Residency Program Directors expect to see an exceptional personal statement that intricately articulates your technical skills, clinical intuition, and future aspirations in your chosen field medicine.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Initial brainstorming and note taking create the foundation necessary to prove yourself as an outstanding residency candidate. Answering these questions before and while drafting your personal statement ensures your statement will have depth and purpose.
  • What are 2-3 clinical examples that are relative to your specialty?
  • What are your technical skills or qualities that show your potential for long term success?
  • What are your social strengths and personal attributes that make you well suited for your specialty?
  • What are your influences for choosing your specialty?
  • What are your goals for the next 5-10 years?

Questions of Critique:

These are questions that should be considered during the development of your statement.
  • Does your writing address a specified professional audience?
  • Is your ability to work under pressure clearly suggested in your Statement?
  • Is your writing concise and clear with no grammatical errors?
  • Does your writing leave program directors with exceptional questions?
  • Did you abbreviate anything?
  • Does your writing suggest a request? It is not professional to make a direct request to your intended audience.
  • Are there any exaggerations or inclusion of unnecessary information?
  • Is there any passive language in your writing? Consider removing, depending on context
  • Does your writing embody any negativity, sorrow or lifestyle concerns? Should be minimal.
  • Does the structure and content represent a well-rounded and eager individual?
  • Do the explanations and details in each sentence build on one another logically?
  • Does the statement include any quotes? (Remove quotes with consent from the client. Could be interpreted as plagiarism. Residency directors expect original content and ideas.)
  • Is your personal statement within one page length? (approximately 600-800 words)

Content and Structure Criteria:


  • Should entice reader with a beginning that exemplifies your experience while thoroughly explaining the position of their story in context. Including a brief excerpt of a personal hobby or story and relating that to your medical aspirations is suggested.
  • First sentence is vital. Make sure it is universally intriguing and lays foundation for the rest of the Personal Statement. A singular path of writing is ideal. Too much off topic subject matter can potentially confuse the reader and dilute the focus. Be personal, but methodical.
  • Focusing in on your specialty towards the end of the introduction sets you up for presenting your clinical examples in the body.

Body Paragraphs (2-3 Paragraphs):

  • Focus on your identity within the spectrum of your specialty.
  • Emphasize 2-3 clinical examples.
  • Examples should focus on educational advancements, research, patient care, procedural adaptation, and any story of influence relatable to your specialty.
  • Elaborate on reasons for choosing your specialty.
  • In compliment to your reasons, you should suggest specific skills that distinguish you among other candidates.
  • This information should tie efficiently into the personal identity represented in the introduction.


  • Reiterate interest in desired field and emphasize future goals.
  • Future long term goals should be thoroughly addressed.
  • Acknowledge specific goals that can be accomplished within residency.
  • Convince the reader that you will be a valuable asset to the program.
  • A strong closing has that you will be a valuable asset to the program.
  • A strong closing has tremendous value to the statement. This is the last chance the reader has to conform opinions and address the quality of the statement. Sincerity and professionalism should be illustrated via dynamic language. Confident wording should be the focal point.

Editors at Residency Statement have been critically trained to thoroughly apply this criteria and additional technical standards to each Personal Statement. Explore our Statement Development (SDS) and Statement Editing (SES) services to learn more about our professional editors and our dynamic approach to assembling world-class content for each of our clients.