Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Medical School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 20 Aug 2015 14:03:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Thomas Jefferson Medical College 2016 Secondary Application Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/thomas-jefferson-medical-college-2016-secondary-application-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/thomas-jefferson-medical-college-2016-secondary-application-tips/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:26:30 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33434 Thomas Jefferson Medical College is located in Philadelphia and prides itself on educating physicians who will provide integrated community healthcare. For example, one of their unique programs focuses on providing physicians for rural areas. The new curriculum integrates basic sciences with clinical experience and professional development and is uniquely suited to produce doctors who consider […]

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Check out more school specific Secondary essay tips!

Thomas Jefferson Medical College is located in Philadelphia and prides itself on educating physicians who will provide integrated community healthcare. For example, one of their unique programs focuses on providing physicians for rural areas. The new curriculum integrates basic sciences with clinical experience and professional development and is uniquely suited to produce doctors who consider the social and ethical implications of their work in addition to the medical and scientific side. The school also has a large focus on altruism and individual development.

Thomas Jefferson’s 2016 Secondary Application Essay Question:

•  Character limit is 4,000 characters.

Optional Secondary Application Essay: 

Thomas Jefferson does not have required questions, only a prompt asking if you have “any additional information that you would like to share.”

Because this is an optional essay, you should not repeat any information that is on your AMCAS. This section should be used either to a) highlight your unique connection to or interest in the school; b) explain something in your application that may be unclear; or c) add any information that was not included in the AMCAS.

To highlight your unique connection, you should write something that is very focused on details specific to why you would be a good fit for Thomas Jefferson. Do not write a general essay about yourself or the school, but do the research and investigate specific programs that would be a good fit for you. You should also mention if you have special ties to Jefferson or to the area. Do not use this essay to beg or make a plea; the essay should be direct and focused.

If you use the essay to clarify or add information, you should ensure the essay does not repeat the AMCAS or letters of recommendation, if you have access to them. This section can be used to provide updates on current employment or plans for the gap year, additional steps you’ve taken to improve your application, additional classes you have completed, new volunteer work you have undertaken or any other new information that was not previously discussed. Similarly, the essay should be specific, direct and focused.

Thomas Jefferson Timeline:

Click for other school specific secondary essay tips!

If you would like professional guidance with your Thomas Jefferson Medical School application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for Thomas Jefferson application materials.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

JessicaPishkoJessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
• Mindful Of Medicine: A Peek Into The Life Of An M3

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How To Upload Medical Terminology To Your Permanent Memory Bank http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/how-to-upload-medical-terminology-to-your-permanent-memory-bank/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/19/how-to-upload-medical-terminology-to-your-permanent-memory-bank/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:23:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33562 If you love studying and spending endless hours pouring over textbooks gives you a thrill, then this episode will be sure to disappoint. For the rest of you, though, this week’s guest Adeel Yang is about to rescue you from monotonous memorization and the tedious evil of exam prep. Listen to Linda’s conversation with the co-founder […]

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Listen to the show!If you love studying and spending endless hours pouring over textbooks gives you a thrill, then this episode will be sure to disappoint.

For the rest of you, though, this week’s guest Adeel Yang is about to rescue you from monotonous memorization and the tedious evil of exam prep.

Listen to Linda’s conversation with the co-founder and president of Picmonic, the visual learning community, and it won’t be long before you are asking yourself “How could I have studied any other way?”

1:52 – Introducing Picmonic and the story of how it came to be.

6:20 – How Picmonic can help Low Stat Pat (or you) increase scores.

8:12 – Who the program is for.  

8:55 – Overview of a Picmonic user experience.  

10:35 – Bonding over test prep: Picmonic’s social community.  

11:40 – Research shows that these techniques will improve your memory retention and test scores. Take it from nerdy med students.

14:13 – The students who make Adeel proud.

15:55 – How a guy with so many interests juggled it all in med school! (And what’s next on the agenda)

19:03 – Was med school worth it for this entrepreneur?

20:59 – What does the future hold for Picmonic?

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

• Picmonic
Picmonic YouTube Channel
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Related Shows:

• The Doctor As Renaissance Man
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Jon Medved & OurCrowd: The Remarkable Story of an Entrepreneur
• A Wharton Grad Rids the World of Bank Fees

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

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An Incoming MS1 Talks About Med School, Rejection, Blogging & Food http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/18/an-incoming-ms1talks-about-med-school-rejection-blogging/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/18/an-incoming-ms1talks-about-med-school-rejection-blogging/#respond Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:02:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33496 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Jessica… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an […]

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Read more med student blogger interviews here!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Jessica…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Jessica: Great! I’d love for you to get to know me as well! I am from a small town in Southern California, and I studied Cell/Molecular Biology during undergrad.

My favorite ice cream? I LOVE mint chocolate chip – specifically, the kind from Thrifty’s.

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?

Jessica: I am an incoming MS1 at a wonderful school here on the West Coast. I love my school, because it focuses on raising physician leaders who will go on to serve in underserved communities.

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Jessica: As of now, I have not begun the official curriculum, but I am looking forward to topics that deal with Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off? (If you took time off, how did you spend your time?)

Jessica: No, I did not go straight to medical school from college. I finished undergrad in December, and worked full-time until matriculation. In addition to working, I went on mini-adventures throughout California, and experienced this great state as a tourist would.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Jessica: I think the most difficult part of the process was post-interview. There were times when I left an interview and felt as though I presented myself well, but then I would receive an admissions decision contrary to what I had believed. These adverse decisions were difficult for me to process, because I believed there was something wrong with me.

Those negative feelings were indeed real, but I decided to change my perspective on the application cycle. Instead of basking in those feelings, I chose to acknowledge them and change how I viewed an adverse decision. It was not because there was something wrong with me, rather I was not a good fit at a particular school. By changing how I viewed these decisions, I was able to process my feelings in a healthy manner, and not take things personally. In addition, I was able to encourage others who struggled with similar feelings.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience?

Jessica: Sure! I began Operation: Med Student because I felt I had a lot to say, but no place to say it. I wanted to find an avenue that: 1. allowed free self-expression 2. created a place where I could encourage future applicants and 3. allowed my family and friends to stay updated on my life as I transitioned into medical school. The latter was of most importance, because medical school will require most of my time and I did not want my relationships to suffer.

In March of 2015, I began to blog and I absolutely love the experience. I love connecting with current and future applicants, talking about musical interests and discovering new bloggers. From this experience, I learned that it is healthy, if not necessary, to find an avenue to release your feelings. It could be through journaling, singing, dancing…literally, anything! It is something that I highly recommend to those who struggle with expressing themselves.

Accepted: On your blog you talk a lot about your adventures. Can you share some highlights?

Jessica: As far as my adventures, I think one highlight was my recent trip to San Francisco. It was an absolutely amazing and freeing experience. There, I was able to attend a food festival called “Off The Grid,” and had a fusion chicken and waffle sandwich. I am an avid foodie and I must say it was delicious!

Accepted: And last but not least…your thoughts on boba and K-barb?

Jessica: What is boba and K-barb? Well, boba pearls are made of tapioca and can be put in hot or cold drinks such as teas or smoothies. You have to try it!

K-barb, short for Korean BBQ, is a unique experience that allows you to cook your meal yourself. You have a choice of several meats and sides (i.e. marinated chicken, brisket, kimchi) that can be used to create your own delectable meals!

You can follow Jessica’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, Operation: Med Student. Thank you Jessica for sharing your story with us!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
5 Mistakes to Avoid During M1

 

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Clichéd Writing: Med School Application Flaw #3 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/17/cliched-writing-fatal-flaw-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/17/cliched-writing-fatal-flaw-3/#respond Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:05:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33459 “Clichéd Writing” is the next post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Medical School Essays. Don’t hide your lucid answers to essay questions behind meaningless verbiage and abused clichés. I once read an interview with an MBA grad on BW (to protect the guilty, I won’t link.) “As a new company in […]

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Learn how to avoid the 5 Fatal Flaws in your Med School Applications!

Can the buzz!

“Clichéd Writing” is the next post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Medical School Essays.

Don’t hide your lucid answers to essay questions behind meaningless verbiage and abused clichés. I once read an interview with an MBA grad on BW (to protect the guilty, I won’t link.)

“As a new company in a new space, we need to exceed client expectations, so first and foremost I drive client projects in the health-care and telecom verticals. But my job requires an internal focus as well, and I spend a ton of time both building and updating scalable systems, from knowledge management to invoicing and payroll.”

Ouch!!! I suppose this fellow is highly intelligent, and I hope he is good at what he does, but don’t write like he talks. Write directly and clearly so people can understand you. Can the buzz! Perhaps a translation would be:

“As a new company entering a new market, we need to impress our clients with outstanding performance.  I personally manage projects for clients in the health-care and telecom industries.  But in addition to serving our clients, I am striving to build our business by ensuring that all our systems from personnel to invoicing support our growth.”

Avoid Fatal Flaw #3: Write pointed and direct answers to the questions.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays - Download your free guide!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Writing Secondary Essays That Get You Accepted [On-Demand Webinar]
Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School
• So These Two Grad School Applicants Walk Into A Bar . . .

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4 Don’ts For Your Residency Personal Statements http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/16/4-donts-for-your-residency-personal-statements-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/16/4-donts-for-your-residency-personal-statements-3/#respond Sun, 16 Aug 2015 16:55:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33409 The ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) is now open for the 2016 match, so it’s time to get cracking on those residency essays! Your personal statement is a vital part of your application: it is your chance to explain why you’ve chosen your target specialty and show the committee something of who you are. Unlike […]

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5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residecy Personal Statements - Download a copy today!

Don’t just copy the same personal statement for each program!

The ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) is now open for the 2016 match, so it’s time to get cracking on those residency essays!

Your personal statement is a vital part of your application: it is your chance to explain why you’ve chosen your target specialty and show the committee something of who you are. Unlike other pieces of your app (such as letters of rec), it’s also something that you have complete control over. Make the most of it!

Here are 4 things you should AVOID when preparing your residency personal statement:

1.  DON’T explain why you went into medicine. This isn’t a med school application; you’ve already convinced your med school’s adcom why you want to be a doctor. Now that you are a doctor, that information is really beside the point.

2.  DON’T offer a superficial or generic explanation for choosing your specialty. Show that you are serious about your chosen field by giving a serious explanation. Saying that you have wanted to be a surgeon ever since playing Operation as a child doesn’t really shed the right level of knowledge or experience on your decision. Most likely, you’ve chosen your field based on something you learned or an experience you had during med school. Go with that instead.

3.  DON’T send the same personal statement to each of the programs you’re applying to. It should go without saying that since your reasons for applying to each of your given programs are different, then your essays should be different as well. After all, you’re supposed to write about why each program appeals to you – they can’t all have the same attractions.

4.  DON’T use all 28,000 characters for your personal statement. The 28,000 character limit – that’s approximately five pages – set by ERAS is the absolute maximum your essay is allowed to be. But that doesn’t mean that it should be that long. In fact, no residency director wants to read that much, or even close to that much. Try and stick to a one-page essay that addresses all of your key points. Your essay will be more effective if you’re more to the point and concise. You can offer longer answers during your interview.

If you would like professional guidance with your residency application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Residency Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for application materials.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statement - Download your copy today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Residency Applications: How to Match [Free On-Demand Webinar]
• Record Year For Residency Match
• A Residency Admissions Tip for Third-Year Medical Students

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Key Findings From 2015 Compensation Report: Are Med Residents Happy? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/14/key-findings-from-2015-compensation-report-are-med-residents-happy/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/14/key-findings-from-2015-compensation-report-are-med-residents-happy/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:07:37 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33254 The results of Medscape’s 2015 Residents Salary & Debt Report are in. Below you’ll find information about the salaries of residents and an answer to one of the most important questions in the report: Do med residents feel fairly compensated? • Average resident salary: $55,400 • Residents who specialized in Critical Care earned the most, […]

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This year, the male-female salary gap was just $1,000 per year

The results of Medscape’s 2015 Residents Salary & Debt Report are in. Below you’ll find information about the salaries of residents and an answer to one of the most important questions in the report: Do med residents feel fairly compensated?

• Average resident salary: $55,400

• Residents who specialized in Critical Care earned the most, at $62,000. This is followed by Oncology/Pulmonary Medicine ($61,000) and Cardiology ($60,000).

• Residents who specialized in Internal Medicine/Family Medicine/General Medicine earned the lowest salaries ($53,000).

• On average, first year residents earned the least on average at $52,000 per year. Each year following, residents earned more, with seventh year post-MD residents earning the most on average at $66,000 per year. Eighth year post-MD residents, however, took a salary dip, earning on average $63,000 per year.

• This year, the male-female salary gap was just $1,000 per year ($56,000 compared to $55,000, respectively). Last year, the gap was $2,000 – men took home on average $56,000, while women averaged $54,000.

• Residents in the Northeast earned $62,000 in 2015, up $1,000 since last year. Ranking second in this category are the residents in the Northwest who earned $57,000 this year. Last in line here are the Southeasterners (for the second year in a row) who earned $51,000 (compared to $50,000 last year).

• In general, 62% of residents said they felt fairly compensated. On the flip side, 38% do not.

• For the male-female breakdown, 60% of men feel fairly compensated, compared to 65% of females.

The Medscape survey covers loads more areas related to residents’ overall satisfaction and wellbeing, including student debt, the amount of scut work residents have, resident benefits, relationships with nurses, PAs, and attendings, amount of time spent at the hospital, number of hours on call, and much more. It’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s a link to the article, and here’s the slideshow.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statement - Download your copy today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Residency Applications: How to Match [Free On-Demand Webinar]
• Record Year For Residency Match
• The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D. Shares Her Residency Application Experiences

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Tufts University 2016 Secondary Application Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/14/tufts-university-2016-secondary-application-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/14/tufts-university-2016-secondary-application-tips/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:04:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33370 Tufts describes their fundamental mission as promoting human health, with an emphasis on leadership and clinical care. They are looking for students with a strong background in the fundamentals of science who also want to apply that work in a clinical setting. The school’s curriculum emphasizes patient contact early on along with full integration of […]

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Click for other school specific secondary essay tips!Tufts describes their fundamental mission as promoting human health, with an emphasis on leadership and clinical care. They are looking for students with a strong background in the fundamentals of science who also want to apply that work in a clinical setting. The school’s curriculum emphasizes patient contact early on along with full integration of the sciences.

