Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ready, Set, Upload your Medical Residency Personal Statements!

Good morning Medical Residency Applicants!

I hope you have all fine tuned your personal statements to upload this coming week in your ERAS forms.  I may be wrong on this, but as I understood from prior years' application processes, the personal statement is something you can change, even after you have uploaded it.  Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

The early bird does not necessarily ALWAYS get the worm.  Review your PS again to make sure it's airtight against grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.

It was a busy season for us here at  We enjoyed each and every one of our treasured clients.  Thank you so much for your loyalty, and for having passed around our name to your friends.  We hardly spent anything (both this year and last year) on advertising.  :)

If you decide to apply for your 2nd or 3rd target specialty, send us your draft for editing. It's not too late. We can help you express a passion for that specialty, even if you are not so enthusiastic about it.

Thanks again.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

AAMC Website - Writing your PS

Good morning Applicants!

As you prepare the first draft of your personal statement for a medical residency or medical fellowship application for us to edit, please consider the useful information from the AAMC website about writing your personal statement:

We have published this link before, but from time to time they update the information.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

For what it's worth - PS Tips on Youtube Video about writing your Personal Statement for a Medical Residency

Good morning Medical Residency Applicants and Medical Fellowship Applicants,

I came across an interesting video this morning about writing a personal statement for your ERAS application.  "Undergroundmed" brings up some good points. 

Remember the audience...program directors who have read 1000's of personal statements.

Avoid a CV type of information in your personal statement.

Make the PS about you.  Be yourself, because you do want a program who wants YOU, not some fabricated version of yourself. 

A catchy beginning helps.

Have a POINT in your personal statement. 

I'd like to add that having one "point" to your statement is often difficult.  Of course your aim is to obtain a residency in your target specialty, and there are roundabout ways of making this clear, whether it's an internship patient example, a personal characteristic you have or role model who has influenced you.  So I would have to disagree with sticking to ONE POINT.  You are a multifaceted individual and a unique individual who has multiple assets to offer the program. If there's any one "point,"  the point is that we want to convey your ability to do well in the target specialty program.

Before you write your first draft, scan specific programs online to see exactly what it is THEY have to offer YOU.  That would definitely help with the paragraph about what kind of program you want.

We can help you with your essay.  We do not WRITE essays.  "That won't work," as my grandmother used to say.  Even in our questionnaire based essay, we select from your answers to construct your statement. 

It's time to start if you haven't.  Relax, find a couple of hours to sit down in a quiet place and start on your draft.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Medical residency interviews, personal statements and sounding like yourself

Dear Med. Residency and Med. Fellowship applicants,
There is almost always a fresh and authentic quality to the original draft you send to us for editing.  Our goal is to bring out the best in you and to clarify what you have said, while keeping the original feel to your statement.  WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO SOUND LIKE ERNEST HEMINGWAY.  I can't emphasize enough that your personal statement needs to reflect the best you, but the best AUTHENTIC you, with your own examples and unique experiences. For our questionnaire-based personal statement, we ask you many questions about such examples and experiences, and draw exactly on those for your essay.  Bottom line is: You definitely want to live up to your personal statement during your interview.  Be yourself, soul search into your bank of experiences, include what made you decide on your particular specialty, and why you think you are suited for that specialty.
Thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What can offer you?

Good morning Medical Residency and Medical Fellowship applicants,

Our boutique service offers you a two draft process.  That means you have the ability to make corrections and improvements in our 1st draft to you; then we incorporate those changes and complete the 2nd draft. CVPersonalstatement is operated by two partners only and we also have one outstanding writer who helps us.  Our medical consultant has recently been promoted to PROGRAM DIRECTOR.  So basically you have four very dedicated and creative people working for you on your project.

Call us for more information about different levels of editing.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Body Language & Interviews

Good morning medical residency and medical fellowship applicants!

Body language and communication styles vary from country to country and from situation to situation.  For example, pointing at the listener while you speak is considered acceptable in a few settings (like mother to a naughty child), whereas in an interview and many other social or business settings, it's a definite "no-no" and considered quite offensive.   Earlier this week I came across a good article in Arab News, which I follow in my personal Twitter account.  The author, Shaden Abdulrahman, gave some very useful advice.  I'd like to add that these tips would be great to apply in many other non-interview settings, such as when taking a patient's history, morning rounds or even in nonprofessional social settings. I have learned a thing or two myself, and plan to stop my excessive nodding when other people are talking! - (that's the link, but here is the text):
1.  Bad Posture
Leaning back is lazy or arrogant, leaning forward is aggressive and slouching is just lazy. Instead, sit tall and straighten your back as much as possible. 
2. Crossed Arms
According to psychology crossing arms often signals defensiveness and resistance. Open your arms at your sides to appear approachable and receiving. This will put your interviewer at ease and make them feel comfortable communicating with you. 
3. Hands Behind Back
Clasping hands behind the back may signal resistance and could mean to the other person that you’re hiding something. It’s important that you appear open and approachable so don’t try to control your body gestures by keeping your hands still behind your back. 
4. Pointing
Pointing and excessive hands movement results in invading the other person’s space aggressively. You certainly don’t want that to happen in an interview.
5. Breaking Eye Contact
Don't stare, but try to hold your interviewers gaze for one extra second before breaking away. Do this especially at the beginning when you introduce yourself and shake hands with the interviewer.
 6. Excessive Nodding
Many people nod a lot during interviews out of anxiety and their desire to appear agreeable and friendly. Nod once or twice with a smile of agreement but don’t over do it or you will appear nervous, silly or trying too hard.
 7. Fidgeting
Stop fidgeting. It distracts your interviewer and you definitely want them to focus on what you have to say not on your moving hands or the sound of coins jingling in your pocket.
 8. Unwanted facial expressions
It is crucial for your facial expressions to match your tone. If you want to express your enthusiasm for working at the company but your facial expressions convey that the mere idea of that is torturing you, forget about being hired.
 9. Shifty Eyes
Distracted or upward eye movements can suggest someone is lying or not sure of themselves. It's important to look someone directly in the eye to convey confidence and certainty.
 10. Staring
While it's important to be confident and look the interviewer in the eye, you have to break away. Locking eyes with someone for an extended period of time can be interpreted as aggressive, not to mention creepy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Helpful Link From the American Medical Association about writing your personal statement

