Duke University

How to Get Into Duke Medical School: Tips to Get Accepted

Hi premeds! 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 SOM 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!

If you have any questions about how to get into Duke Medical School, send us a question below


The most common reasons we’ve heard from students:

  • Medical school in 3 years. And flexibility in what you can do in your 3rd year.
  • Located in the research triangle
  • 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
  • Innovative projects and research


Duke Medical School has one of the longest secondary applications. There are at least 8 essays, 200-500 words each. Work on this early and do not procrastinate! As you can see from our Duke Medical School secondary essay prompts blog post, the Duke secondary application gets longer and longer each year!

Read all our Duke secondary essay prompts and tips here: How to Get Into Duke Medical School by Standing Out on your Duke Secondary Essays

We often get asked by students whether they should answer the optional essays. YES! Our Cracking Med School Admissions team recommends answering as many of the optional secondary essays as possible. You want to give the admissions committee reader as many insights into who you are. 

Duke Medical School Admissions

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)

Optional: Essay 2) 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 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? What risks, if any, might be associated with your choice to be an advocate? (400 words)

Essay 4) Not achieving a goal or one’s desire can sometimes be disheartening. What have you learned/gained from your setbacks and disappointments and how does this translate to your current way of thinking? (400 words)

Essay 5) Describe a situation in which you had to utilize your values to interact with people from different backgrounds.  How did those values impact the relationship? (400 words)

Essay 6) Leadership, teamwork, and communication operate synergistically. What do you value most as a leader and member of a team? What attributes do you possess as a leader and how will you apply them every day? (400 words)

Essay 7) Critical thinking involves a number of characteristics. Research experience either enhances or perfects critical analysis skills. Describe any research experience or another situation in which you utilized critical thinking. Why is research or critical thinking important to your future career? (400 words)

Essay 8) Potential sources of health inequities include race, gender, education, income, disability, geographic location, and sexual orientation. Moments to Movement (M2M) is Duke’s collective stand against systemic racism and injustice. The name signifies going beyond passive moments of reflection and becoming more active as we build to make lasting change for our patients, their loved ones and each other. Describe your understanding of race and its relationship to inequities in health and health care. (400 words)

Essay 9) How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your journey to medical school? Have these events changed your outlook on medicine’s role in society? (400 words)

Essay 10) Please let us know of any additional information that you would like us to consider while reviewing your application.

If you have questions about Duke Medical School’s secondary application, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.


Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay editing packages. If you have questions, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.

Duke Medical School
Interview Format

How to Get Into Duke Medical School – Ace Your Multiple Mini Interview

One important component to getting accepted into Duke School of Medicine is to ace your multiple mini interview!

The Duke Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is an important part of the medical school admissions process, so understanding the structure and format is essential to doing your best in this type of interview. Here are some tips on how to prepare for and have a successful Duke MMI:

The Duke MMI consists of eight stations that are each around 10 minutes long. Please note that the format could vary year by year and interview by interview, based on interviewer availability. Each station will feature a scenario or task that needs to be completed. For example, you may receive an ethical dilemma question or a writing prompt and answer it in written form. You will then switch stations when instructed and move onto the next challenge.

The Duke MMI will test your knowledge of current events and ethical dilemmas. It is important to read our Cracking Med School Admissions current events guide and our Ethical Principles blog post! The Duke MMI will also have tough situations in which you have to discuss what you would do in that scenario. 

The BEST way to prepare is through our Mastering our Multiple Mini Interview Online Course. The MMI Interview course is taught by Dr. Rachel Rizal, who is a former Stanford School of Medicine . She has coached several students with their Multiple Mini Interviews

MMI Resources:

Be sure to do a mock interview with Dr. Rizal and Dr. Mediratta! 

Check out our interview packages here: Medical School Mock Interviews and Preparation

download your interview guide

If you are prepared, the interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

Med School Admissions Interview Guide eBook Cover
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Duke Medical School Acceptance Rate

Admit Rate

Duke Medical School Admissions Statistics:

  • Duke Medical School Average GPA: 3.86
  • Duke Medical School Average MCAT: 519 (130 chemical & physical / 129 critical analysis / 130 biological & biochemical / 130 psychological, social)

How did Duke University School of Medicine Students Do on Their USMLE Step Exams?

  • Average Duke SOM USMLE Step 1 Score: 241
  • Average Duke SOM USMLE Step 2 Score: 245

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

We Personally Advise Every Student We Work With

Dr. Rachel Rizal - Cracking Med School Admissions

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Princeton University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Harvard, Emergency Medicine

Awards & Scholarships
Fulbright Scholar
USA Today Academic First Team
Tylenol Scholarship

Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Johns Hopkins University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Stanford, Pediatrics

Awards & Scholarships
Marshall Scholar
Tylenol Scholarship
Global Health Scholar

Each year, the Cracking Med School Admissions team
gets people accepted to top medical schools. We can help you get accepted!

Contact us today.

The Insider’s View on Duke Medical School's Pre-clinical years

How to Get Into Duke Medical School – Know the Curriculum

Duke Medical School Curriculum Overview: 

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.

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

Pre-Clinical Years:

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

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

Clinical Years:

During the 2nd year 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.


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.

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.

What students are saying about Duke Medical School

The Insider’s View on Duke Medical School's clinical Years

Duke University Medical School Clinical Curriculum:

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 SOM


Where do students live?

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

Getting around:

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


Financial Considerations:

  • Duke Medical School Tuition and Fees: ~$65,000 plus ~$16,000 room and board
  • Average indebtedness of 2019 graduates: ~$132,000

Cracking Med School Admissions Resources

Get in!

Ask Us a Question.
We help Students just like you Get Into Duke Medical School!

Scroll to Top