MD Program

Contact the Writing and Humanities Program

1193 MERF
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2600
Phone:(319) 335-8058
Fax: (319) 335-8643

  • Writing Samples

    Personal Statements: Your Turn to Talk

    Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell your story during the residency interview process. You transcript, your CV, your MSPE, and many other documents will tell the story of you as a student, but the personal statement is your chance to connect the dots between who you are as a student, a new doctor, and an individual. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Read through this tip sheet to get started with your thought process.

    One of the most difficult things about writing a personal statement is getting started. There are several ways to tell your story and it’s important that you figure out which one is for you. To help you decide on an approach that you are comfortable with, we've provided a few samples of personal statements

    Note: These sample statements should only be viewed as a way to become more comfortable with the various forms a personal statement can take. Don’t concern yourself with the content and most certainly don’t compare your experience and the statement you need to write with the examples here. Nothing is more paralyzing in the writing process than comparing your material to that of another writer.

    The best advice you can get when starting to write is to start early and get words on paper (screen, what have you). It’s a popular misconception that some people can write well and others can’t. With enough forethought (getting started sooner than later) and an appreciation of how you write best, you can write effectively, even compellingly. But the first step, the most important step, is getting words down.

    Personal Statements Workshops

    Jason Lewis will be leading two workshops on writing your personal statement. In these workshops, he will first go through some of the elements you need to consider as you work on your statement and answer any questions you might have. The second portion of the workshop will provide you with the opportunity to receive feedback on your statement, even if you only have a few sentences down. Even if you don’t have anything when you come to the workshop, we’ll spend a little time generating some words. To attend one of these workshop, sign up by choosing a date below:

    Warning: If you see an error below, try using another web browser. Google Chrome, especially, may cause errors.

    Curriculum Vitae

    A CV provides a more comprehensive view of your background than a resume. As your career progresses, you may accumulate research and teaching experience and contribute community and institutional service in addition to your clinical practice. Starting a CV early in your medical career will save time later on. We've provided a few samples to get you started.

    Get one-on-one feedback

    Sign up for a one-on-one meeting with Jason to review your personal statement or CV. Appointments open the week of 6/18 and end 8/17. To schedule your appointment, choose "Writing" at this website.