the residency and were swayed by it. Or you were intrigued by the nature of another one. The more details you can provide, the more persuasive you will be. 

For example, you might like acute care in emergency medicine but try to be more specific than that. What do you enjoy about the diagnoses and pathologies involved in emergency medicine? What do you enjoy about the patients in your care? What do you enjoy about the setting in which you will practice?

Include Your Personal and Professional Achievements 

Your achievements should demonstrate personal and professional growth over time. Your unique personal or professional achievement may not be listed on your CV. The personal statement is where you can delve into those exceptional and distinctive details about yourself that will set you apart from the crowd. 

Always uphold your credibility by being honest and authentic. People will pick up on subtle cues of inauthenticity. Remember, you don’t have to use your personal statement to convince someone of how perfect you are because perfection doesn’t exist. 

For example, if you achieve something with a group of colleagues, give credit where it’s due and don’t take the credit all for yourself. Remain true to who you are and the experiences you’ve had thus far. You don’t need to embellish or dramatize them to impress program directors. 

They’re looking for someone reliable, credible, and genuine.

Address Areas of Improvement on Your Application 

If anomalies are anywhere in your application, such as gap years or leaves of absence, address them with a brief explanation. You don’t need to dwell on areas that need improvement, and you shouldn’t provide long explanations or be defensive. 

It’s more important for your readers to see that you faced hardship but took steps to overcome it.

Deliver a Strong Closure

Lastly, end your statement with a punch. Don’t lose steam. Succinctly and naturally wrap up your story. You don’t want to end with a weak declarative statement like, “And that’s why I would be a great resident.” 

Instead, try to deliver a callback to your introduction and include the imagery and insights that bring everything together.

5 Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement

There are certain things that you should avoid in your personal statement. As a rule of thumb, avoid topics and language that risk alienating your readers. Be aware of the following:

1. Acronyms and Jargon 

Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon. Don’t assume that your reader knows everything. Be courteous and spell everything out. According to The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), “If there’s a shorter, simpler, less pretentious way of putting it, use it.” 

2. Poor Writing Mechanics

Avoid informal, casual writing and poor sentence structure. Be professional and ensure your writing is free of grammatical and spelling errors. You don’t want programs to be distracted by errors while they read your story! 

3. Controversial Topics 

Avoid controversial topics like ethical issues, religion, and politics. You don’t want to make polarizing or offensive statements, so don’t cross the line. Even if the statements you make aren’t offensive, there’s no guarantee the person reviewing your application will agree with you. 

4. Rehashing Why You Want to Be a Doctor 

Avoid going into the origin story of why you wanted to become a doctor. You are not applying to medical school, so your personal statement should reflect deeper insights that support your professional and personal experiences. UCSF’s Office of Career & Professional Development offers this advice : 

“Presumably, new things have happened in the past four years that inform your decision to choose your specialty or career path, or that illustrate your dedication, leadership, and teaching skills, ability for empathy, etc.” Use these new experiences in your statement! 

5. Using Vague/Generic Language

Avoid vague and generic language. The most seasoned writers draw readers in with rich detail and nuance. Using descriptive language makes your statement easier to read and is much more likely to keep the reader’s attention. 

With these tips, you should be able to write your personal statement with ease.

Mistakes to avoid in a residency personal statement graphic

Get Professional Help Writing Your Residency Personal Statement

residents talking

Contrary to popular belief, writers don’t need to hole up in a dark room, slouch over a messy desk, hit a wall with writer’s block, and suffer in solitude. Ask for help! Even the world’s bestselling authors need editors. 

Your storytelling ability and writing skills will only improve when you receive editorial feedback from trusted professionals. Getting professional help on writing your narrative will get you closer to being accepted at your first-choice program.

Inspira Advantage is here for you. We are an admissions consulting firm with extensive experience helping candidates get accepted to their dream programs. An expert residency application consultant can ensure you get the support you need at every step while you write and edit your personal statement.

Residency Personal Statement Examples

​​Reading examples of residency personal essays that program directors consider effective is advantageous. Not only will you gain insight into how to structure your writing, but you will also learn why program directors and career advisors find certain personal statements more successful than others. 

We’ll review two good personal statement examples below. Please note that both have been anonymized to protect the authors’ privacy. 

Residency Personal Statement Example 1

Here is an ERAS sample personal statement: 

One of my most formative memories of medical school was a patient high-fiving me. A seemingly minute detail, that moment came as a culmination of spending hours with a neurologically devastated patient. At the young age of 40, he was unable to speak or even interact with any of the dozens of healthcare workers at his bedside every day. I felt helpless, yet compelled to spend my time talking and reading to him, and urging him to do simple things like turning his head. He suddenly dramatically improved, and it peaked when he gave me a high-five during rounds, after I had playfully asked for one every day for three weeks. In that moment, I felt elation that he was able to lift his arms and regain some ability and autonomy. Pride, in the healthcare system that I had chosen to be a part of. And surprise, that he had been hearing and processing my words all this time when he had given no indication of doing so. On that last day before transfer to a rehabilitation facility, he hung onto my arm and sobbed “thank you” while refusing to let go. I was so impacted by this patient because for such a long time, he was unable to communicate his wants and needs to the outside world. 

I believe medicine is the most fundamental form of equity and equality – ensuring someone’s health is the most elemental way to ensure justice for their being. As physicians, we are inherent agents of change, on both an individual and community level. I want to bring this to people all around the world – those desperately fighting just to survive and whose voices are not being heard. Global health is my calling – a consummation between my interest in humanity and my desire to heal historical traumas. This came as a lifelong dream after growing up on both the East Coast and Midwest, having been surrounded by large immigrant and refugee populations. My vested interest in global health has been reaffirmed through my experiences rotating at a children’s hospital in [city], Ghana, and taking trainings and courses aimed at decolonizing global health. Both in and out of my passion for global health came a natural attraction to med-peds. Both medicine and pediatrics have always drawn me in as they both afford me the opportunity to provide holistic care – fitting the puzzle pieces between physical, mental, and social health. Med-peds will also help me become the best trained and most adaptable physician for anyone, womb-to-tomb, in local and global medicine due to the vast fund of knowledge I will develop. 

One reason I best fit with med-peds is my adaptability and persistence. I have faced setbacks in my academic career, the biggest of which was after I failed a course during my second year and had to retake the semester. During a hiatus, I pursued independent sociology courses to expand my knowledge base. In the new semester, I developed new study techniques to truly learn medicine instead of just memorizing it. This experience helped me form a cycle of analyzing, changing, and re-examining the way I learn in different scenarios; I built on that methodology repeatedly as modes of learning changed, as evidenced by my step exam scores. I learned the value of reaching out, and I strived to become that person to lean on for my peers going through similar hardships. I am also proud that despite flaws in my test-taking acumen that I have worked on during my later years of medical school, I have always been able to readily apply my medical knowledge in the wards and clinics in a way that is reflected by my patient care. 

Furthermore, I see multiple sentiments of the med-peds community reflected in myself. Med-peds folk are mobilizers of change, always creating life-changing and systemic reforms – ideals to which I fiercely relate. I have done my best to embody the amplification of voices that I have seen so vigorously amongst my med-peds mentors both on an individual and community level. To that end, I have always prided myself on being a strong advocate for patients and acting as a loudspeaker for their voices. On a broad level, I started an organization early in my medical training called [organization name] which aims to alleviate food insecurity in [city], which has a complex racial history causing countless food deserts. I have been excited and proud to help [organization] partner up with local organizations and the student-run free clinic to expand access to nutritious foods. I learned to engage with religious and community leaders in [city] to build strong community relationships to sustain change. To address upstream causes, I am starting a voter registration drive for patients in my institution’s safety net med-peds clinic. These experiences taught me the strategy and logistics of organizing systemic changes and enlightened me to people’s powerful stories. 

