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Complete List: Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020 – 2021

We know it’s annoying to scroll through numerous websites and blog posts to look for current and previous secondary prompts. The Cracking Med School Admissions team compiled as many medical school secondary essay prompts for the 2020-2021 cycle. We made it available in one blog post right here. We listed the medical school secondary essay prompts in alphabetical order, based on university name. 

Other High-Yield Medical School Secondary Blog Posts: 

If you have any medical school secondary essay prompts to contribute to this community and blog post, please email us: info@crackingmedadmissions.com. Additionally, if you see anything that should be modified, let us know. Everyone will greatly appreciate it! 🙂

Questions about specific med school secondary applications? Fill out our contact form below and feel free to ask us questions!

Cornell – Weill Cornell Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Please write a brief statement giving your reasons for applying to Weill Cornell Medical College. (1500 characters)
  2. Please describe a challenge you faced and how you addressed it. (1500 characters)
  3. If applicable, please tell us about any special circumstances related to COVID-19 that could help us understand you better. (1500 characters)
  4. If you are not attending college during the upcoming (2020-2021) academic year, what are your plans? (1500 characters)

Dartmouth – Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Please indicate your plans for the upcoming year. (no character count)
  2. Please share something about yourself that is not addressed elsewhere in your application that you feel might be helpful to our Admissions committee. (no character count)
  3. Geisel School of Medicine values social justice and diversity in all its forms. Reflect on a situation where you were the “other.” (250 words)

Emory University School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. List your entire curriculum plan for the current academic year. If you are not currently in school, please briefly describe your plans for the coming year. (200 words)
  2. Briefly describe your health-related experiences. Be sure to include important experiences that are in your AMCAS application, as well as any recent experiences. (200 words)
  3. Briefly describe your interest in Emory and the Emory degree program you have selected. (200 words)
  4. What do you consider to be the role of the physician in the community? (200 words)
  5. If you have any updates or new information to report since you have submitted your AMCAS primary application, please briefly describe below. (200 words)

George Washington University School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Please provide the Admissions Committee with a brief summary of your activities, academics, employment or other occupations to account for full-time activity (approx. 30-40 hours/week) from the point of application through matriculation in 2021. (750 characters not including spaces)
  2. The MD Program includes substantial content in Clinical Public Health (population health, health systems science, health policy, and community health) to prepare GW graduates for an expanded scope of practice required to be successful 21st century physicians. What are your specific interests and experiences related to that aspect of the MD Program? (350 characters not including spaces)
  3. What is your most meaningful clinical experience to date, involving direct patient contact? (350 characters not including spaces)
  4. What makes you a unique individual? What challenges have you faced? How will these factors help you contribute to the diversity of the student body at GW? (1000 characters not including spaces)
  5. What is your specific interest in the MD Program at GW? What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student here? Why? (2000 characters not including spaces)

Georgetown University School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. The Georgetown University School of Medicine strives to ensure that its students become respectful physicians who embrace all dimensions of caring for the whole person. Please describe how your personal characteristics or life experiences will contribute to the Georgetown University School of Medicine community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1,000 characters).
  2. 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? (1,000 characters)
  3. 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, formatted at your discretion)

Harvard Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. If you are re-applying, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since your previous application.
  2.  If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
  3.  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)
  4. The Committee on Admissions understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted applicants in various ways. If you wish to inform the Committee as to how these events have affected you and have not already done so elsewhere in your application, please use this space to do so. (This is an optional essay; the Committee on Admissions will make no judgment based on your decision to provide a statement or not.) (4000 character maximum)
  5. The interview season for the 2020-2021 cycle will be held virtually and is anticipated to run from mid-September through January 2021. Please indicate any significant (three or more weeks) restriction on your availability for interviews during this period. If none, please leave this section blank.

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. During your career as a physician, you will potentially encounter many obstacles and be required to overcome many challenges. Resilience is a prerequisite for success in medical school and beyond. Describe your experience with a situation that had an unfavorable outcome. How did you react, and how might you have responded differently? What did you learn about yourself? (250 words)
  2. Kaiser Permanente is nationally recognized for its achievements in the realm of equity, inclusion, and diversity. How will you contribute to the diversity of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine? (250 words)
  3. Lifelong learning is an essential process for continued professional development in physicians that includes reflection and being open and responsive to constructive feedback. Tell us about an area of intellectual exploration you are passionate about and have sustained over time. What means have you used to explore this area? (250 words)
  4. Please describe how you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (250 words)

Mount Sinai (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)  Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. If you are currently not a full time student, please briefly describe the activities you are participating in this academic year (100 words).
  2. If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity or a commitment to a particular community, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Aspects might include, but are not limited to significant challenges in or circumstances associated with access to education, living with a disability, socioeconomic factors, immigration status, or identification with a culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. Completing this section is optional (100 words).
  3. What is the toughest feedback you ever received? How did you handle it and what did you learn from it (250 words)?
  4. Describe a situation that you have thought to be unfair or unjust, whether towards yourself or towards others. How did you address the situation, if at all? (200 words)

New York University Grossman Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

To assist applicants to the MD program with submitting the secondary application for NYU Grossman School of Medicine in a timely matter, we are providing the application questions below. We hope this gives applicants the opportunity to take the time to prepare their essays and submit their applications faster. We will NOT be accepting any secondary essays that are submitted to us through e-mails or attachments. All essays MUST be submitted through the application portal in order to be considered.

