Looking for personal statement examples to get a better idea of what to write? Reading some is a great place to start as you begin drafting your own personal statement and work on your residency app. It can be tricky to know what to write and how to write what motivated you to study anesthesiology and why you are passionate about a career in the specialty. In this blog, we’ll look at some anesthesiology residency personal statement examples and some tips for writing an awesome personal statement.
Anesthesiology is an interesting and rewarding specialty and securing an anesthesiology residency match is generally less competitive than some other sought-after specialties. Anesthesiology has a high match rate at 94.9% for US MD seniors, so it is not considered one of the to match into.
Anesthesiology as a medical career requires a great deal of skill and broad base of medical knowledge, particularly in internal medicine. It also demands a good level of surgical skill, dexterity and precision. On top of this, anesthesiologists need to be cool and calm under pressure, able to adapt to changing situations quickly and with authority. They need to be excellent communicators with patients and their fellow medical staff team members. Anesthesiologists are crucial in critical medical situations, and can literally make the difference between life and death, so it’s a challenging but rewarding specialty to pursue.
If you’re curious about will be, anesthesiology requires a 5-year long residency training and demands a great deal of skill and excellence. But it also has one of the highest rates of job satisfaction among medical professionals, and anesthesiologists are the highest paid medical profession in the US.
Applying for an anesthesiology residency means you will be part of the NRMP match. For US MD seniors, you’ll be applying through the , whereas Canadian applicants will be applying through for their residency match.
After spending 5 years as an EMT, I made the life-changing decision to go to medical school. My plan was to explore working in an emergency department so I could keep using the skills I had gained as an EMT. On the more extreme side, I was considering becoming a trauma surgeon so I could take my skills to the next level. I wanted to find a specialty as a doctor that would complement the skills I had and also push me into an entirely new realm. Soon enough, though I came to the realization that my possible new career paths were leading me right back to the origin point. I wanted to go back to school and stop being an EMT because I needed a break from the work, and I needed a change. If I did fulfill my wish to work in emergency medicine or surgery, I would instead be adding on more of the aspects of the job I wanted to change.
Working as an EMT is very rewarding, but it can have its setbacks. If you’re lucky, you will have a “boring” career where you won’t see any terrible, truly traumatizing calls. But not all of us are so fortunate. It’s true that not every call is to an awful accident or disaster. But there are always calls that stay with you. It was one such call that has stayed with me, that prompted me to make this change in my career trajectory. And it was the call that convinced me my future was in anesthesiology and not surgery or emergency med.
When we arrived at the scene of this collision, its easy to overlook something. Contrary to what we think, vehicle collisions don’t always leave a giant trail to follow. The car had bowled through the guardrail in bad weather and careened straight into the ravine on the other side. A bent guardrail, not entirely uncommon, was the only sign if you didn’t know what to look for. It takes precious minutes to gear up and descend a steep ravine with ropes and harnesses and helmets. Our headlights eventually illuminated the sight of the crumpled car and its two passengers. I was on the driver’s side, working to cut through to the patient, while my partner rescued the passenger. I’d had plenty of patients be miraculously conscious and talking with me as I worked, but it’s always amazing how much pain the brain can numb us to. When a patient tells you he can’t feel anything, it stops your heart. When he passes out, it goes into overdrive. I worked with this patient, still pinned inside the car, for untold minutes before I was able to get him back. We carried him out of that ravine and into the ambulance all the way to the hospital. I stayed with him the entire time, monitoring his vitals. He remained unconscious, but I handed him off to the ER staff with the hope that he would make it through. As an EMT you don’t get to find out. You’re the first responder, the person responsible for keeping someone alive until they can get to the hospital. It started the desire to be the person in there with the patient, seeing them through, instead of being the one to discover and rescue them.