I picture myself practicing a mix of both hospitalist medicine and primary care to adapt to any low-resource community. I want to establish continuity of care amongst those who need it most while also managing higher acuity situations. After rotating in Ghana, I hope to pursue a fellowship in global health after completing my residency. My first-hand experience exposed me to the unique conditions of disenfranchised nations that are not readily discussed in the US. I hope to utilize fellowship training to gain the critical knowledge and translational skills required to establish the greatest benefit. All in all, I am excited to use my experiences and skills to provide care to every type of patient, especially in low-resource settings. I am committed to amplifying the voices of the disenfranchised and helping navigate the difficult road towards better, more equitable healthcare. If, in the process, those voices come in the form of more high-fives, I would not complain.

Residency Personal Statement Example 2

Here is another example: 

It was not even the end of the first week of medical school, and I was fighting for my life — and the life of others. On September 19th 2017, Hurricane Maria hit and battered the Island of Dominica. I woke up the next day from a concussion after being thrown 20 feet in the air during the storm. This once lush island was reduced to brown sticks, live wires, and broken glass. I survived the storm, but the destructive aftermath was our new reality. 

During the evacuations and rescue missions, I solidified my purpose to become an Emergency Medicine physician. I joined the [EMS name], which was the only organized medical personnel available. One of my most inspiring experiences was the emergency medical evacuation of a six-month-old girl. This patient was an infant with untreated pneumonia. She came in with respiratory distress to our pop-up clinic at 1am. The child was assessed by the only physician on the island and her prognosis was poor, she was unlikely to survive the night. As a student, I realized that in these critical moments I want to be the first responder to aid and to make the best decisions for the patient. She needed to be on a ventilator, and we did not have the facilities or equipment to help the child, only the capacity to provide supplemental oxygen. With limited resources, we had to secure the airway if needed, and I was given the role to disinfect plastic tubing left on the ground. As we provided supportive care, we also organized the logistics of the medical evacuation – from security to cleaning a landing zone for the helicopter. As the helicopter finally arrived at 3am, the sign of relief was clouded by the debris inadvertently thrown towards us during the landing. Despite the difficulties, all team members were safe, and we were finally able to get the patient to a definitive center of care.  

To work in medicine, one must be able to function in a team. This event gave me first-hand experience of coordination of care. I was a part of this team for the little girl and learned the importance of delegating tasks, cooperation among members, and having defined goals. Moreover, I was tested to perform under pressure and think clearly. I have been able to translate these skills as I have moved forward with my education, always considering my responsibilities within a team in order to provide the best care. We found out that the little girl survived, and I could not help but feel relieved that our efforts were successful. At times, there is not always the end result that is hoped for however, it is important to persevere and act for the benefit of the patient. These challenges faced during the hurricane also reaffirmed my desire to address the needs of the population during emergency situations. I was exposed to making quick, yet thoughtful decisions in order to produce the best plan of action. These attributes are integral for patient care in the emergency room and I hope to continue to develop these skills as an emergency medicine physician.  

As my medical school journey continued, I experienced another challenge – completing my studies on a boat. We had no internet and there was limited space. I learned to cohabitate with four students in a 20 square foot living arrangement. We were docked at [country] during the night, but the school was at sea for four months during the days and we as a school were then displaced to various locations to complete our preclinical studies including [multiple cities]. The difficulties unfortunately continued, with the pandemic occurring at the start of my clinical rotations. The adversities of my limited learning environment did affect my academic performance and impeded me from participating in research opportunities. I struggled with trying to reset my foundational knowledge and had to repeat my third semester. Unfortunately, I shared similar setbacks in my USMLE step 1. I knew that my results did not reflect my abilities to become a clinician. I adapted and made appropriate changes in order to better my scores. I worked on expanding my medical knowledge by attending workshops, study groups, and taking extra time after class to talk to my professors in order to better understand the more complicated concepts. As a result, my clinical acumen improved. I strengthened my time management skills allowing me to study more efficiently, which proved successful as I bettered my Step 2 scores. I have learned how to study well despite distractions and this will be of benefit to me as a future physician.  

I did not have the conventional education as others, however the experiences that I encountered molded me into the individual I am today. My desire to help others brought me to the Ukrainian refugee camps as they faced a desperate humanitarian crisis during the war. I was drawn to volunteer this summer in [city] and joined the [organization name] to provide medical services to displaced civilians I wanted to improve people’s well-being through community healthcare services, medical care, and mental support. Having had my own experiences with disaster and crisis, I provided much needed empathy for those people who sensed that they have lost control of their livelihood. Being able to provide support and healthcare to this disenfranchised group of people was extremely gratifying. I continue to expand on my medical knowledge through my involvement in relief efforts and through my clinical education. I have learned to manage the external stressors of my environment, along with my academic deficiencies, by refocusing my efforts into robust translational skills. It is an important facet in my practice to take care of the welfare of the individual. Emergency Medicine would enable me to do so, providing a solid foundation to continue involvement in public health affairs and ability to impactfully respond to relief efforts. 

Medicine is a universal language that transcends borders, cultures, and languages. To know that someone is there to help you in your time of need, you do not have to understand the language they are speaking to feel that impact. Emergency medicine truly has no borders. The “ER” is a centralized area of care. However, as an emergency medicine physician, I will be able to apply my knowledge outside the walls of the hospital to the rest of the world. I want to be that healing hand, to help as many lives as I can – whether it be in global health or in my surrounding community. With Emergency Medicine, I can achieve that and protect those who need help the most. I hope to continue to pursue opportunities for community aid and patient advocacy as an effective first line of care. I want to not only be able to identify life-threatening conditions, but have the capacity to treat patients and provide access to the appropriate avenues for their continued care. I will always strive to be someone who runs towards people in need, never away. 

More Sample Residency Statements

Looking for more personal statement samples that worked? These medical schools also have examples: 

  • University of California – San Francisco 
  • University of Alabama School of Medicine 
  • University of Nevada School of Medicine 

You can view these statements to better understand the tone and format programs look for.

If you still have questions about writing your personal statement, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. Is It Better to Cover All My Relevant Experiences, or Should I Discuss a Few in Particular?

When in doubt, quality over quantity. You should always aim to focus on one or two themes and include a few experiences in particular. Never sacrifice depth and detail just to accommodate quantity. If you write about all your relevant experiences, their significance will get lost in trying to compete for attention in a limited space. 

It looks better to hone in on key experiences and provide depth, self-reflection, and nuance. Your CV should list all your relevant experiences, not your essay.

2. Do I Have to Write a Personal Statement for Every Residency Program I Apply to?

No, you should not write a different personal statement for every program you apply to, but you should write one for every specialty. For example, prepare one for family medicine and one for emergency medicine. 

You do not have to completely rewrite personal statements for each specialty—you can use elements that will work across the board, like introductory or concluding sentences. Use your best judgment of what will work as a template, then tailor your personal statement for every specialty. 

3. I’m Applying to Multiple Specialties. Is There a Limit on the Number of Personal Statements I Can Upload?

No, there is no limit to the number of personal statements you can upload. Your writing should be tailored for the specific specialty.

4. How Long Should a Residency Personal Statement Be?

The length of your personal statement can vary depending on the specific requirements of the program or institution to which you are applying. However, as a general guideline, most programs recommend that essays be approximately one page long.

Typically, a one-page personal statement consists of around 750 to 850 words. Your writing should be concise, focused, and well-structured to effectively communicate your experiences, motivations, and qualifications.

Final Thoughts

Writing a residency application personal statement is stressful, but our step-by-step guide will make the process much easier as you navigate your application timeline . Now go forth and match into the residency program of your dreams. We believe in you.

personal statement im residency

Schedule A Free Consultation

You may also like.