Because Tufts’ medical school is focused on classes where there is a dynamic environment with a great deal of peer-to-peer work, you should emphasize your ability to lead and contribute to a medical school class.

Tufts 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

• Character count is 1000 characters, including spaces.

• The secondaries are optional, but we recommend that you answer them.

Secondary Application Essays:

1. 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?

You can use this space to write about anything not in the AMCAS. Be sure you do not repeat your personal statement. This is a good place to indicate anything specific about Tufts or about your personal background.

2. Do you consider yourself a person who would contribute to the diversity of the student body of Tufts University School of Medicine?

For this question, you should consider diversity of race, ethnicity, language, family background, economic circumstances, and education or past experience. Consider how you might interact with a diverse group of medical students and contribute to your class.

3. Do you have any withdrawals or repeated coursework listed on your transcript(s)?

Explain anything in your academic history that fulfills this question. Be honest and do not make excuses.

4. Did you take any leaves of absence or significant breaks from your undergraduate education? (Do not include time off after graduation.)

Include information about what you did during your time off. Include volunteer work.

5. Is any member of your family a graduate of TUSM or a current member of our faculty?

Tufts Application Timeline:

Check out more school specific secondary essay tips!

If you would like professional guidance with your Tufts Medical School application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for Tufts application materials.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays - Download your free guide!

 

JessicaPishkoJessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels. 

Related Resources:

• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know [Free Guide]
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
• Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

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Icahn School Of Medicine At Mount Sinai 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/icahn-school-of-medicine-at-mount-sinai-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/13/icahn-school-of-medicine-at-mount-sinai-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:10:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33146 According to U.S. News and World Report, Icahn SOM is ranked in the top 20 medical schools in the U.S. for research.  In 2009, the school received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service because it places special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate a strong dedication to community service through […]

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Check out other school specific secondary essay tips!

According to U.S. News and World Report, Icahn SOM is ranked in the top 20 medical schools in the U.S. for research.  In 2009, the school received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service because it places special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate a strong dedication to community service through long-term involvement and leadership roles. Implication for applicants: Highlight your unique characteristics, talents and experiences that will enhance the diversity on Icahn’s campus while demonstrating commitment and leadership.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 2016 Essay Questions:

• Two short essays, with a character limit of 250 and 200 words.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

1. Please tell us about a passion (professional or personal) you have had thus far in your life. (250 word limit)

Since this question is intentionally broad, you’ll want to be strategic in what topic you choose to cover here.  Start by making a list—be creative.  Rank your list of interests based on relevance to their school’s mission. Consider using only those interests that will be helpful to you, your classmates and patients in your medical education.  If you have always had a wonderful sense of humor and have performed at comedy clubs or at hospitals, mention this!  There are so many possibilities that could illustrate what you will bring to medicine that is unique to you.  If you are stuck on this question, you can ask friends and/or family to help you identify a talent, hobby or skill that you use professionally and/or personally.  It would be ideal to choose something that has taken you considerable time and effort to cultivate.

2. Please tell us about a situation in which working with others has been challenging. (200 word limit)

Basically, the adcom wants you to demonstrate the depth of your experience in working on a team.  To provide the best response, select a professional situation that will reveal how you were able to successfully create a positive outcome through your interpersonal communication skills and/or ability to problem solve. Create an outline.  Introduce what the situation was in the first few sentences.  Describe the issues and difficulties that arose.  Focus on what you did and how you changed the outcome for the group to successfully meet your collective goals.  Illustrate what role you play on a team and how you lead and/or support others.

Icahn School of Medicine Application Timeline:

Check out other school specific med secondary essay tips.

*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.

If you would like professional guidance with your Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for Icahn SOM’s application materials.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

 

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective [Podcast]
• Writer, Designer, And MS1 At The Icahn School Of Medicine

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A Med School With A Mission: Sophie Davis School Of Biomedical Education http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/a-med-school-with-a-mission-sophie-davis-school-of-biomedical-education/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/12/a-med-school-with-a-mission-sophie-davis-school-of-biomedical-education/#respond Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:39:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33275 A physician shortage looms large. Enter Dr. Maurizio Trevisan and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, the newest accredited medical school in the United States. Listen to the show to find out how the City College of New York medical school is simultaneously paving the path to primary care for “unevenly educated students” and changing […]

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Listen to the show!

City College of New York

A physician shortage looms large. Enter Dr. Maurizio Trevisan and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, the newest accredited medical school in the United States.

Listen to the show to find out how the City College of New York medical school is simultaneously paving the path to primary care for “unevenly educated students” and changing the status quo for medically underserved communities.

00:01:47 – History of The Sophie Davis School and its evolution into a med school.

00:03:13 – About the BS/MD program.

00:05:58 – Why a 7-year curriculum is critical for Sophie Davis’s mission.

00:07:15 – Taking chances, supporting students and bringing diversity to the medical profession.

00:14:20 – What pushed the program to get accreditation and what the future holds.

00:17:25 – Alums making the school proud.

00:19:29 – Advice for financially or academically challenged med school hopefuls.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education
Are You Cut Out for a Combined BS/MD Program?
New CUNY School of Medicine accredited

Related Shows:

The Doctor As Renaissance Man 
Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

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Mindful Of Medicine: A Peek Into The Life Of An M3 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/interview-with-racquel-forever-mindful-of-medicine/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/interview-with-racquel-forever-mindful-of-medicine/#respond Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:32:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33308 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Racquel… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an […]

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Read more med school student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Racquel…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Racquel: I was born and raised in sunny Tucson, AZ. Year round sun can be fun when you’re a kid and want to play outside all day, but as an adult I’m looking forward to moving somewhere a bit colder! Growing up in AZ as a minority was also a dynamic experience and it definitely contributed to my sense of social justice.

My decision to stay in Tucson for college and attend the University of Arizona was twofold. I wanted to stay close to my family but I was also fortunate enough to have scholarships. I was in the Honors College and majored in Physiology, Religious Studies, and Spanish & Portuguese. I also minored in Arabic and studied abroad in Lebanon. I think that being the first person in my family to go to college made undergrad both challenging and exciting. Within the first year of college I realized I had a lot of interests, hence all of the majors and the minor! I figured since I only got to go to college once I might as well get the most out of it by approaching learning with an open mind. If I had more hours in the day I definitely would have picked up an English major since I love literature, poetry and prose. The goal of my undergrad experience was to get me into medical school while learning as much as I could along the way. Looking back, I would do it all over again.

My favorite ice cream flavor would have to be French vanilla – Baskin Robbins used to have it when I was a kid but discontinued it. I’ve been searching for a replacement ever since!

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?

Racquel: I’m currently a third year medical student, and though I would like to keep the exact location of my med school a bit private, I will say it is in the Southwest.

Accepted: What is your favorite class so far? Favorite clerkship?

Racquel: During the first two years we had a wide variety of “blocks.” I definitely enjoyed our metabolism block the most though. Biochem has been my favorite subject since undergrad and I enjoyed learning pathways in terms of pathology and treatment.

I’m currently on the Internal Medicine clerkship, which is my first clerkship ever. So while I don’t know which has been my favorite clerkship just yet, I will say I’m very excited for pediatrics, OB/GYN and surgery. I have an idea of what my idea medical career would look like but I’m looking forward to finishing more clerkships in order to solidify my vision. Who knows, I might even surprise myself and decide to go into something totally unexpected!

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off? (If you took time off, how did you spend your time?)

Racquel: I went straight from college to med school. Though I have many interests, my ultimate goal has always been medicine. With that in mind, undergrad was my opportunity to explore those interests while strengthening my application for medical school. I’m a very goal-oriented person with high expectations of myself so I never planned to take time off between college and med school. It just wasn’t something I saw myself doing. Had I not gotten in the first time around I likely would have spent a year doing research and working.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Racquel: The med school admissions process is a really difficult time, both logistically and emotionally. I think that the uncertainty that comes along with constantly waiting for an email that decides your fate can make you question your sanity. The whole process can wreak havoc on your inner peace, but it doesn’t have to. Keeping busy but also having a strong spiritual foundation helped me. At the time I was starting my senior year of college and had 24-unit semesters (thanks to all those majors) on top of working at a dermatology practice in the afternoons. I was busy, but I was still stressed. I turned to prayer and my husband to help keep myself centered. Another important thing to keep in mind during the admissions process is that you’re still a person who is worth more than an interview invite, rejection, etc. Let the process be a learning experience, but don’t let it break you.

Accepted: How did you choose which med school would be the best one for you?

Racquel: When choosing which med school was best for me I had to consider more than just academics. Things like finances, price of living, and what the potential city has to offer all come into play. My husband and I got married during my senior year of college so we chose a school based on the overall quality of life we wanted to have for four years. We chose to go somewhere that would allow us to live comfortably but also be close to family. That being said, had I gotten into my dream school I would have gone there in a heartbeat!

Accepted: Do you have any other advice for our med school applicant readers?

Racquel: Just remember that your hard work will pay off! One way or another you will find a way to get where you want to be, so make the most of the journey.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience?

Racquel: I’ve followed many blogs over the years and appreciate the open platform that a blog offers. One day I decided to try it for myself. I first posted in December 2014 as my first semester of MSII came to an end. I had no idea how to start a blog, but my HTML skills from middle school (I attended a science-focused charter school) were finally put to good use. My blog started as a space where I could share some of the challenges I’ve had in my life as well as what medical school is like. I like the idea that my blog will continue to evolve as I do. Writing a blog has allowed me to work through some of my experiences. I have also been able to offer advice to people who write to me, and that is very humbling. My blog has also allowed me to connect with other women in medicine, which is a huge source of motivation for me!

You can follow Racquel’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, Mindful of Medicine. Thank you Racquel for sharing your story with us!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year [Podcast]
• Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School
• Dear Diary…: Advice for Third-Year Medical Students 

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How To Pay For Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/how-to-pay-for-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/11/how-to-pay-for-medical-school/#respond Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:09:58 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33179 Paying for medical school is easy right? Wrong. Paying for medical school has become increasingly challenging for students and families. Higher education is expensive, and is getting more expensive each year. Keeping up with the rising cost of tuition, living expenses, books, and supplies is difficult for every student. If you are an incoming medical […]

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Trying to Get Accepted to Medical School? Learn how to navigate the Med school maze!

Paying for medical school isn’t impossible if you know where to look.

Paying for medical school is easy right? Wrong.

Paying for medical school has become increasingly challenging for students and families. Higher education is expensive, and is getting more expensive each year. Keeping up with the rising cost of tuition, living expenses, books, and supplies is difficult for every student. If you are an incoming medical student you know how expensive it is to become a doctor.

As reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) was $278,455 for private schools, and $207,866 for public schools in 2013. As tuition bills hit mailboxes nationwide, you may be wondering how you can possibly afford to go to medical school. In this article we like to highlight a few paths to consider if you are looking for ways to fund your education.

Federal Financial Aid

The Department of Education realizes that paying for an education is difficult. Luckily, there are a number of federal programs available to help you pay your bill. If you haven’t already submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) get on it. You must submit the FAFSA if you would like to be considered for federal financial aid such as grants or loans. Filing the FAFSA is easy and can be done online in less than 30 minutes.

In short, the FAFSA will determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive. The Department of Education offers both need-based and non-need-based aid. Even if you don’t think you qualify, take 30 minutes and file the FAFSA. Your medical school may even require it as part of the application process.

All incoming medical students will qualify for some form of financial aid. The Department of Education offers graduate and professional students up to $20,500 in Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. These loans have fixed interest rates set at 5.84% for the 2015-2016 period. You can use Federal Stafford Loans to pay for tuition, room and board, textbooks, and other costs related to your cost of attendance. Please note, if you’ve already used federal student loans for your undergraduate studies you can borrow no more than $138,500 in aggregate.

Lastly, you should know that Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans will accrue interest while you are in medical school. It is recommended that you payoff your accrued interest to protect against capitalization.

Private Student Loans

If you aren’t able to meet your cost of attendance even after federal financial aid, you may be considering using a private student loan. Private student loans get a bad rap at times. For most students, private student loans will have higher interest rates in comparison to federal student loans. Private student loan rates range from 2% to 13%. Unlike the Department of Education’s loans, private student loans are issued based off creditworthiness. The rate you are offered will be determined by your creditworthiness and the options selected.

About 9 out of 10 private student loan borrowers need the help of a cosigner to get approved for a private student loan. In general, you or your cosigner will need good credit (+700), a low debt-to-income ratio (below 40%), and gross income over $35,000. Private student loans come in many shapes and sizes. You can select from variable rates, fixed rates, and even choose the term length of your loan. There are plenty of private student loan lenders on the market. Each lender has different options, rates, and approval criteria. We recommend shopping around between lenders before signing that promissory note.

It is always recommended that you maximize your federal financial aid options before using private student loans. For more detailed information about private student loans, please check out this guide.

Scholarships

You’ve likely already started looking at scholarships. But I want to mention it just in case. Unlike student loans, scholarship awards do not need to be repaid. Scholarships are free money.

Scholarships come in many forms. Merit scholarships are the most popular form of scholarship aid. That being said, there are plenty of scholarships available for incoming and current medical students. I would suggest avoiding the first page of Google search results when looking for scholarships. Don’t waste your time applying for scholarship lotteries or “No application! Takes only 2 minutes!” scholarships. Get creative. Look for local scholarships and niche awards. Don’t be afraid to apply for smaller awards too. The smaller the award, the less competition.

