Dos and Don'ts on Your Residency Personal Statement

The residency personal statement creates a lot of anxiety for applicants because of the perception that it can make or break your application. The truth is that it is very unlikely to make your application but can potentially break your application. The personal statement should briefly summarize who you are as a person and physician in training, highlight one or two important experiences in your personal or professional life, and discuss why you have chosen the specialty to which you are applying and some of your career goals.

Preparing for Residency Interviews

Before you embark on interviews, be sure to review the steps below in detail. The more you prepare, the better you will do during interviews, the most crucial step in securing your residency of choice. Even after you have prepared, be sure to do an extra level of preparation about each individual residency program where you will be interviewing. This extra preparation will be evident during your interviews and is likely to make a positive impression.

Common Residency Interview Questions

The following are common residency interview questions, as well as a few less common but challenging questions. Knowing the type of questions you likely will be asked will help you prepare for your interviews and minimize the chance that you will be surprised by a question. Many programs place a premium on how you do during the interview day, so you want to do everything you can to make a positive impression.

USMLE Step 1 Study Plan

Set a goal

As the saying goes, “begin with the end in mind.”  Before you begin preparing for the USMLE Step 1, you should consider where you are with your knowledge base and your score, as well as what your goal is.  To determine where you are, you should take a practice test. Online prediction calculators use your scores on question banks and the USMLE practice test to estimate how you will do on the actual Step 1 exam. 

When setting a goal, consider that 194 is currently the minimum passing score for USMLE Step 1, and 229 was the national average in 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available). 

Finding a Medical School Research Project and Mentor

Over the course of four years of medical school, medical students have many pressures on their time, have competing priorities, and may want to pursue multiple extracurricular opportunities. Most also only have one summer vacation. This time may be well spent interacting with family and friends, traveling to different parts of the world, or just decompressing and not studying. However, as the residency match process becomes more competitive and the number of applicants grows, you may want to use a portion of your summer vacation to pursue your medical interests and enhance your residency application.

How To Ask For A Great Letter Of Recommendation

How To Ask For A Great Letter Of Recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation are essential for supporting your residency application and matching well. This article details how to ensure you get great letters of recommendation.

Knowing what constitutes a great letter of recommendation is crucial to obtaining outstanding letters. A strong letter of recommendation clearly conveys knowledge of the medical student, how that student performed and qualities that predict excellent performance in residency. Strong letters of recommendation include the following: