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 populations and to have a demonstrated record of long-term leadership experience.
In addition you need to know about GW’s educational approach. It is initiating 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 2015 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.
The following are required in the Secondary Application:
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 2014-2015 application cycle, or from the point of application through matriculation in 2015. (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 listed.
2. What is your most significant achievement outside the classroom? (750 characters)
What they are really asking you is, “what is important to you in your life?” They want to understand your maturity level and priorities. Based on the fact that they emphasize leadership, community service and a commitment to life-long learning, you can select an achievement that 1) you are truly proud of 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 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 have selected a subject that will cover 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.
4. 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:
AMCAS Application Due December 1, 2014
Secondary Application *January 1, 2014 (Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.)
School Begins Early August, 2015
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.
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.