Secondary Applications - University of South Carolina USC Greenville Secondary Application Prompts and Tips

University of South Carolina Greenville Secondary Application Essay Prompts & Tips (USC Greenville)

University of South Carolina Greenville Secondary Application Essay Prompts by Year
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    The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is located has a less “urban” feel than its counterpart, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia. As a medical student at USC Greenville, you’ll primarily work in suburban and rural settings, and the emphasis on rural populations in South Carolina is emphasized on the USC Greenville secondary application questions (see below). We’ve written tons of tips on how to answer the USC Greenville secondary application essays! Our biggest tip – use the large character limit space allotted. This is a secondary application we commonly edit, so check our secondary essay editing packages.

    The USC Greenville secondary application is long, and unfortunately, the character limits change each year.  We would not pre-write this, but we encourage applicants to submit this by early August. 

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Questions: 2023 – 2024

    Note – many of the essay prompts have changed from last cycle

    Personal Background

    1. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional medically related employment, volunteer activities or observation experiences not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional community service or volunteer activities not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    3. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional research or leadership experiences not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. (If applicable) Have you participated in the U of SC School of Medicine Greenville Medical Experience Academy (MedEx)? [Yes/No]
    5. Please consider sharing experiences, challenges, family or personal circumstances, interests, etc. that you believe would bring added value and unique lived experience to the learning community at USC School of Medicine Greenville. (5,000 characters
    6. If you are not a South Carolina resident, what relationships, bonds, or other interests or connections do you have to the state? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)

    Essays

    1. Is there any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider that has not been previously addressed? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. Why have you chosen to apply to USC School of Medicine Greenville and how do you think your education at USCSOM Greenville will prepare you to become a physician in the future? (5,000 characters)
    3. At USCSOM Greenville we are committed to Transforming Medicine One Doctor at a Time. Share how, as a physician, you will seek to transform medicine. (5,000 characters)
    4. Please describe a personal work, social or educational experience which felt inclusive and welcoming. (5,000 characters)

    Tips to Answer USC Greenville Secondary Application Essays

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Pre-Writing Guidance: This is one of the toughest secondary applications in the nation among allopathic schools! While we would love for you to start writing the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville secondary application, many of the essay prompts literally change each year, and we don’t think that would be a good use of time. However, once the official secondary gets released by the medical school, we would strongly suggest you work on this on the earlier side (maybe not the first secondary you work on because it might burn you out!)

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #1:  The first questions our Cracking Med School Admissions team gets asked: 1) Do I have to answer all the applicable / optional questions? and 2) Do I need to use all 5,000 characters?

    Here’s our response: The strongest applicants will take advantage of the space to SHOW their passion for South Carolina, clinical experiences, leadership, teamwork, academic endeavors and personal background. We think the strongest essays will utilize at least 2,000 characters of the 5,000 allocated in the applicable questions. 

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #2: So, what do you write in that large amount of space?

    1. Stories. Telling stories is one of the most effective ways to stand out in your medical school application. For instance, you can write a story about from your work experience, even if it’s not a clinical experience. For example, if you worked in the military, you can write about leadership and teamwork in the military. Dr. Rachel Rizal wrote an entire U.S. News article on how to do that – How to Highlight Military Experiences on Medical School Applications! Alternatively, if you did research prior to applying to medical school, you can write about your research project and a story about a research challenge you faced. 
    2. Details about your experiences. When you are asked to write about your leadership, academic background, or community service, that does not mean you should just list out the activities. Instead, treat it like an AMCAS most meaningful activity and write stories / long descriptions about each activity. Read examples of AMCAS most meaningful activities
    3. Many students have questions about this secondary application each year and ask us to strategize and edit the essays with them. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #3: Given that University of South Carolina is a public institution, it is extremely important to write your affiliations with South Carolina. If you lived in South Carolina or even visited family in South Carolina, we highly mention that in your application! Additionally, if you’ve done clinical or volunteer experiences in South Carolina, include that in your application. Finally, if you plan to practice in South Carolina, mention it your USC Greenville secondary application!

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #4: The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville secondary application questions, “Is there any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider that has not been previously addressed? ” and “Are there any additional aspects of your personal background or identity that you feel are important to share with the Admissions Committee? Examples might include barriers to educational opportunities; experience with socioeconomic disadvantage; and/or identification with a diverse culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability” are diversity essays.

    Most applicants will first go to writing about their family background – particularly their families’ immigrant background – when they see a diversity prompt. While that is not incorrect, Drs. Rizal and Mediratta ask: Is this the best topic to make you stand out? What topic will best convey your commitment to being an excellent physician? 

    Here are examples of what students have written about:

    • Personal background or personal challenges they faced in life
    • Immigrating or moving to South Carolina from a foreign country
    • If a varsity athlete in college, overcoming an injury or a story that exemplifies his or her leadership

    Don’t forget to answer this long character limit essay with at least one story!

