MSPE Preparation

Department of Student Affairs


Please provide the information requested and upload to the MSPE portal SharePoint folder. Your thoughtful completion of this information will assist in the creation of your individual MSPE. Your appointment will be canceled if this form is not received one week prior to your MSPE meeting.

Upload Checklist:

  • Draft of CV
  • Draft of Personal Statement
  • Unique Characteristics paragraph (Page 3)
  • Personal Assessment of Strengths/Weaknesses (Page 4)

What To Expect During Your MSPE Meeting:

  • Review of specialty choice, including a summary of your competitiveness and recommendations for development of a parallel plan.
  • Review of your application strategy
  • Recommendations for CV and personal statement
  • Review of letters of recommendation strategy
  • Review of draft MSPE and estimated evaluative level
  • Mock interview and interview preparation recommendations
  • Match risk assessment

CV Preparation — What Have You Done?

Keep it short

  • At this stage of your career, it should be only one to two pages long. Put the most important info on the first page, there is no guarantee the reviewer will look at the second page.
  • Use incomplete sentences, bullet points. Make it easy and fast for the reviewer to understand what you did or why you received a certain award/honor.

Keep it readable

  • Your CV doesn't need to be a masterpiece of creative graphics and design. It just needs to be pleasant to look at and easy to read. Use 11 or 12 point fonts. Don't cram everything together inside ½ inch margins.
  • Don't use more than two types of fonts and be consistent how you use them. Example: One type of font for your contact info/headings; the second type of font for the body of your resume.
  • Use other features consistently as well — bolding, underlining, italics. Don't overdo the formatting so it becomes distracting. The information is where you want the review's attention.

Curriculum Vitae Samples

Personal Statement Preparation — Who Are You And Why Should They Hire You?

A well-written personal statement should accomplish the following goals:

  1. Help pull you out of the crowd of applicants — be sure to include unique experiences, background, and information. Do not use space in your statement re-stating what is already in your CV or other parts of your residency application.
  2. Give the reviewer a glimpse at the type of resident you will be — don't say you are hard working (all residency applicants are). Instead, include examples of how you have acquired the attributes you want to feature in your statement. (See more ideas below.)
  3. Make the case that this specialty is really the right match for you. No program director wants to select a student who, six months into the residency, realizes they are not a good fit. What have you done to be sure this is the right career path for you?
  4. Be specific about what you like about the specialty. Do you enjoy the procedures? Why? Do you like the environment of the OR? Why? What type of patients do you enjoy working with? What experiences led you to consider this specialty? And, ultimately, why did you select this specialty?
  5. What about you will contribute to the specialty and the program? Residency programs, and residents, want to select their future peers and colleagues. What do you bring to them? What can you offer? How will you enhance that area of medicine?

Students should select 6 - 10 characteristics to weave into their statements. Some possibilities you could consider are:

  • Leadership skills
  • Team building skills
  • Languages
  • Organization
  • Patient communications skills
  • Teaching
  • Ability to work under stress
  • Problem solving

Unique Characteristics

Please follow the instructions below in creating your Unique Characteristics paragraph. You may delete these two sample paragraphs when you upload this document to SharePoint.

Word Limit:

  • 300 words


  • Educational accomplishments/degree(s) and major(s), minor(s)
  • Significant undergraduate achievement(s)
  • Community/volunteer activities
  • Research
  • International studies/work
  • School of Medicine involvement/activities/leadership


Natalie entered the School of Medicine in 2007 after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in the History of Medicine and Science from ____ University in 2006. As an undergraduate, she participated in Division I Varsity Swimming and was the Captain of the 2006 University Championship Team. Natalie has also been active in research as discussed on her vita. After completing her undergraduate degree, Natalie worked as the Center Clerk and Clinical Assistant at Mosher Optimal Health in San Diego, California.

Since joining the School of Medicine, Natalie has been involved in numerous activities. She volunteered countless hours at the Outreach Clinic, a student-run clinic providing basic medical care to the underserved community. In addition, Natalie was one of the leaders of a group of who traveled Nicaragua to help provide free health care to rural communities through the _______program. She helped interview applicants for the Admissions Committee, and she was a sports medicine assistant for the Reno Volleyball Tournament providing care to over 10,000 participants. Natalie was elected as Social Chair for the Class of 2011, she served as President of the History of Medicine Interest Group. Finally, she was a member of the New Orientation Committee.


Jose entered the School of Medicine in the fall of 2007 after graduating with High Distinction with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of ____. As an undergraduate, he was the recipient of the _____ Award; given to the top sophomore. He also worked as a supervisor at United Parcel Service (UPS).

During medical school, Jose has been very involved. He was the Manager of the Outreach Clinic, a - student-run clinic providing basic medical care to the underserved community. He was elected as the student member of the Honor Committee, and he was Co-Chair of the Geriatric Interest Group. Jose has been active in research with publications as listed on his CV. Jose's professional affiliations include the American Medical Association, American Medical Association, and the Surgery Interest Group.

Personal Assessment of Strengths and Weakness

Please take the time to thoughtfully address these questions, as this information will be used in constructing your overall evaluative summary. The information you provide will remain confidential and no personal information will be included in your MSPE. Please use additional pages as necessary.

  1. Compare your academic performance in Years 1 and 2 with that of Year 3. Include any explanations for remediation or Passing grades in Clerkships.
  2. Assess your medical knowledge and clinical skills
  3. Assess your communication and interpersonal skills. Areas to include are ability to work as part of a team; communication with people from different backgrounds other than your own; how you handle stressful or confrontational situations; and written communication.
  4. Describe your greatest strengths/skills.
  5. Describe areas of personal growth during medical school and include examples of how this has better prepared you for residency.
  6. Honestly assess your relationships with peers, faculty, patients.
  7. What challenges have you faced in medical school and how have you addressed these challenges?
  8. How has your leadership/service contributed to your medical education? What impact have these activities had on your specialty choice?
  9. Describe, briefly, your leadership experiences. Please separate elected or selected positions from coordination and organizational positions. Include how your service/experiences have impacted your medical education and interactions with peers and faculty.
  10. If you participated in research, describe how this has prepared you for residency and your plans for the future.
  11. Describe, briefly, your research and presentations or poster presentations and they have or will contribute to the field.
  12. Describe one or two influential clinical experiences and/or role models that have helped you make your specialty choice.
  13. Explain dual degree or scholarly concentrations you are pursuing or have completed, including the impact/contributions of your activities.