Medical Residency
Personal Statement
How To Target The Institution

Medical Residency Statements
Instant download of actual real-life residency personal statement templates -- here.

As I point out in the “17 Essential Guidelines For Writing A Medical Residency Personal Statement”, my ebook on the subject; it is very important for your personal statement to focus on answering the specific question(s) asked by the institution that you are targeting. You have to assume that they deliberately chose to phrase the question(s) they way they did in order to elicit the specific information they want from you.

So, for any institution(s) that you are seriously targeting, and by which you would really like to be accepted, I believe you must pay attention to exactly what they are asking for, and make sure you address those points directly.

For example, below are a number of actual questions that are currently being asked by a number of teaching institutions in their instructions to residency applicants:

  • “Submit a brief Statement of Interest that explains how you are qualified and why you would like to join the Xxxxxxxx Medical Center team.”

  • “A statement regarding your motivation for applying to the Rxxxxxx neurosurgery program is strongly recommended.”

  • “Why are you interested in training in this specialty at the University of Bxxxxxx?”

  • “Why is U. of Wxxxxxxx your choice for training in plastic surgery?”

  • “Why are you interested in training at the University of Cxxxxxxx?”

These very specific questions and they are being asked for a reason. Clearly, these institutions are challenging the applicant to specifically state why they are applying to that particular organization. So, boilerplate general platitudes that would apply to any institution will not work in cases like these. If you want to be taken seriously, you must make an effort to explain exactly why you are targeting that particular teaching hospital.

This is not difficult, as long as you are willing to do a little research before writing your response to the above type of questions. It gives you an opportunity to separate yourself from other candidates by providing specific “targeted” answers.

For example. Take a look below at a custom-targeted answer for one of the questions listed above:

“Why is U. of Wxxxxxxx your choice for training in plastic surgery?”

Here’s the custom answer that was actually used in response to that question:

"Why I Choose University of Wxxxxxxx…
The key factors that attract me to apply for a residency in U. of W.’s Division of Plastic Surgery are: the flexible curriculum, broad scope, favorable staff-to-resident ratio, and large caseload. With many plastic surgeons practicing at three large teaching facilities, the Division offers me a comprehensive and individualized experience. U. of W.’s heavy involvement in clinical and basic science research is of great interest to me because it fits with activities I have been involved in."

As you can see from the above paragraph, the points made are all very specific to the organization and the unique plastic surgery program of that particular university. This kind of information can be obtained quite easily by taking a few moments to check out the Web pages for the institution and the program that you are targeting. When members of the review committee read this answer, it will seem that you are serious about this application in particular since you took the time and made the effort to understand various factors which are unique and important to that institution and/or program.

Even though the response to the question is not overly long, it is obvious that some research and thought went into custom-targeting the above response for that particular institution, and even the specific program within that teaching hospital.

Of course, this is just one example to give you the idea as to how it’s done.

For more information and examples you might want to check out my comprehensive ebook on this subject -- including downloadable real-life personal statement templates. Just click on the following link:

For additional advice and tips about writing medical residency personal statements in general, you can also check out my medical residency resources page:

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