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #5: Our Cracking Med School Admissions team strongly encourages our students to include stories in your University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville secondary application. Stories can show the reader a lot about you!

    Here are examples of stories our students have written:

    • A story from your gap year job. Many students scribe, and you can discuss a memorable patient encounter. Other students do research, so we’ve encouraged students to discuss a challenging research problem and how they solved it. 
    • A patient experience you have encountered and connect it with the region of the country you are interested in. 
    • Stories with rural patients. Especially for OOS applicants, you have to relate your experiences outside of South Carolina with the rural population of South Carolina. 

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #6: Read our blog post on “why this medical school” to answer the USC Greenville secondary application question, “Why have you chosen to apply to USC School of Medicine Greenville and how do you think your education at USCSOM Greenville will prepare you to become a physician in the future?” We would emphasize the following: Commitment to rural health; Past Experiences in South Carolina and how that relates to what you want to do at USC Greenville School of Medicine and as a practicing physician; and ideas to lead healthcare initiatives to improve community health (particularly in South Carolina) in the future.

    Don’t forget to incorporate a little bit about “Why USC Greenville” throughout the USC Greenville secondary application responses. Talk about the curriculum and specific volunteer / clinical opportunities you want to do at University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

    • Read our blog post why this medical school to gain insights on how to incorporate a strong “Why University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.”

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Tip #7: Get our help to edit your South Carolina secondary application essays and your other secondary essays. We can help you through our secondary essay packages. Have questions about how you can stand out? Contact Dr. Rachel Rizal and Dr. Rishi Mediratta below. 

    [Read more secondary tips and essays: Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), University of South Carolina Columbia (USC Columbia), University of Alabama, Emory]

    Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

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    Rachel Rizal, M.D.

    Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

    Undergraduate
    Princeton University, cum laude

    Medical School
    Stanford School of Medicine

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    Harvard, Emergency Medicine

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    Dr. Rishi Mediratta

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

    Advising students to attend their dream schools

    Undergraduate
    Johns Hopkins University, Phi Beta Kappa

    Medical School
    Stanford School of Medicine

    Residency
    Stanford, Pediatrics

    Awards & Scholarships
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    Tylenol Scholarship
    Global Health Scholar

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    USC Greenville Secondary Application Questions: 2022 – 2023

    Personal Background  

    1. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional medically related employment, volunteer activities or observation experiences not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional community service or volunteer activities not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    3. (If applicable) Please describe any new or additional research or leadership experiences not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. (If applicable) Have you participated in the U of SC School of Medicine Greenville Medical Experience Academy (MedEx)? [Yes/No]
    5. Does this application represent a career change or shift (including military service)? If yes, please describe your first career (2,000 character limit)
    6. What best describes your experience in a rural area (defined as less than 25,000 people and greater than thirty miles from a population of over 100,000 people)?
    7. Please share your racial identity as you indicated on your AMCAS application. (1,000 character limit)
    8. Please share your ethnic identity as you indicated on your AMCAS application. (1,000 character limit)
    9. Are there any additional aspects of your personal background or identity that you feel are important to share with the Admissions Committee? Examples might include barriers to educational opportunities; experience with socioeconomic disadvantage; and/or identification with a diverse culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. (5,000 character limit)

    Essays

    1. New Essay: How do you believe you will transform medicine as a physician? (500 word limi)
    2. New Essay: If there were 25 hours in the day, how would you fill the additional time? (500 word limit)

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    USC Greenville Secondary Application Questions: 2021 – 2022

    Academic History

    1. (If applicable) If you are a re-applicant, what have you engaged in and/or accomplished to strengthen your candidacy? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. (If applicable) If you are not accepted to medical school for the upcoming academic year, what are your plans? (5,000 characters)
    3. (If applicable) Please briefly describe circumstances regarding any courses with a grade less than a B minus, or any course withdrawals. Additionally, please describe the circumstances if you took any required courses as Pass/Fail rather than graded due to COVID-19, including if you had a choice to take as graded or pass/fail and the context of that decision. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. (If applicable) If you are currently participating in an academic program, please outline intended coursework for the academic year. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    5. (If applicable) If you do not expect to spend this academic year in school, please explain how you intend to use this time. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)

    Personal Information

    1. Are there any additional aspects of your personal background or identity that you feel are important to share with the Admissions Committee? Examples might include barriers to educational opportunities; experience with socioeconomic disadvantage; and/or identification with a diverse culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. (5,000 character limit)
    2. Please provide any information regarding hardships that you have overcome. You may wish to include any past achievements, experiences, challenges, family or personal circumstances, interests, etc. that you believe would bring added value and diversity to the learning community at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. (5,000 character limit)
    3. If you are not a South Carolina resident, what relationships, bonds, or other interests or connections do you have to the state? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)
    4. Is there any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider that has not been previously addressed? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)
    5. Why have you chosen to apply to UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and how do you think your education at UofSCSOM Greenville will prepare you to become a physician in the future? (5,000 character limit)

