So you're trying to write your medical school or residency application personal statement? Are you stumped? Do you feel like your missing something? Do you have writer's block? Here's a little exercise modified from my school's residency application handbook to help you get your ideas out. I've been pondering drafts of my personal statement for a while, but the exercise of sitting down and answering these questions helped me fill in some of the gaps.
* What are the skills valued by specialty? How have you demonstrated them?
* Has coursework shaped your specialty decision? How?
* Have you had any experiences outside of school that were significant to you personally and professionally?
* Do you have any other interests and experiences that demonstrate your values and individuality and may be a resource to a residency program? List them!
* What is the reason for applying to your specialty of choice?
* What are the characteristics of an attractive residency program?
* What are your personal and professional goals? Including practice location, style, and emphasis...
* Does your family status impact your vision?
I left some space so that you can imagine your answers. Or print this out and write them down. Or type between the gaps. It's not enough to think about them. Put your ideas in writing and your statement will come together more fully!