How to Study for the GRE: Building Your Perfect Study Plan

How to Study for the GRE: Building Your Perfect Study Plan

How to Become an Audiologist

How to Become an Audiologist

image of youtube logo

Best sop writing service provider in india - no.1 sop writer


  • October 24, 2023
  • No Comments

Tired of searching for a sample internal medicine residency personal statement? Are you struggling to write an intelligent personal statement for the internal medicine residency application? Not confident that the current format of internal medicine residency personal statement is the right choice for your case?

Well, if you are, relax and let us help you. With nearly a decade of experience in the personal statement writing niche, we are fortified with the right skills and insights to help you. No matter how you want us to help you, we will.

Over the years, we have written various personal statements for residency in internal medicine to aspiring students to universities around the world. Hence, we know  how to write and choose the right format for a personal statement for internal medicine residency. This is the reason we have become a reliable name in the market.



Let us assure you that writing a personal statement for internal medicine residency is not impossible. However, it takes commitment and conviction from the part of the person writing it. That is what makes all the difference.Every residency application is a serious affair and it must be done with adequate care and respect. Or the same can certainly fall wayside. Being an experienced writer in the field, we know deeply about the entire process of writing a personal statement for residency in internal medicine. We have a unique approach to writing a statement and we follow certain professional tips.

If you wish to write a statement yourself, you can follow these tips here:

  • Create a strategy for writing the personal statement
  • Have the resources with you before writing the statement
  • Create a list of things to talk and not about in the statement
  • Explain what makes you an ideal candidate for the residency
  • Describe your career goals and how the residency will help it
  • Explain your academic expectations about the residency program

Of course, these are the major things expected to be covered in a personal statement for residency application for internal medicine. However, that is not the case many times. Hence, following these will help you make your statement even better.

Get internal medicine personal statement writing service from sopconsultants


I carried on with various life-changing encounters while going to XYZ College (place) to concentrate on medicine, which helped shape who I am and my desire to be a doctor. My schooling furnished me with a few opportunities for finding out about the world and myself. One such occurrence happened during the threats between two towns near our campus. Since the violence brought about various fatalities and multiple injuries, I went with doctors and arranged for the injured to be treated in different medical clinics’ trauma centres with different students. I communicated with people from different communities because of this occurrence. This became frequent for some of these patients to come to our facilities for follow-up care or to bring their relatives for the diagnosis of recurring diseases.

I learned from this experience that medication is a productive circle. The bond a doctor structures with a patient is felt by others, particularly under the most troubling circumstances. Individuals felt an association and needed to get back to hospitals due to this common experience. I came to understand that a cycle goes on and on forever and adds to a splendid future. My curiosity in pathophysiological components developed regardless of the way that I acquired significant involvement with emergency treatment. I thought it was intriguing to be able to compare medical facts to arrive at an effective diagnostic process, which is a fundamental skill for an internist.

Being a doctor involves paying special attention to individuals and being aware of their requirements. In this way, soft skills are also as critical as technical knowledge and experience. Among these capacities, communication is the most significant. I encountered patients from many backgrounds during the conflict, and as a by-product, I became conscious of how essential it is to effectively communicate with them in order to provide the maximum benefit. I have the ability to treat individuals consciously without offending them due to my openness to different cultures and various classes.

Catherine, a patient on our ward, was engaged yet anxious about getting married as a result of her disease. With her consent, I talked with the two sides and helped them understand her condition and perspective. One of the experiences that led to my devotion to internal medicine was this one. Although working in the emergency department gives a doctor the feeling that they can quickly aid in a crisis, I eventually learned the importance of developing good doctor-patient relationships. Over time, I came to understand what a tremendous sense of accomplishment it is to make such a big difference in the lives of people. I’m certain that one of my assets will add to my ability to develop into a proficient and empathetic internist.

I recently completed a clinical temporary job in the area, fully intent on acquiring clinical experience. In the lab administration, I was a clinical assistant. Here, I acquired knowledge about patient assessment, briefings, conversations, and different areas. In light of the degree-related courses I chose, I find myself constantly moving toward an infectious disease-related specialty. My interest in infectious diseases has grown as a result of the global health crisis. It was evident that in the coming years, we would want a greater number of doctors with knowledge and experience in this domain. As an internist, I will have the excellent opportunity to offer my patients thorough assessment, suitable therapy, and support.

In my neighbourhood’s local area wellbeing centre, I volunteered during my leisure time. We raise public awareness of the infectious diseases that can affect individuals, the medicines that are accessible to them, and the need for hospital facilities to do as such. We additionally hold no-cost medical camps for the underprivileged individuals in our area. During my medical school education, I mentored different students, which was a unique experience that gave me the craving to seek a career in teaching.

I intend to return to my home nation and lay out a state-of-the-art medical facility centre there to provide access to top-notch clinical treatment and patient education for the underprivileged. I also wish to investigate the possibility of working in academic internal medicine as a professor of residents and medical students. I’m aiming for an internal medicine programme that is committed to fostering a culture of continuous improvement and dedicated to providing treatment to a diverse range of patients. The residency at your university, in my perspective, will help me expand both personally and professionally.

Vasuki Ram

Vasuki Ram, senior writer and the founder of SOP Consultants is a B-tech Graduate who used to work in an MNC. Starting from 2013, she along with her team has assisted more than 10,000 students. Shift in her career was drastic. Read full story here.

We Also offer Personal Statement For

  • personal statement for mBA
  • personal statement for masters in finance
  • personal statement for master of psychology
  • personal statement for masters in public health
  • personal statement for masters in public administration
  • postgraduate personal statement
  • civil engineering personal statement
  • ucas personal statement
  • Imperial college Personal statement
  • kings college personal statement
  • harvard university personal statement
  • College admission personal statement
  • graduate school personal statement
  • oxford personal statement
  • UC History Personal Statement
  • Residency Personal Statement
  • Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement
  • aacomas Personal Statement
  • crna personal statement
  • family medicine residency personal statement
  • eras residency personal statement
  • anesthesiology residency personal statement
  • emergency medicine residency personal statement
  • nurse practitioner personal statement
  • personal statement for nursing school
  • mental health psychiatric nursing personal statement
  • psychiatry residency personal statement
  • pediatrics residency personal statement
  • amcas personal statement
  • paramedic science personal statement
  • physiotherapy personal statement
  • architecture personal statement
  • economic personal statement
  • criminology personal statement
  • nyu law personal statement
  • georgetown law personal statement
  • harvard law personal statement
  • columbia LLM personal statement
  • LLM Law School
  • Phd in Computer Science Personal Science
  • PhD in Biological Science Personal Science
  • PhD in Clinical Psychology Personal Statement
  • gi gastroenterology personal statement
  • cardiology personal statement
  • nephrology personal statement
  • nsf grfp personal statement
  • oncology personal statement
  • critical care personal statement
  • radiology personal statement
  • hematology personal statement
  • fulbright personal statement

Why Us for internal medicine Residency Personal Statement?

Writing a personal statement for residency in internal medicine is never easy. It takes time, effort, and creative ingenuity to strike the right chord with the evaluator. And it cannot be achieved by a regular writer. That’s where we come in. We have a team filled with experienced professionals with specific skill sets to help you.

Over the years, we have associated with various students looking to write personal statements for internal medicine residency. With our help, they have bolstered their chances of admission significantly and won admissions.

This is why we can help you in every way you need. In our efforts to do so, we are helped constantly by the following service traits as well:

A Team Professionals

An important aspect of our success is the team that we have. Each member of the team is skilled and trained to do what they are assigned to do. We have an integrated work process where everyone works in tandem with each other to deliver the best personal statement for internal medicine residency.

International Quality Standards

We always want our clients to get the best internal medicine residency personal statements no matter where they want to study. In order to deliver on this promise, we have developed a unique quality assurance system. The system enables us to improve the quality of the statements and also include the clients in the process.

