University of Maryland School of Medicine

Personal Statement Guidelines

Guidelines for writing personal statements.

The Personal Statement should be personal and specific to you and your experience/s. The goal of the personal statement is so that reviewers can get to know you as unique applicant and what you will bring to the program and the field. Consider the following when putting together your personal statement.      

  • Never use another person or program to write your personal statement.
  • Never copy another individual’s personal statement. This is a violation of professional conduct and the Match.

Before you get started:

  • Some specialties may require that you have a separate personal statement for each program.
  • Some students will choose to make a common personal statement but modify a paragraph that is program or location specific.
  • Be sure to check with specialty and program requirements when drafting your personal statement.

General Tips :

  • Grammarly® is an example of a free online resource.
  • Stick to 1 page
  • Save these highlights for your interview or your noteworthy characteristics.
  • We recommend that you create your personal statements in a text file.
  • The way you create a text file is Click on 'Start' menu on the desktop, under 'All Programs' Click 'Accessories', Click 'Notepad'. Change the Font to Courier New 10 which is used by ERAS. Keep it to less than one-page single spaced with one-inch margins all around and spaces between paragraphs.
  • Do not use any special characters such as Bold, Italics, Underlines, &, ñ, µ, @,#,% etc.
  • You don’t want it to look too cluttered.

When you may need more than ONE personal statement :

  • If you are dual applying, you likely will need separate personal statements
  • For a preliminary program personal statement, you may consider a separate personal statement or modify the personal statement to include what you are looking for in a preliminary program.
  • You may consider personalizing a personal statement due to location, family, other circumstances. We recommend that you do this either early or at the end of the personal statement.
  • If you are deciding between two or more specialties, it is sometimes helpful to write a personal statement for each. If you cannot see the real differences among them, others who read your statements may be able to discover your true passion.
  • Label your personal statement files well so that you know which personal statement is being used for which specialty or program

Before drafting your personal statement, please use the information below to help you organize your thoughts :  

  • 2-3 paragraphs with a theme (see prompts below)
  • Final thoughts/projections forward

Suggested prompts for your personal statement might be : 

  • Why you chose this field? 
  • Personality traits
  • Experiences such as education, leadership, service, research, or volunteerism
  • Related hobbies, etc. 
  • A brief explanation of gap time particularly for research, dual-degree or certification and how you see this time as beneficial to your residency goals.
  • Some things of that nature might be best explained in your MSPE, if you wish.  Discuss this with the OSA dean writing your MSPE. 
  • Applicants can describe any challenges or hardships that influenced their journey to residency. This could include experiences related to family background, financial background, community setting, educational experiences, and/or general life experiences. This question is intended for applicants who have overcome major challenges or obstacles.
  • Some projection into your future, of both a professional and personal nature, if you wish. You may not want to be too specific about sub-specialty aspirations, though. People like to see an open mind. 
  • What you see as the next exciting things happening in your field of interest? How do you see yourself as part of them?

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid being a just list of reasons that you like the specialty
  • Balance being personal without overly revealing in these cases
  • If you don’t want to talk about a situation in your interview, it shouldn’t be in your personal statement
  • If you can’t talk about a situation without becoming overly emotional, you may want to brainstorm if that should be in your personal statement (remember this is a job interview)
  • If the description of your story is 1/3 of your personal statement, you are missing an opportunity to talk more about yourself.
  • AVOID: I disliked all other specialties till I rotated on XXX.
  • AVOID: I noticed that I didn’t really like the way XXX interacted with patients
  • AVOID: The patient was angry and non-compliant.
  • Run the risk of losing the reader’s attention

Final Thoughts :

  • Be specific in what you ask them to review (I.e. grammar, content, voice)
  • Faculty members in the type of program to which you are applying.
  • People who know you well, on whom you can count for honest feedback, and who can make any necessary corrections in syntax and grammar. 
  • Read your personal statement out loud to yourself- this is the best way to hear/find things that do not make sense grammatically or in syntax.

Additional Resources:

  • Personal Statement Worksheet
  • Personal Growth Program

Documents for ERAS® Residency Applicants

New section.

Each program sets individual requirements for the documents that should be submitted with the MyERAS® application. Be sure to research each program individually to determine those requirements before making document assignments.

  • Sign In to the MyERAS® Portal
  • ERAS® Timelines for Residency Applicants
  • ERAS Participating Specialties and Programs

Within your MyERAS account, you may create personal statement(s); identify the people who will write letters of recommendation (LoRs); authorize the release of your Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) and/or United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) transcripts; and manage all other documents. Below is an overview of each of the main documents used in ERAS. For detailed information, please see the Documents section of the MyERAS User Guide.

Tracking Documents

The dashboard provides a snapshot of the progress of various documents and their statuses in the MyERAS portal.

  • Uploaded but Unassigned LoRs  - Count of LoRs that have been uploaded but are not assigned to any programs, highlighting that assignments may need to be made.
  • Unassigned Personal Statements  - Count of Personal Statements that have been saved but are not assigned to any programs, highlighting that assignments may need to be made.
  • Latest USMLE Request Status  - Current status of the latest request made to NBME or ECFMG (for IMG Residency) after at least one program has been applied to with the USMLE transcriptassigned.
  • Latest COMLEX-USA Request Status  - Current status of the latest request made to NBOME after at least one program has been applied to with the COMLEX-USA transcript assigned.
  • Status of Additional Documents  - Status of all other applicable documents as either  Not Uploaded  or  Uploaded .

The  Photo  is most often used by programs to help identify applicants when reporting for an interview. Applicants must upload their own  Photo  in the MyERAS portal by selecting  Upload New Photo  in the  Actions  column. A photo file should not exceed these requirements:

  • Dimensions: 2.5 in. x 3.5 in.
  • Resolution: 150dpi
  • File Size: 150kb

Personal Statement

The personal statement may be used to personalize the application to a specific program or to different specialties. There is not a limit to how many personal statements you may create; however, you may only assign one (1) for each program.

Note : There are a number of websites that provide examples of Personal Statements. Do not copy any information from these sites and use them in your Personal Statements without giving credit to the author. This is considered plagiarism. See the  ERAS Investigation Policy

Special Note About Formatting

  • Personal Statements must be created in plain text formatting. HTML and other special text formatting, such as bold, italics, underline, text color, and alignment, are not allowed. Personal statements created outside of the MyERAS system should be done in a plain text word processing application such as Notepad (for Windows users) or Text Edit (for Mac Users) to ensure text stays as clean as possible.

LoRs must be uploaded through the ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP) by the  LoR Author . It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up with  LoR Authors  regarding LoRs.

  • Creating LoR Entries  - You must create a LoR entry for each LoR you intend to use during the application season.
  • Confirming LoR Entries  - You must confirm a LoR entry before an associated  Letter ID  can be generated.
  • Uploading LoRs  - The Letter ID contained in the LoR Request form must be used to upload the associated LoR through the Letter of Recommendation Portal (LoRP).
  • Resending New Scores  - Applicants must take action in their MyERAS portal to resend USMLE scores to programs previously designated to receive them.

The USMLE transcript is required by many MD residency programs as part of an application to be considered for their positions.

  • Authorizing the Release for the USMLE Transcript  - Applicants must authorize the release of their USMLE transcript in order to make assignments of the USMLE transcript to the programs they designate.
  • Paying for the USMLE Transcript  - The NBME or ECFMG (for IMG Residency) charges a one time fee of $80 for transmitting USMLE transcripts to the programs designated by applicants.
  • Viewing the USMLE Requests Status Report  - Applicants can view the USMLE Requests Status Report to track the status of their USMLE requests by program.

The COMLEX-USA transcript is required by many AOA-accredited and ACGME-accredited residency programs as part of a D.O. applicant’s application to be considered for their positions.

  • Authorizing the Release for the  COMLEX-USA  Transcript  - Applicants must authorize the release of their COMLEX-USA transcript in order to make assignments of the   COMLEX-USA transcript to the programs they designate.
  • Paying for the  COMLEX-USA  Transcript  - The NBOME charges a one time fee of $80 for transmitting COMLEX-USA transcripts to the programs designated by applicants.
  • Viewing the  COMLEX-USA  Requests Status Report  - Applicants can view the COMLEX-USA Requests Status Report to track the status of their COMLEX-USA requests by program.

Uploading : An applicant’s Designated Dean's Office is responsible for uploading the Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE or “Dean’s Letter”) into the ERAS system for residency applicants. Find out more in the frequently asked questions section.

IMGs Only : IMG residency applicants must indicate in the MyERAS system if they themselves or their medical school will provide a MSPE to the ERAS Documents office at the ECFMG. Instructions for submission can be found here: .

Medical School (MS) Transcript

Uploading : An applicant’s Designated Dean's Office is responsible for uploading the  MS Transcript  into the ERAS system for residency applicants. Find out more in the frequently asked questions section.

IMGs Only :

  • IMG residency applicants must indicate in the MyERAS system if they themselves or their medical school will provide a MS Transcript to the ERAS Documents office at ECFMG. Instructions for submission can be found here: .
  • ECFMG Status Report:   The  ECFMG Status Report  confirms the ECFMG certification status for an IMG residency applicant. This report contains the month and year that examinations were passed for ECFMG Certification, but does not contain your USMLE transcript.
  • Uploading:  The ECFMG is responsible for uploading the ECFMG Status Report into the ERAS system for IMG residency applicants.
  • ERAS 2024 Webinars for Residency Applicants

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How to Write Your ERAS Personal Statement

Alexandra R., MD

A prospective resident sitting at a desk, working on her ERAS personal statement.

