Taking the Next Steps

The Personal Statement is not the only part of the residency application. Once you have your professional Personal Statement, you may be wondering, “Now that I have my Personal Statement, how else can I strengthen my residency application?”

Get Started Today

US Clinical Experience ( USCE )

An important method to improve your application quality is to secure USCE. This can take the form of an Externship, Clerkship, or sub-Internship. This option may be difficult to accomplish as USCE opportunities can be limited and often expensive. If you cannot get direct USCE, try to complete an Observership (shadowing), Volunteering, or Research. This is especially relevant if you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG) or have a gap between when you graduated from medical school and when you are applying for residency.

Build Connections With Programs

Another way to get interviews and Match into a residency program is by having connections or history within a program. Creating connections with a program can be difficult. If possible, contact your local programs for permission to attend their grand rounds. Don’t get discouraged if you get a no or two. Once you have obtained permission, be sure to study up on the lecturer. Watch videos of old lectures to be prepared to ask and answer questions. With time and patience, you can develop relationships with doctors who could potentially provide Letters of Recommendation or even vouch for you with a program.

Other Strong Supporting Documents

Beyond the Personal Statement, you want to obtain Letters of Recommendation (LoRs) that are recent (within a year of residency applications), from USCE and specialty specific. Be sure to indicate to your Letter Writers what specialty you want them to write for to ensure the letters are specialty specific. LoRs can take a long time to produce. Plan accordingly to give your Letter Writers enough time to write and submit quality LoRs. Also, make sure your MyERAS Common Application is filled out carefully with complete and error-free information. Don’t ignore important information like the Hobbies section.

Picking the Right Specialty

Your specialty choice should align with your personal interest, but must also reasonable with regards to your qualifications. For example, if you are an IMG, you will want the specialty to be IMG friendly, or if your USMLE scores are low, you will need flexible specialties that are forgiving of less-than-average scores. Having documents for a backup specialty is also a good way to increase your chances by giving you more opportunities to apply to programs.

Picking/Applying to Enough Programs

It is utterly vital that you pick residency programs with requirements for which you qualify. For example, do they accept IMGs? What are the minimum USMLE scores? Do they have a Time Since Graduation cutoff? etc. Program research can be the key to a successful Match Season if you start early (around June to August) and thoroughly. Visit Match A Resident which can provide you will all of the program requirements you need for your research.

You also need to apply to enough programs. We suggest 100 programs per specialty, which means you should budget accordingly. Applying to 100 programs is over $2,000 and you do not want to be limited by finances.