Medical School Secondary Applications-

Published: 15th February 2011
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Many medical schools will make their medical schools secondary application available to you (by mail or online) within a few weeks of receiving your AMCAS primary application. Submitting a late primary gives you a late start overall. Thanks to the reality of rolling admissions, if you postpone submitting your AMCAS until late summer or early fall, you'll start receiving secondary applications just as the first crop has finished interviewing and is starting to get acceptances. The number of seats available in next year's entering class has begun to drop, and by this time, the number of applicants competing for those seats has swelled.

Diversity is one of the most popular secondary essay topics. The point of these types of questions is to prove how you will make a unique contribution to the medical school class.
For example:

At the XXX Medical School Admissions, we are committed to building a superb educational community with students of diverse talents, experiences, opinions, and backgrounds. What would you as an individual bring to our medical school community?
If Applicable, describe a situation where you were not in the majority.

When the word "diversity" is used, many think of racial diversity. But this is a very limited view. Think outside the box. Do you speak a foreign language? Are you a non-traditional applicant with significant "real world" experience? Other possibilities include athletic achievements, musical/art/dance talent, and international experience. Everyone can add diversity to a class.

Medical School Secondary Applications - General Strategy
Though schools change their secondary essays from year to year, most of the questions fall into eight broad categories:

  • Diversity

  • Personal Challenge

  • Most Important Activity

  • Research

  • Qualities/Characteristics

  • After College Activities

  • Long Term Goals

  • "Other" Information

Instead of writing a new answer to each question for every school, I suggest that you compose general answers to each of these eight questions and change them as needed to a particular application. This will save you an incredible amount of time and energy. It also gives you a chance to write exceptional essays that, with minor tweaking, can be used multiple times. Most of the secondary essays range from 250 to 500 words. I suggest writing each essay listed below in 500 words or less than editing as needed to fit each particular word requirement. Each essay listed has been taken from real medical school secondary applications. Get those literary minds going, you may have hundreds of secondary essays to write in the next few months!

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