    Essays

    1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your decision to attend medical school? What did you learn about yourself during this unprecedented pandemic? Comment also on how the pandemic contributed to your understanding of the challenges and rewards of caring for critically ill patients who may themselves represent a risk to your own health as well as that of your family. (500 word limit)
    2. New Essay: How do you define community? What role should physicians have in communities in which we live? (500 word limit)

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Questions: 2020 – 2021

    Academic History

    1. (If applicable) If you are a re-applicant, what have you engaged in and/or accomplished to strengthen your candidacy? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. (If applicable) If you are not accepted to medical school for the upcoming academic year, what are your plans? (5,000 characters)
    3. (If applicable) Please briefly describe circumstances regarding any courses with a grade less than a B minus, or any course withdrawals. Additionally, please describe the circumstances if you took any required courses as Pass/Fail rather than graded due to COVID-19, including if you had a choice to take as graded or pass/fail and the context of that decision. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. (If applicable) If you are currently participating in an academic program, please outline intended coursework for the academic year. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    5. (If applicable) If you do not expect to spend this academic year in school, please explain how you intend to use this time. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)

    Personal Information

    1. Are there any additional aspects of your personal background or identity that you feel are important to share with the Admissions Committee? Examples might include barriers to educational opportunities; experience with socioeconomic disadvantage; and/or identification with a diverse culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability. (5,000 character limit)
    2. Please provide any information regarding hardships that you have overcome. You may wish to include any past achievements, experiences, challenges, family or personal circumstances, interests, etc. that you believe would bring added value and diversity to the learning community at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. (5,000 character limit)
    3. If you are not a South Carolina resident, what relationships, bonds, or other interests or connections do you have to the state? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)
    4. Is there any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider that has not been previously addressed? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)
    5. Why have you chosen to apply to UofSC School of Medicine Greenville and how do you think your education at UofSCSOM Greenville will prepare you to become a physician in the future? (5,000 character limit)

    Essays

    1. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your decision to attend medical school? What did you learn about yourself during this unprecedented pandemic? Comment also on how the pandemic contributed to your understanding of the challenges and rewards of caring for critically ill patients who may themselves represent a risk to your own health as well as that of your family. (500 word limit)
    2.  In what ways is it important for physicians to serve as leaders? How does this relate to your personal strengths? Are there important leadership qualities that you are working to develop or improve? (500 word limit)

    USC Greenville Secondary Application Questions: 2019 – 2020

    Academic History

    1. (If applicable) If you are a re-applicant, what have you engaged in and/or accomplished to strengthen your candidacy? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. (If applicable) Please briefly describe circumstances regarding any courses with a grade less than a B minus, or any course withdrawals. Additionally, please describe the circumstances if you took any required courses as Pass/Fail rather than graded due to COVID-19, including if you had a choice to take as graded or pass/fail and the context of that decision. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    3. (If applicable) If you are currently participating in an academic program, please outline intended coursework for the academic year. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. (If applicable) If you do not expect to spend this academic year in school, please explain how you intend to use this time. (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 characters)

    Personal Information

    1. Please describe any additional medically related volunteer activities or observation experiences not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please put N/A) (5,000 characters)
    2. Please describe any additional community service or volunteer activities not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please put N/A) (5,000 characters)
    3. Please describe any additional research or leadership experience not included in your AMCAS application. (If not applicable, please put N/A) (5,000 characters)
    4. Have you participated in the UofSC School of Medicine-Greenville Medical Experience Academy (MedEx)? [Yes/No]
    5. Please provide any information regarding hardships that you have overcome. You may wish to include any past achievements, experiences, challenges, family or personal circumstances, interests, etc. that you believe would bring added value and diversity to the learning community at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. (5,000 character limit)
    6. If you are not a South Carolina resident, what relationships, bonds, or other interests or connections do you have to the state? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)
    7. Is there any additional information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider that has not been previously addressed? (If not applicable, please write N/A) (5,000 character limit)

    Essays

    1. Lifestyle medicine is an integral component of the curriculum at UofSC School of Medicine Greenville. Lifestyle factors including nutritional practices, physical activities, recreation and strategies to manage stress are critical determinants of health. Please discuss what you believe to be effective measures by which physicians can address these issues in the care of their patients.(500 word limit)
    2. Consider a leader with whom you have a personal and/or professional relationship. Describe the qualities you admire in this person and the similarities and differences you see between yourself and the leader you identified. What leadership qualities do you have that make you a strong candidate for Medical School? (500 word limit)
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