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Dear Dermatology Applicant

Dear Dermatology Applicant Each year we review more than 200 applications for a limited number of dermatology residency positions. It is a rewarding and very challengingexperience. With the Electronic Residency Application Service system, the application format is similar for every applicant. Thus, many applicants look the sameon paper, yet we know that each of you is unique and has something special to offer to our dermatology program. Your upbringing, personal and past experiences,education, and accomplishments are examples of what make you unique. Your task is to bring who you are to life on these computer screens and sheetsof paper. A good place to start is with your personal statement. Crafting a personal statement can be more difficult than writing a manuscript for publication.Thought and creativity are required to let the reader know who you are. An outside perspective, from a friend or family member, on the angle of yourpersonal statement can be helpful. The polished personal statement is a product of multiple revisions and reworkings. Make your personal statement personal.1 Here are some of the common themes that we see year after year: (1) I am a visualperson and dermatology is a visual field; (2) I can see a wide range of patients, the young and old; (3) I enjoy procedures. ... These are all well known butnot unique reasons for choosing dermatology. Do not regurgitate your CV in your personal statement. We do not want to read your CV twice. The bottomline is to balance why you are interested in the field with who you are, weighing more heavily on "who you are." Another trend we notice in applications is the large amount of dermatology experience you have had before the day you start your dermatology residency.A few applications from fourth-year medical students have more than 10 dermatology publications. That type of academic interest and vigor is great but rememberthat 4 years of medical school are meant to serve as an introduction to all of the disciplines in medicine. Excellence in all clinical rotations indicatesan appreciation and knowledge of the "whole" of medicine. Tunnel vision, focusing only on dermatology in order to pad a CV, turns us off. We realize that you need to get your "foot in the door" by doing a dermatology elective and possibly spending an elective month completing a dermatology-focusedproject. An away rotation at another institution is a good way of getting a program to "know you." This pursuit of dermatology should confirm your desireto pursue a career of lifelong learning in dermatology. But do not go overboard !What impresses us is a medical school experience that takes it all in, notjust dermatology. Think carefully about your letters of recommendation. These letters usually come from colleagues we know in the field. Most of us also know yourchairperson or residency program director. One of your letters should come from one of them. That letter should be strong and personal. Letters of recommendationcan separate you from other applicants. For the interview process, we instruct our medical students to be themselves. We tell them to answer every question from their heart—not give theanswer they think the interviewer expects or wants. If you earned an interview, you made the final cut and that is the time to find out if you are a "fit"for the program. The only way that can be determined is by being yourself. Try to relax and enjoy the interview experience. Good luck! Correspondence: Dr Jeffrey Miller, 500 University Dr, UPC II, Suite 4300, Hershey PA 17033 (jmiller4@psu.edu). References 1. Heymann WR Advice to the dermatology residency applicant Arch Dermatol. 2000;136123- 124PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Dermatology American Medical Association

Dear Dermatology Applicant

Abstract

Each year we review more than 200 applications for a limited number of dermatology residency positions. It is a rewarding and very challengingexperience. With the Electronic Residency Application Service system, the application format is similar for every applicant. Thus, many applicants look the sameon paper, yet we know that each of you is unique and has something special to offer to our dermatology program. Your upbringing, personal and past experiences,education, and accomplishments are...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-987X
eISSN
1538-3652
DOI
10.1001/archderm.140.7.884-a
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Each year we review more than 200 applications for a limited number of dermatology residency positions. It is a rewarding and very challengingexperience. With the Electronic Residency Application Service system, the application format is similar for every applicant. Thus, many applicants look the sameon paper, yet we know that each of you is unique and has something special to offer to our dermatology program. Your upbringing, personal and past experiences,education, and accomplishments are examples of what make you unique. Your task is to bring who you are to life on these computer screens and sheetsof paper. A good place to start is with your personal statement. Crafting a personal statement can be more difficult than writing a manuscript for publication.Thought and creativity are required to let the reader know who you are. An outside perspective, from a friend or family member, on the angle of yourpersonal statement can be helpful. The polished personal statement is a product of multiple revisions and reworkings. Make your personal statement personal.1 Here are some of the common themes that we see year after year: (1) I am a visualperson and dermatology is a visual field; (2) I can see a wide range of patients, the young and old; (3) I enjoy procedures. ... These are all well known butnot unique reasons for choosing dermatology. Do not regurgitate your CV in your personal statement. We do not want to read your CV twice. The bottomline is to balance why you are interested in the field with who you are, weighing more heavily on "who you are." Another trend we notice in applications is the large amount of dermatology experience you have had before the day you start your dermatology residency.A few applications from fourth-year medical students have more than 10 dermatology publications. That type of academic interest and vigor is great but rememberthat 4 years of medical school are meant to serve as an introduction to all of the disciplines in medicine. Excellence in all clinical rotations indicatesan appreciation and knowledge of the "whole" of medicine. Tunnel vision, focusing only on dermatology in order to pad a CV, turns us off. We realize that you need to get your "foot in the door" by doing a dermatology elective and possibly spending an elective month completing a dermatology-focusedproject. An away rotation at another institution is a good way of getting a program to "know you." This pursuit of dermatology should confirm your desireto pursue a career of lifelong learning in dermatology. But do not go overboard !What impresses us is a medical school experience that takes it all in, notjust dermatology. Think carefully about your letters of recommendation. These letters usually come from colleagues we know in the field. Most of us also know yourchairperson or residency program director. One of your letters should come from one of them. That letter should be strong and personal. Letters of recommendationcan separate you from other applicants. For the interview process, we instruct our medical students to be themselves. We tell them to answer every question from their heart—not give theanswer they think the interviewer expects or wants. If you earned an interview, you made the final cut and that is the time to find out if you are a "fit"for the program. The only way that can be determined is by being yourself. Try to relax and enjoy the interview experience. Good luck! Correspondence: Dr Jeffrey Miller, 500 University Dr, UPC II, Suite 4300, Hershey PA 17033 (jmiller4@psu.edu). References 1. Heymann WR Advice to the dermatology residency applicant Arch Dermatol. 2000;136123- 124PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

Journal

Archives of DermatologyAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 1, 2004

Keywords: dermatology

References