Friday, December 09, 2005


The past several days have been spent trying to write a personal statement as part of my application process for a fellowship in vascular surgery. Amongst other esoteric items required by various fellowship programs and hospitals, they ask for a one page narrative on any topic of my choice to supplement my standardized application package. The point of this exercise being that the personal statement will give my application an unique touch and make it stand out from the others.

The lack of any requirements to the personal statement, other than the limitations on length, raises the difficulty level by a logarithmic margin. What am I going to write that will make my standardized application appear unique, add interest to my application, and make me stand out amongst the rest of the field? How realistic is it that I will produce something so amazing and unique that the world will come knocking on my door, begging me to come to their program and train there.

I've spent way too much time working on this stupid personal statement. I'm convinced that I've worked on it way too much and now I've lost any sense of cohesiveness with the statement. Kind of like working on a vat of chili. The more you taste it and try to season it, the less sensitive your tongue becomes to it's flavor, and before you know it, your chili's taste is waaaaaaaay off because you've simply been working on it too much.

I think the same thing happens to literary works. (Not to say that my personal statement is of any literary weight, but you know what I mean.) I think that because I've spent just an extraordinary amount of time working on it, it's lost whatever oomph it had, and it's now just a page full of "blah blah blah."

Oh well. I'm going to go work on my personal statement now.