The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine maintains a strong emphasis on integrating scientific innovation with patient care. Their “Genes to Society” curriculum moves medical students from a basic understanding of the human genome project all the way through risk, prevention, and disease outcomes. They also give students a grounding in public health, health policy and improving societal outcomes. Ranked #1 in multiple specialties (Internal medicine, Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Radiology) and #2 in research by U.S. News & World Report (2021), Johns Hopkins has a long tradition of training physician-leaders who are committed to both clinical medicine and improving health on a larger scale, whether through research, education or health care delivery. Use your secondary essays to show that you are prepared for and eager to take on the dual nature of this role.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 2020-2021 secondary application essay questions:
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #1
Briefly describe your single, most rewarding experience. Feel free to refer to an experience previously described in your AMCAS application. (max 2,500 characters)
If something fantastic has happened since you submitted your primary (a new job, a research breakthrough) and you want to include it, here is your chance. If not, choose one of your three most meaningful activities and give it a new spin. This is your opportunity to include things that did not fit in your primary. To show your fit with Johns Hopkins, try to show how this experience has motivated you to contribute further in your chosen field.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #2
Are there any areas of medicine that are of particular interest to you? If so, please comment. (max 2,500 characters)
If you have your heart set on a specialty, go ahead and tell them. It’s also okay to say that you are interested in multiple fields, and list a few that you want to explore. To support your interest, briefly describe your exposure and why this appeals to you. Lastly, state how you hope to further medical knowledge in this area. In other words, how will you contribute to making this field better?
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #3
Briefly describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity; include lessons learned and how you think it will affect your career as a future physician. (max 2,500 characters)
Start by brainstorming a list of challenges you have faced. On a sheet of paper create 3 columns titled: Challenge, Success, and Strengths. For column one, think of a challenge that you worked hard to overcome. For column two, success can be redefined and may include learning about yourself, understanding how to work with others, or knowing when to admit you were wrong. In column three, describe what you will bring to medicine as a result of this experience. After you decide which challenge/success/strength you want to include, it’s time to start writing.
First, state the challenge briefly and describe how you handled it. Next, include what you learned and/or what you might do differently next time. Lastly, discuss how this experience will guide you in similar challenges you face as a physician. Examples might include a financial hardship, a teamwork situation, or a challenging leadership role. Personal and family health crises might be tempting, but they can distract the reader away from your strengths, so are generally not the best choice to use here.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #4
Briefly describe a situation where you were not in the majority. What did you learn from the experience? (max 2,500 characters)
This is a “self-awareness” question, and the key is to show how you grew from the situation. You may be tempted to spend most of the essay discussing the circumstance, however it will be stronger if you briefly describe the situation, then spend more time discussing what you learned about yourself. Main points could involve trust, communication, empathy, etc.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #5
Wonder encapsulates a feeling of rapt attention … it draws the observer in. Tell us about a time in recent years that you experienced wonder in your everyday life. Although experiences related to your clinical or research work may be the first to come to mind, we encourage you to think of an experience that is unrelated to medicine or science. What did you learn from that experience? (max 2,500 characters)
The keywords in this question are, “wonder,” “everyday life” and “learn.” Have you ever had a moment of amazement during a seemingly routine or mundane activity? Possibilities include time spent in nature, with a child, a pet, an older relative, doing a hobby, or even a chore. Your tone should be introspective, contemplative, and reflective. The prompt specifically asks you to look outside of your clinical and research activities, so do not choose something medically related. This is a chance to be creative, and to show your ability to learn and grow, no matter where you are.
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine essay #6 (optional)
The Admissions Committee values hearing about each candidate for admission, including what qualities the candidate might bring to the School of Medicine if admitted. If you feel there is information not already addressed in the application that will enable the Committee to know more about you and this has influenced your desire to be a physician, feel free to write a brief statement in the space below. You may address any subject you wish, such as being a first generation college student, or being a part of a minority group (whether because of your sexual orientation, religion, economic status, gender identity, ethnicity) or being the child of undocumented immigrants or being undocumented yourself, etc. Please note that this question is optional and that you will not be penalized should you choose not to answer it.
The optional essay is a chance to include something you have always wanted to say in your applications but could not find the right place. Try to avoid a fluff answer, such as, “I have always wanted to help people.” Instead, focus on the “qualities” you will bring to their school. These might include compassion, curiosity about how things work, conscientiousness, leadership. etc. Show how you demonstrated these qualities, rather than just stating you have them.
This year, the character count was changed to 2500 for all answers. While you should not feel pressured to fill this space up, a noticeably short essay might convey a lack of interest or effort. Aim for 4-5 quality paragraphs that show your ability to communicate your ideas and write with purpose.
If you would like professional guidance with your Johns Hopkins Medical School application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for your application materials.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 2020-2021 application timeline
|AMCAS Application Due||October 15|
|Secondary Application Due||November 1|
*Strong recommendation: Submit your secondaries within two weeks after receipt.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Dr. Suzi Schweikert has served on the UCSD School of Medicine’s admissions committee, and has mentored students in healthcare programs for over 20 years. She holds a BA in English Lit from UCLA, an MD from UCSD, and an MPH from SDSU. Want Suzi to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch with Dr. Suzi Schweikert.