Good morning medical residency applicants!
I just came across this useful link on the American Medical Association website:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Soul searching - Deciding which medical specialty to pursue

You've finished your internship and the time has come to choose a specialty.  There is a test on the Student Doctor Network - which might help you make this assessment.  There are also books, one of them is How to Choose a Medical Specialty, by Anita Taylor, available on Amazon (isn't everything)....but you probably have an idea already.  Taylor's book provides some practical information about the specialties...lifestyles, current and future supply and demand of the different specialties, salaries, etc.  A piece of valuable advice Taylor offers is that you should not feel railroaded into choosing a specialty...there are other things you can do for a year while you decide, such as research, observations and working somewhere as a general doctor.   

Obviously your future specialty choice is not written in stone.  There may have been two or three rotations you loved during your internship year.  I can safely advise you not to limit yourself to one specialty for your applications, if this is the case.  Then, when you obtain interviews, you could gain a clearer picture on where you'd fit in the best.  

I could go over some of the characteristics which are desirable to have for the doctors in each specialty, but I would be preaching to the choir, as the saying goes.  Listen to your heart and try to see yourself in that field.  Visualize yourself practicing daily in a specialty, then consider another few, until you discover the one which seems the most fitting with your character and abilities. 

We hope to hear from you soon if you need help constructing your personal statement and/or CV. 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

How do you start writing your personal statement for a medical residency or medical fellowship? 

Good morning applicants! 

Starting your personal statement is probably the hardest part for most of you.  It sets the tone for the whole essay and needs to grab the program director's attention.  Sometimes there's a quote you would like as a heading.  After we read and edit your original essay, we sometimes find a quote that fits the rest of your statement and then keep on that theme throughout.  We often urge you to start chronologically with a little about your background and the values instilled in you by your family or an influential teacher.  We have seen and edited many a strong essay that begins with a vivid academic experience.

We of course can help you with your beginning too, that's our job. Many of our clients are international medical graduates, so the construction of your statement can be especially challenging.  You've come a long way, academically and probably culturally too, which makes for a fascinating and unique personal statement for your medical residency or fellowship application personal statement!  Let us help you make the best of your history, what makes you, YOU. 

If you're totally stuck, we offer a detailed QUESTIONNAIRE that can help you soul-search.  We study your questionnaire and CV, then construct your statement of purpose using the information you provide.  But I have found that many of our international medical graduates have a great ability to put together a fairly good essay, which they send to us, and we then then we edit.  You have come this far in the English language too, with all of your medical studies, USMLE preparation and strong desire to complete your medical residency program here in the United States, so it's not like English is a foreign language anymore.  Though if you feel mentally blocked on expressing yourself in your statement of purpose, please do opt for our questionnaire-based essay. 

We hope to hear from you soon:  (618)-207-3277.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy April 2014!

To the 2014 applicants...(in the slim chance you have the time to read this blog!):
I hope that you have landed the medical residency program of your dreams, one that allows for maximum learning and sharing in a friendly environment.  May God always guide you and bring you satisfaction and happiness, as well as for your future patients. 
For the 2015 applicants:
Now that we are well in to April, it's time to start thinking about applying for the Residency Match 2015. Time flies, so it's a good idea start preparing your personal statement now.  

Draft an outline of where you've been, where you want to go and your best qualities.  If you are not sure which specialty you want, narrow it down to three.  Our editors would be pleased to help you refine your statements.  We also provide a "from scratch" service which requires the doctor fill out a detailed questionnaire, from which we build the personal statement.  However I must say the the best results have usually been when the doctor writes the personal statement, submits it to us, we dive in and make corrections, he/she reviews and makes changes, and last, we incorporate the doctor's changes into the final draft.  

As usual, expect the competition to be tough, so your essay should be outstanding.  Our goal is for you to obtain the medical residency or fellowship position you want.

By the way, I'm very pleased to announce that our main MD consultant has recently been promoted to the position of PROGRAM DIRECTOR.