4 Keys to Writing A Compelling Residency Application Personal Statement

There are a variety of mixed opinions about the importance of the ERAS personal statement in the residency application process. Some people think that a personal statement, if it is captivating enough, can be your gateway to obtaining an interview. Others, however, think that a personal statement is simply a formality and that most programs do not take the time to look at it closely. Thus, in the latter scenario, the main goal is to not have your personal statement stand out in a negative way. Regardless of what you have heard and may continue to hear throughout the residency application process, you need to interpret the advice in the context of your particular scenario: decide for yourself how important the ERAS personal statement may be in the setting of your background and experiences as well as how important it may be for the field that you are applying into.

In general, you should start working on your ERAS personal statement early so that you can have multiple rounds of revisions. It is actually completely normal (and a good sign) if you end up having multiple completely different versions! The hardest part is sitting down and starting- just do it! The earlier you start writing, the more time you have to continue re-working and re-thinking your story. Sometimes it’s even good to put it away for a few weeks at a time so that when you look at it again you can have a fresh perspective. Remember, having a great personal statement hook is a key component to writing a compelling statement that residency program directors will actually want to read. The hook is so important, we have actually dedicated an entire post to writing it correctly here. Sometimes it’s even good to put it away for a few weeks at a time so that when you look at it again you can have a fresh perspective.

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Once you feel comfortable with a first draft, consider who you would like to share it with to receive constructive feedback. Ideally, it would be somebody whose opinions you value and who has demonstrated some success of their own accord – either friends who have gone through the application cycle and matched at one of their top 3 ranked programs, or faculty you have developed a relationship with. Often, medical schools also have advisory deans or some advising office, who may provide valuable insight into what residency program directors are looking for. An alternative advising source may even be the career center at your university. Even though career centers advise undergraduates, professional degree students (MD, JD, MS, etc), and even graduate students, their writing advice is broadly applicable to any field and their close attention to detail can be invaluable. Additionally, if you have friends that have applied in previous years, particularly in the same specialty in which you are currently applying, it can be helpful to see if they feel comfortable letting you read their statement – this can give you insight into the many shapes and form the PS may take and can provide helpful tidbits of information they’ve gleaned from the application process itself. You can also ask your advising office / deans for examples of personal statements specific to your specialty. In the event that you exhaust the resources available to you and you still feel uncertain about your statement, we welcome residency applicants to look into our residency matching services at Elite Medical Prep. We offer focused professional personal statement help from students who have successfully matched into some of the most competitive and prestigious residency programs in the world. 

Keep in mind that you do not need to incorporate everyone’s feedback into your personal statement. However, it is helpful to have multiple people’s advice and perspective, thus we encourage you to reach out to more than one person. We took a survey of our EMP tutors and ~60% said they worked with 6+ people, ~30% worked with 3-5 people, and 10% worked with <3 people to edit, read, and provide suggestions.

Lastly, once you have your personal statement finalized, please make sure you know what it is about. More than 85% of our tutors surveyed had an interview question about something specifically relating to their personal statement that was not anywhere else on their application. Be ready to talk about whatever stories you included—use the personal statement as an opportunity to help you shine and be remembered in a positive way!

We surveyed our tutors about advise they received about their own personal statements and collected feedback points from ERAS personal statements they have reviewed to see what feedback you should remember:

1) Don’t make your ERAS personal statement too long:

  • The structure of the personal statement should be about 4 paragraphs.
  • You do not want it to be more than one page single-spaced (standard font like arial or times new roman, size 12).
  • If your personal statement is too long, it is even more likely for programs to not read it completely.

2) Don’t make your ERAS personal statement weird or controversial:

  • “It’s okay to make your personal statement ‘vanilla’. You don’t want it to be a red flag /too creative that it strikes readers the wrong way.”
  • “It’s far more likely that your personal statement will be entirely forgettable than that stand out, and that’s OK. Better to have a relatively bland, but acceptable PS and otherwise stellar application than to have a stellar application tainted by a PS that went too far in trying to be too interesting or original, or having something you write strike a reader the wrong way.”
  • “Never write about something that could possibly make you cry if brought up.”
  • “ Unless you feel very strongly about certain political beliefs or controversial topics (i.e. abortion) and would not want to be at a program where anyone felt otherwise, it’s probably better to avoid writing about anything polarizing in your statement.”
  • “Your personal statement should be neither personal nor a statement”… basically, you aren’t necessarily going to stand out with your personal statement, you just want it to support the rest of your application, and it doesn’t need to be groundbreaking.”

3) Highlight what uniquely draws you to that particular specialty:

  • “Remember that everyone reading your statement has gone into the field you have chosen and they know why it is awesome – so avoid singing general praises of a field – it needs to be PERSONAL!”
  • “Tie everything into why you chose that particular specialty.”

4) Make your statement easy to read by telling a short and concise story about yourself:

  • “That was way too long and formulaic. Cut to the chase but also paint a story rather than tell one.
  • “Tell a unique story that gives insight to who you are as a person.”
  • “Think about the purpose of your personal statement in the context of all the other components of your application: this is mainly useful as more of a personality gauge – ie who are you and what makes you tick?”
  • “After reading your personal statement, the reader should come away with the feeling that they really want to meet you – not that you just summarized your ERAS in paragraph form. This is your opportunity to convey what is intangible on ERAS and in your letters – so use it as such!”
  • “Even though your life is not coherent, you should present a coherent narrative – and make it brief! Not more than 500 words.”
  • “Build a story around an interesting fact or experience.”
  • “Show, don’t tell” – Try to use anecdotes as much as possible

Good Luck!!!

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About the Author

Alexandra earned her Neuroscience degree from the University of Michigan, graduating with Summa Cum Laude recognition in 2014. She continued her education at the University…

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  • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • TCOM Office of Medical Student Success

Writing Your Personal Statement for Residency

Tips to convey “ why you for residency specialty”, use your personal statement to introduce yourself to your interviewer..

  • Include topics that help the interview go smoothly.
  • Be sincere and help the interviewer know what’s important to you.
  • Include only the information that you want to discuss.

Write a focused essay, four or five paragraphs in length, that covers the basics.

  • The first paragrap h could introduce the reader to you and could focus on what led you to a career in medicine, more importantly your specialty. The tone of the first paragraph sets the tone for the rest of your personal statement.
  • The second paragraph should let the reader know how you arrived at your choice of the specialty. (Personal experiences from rotations, leadership activities, work, volunteer, community service, studying abroad, background and/or life/ family experiences).
  • The third/fourth paragraphs should confirm why you think this choice is right for you AND why you are right for the specialty. This is an opportunity further distinguish yourself.
  • The  close/final paragraph could inform the reader what you see as your long-term goals and/or how you see yourself in this specialty. Also, avoid spending too much content on “ What I want/seek/am interested in from a residency program …” The focus should be more on why they should choose you over other candidates

Questions to ask when approaching your Personal Statement:

  • What are the reasons for choosing the specialty?
  • What are your key attributes?
  • What contributions can I make to the specialty and the residency program?
  • What are your career plans and how will your background/additional education contribute to the field?
  • What makes me unique enough to stand out among other candidates?

Your goal should be to write a well-crafted statement that is both original in its presentation and grammatically correct. Articulate your personal drive in as eloquent language as you can provide. The writing should flow. No one expects you to be a novelist. The most important thing is to write a concise, clear statement about why you?

Don’t spend a lot of time providing information about you that programs will generally assume to be true for most competent medical students; “I want to help people”, “I love medicine”, “I want to match into a residency program where I can learn”

If you explain your reasons for entering the field of medicine, do so to inform the reader of points beyond the career choice. Avoid spending too much time on “Why I Wanted to Go into Medicine.” How did you arrive at your specialty choice and what experiences support how you arrived at the specialty choice?

Support your strengths and skillset with examples . Most medical student personal statement list similar strengths, “hard worker/will work hard”, “good communication skills”, “relate to/interact with patients” – so if you provide strengths that are common among medical students or even unique to you, it will be important to provide evidence to support your claims, directing programs to come to their own conclusion about your strength.

I f you repeat accomplishments already listed on your CV , they should be relevant to your personal/professional growth. You want the emphasis to encourage the reader to bring this up in the interview.

Use your own words rather than rely on quotes; your own thoughts are more powerful. If you can make it work, great, but don’t dwell on quotes. With only 800 words or less…it is favorable to make them all your own.

Do NOT plagiarize your personal statement.

Length ; Since one page in length in a Word Doc is not the same as what one page will equal one page in ERAS for personal statement formatting, the key is stick to 750-850 words for your ERAS/residency application personal statement. One page in ERAS equals nearly 1,200 words, however most programs preferences for a typical personal statements in terms of Word Count will be within range of 650-850 – this will be acceptable for most residency programs.

Need a review of your personal statement…professional review and editing?

  • Melva Landrum , TCOM Residency Counselor will provide thorough feedback through an evaluation form that breaks down your entire personal statement including: content, grammar, structure, flow and overall impact. You can email your personal statement to [email protected] within one week.
  • The Career Center can also review personal statements and Center for Academic Performance (CAP) office can provide feedback mostly on grammar and structure.

This page was last modified on November 10, 2023

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Creating a Well Crafted Medical Residency Personal Statement

  • 28 July, 2015
  • ERAS Application Residency Statement
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There are many ways to make an impression from bringing flowers on your first date to insulting someone’s shoes before realizing they’re your new boss. While applying for a medical residency program, you have many chances to make an impression such as your MyERAS application , Letters of Recommendation , and test scores. But, no avenue gives you as much control and is the best for establishing who you are as a Medical Residency   Personal Statement . Your personal statement is one of the few places where you can really introduce yourself and show your personality, not just as a faceless test score or among a crowd of applications , but as a unique person.

Gathering the right information can be challenging, to say the least, when there’s so much to say and so little time. You really want to think about what should belong in the picture and what really doesn’t. I suggest starting with some brainstorming that touches on you, your experiences, qualities, and interests and aspirations. Getting any assignment started can be difficult when you’re just staring at a blank page, but by brainstorming, you can take some of the pressure off.

