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Should You Let ChatGPT Write Your ERAS Personal Statement? (Jan 2024)

Smiling robot sitting at a computer

Artificial intelligence, and specifically ChatGPT, can do some incredible things. But should you let ChatGPT write your ERAS personal statement for you? Short answer: NO.


In this article I’ll examine why you shouldn’t rely on ChatGPT to write your medical residency personal statement, but I’ll also look at how it can be a valuable tool if used properly.


Table of contents:


5)      2 Takeaways


ChatGPT can’t write an ERAS personal statement that’s personal.

"Stand out from the crowd" graphic

It’s in the title: this is your personal statement. If it’s good, it can set you apart from other candidates by emphasizing your uniqueness.


The problem is that ChatGPT’s vast knowledge was gained by ingesting an absurd amount of data. So, when you ask it to write an amazing internal medicine residency personal statement, no matter what other information you provide, it will still generate based on what it’s learned from everyone else’s personal statement.


That’s the opposite of unique. That’s the opposite of personal.


Sure, you could load ChatGPT with your old medical school personal statement, your CV, and your social media profiles. You could spend hours making the AI your best friend. Then, confident it knows you on a deep level, you could finally ask it to write your personal statement from your perspective.


Actually you can’t do that. But even if ChatGPT was capable of that sort of interaction, that process would take way longer than just gritting your teeth and writing the one-page document on your own.


ChatGPT is an okay writer, not a great one.

Conversation with ChatGPT about great writing

Think about how ChatGPT learns. It absorbs a glut of information that’s been created by countless different people and sources:


Person 1 is a prize-winning writer who’s been perfecting their craft for decades. Their masterful writing is convincing and wonderful to read, technically sound most of the time and rule-breaking at all the right moments.


Person 2 didn’t pay attention in English class and gets paid by the word to quickly compose articles that satisfy search engine queries. They use ChatGPT for research and outline purposes, and then they run their drafts through Grammarly and blindly accept all changes.


Whose writing do you think is better?


To ChatGPT, Person 2 must be a superior writer since their articles fit better into the AI's formula for determining good writing.


The problem is that writing is not as simple as 1+1=2.


Persuasive writing, which is the kind that will make your personal statement shine above the rest, requires perspective and personality, two things ChatGPT does not have. See my conversation with ChatGPT about this below.

Conversation with ChatGPT about perspective and personality

You could get caught by an AI detector. That would be bad.

Man being led away in handcuffs

This topic is a moving target -- a simple Google search will tell you about the raging debate surrounding whether AI detectors work or don’t work. However, for our purposes, their effectivity doesn’t matter.


Technology moves at a breakneck pace. Who’s to say that someone won’t develop an effective AI-detection software in the next year? The next month? The next week? In fact, even ChatGPT itself is working on one.


Accurate or not, companies and institutions are already using these tools.


Why put yourself at risk by using ChatGPT to write your ERAS personal statement? That just seems like a silly choice, especially when you consider that we’ve already determined that AI isn’t capable of producing great work.


But ChatGPT actually can be helpful in the ERAS personal statement writing process.

Robot and human working together

While not an amazing writer and not capable of becoming your best friend, ChatGPT is still a very powerful tool.


Awake at 4am and want to weigh the pros and cons of the two patient stories you’re choosing between to share in your personal statement? ChatGPT is always available and ready to talk.


Does the paragraph you’re working on still not look quite right? Plug it into ChatGPT and ask it to rewrite the trouble paragraph in three different ways. Look for your favorite alternative structure idea and try it out yourself.


With artificial intelligence, writer’s block should be a thing of the past -- ChatGPT is a tremendous brainstorming partner. You know that breakthrough thought you finally had that was right in front of you all along? Yeah, ChatGPT can point that out long before you arrive there by yourself. It doesn’t miss obvious things. It doesn’t have fatigue or stress or hunger or lack of focus to cloud its reasoning.


So use ChatGPT to assist you as you write your ERAS personal statement. Think of it as the very eager, well-read, and non-judgmental friend who won’t ever get tired of helping you out.


2 Takeaways


1.       No, you should not use ChatGPT to write your ERAS personal statement for you.

2.       Yes, you can use ChatGPT to assist you through the writing process.


Photo credits:

Smiling robot sitting at a computer -

"Stand out from the crowd" graphic -

Conversation with ChatGPT about great writing - &

Conversation with ChatGPT about perspective and personality - &

Man being led away in handcuffs -

Robot and human working together -

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