Michigan State University College of Human Medicine “educates exemplary physicians and seeks to improve health through discovery and responding to the needs of the medically underserved in our communities.” Their research focus is in “groundbreaking” biomedical research about the prevention, control and treatment of disease – and mechanisms underlying human disease. (source: MSU website)
Median MCAT/GPA is 510/3.77. They expect applicants to have long term, in-depth clinical work, paid or volunteer.
MSU CHM’s dean, Aron Sousa, MD, characterizes the curriculum as having robust clinical experience in each year of medical school, and academic content organized by chief complaint rather than organ system or discipline.
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 2022-2023 application essays
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine secondary essay #1
Imagine and reflect upon your life and medical career at the time of retirement. What do you envision being your proudest/most significant accomplishment? (500 words)
Your proudest / most significant career accomplishment might relate to MSU CHM’s mission or focus, namely serving the underserved, making an impact in medically underserved communities at home or abroad, or having performed and discovered groundbreaking research that sheds insight into the prevention, control or treatment of disease.
Another approach might be to describe what you would consider to have been a physician’s life well-lived in service to others. What would that service have looked like? Stay humble. Do you define this life of service by its corresponding humanitarianism rather than conceit, clichés or dogma?
Perhaps you think of retirement not as an end but as a transition, like book chapters? How did your career in medicine bring you to this next life adventure? Perhaps you have no intention of retiring? How does your life as a physician change once past your prime or after a significant accomplishment?
In real life, there is no such thing as a crystal ball. Life will be full of surprises, achievements, disappointments, joy and pain much of which you cannot predict today. So this prompt isn’t really about life plans and details. It’s a narrative about hopes and aspirations – and your imagination.
MSU CHM secondary essay #2
American society may be experiencing a watershed moment as it reckons with various systemic injustices. Use the space below to share your thoughts about this statement. (500 words)
A watershed moment is a moment that changes the direction of belief. A watershed moment is a historic epiphany, a moment when looking back one can see the moment when a standing belief changed direction. It is an event or an action that changes the course of normalcy. 9/11 is a watershed moment in US culture. The reversal of Roe vs Wade is a watershed moment in US culture. The electric car is a watershed moment in sustainability and climate change.
“Reckons with” is a pivotal verb phrase suggesting systemic injustice is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, reckon also means to settle, as in reconciling or settling a bank account. How is American Society settling discrimination in its institutions and systems once and for all?
The American Medical Association has adopted bold guidelines to confront systemic racism with the aim of dismantling racist policies and practices in health care. This prompt infers that right now we are changing the infrastructure and methods of institutions to eliminate inherent bias, inequality, inequity and prejudice. Most medical schools have adopted similar positions in their mission statements. However, this prompt does not limit your answer to addressing systemic injustice solely in healthcare. You may talk about healthcare, but you do not have to.
Where do you see the dismantling of injustice? What does that look like? How is it done? How effective is it? Is there backlash or turmoil? Where have you seen justice in action? How are we never turning back in time regarding injustice?
MSU CHM secondary essay #3
Use the space below to reflect upon your COVID-19 public health crisis experiences, challenges, and/or insights. (500 words)
All medical school applicants have had a disruption to their medical school activities, from classes to shadowing to taking the MCAT. Feel free to mention your readjustment to your medical school path briefly. Then, how did you get involved in the pandemic? What did you do to help people through this crisis? How does COVID-19 change healthcare for physicians? For hospitals? For communities? For patients?
MSU CHM secondary essay #4
In the most general sense, create a list of ten (or more) words or phrases you might use to describe or characterize yourself to someone you just met. From this list of words or phrases, are any associated with your decision to pursue medicine as a career? If yes, select up to 3 and explain. If no, explain. (500 words)
This prompt is the most “outside the box” prompt yet. Obviously, whatever words or phrases you choose to describe your character paint a self-portrait with words. So, it stands to reason that several entries would correspond with being a physician, whether in your humanitarian values, beliefs, spirituality, love of science, guiding principles (like altruism), or intersectionality (the Venn Diagram of who we are, the circles of our beliefs or the roles we play and their overlap). Just as your activities on the AMCAS application fit a variety of categories, so should your list of characteristics. Be honest, and be yourself.
Most applicants will likely explain a few characteristics that fit with pursuing medicine. This is a reasonable approach. However, it is possible that an outside the box thinker could be so original in how they explain a “no” that their answer is original and fascinating. For instance, an applicant with a philosophy background might have a wonderful time with this prompt. However, chances are, answering “no” will pose an unnecessary risk.
MSU CHM secondary essay #5
If you could present yourself to the Admissions Committee, what would you want to make sure they knew about you? (500 words)
Some applicants explain a life circumstance, a story, a situation, a challenge they’ve overcome, or a nontraditional path to medicine that sets them apart from the pack or deepens their portrait in the big picture of the application.
Do not answer this question with filler. However, do not overlook an opportunity to enhance the school’s sense of who you are, especially if the secondaries they provide exclude the opportunity to share an important story. Be sure the story ends well and demonstrates what you learned or how you changed for the better with insight and humility.
Do not repeat stories told in other parts of this secondary or in your primary. This essay, like all essays, should add to the reader’s understanding of you.
You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are. Now that you’re ready for your next achievement, make sure you know how to present yourself to maximum advantage in your MSU applications. In a hotly competitive season, you’ll want a member of Team Accepted in your corner, guiding you with expertise tailored specifically for you. Check out our flexible consulting packages today!
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine 2022-23 application timeline
|AMCAS application deadline (MD/PhD Applicants)||Early October|
|Secondary Applications, Fee, and Letters of Evaluation (MD/PhD applicants)||Late October|
Source: MSU website
***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!