You have all of the information you need, you just don’t know it yet. There are lots of resources out there to help you develop content for your residency personal statement, including a questionnaire provided by Residency Statement when you sign up for their development service. Google is a wonderful tool, isn’t it?

To save you a little time, here are a few particularly helpful questions I have come across:

  • What made you want to enter this specialty? Was there some sort of light bulb moment or trigger you can talk about?
  • What are your goals, short and long-term goals?
  • What are some character traits YOU embody and how have you used them in a medical capacity?
  • Are there any struggles that have helped you grow as a person or professional? (Don’t focus on the struggle, but how it made you stronger.)
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • Is there anything unique/unusual that distinguishes you?
  • What knowledge do I have about the specialty?
  • What can I bring to this specialty ? This program ?

To save yourself time in the future, feel free to answer these questions for more than one specialty. Meaning, just think of all of the wonderful qualities you have and experiences you’ve been through (maybe grouping them once you have enough down) and put them down in writing. After mentally drawing out the best parts of you, it’s time to focus that information into a concise, cohesive and stunning snapshot of you.

Those of you who thought you put those high school essays behind you, think again. Your general essay format is the perfect way to organize your statement (and you thought those essays were useless!) The key to an impressive statement is through organization. Think of this like those fridge magnets where you can create poetry with pre-printed words. You can have the most jaw-dropping information in the world, but if it isn’t organized correctly it will get lost in the jumble.

Although every statement will be different, you can follow this general format. Don’t worry too much about the length or perfection of the grammar for now, that will come later.

Introduction Paragraph

Introduce yourself through a hook to grab the reader’s attention

Connect the hook to your present medical aspirations

Announce your goals through a thesis (at least three)

  • I want to specialize in (enter specialty) because I want to grow…improve…and teach…

Body Paragraphs

Address the goals in the order of your thesis

Include RELEVANT personal information/ experiences/ qualities

Have at least three different and well thought out points per paragraph

Conclusion Paragraph

Recap your goals in new way to tie everything together

What do you want from the specific specialty, what can you offer?

You really want to be yourself while showing medical programs you have the types of traits they are looking for like maturity, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and teamwork. You don’t need to overstate what you’ve done or lie, just honestly let the reader know what you are made of.

When you have finally slogged through the first draft, whew, now comes the difficult part: editing and revising. Until now, I’ve told you not to worry about being concise or perfect grammar. Now is the time to fix, shape and finalize. Re-read your work– even better, read it out loud to yourself or to someone.

As you go in for your next few read backs, keep in mind the following about your content:

  • Does anything come off as questionable or confusing?
  • Is every piece of information relevant to the specialty you are talking about?
  • Does having this information put you in a positive light?
  • Does any of the wording sound awkward, cliche or forced?
  • Is there any redundancy (repeat words, or ideas)?
  • Do you focus too long on something irrelevant such as your mentor or personal stories that don’t relate?
  • Don’t just say you are motivated, show it through your activities

If the answer is doubtful to ANY of the questions, take it out! You can save this information for another written document but it does not belong in your Residency  Personal Statement .

Other things to keep in mind are:

  • The language you use, make sure it belongs to you, but feel free to dress it up a little
  • Punctuation
  • Ex. Instead of: I am smart. I read a lot. I like books. Try: I increase my intelligence through some of my favorite pastimes such as reading.
  • Did you use “I” too much?
  • Did you just parrot what is on your CV or ERAS application ?
  • Are there any taboo topics such as religion or politics?

And to top it off, just a few formatting tips:

  • Keep it between 4 to 6 paragraph
  • Single spaced
  • 600-800 words
  • Absolutely no more than one page, no buts!
  • Mirror the ERAS format with one inch margins and Courier 10-point font
  • No special characters like bolding or italics

Once you have edited, revised, cleaned and polished , it is always a good idea to get a fresh set of eyes on your finished product whether it’s your friend, advisor or an editing service such as Residency Statement . You’ve been looking at this document over and over and there is a chance you missed something.

Make your final adjustments and you are done!…Sort of.

You will need personal statements for each program you apply to. Generic statements are easy to spot and not a good reflection on you. Making specialized medical residency personal statements is a lot of extra work, but can make all of the difference in a sea of spectacular applicants.

Please note, I have only touched on some of the many aspects involved with crafting a  Residency Personal Statement . You may choose to try another way or look further into the content of the statement.

Should you have any questions, Residency Statement would be happy to help you, call 760-904-5484 ext. 3.

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How to write your personal statement for ERAS/residency applications

The personal statement is occasionally a chance to “make” your application, but it’s always a risk to “break” it.

Keep in mind: it’s only 1 page (literally—it should fit on no more than one page when printed from the ERAS application, which is somewhere around 750-800 words on the longer end; 600-650 is a better goal; mine was around 500). On one interview, I was told that the program’s main criteria for evaluating personal statements was not noteworthiness but rather inoffensiveness .

Questions to ask yourself in approaching the PS:

  • What are the reasons for choosing the specialty?
  • What are my career plans?
  • What accomplishments do I want to emphasize?
  • What outside interests do I have?
  • What contributions can I make to the specialty and the residency program?

You don’t have to answer all of these questions, but answering one or two will help you get the point of view you need to get a draft going.

The personal statement is a chance to state why you are choosing a specialty (and a location or a specific program) and to try to convince the reader that you are a good fit. While you are trying to say that you are awesome, you cannot simply say you are awesome . Like fiction, you should show, not tell when possible. This is not a CV in paragraph form. You must be more subtle.

Things to do:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to write; start now.
  • Write more than one. Tell your story from multiple angles and see which one comes out on top.
  • Often your first essay is not the best.
  • Consider explaining gaps in your application (leave of absence, course failure, low Step 1)
  • If there are particular programs you are desperate for, you may consider tailoring your statement for them. The individualized approach is obvious and is unlikely to make the desired impact. If you tailor, don’t be a sycophant (it’s too transparent). The most important time to individualize your PS is if you discuss, for example, your desire to be part of a big bustling academic center: make sure to change that if you are applying to a small community program.
  • Be straightforward in your writing
  • Edit and proofread your work carefully . Then do it again. And again. And then one last time for good measure.
  • Be concise. Edit down until every word counts. I personally subscribe to the common reviewer adage: “The more you write, the less I read.”
  • Ask for second opinions and feedback; you don’t always have to listen but it’s important to receive.
  • Your parents and significant others are wonderful readers, but they are generally insufficient. They love you too much. Have your PS vetted by your Specialty and Faculty Mentors .

Things to avoid:

  • Self-Congratulatory Statements
  • Self-Centered Statements
  • “Emotional” Stories (give it a try, but be wary). Telling your reader about your feelings directly often makes the feelings themselves feel contrived.
  • Reality embellishment (anything you write is fair game as interview fodder; if you can’t discuss it at length, then it shouldn’t be there)
  • Using tired analogies (or any analogies, really)
  • Quotations (you couldn’t think of 500 words of your own?)
  • Remember, your reader has a stack of applications. Don’t make your essay hurt to read, overly cutesy, or sappy to the point where it’s no longer convincing.

For most people, your personal statement will not/cannot stand out in a good way (standing out in a bad way, though, is entirely possible). Why you pursued medicine may have been an interesting story (hint: it probably wasn’t), but why you chose your specialty is likely even more banal. If you don’t feel like you have anything special to say, it’s because you don’t. That’s normal. Aim for competence.

There are sample essays available for perusal on medfools . I think even the “good” ones are pretty painful in general, but your mileage may vary. Here are some good tips from UNC. The AAMC Advisor also has some quick advice . If your remember your login, Careers in Medicine also has similar stuff.

These are very good recommendations. In addition to proofreading and seeking advice from friends and family, I would also suggest considering a professional editing service. Although some of them can be costly, they see thousands of personal statements and will be able to objectively tell you if yours is competitive. This article also provides some good advice on residency personal statements:

I don’t agree with the need for professional services for the vast majority of applicants, and I really dislike people promoting their services through comments on my blog. In this case, the linked article isn’t terrible, so I’m not deleting this.

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The Perfect Personal Statement ERAS: Your Ticket to Residency

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Some Reflections on the Importance of Personal Statement ERAS

There are several fundamental opinions on compiling various applications. Some believe that a good personal statement ERAS is one of the most critical parts of your application package and this makes the difference between getting the desired confirmation or rejection. Another opinion is that although it is an integral part of admission, this is not what is too much to rely on, as the committees do not review these papers as closely as people think.

The truth is always in the middle, and the most important thing to get from these two opinions is that your document should be good. Why? Because in any case, your application will be viewed, and if it is, so to say, standard and will meet all requirements of the format, it will not cause any questions and perhaps be able to draw attention to your candidacy and add you a couple of points. But if you think writing an ERAS personal statement is just a formality and you can ignore some requirements, this will certainly pay attention. And here you can be sure it will become a problem.

Therefore, it is better to put aside thinking and philosophizing about the importance of personal application and do everything as it should and correctly.

Where to Start Your ERAS Personal Statement

Let’s start with the basics and briefly explain or remind you what ERAS is, who uses it, and how to prepare your personal statement for ERAS on this platform to benefit from it.

ERAS is an electronic residency application service, through which you submit all the necessary documents for ERAS® residency applicants and can receive feedback on the status of your application. It streamlines the application process by allowing applicants to simultaneously submit their materials, including applications, to multiple programs. But where do you start when it comes to preparing your personal statement ERAS?

