8/26/2021 | by Colyn Watkins, MD; POSNA Resident Communications Committee
5 tips for a Successful Personal Statement in Orthopaedic Surgery
- Do highlight your strengths, do not list your CV.
Reviewers want to know what makes you unique. Nearly all applicants will have equally outstanding resumes. The personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly and be authentic.
- Do not tell us about your ACL injury.
Injuries are often formative events and inspirations to choose orthopaedic surgery as a career. Unfortunately, it has been written about too many times. Be different.
- Do capture the reader’s attention early.
Try to tell a story. This doesn’t mean you need to have been an astronaut or Olympic athlete to capture our attention. Describing an experience that is unique to you and how it relates to your choice in career is a good place to start.
- Do not exceed one page.
Keep it short. Your goal is to communicate clearly. There’s no award for length. If your statement is too long reviewers may treat it like an internal medicine rounding note and skip to the end.
- Do have multiple people read your statement.
Other people must read your personal statement. Not only will they catch simple grammatical errors that make you seem careless, but they will also identify areas to improve your tone and clarity.