Lastly, make sure you avoid scholarship scams. Don’t ever pay to apply for a scholarship. Don’t ever provide your social security number. And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Online scholarship marketing is a huge business. Be careful with your information.

Medical school is expensive. But paying for medical school isn’t impossible if you know where to look. Start with federal financial aid and scholarships. Then if need be, consider private student loans.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

By Matt Lenhard, Co-Founder at LendEDU. LendEDU is a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance. LendEDU works to create transparency in the student loan market. For more information about financial aid or student loans check out LendEDU’s website!

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Related Resources:

• How Much Does Applying to Med School Cost?
• The AAMC Fee Assistance Program: How & Who Should Apply
• US News Most Affordable Med Schools

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Failure To Answer The Question: Med School Application Flaw #2 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/10/failure-to-answer-the-question-med-school-application-flaw-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/10/failure-to-answer-the-question-med-school-application-flaw-2/#respond Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:02:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33287 “Failure to Answer the Question” is the next post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Medical School Essays. Failure to answer the question is such a common error! Applicants so many times ask, “What does the admissions reader want?” They want the answer to their question. And too frequently you don’t provide […]

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Download your copy of 5 Fatal flaws to avoid in your medical school application essays!

The starting point has to be an answer to the question posed.

“Failure to Answer the Question” is the next post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Medical School Essays.

Failure to answer the question is such a common error! Applicants so many times ask, “What does the admissions reader want?” They want the answer to their question. And too frequently you don’t provide what they want. If the question asks you to discuss a failure, somewhere in that essay you must discuss a time when you really blew it. And then what you learned, and if appropriate, a nice dose of how you successfully handled a similar subsequent situation. But the starting point has to be an answer to the question posed. If the question asks why you want to attend a given program, you need to provide specifics about that program that relate to your interests and goals. Don’t respond with an answer that could apply to all programs in your field. That is a non-answer, non-starter, and probable ding. Don’t tell them why you are more qualified than anyone else to attend their program. Just answer the question. What if it’s an open-ended question with just general instructions? Then follow the general instructions and enjoy the luxury of writing about what interests you and best presents your qualifications.

Avoid Fatal Flaw #2: Keep the application alive. Answer the question.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays - Download your free guide!

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Related Resources:

• Writing Secondary Essays That Get You Accepted [Free On-Demand Webinar]
• Secondary Strategy: Why Do You Want To Go Here?
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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Harvard Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/09/harvard-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/09/harvard-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Sun, 09 Aug 2015 16:43:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33194 HMS is looking for students who will help find new ways to approach patient care through diversity, research, and a dedication to service.  In this secondary application, it will be important to include relevant leadership roles that you have held in which you were able to improve methods or outcomes.  Highlight your experience working with […]

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Read more school specific secondary essay tipsHMS is looking for students who will help find new ways to approach patient care through diversity, research, and a dedication to service.  In this secondary application, it will be important to include relevant leadership roles that you have held in which you were able to improve methods or outcomes.  Highlight your experience working with diverse communities and your own cultural background.  If you have recent research experience, discuss your contributions to the team.  Most importantly, describe any community service or volunteer roles you participated in and explain how your work impacted the community you served.  HMS is looking for applicants who can set themselves apart through the quality of their leadership, research, and community service experiences.     

Harvard 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

• Two 4000-character essays are requested, not required.

• One additional essay is required for applicants interested in applying to the HST MD Program with a limit of one page.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 10 or 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

1. If you have already graduated, briefly summarize your activities since graduation. (4000 characters maximum)

This essay applies only to students who have graduated Spring 2012 or earlier from an undergraduate institution.  Using an updated copy of your resume, create a list of the activities that you have participated in since graduating.  You can discuss the activities in chronological order, present to past or past to present.  Or you can organize the list based on type of activity.  Select a method of organization—write it out as a list or draw circles grouping similar activities together.  Once you have decided the method of your approach, you can focus paragraph by paragraph on each activity in the order that you chose—providing details about the level of your responsibilities, what you are learning, how you are impacting the community you are working with and/or how the experience is influencing your life goals.  Provide clear and succinct summaries that are focused on demonstrating HMS’ core commitments as described above or on their website. 

2. 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 characters maximum)

For a question like this, it is better to demonstrate the strength of your connection rather than describing it.  If you have a personal connection to any of the communities described above, describe your involvement in the community and any relevant community service or work related positions you have held to support the community.  The more long term your commitments, the more compelling your connection and identification with the group will be.  Have you assisted other diverse or minority communities?  How have you been involved?  How long has your commitment been?  What impact did you have on the community?  Be sure to provide a strong conclusion for this essay—focusing on how your life has been enriched by the diverse communities you have served.    

HMS Application Timeline:

Read more school specific secondary essay tips!

If you would like professional guidance with your Harvard Medical School application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the HMS application materials.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Explore Accepted.com’s services to see how Alicia can help you achieve your professional dreams in healthcare.

Related Resources:

• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know [Free Guide]
•  Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
• Shaping the Evolution of Humanity’s Health: Harvard Medical School Student IV

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5 Mistakes To Avoid During M1 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/07/5-mistakes-to-avoid-during-m1/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/07/5-mistakes-to-avoid-during-m1/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2015 16:48:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33144 Medical school is tough. I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree with that statement— however, there are definitely ways to make it easier. The following are a few tips which will help you avoid the mistakes that so many new medical students make year after year. 1. Don’t show up to the anatomy […]

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Click here to check out our library of medical school admissions guides!

The act of note-taking can at times be superfluous.

Medical school is tough. I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree with that statement— however, there are definitely ways to make it easier. The following are a few tips which will help you avoid the mistakes that so many new medical students make year after year.

1. Don’t show up to the anatomy lab unprepared. You could easily spend countless hours mucking around the anatomy lab trying to learn detailed anatomy from an un-neatly dissected cadaver. This is especially true if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. Or, you could learn the details of human anatomy from a neatly displayed textbook, and THEN go to the lab. You will find it much easier to identify the sought-after structures, and will definitely spend less time in the lab.

2. Avoid taking excess notes. The physical act of note-taking can be a great way to help you remember a mentioned detail. But spending the entire lecture focusing on choosing the right highlighter, and creating a work of art in your notebook will only distract you from the material being presented. With most lectures now being recorded in their entirety, the act of note-taking can at times be superfluous.

3. Don’t show up to lecture unprepared. Medical students often get lost in lecture if they are not somewhat familiar with the subject material beforehand. The pace can be relentless. By studying the material at home before lecture, you will have created a good base for learning. This will allow you to keep up during lecture with less difficulty, and thereby get much more out of it.

4. Don’t rely on cramming—it’s the most inefficient way to study. While cramming may have worked for you in the past, it is the least efficient way to study. Giving yourself only a few days to study for an exam probably won’t provide the grounds for concepts to take hold. And with fewer learning repetitions (due to time constraints), you are likely to forget the details of what you have learned shortly after the exam. This will not only give you an inferior knowledge base, but it will make studying for the USMLE that much more difficult.

5. Don’t worry so much! Yes, the prospect of medical school is daunting. Many incoming students fear the onslaught of material that is coming their way and cringe at the prospect of having little free time. The truth is, you can succeed in medical school while still making time for other activities/relaxation and lead a happy and balanced life. But that will only be true if you work intelligently and efficiently. Have confidence in yourself and your study plan. Worrying excessively is neither efficient nor productive.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

By Daniel R. Paull M.D. author of So You Got into Medical School…Now What? A Guide to Preparing for the Next Four Years. He received his medical degree from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, and is currently in his orthopedic surgery residency.  

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Related Resources:

• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Why I Chose B’s In Medical School
• Dear Diary…: Advice for Third-Year Medical Students 

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Duke University Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/06/duke-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/06/duke-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-tips/#respond Thu, 06 Aug 2015 16:08:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=33063 Duke University’s Medical School is ranked 8th among its peers with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and inclusiveness among the student body. They aim to take medical research to solve global problems. Duke emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and attention to community health problems. The secondary application questions ask you to consider your role as a physician […]

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Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlines​. Duke University’s Medical School is ranked 8th among its peers with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and inclusiveness among the student body. They aim to take medical research to solve global problems. Duke emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and attention to community health problems. The secondary application questions ask you to consider your role as a physician in global and local communities.

Duke University’s 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

• No word count. We suggest aiming for about 500-1000 words.

• Applicants should use single-spacing and 12-point font.

Secondary Application Essays:

1. 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?

This question asks you to look at your own experience and examine your values. Make a list of the communities to which you belong and what you have learned from each one. Then, ask yourself how these lessons apply to your motivation to pursue medicine. Finally, step back and look at the big picture – how does you community fit into the larger scope of the world? What can you say about your own community with some objective perspective and informed outlook?

2. 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?

For this prompt, make a list of times you have either helped someone express his or her needs or obtain a needed service or acknowledgement. The prompt asks for an individual example, but you can also think about an individual you have worked with who represents a broader group of people. This question is asking you to think about your role as a physician-advocate, someone who will represent her patient in the quest to obtain fair and adequate healthcare. The question also addresses Duke’s emphasis on the physician as a member of the community with a duty to improve care for all.

3. What has been your most humbling experience and how will that experience affect your interactions with your peers and patients?

This prompt requires that you address an experience where things did not go as planned. You should give an example honestly while avoiding any response that implies you did something illegal or immoral. Your answer should emphasize what you did after this experience – how did you recover? What lesson did you learn? What would you do differently next time?

Duke Application Timeline:

Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlines​.

If you would like professional guidance with your Duke University application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the GWSMHS application materials.

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JessicaPishkoJessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels.

Related Resources:

Five Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
The Doctor as Renaissance Man [Podcast]
• Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

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Write Secondary Essays That Get You Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/med-secondary-essay-advice-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/05/med-secondary-essay-advice-webinar/#respond Wed, 05 Aug 2015 16:44:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31891 Our recent webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted was a huge success! If you missed it (or want to see it again), it’s available for viewing and download here. If you have any questions about your secondary applications, browse the profiles our med school admissions experts and then drop us a note! Tags: […]

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Our recent webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted was a huge success! If you missed it (or want to see it again), it’s available for viewing and download here.
Watch the webinar!

Watch the webinar!

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What Does The AAMC Post-MCAT Questionnaire Tell Us About Premeds? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/what-does-the-aamc-post-mcat-questionnaire-pmq-tell-us-about-premeds/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/what-does-the-aamc-post-mcat-questionnaire-pmq-tell-us-about-premeds/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:02:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32995 AAMC has published its summary report of the Post-MCAT Questionnaire (PMQ), a survey that collects information from MCAT test-takers in order to help med schools and medical educators better understand their prospective students. Here are some highlights from the PMQ, from questionnaires filled out in 2013-2014. •  There were 40,820 PMQ respondents in 2013 and […]

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Over 70% of respondents said they had used an MCAT prep book.

AAMC has published its summary report of the Post-MCAT Questionnaire (PMQ), a survey that collects information from MCAT test-takers in order to help med schools and medical educators better understand their prospective students. Here are some highlights from the PMQ, from questionnaires filled out in 2013-2014.

•  There were 40,820 PMQ respondents in 2013 and 37,677 respondents in 2014.

•  In both years, the most commonly reported native/functionally native/advanced proficiency language other than English was Spanish (29.7% in 2013 and 30.3% in 2014). This is followed by Chinese (11.7% both years), French (10.9% in 2013 and 10.3% in 2014), Hindi (6.5% in 2013 and 7.1% in 2014), and then Arabic (5.7% in 2013 and 5.9% in 2014).

•  Just under one-third of respondents (30.2% in 2013 and 31.3% in 2014) reported that they had decided to study medicine during high school or before college.

•  More than one-half of respondents (54.7% in 2013 and 56.5% in 2014) were taking college courses at the time that they took the MCAT.

•  Most respondents (93.0% in 2013 and 93.3% in 2014) were full-time students while undergraduates.

•  More than two-thirds of respondents (71.5% in 2013 and 70.3% in 2014) said they had used an MCAT prep book (hard copy) to prep for the MCAT. In both years, 42.1% of respondents who had used an MCAT prep book said that it was “Very useful.”

•  Nearly half of respondents (46.3% in 2013 and 47.4% in 2014) indicated that no one helped them prepare for the MCAT.

•  85% of respondents in 2014 and 85.1% in 2013 reported that they were “Very likely” to apply to an MD-granting medical school.

•  In both years, “Finding a medical school where I will feel comfortable” was most often cited as the thing that would encourage applicants to apply to med school. “Grades, MCAT scores, and other academic qualifications” was the most commonly cited concern that would discourage respondents from applying to med school.

•  56.2% in 2013 and 56.4% in 2014 reported having no college/pre-med debt.

•  For those who reported undergraduate loan debt, $25,000 was the median education debt in 2013 and 2014.

See the full PMQ report for more details.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

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Related Resources:

• The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today
• First Scores From The New MCAT
• What You Need To Know About The New MCAT

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Catching Up With Columbia P&S Med Student Ashley http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/catching-up-with-columbia-ps-med-student-ashley/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/04/catching-up-with-columbia-ps-med-student-ashley/#respond Tue, 04 Aug 2015 16:04:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32950 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with med school applicants and students. And now for a follow up interview with Ashley Paige White-Stern, who just completed her first year of medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. We first met Ashley two years ago – you can […]

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Ashley White - SternThis interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with med school applicants and students. And now for a follow up interview with Ashley Paige White-Stern, who just completed her first year of medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. We first met Ashley two years ago – you can read our first interview with her here.

Accepted: Last time we spoke, you were in the middle of your postbac program. Can you bring us up to speed? Where did you end up applying to med school? Where do you currently attend med school and what year are you?

Ashley: Happy to! I ended up finishing my postbac program and applying to medical school through its linkage program. This effectively eliminated the “glide” or “gap” year – and the months-long application cycle that I would have otherwise had after finishing the program. In my second year of the postbac, I visited a number of medical schools and one really stood out to me: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. I felt like I would be a great fit in the community there, and really fell in love with the student body. This is why I applied to Columbia through linkage. I was lucky that it ended up working out for me, and I’m now preparing to start my second year in medical school here! Time really flies.

