The Dentistry Residency Statement, Dissected.
Residency statements (called personal statements, letters of intent, and essays) are usually about one page long, and do three
things. First, they give you a chance to introduce yourself to a Residency Director and discuss the person behind the
activities and achievements listed on your CV. You do this by illuminating why these experiences are personally meaningful,
and how they have developed your definition and philosophy of the qualities you strive for as a dentist. Second, they are an
opportunity to state your case about why you feel your skills, experiences and perspective will directly contribute to their
program. Third, they explain your reasons for seeking residency, and how they relate to your long-term goals.
In fact, a strong statement is rather like a “pre-interview”, responding to questions often asked in interviews, such as: Tell
me a little about yourself. What are you looking for in a residency program? What do you feel you would bring to our
program? What are you most proud of? Tell me about your most challenging experience and how you overcame it.
Below we have dissected a strong statement. It is strong because it is:
1. Personal (using detailed examples from the writer’s experience)
2. Well-organized (with clear themes explored in a logical fashion)
3. Centered around the three points mentioned above (definition of the qualities of an excellent dentist, strength of the
candidate, reasons for choosing this particular residency)
4. Free of grammatical or spelling errors
These qualities also make it unique. In the end, it should be clear by the examples, the focus, and the ‘voice’, that only this
candidate could have written this essay, which speaks to the candidate’s sincerity. This is what helps a Residency Director
distinguish you from other candidates, and see you as an individual as well as a competent and motivated applicant.
The Opening Paragraph: Mark summarizes his themes...