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We will be using a biographical sketch ("biosketch") that you write as a basis for the "Unique Characteristics" section of your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). The AAMC describes this as a section that
"includes a brief statement about the unique characteristics of the student, as follows:
Information about special considerations, including any distinguishing characteristics exhibited by the student in medical school (e.g., demonstrated leadership and research abilities, participation in community service activities).
Information about any significant challenges or hardships encountered by the student during medical school."
Take advantage of writing your biosketch to jump start the writing of your personal statement. Please check out the following resources for writing personal statements for residency applications.
(1) Writing Your Personal Statement, American Medical Association
"...There are some basic questions that you need to address in your personal statement. These are usually divided into three paragraphs that address: 1) what got you interested in the field that you have chosen; 2) what are you looking for in a residency program; and 3) what are your expected goals in the field you have chosen. You are always free to add other commentary that is relevant to the above topics. But, make sure you discuss these 3 topics in your essay...."
(2) Examples & Comments on Personal Statements for Medical School Residency (pdf), University of California, San Francisco
(3) From the American College of Physicians:
(4) From the American Association of Medical Colleges:
Browse the specialty pages on the UTCOM Medical Career Specialty Advising Resources Project site (under "CAREERS" in the right navigation bar) for links to specialty-specific professional societies--many that contain residency application resources for medical students. A few examples are below:
(1) Optimize Your Match series, American Society of Anesthesiologists (link in the "Ways to get involved" section)
Advice about CVs and personal statements as well as other useful information about successfully matching in anesthesiology. Much of the advice applies to other specialties, too.
(2) From the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association:
(3) How to Write a Personal Statement, American Association of Family Physicians
Relevant for all specialties. An excerpt:
"...Feel free to highlight items in your CV if they help to remind your reader of the experiences you've had that make you well prepared for the position. This is your opportunity to expand upon activities that are just listed in the CV but deserve to be described so your reader can appreciate the breadth and depth of your involvement in them...."