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Writing Samples

Personal Statements: Your Turn to Talk

Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell your story during the residency interview process. You transcript, your CV, your MSPE, and many other documents will tell the story of you as a student, but the personal statement is your chance to connect the dots between who you are as a student, a new doctor, and an individual. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Read through this tip sheet to get started with your thought process.

One of the most difficult things about writing a personal statement is getting started. There are several ways to tell your story and it’s important that you figure out which one is for you. To help you decide on an approach that you are comfortable with, we've provided a few samples of personal statements

Note: These sample statements should only be viewed as a way to become more comfortable with the various forms a personal statement can take. Don’t concern yourself with the content and most certainly don’t compare your experience and the statement you need to write with the examples here. Nothing is more paralyzing in the writing process than comparing your material to that of another writer.

The best advice you can get when starting to write is to start early and get words on paper (screen, what have you). It’s a popular misconception that some people can write well and others can’t. With enough forethought (getting started sooner than later) and an appreciation of how you write best, you can write effectively, even compellingly. But the first step, the most important step, is getting words down.

Curriculum Vitae

A CV provides a more comprehensive view of your background than a resume. As your career progresses, you may accumulate research and teaching experience and contribute community and institutional service in addition to your clinical practice. Starting a CV early in your medical career will save time later on. We've provided a few samples to get you started.

Get individual feedback

Students will receive instructions by email in early Spring on how to sign up for individual feedback on their personal statements or CVs, however help is available any time by contacting katie-priske@uiowa.edu