Accepted: Do you think Columbia is the best med school for you? How do you think you’re a good fit for the program?

Ashley: So, I alluded to this question in the previous answer, but yes, I do. I remember coming up to the medical campus from the undergrad campus for a tour: I just instinctively felt like I “fit” here. There is a vibrancy to the student body.

In medical schools all over the U.S., students are incredibly smart and really motivated. What I loved about Columbia is that everyone is smart and motivated and also really involved in extracurricular activities. In my class, students are musicians, actors, athletes and teachers. One classmate of mine competes in heavy lifting outside of school. Other peers used to perform on Broadway or act on television. It’s really an incredibly diverse range of talent.

I have my own strengths that I can lend to the group – here at Columbia, for example, I have begun to find my voice in public health and in fighting structural racism through and in medicine. I’m also really passionate about medical education and interested in how we train medical educators.

The nice thing about Columbia is that as different as we all are, all of our passions and talents are welcome, and brought to bear on our training. It’s incredibly enriching.

Accepted: Now that you’ve completed your first year, you must have some good advice for our readers – is there anything you wish you would’ve known before starting med school? Were there any surprises during your first year?

Ashley: My biggest two pieces of advice may seem in tension with each other, but I think they’re both important.

First, I think it’s important for medical students to be brave. Not to be cocky or arrogant, but be brave and stretch yourself in medical school. Don’t be afraid to take a risk – sign up for a class that you wouldn’t otherwise take, volunteer in a clinic as a medical student. Remove the pressure of trying to be perfect (which can be hard to let go of after a competitive premed experience) and just try to learn.

The second piece of advice I have is to be kind to yourself – medicine is such a long road. As a premed it can be easy to believe that the finish line is entrance to medical school, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Starting medical school is the first step to residency, to fellowship, to a long and demanding career. Setting up good habits of self care – knowing when to take a break, when to give yourself a rest from studying, making time for friends and family, keeping up with interests outside of medicine, and getting enough sleep – is imperative to staying effective as a clinician and not burning out.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about med school? Least favorite thing? 

Ashley: I love all the challenges and the wide range of skills we start to acquire – interpersonal skills, skills in physical diagnosis, scientific inquiry, learning how to be part of a care team, recognizing patterns of disease and health, thinking about improving health care delivery.

I will say that even the parts of medical school that can be more mundane – like long lectures and PowerPoint slide decks – have redeeming qualities. For example, even though our lectures are recorded so that students can watch them at home rather than going to class, I actually prefer to go to class for many reasons: I get to see my friends and learn in a more socially engaged way; I get to meet truly brilliant clinicians and scientists; and I get a chance to engage with questions after the lecture. So there’s usually always a way to reframe the less amazing parts of med school!

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs or associations on campus? How central to student life is club involvement? 

Ashley: Extracurricular life is HUGE here at P&S – I actually can’t think of anyone in my class who “just” goes to school. Even though the material is challenging, our exams are pass/fail, which really liberates us to pursue a range of activities outside of the library.

I am the President of the Black and Latino Student Organization (BALSO), a club that unites our Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter and our Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), founded in the 1970s by former P&S student Dr. Mary Bassett, who is currently the Commissioner of the NYC Health Department. We’ve been very involved in the work of national group White Coats for Black Lives, one initiative that medicals students have undertaken to support Black Lives Matter.

I am a Curricular Representative for my class, working with two other medical students on increasing communication and transparency between faculty and students, and taking part in the ongoing conversations about curricular reform. I am also a co-leader of the Emergency Medicine Interest Group, which connects students with shadowing opportunities in the Emergency Department and also provides workshops on suturing, splinting, and venipuncture.

One highlight about P&S is that there is incredible student-to-student academic support, and second-year students lead review sessions and make study sheets for first-year students through a program called the Student Success Network (SSN). This fall, I will be working as an SSN teacher, helping give review lectures on first-year biochem classes – I’m really looking forward to that!

Accepted: Looking back at the medical schools admissions process, what would you say your greatest challenge was? What steps did you take to overcome that challenge?

Ashley: I think the biggest challenge for me was really forcing myself not to compare myself to others. I knew that I was smart – so are the other applicants. I knew that I wanted to go into medicine – so do the other applicants. I felt I would make a great doctor – so will the other applicants.

At a certain point, I really had to put others out of my mind and just focus on myself and what I could control. What I could control was my preparation, my studying, my attitude, and my outlook. It’s really human to want to size yourself up to others, but medicine is so full of brilliant, talented people that it can also be really depressing to do that. Once I decided to accept myself – to work on my flaws but not fear them – I felt a lot more comfortable in the application process. I think it helped me be more confident when interview day came, because I was genuinely excited to be in the interview suite and felt really curious to meet the other wonderful applicants in the room.

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 med school admissions tips with our readers?

Ashley:

1.  Habits are behaviors that are practiced over time. Don’t expect that new habits will spontaneously form in medical school or residency: lay the groundwork for your future success. Practice self care (whatever that means to you), eat well, stay involved in a passion of yours that is outside of medicine (playing an instrument, athletics, painting, tutoring others, volunteering in a park or soup kitchen, etc.). Yes, you can list it as an extracurricular on your application, but more importantly it will continue to shape your development as a person contribute to your ability to care for others.

2.  Don’t go it alone. No one becomes successful in medicine in a vacuum. Gather your support system early and check in with them often. Have a range of different supporters – you parents or caregivers or that one friend who you can tell everything to, a more objective person with a perspective like an academic adviser or premed counselor who can read your personal statement and give you editing tips, another premed friend who you can commiserate about studying for the MCAT with, and also try to keep some friends outside of the premed world – someone who wants to go into business, or who plans to get an MFA and teach art – these people can enrich your life by telling you their passions and will help you keep things in perspective.

3.  Be curious about medicine itself – it’s a profession that has complex roots and continues to evolve in complex ways. Ask questions and learn its history. Read up on the Flexner Report and how that shaped medical education. Find out how health care delivery has changed since health insurance. Be curious about health inequities and how they are shaped by other structural inequities in this country. Understand the gravity of medical research and experimentation, and be sensitive to the fact that the culture of medicine was not always as deferential to informed consent as it is today. There isn’t always time to learn the history of medicine in medical school, but if you can dig in before you get there, you will be a resource to your peers and you will be able to frame our contemporary dialogues about medical care in a much more sophisticated light.

To read more about Ashley’s journey, you can follow her on Twitter @A_P_W_S. Thank you Ashley for continuing to share your story with us and we wish you lots of luck!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services. Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze [Free Guide]
• Why I Chose B’s In Medical School
• Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student

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Cooper Medical School Receives $1.75 Million Grant http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/cooper-medical-school-receives-1-75-million-grant/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/cooper-medical-school-receives-1-75-million-grant/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 17:10:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32973 The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University received a five-year $1.75 million federal grant to be used to address the primary care doctor shortage in the U.S. The school plans on putting the money towards its primary care training enhancement project, an initiative to transform primary care education for all medical professionals, including medical students, residents, nursing […]

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Cooper University Hospital

The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University received a five-year $1.75 million federal grant to be used to address the primary care doctor shortage in the U.S.

The school plans on putting the money towards its primary care training enhancement project, an initiative to transform primary care education for all medical professionals, including medical students, residents, nursing students, nurse practitioner students, and PA students.

According to Dr. Annette Reboli, vice dean at Cooper, the focus of the program is to help build a “larger and better equipped” primary care workforce with a goal of developing an accelerated primary care track for those students who wish to pursue careers in pediatrics or internal medicine. The program will also encourage greater diversity among primary care practitioners.

“We hope to build a prototype training environment that can serve as a model [for other medical schools],” says Reboli.

Source: “Medical school gets $1.75M grant to target primary-care doctor shortage

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

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• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essay [Free Guide]
• City College In NYC To Open Med School
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective [Podcast]

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So These Two Grad School Applicants Walk Into A Bar . . . http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/so-these-two-grad-school-applicants-walk-into-a-bar-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/so-these-two-grad-school-applicants-walk-into-a-bar-2/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:51:57 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32348 This might be a great opening line for a comedy night at a university student center, but can you use humor in a graduate school application essay? Should you even try? The answer is . . . maybe. If you can use humor effectively, it will help you stand out from your competitors in an […]

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Learn the 5 fatal flaws to avoid in your grad school application

If used right, humor can help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.

This might be a great opening line for a comedy night at a university student center, but can you use humor in a graduate school application essay? Should you even try?

The answer is . . . maybe. If you can use humor effectively, it will help you stand out from your competitors in an unexpected way.  (“Oh, is she the one who joked about her first time playing jazz in a live audience?”, an adcom member might ask while reviewing the season’s applicants.)  Humor can make us appear more human and relatable, especially with the most popular form of humor: the gently self-deprecating remark. For example, “My single New Year’s resolution this year is to buy a new bathroom scale, and, perhaps, one day, use it.” Or, “I discovered that I had a textbook case of ‘Congenital Fraidy Cat Syndrome.’  I knew it: my expanding medical knowledge was slowly killing me.”

This kind of humor reveals a writer’s vulnerabilities, making her sympathetic. However, as a grad school applicant, your goal is to show yourself as a focused, qualified, intelligent, and capable individual. If you lack the confidence to show that vulnerability, or the confidence to try to get a laugh, do not try. It is far more important to speak with your authentic voice. But if you have a track record of getting laughs among friends, don’t be afraid to use humor — judiciously — in a personal essay.

Here are a few examples of how – and how not – to use humor:

Good: “In all my travels, I had never before sipped anything called Toadstool Brew. After I was finished, I hoped never to have to sip it again.” This works because it is gently self-deprecating; you are poking fun at your own lack of appreciation for an exotic tea.

Not good: “In all my travels, I had never seen a more bizarre-looking individual. My first thought was, ‘This guy could get a gig on a reality TV show in the States.’” This doesn’t work because poking fun at someone else looks petty.

Never force humor into your writing. Use it when it feels natural, and perhaps try it out on another reader first. Adcom members will surely appreciate a laughter break while reading through all those serious essays!

From Example to Exemplary - Download your guide today!

Judy Gruen By , MBA admissions consultant since 1996 and author (with Linda Abraham) of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 
Related Resources:

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Can I Use Humor In My Application Essays?
• How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions

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George Washington School Of Medicine And Health Sciences 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/george-washington-school-of-medicine-and-health-sciences-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/03/george-washington-school-of-medicine-and-health-sciences-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips-2/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:15:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32789 The curriculum and goals of George Washington SMHS center on its ability to graduate “Physician Citizens.” Since the school is located in the most powerful city in the U.S., Washington D.C., GW emphasizes the opportunities to treat the area’s diverse communities. It is essential to have years of service, either clinical or nonclinical, with diverse […]

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The curriculum and goals of George Washington SMHS center on its ability to Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlinesgraduate “Physician Citizens.” Since the school is located in the most powerful city in the U.S., Washington D.C., GW emphasizes the opportunities to treat the area’s diverse communities. It is essential to have years of service, either clinical or nonclinical, with diverse populations and to have a demonstrated record of long-term leadership experience.

In addition you need to know about GW’s educational approach. It initiated a brand new curriculum in Fall 2014 that incorporates more technology, independent study time, active learning models and clinical exposure. It also offers a Track System that allows students to gain special training in the following areas: Community/Urban Health, Emergency Management, Global Health, Health Policy, Integrative Medicine, Medical Education Leadership, Medical Humanities and Research. The Track System will influence the direction of a students’ education throughout their four years at George Washington SMHS.   

George Washington 2016 School of Medicine and Health Sciences Essay Questions:

• Four essays total requested: two essays with 750-character limits, one essay with a 1,000-character limit and one essay with a 2,000-character limit.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

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) for the 2015-2016 application cycle, or from the point of application through matriculation in 2016. (750 characters)

The best way to approach this type of question is to create a list of the commitments you have made for the next year. Only include those activities that you have already started or plan to definitely complete. It will not be helpful to list things that you end up not participating in because you could be asked about them in an interview, and it will not help your application if you have to explain why you are not completing the activities you listed on the secondary. Ideally, you will be able to bring an updated CV or resume to the interview with the new experiences you have completed.

2. What is your most meaningful community service experience to date? (350 characters)

Based on the fact that they emphasize leadership, community service and a commitment to life-long learning, you can select an achievement that 1) was truly meaningful for you and that 2) allows you to share your dedication to helping others through leadership and/or education. It’s essential to be authentic so do select something that is important to you. Situations that reveal creative leadership will be most effective.

3. What is your most meaningful clinical experience to date, involving direct patient contact? (350 characters)

For this question, consider the range of your experience and the level of responsibility that you’ve taken on in a clinical setting.  Choose the one that required you to provide the most support or hands-on assistance.  Effective examples would be if you’ve traveled to another country for a medical mission or translated at a free clinic.  Educating patients on any aspect of preventative health or taking a patient’s medical history would also work.  The most important part of this essay will be providing successful outcomes for your work.  What was the end result or patient reaction?  Did you receive an award for your service or recognition for excellence in patient care?  Highlight any outcomes from your clinical experience.

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)

In responding to this essay prompt, it will be important for you to select a challenge that you have overcome that will allow you to demonstrate by showing, rather than telling, how you are a “unique individual.” For example, if you came up with a unique way to approach an issue that provided a successful resolution for everyone involved, this would be an effective choice.

Creating an outline will help you ensure that you respond to all three questions in the prompt. In identifying what was unique about your approach to the challenge, you will be answering the third question listed. Many different challenges would work well for this essay, just be sure to select one that highlights your approach to problem solving.

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)

Do your research for this question. There are lots of wonderful special programs at GW. Create a list as you read through their website. After you’ve read through all of their webpages, rank your list in the order of importance to you. Create an outline based on these rankings. Again, it’s essential to be authentic in your response and to demonstrate how you have used similar opportunities in the past. It’s even more helpful if you have visited the school or spoken with representatives or students.