  1. If applicable, please comment on significant fluctuations in your academic record which are not explained elsewhere on your application.
  2. If you have taken any time off from your studies, either during or after college, please describe what you have done during this time and your reasons for doing so.
  3. The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to evaluate a wide range of student qualities and life experiences that are complementary to demonstrated academic excellence, strong interpersonal skills and leadership potential. What unique qualities or experiences do you possess that would contribute specifically to the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Community?
  4. The ultimate goal of our institution is to produce a population of physicians with a collective desire to improve health of all segments of our society through the outstanding patient care, research and education. In this context, where do you see your future medical career and why? If your plans require that you complete a dual degree program, please elaborate here.

Please answer only one of the following three questions: a. The most meaningful achievements are often non-academic in nature. Describe the personal accomplishment that makes you most proud. Why is this important to you? b. Conflicts arise daily from differences in perspectives, priorities, worldviews and traditions. How do you define respect? Describe a situation in which you found it challenging to remain respectful while facing differences? c. Describe a situation in which working with a colleague, family member or friend has been challenging. How did you resolve, if at all, the situation as a team and what did you gain from the experience that will benefit you as a future health care provider? 6. In light of the public health emergency that was the COVID-19 pandemic, how do you view your potential role as a frontline healthcare provider?

Check out our New York University School Profile!

University of Colorado School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Part A. The School of Medicine regards the diversity of an entering class as an important factor in serving the educational mission of the school. Please write about things in your background that have been important to your development or that have been challenging to you on your path to a career in medicine. These could include your socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and work or life experiences. Explain how these have influenced your goals and preparation for a career in medicine.
  2. Part B. Please write about the “fit” between your experiences and goals and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

University of Michigan Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Comment on how you hope to impact medicine in the future. If examples are needed, feel free to refer to our eight Paths of Excellence. Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).
  2. 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).
  3. Tell us something you are passionate about and why. Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).
  4. Describe your experience in a leadership position, the challenges that presented themselves in that position and what you did to contribute to the success of the team or project. Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Describe a group project or activity that you are most proud of. Consider the following in your response: What aspect makes you most proud? How was it accomplished? How did you deal with disagreement or conflict in the group? How did you get fellow group members to embrace a position or view your perspective? (2500 characters)
  2. Describe a time that you have witnessed someone acting unethically or dishonestly, or an experienced behavior of harassment or discrimination. Consider the following in your response: What did you do? What made the situation difficult for you personally? Describe your reaction and what you might do differently now in retrospect. (2500 characters)
  3. Describe an example of a very difficult assignment, task, or situation that you did not think you could accomplish. Consider the following in your response: How did you approach it? If you were tempted to quit, why did or didn’t you? What made you stay the course despite obstacles? What did you learn from the experience? (2500 characters)
  4. Optional: Have you engaged in any public service activities for a duration of one year or greater in length (examples: Military, Peace Corps, Teach for America, etc.). Yes or No? If so, please describe the experience and impact on your personal and professional development. (2500 characters)
  5. Optional: Please explain any academic discrepancies or extenuating circumstances that you feel the Admissions Committee should know. (2500 characters)

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. If applicable, please describe how the COVID-19 outbreak affected your pathway to medical school. You may discuss any academic, personal, financial, or professional alterations to your plans. NOTE: Disclosing certain hardships or obstacles that have been faced during this time will not negatively affect an application. (500 words)
  2. 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)
  3. 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 Tech Carilion School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Tell us about constructive criticism you have received, or a personal challenge you have experienced, that you found particularly impactful. Please describe how that experience has advanced your development as a future physician thought leader. (600 words)
  2. Explain how interactions with people who are different from you have shaped your world view and relate how you would enrich the VTC community. (600 words)
  3. Describe three aspects of VTCSOM and how those align with your philosophy of medicine. (600 words)
  4. If funding were no object, describe how you would direct medical inquiry. (600 words)

Wake Forest School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. We seek to train physicians who can connect with diverse patient populations with whom they may not share a similar background. Tell us about an experience that has enhanced your ability to understand those unlike yourself. (200 words or less)

  2. Describe a non-academic challenge you have faced and explain how you overcame it. (200 words)

  3. From your list of “most meaningful experiences” on the AMCAS application, choose one that has been the most formative in terms of your desire for a career in medicine. Why did that experience have such meaning for you in your decision-making process? How did it prepare you for a career in medicine? (200 words)

  4. Tell us about any specific reason(s) (personal, educational, etc.) why you see yourself here at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. (150 words)

  5. Please tell us an interesting fact about yourself that a casual acquaintance may find surprising or interesting (50 words)

  6. If you have already received your bachelor’s degree, please describe what you have been doing since graduation and your plans for the upcoming year. (200 words)

  7. Situational: If you have received a C grade or lower in any coursework, please explain.

AT Still University Osteopathic Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts 2020:

  1. Describe your activities during any gaps longer than 3 months in your college or postgraduate record.
    (Please limit your response to 500 words or less. All information provided in this section must be the original work of the applicant and not from another author.)
  2. Describe your experiences with osteopathic physicians. Have you ever shadowed a DO, if not explain why? Do you have a letter of recommendation from a DO, if not explain why?
    (Please limit your response to 500 words or less. All information provided in this section must be the original work of the applicant and not from another author.)
  3. Describe your understanding of SOMA by answering one of the following questions:
    What unique feature of SOMA appeals to you? What specific feature of SOMA concerns you?
    What would be your strongest attribute as a SOMA student? What would be your weakest?
  4. Please list any changes or updates to your AACOMAS application. This section may be left blank if your AACOMAS application is complete and accurate.