  • Oddly enough, the hardest part is getting started. Put away the fear of a blank slate and transfer your thoughts to a draft. Think about the qualities making you a unique and attractive candidate. Identify key moments or encounters which ignited your passion.
  • Then do thorough research on the programs of your interest. Become familiar with the missions, values, and desired qualities of applicants. This knowledge will help you tailor your application to meet their expectations and demonstrate your appropriatness for their program.
  • Also, seek feedback and advice from mentors, professors, or health professionals who can offer valuable advice and guidance. Engage in self-reflection and brainstorming to organize your thoughts and ideas.

By beginning your preparation with self-reflection, research, and seeking recommendations, you will be well on your way to writing a compelling personal statement and demonstrating your unique qualities to residency programs.

Regarding the logical question about ERAS personal statement how to submit it we can note the following. Applications are submitted through the MyERAS Personal Application, a secure online platform that simplifies the residency application process and gives candidates a clear understanding of deadlines and requirements.

Optimal ERAS Personal Statement Length

This is quite a contra version that causes a lot of debate among future residents. Namely, a lot or a little volume is allocated to writing the application.

The standard ERAS personal statement length is usually about one page. This is sufficient to convey your motivations, experiences, and goals objectively and clearly while ensuring that your text is concise and focused. It is important to adhere to these length guidelines, as exceeding the recommended ERAS personal statement word count can lead to your work being ignored or marked as unsuccessful.

On the other hand, a personal statement ERAS length which is too short, can give the impression that you have nothing to say about yourself and lack the necessary qualities. Strike a balance between sufficient detail and brevity to maximize the impact of your statement on ERAS.

How Long Should ERAS Personal Statement Be?

As we said earlier, your personal statement should fit on one page. When it comes to the ERAS personal statement character limit, it has remained the same. Your application should be no less than 750 and no more than 900 characters.  It is important to follow these length guidelines as closely as possible. Note, the documents with excessive word count will be shortened automatically or may be canceled.

General ERAS Personal Statement Requirements

While most of the ERAS requirements relate to the formatting and length of submissions, it is also important to consider the specifics of your submissions. The system is not as strict on the context of a personal statement , but the quality of it is essential, first of all, to attract the attention of admissions committees and your success.

Your personal statement ERAS should present a compelling narrative that demonstrates your passion, highlights your relevant experience, and highlights your unique qualities as a candidate. Be clear and concise in your self-presentation, ensuring your ideas flow logically and coherently. Also, emphasize your personal growth and the lessons you’ve learned along your medical journey. Use specific examples to highlight your strengths and show how those experiences influenced your decision to apply for residency.

eras personal statement

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The text of the ERAS personal statement is not too long and does not take more than a page, but even in this small field, you can make many mistakes that prevent you from getting the desired result.

  • Lack of focus: Don’t try to cover too many topics and instead focus on a few key impressions or qualities.
  • Poor structure: A disorganized and ignoring ERAS personal statement formatting structure can make your application’s narrative difficult to follow. Provide a logical flow, using paragraphs and transitions to make your message coherent.
  • Generic content: General statements lacking personalization and examples of personal experience may not be memorable. Instead, emphasize the unique skills and knowledge set you apart from other candidates.
  • Grammatical errors and typos: Neglecting to proofread your personal statement can undermine your professionalism and leave poor impression.

Requirements Regarding ERAS Personal Statement Formatting

The platform imposes strict requirements not only on the ERAS personal statement word limit but also has strict formatting requirements.

  • Font and size: Use a clear and legible font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. The recommended font size is usually 10-12 points to ensure readability.
  • Alignment and spacing: Left-align the text and use single spacing. Avoid using extra spacing between paragraphs or lines, as this can make your narrative look disjointed or elongated.
  • Paragraph structure: For better readability, divide your ERAS personal statement into paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a specific topic or idea; a blank line is recommended for visual separation between paragraphs.
  • Special characters and formatting styles: Avoid using special characters, symbols, or formatting styles (bold, italic, underline) in your statement. Stick to plain text (ASCII) formatting to ensure compatibility with various systems.

Remember also, that you need not only to know how long should ERAS personal statement be but also to ensure it’s free from any inconsistencies, grammatical errors, or typos. So proofread your application several times before and after formatting.

Red Flags Residency Personal Statement to Consider

Indeed you have already read a lot of expert advice and recommendations regarding creating a personal statement ERAS. And you know that there should be no lies, exaggerations, and deceit here. The same applies to red flags, which intimidate most applicants:

  • Lack of reflection and growth, e.g., if more than 5 years have passed from graduation to application, this is already a red flag.
  • Any academic gaps for several years related to your chosen major.
  • Negative attitudes, including bad experiences, past job failures, or toxicity to former colleagues.
  • Lack of connection to the program, e.g., lack of appropriate educational background or failure to demonstrate a genuine understanding of a particular program’s possibilities.
  • Lack of professionalism – such as clinical experience in the United States, essential to have while applying to U.S. residencies.

These ones are the most common red flags residency personal statement that most applicants want to hide. However, you should not do it. Instead, you must try to explain your position, turning your red flags into your zest.

Get Professional Help From Admission Experts

The requirements and features of eras applications are only easy for those who have processed hundreds of them, so it’s normal for you to need expert feedback or support. No matter what reason you need assistance with, whether it’s a desire to sort out red flags or the pursuit of perfectionism regarding ERAS personal statement requirements, our writing professionals are here to lend a helping hand 24/7.

With vast experience and a thorough understanding of all the nuances of the admission process, our writers are ready to work on your application, turning an ordinary document into an outstanding personal statement ERAS that will lead you to victory.

Leave all doubts behind and rely on us. Just a couple of lines asking for help, and all your writing issues will be solved!

what to include to personal statement for anesthesiology residency programs


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How to Write Residency Personal Statement to Impress

How to Write a Residency Personal Statement: The Basics After your hard work in med school, it’s time to secure residency to take your career a notch higher. Residency slots are competitive, and a contender has to dig deep to earn a spot in their preferred program. As you may already know, a personal statement […]

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How to Make a Statement with Your ERAS Personal Statement

  • by Med School Tutors
  • Jun 29, 2023
  • Reviewed by: Amy Rontal

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Dr. Leila Javidi, Taylor Purvis, and Dr. Brian Radvansky contributed to this article.

Starting your residency application can feel like an overwhelming task, especially when it comes to writing your ERAS personal statement. It’s not clear why essays of this nature are so intimidating—maybe it’s because not all medical students are well-versed in language arts, many of us dislike writing, or maybe just the thought of putting “who you are” onto paper brings to the surface some uncomfortable feelings of self-awareness (whoa—this just got intense!).

This is a joke or course, but to be honest, sometimes when we sit down to write our ERAS personal statement we immediately think things like, “I’m not that interesting,” or “I haven’t done anything cool in life, I’ve spent most of my time in school thus far.” And that is completely normal. The majority of us haven’t had those pivotal moments in life that shake the ground beneath us and form a new foundation for who we are, and that’s OK!

Your ERAS personal statement isn’t intended to be a best-selling memoir. It’s intended to add another dimension to the otherwise black-and-white application full of scores and grades. It is an opportunity to show program directors your personality, what motivates you, and what you’re looking for in a residency program.

While you’ve probably heard all of this before, we bet you have more specific questions about how to tackle the ERAS personal statement. All of us sure did! So, without further ado, h ere are answers to the 12 most important questions about medical residency personal statements.

12 Frequently-Asked Questions About the ERAS Personal Statement

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1. How big of a deal is my ERAS personal statement to program directors?

According to the 2020 NRMP program director survey , 78% of program directors cite the ERAS personal statement as an important factor in deciding which candidates to interview,  making it the fourth-highest ranked factor behind USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2, and letters of recommendation. So, it’s pretty important in the grand scheme of your application!

Now, from experience in talking to different program directors and mentors, it’s clear that the most important thing is that your ERAS personal statement is well organized, well written, with proper grammar, no red flags, and that it’s only one page single-spaced. The standard ERAS personal statement length is typically 500-800 words (roughly four paragraphs).

A personal statement typically isn’t the “maker” of your residency application—however, it can be a deal “breaker” if it doesn’t have those attributes. That said, if you have a memorable, well-written personal statement, program directors will mention it, and it will make you stand out as an applicant. If they are on the fence about whether or not to interview you, a personal statement could potentially be the deciding factor. So, it’s pretty important!

2. What are things I should include in my ERAS personal statement?

A good ERAS personal statement should include the following: 

A catchy introduction to grab the reader

There are different ways to go about doing this, but if you’re stuck, an effective way to grab the reader’s attention is to open with a patient vignette. An interesting case is sure to pique the curiosity of your reader and keep them engaged as they read. Preventing boredom is something to strive for, as your application is one of perhaps hundreds that they are reading.

Ultimately, though, remember this is a personal statement. After you reveal the diagnosis or outcome of the patient vignette, you need to let the reader know what the case meant to you! The point of relating the vignette is to reveal something about yourself, not just present an interesting story about a patient. 

An overview of your desirable qualities

When letting the reader know what your positive qualities are, it’s important to remember a basic rule of good writing: SHOW, don’t tell. For example, instead of saying you are compassionate, describe a story from your life that demonstrates your compassion.

Highlights from your life experience 

This includes jobs, extracurricular activities, and hobbies that would help you to be an ideal candidate for whichever residency you are applying to. Pro tip: DON’T REGURGITATE YOUR CV. This is your opportunity to tell people things that aren’t on your CV. Do you play chess in the park every Saturday, or have you traveled to some amazing places? Tell us about it!

You shouldn’t rehash your CV in your personal statement, but it is a great place to elaborate on activities listed on your CV. It can be used to explain why those activities are so important to you, how they have helped you grow as a person, and other things that don’t often shine through on the CV itself.

Proof of why you should be accepted 

The most important part of your statement is providing proof of why you should be accepted. Describe your strengths, but do not talk about things too generally. You should be able to back up everything you say. Give details and examples. Which doctors have you shadowed? What kind of research have you been involved in, and where was it published? Don’t just mention that you have volunteered, say the names of places you were at and what you were doing.