George Washington SMHS Application Timeline:

Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlines

*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.

If you would like professional guidance with your George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the GWSMHS application materials.

Register for our upcoming webinar: Writing Secondary Essays That Get You Accepted!

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

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• EMBA Blogger Interview: Vit’s Journey
The 6 Commandments For A Successful CV

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5 Tips For Spectacular Secondaries http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/02/5-tips-for-spectacular-secondaries/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/08/02/5-tips-for-spectacular-secondaries/#respond Sun, 02 Aug 2015 17:53:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32915 At this point, most schools have already sent out secondary applications – so let’s jump right into the important advice you need to tackle them! The following 5 tips will help you write spectacular secondary essays: 1. Create complementary content. The stories that you choose to tell in your secondary essays should complement the material you […]

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5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on Your Med School Application Essays - download today!

 Read the questions very carefully to make sure your answers are on target.

At this point, most schools have already sent out secondary applications – so let’s jump right into the important advice you need to tackle them!

The following 5 tips will help you write spectacular secondary essays:

1. Create complementary content. The stories that you choose to tell in your secondary essays should complement the material you already provided in the AMCAS essay, not repeat it. You are a unique individual with loads to say; don’t waste space by saying the same thing twice.

2. Say something school-specific. Research the school’s strengths, values, mission, method, and philosophy, and then slant your secondaries towards the program by using your life experiences to show that you are a perfect fit for the school based on those things.

3. Tackle that timing. You should begin work on your secondary essays as soon as they are available. Not only will this give you a more leisurely writing experience (which will likely improve your quality of writing), but it will give you the opportunity to submit early, which med schools like.

4. Answer accurately. Seems obvious, I know, but many applicants need the reminder: Answer the questions as they are written and not as you wish they were written. You may write a lovely essay about your shadowing stint at your local ER during high school, but if the question was about extracurricular activities in college, then you still haven’t gotten the job done right. This also means that if you’re trying to reuse stories in multiple applications, you need to read the questions very carefully and make sure you’re on target.

5. Edit effectively. You don’t just want to tell your story; you want to tell your story well – this includes choosing the right topic, writing about your experiences with interesting and relevant details, and – last but not least – editing the essay so that it gleams. A successful secondary essay isn’t messy with typos and poor grammar; it’s neat, organized, and error-free. If English is not your first language – and even if it is – you will most definitely benefit from having another set of eyes (or more) look over your essay to ensure that it’s top-notch and ready for send-off.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays - Download your free guide!

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Related Resources:

Writing Secondary Essays That Get You Accepted [On-Demand Webinar]
• School-Specific Secondary Essay Tips
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year  [Podcast]

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University Of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/31/university-of-chicago-pritzker-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/31/university-of-chicago-pritzker-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:45:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32576 This medical school is looking for student leaders from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate a strong scientific foundation, thrive in team settings, and find solutions to complex issues. In this secondary application, I recommend focusing on what makes you a unique applicant – your love of science or learning and how you’ve pursued that interest, your […]

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Read more med school specific secondary tips!This medical school is looking for student leaders from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate a strong scientific foundation, thrive in team settings, and find solutions to complex issues. In this secondary application, I recommend focusing on what makes you a unique applicant – your love of science or learning and how you’ve pursued that interest, your connection to medically underserved communities and your commitment to providing assistance to those in need, and the qualities and talents that you will share with your classmates and that will enhance your approach to patient care.

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine 2016 Medical School Essay Questions:

•  Two essays are required; the first essay has a 550-word limit and the second essay has a 400-word limit.

•  An additional optional essay is requested, with no word limit.

•  Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

•  Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

The following are required in the Secondary Application:

“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.”

Essay Question 1. 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. We suggest that you limit your essay to about 550 words.

Create a list of what you would contribute in terms of diversity. Approach this list creatively. You can include anything from your ethnicity, language and cultural background to work experience and hobbies or talents. For example, if you are a talented artist or teacher, how would you share these skills with your classmates? Selecting only the most relevant and important items from your list, use this as your outline.  Explain clearly how each characteristic you cover will benefit your classmates and community.

Essay Question 2. 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. We suggest that you limit your essay to about 400 words.

For this response, it would be appropriate to discuss a death in the family or serious illness of a family member or friend. This essay would demonstrate your level of maturity and highlight healthy coping mechanisms you have developed. Or you could use a professional example. In the latter case, be sure to select an example that has a clearly positive outcome as a direct result of your efforts. Once you have selected the situation, explain how you were able to identify a successful approach and create a positive outcome, even if only to gain closure.

Optional Essay: Additional Information. Please feel free to use this space to convey any additional information that you might wish the Committee to know. We suggest that you limit your text to about 200 words.

Use this essay to update the adcom on your recent activities and publications. If you have already covered all significant experiences in your primary application and in the essays above, discuss how you have spent your time since submitting the primary application.

Pritzker SOM Application Timeline:

University of Chicago 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

*At 11:59 PM CST (Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.)

If you would like professional guidance with your Pritzker School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the Pritzker SOM application materials.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

 

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success [Free guide]
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective [Podcast]
Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

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University of Pittsburgh Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/university-of-pittsburgh-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/university-of-pittsburgh-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:53:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32586 UPSOM places special emphasis on their collaborative problem-based curriculum and the fact that their medical students begin interacting with patients in their first year of medical school.  Providing the best care to patients through research, education, leadership and diversity is central to their mission.  In your own background, how can you demonstrate your commitment to […]

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Secondary Essay tips - download a copy today!UPSOM places special emphasis on their collaborative problem-based curriculum and the fact that their medical students begin interacting with patients in their first year of medical school.  Providing the best care to patients through research, education, leadership and diversity is central to their mission.  In your own background, how can you demonstrate your commitment to service?  Have you experienced the patient side of medicine yourself or through family members?  How have these unique life experiences and the communities you have served contributed to your unique development and identity?

University of Pittsburgh 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

•  Two short essays with 250 word limits are required.

•  Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

•  Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths and how they relate to the mission and values of UPSOM.

Application Tip: Check out the UPSOM admissions committee procedures and criteria:

Secondary Application Essays:

1. Tell us about a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

Given UPSOM’s focus on one-on-one patient interactions, use an experience in which you were able to resolve a professional conflict.  Emphasize the role that you played in finding a solution and the skills you employed to identify and implement a positive outcome that was mutually beneficial for all parties involved.  I recommend using an issue that has a clear positive resolution and one that is not personal in nature. 

2. UPSOM is a culturally diverse and talented community. How would you enrich/enliven the UPSOM community? The essay should discuss material that is not included in the rest of your application. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

To best address this essay, take your time to make a long list of your unique qualities, talents and experiences—the longer the better.  Cross out those items that you have already included in your personal statement.  Identify your top three on the list—as they relate to UPSOM’s mission and goals.  Explain how those three identifiers will allow you to connect with the community and how they represent you an individual.   

UPSOM Application Timeline:

Check out other school specific secondary essay tips

*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.

If you would like professional guidance with your University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the UPSOM application materials.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

 

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Med School Rankings and Numbers: What You MUST Know! [Free Report]
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year  [Podcast]
• Boost Your GPA For Medical School Acceptance

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The 4 Must-Haves Of A Grad School Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:12:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32831 Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does. Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice […]

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Listen to the show!Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does.

Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice grad school.

00:00:36 – Obsessed with stats? You may be barking up the wrong tree.

00:03:16 – Linda’s holistic framework for grad school admissions success.

00:04:39 – #1: Show you can excel: the role of grades and test scores.

00:05:30 – #2: Don’t apply to med school to become a financial analyst (but do apply if you want to be a doctor) AKA the importance of goals.

00:06:44 – #3: Can you show fit?

00:08:19 – #4: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Just kidding.

Applying the framework to:

00:12:26 – MBA Admissions.

00:18:47 – Grad School Admissions.

00:21:44 – Med School Admissions.

00:24:29 – Law School Admissions.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Get Accepted to HBS / Wharton / Stanford CBS
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016
Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted

Related shows:

How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions
How to Earn a Spot on Team Fuqua
The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions

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Lack Of Substance: Med School Application Flaw #1 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/lack-of-substance-med-school-application-flaw-1/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/lack-of-substance-med-school-application-flaw-1/#respond Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:34:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32791 “Lack of Substance” is the first post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays. Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on: • Substantive self-reflection. • Use of specifics, […]

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Download a copy of Navigate a Med School Maze.

Use good examples to bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

“Lack of Substance” is the first post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays.

Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on:

• Substantive self-reflection.

• Use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes.

• Willingness to reveal your thought processes and feelings.

So start your writing process with self-knowledge. You don’t have to search the internet or a large library. Start with your experiences and your dreams. Search your head and your heart. That is where the substance of a good personal statement is stored.

Then use anecdotes, specifics, and examples to reveal what’s in your heart and show that your dreams are grounded in experience. Good examples can bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

At the same time, recognize that essays with only examples and anecdotes don’t reveal your thought processes and consequently are also superficial. Make sure you balance your stories with insight and analysis.

Avoid Fatal Flaw #1: Bring your personal statements to life with self-reflection and astute use of examples balanced by analysis.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies
• Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School

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Why I Chose B’s In Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/why-i-chose-bs-in-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/why-i-chose-bs-in-medical-school/#respond Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:39:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32752 Journeys with Joshua: Joshua Wienczkowski walks us through med school at East Tennessee’s College of Medicine with his monthly blog updates. Get an inside look into med school down South and life as a student adcom member through the eyes of a former professional songwriter with a whole lot of clinical experience — thanks Joshua for […]

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Read more of Joshua's journey through med school!Journeys with Joshua: Joshua Wienczkowski walks us through med school at East Tennessee’s College of Medicine with his monthly blog updates. Get an inside look into med school down South and life as a student adcom member through the eyes of a former professional songwriter with a whole lot of clinical experience — thanks Joshua for sharing this journey with us! 

I’m over 50% finished with my MD program in the Appalachian Mountains, done with (and passed!) the first part of my licensing boards, and am finally onto the greener grass of clinical medicine. So, what have I learned, and how have I changed in this process? Through my first year, my clinical research in sepsis taught me so much about the bigger picture of medicine; I began to fine-tune my bedside manner; I was finally able to see and understand the undeniable impact of socioeconomic status on health. The second year of medical school is notoriously the hardest, because while balancing an even more challenging course load, preparation for licensing boards begins simultaneously. Yes, I learned about disease processes, drugs, interventions, and all that, but I learned about my priorities in the process. I was even crazy enough to get married – to another 2nd year medical student! I’m going to share something incredibly personal that I’m hoping you can grow from – my grades, how I got them, and why I chose (and continue to choose) life over numbers.

During my first year, I began to study how I study, the outcomes, and the most effective ways for me, personally. After dozens of exams, countless hours banging my head against my whiteboard, and proverbially throwing mud at the wall for months on end, I made some pretty interesting discoveries about how I learn. Turns out, it takes me personally about an extra 15-20 hours per exam of additional, dedicated study time on top of my normal study habits to achieve a strong A. What did getting that A do for me? Were those hours worth it? Well, also turns out it just means I pounded into my head the additional minutiae to get the detailed questions, but those details didn’t impact my overall understanding of the material or the concepts. Hmm… I found myself at a fork in the road – I could achieve a higher GPA, class rank, and increase my chances of matching somewhere fancy, OR I could invest those hours into something else.

I made the conscious choice and effort to achieve B’s in the first 2 years of medical school, and I don’t have a single regret about it. Here’s why:

With those extra 15-20 hours per exam (there are a lot of exams), I invested in my relationship with my girlfriend, who became my fiancé, and is now my dear wife. Clearing up some hours meant I always had an extra hour per day to take our Great Dane, Wrigley, on a walk or to the dog park with my wife. Those walks meant we had more quality time together every single day. We started taking longer lunches and dinners together. We talked more. We grew more. We went on more dates! We even built strong friendships at the dog park because we made the conscious effort to put ourselves before the books. I actually watched tv shows and kept up with them with my wife, and we had something to look forward to on Monday nights and could laugh about what farmer Chris was going to do next week on The Bachelor.

With more time, I began songwriting again, and recording things for pleasure, which I haven’t done in years. I even performed one for our school where I wrote about the life of my anatomy group’s donor, Winston. I even started brewing more beer while crafting new recipes, and I invested some time to learn about the craft brewing business to see if opening a brewery one day is a feasible option. With more time, my best friend taught me how to paint, and I was able to give my wife a meaningful piece on our wedding day.

Making the conscious effort to focus on myself, the people around me, and investing in the things I care about instead of numbers is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I noticed that when I did achieve an A, it came at the expense of my relationships with those I love as well my own ability to be introspective. Being introspective and decompressing with hobbies  and life outside of medicine is one of the most important pieces to handling and managing the immense pressure of medical education. Of course I’ve never been perfect in the process, and when I noticed myself turning sour to those around me, like a corked bottle of wine left too long without being enjoyed, it was because I had lost focus on my priorities. It’s a balancing act, and I’m thankful I have those who love me enough to help in this imperfect science.

With two years of medical education and a few weeks of clinical medicine under my belt, I’ve learned that medicine can be a selfish and consuming mistress, if you let her. I’ve learned it is incredibly easy to achieve at the expense of personal growth. However, if you choose day in and day out to love and invest in those around you instead of her, the payback is invaluable. I have also learned that your value can never be measured in numbers or letters, but instead in the depth of relationships you have with loved ones and the impact you make in your community. As a medical student, time is our most valuable asset – be wise with it. Invest it as you would your hard-earned money; buy things with it that will last the longest, and stretch your time-dollar as far as it will go with the things that matter most to you in life. I’m not top of my class. Not even close. But my relationship with my wife has never been better, and because I bought time to work on some humanities, I haven’t noticed any soured wine in quite some time.

