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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 934874, 5 pages
Research Article

A Critical Review of Personal Statements Submitted by Dermatology Residency Applicants

1School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR 00936, USA
2University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
3Department of Dermatology, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, 3301 C Street, Suite 1400, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA

Received 15 June 2014; Revised 23 August 2014; Accepted 28 August 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Jane M. Grant-Kels

Copyright © 2014 Jeannette Olazagasti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. A strong personal statement is deemed favorable in the overall application review process. However, research on the role of personal statements in the application process is lacking. Objective. To determine if personal statements from matched applicants differ from unmatched applicants. Methods. All dermatology residency applications () submitted to UC Davis Dermatology in the year of 2012 were evaluated. Two investigators identified the characteristics and recurring themes of content present in the personal statements. Then, both investigators individually evaluated the content of these personal statements in order to determine if any of the defined themes was present. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact, and reliability tests were used. Results. The following themes were emphasized more often by the matched applicants than the unmatched applicants as their reasons for going into dermatology are to study the cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease (33.8% versus 22.8%), to contribute to the literature gap (8.3% versus 1.1%), and to study the pathophysiology of skin diseases (8.3% versus 2.2%; for all). Conclusion. The prevalence of certain themes in personal statements of dermatology applicants differs according to match status; nevertheless, whether certain themes impact match outcome needs to be further elucidated.