Application process for residency could be very stressful, but you have to plan every step of it from the very beginning of the application time frame. This year, the application portal opened in late June, and students were able to work on their application since then. The application includes your personal work experience, college and medical school experience. It also includes a personal statement, along with 3-4 letters of recommendations from your professors, medical school transcript and a Medical Student Personal Evaluation from your Dean’s office.
To me the hardest part was writing a personal statement. Like how studying for USMLE exams take months, I learned that the Personal Statement takes more than just a day, and requires at least a couple of weeks to draft an excellent statement. I think that crafting a unique statement, requires a theme that you can thread through the piece. Moreover, spell check, spell check and spell check and only submit your sixth or seventh draft!
The second most hardest part was ensuing that your attendings give you excellent letters of references. It is important to choose your attendings wisely. Since you should waive your right to see the letter, ensure that the attendings know you well to be personal with your letter. You should also make sure that you ask them early in the application season, so that the attendings have enough time to write one specifically for you and are not bombarded by other students for their letters of recommendations.
Choosing programs wisely is also very important and requires a lot of time to do it wisely. Otherwise, it can end up to very expensive if you apply to a lot of programs without doing enough research. Some factors to keep in mind while choosing your programs are geographic location, community/university-based program, fellowship options, and incentives.
Well, now that my applications are all sent, the waiting game starts.