Best,

Joshua A. Wienczkowski

MD Candidate, Quillen College of Medicine 2017

Get Accepted to Med School with Low Stats!  Download your guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Dear Diary…: Advice for Third-Year Medical Students 
• Reflections on Being 25% an MD
• Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student

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UCSF Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/26/ucsf-2016-medical-school-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/26/ucsf-2016-medical-school-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Sun, 26 Jul 2015 20:21:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32571 It is important to focus on your leadership roles and the diversity of your experiences and activities in this secondary application.  UCSF accepts students with highly competitive GPA’s and MCAT scores so it would be to your advantage to explain any decreases or irregularities in your academic records or test scores, if you have not […]

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Click here for more school specific secondary essay tips!It is important to focus on your leadership roles and the diversity of your experiences and activities in this secondary application.  UCSF accepts students with highly competitive GPA’s and MCAT scores so it would be to your advantage to explain any decreases or irregularities in your academic records or test scores, if you have not already done so in your primary application.  Be sure to highlight the qualities, experiences, awards and scholarships that set you apart from other applicants.   

UCSF 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

•  One 500-word essay with additional information

•  Two additional 500-word essays for students interested in applying to the Joint Medical Program, described below.

•  Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

•  Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths and research interests.

Secondary Application Essay:

If you wish to update or expand upon your activities, you may provide additional information below. (500 word limit)

Use this essay as an opportunity to update the adcom on your current activities.  Focus on the diversity of your commitments—in leadership, volunteering, tutoring, mentoring, as well as your academic, cultural, musical, athletic and professional interests.  If you have long-term commitments to organizations, discuss your years of service and continued commitment.  What sets you apart as an applicant?  Strategically bring their attention on the strengths that you have not covered in the primary application.        

JMP Program Only:

1. Please describe the basis for your interest in and your preparations for the MS with research thesis. Given the opportunity to pursue such a degree, what topics, questions or areas of research might you be interested in addressing? (500 word limit)

The Joint Medical Program is hosted by UC Berkeley School of Public Health and UCSF.  It is a five-year program that allows participants to earn a Master’s Degree in health and medical sciences (HMS) as well as a medical degree.  Students are expected to complete at least 20 units of coursework and to write a thesis in addition to their medical education requirements.  To see a list of recent research topics, please see the invitation to the sixth annual UC Berkeley—UCSF Joint Medical Program Research Symposium.

Be sure to discuss in detail any research experience that you have.  Explain the projects that you participated in and the outcomes of your contributions—publications, poster discussions, panels, or workshops.  What was the level of your responsibility in the lab?  How long did you work on each project?  What issues did you encounter in your research and how did you find solutions these problems either individually and/or collaboratively?  If any of the topics that you covered are health-related, how could you further develop your ideas into a research project?   

2. Please describe the basis for your interest and experience with small group, case-based problem oriented learning. (500 word limit)

You should focus on any experiences that you have working successfully in small groups in this essay response.  This could range from athletics to clinical experiences.  Describe the roles that you played within the teams you have participated on.  What were you able to accomplish as a team?  What did you as an individual contribute?  How would you benefit from a program that uses a case-based learning model? 

UCSF Application Timeline:

Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlines

If you would like professional guidance with your UCSF application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the UCSF application materials.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Explore Accepted.com’s services to see how Alicia can help you achieve your professional dreams in healthcare.

Related Resources:

• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats [Free Report]
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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The 6 Commandments For A Successful CV http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/the-6-commandments-for-a-successful-cv/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/the-6-commandments-for-a-successful-cv/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:52:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32315 Your resume is a key part of your application materials for med school or residency. You may think that because you’re uploading all your materials through the AMCAS or ERAS system, you won’t need a stellar paper CV. Not so. Here’s why: A CV is a vital précis of your achievements. It can help you […]

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Click here for tools on how to navigate the Med maze!

Make sure your CV is polished and makes you shine!

Your resume is a key part of your application materials for med school or residency. You may think that because you’re uploading all your materials through the AMCAS or ERAS system, you won’t need a stellar paper CV. Not so. Here’s why:

A CV is a vital précis of your achievements. It can help you as you complete the ERAS CV section (or the AMCAS activities section).

Having a polished resume to provide to your recommenders (and later, to residency directors) is also helpful. In addition, it’s a good idea to maintain your CV as an evolving document as your career evolves.

How can you create an effective medical resume?

1. Keep the time period relevant. For a resume for medical school, keep the focus on work and activities during college; only look back to high school in case of really significant honors (such as a major scholarship that extended into college). For a CV for your residency, focus primarily on experiences during medical school.

2. Carefully consider the sections you want to include. You’ll tailor this to your needs, but examples are: Education; Honors/Awards; Training; Publications; Presentations; Research; Teaching Experience; Work Experience; Licensure; Professional Memberships; Volunteer Activities. Within each section, list your activities in reverse chronological order.

3. Include concise, clear descriptions of your accomplishments in each section. Use strong verbs wherever possible. Use consistent formatting. Avoid vague or unexplained acronyms and abbreviations—you want your reader to know what you’re talking about immediately.

4. Be concise and direct. Keep the length of your CV reasonable at 1-2 pages. Your CV will grow as your career does—CV length limits aren’t as constrained as resume lengths. For example, if you’ve had a career prior to entering medicine, or if you have extensive research experience and publications, your CV may exceed this 2 page guideline.

5. Leave out sensitive personal information (such as marital status, social security number, etc). Also, needless to say, leave out anything fabricated or exaggerated.

6. Proofread, proofread, proofread! It’s helpful to have someone else look over your CV to spot errors and inconsistencies.

The Quick Guide To Admissions Resumes - Download your free guide today!

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your med school applications.

Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year 
• Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 1: The 9 Do’s

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Boston University Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/boston-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/boston-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:54:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32549 BUSM’s MD Program offers students the opportunity to work with patients beginning in their first year of medical school.  Students will receive their clinical training at the prestigious Boston Medical Center, which has the largest trauma center in the Northeast.  Students also have the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health.  The secondary […]

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BUSMBUSM’s MD Program offers students the opportunity to work with patients beginning in their first year of medical school.  Students will receive their clinical training at the prestigious Boston Medical Center, which has the largest trauma center in the Northeast.  Students also have the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health.  The secondary application consists of five optional essays.

Boston University 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

• Five optional short essays with varied word limits are requested.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Application Tip: Check out the BUSM Viewbook with admissions information:

Secondary Application Essays:

1. If you did not go to college directly after high school, please explain: (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)

Medical schools love non-traditional applicants who have life experience.  If this essay prompt applies to you, provide a brief explanation of how you spent your time before enrolling in college—detailing any awards or accomplishments you earned before entering higher education.  If you worked to help support your family, this is admirable and demonstrates that you took on significant responsibility at a young age.  Responding to this prompt will only help your application. 

2. If you are not expecting to go directly to medical school after completing your undergraduate work, please explain. (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)

Be honest in this response.  If you need to take a break before applying to medical school, write about how you will use your time.  Discuss all volunteer work, extracurricular interests or clinical experience that you plan to participate in. If you have a goal for this period, provide it.  If you need to work to save up money to apply—state this in your response.  Explain where you intend to work and anticipated responsibilities.    

3. If you have spent more than 4 years as an undergraduate, please explain below. (You may skip this question if you have graduated within 4 years.)

If applicable, create a list of all the reasons why you were not able to graduate in four years.  After ranking your list in order of importance, use this as your outline.  Having multiple interests or double majors will only help your application, as the reader will have the opportunity to learn more about your unique talents and interests. 

4. 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. It is not necessary to write anything in this section. (2000 character limit, approximately 400 words)

Though this essay is also optional, I would strongly recommend responding to it.  Using an updated copy of your resume or CV, work backwards from the most current to oldest experiences.  What are your other interests, outside of medicine?  Have you lived or worked in another country?  Did you win any science or non-science awards or fairs in your early education?  Focus this response on educational experiences—talents or skills you developed through training or learning opportunities (formal education or self-taught).   

5. We have found that for most applicants, an extra essay written expressly for Boston University adds little to the information content of the portfolio. While we no longer require an essay, some applicants feel that additional information is necessary in order to provide us with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths as a candidate for a career in medicine. If you wish, use the space below to offer an essay or any other information, addressing any issue you feel is of importance. If you choose to use the space, please do not duplicate information provided elsewhere in this Supplemental Application or in material you have submitted to AMCAS.

For most applicants, no supplementary essay will be necessary and this space can be left blank.

In this response, you could focus on any clinical, research or science related experiences that you have not already covered in detail in your personal statement that would reveal your commitment to a career in medicine.  Again, this essay is also optional, but by responding to it you will be demonstrating your interest in the BUSM Program.  Using a copy of your resume/CV or a timeline of your life experiences could assist you in deciding what to write about in this response.  Be strategic in your selection—covering information that you have not yet discussed that will highlight your strengths as an applicant.  

BUSM Application Timeline:

Come read other School Specific Secondary Essay Tips

*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.

If you would like professional guidance with your Boston University School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the BUSM application materials.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

 

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your Med School Essays, [Free Report]
• An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey [Podcast]
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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Secondary Strategy: Why Do You Want To Go Here? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/secondary-strategy-why-our-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/secondary-strategy-why-our-program/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:08:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32487 One of the most popular secondary questions asked by medical schools is “why our program?” Saying why you’re attracted to a particular school can be hard thing to explain, especially when you’ve looked at so many programs that they seem to blur. I think that’s why I so often see the same answer: “early clinical […]

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Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips for Top Programs - Download today!

Location is important, but don’t make geography the main focus of this essay.

One of the most popular secondary questions asked by medical schools is “why our program?” Saying why you’re attracted to a particular school can be hard thing to explain, especially when you’ve looked at so many programs that they seem to blur. I think that’s why I so often see the same answer: “early clinical exposure, great faculty and learning environment, and opportunities to work overseas and/or in the student-run clinic.” These reasons may all be true, but they come across as if all medical schools are similar. And just like you want them to differentiate you from your competition, they want to know that you’ve taken the time to learn about them.

Here are a few ways you can go beyond the cookie-cutter response to show that you’ve researched the school and discuss the program’s distinctive appeal for you:

1. Highlight the unique fit: What about this program, and this program alone, matches with your particular interests? If you have been volunteering in an oncology lab and know that Vanderbilt is investigating patient responses to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, then discuss your interest in that field and the special opportunities the school provides. Perhaps even bring up the work of a particular professor or researcher you admire, particularly if you’ve read one of their works. If you want to explore opportunities for medical publishing, then you’ll want to mention Stanford’s interdisciplinary studies and highlight your interest in their other faculties.

2. Explain why “where” is important: Sometimes you might also want to bring in the school’s locale and explain why it’s important to your education. For instance, George Washington University‘s proximity to Washington DC makes it great for people interested in community health promotion and policy; a busy urban center like Tulane or SUNY Downstate will expose you to diverse patient populations found nowhere else, and are special draws for those interested in fields like infectious disease; and the University of Washington gives students access to rural medicine that few programs can offer. Support systems – family members living nearby, for instance – can also be mentioned (in fact, some schools specifically ask for this information) but in general, don’t make accidents of geography the main focus of this essay.

3. Align your philosophies: Finally, I find that one of the best ways to approach the “Why _____?” question is to try to discover the school’s philosophy and then shape your answers around that. For instance, Yale is renowned for the “Yale System” and takes a lot of pride in their interdisciplinary, non-competitive, self-directed learning approach. Each program is going to have its own philosophy that you’ll discover by exploring their website (as well as talking with alumni, if you have the chance to do that).

Identifying why each school is special is definitely a time-consuming task. However, it might be one of the best ways you spend your time in the application process. While you’re ensuring that you attract the attention of multiple schools, you’re also gaining information you need about them. And when you have to choose between multiple acceptances, you’ll know exactly where you fit.

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Cydney Foote By , Accepted consultant and author of Write Your Way to Medical School, who has helped future physicians craft winning applications since 2001.

 

Related Resources:

• Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips for Top Programs [Free Guide]
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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City College In NYC To Open Med School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/city-college-in-nyc-to-open-med-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/city-college-in-nyc-to-open-med-school/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:48:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32527 In partnership with St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York’s City College will be opening the Harlem-based CUNY School of Medicine in the fall of 2016, the first and only medical school in the CUNY’s 168-year history. The med school will be an expansion of City College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education which already […]

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Learn how to navigate the med school maze!In partnership with St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York’s City College will be opening the Harlem-based CUNY School of Medicine in the fall of 2016, the first and only medical school in the CUNY’s 168-year history. The med school will be an expansion of City College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education which already offers a seven-year BS/MD program which, according to the recent CUNY news release, focuses on “recruiting underrepresented minorities into medicine, increasing medical care in historically underserved communities, and boosting the number of primary care physicians.”

The CUNY School of Medicine will have the same mission – to train physicians with diverse backgrounds to work in underserved communities, particularly those in close proximity to City College and around New York State.

Maurizio Trevisan, City College Provost, explains that “in doing so, the school remains true to the mission of City College founder Townsend Harris, who stated, ‘… Let the children of the rich and the poor take their seats together and know of no distinction….’ ”

According to Capital New York, the inaugural class will consist of about 70 students.

Two additional medical schools are also in the process of becoming accredited and joining the AAMC: California Northstate University College of Medicine in Elk Grove, California and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas. According to an AAMC article, the first will focus on training primary care physicians and the latter on “leadership, interprofessional, and transdisciplinary education as part of a research-intensive health system.” The AAMC article mentions the CUNY School of Medicine as the third to join the record 144 accredited medical schools in the U.S., stating that it will emphasize “commitment to increasing diversity in medical education…[and] concentrate on primary care training.”

