Do the Same Rules Apply for Fellowship as for Residency?
The answer is yes, though following the same rules naturally leads to differences.
Generally speaking, the personal statement should/could touch on the following items:
The first time the applicant realized his or her interest in the particular field or specialty;
Times since then when that interest was refined, reinforced or redirected;
Any particular outstanding accomplishments achieved so far in following that path;
The direction the applicant now sees himself or herself taking; and
If possible, how the program would be a particular match for that direction.
What Should These Items Accomplish?
Each of these items should elucidate a particular quality or particular qualities about the applicant, and should be ones that are particular to the applicant, as opposed to being able to be said generically by anyone applying for the program. This is important.
What Are the Similarities?
Both the fellowship personal statement and the residency personal statement should describe the specific path/specific reasons that has/have led to the decision to apply for the desired position, as well as what the candidate hopes to achieve through the position from the point of view of how the candidate anticipates it will edify his or her future career.
What Are the Differences?
Answering these questions is where the differences lie between the fellowship personal statement and the residency personal statement.
For the residency personal statement, the general format is to describe the candidate's initial interest in medicine and how that was shaped into a desire for the particular field (e.g., internal medicine) being applied for. This is fleshed out with details that are relevant to the candidate's pursuit of the program (e.g., research experience, community involvement), and it is directed toward a view of the future career.
The fellowship personal statement should take this a step further by demonstrating both the personal and professional maturity that comes with having already completed significant training in the candidate's field.
How Does a Resident Applicant See His/Her Future Career?
Because candidates for residency are writing the personal statement for residency before having begun the training, it is often difficult for them to have a precise view of what they want in their future careers. While he or she may already have some inclinations of what his or her future career will be, many of those choices will be made through the course of the residency.
How Should a Fellowship Applicant See His/Her Future Career?
When it comes to applying for a fellowship, the candidate should know precisely what he or she anticipates for his or her future career, and how the fellowship training (and often the fellowship training offered at the particular institution receiving the application) is the necessary next step in that direction. The candidate should have a clear idea of who he or she is as a doctor and the specific path he or she sees his or her career taking.
The focus in the fellowship personal statement is therefore centered less on the part of the candidate's path that came before residency (e.g., original interest in medicine) and more on specific experiences that have come during residency (e.g., particular cases of interest, particular research accomplishments or involvement) or after.
What Should Be the Focus of the Anecdotes?
The anecdotes should demonstrate relevant academic and clinical competence. They should point squarely in the direction of the specialty being applied for, and any particular research interests.
How long should my personal statement be?
Generally speaking, a fully developed personal statement will be approximately 750. Some programs (e.g. dentistry), though, may require shorter word counts. With few exceptions, if your personal statement is over 850 words, it is too long. If it is under 650 words, it is too short.
The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) allows up to 28,000 characters with spaces, which is approximately 5,200 words. However, no program director will read a personal statement that long. Most won't even read any of it.
What do you mean by "be specific"?
First is to be specific to your story. If everyone else writes it in their personal statements, then you should not, unless it is particularly relevant to you.
An example of this is an IMG who writes, without any obvious reason for doing so, that she wants to pursue residency in the United States because the U.S. is at the forefront of medicine. A second example is a candidate who writes that he wants to pursue residency in a program that will give him the knowledge and training he will need to succeed in his chosen field. These are both vague statements that should be included only if they relate specifically to your personal career path.
Second is is a rephrasing of the first: to write only of your particular experience. This is your greatest strength and what will set you apart. If you write that you want to pursue a career in medicine in order to serve the community, we will ask what kind of community and what way do you see yourself serving. We will ask where this desire has come from and how you have pursued it.
If you write that you want to be a leader, we will ask where you want to be a leader, why you want to be a leader, what kind of leader you want to be, and in what way specifically you plan to lead others.
What are the most common mistakes that you have seen?
I want to "hook" the reader. What is the best way to do that?
Start with a simple, straightforward statement with how you started on the path that you are on. An example of this is: "The first time I saw how medicine can help people was when I was five years old and visited my mother in the hospital."
Second is to write of your particular experience. This is your greatest strength and what will set you apart.
I am having trouble getting started. Can you help me write my personal statement?
