medical students

New Personal Statement Formula Wows Medical Residency Program Directors

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NEW YORK, NY – A new U.S. News and World Report survey has projected that the 2015 Medical Residency Match rate will likely hit 100% with nearly all applicants matching into their first choice program.  Preliminary survey results suggest this unusual occurrence is due to high-quality personal statements being submitted this year.

The Internal Medicine Program Director from Massachusetts General Hospital was quoted in the report saying, “I’ve talked to multiple program directors from top programs in various specialties and we are all just blown away by the well-written, genuine, and compelling personal statements from applicants this year.”

medical students
“Personal statement formula… never heard of it”

One medical student who received interviews at all 95 programs she applied to explained, “You know, I had spent weeks getting nowhere with my personal statement until I came across this perfect formula on the internet forums.” Other students reached for comment have said, “This approach to writing my personal statement really resonated with me” and “I feel like I totally found my voice with this formula.”

Fortunately, through a source requesting to remain anonymous for fear of passive-aggressive retribution from gunners, we obtained a copy of this game changing and inspirational personal statement formula attached below.

Personal Statement Formula

Your Name Here: (double check spelling)

Introductory quote or heart-warming story that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them think, “Wow, what a deeply intellectual person this is” and “I was really bored reading personal statements but this one is somehow unique.”  Follow-up sentence tying your otherwise obscure quote or sappy story into who you are and why you want to be a doctor followed by a short sentence to change up the sentence structure.  You are clever.  Describe what kind of doctor you want to become and list three qualities that make you a good candidate, not two, not four, three is the perfect number.

First paragraph introduction highlighting your first unique quality, something about being a generally good person.  Follow up statement educating a seasoned physician on why being a good person is an essential quality for being a good physician.  Anecdote of the one time you can remember when you actually connected with a patient.  Deep philosophical reflection of what that anecdotal encounter made you realize about your specialty of choice.  Passionate sentence with enthusiastic words about how you look forward to being a good person and deeply connecting with patients in a similar fashion in your specialty of choice.

Second paragraph introduction touting your next great quality, something about leadership and communication skills.  Sentence with big words to showcase your mastery of the English language and effective communication, leaving out how you Googled the words to make sure you spelled and used them correctly.  Exaggerate your role in a trivial student government position.  Typo sentence you didn’t catch when you proofed the final draft, but don’t worry, this personal statement is still golden.  Explanation about how organizing a student government bake sale to raise money for some charity/health initiative translates into obvious life-saving leadership skills, again leaving out how the bake sale only raised $6.48.  Sentence humbly proclaiming how fortunate you are to have been in leadership, because good leaders are humble leaders, of course.

Third paragraph introduction about how committed you are to the specialty of your choice.  I repeat, there must be three points.  Two seems lame and four is braggadocios.  Explanation trying not to sound defensive about why you didn’t do any 4th-year rotations in your specialty of choice.  Attempt to cover up that the real reason is that you just decided on this specialty four weeks ago.  Fabricated story about how you really just wanted a broad M4 experience before settling into your specialty of choice.  Mention a research project you frantically found after picking the specialty in order to make it seem like you really are committed to the field.  Leave out the part about how you only cleaned glass beakers and made stock reagents, generating no real data.  Wrap up sentence confirming your commitment to your specialty of choice.

Conclusion paragraph restating your thesis and tying it all seamlessly together.  Reiteration of why you are such a good person with great leadership and communication skills who is firmly committed to your specialty of choice.  Theoretical statement about where you see yourself in several years and how much you look forward to training in your area of specialty.  Witty closer bringing your initial quote or story back in at the end, full circle baby, boom goes the dynamite!

No one has come forward to claim responsibility for this revolutionary formula, prompting speculation that it was immaculately conceived.  However, one thing is clear, personal statements will never again be the same.

  • Show Comments

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    Steve Carroll, DO

    awesome post…and your ad company is on it’s A-game

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    Jessica Jeneen Combs

    Jason used this I remember.

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    Shannon Clarke Campbell Nedelka

    Pithy, insightful and incisive comment on story which many people can relate to. Funny double entendre.

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    Kathy Henson

    I have to say, after reading hundreds of essays from people who used this formula…reading one that didn’t start with a quote and follow the same thing was nice. Here’s what you need in the essay…something interesting to talk about in the interview and something about yourself that would make you a great resident.

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    Michelle Dean Barajaz

    I hate to tell them, but the secret is out….:)

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    Paul Prince

    No mention of the Oxfam Trailwalker?

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    Elise Everett

    Exactly what I tell all my student applicants. Unless you have some incredible story to tell, stick to the formula.

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    Milanius Von Spankovitch

    This actually is scarily close to reality!

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    Susan French

    Not too shabby!

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    Theresa J. Lie-Nemeth

    Haha. Never saw that before!

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    Vadim Korkhov

    I used it in my residency application.

  • Avatar
    Ashish Chogle


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