Darrell G. Kirch, AAMC President and CEO, says: “At a time when the nation faces a doctor shortage, these schools and their diverse missions will help ensure greater access to care for a growing, aging population. We look forward to the outstanding contributions that will be made by the excellent physicians who train at these and all of our medical school programs. The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have committed to expanding medical student enrollment by 30 percent by 2019 to address the coming shortage. These new institutions are part of that effort. Now Congress must act to lift the cap on Medicare support for graduate medical education so that all new physicians can complete their residency training and serve their communities.”

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

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Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essay [Free Guide]
• 5 Things to Avoid in Your Med School Personal Statement
• An Inside Look at The Medical School Journey [Podcast]

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Georgetown University School Of Medicine 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:47:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32436 Given the Jesuit influence at Georgetown and its adoption of the Cura Personalis philosophy, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community service experience Georgetown’s secondary application essay. The school places special emphasis on training physicians to treat medically underserved communities.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities. Georgetown […]

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Click here for more School Specific Secondary Application  Essay TipsGiven the Jesuit influence at Georgetown and its adoption of the Cura Personalis philosophy, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community service experience Georgetown’s secondary application essay. The school places special emphasis on training physicians to treat medically underserved communities.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities.

Georgetown University School of Medicine 2016 Essay Questions:

 • Two short essays, with character limits of 1,000, and one long essay, with a character limit of  5,000.
• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.
• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

Short Essays:

1. 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 School of Medicine community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1,000 characters)

Using an updated draft of your resume or CV as well as a copy of the activities section of your AMCAS application, select those experiences that you feel will be most helpful in sharing with your classmates. Did you learn to speak another language? Have you traveled to other countries to assist medically underserved communities? Do you have experience working with a particular patient population? More personally, what characteristics stand out most about you? How will your particular perspective of the world, based on this individuality, allow you to assist your classmates in becoming better doctors?

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)

This would be the best place to cover any academic difficulties that you have overcome whether you’ve retaken courses, created an increasing trend in your GPA or retaken the MCAT for a higher score. Focusing on those areas of the application that you have successfully improved can provide compelling evidence of your academic potential and how you will perform in medical school. If this approach is not relevant to your application, you can use this section to update the committee on new publications, activities or awards that may not be on the AMCAS application. Discuss what you have been doing since you started the application process.

Long Essay:

Why have you chosen to apply to Georgetown University School of Medicine, and how do you think your education at Georgetown will prepare you to become a physician for the future?*(1-2 pages).

Since this is such a long essay, it will be helpful to draw upon your previous experiences to demonstrate why your values align with those of Georgetown. Use concrete, specific examples to explain how and why you will integrate easily into their study body. The second part of this essay prompt requires that you focus on the future. After researching their curriculum and special programs, you can explain how each of these will enhance your medical education. Make a list and use this as an outline to guide your response. Focus on the most important points last; they may be forgotten if you include them at the beginning of such a long essay. For that reason, it will be important to provide a concise summary of what you’ve covered in the conclusion.

Georgetown University Application Timeline:

Georgetown 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown University School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for GUSOM’s application materials.

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Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Med School IVs [Free Guide]
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective [Podcast]
Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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Don’t Miss Out—Important Secondary Essays Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/dont-miss-out-important-secondary-essays-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/dont-miss-out-important-secondary-essays-tips/#respond Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:11:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31889 Quick reminder! We’re hosting a free, 1-hour webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted on Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Don’t miss it! There’s still time to register—sign up today! And if you have any questions you’d like addressed on the webinar, you can […]

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Register for the webinar now!

Quick reminder! We’re hosting a free, 1-hour webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted on Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Don’t miss it!

Register now

There’s still time to register—sign up today! And if you have any questions you’d like addressed on the webinar, you can reach out on Twitter using hashtag #PreMDQA.

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Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/successful-medical-school-secondary-application-strategies-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/successful-medical-school-secondary-application-strategies-2/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 16:19:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32447 To stay on top of your secondary applications, use the following strategies to get organized and to help you write better essays. Taking the time to think about how you will approach your secondaries can give you the “big picture” perspective you need to do your best work.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying a new […]

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Register for our webinar "Writing Secondary Essays that Get you Accepted!"

Don’t underestimate the power of organization!

To stay on top of your secondary applications, use the following strategies to get organized and to help you write better essays. Taking the time to think about how you will approach your secondaries can give you the “big picture” perspective you need to do your best work.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying a new approach can make all the difference in your ability to produce higher quality writing.

The most successful students I’ve worked with focus on the following areas:

1. Time Management

Depending on how many medical schools you have applied to this cycle, you may have a large volume of secondary applications to return in a short period of time.  To stay on top of all of your deadlines, create a table with the name of the medical school, date you submitted the primary application, date you received the secondary application and the deadline to submit it.  You can also include space to list the date you submit the secondary.  Creating a table to track your progress with each school will allow you to prioritize application tasks based on your deadlines—to maximize your time management skills.  Given the anxiety inherent in the admissions process, any way that you can minimize unnecessary stress will help you to use your energy more constructively.  Being on top of your deadlines will empower you to excel on the tasks that require your best efforts to help you reach the next level.

2. Research

To demonstrate your interest in each medical school, it is critical to do your research as you complete each secondary—to demonstrate a personal knowledge of their institution.  What is the school’s mission statement?  Does the school have any special programs that you are interested in?  What is the structure of their curriculum?  Where is the school located and do you have personal ties to the area?  It is essential that you draw connections between your interests and the school.  After you have reviewed their web page, what information stands out in your mind?  Create a list of reasons why you are interested in attending the school.  List all of the reasons and then rank them based on their importance to you and your life goals.  Use the ranked items as an outline to draft your response to any questions about why you have applied to their school or how their program will benefit you.

3. Timeline

Create a timeline of your life to consult as a useful tool for completing secondary applications.  Be sure to include all major life events—incorporate all your activities and interests.  The more detailed your timeline is, the more useful it will be.  To avoid repetition, highlight or mark those experiences that you have already included in your primary application.  This demarcation will help you to avoid being repetitive in your secondary applications.  As you review your timeline, ask yourself how each individual event or activity has influenced your life goals or has led you towards a career in medicine.  This comprehensive life history will help you to be creative in your secondary essays and encourage you to draw upon your rich and diverse life experiences to convey your commitment to completing a medical education.

4. Writing Routine

Secondary applications provide an exciting opportunity for self-reflection.  To fully benefit from this period of introspection, journal daily.  The more frequently you practice expressing your ideas and feelings, the more easily you will be able to engage in the process of self-reflection.  It can be helpful to look at pictures of yourself as you were growing up.  Review your yearbooks and awards.  Write about these experiences and what they meant to you.  As you examine your motivations for wanting to become a doctor, it can be powerful to reconnect to your family history, childhood, adolescence, academic and clinical experiences.  Schedule a time of day that you can work on your secondary applications uninterrupted.  Journal for twenty minutes to warm up.  Approach each question one paragraph at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.  Use outlines.  During this time, it is also important to read regularly—especially those authors who inspire you.  The time and effort you put into completing your secondary applications will be evident to your reviewers.  Give them the opportunity to get to know you.

5. Proofreading and Editing

To submit your best work, be sure to proofread and edit all materials before you submit them.  Complete each secondary a few days before the deadline to allow yourself time to engage in this essential final step.  It can be especially beneficial to have friends, family or even professional editors, like me or my colleagues from Accepted.com, review your materials and provide feedback.  This will help you gain valuable insight on how to improve the quality of your application materials—which will lead to an interview and eventually an offer of acceptance.

If you would like professional guidance with your secondary application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for application materials.

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Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Explore Accepted.com’s services to see how Alicia can help you achieve your professional dreams in healthcare.

Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success [Free Guide]
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year  [Podcast]
• School-Specific Med Secondary Essay Tips

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Baylor College Of Medicine 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/baylor-college-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/baylor-college-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:34:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32415 Given the mission statement for BCM, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community experience in their secondary application essay.  They place special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds and from ethnicities that are underrepresented in medicine.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities. Baylor College of Medicine […]

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Check out other school specific med secondary essay tips! Given the mission statement for BCM, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community experience in their secondary application essay.  They place special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds and from ethnicities that are underrepresented in medicine.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities.

Baylor College of Medicine 2016 Essay Questions:

• One autobiographical essay, with a character limit of 2,000.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

Indicate any special experiences, unusual factors or other information you feel would be helpful in evaluating you, including, but not limited to, education, employment, extracurricular activities, prevailing over adversity. You may expand upon but not repeat AMCAS application information. (2000 character limit.)

Using a timeline you have created of your life that includes all significant events and/or an updated copy of your resume or CV, check off the items you have already covered in your primary application.  Creating a list from the remaining items that you have not covered, which are related to clinical, research, work, or leadership in community service?  Are there any items that relate to how you have overcome adversity?  Strategically selecting the activities or events that will reveal more about you as a person, create an outline using this short list.  Free-write to cover as much detail as you can from your outline.  After taking a break, edit the material to ensure you have a clear introductory sentence, solid body with explanations and a concise conclusion that sums up your experiences.

BCM Application Timeline:

Baylor 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

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Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions [Podcast]
• A Med Student/Foodie Extraordinaire at Baylor College of Medicine

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Don’t Forget: Your Secondaries Are Super Important! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/dont-forget-your-secondaries-are-super-important/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/dont-forget-your-secondaries-are-super-important/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:10:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31887 Just a quick reminder that our webinar on secondary essay strategies, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted, will take place Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET. There’s still time to register—sign up today! Who: Med school applicants who want a leg up on their secondaries When: Wednesday, July 22, 5pm PT/8pm ET Presenter: […]

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Just a quick reminder that our webinar on secondary essay strategies, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted, will take place Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

There’s still time to register—sign up today!

Register for the webinar before it's too late!

Who: Med school applicants who want a leg up on their secondaries

When: Wednesday, July 22, 5pm PT/8pm ET

Presenter: Alicia McNease Nimonkar, Accepted.com senior consultant and med school admissions expert

Register now!
Reach out to Alicia on twitter with any questions you’d like her to address on the webinar using hashtag #PreMDQA.

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Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/nine-ways-to-get-rejected-from-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/nine-ways-to-get-rejected-from-medical-school/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:54:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32196 With a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I have read thousands of AMCAS applications. Over the years, I have identified the most common reasons students are accepted or rejected. Below I am revealing the most common reasons for medical school rejections. To learn from others’ mistakes, I recommend that you avoid the following […]

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Visit our Medical School Admissions 101 page for more information!With a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I have read thousands of AMCAS applications. Over the years, I have identified the most common reasons students are accepted or rejected. Below I am revealing the most common reasons for medical school rejections. To learn from others’ mistakes, I recommend that you avoid the following approaches:

1. Applying with low numbers on both the MCAT and GPA.

2. Applying with a significant decreasing trend in your GPA.

3. Not using all of the space allowed for essays and activity descriptions.

4. Not including all of your activities or not using all 15 activities allowed.

5. Submitting your application late.

6. Sending in secondary essays late, well beyond two weeks after receiving them.

7. Applying only to dream schools.

8. Asking for letters of recommendation from professors who gave you B’s or lower or from high ranking individuals who barely know you.

9. Not competing all of the premed requirements.

Any one of these issues or a combination of them can ensure a rejection. To avoid receiving a rejection, you can use the following advice as a checklist:

• Carefully and objectively evaluate your statistics in deciding whether and where to apply.

• Consider requesting an expert opinion.

• Take your time on all essays and application materials.

• Ask someone experienced in med school admissions to review your application materials.

• Discuss your strategy for the activity section with an advisor or admissions expert.

• Do not apply with less than 15 activities.

• Begin working on secondary essays immediately after you submit the primary application.

• Strategically apply to medical schools where you have the highest chances of acceptance.

• Only ask for letters of recommendation from professors who gave you A’s and from people who know you well.

• Before submitting your application, double check that you have met all admission requirements in terms of prerequisite coursework and application materials

If you need assistance in any of these areas, you may want to consider contacting us at accepted.com. We can answer any questions that you have about applying to medical school. If you are not ready to apply to medical school, there are many other pathways that you may want to consider to become a more competitive applicant, like taking post-baccalaureate coursework or completing a Special Master’s Degree Program. There are lots of options. I love helping students find a successful approach.

Explore our services to see the many ways we can help you achieve your healthcare dreams.

Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success [Free Guide]
• Can You Apply To Med School With Low Stats? [On-Demand Webinar]
• Med School, AMCAS & Personal Statement Consulting Services

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First Scores From The New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/first-scores-from-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/first-scores-from-the-new-mcat/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:24:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32068 AAMC has released scoring data from the first administrations of the new MCAT (from April and May, 2015). The mean overall score was 500, with mean scores for each section around 125. This graph shows the score distribution for the first administrations of the new exam, with the curve centered around 500: Here are the […]

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AAMC has released scoring data from the first administrations of the new MCAT (from April and May, 2015).

The mean overall score was 500, with mean scores for each section around 125.

This graph shows the score distribution for the first administrations of the new exam, with the curve centered around 500:Download our free popular guide on how to get accepted to med school with low stats!

Here are the scores with percentile ranks:
Download our popular guide of How to Get Accepted to Med School with Low Stats!

Have you taken the new MCAT? How did it go for you?

Get accepted to med school with low stats! Watch the webinar!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today [free webinar]
• MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015
• What You Need To Know About The New MCAT

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Strategies For Secondary Success! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/strategies-for-secondary-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/strategies-for-secondary-success/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:35:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31884 You’ve finished your primary med school app, and no doubt heaved a sigh of relief. But the primary app is just part of the puzzle. How will you make sure to grab the committee’s attention with your secondary essays, to make sure that you score that all-important interview (not to mention, an offer of admission)? […]

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You’ve finished your primary med school app, and no doubt heaved a sigh of relief. But the primary app is just part of the puzzle.

How will you make sure to grab the committee’s attention with your secondary essays, to make sure that you score that all-important interview (not to mention, an offer of admission)?

Register for the webinar!Join our live webinar, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted (Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET) where Accepted.com senior consultant and med school admissions expert Alicia McNease Nimonkar will share key strategies for mastering your secondary essays.

