In preparing your residency application documents, whether you are navigating ERAS in the US or CaRMS in Canada, it will be helpful to look at otolaryngology residency personal statement examples. Your personality, potential as a resident physician, and reasons for choosing your specialty are all things that residency program directors are curious to know about and will want to see in your personal statement, an essential component of your application.

Otolaryngology is a highly competitive specialty among the most competitive & least competitive residencies. Therefore, every aspect of your residency application should be perfect. In this article, we provide three strong examples of otolaryngology residency personal statements as a model for your own. An excellent personal statement can be a major influential factor in your residency application.

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Article Contents
13 min read

Otolaryngology Residency Personal Statement Example 1 Otolaryngology Residency Personal Statement Example 2 Residency Personal Statement Tips Conclusion FAQs

Otolaryngology Residency Personal Statement Example 1

This personal statement presents the story of an international student applying to an otolaryngology residency in Canada.

I graduated from the renowned Odessa State Medical University after achieving strong results academically. I received a gold medal for the highest marks in science and won regional competitions in biology and mathematics. My grades, which included “outstanding” mentions in epidemiology, demonstrate my consistent and continuous interest in and commitment to the field. Various career options were available to me due to my academic aptitude and potential, but I chose to pursue medicine. I want to make a difference in the world, rather than just earn a living. I’ve never looked back on that choice, and I’ve been content in the medical profession thus far.

Wondering how to write a residency personal statement? Watch this video:

I am determined to develop and refine the life skill of successful leadership, which is something that takes a lifetime of work. I believe my rapid advancement in the hospital was due to my dedication and specialized knowledge as well as my efforts to learn and hone my leadership and teaching techniques over a short amount of time. In my own academic and professional endeavors, I carefully analyzed the attributes of the best leaders and teachers and modeled my strategies on theirs. I realized that many of the skills needed to lead and teach are similar. Both require an approachable demeanor, the ability to enthuse and inspire, highly developed observational skills, clarity in communication, the ability to plan and set achievable goals, and the means to measure success in achieving those goals. Most importantly, both require cultivating a team spirit in which people support and encourage one another and generously share their knowledge and skills.

Research necessitates a unique set of abilities and aptitudes. Effective researchers are focused, persistent, able to think creatively and independently, approach data with extreme analytical rigour, and carefully craft the correct questions to obtain actionable data, yet successful outcomes also require strong teamwork and inter-disciplinary collaboration. I don’t have a lot of research experience, as it wasn’t required for the medical school curriculum. However, I did some extracurricular work because I had an interest in research and planned to do it in the future. In a small group of peers, under Dr. Bondarenko, we tried to determine modern features of the epidemiological situation of viral infections with aerosol transmission in Ukraine. Preliminary results are due to be published this year after taking into consideration the impact of the global health crisis on both the progression of the research and as a research question. Our hypotheses and experiments necessarily meant adjusting to the environment created by an actual pandemic and considering the novel factors introduced by this reality.

Although it relates directly to the specialty I wish to pursue, what this project inspired was a sense of obligation to continue what I started with my peers and the target population. Your residency program’s attention to cancers, metabolic diseases, mental disorders, and HIV/AIDS is completely aligned with my interests in this regard, as our study takes a multi-factorial approach to disease analysis in otolaryngology. The impact of certain lifestyle, dietary, behavioral, and hereditary/cultural factors on various diseases is also being investigated as part of this research. Phase 2 is planned as an international collaboration to address the additional factor of the war. As a virtual project, it would be easy to involve new colleagues I meet during residency in this important investigation. Therefore, my application to your residency program in otolaryngology is not just my preference but the logical next step in my professional advancement.

Since my arrival, I have been mainly working as a Physician Assistant in a drop-in medical clinic, which has helped me get to know the Canadian medical environment and culture. The work has been pleasant for me, especially the activities in preventative health education. I have kept up to recent developments by reading medical journals and following physicians and departments online. I have completed the “Career Transition Program for International Medical Doctors and Health Professionals.” I am a person who diligently pursues information and skills with a strong will. I have become fluent in English since coming to Canada and developed a basic level of fluency in French, which I hope to improve over time. I speak both Russian and Ukrainian fluently.

