Importance of the Personal Statement for Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Application
The personal statement is a critical part of your application to pediatric cardiology fellowship. As with most medical fellowships, getting into a pediatric cardiology program is extremely competitive. There will be an abundance of well-qualified applicants with qualifications equal to your own. The personal statement is a way to stand out from the crowd and show you are a good fit for the program. When all else is essentially equal it is the personal statement that can tilt things in your favor.
Documents to Submit When Applying to Pediatric Cardiology Programs
There may be some slight variation in document requirements from program to program but be prepared to submit the following when applying for a fellowship in pediatric cardiology:
- ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) application
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resume
- Three letters of Reference (One letter should be from the director of your pediatric program)
- USMLE transcripts
- MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation)
- Official medical school transcript
- Personal Statement
Some cardiology residency programs may also request a photograph. Check with individual programs to see if there any further document requirements.
Rules for Writing a Pediatric Cardiology Personal Statement
In most cases there are no real official rules for writing your personal statement other than length, which is generally limited to one page. However there are some “unofficial rules” for writing personal statements. Program directors and others who will read your personal statement expect you to answer a number of questions they have. Your personal statement should address the following:
- Why you chose the pediatric cardiology sub-specialty? Having an answer to this is critical. Why would they accept you if you don’t know why you chose the sub-specialty?
- What do you bring to the program? They want to know the skills, experiences and personal characteristics you have that will be an asset in the program that aren’t included in other parts of your application
- What do you expect to get from the program?
- What specific plans do you have after completing the program? Future career goals you have directly related to the program.
Answering these questions is essential to getting into a pediatric cardiology program. Also, you can check some alternative particular fields, for instance best cardiac anesthesia fellowships.
Tips for Writing the Personal Statement for Pediatric Cardiology Program Application
Writing a personal statement is often difficult for applicants. Here are a few tips that may prove useful in the process:
- Be specific: Avoid using general statements in your statement that don’t tell admissions anything personal about you. Explain your motivations for choosing pediatric cardiology as a sub-specialty and use examples to back up statements and claims
- Display your passion for the field: Programs prefer to admit those who are passionate about the field of pediatric cardiology. However, avoid saying you are passionate. Demonstrate your passion through examples.
- Get off to a fast start: You need to grab and hold the attention of the reader from the beginning of your personal statement. Programs may receive hundreds of applications and boring personal statements don’t get remembered
- Use a clear concise writing style: Simple easy to understand language that is direct and to the point is best.
Common Mistakes Made in Personal Statements for Pediatric Cardiology Program Application
Some types of mistakes show up repeatedly in fellowship personal statements. Avoid making the following mistakes in your personal statement:
- Second guessing admissions: Don’t write what you think admissions officials want to read. Write about what you feel and think.
- Using quotes and clichés: Program officials would far prefer you use your own words in your personal statement rather than quoting somebody else.
- Discussing why you didn’t choose a different sub-specialty: Nobody involved in the selection process wants to know why you didn’t choose another field. They want to know why you selected pediatric cardiology as your field.
- Listing accomplishments: Reading a list of accomplishments is boring. It is also information that is probably included elsewhere in your application