Our Cracking Med School Admissions team has been busy helping students submitting their numerous secondaries. Whether you’re a pre-med wondering what types of prompts you will receive in the future or whether you’re a current applicant looking at the wide variety of essays, check out our list of medical school secondary application essay prompts for the 2016-2017 application cycle.
Don’t forget to buy our Cracking Med School Admissions book to read secondary essays from students who made it into top medical schools!
Our book categorizes secondary essays such as:
- Diversity prompts
- “Why x school?”
- “Where do you see yourself in the future?”
Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts 2016
Medical school secondary application essay prompts are listed in alphabetical order. E-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the medical school secondary application.
Boston University Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
1) Please provide a narrative or timeline to describe any features of your educational history that you think may be of particular interest to us. For example, have you lived in another country or experienced a culture unlike your own, or worked in a field that contributed to your understanding of people unlike yourself? Or, have you experienced advanced training in any area, including the fields of art, music, or sports? This is an opportunity to describe learning experiences that may not be covered in other areas of this application or your AMCAS application. It is not necessary to write anything in this section. (2000 characters)
2) Use the space below to provide additional information you feel will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of your strengths as a candidate for a career in medicine. This should include only information NOT already included in your AMCAS or other sections of the BUSM Supplemental Application. Most applicants leave this blank. (3000 characters)
Brown (Alpert) Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Summarize your activities during the 2016-2017 academic year. Describe how your activities are preparing you for a medical career. (2000 characters)
- How will your unique attributes (e.g., cultural or socioeconomic background, lifestyle, work experiences) add to the overall diversity of the Alpert Medical School community? (2000 characters)
- What are your aspirations for your medical practice? Fast-forward to 15 years in the future: where do you imagine yourself? (3000 characters)
Columbia Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- If you took time off from your undergraduate studies, please briefly summarize your reasons for doing so. (250 words)
- From which languages can you translate scholarly material into English? (no limit)
- In what collegiate extra-curriculars did you engage? (400 chars)
- If you have graduated from college, please briefly summarize what you have done in the interim. (300 words)
- What challenges do you expect to arise from living and working in a complex urban environment? How will you meet them? (300 words)
- Is there anything else you would like us to know? (300 words)
- Please describe your parents’ occupations. (100 chars)
Duke Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- 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?
- 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?
- What has been your most humbling experience and how will that experience affect your interactions with your peers and patients?
- Describe an experience when you were confronted with an individual or group whose values differ from yours? How did you resolve the conflict/ challenge? Describe at least one outcome that the experience created.
- Describe a situation where you failed. What did you learn from the experience? Describe at least one functional impact of the experience.
All above are 600 word limit. Additional Prompts for Primary Care Leadership Track:
- Describe a successful leader. What type of leadership skills do you want to cultivate in your training experience and how do you envision doing that? (250 words)
- Have you engaged with community in the past? How do you hope to understand and impact communities in the future? (250 words)
Georgetown Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Is there any further information that you would like the Committee on Admissions to be aware of when reviewing your file that you were not able to notate in another section of this or the AMCAS Application? (1000 characters)
- Why have you chosen to apply to the Georgetown University School of Medicine and how do you think your education at Georgetown will prepare you to become a physician for the future? (1 page, PDF form)
Harvard Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- If you have already graduated, briefly summarize your activities since graduation. (4000 characters)
- If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. (4000 character maximum)
Mount Sinai Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Please tell us about a passion (professional or personal) you have had thus far in your life. (250 words)
- Please tell us about a situation in which working with others has been challenging. (200 words)
Northwestern Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Given the distinctive educational philosophy and curriculum at FSM, describe how your personal characteristics and learning style would fit the institution. (200 words)
- Describe the coping skills (not problem solving skills) you use when confronted with difficult situations. (200 words)
- Describe your career plans and goals. Be as specific as your current thinking will allow. (200 words)
- (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. (200 words)
- If you wish, use this space to provide more detail about your selections above and how you would bring diversity to the Northwestern community. (200 words)
- Do you or an immediate family member have an existing relationship with the Feinberg School of Medicine? Yes /No. If yes, briefly describe. (75 words)
Stanford Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- The Committee on Admissions regards the diversity (broadly defined) of an entering class as an important factor in serving the educational mission of the school. The Committee on Admissions strongly encourages you to share unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment, socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and life or work experiences. Please discuss how such factors have influenced your goals and preparation for a career in medicine. (2000 characters)
- How would you handle a situation where your colleague is not contributing equally in a collaborative project? (2000 characters)
- Choose which clinical setting best describes your career goals: a) academic medicine b) non-academic clinical practice c) health policy / administration d) primary care e) public health (community health, global health).
