Duke Medical School Admissions

Cracking Duke Medical School Admissions


Hey pre-meds!

This page serves as a high-yield resource for Duke Medical School Admissions. The information from this page is a GOLDEN resource. We’ve compiled it from Duke Medical School acceptance rate data, the Duke School of Medicine website, and most importantly, from Duke medical school students themselves! You will have facts such as admissions statistics, but you’ll get an insider perspective about the curriculum.

Whether you’re comparing medical schools that you have been accepted to, preparing for an interview, or wanting to learn more about Duke Medical School admissions, keep reading!

Duke Medical School Secondary Application:

In our team’s opinion, Duke has one of the hardest and longest secondary applications. Put aside ample time! There are 9 secondaries (some of them optional) and they are all 200-500 words long.

Duke Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts:

Essay 1) Tell us more about who you are. You may provide additional information that expands your self-identity where gender identification, racial and/or ethnic self description, geographic origin, socioeconomic, academic, and/or other characteristics that define who you are as you contemplate a career that will interface with people who are similar AND dissimilar to you. You will have the opportunity below to tell us how you wish to be addressed, recognized and treated. 500 words

Essay 2) (Optional) In addition to the broad categorization of race, ethnicity, geographic origin, socioeconomic status as provided through your AMCAS application, you may use the text box below to provide additional clarifying information that may reflect the impact of any of these parameters on your development thus far as well as the impact that these may have had on your path to a career in medicine and your plans for the future. 200 words

Essay 3) Describe the community in which you were nurtured or spent the majority of your early development with respect to its demographics. What core values did you receive and how will these translate into the contributions that you hope to make to your community as a medical student and to your career in medicine? What improvements do you think might make the described community better? 500 words

Essay 4) Describe a situation where you have chosen to advocate for someone who is different from yourself. What does advocacy mean to you and how has your advocacy developed? How do you see it linked to your role as a physician/leader? What risks, if any, might be associated with your choice to be an advocate? 500 words

Essay 5) What has been your most humbling experience and how will that experience affect your interactions with your peers and patients? 500 words

Essay 6) Describe a situation where you failed. What did you learn from the experience? Describe at least one functional impact of the experience. 500 words

Essay 7) Critical thinking involves many aspects including curiosity, comprehension, application and analysis. Describe a time when you have utilized critical thinking. How do you anticipate critical thinking being used as part of your career? 400 words

Essay 8) Many view medical care as an undeniable right. What responsibility does the medical profession have in taking care of all persons? 400 words

Essay 9) (Optional) Please let us know of any additional information that you would like us to consider while reviewing your application.


Need help with editing your Duke Medical School secondary essays? Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay editing package. If you have questions, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.

Secondary Essay Editing
Duke Medical School Admissions – Interview Style:

Duke Medical School’s interview format is multiple mini interview (MMI).

Want to learn more about how to prepare for the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)? Get tips and tricks to ace multiple mini interviews.

Read our 2 popular MMI blogs here:

  1. The Multiple Mini Interview: What it is, and How to do Well
  2. 5 Tips to Ace the MMI Interview

Contact us if you want to schedule a mock interview for Duke. Or click the button below.

Duke Medical School Acceptance Rate







Admit Rate


Duke School of Medicine Median GPA: 3.83

Duke School of Medicine Median Old MCAT: 36 Total (10 Verbal / 12 Physical Science / 13 Biological Science)

Duke School of Medicine New MCAT: 518 (129 chemical & physical / 129 critical analysis / 130 biological & biochemical / 130 psychological, social)


Your Duke Medical School  Admissions Advisers
Rachel Rizal, MD

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard, Emergency Medicine
What I did After College:
• Improved vaccine distribution in developing countries
• Worked with the World Health Organization in the Philippines
• Launched a national HIV Awareness Campaign in the Philippines
• Produced an HIV awareness commercial for MTV
• Worked full-time at a healthcare consulting firm, advising pharmaceutical companies
• Created a public health program in Stanford’s Emergency Department
Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, Stanford
Masters: Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
What I did after I graduated:
• Interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
• Founded and launched an NGO to improve the health and education of Ethiopian
• World Bank consultant who helped implement Ethiopia’s national nutrition program
• Partnered with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to study child health practices in communities

The Insider’s View on Duke Medical School Admissions

How to Get Into Duke Medical School – Know the Curriculum:


Duke was one of the first schools that concentrated the medical school to three years instead of four years. As a first year, you learn pathophysiology in classes such as human structures & function, brain & behavior, and body & disease. During your second year at Duke medical school, you are in clinical rotations. Then, your third year is completely flexible. Many students elect to do a research scholarly project. Others do joint degrees, such as an MD/MBA. During your fourth year, you do sub-internships and advanced clinical electives.

