In writing their personal statements, many applicants ask me if it’s okay to include their accomplishments. After all, they say, their achievements have already been noted in the application, dean’s letter, and letters of recommendation. Think of the medical admissions process as an onion. Your application (AMCAS, ERAS, post bacc CV, AADSAS) and letters serve as one layer of that onion, albeit a thin one. In other words, your accomplishments are conveyed simply and succinctly there. The personal statement is your opportunity to apply a thicker layer, one in which you flesh out your achievements, thus persuading the reader of your distinctiveness. Finally, the interview is your chance to add on the thickest peel. Discussing your accomplishments in detail can seal the interviewer’s positive impression of you. So yes, you are going to be redundant throughout the application process, but each part serves a different and additive purpose. If you do not include your achievements in your personal statement, how will you be viewed as distinctive? Remember: Who you are is what you’ve done… and what traits and skills you’ve gained accordingly.
I have a guest blogger today – my first ever. Dr. David Presser graduated from UCSF Medical School, completed his Emergency Medicine residency at UCLA/Olive View and his MPH at Harvard. He wrote an excellent primer on getting into an Emergency Medicine residency. Here’s today’s blog written by him:
Picture, if you will, a residency admissions committee member beneath a halo of light reading applicant essays in her office at midnight. Caffeine on her breath, crumpled white coat next to her desk chair, she is making steady progress on the never-ending stack of applicant files until she picks up a residency personal statement that begins, “I first became interested in Internal Medicine when Grandma was diagnosed with cancer…” Pulling out her hair by the fistful, she tosses the file into the trash. That cancer may not have killed your grandma, but it just might have killed your application. [Read more...]
I’ve received a few questions about the couples’ match. Here is the information that the NRMP sends to applicants who inquire about it:
(Note the syntax mistakes are not mine .) [Read more...]
The results of the 2010 NRMP Program Director Survey are out. (The last survey was done in 2008.) This document is tremendously helpful, documenting what percentage of residencies (separated by specialty) use specific factors (personal statement, perceived commitment to the field, etc.) in interviewing and matching applicants. You can use this evidence to make a strategic plan for your candidacy. (Warning: The PDF is large, and the download may take a while.)
Please contact me now for help with your residency application. You want to submit as early as possible.
Medical school admissions are becoming increasingly competitive, in part, because of the failing U.S. economy. Bright applicants who used to target business school or law degrees are finding those fields unstable and are turning their interest toward medicine. Consequently, stronger candidates are now pursuing a medical career, making professional medical school admissions consulting increasingly important in optimizing medical school applications.
Medical school admissions consulting companies come in a variety of forms. Some are larger companies that focus on admissions to several types of graduate programs – not just medicine. Others are smaller companies that provide a medical focus, but have a pool of consultants of varying quality. Finally, elite companies offer both the medical focus and a highly experienced consultant who works one-on-one with clients. These professionals are ex-admissions officers from respected medical institutions. They have the inside knowledge of how medical admissions work, providing personalized guidance to optimize candidates’ written materials and interview skills. [Read more...]