Bespoke Statement Offerings for All

Although we have been in the field for a decade now, we have never seen a student with the same expectations, backgrounds, and career goals for internal medicine residency. Each of them has different aspirations and wants to take different paths. Hence, we offer them with custom-services that will help their visions.

Different Statement Formats and Samples

There are many sample personal statements for internal medicine residency online. However, the quality of the same cannot be ascertained, nor can its originality be. We do not know if it is a genuine statement written for a student. However, we have a plethora of genuine sample statements written for our students in diverse formats.

Value-Adding Statement Services

It is our promise that we offer affordable personal statements for residency in internal medicine. As a result, we always offer our clients with different packages with their requirements that can add tremendous value for their investments. This affordability is also another reason why we are sought-after by our clients.

Timely Customer Care

Different clients may have different requests and concerns. They all need to get answers to their concerns in a timely manner. Hence, to do that, we have a trained team of customer support to provide them with all the support that they need regarding the service, its status, and all other service delivery.

While we undertake a project to write a personal statement for internal medicine residency, we use these elements creatively to deliver on all our promises. This is the reason we are constantly referred to friends and families by our clients.

Hire Our Residency Personal Statement Writing Help

A residency experience in internal medicine can add tremendous value to the career of a medical professional looking to build a career in the same. Since internal medicine is an important vertical of medical science, the opportunities are plenty in the same. This makes students want to get into the residency program all the more.

However, writing a personal statement for residency in internal medicine is a tough job without the help of a professional. But we can help you.

With our help you can get an internal medicine residency personal statement that is:

  • Creative and focused
  • Conceived from scratch
  • Evaluated multiple times
  • Written with your inputs
  • Revised by paid quality tools

Although a personal statement cannot win you admission alone for re sidenQcy in internal medicine , ours can certainly bolster the chances of admission. We can develop any type of personal statement for an internal medicine residency application as you need in both PDF and Doc formats as you wish.

You can speak to our client support to gather more details and request for samples and formats for personal statement for internal medicine residency to review them.

Contact us here for more details.

Even though, it’s not as hard as taking your decision to pursue a career in medical field, yet to get your dream fulfilled, the task of writing a personal statement is decisive. An applicant’s personal statement reflects on his moral qualities like cognizance, compassion, desire and determination. It is one of the crucial factor considered in admitting a student into a medical school. Thus aspirants find it challenging to write a vivid personal statement for residency or internal medical program.

The foremost message to be conveyed through an internal medicine personal statement is the response for the very fundamental question, why I chose this particular field. Then you should make the residency medical school to feel that you are a qualified candidature for them. Professionalism has to be reflected in all facets of your personal statement, thus it needs to be written in a precise and formal manner. Being known with the gravity of the medical field, it is best advised to limit your creative or artistic skills while writing your internal medicine personal statement for medical degree.

The admission directors didn’t encourage to be completely informal with your personal statement writing .

It’s crucial, but no need to stress yourself by thinking how to write a great medical residency personal statement. Acquiring the very important what, why and how know-hows about the personal statement is only wanted to end up in framing a vivid personal statement.

I like to remind you that each of the residency medical school is unique in its working and overall educational spheres. Thus care should be given while writing the personal statement for different schools, in making it to match with that particular school’s doctrines and values. For example, usmle personal statement internal medicine will not be same as that for a medical school in another foreign nation. And also, the specialisation you have opted for is a determining factor while writing contents for a personal statement. As we are discussing about the internal medicine, the personal statement written for it is very much distinct from a family medicine personal statement or an emergency medicine personal statement.

The introductory and concluding paragraphs are vital in grabbing a reader’s interest to run eyes through the rest part of a reading material. As we evaluate a book from the synopsis given at its back end, and then decide whether to read it or discard it, your first and last paragraphs are very important to get the admission officers to read your entire internal medicine personal statement. Moreover, they are decisive elements in matching you with an appropriate interviewer. The interviewer also reads mostly these two sections before interviewing a candidate.

Start by telling a story

Stories are the most engaging mediums while expressing a matter or an event. So it’s a solid tactic to begin your internal medicine personal statement by telling a story that truly reflects up on who you are from a non-cognitive angle. And it should present you as worthy and fit candidate for the applied medical school culture and nature of their internal medicine program. But the major pitfall seen commonly among the applicants is their urge to narrate experiences with patients where he goes on with talking about the patient instead of himself. It’s not what the directors are looking for, they wanted to know about you. So write each and every sentence with you as the subject matter in them.

Tone and tune of the story

You need to reinvigorate your internal medicine personal statement by breathing life into it or it has to be vibrant and lively from the very beginning till the story ends. Use a positive and confident tone by talking about how you find the resident medical course will develop your skills and rise up as a strong, self-motivated physician. Also give notions about your achievements and accolades that motivated you to take up a profession in medical field. But remember that humility is the part and parcel of this service field. You can also add your academic experiences which paved way for picking a career in medical field.

Ending the story

Summarise the entire internal medicine personal statement in your concluding paragraph. Also include your envision about the future. Find and write an answer for the question, where do you see yourself in next 5-10 years? A person with a vision for future is accorded as a promising candidate for medical schools by the administrators. But, it is not bidding upon you to act in accordance with what you stated here, after your course. You can choose some alternate option as well.

Another important aspect to be noted is about the length of the story.  It is advised to write it in not more than two pages. Get some best internal medicine personal statement samples by clicking here.

statement of purpose

Peppering your story

An early start can be more advantageous for you. The tasks of brainstorming and getting your pen down on the paper for the first time, are the onerous elements in this writing process. Making rough draft and modifying it is the only way to end up in a good  internal medicine personal statement, which needs lot of time. Make it a well-written document by using the good vocabulary, but don’t use hard and difficult words or unfamiliar phrases which can affect you in opposite and sometimes creates ambiguity and misunderstanding. For this try reading some good and standard materials. Care should be given in framing sentences and grammar involved. Make use of online and library resources to refer some books if needed.

statement of purpose

Speak out each point with confidence and clarity.  Think it of as a presentation or a seminar, how to use to talk loud about every single idea. Always align your statements in response to why internal medicine residency. Get advices from both from medical professionals and non-medical persons. The ideas related to medical career can be perfectly given by one from medical field, whereas a worthy acumen on writing structure and organisation can be provided by the latter. Also they both can help you to figure out the typos and errors in your personal statement.

The Don’ts in your Story

Give no instances showing your personal illness, which when interpreted wrongly can put a check on your ability to carry on the course and the related tasks. Don’t be authoritative and talk in-depth about the medical field. You are going to submit it to a panel of admission directors who are well experienced and working in the field for long years and it can go wrong many a times.

Readability enhances the credibility of your essay. Write the internal medicine personal statement in not more than 4-5 short paragraphs. Very short paragraphs can indicate that you are not aware of yourself and not passionate about the course as well. However long paragraphs invites for a feeling of boredom even at the first sight itself. Limit the use of word “I”, “me”, “my” etc. as your aspire for a medical career, you are ought to work in teams and it’s always the team work helps in saving the patient usually. Even though you are talking about yourself, there needs to be an element of compassion towards other people. This is also an indication of your good ethics and morals.

Hope you had enjoyed reading this piece of writing about internal medicine personal statement. Contact SOPConsultants for more understanding and assistance in writing your personal statements.

What is an internal medicine residency personal statement?

An internal medicine residency personal statement is a written document that showcases your background, experiences, and motivations for pursuing a residency in internal medicine. It plays a crucial role in your application by helping the selection committee understand your suitability for their program.

Why do I need a strong personal statement for my internal medicine residency application?

Your personal statement allows you to stand out among other applicants and provides insight into your passion for internal medicine. A well-crafted statement demonstrates your qualities, experiences, and goals, giving the selection committee a comprehensive view of your candidacy.

Can you help me brainstorm ideas for my personal statement?

