Monday, December 12, 2011

Residency Interview Advice

The internet is brimming with interview tips.  I just watched a youtube video on the subject.  A doctor offers a few minutes of great practical advice.  Some of his tips are:

  • Have directions to the location
  • Be early
  • Know the names:  not only the program director, but the secretary and coordinator as well
  • Make note of any updates to your CV, such as awards, etc.
  • Take along copies of your CV
  • Review your CV information and think of some enhancing stories
  • Bring something to write on during the interview and/or tour for remarks/questions

His Youtube video and more information about additional relevant subjects can be found at "" and "".  I have not watched his other videos or read everything on his website, but from what I saw and heard in the last 10 minutes, the doctor offers very valuable advice. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

As a future resident, it is important to keep abreast with current issues facing US doctors.

Good morning!
My partner found the following article.  As the title of this post states, it is important to keep up with the current issues facing US doctors. This article from the NY Times deals with the subject of ordering tests for your patients.


Monday, September 26, 2011

How do you know if the medical residency program is accredited?

Hello Medical Residency and Medical Fellowship Applicants!
How do you know if the medical residency program is accredited?
First of all, I would call the AMA and ask a live human being where you can find the information, and ask about your specific program. Obviously, your first choices should be financially stable and accredited programs. Since everyone is on a budget these days and limited by time constraints, you most likely do not want to spend $1500 on a trip to the opposite coast to interview at a program which is unaccredited and not financially stable. Do you want to put in 2 years only to be told that the program is not accredited or had to fold? 
  • Call AMA Member Relations at (800) 262-3211. (It's a good idea to register to join the AMA meanwhile.)
  • Also call the specific program and ask if they are accredited and by whom.
  • Get advice from your colleagues, supervisors and various department heads on this question too.
  • BY ALL MEANS, check all this out by downloading the latest information at ACGME.
  • Here are a couple of links to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME):
And while I am spewing out advice, when you do go to interview, talk with some of the other residents.  You can ask them questions of a more personal nature. However, if you decide to ask additional questions of the residents, please assume that anything that you ask may be passed along to the decisionmakers, and also, please consider the possibility that the resident whom you are asking may also be one of the decisionmakers or may be consulted in your application process. Because you are essentially in a fishbowl at this point (watch those Facebook entries too!),  choose your words carefully.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interview Tips for Medical Residency Applicants--very important

1.  Be totally familiar with the case study you may have cited in your personal statement.

2.  Be able to relate what is on your CV and personal statement to the specific specialty or program to which you are applying.

3.  Be able to state what you have learned or how you have contributed or benefited from any associations to which you belong.

4.  Be able to discuss specifics about your hobbies you have listed.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Organizations and Volunteer Work

Good morning!
The best looking CV's include membership in an organization.  Join a U.S.-based medical organization if you can.  The Rotary Organization has branches and volunteer opportunities all over the world.  Look for organizations in your target specialty too.  Networking within these groups should never be understimated as a tool in finding a position.

National and local disasters are devastating to thousands, and by joining other volunteers to help, not only can you accumulate extensive hands-on training, but most importantly you can put your knowledge to work. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


What a season, so far!   I believe the word has spread among the medical residency applicant community that the little CVPersonalstatement team knows what they are doing!  My partner and I really enjoy working with and getting to know the applicants who come our way.  I only feel sad that I had to put some of our clients on a two or three day "wait list"  last month and early this month.  While I fully understand the time constraints, especially this week, "rush jobs" are not my forte.  I need the edited statement to wait on my desk one night, then I go back and edit my own work. After that, your ideas for incorporation into the second draft give the statement the extra shine and persuasiveness. That, my dear doctor, takes a little time on your part and ours. Our objective is to produce a top-quality version of your original personal statement, win over the program directors with your persuasive statement and get an interview, or many interviews.  So our main goal is that you are able to pick and choose the fitting program of your choice and scoot happily away into the world of your specialty!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

International Medical Graduates in the USA: Beware of Twittering, Facebook posts, etc.

Hope you are having a great summer!

As you have learned, the privacy laws in the USA are very strict. By all means, be careful what you say on the social networks.  Here is a link to an excellent article on this subject:

It is never too early to understand the laws of the country where you want to work as a medical resident. Be careful and keep your patient stories to yourself.  Confidentiality is of prime importance in the medical world. You may find yourself without a job or lose the license you have worked so hard to earn, should you discuss  patient details and cases in public. Facebook and Twitter are public places. Even if you do not use the name of the patient, the case may be recognizable.

