Personal statement thoughts

oldbearprofessor

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Since it's PS writing time coming up for applicants for the upcoming match, I thought I'd provide some of my thoughts on PS for neo. Opinions solely my own, etc. Currently I'm not in a selection role but prefer not to give private advice, focus on ideas everyone can see.

With that said, here are a few thoughts.

1. When reading a PS for fellowship, we want to know who to match you up to interview about research and whether your research interests fit well with our program. So, give us an idea of what you'd like to do, not just what you've done. We're aware that residency isn't a big research time for most, so we want to know your interests more than your accomplishments unless you have a PhD or significant lab experience you want to continue.

2. It's okay to tell us the story of the wonderful 700 g premie you took care of and motivated you to neo, but we are hearing that from every other applicant too. What about their care stood out to you? What areas would you like to learn more about?

3. You don't have to take an oath of future academic career for us, we know that's not realistic, but be (fairly) honest about your long-term goals.

4. As with every essay, grammar and spelling count. If you don't get those right, we're not sure how enthused you are.

5. As with other levels, real red flags need to be addressed, then move on. Minor stuff can be ignored. Don't whine about your 220 step 1 score.

6. We'd like to know about you a bit. So try to make the essay readable and at least reasonably personal, not just a list of goals and accomplishments in medicine.
 
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PedsLyfe88

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Thanks for doing this @oldbearprofessor. In regards to the post above, I do have a question: for #5 what constitutes something you think one should address? I am not sure what exact questions the fellowship application asks but I had to repeat MS1 and didn't touch on this in my residency PS; I only mentioned it under the, "Has your training been extended?" (paraphrase) question. I figured I would follow this same line of thinking for fellowship-- thoughts?

-Cheers!
 

oldbearprofessor

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I would not discuss repeating MS1 in your essay beyond anything you have to indicate. If your steps were okay, and clinical residency performance good we aren't gonna care about MS1 issues. In the interview, it MAY come up (probably won't) and you can likely give a "needed to learn to study" kind of answer. Focus the essay on positives. On the other hand if you had some truly major red flag in med school or residency (eg. DUI), that would need to be addressed.
 
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bubleeshaark

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One year later....

Thanks for the advice @oldbearprofessor! If you don't mind...

My passion is clinical neonatology and interest in research is small. What would your advice be for those of us not particularly interested in research? Is it a red flag to not have a research niche of interest? How would I address this in my personal statement?

Thank you much!

Edit: 3rd year resident applying this year.
 

oldbearprofessor

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One year later....

Thanks for the advice @oldbearprofessor! If you don't mind...

My passion is clinical neonatology and interest in research is small. What would your advice be for those of us not particularly interested in research? Is it a red flag to not have a research niche of interest? How would I address this in my personal statement?

Thank you much!

Edit: 3rd year resident applying this year.
Like it or not, research is a central component of pediatric fellowships, including neo. However, that does not mean BENCH or lab based research. A lot of fellows do data analysis, quality type projects (they need to be fairly sophisticated for this), or clinical intervention type studies. Tell us what areas interest you (e.g. nutrition, BPD, neuro) and what things you might like to answer about those areas.
 
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mvenus929

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Like it or not, research is a central component of pediatric fellowships, including neo. However, that does not mean BENCH or lab based research. A lot of fellows do data analysis, quality type projects (they need to be fairly sophisticated for this), or clinical intervention type studies. Tell us what areas interest you (e.g. nutrition, BPD, neuro) and what things you might like to answer about those areas.
Or educational projects! You can design a curriculum, implement it, and evaluate it and have that counted as well :)
 

bubleeshaark

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Like it or not, research is a central component of pediatric fellowships, including neo. However, that does not mean BENCH or lab based research. A lot of fellows do data analysis, quality type projects (they need to be fairly sophisticated for this), or clinical intervention type studies. Tell us what areas interest you (e.g. nutrition, BPD, neuro) and what things you might like to answer about those areas.

I appreciate the reply. I can definitely find some quality improvement projects I will enjoy doing. Thank you.
 
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