I have been involved in voluntary work in Ukraine and, more recently, in an emergency response team through an extensive collaborative effort between Ukrainian and Canadian students. I have also volunteered with a local veteran–student gaming network which has as its aim the creation of supportive links online between seniors and youth. These two foci balance out the serious and social sides of my interests.

I hope this gives you a good idea of why I have decided that your otolaryngology residency program will benefit from my contribution as much as I will benefit from your ground-breaking research and esteemed faculty. 

Learn how to prepare for residency application with this infographic:

Otolaryngology Residency Personal Statement Example 2

This personal statement presents the story of a Canadian student applying to an otolaryngology residency in Canada.

My success in life is a result of my eager acceptance of difficulties that motivated me to study and develop while also cultivating meaningful relationships. One such relationship was with my music teacher, Dr. Martine Lapierre, at McGill University. She selected me as first violin during the first semester of my second year, even though I had not achieved the highest marks. She told me it was because I had maintained my commitment to the orchestra, attending every rehearsal and cheering on our concert efforts, even when I was struggling academically. That year, we made more presentations than in previous years and were able to share music with groups of all ages – on campus and all around the district.

The pride I felt at each concert was more important to me than the occasional error – or failed test – if I’m honest. Not only was I satisfied with my own performance, but I was also proud of what our orchestra was able to achieve together. By making me first violin while I was not a top student, my teacher supported my potential; I truly believe that this is what enabled me to turn around and direct that orchestra as surely as our conductor did. In medicine, too, I believe that we must always see the potential, even if reality is a challenge.

My exhilaration was tempered, however, when I came down with an ear infection while we were deep into the touring season. We had just returned from a series of three venues, and some of us fell ill shortly after getting back. This did not have a good effect on my musical abilities or responsibilities, as the acute infection was so painful, I could not stand to listen to anything above a whisper. Observing the doctors while they watched over me, my feverish haze must have led to rose-colored glasses – because since that time, I have known that I want to play the same role – that of bringing diagnosis, treatment, and relief to patients suffering from the pain that can accompany ear and throat afflictions. When I was finally discharged, I found myself in the library reading about otolaryngology.

In the hospital, I made friends with some fellow patients. Although I was told that I would recover in days, some had a much longer road ahead. The fact that they were experiencing as much pain as I had, but over the long term, affected me deeply. As a result, in my last two years of medical school, I’ve sought opportunities to collaborate in research on pain management for long-term chronic diseases. I am especially interested in research in therapeutic settings.

For instance, during my rotations at St. Mary’s Hospital, I met many patients with ear conditions, infections, hearing loss, balance problems, allergies, sinusitis, tonsillitis, difficulty swallowing, and voice issues. Under the supervision of Dr. Fortin, our team surveyed these patients to compare the effects of current therapies on different combinations of conditions and devise better treatments. Even at this early stage, our research has benefited a number of patients who previously believed they had no other options. One of my favourite elements of practicing medicine is helping patients achieve a better quality of life. I would be interested in continuing this work by including this same population in my residency.

Going forward, I hope to learn existing approaches and techniques that represent best practices. I am interested in innovation, but I know that we have a very effective array of treatments available for most of these ailments. For now, I am not seeking to expand the scope of my specialty; rather, I would like to delve deep into this one area and work as closely as possible with patients. Otolaryngology is a speciality greatly benefited by proximity to patients who can communicate very tangible symptoms. As first violin recovered from an ear infection that almost lost me my hearing, I tend to be a good listener. I would apply these skills in a residency program to enhance outcomes for patients with complex pathology.