In addition, watch out what you post about yourself in general.  Remember that your future employers, patients and colleagues may gain access to your internet footprints (photos, blogs, your remarks on other peoples' pages, etc.), so it is a good idea to present yourself in a respectable light.  You probably know exactly what I mean!  If you were a program director, wouldn't you think twice about hiring the guy with a bitter attitude, the lady dancing on a table in a bar with a beer bottle in her hand, the glassy-eyed person in the Chippendale's outfit, etc. etc.? Even if you have your "privacy settings" on, sometimes there are accidents and certain things become visible to anyone doing a Google search of your name or one of your email addresses. As they say, "Once it's out there, it's out there." 

So enough for the warnings.... Happy July!  By now you have probably started on your personal statements for Match 2012.  Call us today if you need help with your essay: 618-207-3277; or send us your current personal statement in a WORD document:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interview Help

Good morning!

I hope all of you are staying warm and keeping your gas tanks filled! 

You may have received that call or email to come in for an interview!  First of all, congratulations!  But you want to present yourself in the best light possible.  My most recent sources have told me the average interview lasts about FIFTEEN MINUTES.  "All that brouhaha and years of preparation for a mere FIFTEEN MINUTES of face time???!!!" you may be thinking.  I'm not kidding.  Let us help you with the way you present yourself during that tiny segment of your life.

One of the most important factors which are considered is your ability to communicate.  That involves careful listening and clear feedback of course.  Here's a tip for now:  If you are an IMG, English is not your native language, and you are unsure of your ability to speak in English...get thyself to a language class.  Start NOW for the next year applications.  It may be a matter of one pronunciation problem only.  If people cannot understand you, you will not be hired. It's that simple.  Apart from preparing you for the interview in general, we can assess your need for a language class.

That's it for now.  Give us a call if you would like us to help you get ready for your interview.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 2011!

Dear Medical Residency/Fellowship Applicants,

I have decided to enhance our website,, with a blog.  Like so many blogs before it, this one will be an informal way to keep you up-to-date with what is going on with our company.  I hope to include ideas that help you with the medical residency application process.  As you can see from the main website, we edit CV's, statements of purpose and cover letters to strengthen your ERAS or medical fellowship applications. Our goal is to make your personal statement shine!  Though many of our clients have reported having interviews, it was apparent that they also needed interview preparation and coaching, which we now offer.

To start off, my name is Elizabeth and I am from southern Illinois, Carbondale, to be exact.  After graduating from the University of Arkansas, I taught for one year here in the USA, then moved to Saudi Arabia, where I raised my children and taught English. After I moved back to Carbondale, I studied in a nursing program and became licensed, but definitely prefer to work out of my home with the editing service! :)  My sister Jane, who also lives in Carbondale, is my partner at  Her busy schedule as an attorney* does not allow her time to blog here,  but she may drop in on rare ocassions for a quick hello. She does find time to edit and review our personal statements and CV's for the company, and her persuasive writing powers are superb!  During the busy season we also employ on a private contract basis, a fantastic legal secretary named Carol, who helps with the editing. My son is a physician, currently working in a medical residency program, and he has some great input when we have questions or need his general advice.  His wife just graduated this year from the post-doctoral dental program at Harvard, and I have often consulted her in regards to the "what to leave in/what to leave out" issue with personal statement edits.  As professional people who totally understand the ethical responsibility of privacy, we pride ourselves on zipped lips.

So that's about it for my first entry. Please keep in mind the clear and concise results you can expect for your statement edits are much more refined and polished than my writing style on this blog!  Still, my aim to bring out your best and unique qualities, not to transform your essay to sound like Hemingway.

I hope your ERAS application has gone smoothly this year if you are a 2010/11 applicant.  It's a competitive environment needless to say.  Match Day is just around the corner, and there's always The Scramble.  As I have told all of my clients, do not rule out directly calling and applying to some of the smaller hospitals if you can't find a medical residency with a large instutition.

More later.

* Services offered and provided by do not include legal services, and the Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys in the practice of law do not apply to services offered or provided by However, we offer outstanding writing skills, and are firmly committed to confidentiality.