Register nowAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:43:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32090 You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point: When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she […]

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Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…

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Happy July 4th From Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:02:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32018 Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accepted Team!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Can You Apply To Med School With Low Stats? [On-Demand Webinar] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/can-you-apply-to-med-school-with-low-stats-on-demand-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/can-you-apply-to-med-school-with-low-stats-on-demand-webinar/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:32:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31636 The answer: YES! Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during last week’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats. Med school applicants with low GPA and/or MCAT scores – you don’t want to miss this! Tags: low stats, Medical School Admissions, webinar

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The answer: YES!

Watch the webinar!Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during last week’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats.

Med school applicants with low GPA and/or MCAT scores – you don’t want to miss this!

Watch the webinar! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Accepted And Next Step Bring You: MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/accepted-and-next-step-bring-you-mcat-diagnostic-test-review-session/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/accepted-and-next-step-bring-you-mcat-diagnostic-test-review-session/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:49:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32000 Next Step Test Prep has invited Accepted’s Linda Abraham to present What Does the MCAT Reveal About You? as part of its free webinar for med school applicants! Join NSTP and Accepted for the MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session, Thursday July 9th @ 8pm EST. The MCAT review part of the webinar will be presented […]

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Next Step Test Prep has invited Accepted’s Linda Abraham to present What Does the MCAT Reveal About You? as part of its free webinar for med school applicants! Join NSTP and Accepted for the MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session, Thursday July 9th @ 8pm EST.

The MCAT review part of the webinar will be presented by Bryan Schnedeker from Next Step.  Bryan will review lessons learned from Next Step’s free MCAT diagnostic test, and Linda will provide an overview of the MCAT’s role in the med school admissions process.

Join the webinar and learn what the MCAT reveals about you!

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the new MCAT and the med school application process! Register today.

Following the event, Next Step will raffle off two 5-packs of their full length MCAT practice tests, and attendees will also be entered into a grand prize drawing, where they’ll have a chance to win all 9 Next Step MCAT prep books, 5 practice tests, and a two hour session with Next Step’s National Director of MCAT Content.

Any other questions about the med school application process? Subscribe to our blog or check out our med school consulting services!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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The Doctor As Renaissance Man http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/the-doctor-as-renaissance-man/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/the-doctor-as-renaissance-man/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:14:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32033 Ajay Major is a fourth year medical student who has accomplished an amazing amount while pursuing a combined BS/MBA/MD program. Look at all those letters that will soon follow his name! Listen to the recording of our interview to be inspired by this current medical student who is also the founder and editor-in-chief of an […]

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Listen to the show!Ajay Major is a fourth year medical student who has accomplished an amazing amount while pursuing a combined BS/MBA/MD program. Look at all those letters that will soon follow his name!

Listen to the recording of our interview to be inspired by this current medical student who is also the founder and editor-in-chief of an online magazine for med school students, Medstro Medical Student Ambassador, and somehow juggles a host of other roles while preparing to apply to residency programs.

00:02:16 – Regrets about choosing the BS/MBA/MD path.

00:04:16 – The case for a non-brand name education.

00:06:35 – What Ajay likes most about medical school.

00:08:29 – Best tip for premeds: Step out of your comfort zone!

00:10:30 – Glimpse into the activities of an “entrepreneur, medical student activist, and aspiring physician-journalist.”

00:16:10 – The trick to having time for everything.

00:17:22 – In-Training: what it is and who writes it.

00:19:10 – How Medstro and In-Training differ from SDN.

00:23:51 – Last piece of advice for med students and premeds.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Ajay’s website
In – Training
In-House
Medstro
BS/MBA/MD Student Interview with Ajay Major
• 
Getting Ready for Residency: IV with a Med Student on the Way to Mayo
Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted [webinar]

Related Shows:

• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Overcoming The Odds: A Story Of Med School Inspiration
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!

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An Interview With Our Own: Alicia McNease Nimonkar http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/an-interview-with-our-own-alicia-mcnease-nimonkar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/an-interview-with-our-own-alicia-mcnease-nimonkar/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:46:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31803 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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Click here to view Alicia's bio!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Alicia McNease Nimonkar.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? Where do you currently live?

Alicia: Since my dad served in the Air Force for thirty years, I grew up all over the U.S. Fascinated by other perspectives, I chose to study English Literature for my Bachelor’s Degree. I am currently completing a Master’s Degree in Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature.

My first book, The Definitive Guide to Premedical Postbaccalaureate Programs was published this year and is available on Amazon and the Accepted.com website. I teach yoga and quilting where I live in the Boston area.

Accepted: Congratulations on your new book! Can you tell us about it? Do you have any plans for future books?

Alicia: The book describes all the different types of postbac programs in existence and includes interviews with students who I helped gain acceptance into medical school as well as interviews with postbac program directors from around the country. I hope that it will serve as a resource for students who might otherwise give up on their dream of pursuing a medical education.

I have collaborated with the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Loma K. Flowers, to write a book on emotional competence. The manuscript is currently under review. For my next project, I plan to write a book on secondary application essays to help students prepare for the application process in advance.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Alicia:

1.   I try to practice yoga and meditate almost every day.
2.  I have lived in Italy and Germany.
3.  I love to cook and just recently started making my own sushi.

Accepted: How does your experience as a yoga instructor contribute to your role as an admissions consultant?

Alicia: As a teacher, I am continually learning from my students how I can better support them. After receiving my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate, I have started a 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Natasha Rizopoulos and Barbara Benagh in Boston. I also recently completed Level 1 and Level 2 in Integrated Positional Therapy with Lee Albert, NMT.

In learning to assess body posture and language, I am able to provide clients with more in depth feedback during mock interviews about how they, often, hold their breath and their bodies. I hope to empower every student I work with to be more authentic and comfortable in the way they present themselves to selection committees – in writing and interviews.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience at UC Davis School of Medicine? How did that contribute to your career as an admissions consultant?

Alicia: Leading and serving on selection committees for over five years to select students for our postbac program provided me with a strong understanding of what factors help or hurt a student’s application. Supporting students through the entire application process from beginning to end brought me a lot of joy! I learned that with the right strategy and support my students were able to earn record high GPAs and the highest acceptance rates for any program like it in the State of California.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Alicia:

1. It’s essential that you have an increasing trend in your GPA.

2. If possible, do not submit your application before you receive your MCAT score so that you can use that information to guide your strategy and school selection.

3. Be yourself. In all of your essays and interviews and allow the reader and interviewer to get to know you, for the best results.

Learn more about Alicia and how she can help you get accepted!

See what our medical admissions services has to offer!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Med School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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What You Need To Know About The New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-mcat/#respond Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:29:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31935 Beginning with test dates this spring, the MCAT changed to a new format. What do you need to know about the new MCAT? How is it scored? How is it different from the old version? Here are a few points: 1.  The new exam has 4 sections: •  Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems […]

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Visit our MCAT 101 page for all things MCAT

Difference #4: The new MCAT is LONGER.

Beginning with test dates this spring, the MCAT changed to a new format. What do you need to know about the new MCAT? How is it scored? How is it different from the old version? Here are a few points:

1.  The new exam has 4 sections:

•  Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

•  Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

•  Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

•  Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

2.  The newer version tests more material. It has been designed to integrate subjects and test your critical thinking skills, in order to test skills that are vital in med school.

3.  Along with the different exam structure comes a new scoring structure. Each section will be scored 118-132, for a total possible score of 528. The mean score for each section is expected to be 125, with an overall mean score of 500.

4.  The new exam is much longer than the old one: over 6 hours of testing time, and over 7 hours total.

5.  Score reports will include percentile ranks.

The AAMC expects about half of this year’s applicants to submit scores from the new exam, and that this number will grow in the coming years. (They will continue to report scores from the older exam through the 2019 application cycle.) However, some schools will stop accepting the old exam before that application cycle: check with the schools you are applying to if you want to apply with an old MCAT for the 2016-17 or later application cycles.

How can committees evaluate a pool that includes some applicants with scores from the old exam, some with scores from the new exam, and some who may have two separate scores (one old and one new)? Isn’t it like comparing apples and oranges?

A bit, and that’s why AAMC advises that med schools not try to compare one with the other, but rather evaluate each applicant’s score in the context of his/her application. Also, scores from the older exam will be understandable within the framework that they always have been, and scores from the new exam can be contextualized with the help of the percentile information.

Good luck on your MCAT!

Check out The New MCAT webinar now to learn how you can ace the exam!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015 [Podcast]
• How the Adcom Views Multiple MCAT Scores

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4 Things To Do Before Submitting Your AMCAS Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/26/4-things-to-do-before-submitting-your-amcas-application-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/26/4-things-to-do-before-submitting-your-amcas-application-2/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:54:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31898 While the AMCAS process is open for several months, it’s to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later, so that med schools can consider your application when they have more seats available to fill. With an ongoing process, how can you tell when your application is ready to submit? Here are four things we […]

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Watch our recent webinar "Create a Winning AMCAS Application"

Caution: You want 1-3 people to review your essay – not the entire world.

While the AMCAS process is open for several months, it’s to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later, so that med schools can consider your application when they have more seats available to fill. With an ongoing process, how can you tell when your application is ready to submit? Here are four things we advise that you do before you submit, to make sure that your app is in great shape:

1.  Check that your application paints an impressive, holistic, and accurate picture of you.

Each section of your application – your essays, your CV, all those boxes and fields, your letters of recommendation, your MCAT score – should provide a snapshot of who you are. Double check that all information is accurate, and that your snapshot presents you in the best light. The sections of your application should complement one another, similar to a puzzle, where each piece works together to create a complete, cohesive, unified picture.

2.  Recruit/hire someone to review your essays.

Your AMCAS essays and secondary essays aren’t done until another person (or other people) have looked them over. Have a friend, family member, or an experienced Accepted editor read through your essays, check for errors and inconsistencies, and offer constructive criticism. No, it’s not fun to have someone point out your mistakes, but your essays will be better because of it, and as a result, so will your chances of getting into your top choice med school. (Caution: You want 1-3 people to review your essay – not the entire world. This is definitely a case where too many cooks can spoil the soup—or, more precisely, confuse matters hopelessly.)

3.  Proof your entire application.

Applicants spend so much time proofing their essays (which is great) but often forget that they need to proof the rest of their application as well (not great). Proofread every component of your application – your personal statement, the boxes, the experienceseverything. Check for proper spelling and grammar and correct any errors. The entire application package should be neat and clean and error-free. Try reading your application aloud – it’s an excellent way to catch mistakes that your eyes may miss.

4.  Think about timing AND quality.

While it is important for medical school applicants to submit early in the process, it is better to send in the application a day or two later and present something that is polished and excellent, rather than submit a sloppy and rushed AMCAS app at the beginning of the process. So don’t procrastinate; there is no time to waste. At the same time, don’t compromise on quality in a rush to submit.

Once you’ve completed these four items then it’s time to confidently hit that “Submit” button!

Now, take another step: subscribe to our blog for helpful advice to guide you through your med school application journey!

Click here to view a recording of our "Create a Winning AMCAS Application!" webinarAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Ace the AMCAS Essay [Free Guide]
Med School, AMCAS & Personal Statement Consulting Services
• WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay?

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Approaching The Diversity Essay Question http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:27:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31871 Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting […]

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Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting one to show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the program you are applying to. If you are applying after having an unusual experience for applicants like joining the military, becoming part of a dance troupe, or caring for an elderly relative, you can use your experience to evoke the way in which you will bring diversity to campus.

Your family’s culture, situation and traditions, and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits are of interest, as well unusual experiences that have shaped you. Perhaps you have grown up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events or learning your parents’ native language and culture. Perhaps you are close to grandparents and extended family who have taught you how teamwork can help everyone survive. Perhaps you have had to face and deal with difficulties that stem from your parents’ values being in conflict with those of your peers. Perhaps teachers have not always understood the elements of your culture or outside-of-school situation and how they pertain to your school performance. Perhaps you have suffered discrimination and formed your values and personality traits around your success in spite of the discrimination. Perhaps you have learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm–living in foreign countries as the child of diplomats or contractors, performing professionally in theater, dance, music or sports, or communicating with a deaf sibling.

Understanding and explaining how your experience built your empathy for others, a strong will, and character is a good focus for the diversity question.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays [Short Video]
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

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How Good A Predictor Is The MCAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/how-good-a-predictor-is-the-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/how-good-a-predictor-is-the-mcat/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:49:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31847 According to a study in JAMA, students who took extra time on the MCAT (due to disability) were admitted to medical school at the same rate as other students, but later earned lower average scores on the USMLE Step Exams and took longer to graduate. Researchers looked at data from 1991-2015, and studied the MCAT […]

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Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for SuccessAccording to a study in JAMA, students who took extra time on the MCAT (due to disability) were admitted to medical school at the same rate as other students, but later earned lower average scores on the USMLE Step Exams and took longer to graduate.

Researchers looked at data from 1991-2015, and studied the MCAT information (and subsequent academic achievement) of applicants who received extra time on the exam, compared with those who took the standard time. They found that while admission rates were not significantly different between these two groups, students who used extra time on the MCAT had lower pass rates on their first attempt taking the USMLE exams (Step 1, 82% vs 94%; Step 2 CK, 86% vs 95%; Step 2 CS, 92% vs 97%). They also graduated at lower rates, and took longer to do so:  after 4 years, 67 percent vs 86 percent; 5 years, 82 percent vs 94 percent; 6 years, 85 percent vs 96 percent; 7 years, 88 percent vs 96 percent; and 8 years, 88 percent vs 97 percent.

Researchers suggest that the new MCAT, which provides more time per question, might help ensure that the exam functions as a more accurate predictor, by alleviating some people’s need to request extra time.

They also suggested that the gaps illuminated by the study indicate that medical schools could do a better job creating a supportive learning environment for students with disabilities.

Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know
• Improve Your MCAT Score for Medical School Acceptance
How To Write The Statement Of Disadvantage

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