Short White Coat is a blog about learning to be a doctor. Posts appear here as part of White Coat Notes. Ishani Ganguli is a fifth-year Harvard medical student. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm applying to residency, the next stage of medical training. This involves the hoops familiar to most applicants for most things -- transcripts, letters of recommendation, descriptions of extracurricular activities. ...
And, of course, the personal statement. It is an exercise in capturing our essence while balancing superstardom with humility and data points with reflection. It requires us to organize our experiences into a coherent narrative and grant their culmination the appropriate air of inevitability.
It may not always be entirely personal, according to a study published recently by residency directors at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
I've already documented why I want to go into internal medicine/primary care. When I sat down to make this case to residency programs, I got into self-reflective mode by scrolling through similar statements I'd made to apply to college and medical school. At each stage, the musings have become more directed, the goals more concrete.
At the risk of sounding self-indulgent (but then again, I have a blog), part of me enjoys writing personal statements because of the chance to collect what seemed at the time to be arbitrary life decisions and recast them as fortuitous.
Looking back on my brief career, it is somewhat comforting to see, charted out, how that series of decisions, lucky breaks, and mistakes has brought me to this point, a medical school senior about to become a full-fledged doctor and train in earnest. That feeling isn't so easy to fake.
About white coat notes
|White Coat Notes covers the latest from the health care industry, hospitals, doctors offices, labs, insurers, and the corridors of government. Chelsea Conaboy previously covered health care for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Write her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @cconaboy.|
Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor
Elizabeth Comeau, Senior Health Producer