How to get into Northwestern Medical School - Feinberg

How To Get Into Northwestern Medical School (Feinberg)

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM), located in the heart of Chicago, attracts talented students and faculty to its campus. Picture this: It’s a crisp fall day. The leaves are changing colors and the scenery is gorgeous. You peer through your window and get a glimpse of beautiful Lake Michigan.  You step outside into the cool air and take a short walk to your local deep-dish pizzeria for lunch. You run into your medical school friends there. And in that moment, you feel such a sense of community against an unparalleled backdrop of a vibrant city.

It has built a reputation for excellence in several areas, from research, to interdisciplinary education, to clinical training. If you are interested in how to get into Northwestern Medical School, this post is for you! This blog post serves as a high-yield resource of facts for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. We’ll also give tips for getting accepted to FSM from an accepted applicant. Whether you’re comparing medical schools, preparing for an interview, or wanting to learn more about FSM, keep reading!

Why Choose Northwestern Medicine?


The most common reasons we’ve heard from students:

  • FSM has a very strong research program. World-renowned faculty researchers are eager to take students under their wings.
  • Northwestern runs on a pass/pass grading system. If you fail an exam, you simply retake it until you pass.
  • Students are able to gain very early clinical experience and form longitudinal relationships with their mentors and patients.
  • Northwestern’s undergraduate campus in Evanston, Illinois is very accessible. If you are interested in research or extracurriculars on the Evanston campus, you may take a short shuttle and explore the opportunities there. Also, did I mention that the Evanston campus has a private beach just for students?
  • The diversity of patients that Chicago brings makes the clinical training at Northwestern outstanding and very rewarding.
  • FSM’s location is a big reason that people from all over the country wish to attend here. It is located right on the lake and just a few blocks from Michigan Ave., which is the hub of all shopping and dining in Chicago.

Applications

Feinberg School of Medicine’s secondary application has several short essay questions. The school wants to make sure you will be a great fit for the Northwestern community, and that you will thrive in the Midwest.

How to get into Northwestern Medical School - Feinberg

Feinberg School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Prompts 2020-2021:

Essay 1) Given the distinctive educational philosophy and integrated curriculum at FSM, describe how your personal characteristics and learning style would fit the institution, and how Feinberg School of Medicine will help you achieve your professional goals. (Limit your response to 200 words)

Essay 2) Describe the steps you take to reduce your personal stress when confronted with difficult situations. (Limit your response to 200 words)

Essay 3) Feinberg’s mission is to impact the practice of medicine through discovery and education. With consideration of FSM’s goal to train future leaders in medicine, please describe your career plans and goals. Be as specific as your current thinking will allow. (Limit your response to 200 words)

Essay 4) (if applicable): If you have (or expect to have) a year or more between college graduation and medical school matriculation, describe your activities and/or plans. For REAPPLICANTS: Please also address steps taken to improve your application for medical school. (Limit your response to 200 words)

Essay 5) Everyone has their own narrative. Please provide more detail about your selections above and how you would enrich the Northwestern community. (Limit your response to 200 words)

Essay 6) (A new prompt for the 2020-2021 application cycle during the COVID pandemic)

Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as any other relevant information.

If you have questions about your Feinberg School of Medicine secondary application, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.

NEED HELP WITH EDITING YOUR
NORTHWESTERN SECONDARY ESSAYS?

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.

Northwestern Medical School
Interview Format

In previous years, FSM has held a mixture of one-on-one interviews and group interviews. During the 2020-2021 application cycle, students were asked to complete three one-on-one interviews, generally consisting of one medical student and two faculty members. One of the interviews is open-file, while the other two are either partially closed-file, or completely closed-file. FSM’s interview format in the coming years may depend on whether interviews are held virtually or in person.

Want to learn more about how to prepare for your Northwestern Medical School interview?

Read our 3 popular medical school interview blog posts here:

  1. How to Prepare for Medical School Interviews
  2. 4 Common Medical School Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
  3. How To Answer Tell Me About Yourself and Why Medicine?

The Cracking Med School Admissions team has helped several students get accepted to Feinberg School of Medicine and ace their interviews! Make sure to contact us and get our help.

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.

