Beat 43,157 Match Registrants: Important ERAS Residency Personal Statement Tips

This residency personal statement to-do list will guide you to success.

Beat 43,157 Match Registrants: Important Residency Personal Statement Tips.

So, it’s time to write your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) residency personal statement for the National Residency Match Program (NRMP), but you need a little guidance.

We’ve got you covered:

Residency Match Personal Statements ERAS Residency Personal Statement

What should you write about in your residency personal statement?

Let’s create a residency match personal statement plan.

Of course:

This “residency match plan” will be similar to the successful plans that we’ve created for thousands of our students over the last decade.

Let’s get started:

Below is a list that will help you get started.  Also, There is a successful example residency match essay.


Whether you’re writing a family medicine, internal medicine, or surgery personal statement, you’ve come to the right place.

ERAS Residency Personal Statement.  Where should you start?

Start with something catchy to engage your reader. The first one or two sentences are pivotal. If the opening of your essay bores your reader, he may stop reading.

And then:

End with a strong conclusion to leave a lasting impression.

Never make this common residency match mistake:

Do not use cliché phrases such as “I like internal medicine because I enjoy working with patients.”

What else?

Avoid quotations. The personal statement is about you.

Remember this mantra, show don’t tell.

Remember this mantra, show don’t tell.

It is better to “show” through example or anecdote rather than “tell.”  Don’t worry, we’ll repeat this several times so you don’t forget.

Here’s an example:

Instead of writing “I find the specialty of internal medicine interesting,” explain why. Specifically, you find the specialty interesting and what experiences have led to this conclusion.

Avoid this mistake:

Avoid general statements like: “It was rewarding.”

Try this:

Instead offer specific details about what made an experience rewarding.

Is your paragraph too generic?

With every paragraph, ask yourself if someone else could have written it and, if the answer is yes, go back and make the paragraph unique. You don’t want your written work to be generic.

ERAS personal statement, family medicine personal statement, residency personal statement

Do not regurgitate your CV.

So, don’t write about something that can be read elsewhere in your application.

Again, do not repeat yourself.

With each sentence, ask yourself, “Have I already said that?” If the answer is yes, hit delete.

Remember to use an active voice: 

Use the active rather than passive voice.


Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs.

What else?

Your personal statement for residency should be authentic. No matter what advice others have given you, your essay must be a reflection of you.  Of course, it must be, as the title suggests, personal.


Don’t overuse the word “I.”

Residency FREE 15 minute consultation
ERAS personal statement format ERAS personal statement character limit ERAS personal statement word limit

And, remember these 3 winners:

First, Be self promoting, but not arrogant.

And, don’t be negative, or preach.

Finally, remember this one.

Avoid medical jargon and abbreviations.

Looking for a residency personal statement example?

The most common approach to the personal statement is what I will call the traditional approach.  With this approach, the applicant conveys her interest in the specialty, when that interest began and what she has done to pursue the particular specialty.

So, read the ERAS personal statement example below and understand what MyERAS wants:

  • format
  • character limit
  • ERAS personal statement word limit

Sample ERAS Residency Personal Statement

Sample Residency Personal Statement Page 1
Page 1

ERAS personal statement sample (continued).

Residency Personal Statement Example Page 2
Page 2

Where can I find further ERAS document inspiration to beat 43,157 match registrants?

1) First, click here to visit the Student Doctor Network website to find out how other students are preparing to write their residency personal statements.
2) Then, click here to see what students on the Reddit medical student forum are saying about their personal statements.
3) Finally, your application materials must be authentic, but sometimes a little inspiration helps. Read How To Be an All-Star Residency Match Applicant: From the First Year of Medical School to Match Day. A MedEdits Guide. There you will find examples of ‘successful’ personal statements and application entries. I would like more resources about residency personal statements and how to apply.

RELATED: How To Get A Residency Interview

Remember, for those of you who love to drink coffee and stay up until the roosters come out read on. Here’s a great “go to” list where you can read about more personal statement and application topics.
1) Click here to visit to learn about ERAS, the allopathic (M.D) application service.

This post was adapted from How To Be an All-Star Residency Match Applicant: From the First Year of Medical School to Match Day. A MedEdits Guide. by Jessica Freedman MD

Looking for help on your residency personal statement?  Click here and contact Mededits.

The MedEdits Newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here