Certainly! Our team of experienced writers can guide you through the brainstorming process, helping you identify key experiences, achievements, and characteristics that make you a strong candidate.

Are your writers experienced in crafting internal medicine residency personal statements?

Yes, our team comprises skilled writers with a background in medical writing and a deep understanding of the internal medicine residency application process. They are well-equipped to highlight your strengths effectively.

Can you help me make my personal statement more engaging and memorable?

Absolutely! Our writers are adept at crafting compelling narratives that capture the reader’s attention. We’ll use storytelling techniques to make your personal statement memorable and impactful.

Will my personal statement be edited and proofread?

Yes, our editing team will review your personal statement for grammar, clarity, and coherence. This ensures that the final document is error-free and presents your ideas effectively.

vasuki ram - professional and experienced content writer - sopconsultants

  • Chandigarh Patiala Amritsar
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • SOP for MBA
  • SOP for Law Internship
  • SOP for Tourism
  • SOP for Social Work
  • SOP for Graduate School
  • SOP for Phd
  • SOP for Engineering
  • SOP for Scholarship
  • SOP for Computer Science

professional academic writing service, best sop writing services

  • +91 9946991401
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Refund Policy

© Copyright 2024 SOP Consultants | Designed by NS

© Copyright 2023 SOP Consultants | Designed by NS

Get Best Work for your Price

0% Ai Content, 100% Human Written

Ph.D Experts

We provide online assistance from our experts .

Plagiarism Free Content Guranteed

We guarantee the delivery of work free from plagiarism.

Affordable Price Guaranteed

Top-quality content at budget-friendly prices.

Offer valid for limited time only

personal statement im residency

Match Application Blog

Personal statement samples blog.

personal statement im residency

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want my team to help you with your Residency Application, click here.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to tell your story – it is truly an understated component of the residency application! You have to make program directors want to meet you by writing an impressive personal statement that makes you stand out among the many who apply.

In this post, we will provide you with excellent personal statement examples that you can use as templates when writing your own personal statement for your residency application!

Sample 1: the basketball player | internal medicine.

A coach’s instructions, two team chants, followed by the blare of a whistle, opened and closed basketball practice every day. With repetition, my teammates and I strove for perfection to build a skill set that could be recalled when it mattered most. To love the sport of basketball is to love the grind. During my internal medicine rotation, I witnessed similar devotion by attending physicians and residents. Determination to master the foundation of medicine while engaging in a cohesive multidisciplinary team is what resonated deeply with me, and greatly influenced my choice to become an internist.

My passionate desire to become a physician first stemmed from when my grandfather was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and, later on, heart failure. Initially perplexed by the complexity of his diagnosis, I spent hours researching congestive heart failure, determined to find ways to increase his time with us. Being my grandfather’s primary caretaker towards the end of his life instilled the notion of service and fueled my passion for helping others through this career path in medicine.

During my third-year internal medicine rotation, one of my first patients was a 65-year-old female who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and began crying as my attending delivered her prognosis. I talked to her every day, trying to make her feel better. While nothing could completely change her affect, she seemed to appreciate my company. As I reflected on her case, I realized how much I enjoyed getting to know my patients and connecting with them personally, in addition to understanding the complex pathology that plagued them. Several similar experiences on my internal medicine rotation drew me to this specialty which offers a holistic approach and appeals to my innate desire to understand how things work. Internal medicine requires one to understand the interactions between the different systems to diagnose and treat a patient effectively. Additionally, I enjoy the acutely evolving nature of this field and the endless fellowship opportunities available upon completion of my residency training.

My passion for internal medicine led me to start the Internal Medicine Interest Group at our school. Listening to the experiences of different internists further solidified my resolve. Seeing the inspiration within the eyes of the younger medical students as our guests talked about this specialty made me realize the value of role models and generational teaching. This was a source of inspiration for me to pursue a career that not only allows me to take excellent care of my patients, but also teach the next generation of doctors on how to do the same. Being the president of this interest group and the point guard for Duke University’s basketball team, I gained invaluable insight as to how my past experiences shaped my ability to do better in the future, so that my team could achieve lofty goals. This awareness will prove to be paramount in the hospital when serving as an internal medicine physician.

As I enter my fourth year of medical school, I realize how similar medicine and basketball are. The teamwork, which unifies everyone towards a similar goal, the perseverance and long hours required to master the profession, and, arguably the most important, the confidence and trust you build between the team and the people relying on its performance, are critical to medicine and sport alike. Just as I was a trusted member of my basketball team who always put the team’s interest above mine to ensure our success, I am determined to serve as an integral part of the medical team and will do my best towards becoming an excellent clinician while training at your residency program.

Sample 2: The Farmer | Internal Medicine/ ICU

Growing up, my father’s dream for my future was that I would someday take over from him in running the family farm. My childhood was a continuous balancing act between completing homework, executing my farm duties, and being a good son to my parents. Years of navigating these competing responsibilities had made me fairly adept at multi-tasking, and in the back of my mind, I still harbored the fantasy that I could both fulfill my obligations to the farm while also entertaining my growing passion for medicine. However, this naïve, but well-intentioned vision for my future came crashing down when I was admitted to the hospital for meningitis. Spending days on end in the largest hospital in our city, I witnessed firsthand the impact of exceptional and compassionate patient care. I was impressed by the vast scientific knowledge and skillful manner in which my physician communicated my diagnosis and treatment plan with me. I knew then that I could never work on the family farm and that my true life’s calling was to become a physician.

For the next two years, I worked as a waiter to be able to afford my dream of attending medical school. Every day after a long shift at work, I would return home and study for the admissions exam until I fell asleep. After a grueling two years, I gained admission to medical school, thrilled to finally be studying the subject to which I had chosen to dedicate my life.  

I quickly developed a passion for internal medicine as I began my clinical rotations, and in particular, the high-acuity patients I encountered in the intensive care unit. I was amazed by the medical complexity of each patient and the breadth of knowledge that critical care physicians must have in order to rapidly diagnose and treat patients, many of whom were hanging on to life by a thread. What I most enjoyed about my time rotating in the ICU was that almost every single patient was a medical puzzle, and that it took the concerted and deep collaboration of a whole team of healthcare providers to come to a suitable consensus on patient management. It was particularly awe-inspiring to see patients on the brink of death fully recover after spending a few days in the ICU. I quickly realized that I had found my intellectual and spiritual home, and that I would like nothing more than to dedicate my life to the care of the sickest patients in the hospital.  

When I expressed my interest in pursuing internal medicine residency followed by a critical care fellowship to my mentor, she immediately recommended pursuing my dream through training in the US given the comparatively better access to cutting-edge technology, clinical experts, and seemingly limitless research opportunities. However, the financial burden was a huge barrier for me. I tackled this obstacle in the only way I had ever known how; by working in the evenings after school and on days off to save up enough money to come to the US. But even that was not enough to reach my goals, so I took on a job as a general practitioner in India for two years to be able to afford the plane tickets and the battery of exams needed for entry into US residency programs. This experience helped to hone my clinical skills and bedside manner and will serve me well during my residency training. Additionally, since coming to the US, I have become more involved in clinical research, working alongside critical care physicians at the Mayo Clinic on a number of projects and learning more about the intricacies of the US healthcare system.

Having spent two years in the US, I am ready to embark on the next step in my academic journey and look for a program with comprehensive internal medicine training and robust research infrastructure to expand my growing passion for clinical research. I aspire to be a clinician-scientist who takes insights from my interactions with patients in the ICU to further the field, both from a treatment perspective and from the perspective of improving health care equity and access.

