Leave No Stone Unturned

Applying to more than one specialty is common for many residency applicants. In fact, it is a good way to increase the number of interviews received and ultimately strengthen your chances of Matching.


    • Exposure to more compatible residency programs
    • Potential backup options if you are applying to a competitive specialty
    • Opportunity to pursue multiple medical fields of interest

Picking Specialties

Picking appropriate medical specialties is fundamental to your success as a residency candidate. There are several important considerations to think about while deciding which medical specialties to pursue:

    • Considerations:

      • Your areas of interest
      • Specialty-specific clinical experience
      • Potential Letters of Recommendation
      • USMLE exam scores
      • IMG-friendliness of the specialty

Once you have determined possible specialties, narrow your list down to about 2-4 choices.

What Do You Need?

While applying to multiple specialties requires extra time, planning, and effort, it can yield a higher number of interviews.

  • In order to apply to multiple specialties, you will need:

    • Specialty-specific Personal Statements
    • Specialty-specific Letters of Recommendation (at least 1-3)
    • Specialty-specific compatible program research
    • The ability to apply to a statistically meaningful number of programs per specialty (25-100+)

Specialty Specific Personal Statements

Applying to one medical specialty with documents for another is like sending a love letter to the wrong person. Program Directors want to gain insight into your dedication and enthusiasm for their specialty. Your Personal Statement is your chance to convey your passion for the specialty you are applying to.

Each specialty has its own expectations, and your Personal Statement should help Program Directors see how your background and experiences align with their specialty. For example:

General Surgery would want to see:

    • Direct surgical experience and demonstrated skills
    • Ability to work under pressure
    • Adaptability
    • Focus and determination

Family Medicine would want to see:

    • Patient interaction
    • Interest in long term care
    • Continuity of care
    • Compassionate and holistic approach

Applying to specialties with a generic Personal Statement is a mistake. Your application will not be seriously considered without a strong, specialty-specific Personal Statement.

Multiple Specialties, One Solution

Residency Statement can help Write or Edit Personal Statements for each specialty you are applying to. Go through the Writing Service (S-WS) to have completely brand new statements drafted for each specialty. Or, you can have previously written statements edited for similar specialties by going through the Editing Service (S-ES).