Anesthesiology appeals to me because it will allow me to further develop my skillset and demand an even greater amount of training and discipline from me. But it will steer me away from the more demanding and stressful aspects of my former career. I know as an anesthesiologist my job will not always be routine and calm, but I have shown I can roll with the punches and adjust to unexpected situations. But as a career this specialty will give me room to breathe, so I can focus on helping patients, easing their pain. As an anesthesiologist you’re a critical part of the team. As an EMT, even if many others working with you, it can often feel lonely. You against the problem, with the stakes literally life and death. In anesthesiology the stakes are the same, but you’re not the only lifeline.
I believe my experiences and skills will make me an ideal anesthesiologist. I have always been sure of what I wanted to achieve in my medical career, and I believe this specialty will be the best way for me to fulfill it in a way that both helps patients and helps me to keep growing as a medical professional.
Still deciding on your residency career? Check out this infographic on resident career counseling services.
I remember the first time I was able to watch a child succeed. As a teenager, I took on some part-time babysitting jobs to bring in extra cash. I rotated with a few different families in the neighborhood, but there was one child, Casey, who stood out. All kids have unique and naturally captivating personalities, but Casey was a neon pink light on a string of Christmas lights. She was loud and passionate and colorful. She loved dance more than anything. When I watched her compete in her dance company’s Spring Recital, executing the movements she’d spent so many weeks perfecting, the biggest smile on her face, it occurred to me how amazing it is to witness a child succeed in their goals, and how humbling it feels to be a supporting pillar for them.
Casey’s journey to the Spring Recital had setbacks, obstacles and plenty of work. But her optimism, natural talent and hard work saw her through. Kids are resilient, no matter the challenge. As a volunteer at the Miller Foundation Children’s Hospital, this was proven to me over and over as I witnessed the journeys of dozens of kids fighting the toughest battles anyone can face. Whether they were undergoing chemo, facing a trauma or getting a commonplace operation, these kids faced it with all the bravery and resilience Casey had shown me in preparing for her dance recital. With Casey, it was endless practice, encouragement, and advice. The rest was on her. With the children I worked with in the hospital, it was difficult at first to accept that I couldn’t fight the battle for them. All I could do was be a supporting character, showing them care and encouragement and positivity. It was up to them to do the rest. And just like Casey taking her final bow, they blew me away every time.
In working with children for so many years, I came to realize how important and how underrated it is. Parents, I know, want to decide the outcome of all their children’s efforts, to make sure they always reach their goals. But being there and supporting them often does so much to counter the fear of an unfamiliar and scary situation. Being a calm, steady presence gives kids something to hold onto when they’re undergoing a procedure or even getting a needle in the arm. In what will be some of the most frightening scenarios in a young child’s life, it was incredibly fulfilling for me to be able to hold a hand or offer words of encouragement and see the tiniest bit of a smile in return.
As I continued with my medical studies, I realized my original dream of becoming a pediatrician could be adjusted. As an anesthesiologist, I can be that calming, soothing person who is with a child undergoing a scary medical procedure, walking them through, offering support, seeing them through to process. I would not have missed Casey’s recital performance for the world and knowing that my support meant something to her makes all my efforts worth it. I can only imagine how magnified those feelings are for sick kids facing the hardest battles they will ever face, knowing they have someone in their corner. It is my goal to show up for kids like this, to soothe their pain, to talk with them through their fears, to ensure they know they’re not going through this alone.
I have continued to work at the Miller Foundation Children’s Hospital as a volunteer and was fortunate to be able to shadow some of our best anesthesiologists. One of them was also kind enough to write one of my recommendation letters. In the future, I plan to pursue a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology, so I might realize my goal and keep working with all those bright, beautiful kids who inspire me to follow their example.
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I have always prided myself on being the type of person to take action and do what needs to be done. I have never been the kind of person who sits idle and have always had at least two hobbies on the go at the same time I threw myself into athletics, academics and extracurriculars. I’ve always had a multitude of interest and an abundance of energy. I participated in clubs, music lessons, sports, leadership clubs, mathlete decathlons. I was constantly looking for the next challenge, the next big thing to learn or achieve or complete. As a classic overachiever, I strived to do everything. My one problem was trying to do everything at once, all the time.