My journey has been arduous, circuitous, and marked by many obstacles along the way. But I know of no other pathway as intellectually stimulating or personally rewarding as medicine. My father has since come to terms with his initial disappointment that I would not be taking up his mantle to work on the family farm. But he has expressed newfound pride in my goal to pursue medicine and to provide excellent care for patients and their families the way that the doctors that treated my meningitis did for me all those years ago.

personal statement im residency

Advisor UNLIMITED Access

We get how stressful the residency match process is, so we're here for you - communicate with your personal advisor ANYTIME you need!

personal statement im residency

Personal Statement Editing

Our editing includes not only language but also context, structure, and content advising.

personal statement im residency

ERAS Application Editing

The editing goes beyond language and grammar corrections to structure, design, and content based on your personal story and achievement.

personal statement im residency

  • Interview Preparation

The best way to learn something is to do it. That’s why we divide our interview preparation sessions into two parts. Mock Interview + Feedback

Sample 3: Schizophrenia | Psychiatry

I hear voices! These three words summarized my grandmother’s lifelong suffering. I grew up in an Indian family, accustomed to the tales of old people hearing voices, seeing strange things, and wandering away for months. All this was very commonplace and rarely attended to. In a country plagued with limited access to education and healthcare literacy, mental health disorders were considered a myth. The social stigma precluded discussion of symptoms and provider visits. It was only during my medical schooling that I understood such symptoms to be part of mental illness that affects patients and causes intense distress. As my curiosity was aroused, I found psychiatry to be my true calling.

The opportunity to complete four months of psychiatry rotations during my final year of medical school allowed me to witness and treat psychiatric diseases that I had only known previously as vague symptoms. I remember taking care of identical twins afflicted with schizoaffective disorder stemming from years of extensive emotional and physical abuse by their family. Years of lack of care and social abandonment had resulted in shared hallucinations and delusions, with multiple suicidal attempts. Effectively gaining their trust by validating their concerns enabled me to unveil their self-injurious behavior and suicidality, prompting appropriate management. On subsequent visits, both patients had significant improvement in their symptoms with a more positive outlook and adherence to medications and psychotherapy. Such experiences and many others that followed provided me with an in-depth insight into the contributing factors to mental health disorders and the effectiveness of prompt and adequate treatment in optimal patient recovery.

Since relocating to the United States for a master’s program in clinical psychology at the University of San Diego, California, I have gained clinical and research acumen that has further reinforced my passion for psychiatry. My role as a crisis counselor for the past two years with CalHOPE, California, has provided me with clinical versatility and a profound understanding of patients’ ongoing conflicts. Interacting with hundreds of patients and communities with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder, has helped me hone my skills as a listener to actively pick up subtle cues and offer a tailored approach to care. Nothing has been more gratifying than witnessing patient improvement with the right treatment.

Currently, I spearhead the research on the psychological effects of drug misuse and addiction in underserved populations along with different strategies to facilitate early diagnosis and intervention. I have learned the skills required to formulate a research question and design a study from an idea to publication and seek to utilize this knowledge to positively impact patient care across the globe. I am passionate about research and working with communities combating drug addiction and mental health stigmatization. Therefore, I seek a residency program that will equip me with the skills to become an excellent psychiatrist and researcher so that I can build therapeutic alliances with diverse patient groups and backgrounds.

My clinical experiences have illuminated that the most admirable physicians are those who cater to the medical and psychological needs of patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds. While my grandmother’s tales of hallucinations served as the fuel that ignited my interest in psychiatry, every experience I went through during my medical journey confirmed that psychiatry is my natural calling. I stand now as an aspirant for this field seeking the requisite training that will enable me to be a beacon of support for communities with mental health disorders and break the barriers of stigmatization and social injustice.

Do you want our experienced team to edit your Personal Statement?

Sample 4: the caribbean school | obgyn.

“Time to close”, said the scrub nurse as she placed the needle driver in my hand, just a few hours after a young female patient had presented to the emergency department at the Sint Maarten Medical Center with vaginal bleeding. Within minutes of her arrival, she was being rolled back to the operating room for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. As a student rotating on the service, I asked to scrub into the case with the team and was given the opportunity to close at the end of the procedure. That experience was my first exposure to the unique world of obstetrics and gynecology and served as my catalyst for pursuing this specialty.

As a second-generation American immigrant, I had watched both my parents train as physicians in their home country and subsequently re-train in America in their respective specialties. Their sacrifice and dedication towards building a foundation and home for me and my siblings, inspired my work ethic. Their passion and commitment to their patients drew me to the field of medicine.

After persistent efforts, I secured admission into a medical school in the Caribbean. Studying medicine at Sint Maarten, I knew the challenges that awaited along my career path as a physician seeking to integrate into the American residency system. I pursued each opportunity to serve the medical community of Sint Maarten, while advancing my education as I shadowed OBGYN physicians on Saturday mornings, during my free time. I obtained history and examined every patient on the floor prior to them being seen by my attendings. This experience not only improved my clinical knowledge and skills significantly, but also opened my eyes to the diverse needs of the island and its people. Living in Sint Maarten allowed me to witness the effects of low socioeconomic status, lack of resources, and limited medical literacy on the overall health and well-being of a community.

Moving back to the US for my clinical rotations, my passion for women’s health continued to fuel my desire to pursue residency training in OBGYN. Whether it was in the delivery room encouraging a first-time mother or in the clinic counseling a patient with bladder incontinence, I was drawn by the breadth of the practice. During my third year of medical school, I assisted a team of OBGYN residents who were comparing surgical outcomes after laparoscopic versus robotic hysterectomy. This experience showed me the impact that researchers can make on patients’ lives world-wide, and kindled my interest to develop the skillset that propelled an idea to a publication. Presenting our research at the ACOG meeting this past spring allowed me to learn more about the intricacies of OBGYN and engage in meaningful conversations with leaders of the field.

Although that Saturday morning at the Sint Maarten Medical Center sparked my interest in this specialty, it was the culmination of my clinical experiences which affirmed it. I look forward to integrating patient care, clinical skill, and technology in surgical management throughout my residency. By training at an academic center, I hope to continue my contributions to this field as a learner, a teacher, and a leader. The same way my parents inspired my passion and dedication to medicine, I hope to inspire future generations during residency and beyond.

Sample 5: The Iraqi Female Applicant | Surgery

‘Females can never be surgeons!’ These were the words that resonated in my ears every time I expressed my interest in surgery. My medical school tutors, family, friends, all dissuaded me from pursuing this course. In a patriarchal society like the one I grew up in, women were expected to adhere to restrictive cultural norms. Thankfully, I persevered.

Growing up in war-torn Iraq made for a difficult and unusual childhood. War and fighting were the norm, as were constant displacement and unstable living situations. Due to the unrelenting violence that ravaged the country since before I can remember, the emergency room in my medical school hospital, Al Mosul University Hospital, was constantly flooded with trauma patients.

The combination of diverse cases and shortage of clinical staff proved the perfect storm for piquing my surgical interests, as I was afforded the opportunity to perform tasks typically reserved for first and second-year residents. Though I quickly rose to the intense demands of working in Al Mosul’s ED, my male colleagues would often remind me that surgery was not an appropriate avenue for women, and that I should instead choose an ‘easier’ specialty that would allow me to focus on raising a family. For me, however, the decision was crystal clear. Surgery was the perfect blend of manual dexterity and methodical decision making. I was not only fascinated by the diversity of surgical cases, but also by the surgeons’ abilities to repair and heal the horrific war injuries. Seeing patients who suffered bomb blasts on the brink of death be stabilized through expert surgical intervention sparked my passion for the incredible restorative power of surgery. The fast pace, required precision, and the exquisite coordination of working as part of a surgical team further cemented my interest.