Why you are interested in your specialty

This doesn’t have to be a profound story, but it should be the truth!

What you are looking for in a residency program

Is a strong procedural curriculum important to you? Is the culture of the program more important? Try to mention things you know your programs of choice embody.

Address any red flags on your application

Did you do poorly on Step 1? Did you take a leave of absence for a long time? Best to just come out and talk about it without being defensive. Show how you have grown from the experience, rather than apologizing for it!

A cohesive closing statement

Sometimes the first and the last sentence of the statement are the hardest to come up with, but it’s worth your time to make it tidy, even if it isn’t profound.

3. What are things I shouldn’t include in my ERAS personal statement?

Controversial topics.

Stay away from extreme religious or political statements. It doesn’t mean you can’t say you are an active member of church, but don’t use this as an opportunity to discuss whether or not you are pro-choice. You never know who is going to be reading this, and anything too polarizing can be off-putting for some readers. 

Feelings of bitterness or negativity

Leave out any traces of bitterness, defensiveness, or anger about anything that has happened in your life. Everything must have a positive spin.  

Too much self-praise or too much modesty

Avoid talking about yourself in a glorifying manner, but don’t go too far the other way and come off as too modest.

Too many qualifiers

You don’t want to go overboard with the qualifiers, which are words such as “really,” “quite,” “very,” etc. In fact, in many cases, it’s better not to use them at all. 

“Flowery” language you wouldn’t use in real life

It’s a personal statement, not a creative writing assignment. Keep the language in your statement simple. You’re not going to score any points by using unnecessarily fancy words. Your goal is clear communication.

Also, don’t try to sound like a doctor. This is just another way of trying to impress the reader. You want the reader to like you based on the way you write, not be turned off because you are trying to impress them.

“Try to avoid using a lot of jargon and abbreviations,” advises Mary Dundas, educator at Academized. 


Avoid talking hyperbolically about how passionate you are. As noted earlier, it’s better to show than tell so give examples of things you have done. Above all, keep the writing in your statement professional.

If you avoid these common mistakes, you’ll be way ahead of most applicants! 

4. How can I make my ERAS personal statement unique?

As evidenced by The Voice and American Idol , it is everyone’s impulse to divulge their “sob story” to help them stand out and garner sympathy from the audience. While it’s important to include stories that helped shape you as a person, it is very transparent and cliché to talk about that person you know who was struck by a medical tragedy, and how ever since you vowed to “save people.”

The best way to make your statement unique is to allow your personality to shine through. Use your words, your humor, and your depth to tell your story. Find a way to show yourself to your reader, and if you do this, your essay will be unique!

5. Should I have more than one ERAS personal statement to upload?

In short, absolutely have multiple personal statements to upload. Especially if you are applying to more than one specialty, it’s essential that you have several versions of your personal statement.

That doesn’t mean you have to write a whole new one, you just have to tailor it to fit that specialty. If you’re applying for a preliminary year, tailor your personal statement to explain how important you feel a solid foundation in medicine is for dermatology (or whichever specialty you are applying to) and what you’re looking for in a preliminary year.

Furthermore, I found that for the programs I really wanted to interview with, I would upload a tailored personal statement for that program saying something like, “I am seeking a family medicine residency position with ABC University program because of their dedication to XYZ.” Simply name-dropping their institution and noting the strength of their program demonstrates your attention to detail and interest in their institution. Even if you are an amazing applicant, if a program doesn’t feel you are interested in their specific program, they won’t interview you. It’s best to make sure you give those out-of-state programs some extra attention so they know you are willing to relocate for them!

Lastly, you should know that you can upload as many versions of your personal statement as you like onto ERAS, but be especially careful when uploading and make sure you apply the correct personal statement to each program! Triple-check your work! Pro Tip: Use your file names to help you stay organized. Pick a format and stick with it, such as “PS-JohnsHopkins,” “USCF-PS,” etc.

6. When should I start writing my ERAS personal statement?

The sooner the better, people. Get cracking now! You can even begin to think of ideas during your third year as you develop your interests in specific specialties. As ideas come to you, jot them into your phone so you don’t forget!

One of the best ways to begin writing your personal statement is to go over some questions about yourself. Ask yourself, who are you and what drives you forward? Think about the kinds of things that interest you and why you developed those interests. Maybe consider some mistakes you have made, how you learned from them, and how they have changed you. Or ask yourself, how do your interests and personality contribute to the goals you have set? 

Think about those kinds of questions and write down the answers. Reflect on them, put them away, and come back to them. Then, use them to form an outline—this will help you figure out all your points and what you want to say before you start writing. 

If you still feel like you just don’t know how to get started, give the five-point essay format a shot and see if it works for you. In short, you begin with a paragraph that is about four or five sentences long. The goal of this first paragraph is to grab a reader’s attention. Use the next three or four body paragraphs to talk about yourself. Try and have one of them focus on your clinical understanding, while another talks about service. Then end with a solid conclusion paragraph that mirrors your introduction, summarizes who you are, and ends by looking toward the future. 

7. Should I ask for any help with my ERAS personal statement?

Yes. Yes. A thousand times, YES! Absolutely ask for feedback on your personal statement. After getting your draft finished, show it to whoever will look at it—however, please remember to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt and to strongly consider the source. It is absolutely essential to have your personal statement reviewed by an objective third party to ensure that the message you are trying to communicate is loud and clear. This means that you shouldn’t give it to a friend or family member who is going to placate you with a useless, “Yeah, looks great!”

Find a mentor, advisor, chief resident or attending, someone who is accustomed to reading ERAS personal statements, and get feedback from them. You can be certain that going through this step will only make your personal statement better. If you take their advice and don’t like how things are panning out, you can always revert back to an older draft.

But in just about every case, another set of eyes to give you big-picture feedback on what you’ve written will improve your piece. Do this early in the process, when you have gotten a simple draft together, so that you don’t present someone with an idea that you are married to, only to find out that it doesn’t come through clearly.

Be sure to ask other people what they think of your draft, but be careful about asking other students for help. Sometimes they get weird, and try to give you advice about making your statement more like theirs because they want to feel justified in their own efforts.

Finally, it should be mentioned that there are services out there that will “write your personal statement” for you. Aside from the obvious reasons why not to do this, you have to be really careful. Those services don’t know you, don’t know your voice, and oftentimes have very generic ways of putting these statements together.  Using a service to help polish your statement, though, is A-OK. Some you may find useful in that regard are ViaWriting , Writing Populist , StateofWriting , and SimpleGrad .

Lastly, you may consider working with a residency counselor who can help set your application apart with insider advice and ensure you optimize all elements of the residency application process. Our residency consultants are residents and attendings who have successfully guided hundreds of students from residency applications through the Match!

Typical residency consulting work consists of:

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Not sure if a residency consultant is the right fit for you? Take this quiz to see if you would benefit from some extra guidance during the residency application process!

8. Where can I find examples of ERAS personal statements to inspire me?

Every good writer learned how to write by reading the works of other people. This includes personal statements! Very often your career offices from your undergraduate studies will have examples of personal statements that can serve as inspiration for your own masterpiece. You can also ask older classmates and recent graduates if they would feel comfortable sharing their personal statements with you. 

Remember, too, that inspiration can come from nontraditional sources. Try reading poetry or a novel before sitting down to write your statement. You might be surprised by how it helps to get your creative juices flowing!

9. Is it better to cover all of my experiences, or focus on a few in particular?

It’s better to focus on several key experiences rather than provide a broad overview of your life up to the present time. Your resume will fill in any gaps for your reader. The point of the personal statement is to spend a few paragraphs reflecting on one or two themes that define who you are as a person. Stay focused, and go deep!

10. How much should I share about my career goals in my ERAS personal statement?

Remember, the majority of training programs you will be applying to are academic medical centers. For those programs in particular, make sure to emphasize why an academic environment is a good fit for you. This does not have to mean research! Perhaps you like the idea of becoming a clinician educator and want to be at XYZ program for the opportunity to teach medical students. 

Likewise, if you are applying to a program at a community hospital, make sure to reflect on how your career goals are suited for that environment. Maybe private practice is on your radar, or you want to practice in a hospital that is more close-knit than a large academic center.

Whatever the case, try to make your stated career goals align with the orientation of the program you’re applying to. In reality, you may have no idea what direction you want your career to go in. But for a personal statement, try to commit to one general theme if possible.

11. What about my personal statements for preliminary or transitional year programs?

For applicants who are also applying to preliminary or transitional year programs, it can seem daunting to tailor your personal statement to a position that isn’t part of your ultimate specialty. But don’t worry—preliminary and transitional year programs still want to know who you are as a person and why you’re interested in anesthesiology, dermatology, or whatever advanced specialty you’re aiming for. You don’t need to change your personal statement as much as you may think!

The goal of a personal statement for these one-year programs is not to convince the reader that you suddenly love internal medicine despite going into radiology. The reader knows this is a temporary stopping place for you. Instead, emphasize the traits that make you YOU and will enhance their hospital!

12. What if I’m interested in a non-traditional path after residency?

Some of you may be thinking of alternative career paths after residency such as consulting or pharmaceutical work. It’s probably best to leave those specific goals out of your ERAS personal statement and allow readers to assume that you want to continue in clinical medicine after graduating from residency. You might want to instead phrase it as something you want to be incorporated into your clinical career, but not something you would leave medicine for, even if that’s what you have in mind!

Remember, you are under no obligation to share your every thought and desire in a personal statement! These statements are being read by reviewers who dedicated their lives to education and clinical medicine, so keep that in mind.

Further Reading

Keep these tips in mind as you write your ERAS personal statement, and you’ll be way ahead of the other applicants. If you start to get stressed out, remember, you have an amazing story to tell, and we are here to help tease that story out from the confines of your brain! For more help, reach out to one of our residency advisors .

