Book Excerpts ERAS

Chapter 9 - ERAS Application System:
The Personal Statement, Deadlines, and Letters of Recommendation

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Chapter 9"Unless you’re a professional poet, I’d say stick to something that won’t scare program directors. I’ve heard a lot of people say a great personal statement can’t really help your application if it’s lacking in other ways, but a bad or weird one can kill an otherwise perfect application. It can hurt you more than it can help you. Don’t be dumb."

"Start early and get advice from your residency director and a couple editors. Ask people in the department what they hate reading about. It is usually something everyone writes about and becomes nauseating on the umpteenth time. Common mistakes are writing about exercise such as long distance running and comparing it to medicine or some sort of struggle."

"My strategy at the outset was first to put myself in the position of the reader. I imagined I was a busy attending, and I was handed a stack of 20 or 30 applications. I had to take them home with me and do extra work in the evening to look them over. Despite enjoying this work, it also means take time away from reading to my kids or eating dinner with my wife or not getting to go play Thursday evening pickup hockey. Once I put myself in that position I knew that I had to make a personal statement short and professional, yet engaging. Of course this is easier said than done."

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