After those long slogging years in medical school, you’ve finally been awarded your medical degree. Congratulations! But don’t relax yet! You still have the toughest years of your medical career ahead of you – your residency. If you are at loss regarding the residency programs and especially residency application documents, read on!
The whole process of awarding residency to medical students is carried out through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The application process though straightforward is still an exhausting process. But through ERAS’s one time application process, you can apply to several hospitals you may consider. You only need to submit required documents and scores once. ERAS send relevant information to the hospitals you apply to.
Preparing your Residency Application Documents
Residency application personal statement
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Your residency personal statement is the only part of your application that is not based on your scores and society’s perceptions of you. It is something you have complete control over and helps you give a cutting edge to your application. Because of this very reason, committees place a heavy emphasis on the personal statement. This makes it very important that you get it right.
Start working on your personal statement well ahead of time. Don’t make it too long, redundant and confusing. Stick to one page and write concisely.
Make sure you address the following questions in your
residency personal statement:
- What motivated you to choose this field?
- What do you expect from your residency program?
- What are your goals in the field you have chosen?
You may write on anything you feel is relevant to the application, but make sure you touch the above mentioned points. Always remember to provide concrete examples related to your life, experiences and goals. Grab your reader’s attention using a quote or a story, but remember to never overdo it and abstain from clichés. Being overly original or strange may not be always appreciated like college admission essays.
Once you finish writing, go through it several times to make sure that there is a proper flow between sentences, there is no redundancy and that the spelling and grammar is immaculate.
Residency Letter of Recommendation
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To be effective, your letter of recommendation for residency need to be from someone who has taught, worked with, worked for. Try to get a letter each from the department chair, research guide, and academic faculty is great. It’s best to start asking your faculty to draft a letter of recommendation during the third semester of your medical degree itself, when your performance is fresh in their memory. Don’t feel embarrassed. They have been doing this every year and most consider it as an honor. Just ask them respectfully to write you a recommendation letter and give them your CV to help them give concrete points.
Make sure that the residency letter of
- States your relationship with the one who is recommending you and the duration of it.
- Limits to one or two pages.
- That your potential as a residency applicant is highlighted.
- Is specific.
- Is concluded with an overall recommendation.
- Has contact information of the person who is recommending on the letter head and welcomes any further requests for information.
- Carefully proofread for errors in spelling, grammar or sentence construction.
Residency Application CV
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Your residency application CV is a complete summary of your education, work, experiences and accomplishments so far.
The major sections of your CV are:
- Name and Contact Information
- Honors and Awards
- Experience – work experience, research experience, publications, presentations, community service/volunteer experience, professional organizations and interests.
Before including any information to your CV, as yourself:
- Will this piece of information help me get selected for a residency interview?
- If I were seeing this information on another’s CV, will I find it useful?
- Is this relevant?
If the questions are no, then skip adding that information.
You also need to keep the following formatting rules in mind while
drafting your residency CV:
- Organize items in reverse chronological order.
- Use consistent formatting throughout the document.
- Use bold, italics, capitalization and bullets to organize your data.
- Keep your CV short, clear and easy to read.
- Don’t use abbreviations
- Avoid grammatical and spelling errors.
- Include your name on every page.