Medicine is about teamwork, which I realized soon after I began my clinical work. Of course, we are taught this from the beginning, but I don’t know if anyone realizes that a true team is the group of people who work together to save someone’s life. This is true in the ER but also in the slower process of internal medicine, family medicine, or otolaryngology. Sometimes, medicine in these areas is a quick fix – but one that works – and I like the psychological ease that accompanies this field in which people often present with very common, very treatable complaints. I am more suited to this measured pace of medicine than I am to emergency, even though I am fully trained, ready, and quick to respond – indeed, my preference is not reflected in my aptitude. I am just as ready to take on more difficult or urgent cases.

Therefore, I am seeking a residency that shares my vision of teamwork as voices in harmony. I hope my application resonates with you as much as your program does with me.

Otolaryngology Residency Personal Statement Example 3

This personal statement presents the story of an American student applying to an otolaryngology residency in the US.

I may not have experienced as many life-changing events as other candidates. The most stressful job I have held was scout leader. However, that is indicative of both my background, interests, and temperament. I am a quiet person who is not afraid of challenging environments, with a knack for taking the drama out of most circumstances. As a non-binary youth leader surrounded mainly by boys – of all persuasions – I present as different, in terms of both physicality and mentality. However, in the mission to raise good men, my presence and personality have proved to be just the thing, somehow. I have a great affinity with young people presenting male or trans, even if I was born female.

The scouts grew up, and so did I, but our relationship continued. Even when I was in my first year of medical school, these young guys were dropping by the campus, trying to hang out at lunch. Sometimes, they brought a friend. They had a plethora of youthful ailments, and getting them into clinics for every flu, fever, and strep throat piqued my curiosity more and more. It’s all those nights sitting in waiting rooms, overhearing doctors, and listening to families set up all around me that inspired me to pursue what I eventually knew to be otolaryngology. I came into contact with numerous communities this way, as each individual in the waiting room served to illustrate a particular profile and I began to notice patterns. Many in that part of the city were HIV-positive, and seemingly minor infections could easily take a turn for the worse. Eventually, I got a job as an administrator in the day clinic, so it was not unusual to run across some of these patients again when they returned for follow-up appointments or brought in their sick family members.

I understood from this experience that medicine is a virtuous cycle. Even in the worst situations, the connection that one individual makes with a doctor is frequently shared with others. As I gained more exposure to aspects of hospital care, my interest in pathophysiological processes grew. The ability to link clinical observations and arrive at a precise differential diagnosis fascinated me. Still, my interests in medicine, much like in my personal life, remained predictable and limited. There is no other specialty that draws me in as much as otolaryngology. While I definitely enjoy treating people, I also relish quietly collecting and connecting data.    

Exposure to diverse individuals and cultural differences has given me the ability to communicate effectively with patients from different backgrounds and avoid causing offence. In my neighborhood, it’s important to know how to navigate patient expectations and limitations, as they have a major influence on their medical decisions. Some are stigmatized by a disease, and it is sometimes necessary to work with a whole family to establish an effective treatment program. Issues manifested in otolaryngology in this urban area are almost always connected with the environment or other external stressors that patients cannot control.

The passage of time has only confirmed my commitment to otolaryngology. Although the ED gives a physician the sense of being immediately helpful in a crisis, I came to appreciate the value of building strong physician–patient connections. I realized how wonderfully fulfilling it is to have such a significant impact on patients’ lives. I am certain my ability to effectively communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds is a strength that will help me be a capable and caring resident in otolaryngology.

Recently, I completed my fourth article, which has been accepted for publication. Please find attached a list of my research publications on innovative viral symbiosis in adolescent and young adult immunocompromised patients. I am currently a clinical observer in the laboratory service connected to my day clinic. This practical training has taught me so much about testing and treatment delivery methods. I’ve learned about patient management through case discussions, hospital rounds, and conferences. I would be excited to expand on my knowledge by joining the Emory Research Group in Otolaryngology (ERGO) and the Emory Innovation Group in Otolaryngology (EIGO).

I’ve also become familiar with the duties of an otolaryngologist and ENT surgeons. Given the courses I selected in medical school and hands-on experience with youth care near the campus, I see myself leaning toward infectious diseases as a specialty. This conviction was reinforced during the global health crisis when it became clear that we need more physicians with expertise and experience in this area. As an ENT resident, I will have the exceptional opportunity to provide my patients with comprehensive analysis, appropriate treatment, and advocacy.

