George Washington SMHS centers its curriculum and mission 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 engage the area’s diverse communities. It is essential to have experience working in diverse communities as a member of a clinical or nonclinical team. Also, it is critical to reveal sensitivity and compassion for vulnerable populations as a key value while building advocacy skills. Applicants need to demonstrate their “proven ability to work with people” – meaning both diverse communities and collaborative teams.
George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences 2022-23 secondary application essay questions
Note: Unlike most schools, these character counts don’t count the spaces.
GW SMHS essay #1
Please provide the Admissions Committee with a brief summary of your activities, academics, employment or other occupations to account for full-time activity (approx. 30-40 hours/week) from the point of application through matriculation in 2023. (750 characters)
If you are taking a gap year, this is the “what are you doing in your gap year” prompt. The best way to approach this question is to show continuity in your commitment to activities you’ve already begun, and to use this time to deepen your understanding of communities. What else can you do during this time that adds deeper knowledge to your understanding of diversity and health care disparities, both of which are core values of George Washington SMHS. Your answer to this prompt should not be about aspirations; it should be about what you are already doing and what else you will do, concretely explained.
If you are in school, discuss the more challenging classes or projects that you are involved in and what makes them challenging. However, if you are active in your community, highlight that activism especially if you will assume a more responsible position or launch or lead a new initiative.
GW SMHS essay #2
The MD Program includes substantial content in Clinical Public Health (population health, health systems science, health policy, and community health) to prepare GW graduates for an expanded scope of practice required to be successful 21st century physicians. What are your specific interests and experiences related to that aspect of the MD Program? (350 characters)
As of 2020, there’s a new dean of The George Washington SMHS, Dean Barbara L. Bass, MD. She is committed to a “forward-focus” for the school of medicine. Surely, the integrated curriculum in public health is in part how they focus on the future. To answer this prompt, if you have taken a course in “health policy” explain the relationship between health policy and patient outcomes, or explain what population health is in light of a community-based activity you participated in during a mission trip abroad or in your own community during the pandemic. What niche in community health is your point of engagement to improve the lives of others? Where and how do you wholeheartedly “do the right thing” for others and will continue to do so? “Doing the right thing for patients, always” is part of GW’s vision, which applies to the community as well.
GW SMHS essay #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. Close this brief response stating a successful outcome for the patient(s), a significant change in your understanding of diversity and medicine, or a humble moment of wisdom about adjusting to a difficult challenge and in doing so learned about the importance of adaptability in order to improve a patient situation.
GW SMHS essay #4
Describe how current issues regarding advocacy and social justice have impacted your motivation for medical school? (500 characters)
This prompt expects engagement with current events through the lens of a “physician as citizen.” Most medical schools directly associate physicians’ roles with community engagement, advocacy and leadership roles in dismantling discrimination, marginalization and social injustice. What recent news story moved you into action and advocacy? Why? How? What did you do to combat this injustice? It would be best to tell the story of how a recent event was a catalyst for taking action, not just feeling empathy.
GW SMHS essay #5
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? (750 characters)
How are you different from a typical student? By this, I mean, demographics: race, identity, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, culture, religion, and ability. How does your difference make you stand out? Applicants have little room to elaborate when answering this prompt, so turn this answer into a triumph associated with a diversity experience. One note: your answer should demonstrate an effort to correct exclusion, not further entrench a demographic category. How did you ever make a polarized encounter better, not just for oneself, but others too?
GW SMHS essay #6
What is your specific interest in the MD Program at GW? What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student here? Why? (1750 characters)
Do your research for this question. There are lots of wonderful, special programs at GW. Again, it’s essential to be authentic in your response. What does a doctor’s future entail as told through the eyes (mission / opportunity) of one of their programs? You may reach out to a student or advisor at GW about one of their programs to prepare your response so you are correctly informed. How does this program serve future doctors in a way that you’ll fit right in?
It’s likely many applicants will highlight George Washington University SOM’s Scholarly Concentration Program. Keep in mind this program contains a wide array of nine interconnected and sometimes interdisciplinary curricula, much of which contain “applied,” hands-on experiences. If you have interdisciplinary aspects to your degree, bring this to light here, pairing it with one sub-concentration. If you have applied, community-based or patient-based volunteer work, perhaps explain what you understand and value about it, framing that experience in an objective GW provides for that sub-concentration on its web page for their Scholarly Concentration Program.
Applying to George Washington School of Medicine? Here are some stats:
GW School of Medicine average MCAT score: 512
GW School of Medicine average GPA: 3.73
GW School of Medicine acceptance rate: 2.3%
U.S. News ranks GW #61 for research and #78 for primary care.
If you would like professional guidance with your George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for GW SMHS’s application materials.
George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences 2022-23 application timeline
|AMCAS application due||November 15, 2022|
|Secondary application due||December 15, 2022|
Source: GW SMHS website
Dr. Mary Mahoney, PhD, is the medical humanities director at Elmira College and has more than 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 past 20 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!