When I applied for medical school, my achievements and drive for excellence and diversity in my interests was a huge plus. It helped me succeed at school, balance my studies, work and personal life. It ensured I fought against medical student burnout by staying engaged and hungry to keep learning and experiencing everything medical school had to offer me. I soaked up every lesson and new opportunity I could, hardly pausing to take a breath, much less slow down. Just as I’d had so much trouble narrowing down my interests and ambitions to one singular goal, I struggled in med school to choose a specialty, to focus on just one thing. I wanted to try too many things. Everything was new and interesting, and I could see myself doing any of them. But I knew eventually I would need to find my place. And it was in medical school I experienced something that changed my entire perspective.
The rotation I most looked forward to was my turn in gynecology and obstetrics. Maybe not the most popular rotation, but I had held onto a passion for women’s advocacy and health from my high school and university days, and I found the prospect of working in obstetrics ranked just a bit higher on the list than some other equally fascinating specialties. While assisting with a pregnant patient who was due to be induced, complications came up and her blood pressure dropped. The head of the medical team rushed in, directing me and my colleagues. As expected, I jumped into action, but our initial efforts produced no changes. The anesthesiologist arrived on scene in what I think was just in time. They stepped right in to take over the patient’s care and were able to successfully intubate her so she could be taken into surgery for an emergency c-section. Throughout the tense ordeal, which lasted only a few minutes, I was blown away by the calm confidence of the anesthesiologist. I know in a crisis I can think on my feet, take action and get the job done, but my heart will be racing and my mind whirling. The anesthesiologist approached the same emergent situation with a level of cool headedness that inspired me. Seeing them act as the patient’s literal lifeline while the team transported her to the OR, keep their calm and intent focus, I realized how often we forget that life-saving care doesn’t rely on one capable person directing a team. It requires a capable team, and it requires a teammate who can not only do it all but do the one critical thing perfectly.
Anesthesiology will be a perfect match for me, as it will allow me to help people in a direct and rewarding way. It also matches well with my natural demeanor and action-oriented personality. I believe anesthesiology will give me the focus and calm I have wanted to achieve, by allowing me to hone my talents and energies into a life-saving and critical skillset. My goal is to pursue a career in obstetric anesthesiology, so I can continue to work with mothers and mothers-to-be, advocating for women’s health and well-being. I believe if there were more anesthesiologists such as the one I met, that women preparing to give birth would have one more lifeline in the delivery room and more of a chance to deliver safely for themselves and their newborns.
1. Is anesthesiology residency competitive?
Anesthesiology is not considered the most competitive residency. For US MD seniors, the match rate is very high at 94.9%. It is also considered a specialty that is more friendly towards international medical graduates and DO seniors.
2. How long should a personal statement for residency be?
A residency personal statement is usually about one page long, or between 500-750 words.
3. How should I start a personal statement for residency?
Start your personal statement off with a “hook” or attention-grabbing first sentence. It’s a good idea to start with a strong statement or start telling a story to reel your reader in.
4. How do I write a strong residency personal statement?
A great personal statement will be polished and free of errors, with a serious but conversational tone. It’s also best to use some storytelling and provide details about the past experiences you have which led you to apply to the program.
5. How long is anesthesiology residency?
Anesthesiology residency training lasts 5 years.
6. What should I include in a residency personal statement?
Your personal statement should include your motivation for applying to the program, explain why you are the best candidate to fill the position and any attributes or accomplishments of yours that made you a good fit.
7. What should I avoid in a residency personal statement?
Avoid using cliches or repeating information that can be found in your residency CV. Your aim is to tell a program about who you are and why you are a good fit, not to simply restate your academic and professional accomplishments.
8. Is anesthesiology residency the best choice?
Anesthesiology can be a demanding specialty and it requires many years of training. However it is also a specialty with a very high pay rate and high job satisfaction, so for some residents it can be the start of an exciting and very rewarding career.