Absolutely, but we won't write it for you. For those needing assistance with developing a personal statement, we offer our Personal Statement Consultation service. With it, we will review your resume/CV if provided and, in one-on-one consultation with one of our personal statement editors, guide you through a series of questions and feedback to develop a concise plan for drafting your personal statement.
After you have drafted your personal statement, we will then review your personal statement with our Personal Statement Revision & Critique service for any adjustments needed to make it as polished and successful as possible.
I have followed all your advice. Do I still need to have my personal statement edited?
Yes, you should still have it edited, specifically for feedback/critique (see our Personal Statement Revision and Critique service) regarding how successful you are in communicating your points. It is our opportunity to help make what you have started as successful for you as possible.
Get More Advice on Our Blog
For more advice on personal statements, see the personal statement articles we have posted on our blog.
Sample Personal Statement
and Palliative Care
Sample Personal Statement
IMG with Leave of Absence
“You helped me edit my personal statement for my fellowship application a few months ago. Today I am writing to happily tell you that I have matched at one of the best programs in the U.S. I received many interviews from great programs, and almost all the interviewers mentioned that my personal statement was well-written and very interesting. I am very grateful for your wonderful work editing my personal statement and would like to express my sincere appreciation."
Taki U., New York, NY
“When I came to DLA for help with my personal statement, the application period had already opened, and I knew I was behind. I signed up for the consultation service and cannot be happier with the results. I just had an interview, and the interviewer said my personal statement was one of the best she had ever read, that it clearly presented who I was and the journey I have been on to reach this point. Hearing that made it totally worth the cost!”
Alessandra B., Biddeford, ME
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With your other admission application documentation, you will also have to submit a personal statement for geriatric medicine fellowship. Everything in that statement will have to be composed in a captivating manner that will awaken interest in you as a person for the reader; this is not an undertaking to be taken lightly. It has to be able to compel the admission committee to invite you for the interview that you are targeting with the personal statement. To reach this goal you may want us for your personal statement writing.
Tips that make your geriatric medicine fellowship personal statement stand out
The personal statement is probably the most important feature of you whole geriatric medicine fellowship application if not even the most important one. This is the only chance you have to explain and show to the admissions committee who you are and what your future aspirations represent. This integral part of your admission documentation will ensure that you will be chosen for a personal interview. It might even help to decide whether you are admitted to the fellowship or not. The medical fellowship personal statement serves various purposes including:
- To enlighten the reader about your personal background
- To complete the picture that your other application papers could not effectively provide
- To let your personal strength, quality and character stand out
- To enable you to show what you have gathered in the field of application and why you are a perfect match
- To show your absolute commitment to the field of expertise
The most important tip on how to apply for a fellowship that you should always remember is that your personal statement has to be captivating and interesting for the reader. It may be the major factor that will get you invited for a personal interview. Do not include any information within your personal statement that you do not want to discuss in an interview situation.
Our geriatric medicine fellowship personal statement sample
“After having finalized my fellowship, I intend to work in my hometown in Florida helping the host of elderly experience a rich and fulfilled life without the obvious hardship that many endure due to lack of medical care. I want to become a trusted friend in my community for all the elderly patient that will enable them to reduce their sufferings that age bears.
I come from a town in Florida that is overrun by elderly folks seeking refuge in the warm climate that cannot be encountered up north. Most of the younger people flee the town once they reach college level for their studies but never return. Jobs are limited for everybody that does work in a field that includes any service for the aged citizens.
I grew up in between these “old folks” and started running errands for them by doing their shopping or paying the bills for them. I do mean that they supplied the finances for that too. Very early I noticed that their medical needs differ from us younger people, that they have deficiencies unknown to me and that they take longer to recuperate. This troubled me quite a lot then and led me to learn more about it.
In due time, I found out more about geriatric medicine and centered my learning on that specialty. While studying, I worked in a hospital for the poor that was located close to my college, and there I learned the basics and already collected valuable background knowledge.”
Compose the very best geriatric medical fellowship personal statement that you are capable of
We also offer resume writing services to complement your admission application for geriatric medicine fellowship, nurse practitioner fellowship or any other. The resume is an integral part of your complete submission documentation, and it offers you the chance to improve your presentation of past experiences and your skill set. We are able to reformat and edit your resume and thereby increase your chances of admission.