Duke was also innovative in medical education by starting the Clinical Skills Foundation longitudinal course. Here, you work with a primary care doctor for 3 years of medical school and you follow patients throughout their courses of wellness and disease.

Pre-Clinical Years:

The first year at Duke School of Medicine focuses on basic biology and physiology.

Clinical Years:

During the 2nd years of medical school, students are in clinical rotations. You continue your Longitudinal clerkships.

The core clinical curriculum consists of:

  • Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks)
  • OB/GYN (6 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Radiology (4 weeks)

During your fourth year of medical school, you have several weeks of clinical electives, a required 4-week sub-internship, and 4 weeks of critical care. Lastly, all students spend 4 weeks in a capstone course, which prepares them for residency. Check out the 4th year curriculum here.


To learn more about Duke’s innovative curriculum, click here.

Taking Time Off:

Duke Med School is flexible with taking time off. Many people do dual degrees. Because of the extra year, many students graduate within 4 years, however the school is flexible with you taking more time to pursue your passions and graduate in 4+ years.


Duke Primary Care Leadership Track:

Instead of applying to the regular MD track, pre-meds can apply to the Primary Care Leadership Track. In this curriculum, you focus on primary care and work with several community partners throughout Durham. Additionally, most students in the Duke Primary Care Leadership Track do research projects. These scholarly research projects span from examining the role of electronic medical records to patient outcomes to diabetes disease prevention and management.


Why choose Duke Medical School?

The most common reasons we’ve heard:

  • Medical school in 3 years
  • Joint degree programs without taking additional time, including an MD/MBA
  • Flexible curriculum
  • Strong academics
  • Very nice community and extremely nice people
  • Great place to raise a family

What students are saying about Duke Medical School

I LOVE the flexibility of the curriculum. I worked with a biotech company for a year.

This area is STRONG in research, especially biomedical research. We're in the "Research Triangle!"

The primary care leadership track had very strong mentorship.

I established a strong relationship with my Longitudinal Clerkship mentor. In fact, now I want to do outpatient internal medicine with research in diabetes.

Unique highlights about pre-clinical years:

  • One year
  • Option to do a scholarly project
  • Start working with your Longitudinal Clinical preceptor and see patients in the community
  • “Flipped classroom” where some of your learning is through video-based modules

Unique highlights about clinical years:

  • An entire year to do whatever you want
  • Longitudinal clerkship
  • Several research opportunities
  • Flexibility with choosing your clinical electives, and when to do them during your 3rd and 4th year

Unique Degree Programs Offered at Duke Medical School:

  • MD/PhD
  • MD/MPH
  • MD/MA
  • MD/JD
  • MD/MBA

Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • Rhode Island Hospital
  • Bradley Hospital
  • Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Providence VA Medical Center

What students are saying about clinical rotations at Duke Medical School

I've gotten to know my patients over 4 years through the longitudinal curriculum. I have seen some of them as an inpatient and outpatient basis.

My surgery rotation was INTENSE but I got to know the residency program director well. I ended up matching here at Duke, my #1 choice.

I did a 3rd year research project with one of the physicians I met during my 2nd year rotations.


Where do students live?

Most students live in apartments or rent houses close to Duke Medical School.


Getting around:

You will need a car when you attend Duke Medical School.


Financial Considerations:

  • Duke Medical School gives many grants, financial-aid and scholarships.
  • Full-time Tuition: ~ $59,000 + ~$16,000 room and board
  • Average indebtedness of graduates: ~$160,000

Want to learn more about other medical schools?

Read our other popular school blogs here:

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