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Internship VIRMP Personal Statement Format

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lgs9109

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I know it's a bit early to be thinking about the match for next year, but my professional development rotation is having us write a cover letter/personal statement and resume/CV for our "next step". Thought this was a good time to get my first rough draft written down!

My question is how to format the personal statement. I saw that it's a PDF upload opposed to a copy/paste into a box format. Did you include a heading similar to your CV? Did you write out 3 paragraphs with no headings?

I've read some good info about what to include, but haven't had any luck on the format. Thanks for any help!!
 

jmo1012

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I don't think there are any official guidelines, but some tips from someone who read a bunch of apps this year - try to fill a page but don't go over 1. Be unique...but don't write in a wacky out there style (someone sort of wrote us poetry and it didn't go over very well...). Make sure it is proofread by people for grammar and spelling. Don't write statements that end in ... And then personally, I think it should tell a story about who you are, what your goals are, how you have been influenced along the way, and how you will be a benefit to the practices you are looking at. Don't say the same thing over and over again and elaborate on your thoughts with examples.
 

lgs9109

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I don't think there are any official guidelines, but some tips from someone who read a bunch of apps this year - try to fill a page but don't go over 1. Be unique...but don't write in a wacky out there style (someone sort of wrote us poetry and it didn't go over very well...). Make sure it is proofread by people for grammar and spelling. Don't write statements that end in ... And then personally, I think it should tell a story about who you are, what your goals are, how you have been influenced along the way, and how you will be a benefit to the practices you are looking at. Don't say the same thing over and over again and elaborate on your thoughts with examples.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply!
 

lgs9109

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Thanks - I found CSU and Tuft's virmp info but hadn't seen this and it has new info on it. Unrelated question if you're up for it, I see you graduated from NCSU. Can you speak to their small animal rotating internship at all? I've heard it's brutal, but those claims are very vague and I don't want to take them at face value. They opened up a couple new internship spots under an internal med focused rotating internship that is highly intriguing to me.
 

Bracco Pointer

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It was recommended to me to have a full formal business letter format with a signature at the bottom. I think it ended up looking very sharp that way. Focus on what you bring to the program, why they are a good fit for you, and your plans. Be specific whenever possible and provide examples... but avoid metaphors and story telling. I feel like vet school personal statements tended to be more flowery and emotional, but the letter of intent is essentially a cover letter for a job application. I would have multiple people read your letter, preferably experienced clinicians who have read LOIs before. These are just the things I've found while working on mine (n = 1). Good luck!
 

lgs9109

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Thank you everyone! My question has been answered :)
 

fromthebox

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Thanks - I found CSU and Tuft's virmp info but hadn't seen this and it has new info on it. Unrelated question if you're up for it, I see you graduated from NCSU. Can you speak to their small animal rotating internship at all? I've heard it's brutal, but those claims are very vague and I don't want to take them at face value. They opened up a couple new internship spots under an internal med focused rotating internship that is highly intriguing to me.
I had a phone "soft interview" with NC State this match. They were my #2 rank in the end. The IntMed doc I spoke with addressed the "brutal" nature well, they are aware it has been very challenging the last couple years, and those IM interns will take transfers on one of the weekend days, making the schedule not as 7 day/week on IM rotations. In my hour on the phone I got the impression that it is probably on par with most programs nationally to slightly more stress, but that they are working on bringing it in line rather than pushing for it to be brutal.
 
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deleted498041

Thanks - I found CSU and Tuft's virmp info but hadn't seen this and it has new info on it. Unrelated question if you're up for it, I see you graduated from NCSU. Can you speak to their small animal rotating internship at all? I've heard it's brutal, but those claims are very vague and I don't want to take them at face value. They opened up a couple new internship spots under an internal med focused rotating internship that is highly intriguing to me.
You're going to hear that vague comment about brutality for most big internships that have existed long enough to have a reputation. NCSU, Angell, AMC, CSU, Tufts, Gulf Coast, Oradell, VCA West LA, ASG -- all of these places have that reputation. What you should do, and really what everyone should do, is contact current and previous interns and ask them what questions you have. Most places should be willing to give you their information if asked, although I certainly had a couple that would not provide it for me. That threw up a big red flag. Then, depending on what you hear, you'll have to decide if the intensity of that internship is worth it to you.
 

Doktor Timo

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NC State does seem to have a particularly rough reputation. I have spoken to one former intern who told me that even though she was able to get her top residency she still doesn't think her internship was worth it. I know multiple other interns who have classmates who are current or former NC State interns who all have said the same thing.

Clearly all internships arw difficult and exhausting, but that reputation seems to be especially bad there. Even former Cornell or Angell interns I've spoken to haven't been so negative.
 

jmo1012

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NC State does seem to have a particularly rough reputation. I have spoken to one former intern who told me that even though she was able to get her top residency she still doesn't think her internship was worth it. I know multiple other interns who have classmates who are current or former NC State interns who all have said the same thing.

Clearly all internships arw difficult and exhausting, but that reputation seems to be especially bad there. Even former Cornell or Angell interns I've spoken to haven't been so negative.
I watched how brutally those interns were treated as a 4th year and can easily say my internship treated me way, way betted. Some interns don't even match to residencies right out of that program and got stuck in specialty internships for an extra year which seems incredibly terrible.
 