Looking for more help during the residency application process? We’ve got you covered with more (free!) content written by Blueprint tutors:

  • How to Get Standout Letters of Recommendation for Your Residency Application
  • How to Maximize Your Chances of Matching With Your Dream Residency
  • What’s It Like Working With a Medical Residency Consultant?
  • Residency Interview Tips & Tricks: The Ultimate Guide
  • Dual Applying for Residency: Is It Right For Me?

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Residency Statement's Blog - How to Write a Personal Statement for Residency

ERAS Changes to Personal Statement Format

AAMC’s ® ERAS ® system generally makes small changes to their systems to improve performance and generally make life easier for medical residency applicants. This year, they’ve made quite a few big changes to their timeline , but there was an unexpected change as well.

This year, ERAS announced they would be allowing several additional formatting options on the Personal Statement page such as:

  • Strikethrough
  • Align Right
  • Increase Indent
  • Decrease Indent
  • Insert hyperlink

A Note from ERAS: “ Personal Statements created outside of MyERAS should be done in a plain text word processing application such as Notepad (for Windows users) or SimpleText (for Mac Users). Personal Statements created in word processing applications not using plain text may contain hidden and potentially invalid formatting. ”

But, what does this mean?

While it’s kind of ERAS to allow for more freedom in formatting for the Personal Statement– just because it’s available, doesn’t necessarily mean you should use these options.

The medical residency Personal Statement is a professional and formal document , and should be treated as such. You wouldn’t normally use bolding, italics, underline, or strikethrough in a formal document as these are looked at as unprofessional.

You should NEVER EVER use:

  • Bullets – All content should be in paragraph form, bulleted lists are lazy!
  • Numbering – For the same reasons as bulleting.
  • Centering – Not considered proper formatting for a professional document.
  • Align Right – For the same reasons as Centering.

You may consider using:

  • Increase/Decrease indentation

Use these tools with caution. Aligning left should be ok, because this is common formatting for any written paper. However, indenting can eat up valuable space in your document. If you choose to indent, consider not putting spaces between your paragraphs (this is not advised as it makes the document harder to read).

If you have a professional website, possibly consider hyperlinking to that website to help Program Review Committees get to know you better beyond the Personal Statement . But, this will only work if the Program Director is reading the Personal Statement on a computer as opposed to a print out.

These new changes to the Personal Statement formatting options are exciting, but remember to use common sense when deciding to use any of them. If you are in doubt, it’s better to go without.

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Friday 26 August 2011

How to write the personal statement - technical details, 6 comments:.

You are doin a wonderful job ... prayers for you

Thank you Dr. Waqar, Good luck for your endeavors.

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The Residency Personal Statement (2023/2024): The Insider’s Guide (with Examples)

Residency Match Personal Statement

A physician and former residency program director explains how to write your residency personal statement to match in to your top-choice residency program in 2024.

Read example residency personal statements and suggested outlines..


The residency personal statement allows residency program directors and associate directors the chance to get a sense of who you are and your commitment to your chosen specialty. 

As a former program director who understands how residency personal statements are reviewed, what “stands out,” and, most importantly, what will earn you interview invitations, the information below will help you write a residency personal statement to match!

It is imperative to make sure you get the most accurate guidance possible with regards to your residency personal statement content and optimal residency personal statement length (up to 5300 characters with spaces).

Want more personalized suggestions? Sign up for a FREE residency personal statement consultation .

Table of Contents

Goals for Writing Your 2024 Residency Personal Statement

Above all else, your residency personal statement offers the opportunity to show your interest in your chosen specialty when applying to residency to illustrate you are a good fit.

The more details you offer about why you are interested in the specialty and how your med school rotations, accomplishments and experiences have reinforced this interest, the stronger your personal statement will be, the more it will appeal to selection committees and the better you will do in the match process .

I encourage applicants to offer as much “evidence” as possible to “show” rather than “tell” what qualities, characteristics and interests they have. “Telling” a reader, for example, that you are compassionate and hard working means nothing. Instead, you must “show” that you embody these qualities based on your experiences in health care and the patients for whom you have cared.

The residency personal statement also offers the opportunity to write about who you are as a person to convey some details about your background, influences, and interests outside of your given specialty.

The Importance of a Balanced Residency Personal Statement

The key when writing your residency personal statement is to ensure that it is well-balanced so it appeals to a large group of people who might read your ERAS residency application.

However, it is important to understand that every program director and faculty member has his or her own idea of what he would like to read in a personal statement. As an applicant, you must go into this process understanding that you cannot please everyone, or a specific program, and your personal statement should therefore have the broadest appeal possible.

For example, some program directors would rather hear about your personal interests and curiosities and get to know who you are rather than have you focus on the specialty in which you are interested.

At MedEdits, we suggest taking a “middle of the road” approach; include some details about who you are but also focus on the specialty itself. In this way, you will make more traditional reviewers who want to hear about your interest in the specialty happy while also satisfying those who would rather learn about you as a person.

Above all, be authentic and true to yourself when writing your statement. This always leads to the best results! Read on to learn more about how to write a winning personal statement.

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Residency Personal Statement Outline & Structure

Residency applicants often do well when given outlines or templates to follow, so, we will offer that, but, it is important to realize that many applicants deviate from these rigid rules. One very typical outline that serves applicants quite well in the residency admissions process is:

  • Compose a catchy introduction. Your intro can be related to your interest in the specialty to which you are applying, about a hobby or personal experience, or about your background. Regardless of the topic you choose, you want to tell a story and start with something that will interest your reader and engage him.
  • The next two to four paragraphs comprise the body of your personal statement. We encourage applicants to write about any significant experiences they have had related to their desired specialty and/or future goals. This would include information about rotations, electives, and sub internships related to the specialty, volunteer and research experiences and even significant outside interests.
  • Finally, you want to conclude your essay. In your conclusion, write about what you seek in a residency program, what you will bring to a residency program, and, if you have any idea of your future career goals, write about those as well. Your conclusion is also where you can tailor a personal statement to a specific geographic area of interest or type of program (rural, urban, community).

Residency Personal Statement Length & Residency Personal Statement Word Limit

Residency Personal Statement Length: Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be between 4000 – 5300 characters with spaces or up to 900 words in length. 

The allowed ERAS residency personal statement length is 28,000 characters which equates to about five pages!

We have been hearing from more and more applicants that the personal statement should not exceed one page when typed in to the ERAS application . Because of this overwhelming trend, we are supporting this guidance unless you have extenuating circumstances that require your personal statement be longer.

Our recommendation is that your residency personal statement be a maximum of 5300 characters with spaces.

ERAS Residency Personal Statement Checklist

  • Ensure your personal statement flows well

The best personal statements are easy to read, don’t make the reader think too much, and make your path and interests seem logical. Rarely does a personal statement have a theme. Also try to have each paragraph transition to the next seamlessly. 

2. Your personal statement should be about you!

Your personal statement should be about you and no one else. Focus on your interests, your accomplishments and your path. This is your opportunity to be forthcoming about your achievements – by writing in detail about what you have done.

3. Be sure your personal statement clearly outlines your interest in the specialty.

Since the reader wants to be convinced of your understanding of, experience in, and curiosity about the specialty to which you are applying, be sure you highlight what you have done to explore your interest as well as your insights and observations about the specialty to show your understanding of it.

4. Make it human.

Again, your personal statement should be about you! The reader wants to know who you are, where you are from, what your interests are and who you are outside of medicine. Therefore, try to include those details about your background that are intriguing or important to you.

5. Express your interest in the specialty.

The reader fundamentally wants to know why you are pursuing the specialty. The more details you offer the more convincing you are about your commitment and your understanding of the specialty. Be sure to include details that might seem obvious. For example, in emergency medicine you must like acute care, but try to include more nuanced details about your interest, too. What do you enjoy about the diagnoses and pathologies involved? What do you value about the actual work you will do? What do you enjoy about the patients for whom you will care? How about the setting in which you will practice?

6. The start and evolution of your interest.

Readers want to know how and when you became interested in your specialty. Was this before medical school? During medical school? What have you done to pursue and nurture your interest in the specialty?

7. What you have done to learn more about the specialty.

You should explain what you have done to pursue your interest. What rotations have you done or have planned? What research, scholarly work or community service activities have you pursued to further your interest?

8. Where you see yourself in the future – if you know!

Without going into too much detail, write about the type of setting in which you see yourself in the future. Do you hope to also participate in research, teaching, public health work or community outreach as a part of your career? What are your future goals? Since many programs typically train a certain type of physician, it is important that your goals are aligned with the programs to which you are applying.

9. What do you bring to the specialty?

You should try to identify what you can bring to the program and the specialty to which you are applying as a whole. For example, are you applying to family medicine and have a distinct interest in public health? Are you applying for internal medicine and do you have demonstrated expertise in information technology and hope to improve electronic medical records? Do you have extensive research or teaching experience, and do you hope to continue to pursue these interests in the future? Have you developed a commitment to global health, and do you hope to continue making contributions abroad? Programs have a societal obligation to select residents who will make valuable contributions in the future, so the more ambitions you have the more desirable a candidate you will be.

10. What type of program you hope to join?

Do you hope to be part of a community or university-based program? What are you seeking in a residency program? Programs are looking for residents who will be the right “fit” so offering an idea of what you are seeking in a program will help them determine if your values and goals mesh with those of the program.

