Let’s jump straight into it, Ambitious IMG:
You’re reading this because you want to match. So know that every time a program interacts with you, in any way, they must be 100% clear on why you must be selected ahead of the other applicants.
It’s your job to communicate why this is so. And the way you do it is through creating and using a Main Message. Your Main Message is a clear and concise message about why you should be invited to interview and ranked highly by a program.
To get all of the information necessary for your main message you must answer three broad questions:
- Why do you want to match into residency training in this specialty?
You must be able to articulate the reasons you’re interested in this specialty and what made you think of applying for it. For example, working with children gives you a feeling of fulfillment; that is why you’re interested in pediatrics. You’ll also need to mention what you’d like to achieve once you get into that specific residency program.
- Why are you worthy of joining this program?
This is important because programs want to have people who can bring something of value to their program. You can mention academic reasons that make you worthy of selection. You can mention your high performance throughout your schooling and clinical rotations. You can also mention non-academic reasons like volunteering while you were studying to show that you’re well rounded.
Other key areas to mention in this step would be your resilience and your willingness to go the extra mile for your patients. If you overcame obstacles, mention how you used them as stepping stones to grow as a young physician. Also, you may have documented cases where you went above and beyond the call of duty to attend to the needs of your patients, and this helped them have positive outcomes. If you can articulate your worth, you’ll be setting yourself apart from the others.
- What is your unique value proposition?
Your unique value proposition is the most important part of any Main Message. This is something that you are 100% sure that no other applicant can say about themselves. You must be able to articulate what you can bring to the table that no other applicant can. Maybe, as a Pediatrics applicant, you come from a family of teachers so you have years of experience tutoring and attending to the psychosocial needs of children, in addition to enjoying attending to them in clinical settings. You must clearly express what makes you special.
After answering all of these questions, you must be able to succinctly state all of it in 5 or 6 sentences to create your Main Message.
Your Main Message makes you memorable! Create it and use it for the whole match season.