Post Graduate Training Abroad-4

How to write a personal statement

What is the personal statement (to start with)?

It is a one-paper-length essay, where you describe who you are, why did you choose that specific specialty, and why did you choose this special program or hospital.

This document is usually required during the application process to the international residency programs. It will be a wonderful job to write one, even if you are applying to a local one. It will make you different. As we were told, most of the Saudi applications to international programs do not include a personal statement, which may make them look…not well equipped?!


In most of the cases the personal statement consists of about 4 paragraphs.

The first one, the introduction, should be written to catch the immediate attention of the speaker. You can start with a personal story for example.

The 1st and 2nd paragraphs should be written to describe you. Here you can include all your good points that have no place in your CV. For example, you cannot write : I’m a team-player, hard worker, open minded person in your CV. But you can insert these characteristics- in an intelligent way- in the personal statement.

The 3rd and 4th paragraphs are for describing why did you like that specialty. What do you think is so special about it, and why would you fit in it. You should also mention what sort of program are you looking for, and that the program you are applying to, is the most appropriate.

The Internet is full of websites that might help. Check:
Medical students’ guide to writing CV and personal statements
Career Services from Rush University


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