11. Who you are outside of the hospital?

Try to bring in some personal elements about who you are. You can do this in a few ways. If you have any outside interests or accomplishments that complement your interest in your specialty, such as extracurricular work, global work, teaching or volunteer efforts, write about them in detail, and, in doing so, show the reader a different dimension of your personality. Or, consider opening your statement by writing about an experience related to your hobbies or outside interests. Write about this in the form of an introductory vignette. I suggest taking this nontraditional approach only if you are a talented writer and can somehow relate your outside interest to the specialty you are pursuing, however. An interest in the arts can lend itself to dermatology, plastic surgery or ophthalmology, for example. Or, an interest in technology could relate to radiology .

12. Any personal challenges?

Also explain any obstacles you have overcome: Were you the first in your family to graduate from college? Were you an immigrant? Did you have limited financial resources and work through college? Many applicants tend to shy away from the very things that make them impressive because they are afraid of appearing to be looking for sympathy. As long as you explain how you have overcome adversity in a positive or creative way, your experience will be viewed as the tremendous accomplishment that it is. The personal statement should explain any unusual or distinctive aspects of your background.

  • Residency Match: How It Works & How To Get Matched

Common ERAS Residency Personal Statement Mistakes

Do not tell your entire life story or write a statement focused on your childhood or undergraduate career. 

Do not write about why you wanted to be a doctor. This is old news. From the reviewers perspective, you already are a doctor!

Do not write a personal statement focused on one hobby or begin with your birth. Some background information might be useful if it offers context to your choices and path, but your residency personal statement should be focused on the present and what you have done to pursue your interest in the specialty to which you are applying.

Do not preach. The reader understands what it means to practice his specialty and does not need you to tell him. Don’t write, for example: Internal medicine requires that a physician be knowledgeable, kind and compassionate. The reader wants to know about you!

Do not put down other specialties. You don’t need to convince anyone of your interest by writing something negative about other specialties. Doing so just makes you look bad. If you switched residencies or interests, you can explain what else you were seeking and what you found in the specialty of your choice that interests you.

Do not embellish. Program directors are pretty good at sniffing out inconsistencies and dishonesty. Always tell the truth and be honest and authentic. 

Do not plagiarize. While this seems obvious to most people, every year people copy personal statements they find online or hire companies that use stock phrases and statement to compose statements for applicants. Don’t do it!

Do not write about sensitive topics. Even if you were in a relationship that ended and resulted in a poor USMLE score , this is not a topic for a personal statement. In general, it is best to avoid discussing relationships, politics, ethical issues and religion.

Do not boast. Any hint of arrogance or self-righteousness may result in getting rejected. There is a fine line between confidence and self promotion. Some people make the mistake of over-selling themselves or writing about all of their fantastic qualities and characteristics. Rarely do readers view such personal statements favorably.

Do not write an overly creative piece. A residency personal statement should be professional. This work is equivalent to a job application. Don’t get too creative; stay focused.

Writing ERAS Residency Personal Statements For Multiple Specialties

An increasing number of applicants are applying to more than one specialty in medicine especially if the first choice specialty is very competitive. If you are applying to more than one specialty, even if there is disciplinary overlap between the two (for example family medicine and pediatrics ), we advise you write a distinct specialty for each. Remember that a physician who practices the specialty you hope to join will most likely be reviewing your statement. He or she will definitely be able to determine if the personal statement illustrates a true understanding of the specialty. If you try to recycle an entire personal statement or parts of a personal statement for two specialties, there is a high likelihood the personal statement will communicate that you aren’t sincerely interested in that specialty or that you don’t really understand what the specialty is about.

Writing About Red Flags in your ERAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is also the place to explain any red flags in your application, such as gaps in time or a leave of absence. When addressing any red flags, explain what happened succinctly. Be honest, don’t make excuses, and don’t dwell on the topic. Whenever possible, write about how you have matured or grown from the adversity or what you may have learned and how this benefits you.

If you have left a program or had a break in your medical education, you will also have the chance to explain this in your ERAS application . You should also write about this topic in your personal statement only if you have more to explain, however. 

If you have failed a Step exam or one course in medical school, this likely isn’t something to address in the personal statement. However, you should be prepared to discuss any failure during an interview. By the same token, it is best not to address one low grade or poor attending evaluation in your statement. 

Have you taken a circuitous path to medicine? If so you might address why you made these choices and what you found so interesting about medicine that was lacking in your former career.

Residency Personal Statement Example

Below are two great examples of residency personal statements that earned the applicants who wrote them numerous interviews and first choice matches. As you will see, these two applicants took very different approaches when writing the personal statement yet wrote equally persuasive and “successful” personal statements.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Traditional Approach

The most common approach to the personal statement is what I will call the traditional approach, in which the applicant conveys her interest in the specialty, when that interest began and what she has done to pursue the particular specialty.

Suggested outline:

  • Introduction: Catchy Story
  • Paragraph 2: Background Information and how Interest Started
  • Paragraph 3: Write about what you did to explore your interest
  • Paragraph 4: Second paragraph about your experiences related to your specialty
  • Conclusion: Wrap it up. Write something about your future goals.

Below is an example of the traditional approach:

I looked into her eyes and saw terror. She knew the life of her unborn baby was in jeopardy. As tears streamed down her face, she looked to the attending physician. In desperation, she pleaded, “Please save our baby.” She and her husband had been trying to conceive for more than two years, and they knew this could be their only chance to have a healthy child. She went into labor at home and because of a horrible snowstorm was not able to reach the hospital for several hours. When she arrived in labor and delivery, she was crowning. But, the baby was having late decelerations. Because of the sweat on my attending’s forehead I knew the situation was serious. Yet we all tried to remain calm and to keep the patient and her husband calm as well. 

I entered medical school with an open mind as everyone suggested. Even as a first year medical student, however, I was fascinated with embryology. I entered my third year still unsure of what I would pursue. I knew I wanted a career that would be challenging and interesting. Because of my background in drawing and painting, I always loved working with my hands. Yet I also enjoyed working with people. Thankfully, my obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) rotation was the first of my third year and I was immediately hooked.

I quickly sought out opportunities for research and became involved in a clinical study investigating the impact of a vegan diet on birth outcomes. I have always had an interest in wellness and nutrition, and this seemed like a perfect fit for me. My research is still in process, but through this experience I have learned how to analyze data, stay objective and critically evaluate the literature. So far, our findings suggest better than normal outcomes for babies born to vegan mothers. This reinforces my goal to educate my patients about the important of diet and nutrition, which I hope to make a part of my future practice. 

Early in my fourth year, I completed an elective rotation at Inner City Medical Center. There I cared for a diverse group of patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I realized how much I enjoy labor and delivery, but I also value the operative aspects of ob/gyn. I appreciate the importance of understanding the female anatomy so I can operate with precision.  I also value the diversity of practice in ob/gyn. Whether caring for a woman about to give birth, helping a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer navigate her treatment options, or caring for a perimenopausal woman who is coping with symptoms of hormone fluctuations, I enjoy caring for patients with knowledge and compassion. The outpatient aspect of ob/gyn brings satisfaction as well. I look forward to building relationships with my patients, helping them to lead the healthiest lives possible. I have also realized how much I want to care for those who lack access to care. The work I have done at Medical School Free Clinic has helped me realize the gaps that exist in access to care and education. As a future practicing ob/gyn, I hope to work in such a setting at least on a part time basis.

On that snowy night, when we realized the baby was having difficulty being born because of shoulder dystocia, a simple maneuver eased the situation. The baby’s first cry brought such joy and relief to everyone in the room and, at that moment, I knew I had to be part of this specialty. I hope to join a program where I will have the clinical exposure that will give me the skills and experience to care for a wide range of patients. I do not yet know if I will subspecialize, and I will seek out mentors and experiences as a resident to make an informed decision. I would be honored to interview at your program and thank you for your consideration.

Why It’s Great

This is a great personal statement because it clearly conveys the applicant’s interest in, and understanding of, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and what the applicant has done to pursue that interest. Not only does this applicant have a long-standing interest in OB/GYN, but, she conveys that she has experienced the specialty in different settings and understands the diverse nature of the specialty. She also includes information about her hobbies and interests and writes about her exploration of OB/GYN outside of the clinical arena. An added bonus is that the applicant writes well and uses descriptive language making her statement interesting and fun to read.

Residency Personal Statement Example, Analysis, and Outline: The Outside Interests Approach

Many mentors advise applicants to tell the reader something about them that is unrelated to medicine or the specialty they are pursuing. This is a fine idea, but be sure your personal statement also includes some details about your interest in your specialty if you decide to move in this direction.

Suggested Outline:

  • Introduction: Write a Catchy Introduction. Be creative! Think outside the box.
  • Paragraph 2:Elaborate on your introduction offering more details
  • Paragraph 3: Write about your specialty choice and what appeals to you.
  • Paragraph 4: Write more about your explorations in medical school.
  • Concluding paragraph(s): Write about your future goals, the type of program you hope to join and consider looping back to your introduction.

Below is an example of the outside interests approach:

The landscape before me was lush and magical. We had been hiking for hours and had found a great spot to set up camp. As I was unloading my backpack and helping to pitch the tent, I saw a scene I knew I had to capture. I quickly grabbed my carefully packed Leica before the magnificent sunset disappeared. Trying to get the perfect exposure, I somehow managed to capture this image so accurately that it reflected the beauty of what was before us high in the mountains of Utah, so far away from the hustle and bustle of New York City where we attended medical school.

Throughout my life, I have pursued my interests and curiosities with focus and creativity. One of those interests is photography. Even as a small child, I wanted my own camera, and I started snapping interesting scenes and images at the age of 6. As I grew older, this hobby took on more significance. I took a college level course in photography as a high school student, worked as a photographer’s assistant and even considered a career in photography. Paralleling my interest, however, was a desire to travel and experience new places, foods, and cultures.

