“So many disconnected pieces, yet no clear starting point,” I think as I stare at the 1,000 puzzle pieces in front of me. I instantly reorganize my thoughts to consider their combined effect and how each of them fit in the big picture. Working for hours on puzzles with my terminally ill grandfather taught me there is something mesmerizing about simultaneously losing and centering yourself in a disarray of colors and shapes. Similarly, dermatology is a jigsaw puzzle in which the pieces sit in front of our eyes, waiting to be assembled into a diagnosis. Solving this intricate puzzle, which encompasses a wide variety of intriguing diseases, fascinated me early in my medical career.
During my first contact with patients as a research assistant at [removed identifier], I developed a genuine interest in this specialty. Witnessing the effects of severe and refractory dermatological diseases on their quality of life sparked my empathy and a desire to strengthen my knowledge in order to help them. This empathy grew over the course of my rotations, as I observed the distress brought on by a melanoma diagnosis, the debilitating pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis and the emotional scars left by acne.
Driven by this experience, I founded the [removed identifier] with my devoted and inspiring team. Together, we raised close to $18,000, which was donated to the [removed identifier] for the advancement of malignant melanoma research and prevention strategies. This project allowed me to serve as a leader and a strong team player. I also took this opportunity to promote prevention and advocate for patient health by giving monthly seminars at [removed identifier]. These competencies will enable me to serve as a devoted dermatologist who also brings positive change to her community.
I have also spent a considerable amount of time dedicated to research at the [removed identifier]. As a result of my scientific rigors, I have had the opportunity to publish my work on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and speak at international conferences. I recently submitted a case study to the Journal of [removed identifier] and an abstract to next year's [removed identifier] conference. I hope to further my contribution to the advancement of dermatology both scientifically and clinically. Besides my interest in skin malignancy, I am also very passionate about immunodermatology, skin manifestations of IBD and vascular anomalies, to name a few. Committed to a lifelong learning experience, I strive to expand my knowledge through academic research. My constant desire to improve and my insatiable curiosity was valued during my rotations regardless of the specialty.
During my residency, I look forward to being challenged and surrounded by new ideas and perspectives. I wish to pursue my training in [removed identifier]’s multicultural epicenter, where I will be exposed to a wide range of unique cases. [removed identifier]’s reputation for research and mentorship is second to none. During my elective at the [removed identifier], your commitment to patient care, your dedication to knowledge, and your pedagogical approach instilled a sense of belonging in me. It is with you that I hope to set the final puzzle pieces of my medical training into place.
Click to go back to residency personal statement examples.
If you’d rather seek our help for residency application review click here.