Why do you think you are particularly suited for this practice scenario? What knowledge, skills and attitudes have you developed that have prepared you for this career path? (1000 characters)
- How will the Stanford curriculum, and specifically the requirement for a scholarly concentration, help your personal career goals? (1000 characters)
- If you have peer-reviewed publications resulting from scholarly endeavors, please complete a citation for each of your publications in the space below using the following format: Author, Title, Journal, Volume, Pages, and Date of Publication (e.g., searchable on PubMed). Please do not include abstract, conference, or unpublished papers
Tufts Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Do you wish to include any comments (in addition to those already provided in your AMCAS application) to the Admissions Committee at Tufts University School of Medicine? (1000 characters)
- Do you consider yourself a person who would contribute to the diversity of the student body of Tufts University School of Medicine? (1000 characters)
- Do you have any withdrawals or repeated coursework listed on your transcript(s)? (1000 characters)
- Did you take any leaves of absence or significant breaks from your undergraduate education? (1000 characters)
University of California, Davis Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Discuss any elements of your application that you feel might be concerning to the Admissions Committee. (500 characters)
- Do you have a connection to Northern or Central California? (Yes or No) If you answered ‘yes’ to having a connection to Northern or Central California, please explain below. If you answered ‘no’ type ‘not applicable’.
- Experiences: Briefly describe this activity and its significance. How did it prepare you for a medical career? Include any supporting information (e.g. your contribution to the project or accomplishment as well as links to any publication, etc) (750 characters or less)
University of California, Los Angeles Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Describe involvement in the ONE most important non-academic activity that has been important in your life: (800 max)
- What has been the ONE most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated? (800 max)
- What has been the ONE most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful? (800 max)
- What is the ONE most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important? (800 max)
- What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates and advisor. (800 max)
- Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth. (800 max)
- List major paid work experience during (or since) college. Give dates, description, approximate hours worked (list the most recent first). (800 max)
- If there is any hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application, then check the box labeled “hardship” and briefly explain why you are indicating a hardship.Include any geographic, language, economic, academic, physical, or mental factors. (800 max)
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What experiences have led you to this goal? (800 max)
University of California, San Francisco Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- If you wish to update or expand upon your activities, you may provide additional information below. (500 words)
- Applicants are interviewed by invitation only. Please note that we do not conduct regional interviews. Interviews are scheduled from September to February (days vary). Please let us know if you will be out of the country during the interview season. (300 characters)
University of Chicago (Pritzker) Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
Mission Statement: “At the University of Chicago, in an atmosphere of interdisciplinary scholarship and discovery, the Pritzker School of Medicine is dedicated to inspiring diverse students of exceptional promise to become leaders and innovators in science and medicine for the betterment of humanity.”
- Our Mission Statement above is an expression of our core purpose and educational philosophy. In particular, it highlights the value we place on diversity since we regard the diversity of the entering class as essential for educational excellence. Please write an essay on how you would enhance diversity at Pritzker and advance the Pritzker mission. (550 words)
- Tell us about a difficult or challenging situation you have encountered and how you dealt with it. In your response, identify both the coping skills you called upon to resolve the dilemma, and the support person(s) from whom you sought advice. (400 words)
- Additional Information: Please feel free to use this space to convey any additional information that you might wish the Committee to know. (200 words)
University of Michigan Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Tell us something you are passionate about and why. Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).
- At the University of Michigan Medical School, 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? Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).
- Please briefly describe your personal experience in a leadership position and the challenges that presented themselves in that position. Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- We have all tried something and failed, whether it was something big or something small. Describe a situation or an experience you had when you realized that you were not up to the task, and tell us what life-lessons you learned from this experience. (1000 characters)
- Much of medical school education is based on team-learning. What important activity have you accomplished that required a team approach, what was your role in the outcome, and what did you learn from it? (1000 characters)
- Give an example of how you made a difference in someone’s life-whether it is a patient, friend, classmate, or a family member-and explain what this experience taught you about yourself. (1000 characters)
Vanderbilt Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Write a brief autobiography. As completely and precisely as possible, give a picture of yourself, your family, and events you consider important to you. In doing so, identify the values that are of greatest importance to you. If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation. (1200 words)
- Please discuss a challenging situation or obstacle you have faced in the past. Why was it challenging? How did you handle it? Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? What did you learn? (500 words)
Virginia Commonwealth Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Imagine that you are at a social gathering and your neighbor comes over to congratulate you on your acceptance to medical school. She goes on to ask you about your opinion on childhood vaccinations. She is worried about vaccinating her baby because of some of the things that she has read about vaccines. How would you respond to her? (You may use any resources for your answer) (2000 characters)
Washington University in St. Louis Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- If you have already completed your education, if your college or graduate education was interrupted, or if you do not plan to be a full-time student during the current year, describe in chronological order your activities during the time(s) when you were not enrolled as a full-time student. (1800 characters)
- Optional: Describe a time or situation where you have been unsuccessful or failed. (3000 characters)
- Optional: Do you have unique experiences or obstacles that you have overcome that were not covered in your application about which you would like to inform our Admissions Committee? (3000 characters)
Weill Cornell Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- If you are not attending college during the upcoming (2016-17) academic year, what are your plans? (200 words)
- If you are not attending college during the upcoming (2016-17) academic year, what are your plans? (200 words)
- Please describe a challenge you faced and how you addressed it. (200 words)
- For MD/PhD Applicants Only: Please list the names of any Tri-Institutional faculty members with whom you’d like to do research. You do not need to list reasons; names are sufficient.
Yale Medical School Secondary Application Prompts 2016-2017:
- Please use this space to write an essay in which you discuss your interest in Yale School of Medicine. (500 words)