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Personal Statement for OOP programs

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Ask the residents in the meet and greet sessions why their program or why they chose the program they did. Even though programs are very similar, you can talk about geography, demographics of the patient population, specific focuses/research in the department, facilities, any unique opportunities (ie. rural rotations, etc), specific people you would like to work with/learn from. Make sure to talk about any personal connections you might have with the city/province, if you have family there for instance.

It does become generic, but its only generic to you who's reading every version. I personally had one primary letter template and then had a paragraph or so in the middle that I swapped out for each program that was unique to that program.

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Check to see if specific people have any recent publications that would highlight their research interests and accomplishments.

When I applied for CaRMS, I had no research experience or interest. It never came up and did not prevent me from being selected to a competitive surgical specialty. 

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