In the future, I am not sure whether I will further refine my focus on otolaryngology or diversify. It is more likely to be the former, as I tend to concentrate in greater detail on fewer topics over time. I think there is value in taking on a resident who wants to know one area in great depth. My facility with the whole person and underserved populations means that I can help a broad range people in meaningful ways, even if I am not the fastest practitioner or the most assertive. I am convinced there is a place for someone like me, indeed, for people like us. Quietly, we will go about ensuring that vulnerable individuals have access to quality medical care and patient education.

A position in academic otolaryngology, teaching medical students and residents, is something else I’d want to explore. I’m looking for a residency program that is devoted to developing a culture of lifelong learning and committed to diversity. I think a residency at Emory will support me in building my professional network and continuing to develop innovative programs to improve patient care across demographics. Especially, it will enable numerous youth in my community to continue to meet with a trusted medical advisor and advocate.

Residency Personal Statement Tips

In one page, or about 650–900 words, you are setting out to explain to residency program directors why they should choose you, given the events that led you to this particular decision and specialty. However, you’re also trying to convince yourself about whether the specific specialty and residency are your best match. The purpose of a residency personal statement is to show the reader who you are. Unlike your medical school personal statement, this essay is not intended to convince someone to admit you.

Essentially, your otolaryngology residency personal statement should highlight your accomplishments and potential contributions in a way that represents the truest reflection of you as a person and as a physician. The defining quality of a residency personal statement is authenticity. You want to find yourself in a residency program where you will thrive and be able to make a significant contribution.

The examples we have looked at take different approaches to the personal statement, but they all include some essential components. They:

  1. Tell the applicant’s story
  2. Provide examples of significant moments and experiences
  3. Illustrate the applicant’s character
  4. Describe the applicant’s motivation for pursuing medicine
  5. Contextualize the applicant’s interest in a specialty
  6. List various skills and qualities the applicant will bring to the residency program


It is hoped that these examples give you a good idea of how to approach your otolaryngology residency personal statement and convince you that you can craft your own strong statement around what makes you unique as a person and as a physician.

Here are a few more ideas of what to include:


1. How long should my personal statement be?

Your otolaryngology residency personal statement should generally be between 650 and 900 words, or one page, based on the ERAS application. Check the requirements of the residency program before applying.

2. When should I start writing my residency personal statement?

Leave yourself a good two to six weeks to write your otolaryngology residency personal statement.

3. How competitive is otolaryngology as a specialty?

As a popular surgical subspecialty, otolaryngology is highly competitive, ranking close to dermatology.

4. Is my residency personal statement that important for otolaryngology? My CV is strong.

Your residency personal statement humanizes your application and provides you with the opportunity to interact with decision makers and explain your ties to your chosen specialty. A powerful personal statement can greatly enhance your chances of being accepted into your chosen residency.

5. What can I do to make my personal statement stand out?

Start early to avoid feeling rushed. Do a thorough analysis of the residency program. Create a plan. In your article, include real-world examples and experiences. After including all pertinent information, focus on building a plot and telling a story. Work with an editor to help make your writing concise and clear.

6. Should I address red flags or concerns in my residency personal statement?

Red flags should only be brought up in your personal statement if they are relevant to it and you haven’t already addressed them in another part of your application. If you do identify any problem areas, make sure to acknowledge the problem and explain how you improved as a result of your errors or setbacks.

7. What do I do if I’m not matched?

Even if you follow all the advice of your consultant, it’s possible to go unmatched. To deal with this unlikely scenario, having a guaranteed expert service is best. You can discover more about BeMo’s money-back guarantee by arranging a free initial appointment.

8. Do residency personal statement editing services help you write your personal statement?

Certainly! Even though they can’t actually write the essay for you, they can help you brainstorm, provide writing tips and tricks, and walk you through the editing process to ensure that you come up with a stellar residency personal statement.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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