In our last article, we discussed writing a strong introductory paragraph. But what about the closing paragraph? We have a few tips for going above and beyond in ways that can help you synthesize an informative and impactful closing to your award-winning residency personal statement.
First, let’s start out by reviewing the essential components of your medical residency personal statement: your background (including your chosen specialty), evidence for your character and strengths in that specialty, expectations of a residency program, and your goals (including a 3-5 year goal, and a 10-year vision).
In your introductory and body paragraphs, it is very likely that you have discussed your chosen specialty and you’ve hopefully given several examples of clinical and interpersonal demonstrations of your strengths.
The Closing Paragraph
Thus, that leaves the closing paragraph of your residency statement open for two more of the essential components, your expectations and goals. Instead of simply summarizing and restating in your concluding paragraph, you are keeping it fresh and relevant by synthesizing your previous dialogue into concrete expectations and goals. You’ve demonstrated who you are by who you’ve been, now it is time to convince them who you will continue to grow to be. Remember, an essential aspect of the closing paragraph is persuasion.
Take this opportunity to develop a more concrete vision of what you expect from a program. This is a perfect time to set you apart from the average or generic applicant. The same goes for your vision and goals. Being specific but imaginative can show that you may be just the applicant a program is looking for.
Your Closing Lines
In the last 1-3 sentences of your personal statement, it may be appropriate to re-emphasize what has been discussed; mainly, how your personal characteristics would make you an excellent benefit to a program and how this will align with your goals. However, do not overuse the same language. Try to summarize in a way that uses dynamic language and sheds a slightly different light on what has already been discussed. Remember, every word counts!
Finally, depending on how your statement ends, you may choose to include a ‘thank you for considering my application’ type of line. Just know that it is not imperative. Only include it if it flows naturally and fits.
With this advice, you should be able to create an engaging, persuasive, and effective closing paragraph to your medical residency personal statement.
Do you have any clarifications or questions come to mind? Leave a comment below!