I have heard so many different things from so many different people about the personal statement. I’ve talked to residency program directors (many of which have completely opposite opinions), residents, fellow students, academic advisors, and more. EVERYONE has a different opinion about what the personal statement should focus on. The only thing that was consistent throughout is that 1) it should be personal (go figure) and 2) it should have some mention of what specialty you are going into. Some say just mention it, some say only write about your specialty. For the most part, people told me to focus on the specialty. But I also had a lot of people tell me to focus on personal stories and less about the specialty. And then a handful of residency directors say that they don’t even read the personal statement.
So what are we supposed to do?! I’ve decided to just write about what I feel is best. I wrote a small personal narrative about my journey in medical school and then focused on why I am choosing the specialty that I am and why I think it is a good fit for me. Then I finished it up talking about future plans to show programs that I have more to offer than just a doctor who is going to complete residency. We’ll see how that works! Happy writing, 4th-years!