Doktor Timo

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I watched how brutally those interns were treated as a 4th year and can easily say my internship treated me way, way betted. Some interns don't even match to residencies right out of that program and got stuck in specialty internships for an extra year which seems incredibly terrible.

If you're a 2015 grad I think the former intern I've spoken to was probably in that group you worked with. She was extremely critical of the program.
 
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jmo1012

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If you're a 2015 grad I think the former intern I've spoken to was probably in that group you worked with. She was extremely critical of the program.
Quite a few of them didn't match to residencies that year which was shocking
 

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I wouldn't do an internship at NCSU after being a student there. I mean, I guess I don't want to do an internship anywhere so maybe my opinion is moot, but damn were they worked hard.
 

hygebeorht

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I gotta say, the program seems to have improved. At least this year's intern class seems pretty happy. Most of them matched...some to specialty internships, but there you go. They certainly work hard but last year's class HATED life, I hear. This year, not as bad.

Edit: a friend of mine who is a current 4th year matched here as a rotating intern, so she will be able to report back re: the degree of difficulty as an NCSU 4th year student v. NCSU intern.
 
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lgs9109

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I gotta say, the program seems to have improved. At least this year's intern class seems pretty happy. Most of them matched...some to specialty internships, but there you go. They certainly work hard but last year's class HATED life, I hear. This year, not as bad.

Edit: a friend of mine who is a current 4th year matched here as a rotating intern, so she will be able to report back re: the degree of difficulty as an NCSU 4th year student v. NCSU intern.

Interesting. I hope they continue to improve the QOL for interns in the program. I'd love to hear her thoughts after she starts!
 
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deleted498041

I watched how brutally those interns were treated as a 4th year and can easily say my internship treated me way, way betted. Some interns don't even match to residencies right out of that program and got stuck in specialty internships for an extra year which seems incredibly terrible.
Do you think the residents are treated just as harshly? I was lucky enough to match to an internship I really like, although I know it'll be grueling, but I'm starting to expand my horizons for residency search next year.
 

hygebeorht

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Nope, of course it depends on the department and the seniors etc. Your specialty is the biggest factor regarding your QOL, ex. medicine v. derm. Honestly, the interns here are pretty happy for the most part this year. I know NCSU has a grim reputation re: internship, and they work the interns hard, but the intern director really fights for the interns and they are a tight group. All the residents I've met have been happy (with a few exceptions...I think those represent personality issues). What specialty are you considering?
 

jmo1012

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Do you think the residents are treated just as harshly? I was lucky enough to match to an internship I really like, although I know it'll be grueling, but I'm starting to expand my horizons for residency search next year.
Idk that they are necessarily treated harshly, but they work way harder than any other residents I've met. Tons of on call, particularly the surgery department. I remember being on surgery with residents who had been called in for many hours each night of the week. The trade of course from that residency is that you are getting an excellent education.
 
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deleted498041

Idk that they are necessarily treated harshly, but they work way harder than any other residents I've met. Tons of on call, particularly the surgery department. I remember being on surgery with residents who had been called in for many hours each night of the week. The trade of course from that residency is that you are getting an excellent education.
Oh good, the department I want to be in! I've always been of the opinion that something like that is worth it if the education is exceptional, so it's good to know that at least you get a quality education as a result!
 

jmo1012

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Oh good, the department I want to be in! I've always been of the opinion that something like that is worth it if the education is exceptional, so it's good to know that at least you get a quality education as a result!
Yeah, although it you burn out ing he process...some people are cut out for that, others aren't. Just something to strongly consider when you are making your choices. I ultimately decided that although I love what I'm doing, I wanted a program that valued me as a person in addition to why I'm there and I was lucky to match into a program with some fantastic mentors who also believe in not killing us.
 
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SocialStigma

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Oh good, the department I want to be in! I've always been of the opinion that something like that is worth it if the education is exceptional, so it's good to know that at least you get a quality education as a result!

There are definitely sx residency programs out there where you get a great education but residents are still treated fairly, so you don't have to choose one or the other. I still applied to programs that had a reputation for being tough on residents but I definitely ranked them low on my list.
 
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deleted498041

There are definitely sx residency programs out there where you get a great education but residents are still treated fairly, so you don't have to choose one or the other. I still applied to programs that had a reputation for being tough on residents but I definitely ranked them low on my list.
For sure. I've been lucky enough to be exposed to some this year that offer great education and great treatment, and then some that are lacking in either or both aspects. Definitely something I'll have to be looking into a little further this coming year, though.
Yeah, although it you burn out ing he process...some people are cut out for that, others aren't. Just something to strongly consider when you are making your choices. I ultimately decided that although I love what I'm doing, I wanted a program that valued me as a person in addition to why I'm there and I was lucky to match into a program with some fantastic mentors who also believe in not killing us.
You're right. That logic drove a lot of my ranking this year. I feel like, at least in my part of the country, there are a few private practices that are the big competitive ones every year that are always recommended. I left at least one of them off my list and never applied just because I heard, time and time again, that they were just mean. Despite their amazing case load, incredible clinicians, and great quality of medicine they were just plain mean to their interns. Some people can totally thrive in that environment, and while I could probably deal with it for a year, I'd much rather be happy coming to work every day. Well... most days ;)
 

Doktor Timo

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Ultimately the best thing you can do is reach out to current interns and get their impressions. I did that for every internship I applied to and ended up not ranking two places because of the feedback I got. Of course, it would have been an even better idea to do that before I started applying, but clinics....
 
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