Northwestern Medical School Acceptance Rate

Applied
0
Interviewed
0
Accepted
0
Admit Rate
0

Northwestern University School of Medicine Admissions Statistics:

  • Northwestern Medical School Median GPA: 3.92
  • Northwestern Medical School Median MCAT: 520 (130 Chemical and Physical/ 129 Critical Analysis and Reasoning/ 130 Biology and Biochemistry/ 131 Psychology and Sociology)

How did Northwestern Medical School Students Do on Their USMLE Step Exams?

  • Average Feinberg Medical School USMLE Step 1 Score: 240
  • Average Feinberg Medical School USMLE Step 2 Score: 253

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

5 Feinberg Application Tips

How to get into Northwestern Medical School #1:
  • FSM is research-heavy. While research is not required for an acceptance, your passion for scientific inquiry should shine through in your secondary essays and interviews.
How to get into
Northwestern Medical School #2:
  • Northwestern is looking for students who have shown to be resilient. Some students think that this means that you must have an extreme childhood adversity, or something of the like. This is not necessary by any means. Think of a time when you had to bounce back from a difficult situation, and exemplify that in your application.
How to get into
Northwestern Medical School #3:
  • Emphasize what you can bring to the table in terms of diversity of thoughts, interests, and background. Northwestern prides itself on having an interesting student body, so show that you can contribute to that.
How to get into
Northwestern Medical School Tip #4:
  • Do not fall into the trap of doing clinical experiences for the sake of putting hours on your application. You should be able to discuss how you learned and grew from these experiences. Did you learn about compassion and patient advocacy? Did you learn about healthcare disparities?
How to get into Northwestern Medical School Tip #5:
  • Northwestern admires students who have shown an interest in education. If it is true to you, weave that into your application and interviews. Of course, don’t pretend that you’re interested if that is not genuine. They can tell!

Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

We Personally Advise Every Student We Work With

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate
Princeton University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Residency
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

Undergraduate
Johns Hopkins University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Residency
Stanford, Pediatrics

Awards & Scholarships
Marshall Scholar
Tylenol Scholarship
Global Health Scholar

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

Contact us today.

The Insider’s View on Feinberg School of Medicine's Preclinical years-

How to Get Into Northwestern Medical School Tip – Know the Curriculum:
 
Feinberg School of Medicine Curriculum: Overview 

Northwestern’s curriculum is very intentional in creating well-rounded, inquiry-driven, inclusive physicians. It is a traditional two-year pre-clinical and two-year clinical curriculum. The curriculum is broken up into three phases, while weaving in curricular components (known as threads) to strengthen the medical education. These 5 threads are:

  • Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
  • Health Equity and Advocacy
  • Lifestyle Medicine
  • Medical Decision Making
  • Teamwork and Leadership

There are two very unique programs that span over the course of four years:

1) Area of Scholarly Concentration (AOSC) is a required research program by which students are able to come up with a unique project and longitudinally work with a research mentor. Students are able to present posters at conferences and often get first-author publications.

2) Education-Centered Medical Home (ECMH) allows students to gain early clinical skills with preceptors that stick with them for the entire four years. Aside from learning clinical procedures, students also are taught about important issues such as medical ethics and the social determinants of health.

The three phases span the duration of the four years. Below are some highlights from each phase.

Pre-clinical curriculum:

Phase 1:

  • Lasts 20 months
  • The first block lays a foundation of basic science, including general biochemistry, pharmacology, and histology.
  • The subsequent block is broken up into organ system modules, where students explore physiology in more depth.
  • Synthesis Application Modules (SAM) are week-long courses that allow students to integrate and reinforce their knowledge over their four years
  • Lectures are supplemented with problem-based learning, team-based learning, and simulations.

For more details about the Northwestern University Feinberg Curriculum, visit: https://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/md-education/curriculum/phases/index.html

Combined Degrees

FSM offers combined degrees for those interested in pursuing another field of interest. The MD/MBA program is especially popular, as students are able to take business courses at the world-renowned Kellogg School of Management. 

  • MD/MBA
  • MD/MPH
  • MD/PhD
  • BS/MD

What students are saying about Feinberg School of Medicine

The Insider’s View on Northwestern Medical School's Clinical Years

Feinberg School of Medicine Clinical Curriculum:

Feinberg’s clinical curriculum starts with Phase 2.

