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Visit the scholarship websites and read the profiles of past winners when available, envisioning yourself as a featured student on the website in the following year.Most importantly, be prepared to spend 50 hours studying, reflecting, and writing as part of the scholarship application process, as winners typically report they do.
Although there are similar elements across all specialties, here is some specialty-specific advice to guide you in creating your residency/fellowship personal statement. An exception is plastic surgery, but I still recommend keeping the essay around 400 words.
While you should definitely use complete sentences (unlike the beginning of this paragraph), effective EM and Surgery personal statements are among the shortest.
The writing style should be sincere but no-nonsense.
Let the selectors see that you have the right mindset and the right skillset for the job.
The guidebook, "Prestige Scholarships for College," lists and explains the various prestige scholarships available, discusses how to make them a realistic option, and includes expert advice on increasing your changes of landing one.
Visit the "Prestige Scholarships for College" Website.All Specialties –For all specialties, the most important thing to remember in creating your residency/fellowship personal statement is that you are applying for a job.Everything you write should highlight your ability to excel in your work. This means not writing anything about life before you began med school.Writing a personal statement tailored to your chosen specialty can give you an edge in the residency matching and fellowship selection process. Neither specialty is known for patience, and writing according to the specialty will let the selector see that you have a home here.Even if you are planning to apply to a variety of specialties, using the same fellowship or residency personal statement for all of them will leave you with an essay that is too general to capture your genuine interest and ability to make a contribution. Surgery personal statements are ideal somewhere around 375 words (yes, you read that right).A Marshall Scholar might not be right for an NSF Fellowship, and vice versa; a student activist might be a poor fit for many scholarships but perfect for the Truman Scholarship.This chapter summarizes nine of the nation’s most coveted scholarships, with samples of personal statements and essays following each scholarship description.Nowhere does a student’s ability to communicate well about personal attitudes and accomplishments become more important than in applications for national scholarships.With a mostly even playing field among scholars when it comes to GPA, personal statements and answers to application questions truly do help selectors winnow out the best choices, seeking a tidy match between individual candidates and available opportunities.If you want to mention your country of origin or that you are from an underrepresented background, couch this in a sentence that is mainly about your current abilities and passion for your chosen specialty.Above all else, make patient care the focus of your essay.