At a local surgical conference, I was fortunate to meet a visiting US surgeon who was in Mosul as part of his mission trip to Iraq. After speaking to him at length about my burgeoning interest in the field, he encouraged me to follow my passion, and even helped me secure several rotations in the US. It was during these rotations that I received my first exposure to the US healthcare system, from its incredible access to technological advancements unheard of in most Iraqi hospitals to its focus on cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce. Following my rotations, I spent two years as a post-doctoral clinical researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), investigating longitudinal outcomes for trauma patients who sustained debilitating war injuries. My research years were transformational, not only providing me a robust foundation in clinical research, but also giving me a deeper appreciation for the positive impact of holistic care on trauma patients’ lives and wellbeing. As a result of my experiences at BWH, I hope to enroll in a program with equal parts emphasis on surgical and research skills development and that embraces diversity as a core value. Following my residency, I aspire to return to Iraq and continue to treat patients suffering from trauma, conduct research on optimizing outcomes for trauma patients, and educating the next generation of surgeons.

As a female growing up in Iraq, I faced many challenges during my quest to secure a residency spot in the US. Despite the discouragement of tutors and family members as well as the daunting prospect of starting a long and difficult journey in a new country, I am steadfast in the pursuit of my professional dreams. I have one goal that I will keep fighting for in the years ahead: an unwavering commitment to make a difference in patients’ lives and empower women in Iraq and around the world to help me make that difference. My message to those women who, like me, are told by those around them that they can never be surgeons: do not be discouraged. Let their words fuel your strength and fight to make the world a better place for yourself and your patients!

personal statement im residency

Physician Advisor

A physician and native English speaker with exceptional expertise in editing ERAS Applications and CVs.

CV editing

Language Revision

By refining grammar, syntax, and word choice, we elevate the quality of your writing.

personal statement im residency

New ERAS Guidance

With the new changes to ERAS, we provide significant detailed comments and feedback to assist you with program signaling, geographic preferences, and selection of most meaningful experiences.

personal statement im residency

Experiences Editing

We significantly edit and refine your whole ERAS CV including your work, research, and volunteer experiences, tailoring them to your chosen specialty.

personal statement im residency

How to Rank Residency Programs? Your Guide to Making Your NRMP Rank Order List

personal statement im residency

Network with Residency Programs for a Successful Match

personal statement im residency

USMLE STEP Experiences

personal statement im residency

5 Best Clinical Research Courses for Medical Students Seeking to PUBLISH

Research course, usmle tutoring, get 1 on 1 residency advising.

Hopefully, these samples will help you draft an excellent personal statement to tell the great story of your medical journey! If you need help with editing your personal statement or having an expert lay an eye on it and give you comprehensive feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to us HERE !

Need guidance on crafting that perfect personal statement? Swing by our blog “ How to Write a Good Personal Statement for your Residency Application ” for a fun walkthrough on creating a standout residency application statement.

Good luck with your application and always remember, The Match Guy is here for you!

Application Packages

Eras & supplemental cv.

The editing goes beyond language and grammar corrections to structure, design, and content advising based on your personal story and achievement.

personal statement im residency

The best way to learn something is to do it. That’s why we divide our interview preparation sessions into two parts: Mock Interview + Feedback

personal statement im residency

  • Residency Advising

We are able to provide you with the guidance you need at any step of your journey to make it to your final goal!

How can we help you?

Leave your message here and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

personal statement im residency

Quick Links

  • Our Reviews
  • Our Podcast
  • Personal Statement
  • Match®Application Package
  • P.O. Box 40388 Pittsburgh, PA 15201
  • [email protected]
  • + 1 412-295-8358
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions

WhatsApp Us

personal statement im residency

Sample Residency Interview Questions & Answers

  • Residency Application

IMG Personal Statement Examples

IMG Personal Statement Examples

IMG personal statement examples outline a variety of important structural and content requirements for this component of your application. Reading residency personal statement examples can help you construct an essay that resonates with similar quality and assembly. The personal statement is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are and what appeals to you about their program. Because international medical graduate (IMG) status can make the match more difficult for some schools and residency programs, having a strong personal statement can significantly increase your chances of getting invited for an interview. In this article, we provide some examples of personal statements for IMGs to inspire your own.

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 9 min read

Img personal statement example 1.

Since I was young, I’ve had a keen interest in wanting to become a doctor due to my mother’s influence; she’s a cardiologist who works at a hospital in my hometown in Georgia. She always encouraged me to make my own choices irrespective of hers, and she never tried to deliberately push me into medicine’s outstretched arms. Medicine, at least early on in my life, was never on my radar. I was too invested in my creative endeavors, which led to a burgeoning career as a commercial actress starting in elementary school. However, in my senior year of high school, I felt weighed down by the yawning void of my intellectual cravings. I was, as my mother would say, a scientist at heart, which I began to accept when I volunteered at the research institute at a local hospital studying new genomic technology.

I had my doubts about whether I would be able to pursue a career in medicine due to my conflicting creative interests; however, when I took a trip to Delhi, India, in my first year of undergraduate studies, I volunteered at a slum hospital, and it was the inspiration that aroused my already established interest in public health. I mostly observed the health care workers, but I assisted with routine medical tasks and fulfilled a supportive role during routine checkups. On rare occasions, I would provide advice about nutrition or general health to some patients, which invigorated my passion for helping others and illuminating health disparities; I hadn’t realized how pervasive the lack of health awareness was in this community; it both disheartened and mobilized my eagerness to explore medical school abroad.

Check out this video to know about residency application tips that will ensure your success and help you stand out from the crowd:

Growing up, I was not encouraged to get good grades or work hard in school. In fact, it was much the opposite: my father worked on a farm and my mother as a hairdresser. In school, I couldn’t rely on the support of my parents, who were both against academic pursuits. In their words, school was a meaningless, debt-accruing venture that accomplished nothing more than having a fancy piece of paper to hang on the wall. The start of my medical school journey began when I made the brave choice to apply to undergraduate programs instead of working on my father’s farm, which is what he always wanted me to do. We had lots of disagreements and negotiations; I ended up promising to work for him on weekends when I wasn’t studying, and the university was within reasonable commuting distance so I could still commit to the compromise.

However, as I finished my undergraduate studies, I knew I needed a change of scenery. I wanted to live in another part of the world where education and academic excellence were encouraged, not undermined. I decided I was going to complete my MD degree in Mexico, in a city that I knew was scourged by a lack of health care resources. I was intrigued by the prospect of learning a new health care system in a less developed geographical area because I saw the parallels with my own hometown, where people tend to ignore their ailments because they’re suspicious of the health care system – again, a consequence of the lack of educational resources. I was convinced that medical school was the only way to make a real collective difference in this attitude emblemized in some rural areas. And, when I volunteered at a clinic specializing in sexual health, I became aware of how some obstinate traditionalist views impair good-faith attempts to educate and protect reproductive rights for women.

The Philippines is known for its commitment to health care excellence. My family is no different. My parents own a clinic in Manila; my mother is a family doctor, and my father is a nurse. My two older brothers work at the clinic fulfilling administrative roles while they complete their undergraduate degrees. They intend to become doctors to help my parents run their clinic and, eventually, inherit it. As high expectations abound, I always felt that I was set up to become a doctor by proximity to such high-achieving family members dedicated to health care. Of course, I was nudged gently in that direction, but my autonomy was never compromised. My first exposure to working in a clinical environment was as a teen, when I assisted in recreational therapy at my parents’ clinic. As expected, I found the interactions I had, particularly with elderly patients, to be interesting and rewarding. I had a knack for humor, which seemed to be remedial for many of the patients who were palliative or undergoing life-changing surgery that would require extensive physical rehabilitation.

Yes, internal medicine is one of the many IMG friendly residency programs .

According to the results of the program director survey published by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the second most important listing in the section for personal characteristics and other knowledge of applicants considered in deciding whom to interview was the personal statement.

You need to demonstrate your skillset and inclination toward the specialty you’re interested in using clinical experiences and research. With that said, getting into too much detail about your research can be distracting and redundant, especially if you include this information in other application components.