Phase 2:

  • This is the beginning of the core clerkships. The clerkships include:
    • Medicine
    • Surgery
    • OB/GYN
    • Pediatrics
    • Neurology
    • Psychiatry
  • Students continue to participate in AOSC, ECMH, and SAM
  • Northwestern gives students the chance to partake in early clinical electives in this phase, which is not seen at many medical schools. This provides a valuable opportunity to explore areas of personal interest before submitting residency applications in your fourth year.
  • Students may also choose to take selectives, which are two-week Pass/No Pass experiences in a particular specialty.

 

Phase 3:

  • This phase focuses on advanced clinical rotations including:
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Critical Care
    • Physical Medicine
    • Sub-internships
  • Unique elements of FSM
    • Teaching Selective: Students are provided with the opportunity to take a Teaching Selective, where one may develop strong skills in education and communication by teaching first- and second-year classes. Students then meet with faculty and residents to reflect on the teaching experience and make room for improvement.
    • Capstone Module: During this phase, students wrap up with a Capstone module, where they essentially practice being a doctor. Feinberg allots a couple of weeks for students to join into groups based on their chosen specialty and practice skills such as being on-call or working during a medical emergency. The purpose is to ease the transition between medical school and residency.

 

Common Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH)
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Jesse Brown VA
  • John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
  • Prentice Women’s Hospital

What students are saying about clinical rotations at Feinberg

Housing & Social Life

Northwestern is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago along Lake Michigan. While the area can be a little pricey, FSM provides great resources for finding housing and roommates to reduce the cost.

Here are some popular apartment buildings close to campus:

420 E Ohio Apartments: https://www.420aptschicago.com/

Atwater Apartments: https://www.liveatwaterchicago.com/

Axis Apartments: https://axis.groupfox.com/

Cityfront Place: https://www.cityfrontchicago.com/cityfront-place-chicago-il/

Lake Shore Plaza: https://www.lakeshoreplaza.com/

McClurg Court: https://www.mcclurgcourt.com/

The Grand Ohio: https://www.urbanrealestate.com/chicago/Streeterville/211-E-Ohio/profile

 

How do students get around?

FSM students don’t necessarily need cars. Chicago is a centralized city, and the public transportation is fantastic. Not to mention, FSM provides all of its students with free public transit passes.

 

What is the student life like?

Work hard, play hard! Students love to get involved in non-academic activities in their free time. Check out this video from Northwestern’s comedy group, “In Vivo”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQiZhy1Hf9A&ab_channel=FSMInVivo

FSM students are happy! They even made this music video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLAQPC3G7hc&ab_channel=FSMInVivo

How do students get around?

 

FSM students don’t necessarily need cars. Chicago is a centralized city, and the public transportation is fantastic. Not to mention, FSM provides all of its students with free public transit passes.

 

What is the student life like?

 

Work hard, play hard! Students love to get involved in non-academic activities in their free time. Check out this video from Northwestern’s comedy group, “In Vivo”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQiZhy1Hf9A&ab_channel=FSMInVivo

 

FSM students are happy! They even made this music video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLAQPC3G7hc&ab_channel=FSMInVivo

 

Northwestern organizes “colleges.” It’s essentially like the Harry Potter houses. Students are sorted into colleges during their first year and stick with those friends for the duration of their medical school careers. The year culminates with the colleges competing in a college cup, which gets excitingly competitive and is such a blast.

 

Feinberg School of Medicine Colleges:

Northwestern organizes “colleges.” It’s essentially like the Harry Potter houses. Students are sorted into colleges during their first year and stick with those friends for the duration of their medical school careers. The year culminates with the colleges competing in a college cup, which gets excitingly competitive and is such a blast.

 

financing

While medical school is undoubtedly a large investment, Feinberg School of Medicine does what it can to alleviate that financial burden. Merit scholarships are available on top of need-based financial aid.

Financial Considerations:

  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Tuition and Fees: ~$63,000 + ~$30,000 room, board, health insurance
  • Average indebtedness of graduates: ~$198,000

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

Cracking Med School Admissions Resources

Get Accepted

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

Scroll to Top