The David Geffen School of Medicine (UCLA) is interested in physician excellence, leadership and impact. According to Clarence H. Braddock, III, MD – the Vice Dean of Education and Chief Medical Education Officer, the Geffen SOM is interested in change, innovation, research, health, education, advocacy and humanistic care. Also, UCLA is standing by an initiative to change their policies and procedures to fix infrastructure that thwarts diversity, inclusion and equity in their institution. The Geffen School of Medicine is an institutional leader in rectifying systemic racism.
UCLA Medical School secondary application essay questions 2022-23
UCLA secondary essay #1
At the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, students are provided with curriculum and experiences enabling them to become an “Outstanding Physician, AND…,” dedicating themselves to important societal missions. What missions do you want to embrace? What have you done toward your missions? (800 characters)
A physician is a citizen of the world. Clearly, you have a passion for some aspect of humanity. When you envision your life as a physician, what humanitarian aspect will still resonate for you? What is that other thing that will always accompany your professional engagement? What lights a fire for you in terms of effecting positive change, doing good, advocating? Why are you, as a future physician, confident that you will remain passionate about Habitat for Humanity? Training guide dogs? Cooking at a free community kitchen? Helping veterans? You should already have experience doing whatever that is. This prompt seeks out applicants who know who they are and are actively engaged in a cause uniquely suited to what moves them.
A particular research goal might be a suitable answer to this prompt as well, as long as your application demonstrates your involvement with an area of research. What’s your particular long-term vision working with stem cells?
Perhaps you’re a writer. Do you have books to write about being a doctor, or perhaps about patients’ social determinants of health?
Perhaps you’re a visionary. Have you developed a particular interest in medical ethics to affect policy and practice on the ethical use of animals in medical research? In twenty years, will AI have helped reduce the number of animals used in medical research?
UCLA secondary essay #2
Respond to the following and indicate how these areas of experience have impacted your progress toward your future career goals in relation to becoming an “Outstanding Physician, AND…”.
• A-Describe your most unique leadership, entrepreneurial, or creative activity. (800 characters)
• B-Describe your most important volunteer work and why it was meaningful. (800 characters)
• C-Describe your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities) and provide the total number of hours, dates and advisor. (800 characters)
Last year, this prompt was rewritten slightly. It used to say “what has been your most…” – which was revised to the word “describe.” Clearly, DGSOM wants more detail than just stating your answer. Do you play electric guitar? Do you draw anatomical figures? In what context? What does this do for you? What does this do for others? Don’t forget that all three of these sub prompts need to conclude with a tie-in to your career goals.
UCLA secondary essay #3
Describe how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your pathway to medical school. Include any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers, as well as other relevant information. (800 characters)
The UCLA website has very specific information for applicants about having been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to read their statement on their expectations for applicants who have been affected academically.
They will not judge applications that show online courses, or a shift to Pass/Fail grades for 2020 or 2021. In the COVID-19 information on their website, they isolate the word “resilience” as the key quality that they found to be true for their applicants during the pandemic. Clearly they like that. So do surmise that strong answers to this prompt should demonstrate resounding resilience.
UCLA secondary essay #4
Did you experience or are you anticipating time between graduating from college and matriculating into medical school?
If yes: Describe the activities in which you participated or are planning to participate. Examples include additional schooling, employment, or caring for a loved one. (800 characters)
If you have already graduated from college, you should explain what you were doing over the last year(s). If you haven’t yet graduated, you should describe plans for the gap year(s), including positions for which you plan to apply and planned or actual volunteer work.
Staying engaged in clinical activities is key. Building upon your exposure to patient care and research is wise as well. You might travel abroad for a medical mission trip, volunteer, or work in health care for pay. Are you a scribe? An EMT? The gap year experience must be an opportunity to show the admissions committee how practically or imaginatively you utilized this time to engage healthcare, locally or abroad, or re-engaged academia in a master’s program, to offset a low GPA, to show your commitment to becoming a doctor.
Show that your gap year will be or was a growth year!
UCLA secondary essay #5
Do you identify as being part of a group that has been marginalized (examples include, but are not limited to, LGBTQIA, disabilities, federally recognized tribe) in terms of access to education or healthcare?
If yes: Describe how this inequity has impacted you or your community and how educational disparity, health disparity and/or marginalization has impacted you and your community. (800 characters)
It is okay to say “no” here. This prompt is a hardship prompt, but it is specifically tied to issues of marginalization, identification with a marginalized group, or marginalization due to disability that impacted your access to education or healthcare. How does this story begin? How does this story play out? Tell that story explaining the significance of the consequences of your marginalization or the same marginalization for your community. How did you or your community adjust to an adverse event? How did you come to terms with your or your community’s marginalization as a reality? How and why did this experience change or deepen your passion to become a doctor?
Applying to David Geffen School of Medicine? Here are some stats:
Geffen average MCAT score: 512
Geffen average GPA: 3.7
UCLA medical school acceptance rate: 2.2%
U.S. News ranks Geffen #19 for research and #13 for primary care.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Geffen School of Medicine secondary application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your top choice medical school. With so much at stake, why not hire a consultant whose expertise and personalized guidance can help you make your dream come true? We have several flexible consulting options—click here to get started today!
David Geffen School of Medicine (UCLA) application timeline 2022-23
|AMCAS application deadline||September 30, 2022 (11:59 pm EST)|
|Supplemental application||2 weeks from invitation|
|Screening of completed applications||July – November|
|Interviews||August – March|
|Rolling offers of admission||Starting October 15, 2022|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Dr. Mary Mahoney, Ph.D. is the Medical Humanities Director at Elmira College and has over 20 years of experience as an advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. She is a tenured English Professor with an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD in Literature and Writing from the University of Houston. For the last twenty years, Mary has served as a grad school advisor and essay reviewer for med school applicants. Want Mary to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!