I have been fortunate to travel all over the world. Rather than stopping in a city or place for a couple of days and seeing the sights, I prefer to immerse myself in my surroundings, eating the food, meeting the people, and staying for as long as I can. My fluency in Spanish and Italian has made it easier to “fit in” naturally. My most recent trip to Costa Rica allowed me to visit sugar cane fields and rain forests. I also volunteered in a clinic that helps the most desperate citizens. Of course, because I never travel without my camera, I also captured the beauty of this country; those pictures can be found on my blog.

Surgery seemed like a natural choice for me. It is a very tactile and visual field that requires patience, attention to detail and creativity—just like photography. The operating room setting is invigorating. I love to be a member of a team, and in surgery team work is an essential part of practice. The ability to deal with anatomical variations also satisfies my creative side; I have always been fond of puzzles, and the field of surgery represents a real-world puzzle to me. I also appreciate the intensity of surgery and believe I have the personality and demeanor for the field. I have always enjoyed solving problems quickly, something the field of surgery requires. My rotations in surgery – in addition to my core surgery rotation I have done trauma and cardiothoracic surgery – have helped me to understand the tremendous opportunities and diversity of the field. I have heard some residents lament that the only reason they went into surgery is to operate. However, I really enjoy seeing patients postoperatively. It is only at that time that a surgeon can really appreciate the impact of his or her work.

Finally, my trip to Honduras with a surgical team from my hospital and medical school made me realize that I can make a great contribution globally in the field of surgery. There we saw patients who had no resources or access to care. The facilities in which we worked were bare-bones. Yet the impact we made was tremendous, given that this was a group of people who otherwise would have no surgical care. In this way, I hope to combine my interests in travel and surgery as a resident, if I have time, and certainly as a practicing physician. My ultimate goal is to use my training to help populations globally and domestically.

To gain the most clinical exposure possible, I hope to train in a busy urban hospital. I believe that such a setting will give me the operative experience I need to be able to navigate many situations in the future. Such a setting will also give me the outpatient experience to understand how to manage patients once the surgery is completed.

I look forward to the day when I can be snapping my camera intraoperatively, documenting what I am doing and seeking to help other surgeons. For some, such pictures may not represent the art of those pictures I take in the wilderness, but for me they reflect the beauty of surgery and the great opportunity to make a lasting impression on another human being’s life.

This is a really intriguing personal statement because the author writes about his outside interests in a compelling way that makes him instinctively likable. He then goes on to explain what he enjoys about surgery and what he has done to pursue that interest. As you can see, this applicant writes less about his specialty (surgery) than the applicant in statement #1 did, but, he still convinces the reader of his understanding of, and commitment to, surgery. In this statement, the reader gains a much broader understanding of who the applicant is as a person and what he likes to do in his free time.

Final Thoughts

Writing your residency personal statement should be about telling your story in your own voice and style. You want to highlight your interest in the specialty for which you are applying while also conveying some ideas about who you are as a person to keep your reader engaged in learning about you as a person.

Residency Personal Statement Consulting Services

MedEdits Medical Admissions offers comprehensive guidance and document review services for residency applicants to every specialty in medicine. With more than twenty years of experience in residency admissions and founded by a former residency admissions officer and physician, MedEdits understands what program directors want to read and can help you decide what aspects of your background to focus on in your residency personal statement to earn the most interviews possible.

Getting into a residency has never been more competitive. Let the experts at MedEdits help you with your ERAS personal statement. We’ve worked with more than 5,000 students and 94% have been matched to one of their top-choice programs.

Sample Residency Personal Statement Page 1

Sample Residency Personal Statements

Residency Personal Statement Example Page 2

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  1. Lorri Hedges

    eras personal statement font size

  2. Neurology Personal Statement Sample

    eras personal statement font size

  3. ERAS Personal Statement Length

    eras personal statement font size

  4. Professional Editing Sample: Personal Statement

    eras personal statement font size

  5. Template For Law School Personal Statement

    eras personal statement font size

  6. How to write ERAS residency personal statement

    eras personal statement font size


  1. Personal Statement Guidelines

    Stick to 1 page Not every awesome thing/experience will make it into the personal statement. That's OK. Save these highlights for your interview or your noteworthy characteristics. We recommend that you create your personal statements in a text file.

  2. Personal Statement

    2024 MyERAS ® Applicant User Guide / Documents / Personal Statement Personal Statement Personal statements may be used to customize the application to a specific program or to different specialties. In This Section: Creating the Personal Statement Formatting the Personal Statement Previewing the Personal Statement

  3. Annual "how long should my personal statement be" post [residency]

    Everything I find online says that it should be around 650-850. After plugging it into ERAS and looking at the preview, I am well over with a full paragraph on the second page. It seems that one ERAS preview page is 640 words max. After venturing to SDN, seems that there might be different formatting for the preview vs how PDs will view it.

  4. Documents for ERAS® Residency Applicants

    Dimensions: 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. Resolution: 150dpi File Size: 150kb Personal Statement The personal statement may be used to personalize the application to a specific program or to different specialties. There is not a limit to how many personal statements you may create; however, you may only assign one (1) for each program.

  5. How to Write Your ERAS Personal Statement

    You do not want it to be more than one page single-spaced (standard font like arial or times new roman, size 12).

  6. Residency Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide (Example Included

    The personal statement is an essay of about a page (one page in ERAS is 3,500 characters including spaces) in which you articulate who you are and why you want to enter a certain specialty. It's your big opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants by highlighting anything that isn't well represented in other parts of your ...

  7. Personal Statement size and formatting : r/medicalschool

    3/4 of a word page should definitely be under an ERAS page. Unless you're using like size 6 font lol. You should be able to play around with the spacing. Only one empty line between paragraphs, and remove all spaces/extra empty lines after your last paragraph.

  8. Writing Your Personal Statement for Residency

    Length; Since one page in length in a Word Doc is not the same as what one page will equal one page in ERAS for personal statement formatting, the key is stick to 750-850 words for your ERAS/residency application personal statement. One page in ERAS equals nearly 1,200 words, however most programs preferences for a typical personal statements ...

  9. Writing Your Medical Residency Personal Statement

    Please note, I have only touched on some of the many aspects involved with crafting a Residency Personal Statement. You may choose to try another way or look further into the content of the statement. Should you have any questions, Residency Statement would be happy to help you, call 760-904-5484 ext. 3. ERAS ERAS Application Match Day Medical ...

  10. How to write your personal statement for ERAS/residency applications

    Keep in mind: it's only 1 page (literally—it should fit on no more than one page when printed from the ERAS application, which is somewhere around 750-800 words on the longer end; 600-650 is a better goal; mine was around 500).

  11. How to Prepare ERAS Personal Statement Properly

    Requirements Regarding ERAS Personal Statement Formatting. The platform imposes strict requirements not only on the ERAS personal statement word limit but also has strict formatting requirements. Font and size: Use a clear and legible font, such as Times New Roman or Arial. The recommended font size is usually 10-12 points to ensure readability.

  12. 12 Top Questions About the ERAS Personal Statement

    The standard ERAS personal statement length is typically 500-800 words (roughly four paragraphs). A personal statement typically isn't the "maker" of your residency application—however, it can be a deal "breaker" if it doesn't have those attributes. That said, if you have a memorable, well-written personal statement, program ...

  13. ERAS Changes to Personal Statement Format

    A Note from ERAS: " Personal Statements created outside of MyERAS should be done in a plain text word processing application such as Notepad (for Windows users) or SimpleText (for Mac Users). Personal Statements created in word processing applications not using plain text may contain hidden and potentially invalid formatting. "

  14. help with eras and personal statement formatting

    Sep 10, 2005. #2. Usually ERAS has a section on the website where you can get an answer to this type of question. They are pretty strict about the formatting. You might try printing a copy and seeing what it looks like once it is printed. If it is still bad, you may be best off deleting it and just typing the statement directly in the form and ...

  15. [Residency] PSA regarding personal statement ERAS formatting

    As long as you use an x.5 sized font, it will size out properly on ERAS. E.g. 10.5, 9.5, 11.5, it doesn't really matter. The font itself doesn't matter either. Valar Morghulis Edit: Did not realize someone else posted a similar thing, but this one expands on that a bit This thread is archived New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast

  16. Personal Statement, What font and size

    Ok I understand that the personal statement should be in one page but isn't that dependent on the type of font the size of it !!! What font and size are adequate for ERAS so that I know whether programs would then print a one page document? Save Share. Reply Quote Like. Sort by Oldest first

  17. How to write the personal statement

    Here in, information like what the font size should be, length of the statement, things to remember and stuff to not do is discussed. ERAS allows the personal statement to be as long as 28,000 characters. (Including white spaces). If you were to write the statement to this limit, it will be too long. An ideal statement is about 1-2 pages long.

  18. Residency Personal Statement : An Insider's Guide

    The allowed ERAS residency personal statement length is 28,000 characters which equates to about five pages! We have been hearing from more and more applicants that the personal statement should not exceed one page when typed in to the ERAS application.

  19. ERAS Personal Statement margins/font

    99. Sep 9, 2016. #1. Members don't see this ad. I have a one-page personal statement (a bit over 700 words) but despite copying it to a simple text editor & converting to plain text, when I paste in into ERAS & preview it has very wide margins & a small font. It's about a half page and looks like it would be way less easy on the eyes to read.

  20. ERAS Personal Statement formatting? : r/medicalschool

    Hey everyone -- last-minute question about the personal statement on ERAS. How can I tell if it will be under 1 page? I've edited to make the PS fit on 1 page with Courier New 10-point font as ERAS says. But it's pretty close (with the standard Microsoft Word margins) -- not a lot of wiggle room for things being too short or too long.

  21. Guide on ERAS Personal Statement Length & Writing Tips

    As for ERAS personal statement font size, it must be 10. Such standard guarantees good text readability and prevents your struggles with selecting fonts. Among other ERAS personal statement requirements, special characters are not suitable. It means that your text must not contain underlines, italics, and bold words.