You should discuss what you hope to gain from a residency program in the US, and why it’s important for you to pursue further education in this country as opposed to the one you completed your medical degree in.

You might decide to complete your fourth year of medical school in the US to gain exposure to US clinics and health care systems. Gaining references can also be a beneficial aspect of completing at least part of your education in the US.

Because you’re an international applicant, programs are more competitive and usually present more challenges for this type of applicant, which can reduce your chances of getting matched.

You should talk about any clinical experiences that contributed to your decision to pursue residency in the US, in addition to any other activities that activated your scientific interests and developed your clinical skills.

IMG residency consultants can help you navigate many of the challenges you will face as an international applicant. They can help you organize and write your materials and develop a strategy for applying to programs that suit your applicant status and background.

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar: 

How to make your residency application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 reasons most applicants don't match their top choice program).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll match a residency program or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

personal statement im residency


  1. Residency Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide (Example Included)

    Why does the residency personal statement matter? The personal statement is an essay of about a page (one page in ERAS is 3,500 characters including spaces) in which you articulate who you are and why you want to enter a certain specialty. It's your big opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants by highlighting anything that isn't well represented in other parts of your ...

  2. Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement Examples

    Internal Medicine Personal Statement Example 1. This personal statement presents the story of an international student applying to residency in the United States. ... Your internal medicine residency personal statement should generally be between 500 and 800 words, or one page. Be sure to check the precise requirements of the residency program ...

  3. Residency Personal Statement Examples from Matched Residents

    Here are more Internal Medicine Personal Statement Examples!-----Residency Personal Statement Examples #9: Family Medicine. My first exposure to Family Medicine occurred during my time as a Medical Officer working in a small clinic in Nigeria in fulfilment of the [name of service].

  4. How to Write a Standout Internal Medicine Personal Statement

    Step 3: Structure and Content. A well-structured personal statement is easier to read and conveys your message effectively. Consider the following structure and content guidelines: Introduction: Begin with a captivating hook that grabs the reader's attention. Briefly introduce yourself and your interest in internal medicine.

  5. Example Personal Statement Residency (Internal Medicine)

    Sample Personal Statement for Residency in Internal Medicine. Being the youngest of four sisters was a challenge, but it taught me the skills to be a problem solver at a very young age. What drew me to medicine was the desire to confront and solve the puzzle to restore a patient's health. I completed my medical education at XYZ Hospital under ...

  6. Residency Personal Statement : An Insider's Guide

    Introduction. The residency personal statement allows residency program directors and associate directors the chance to get a sense of who you are and your commitment to your chosen specialty. As a former program director who understands how residency personal statements are reviewed, what "stands out," and, most importantly, what will earn ...

  7. Residency Match: 4 tips for writing a standout personal statement

    That's important in terms of terms of recognizing the self-serving interest versus the larger goal for any medical residency program. "We are, in the end, people who are going to be really good at patient care and being part of a team.". Upvote. 88. Writing a great residency personal statement is crucial for getting into the program you want.

  8. Ten Steps for Writing an Exceptional Personal Statement

    The personal statement is an important requirement for residency and fellowship applications that many applicants find daunting. ... they are commonly included. 5 One genre analysis showed that 97% of applicants to residency programs in internal medicine, family medicine, and surgery used an opening that included either a personal narrative (66 ...

  9. Writing a Personal Statement for Residency Application

    Don't cross the line. Your personal statement should remain an original composition, even as you seek input and advice. Retain your voice as you refine your writing and don't ever plagiarize. Be ...

  10. How to Write a Good Personal Statement for your Residency Application

    Good example: My interest in internal medicine started during my first month of clinical rotations. Seeing the diversity of patient presentations and the application of evidence-based medical knowledge in solving patients' problems is what really drew me to the field. ... Mistakes to avoid when writing a personal statement for residency the ...

  11. Residency Personal Statement Writing Tips & Structure

    Many applicants don't know where to start, so we suggest breaking the essay into bite-sized pieces. Use a standard 4-5 paragraph structure. This way, you've got small, manageable goals. Write your residency personal statement using: An introduction paragraph. 2-3 paragraphs to expand on your theme.

  12. Residency Personal Statement Samples and Feedback

    Commentary on Sample 1. "Medicine is not a job, it is a way of life.". As the son of a cardiothoracic surgeon, my father's mantra constantly echoed in my mind. I was raised in an environment where sacrifice and duty were familiar concepts from a young age. While my father did his best to balance work and family life, there were countless ...

  13. Residency Personal Statement Samples

    Residency Sample Personal Statements. These are real personal statements from successful residency applicants (some are from students who have used our services or from our advisors ). These sample personal statements are for reference purposes only and should absolutely not be used to copy or plagiarize in any capacity. Plagiarism detection ...

  14. Creating a high‐quality personal statement for residency application: A

    For many specialties, a one‐page personal statement is the norm; however, ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) does have a cap of 28,000 characters (approximately 5 pages). 12 Your mentor can advise on the preferred length for your intended specialty. Use simple words that convey your meaning to enhance comprehension, and avoid ...

  15. How to write a personal statement for residency

    According to the most recent National Resident Matching Program® Program Director Survey, 78% of residency directors reported that the personal statement was a factor in selecting applicants for interview; on a scale from 1 to 5, they scored the importance of the personal statement 3.7 on average.(Class ranking was only 70% and 3.9. Think of how hard you worked during medical school.)

  16. What To Include in a Residency Personal Statement (Plus Example)

    A residency personal statement is a short essay that medical school graduates often write when applying to residency programs. It typically includes personal information, such as achievements, goals and interests. It often highlights personal motivations, experiences, goals and career plans. A residency personal statement is one typed page in ...

  17. Sample Personal Statement: Internal Medicine

    Sample Personal Statement: Internal Medicine. Throughout medical school I have committed myself to finding the one specialty that aligns perfectly with my personality and future goals. While this task seemed straightforward and uncomplicated, I soon realized during my third-year clerkships that every area of medicine offered aspects I enjoyed.

  18. PDF Writing Residency Personal Statements

    5. Common Problems: • Residency statement is a barely updated version of the medical/dentistry school application essay. • At this point in your career, you don't have to justify your interest in medical school or dentistry school. Rather, you have to make a strong case for why you would be a great, fit for the specialty.

  19. 12 Top Questions About the ERAS Personal Statement

    The standard ERAS personal statement length is typically 500-800 words (roughly four paragraphs). A personal statement typically isn't the "maker" of your residency application—however, it can be a deal "breaker" if it doesn't have those attributes. That said, if you have a memorable, well-written personal statement, program ...

  20. Residency Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide

    The residency application personal statement is an essential part of applying to programs, but it can be intimidating. We get it. It can be challenging to write about yourself and your life experiences within 3,500 characters. We'll cover everything you need to know about writing a powerful statement!

  21. How Write A Internal Medicine Residency Personal Statement

    An internal medicine residency personal statement is a written document that showcases your background, experiences, and motivations for pursuing a residency in internal medicine. It plays a crucial role in your application by helping the selection committee understand your suitability for their program.

  22. Personal Statement Samples Blog

    Sample 1: The Basketball Player | Internal Medicine. A coach's instructions, two team chants, followed by the blare of a whistle, opened and closed basketball practice every day. With repetition, my teammates and I strove for perfection to build a skill set that could be recalled when it mattered most. To love the sport of basketball is to ...

  23. IMG Personal Statement Examples

    IMG personal statement examples outline a variety of important structural and content requirements for this component of your application. Reading residency personal statement examples can help you construct an essay that resonates with similar quality and assembly. The personal statement is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are and what appeals to you about their program.

  24. Prosthodontics Certificate

    This program is designed to help students achieve clinical excellence in prosthodontics, especially in the field of digital dental technology. Here, students will receive excellent faculty and staff support, with access to state-of-the-art technology including digital scanners, design software and an in-house milling center.