OHSU is Oregon’s only health center, and the school focuses on training med students to serve throughout the state. The goal is to advance health care delivery and leadership throughout Oregon.
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) 2021 – 2022 secondary application essay prompts
OHSU School of Medicine essay #1
What experience have you had that has given you insight into the patients you hope to eventually serve? (1,550 characters)
For this essay, you should think about your career goals and what kind of patients you hope to work with — the category can be defined in terms of socio-economic class, language, ethnicity, immigration status, age, medical conditions, etc. Then think about experiences, either clinical or personal, where you have interacted with people who might have similar qualities. Then, you should give a specific example and explain what you learned about interacting with them.
OHSU School of Medicine essay #2
Other than work-life balance, what will be your greatest challenge in becoming a physician? (1,550 characters)
I encourage applicants to think about what will be difficult about being a physician. Then, you should explain what the challenge is as well as how you plan to overcome this challenge, which can include instances where you have dealt with similar pressures. You should give a challenge and not avoid this question, which is trying to assess how you will deal with difficulties.
Physicians face many challenges. Identify one challenge. Explain the challenge. Is it about treating a patient while doing no harm? Is it about patient education and compliance? Is it about coordination of care among several care providers? Explain a challenge and close your response with a resolution.
OHSU School of Medicine essay #3
Discuss a time in your life that demonstrated your resilience. (1,550 characters)
Make a list of times when you have had to show resilience, or the ability to recover from a setback. Then, choose one where you are able to explain how you overcame the setback. I suggest that you should consider not only how you dealt with the challenge (including reaching out to others) but also include how you have used your own resilience to help others. Two thoughts on this questions: 1) I would encourage you to think about resilience beyond “I worked harder” and 2) I would choose an example that isn’t repetitive of the other essays in this series and that has some stakes involved. It can be a personal, academic, or work-related challenge.
OHSU School of Medicine essay #4
Please describe your path through the OHSU UME Admissions Recommended Premedical Competencies, with special attention to experiences that are not reflected in your transcript. Do not include specific grades or test scores in your response. AAMC’s Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students & OHSU Recommended Prerequisites (2,050 characters)
The fifteen core competencies listed by the AAMC are key characteristics applicants should stand by. First, be sure to read and consider the AAMC’s Core Competencies. Do not answer this prompt “cold.” The competencies are broad, requiring ambition and focus on skills, awareness and character-building experiences during the premed years. It’s likely an applicant has some of these core competencies addressed in activities, MMEs and the personal statement. OHSU asks you about how you navigated through some of these competencies not already present in the application. For instance, if one’s application covers thinking, reasoning and science competencies in transcripts, MCAT scores and experiences, focus on one of the other core categories, narrating a moment of cultural insight, an experience that brought home the value of teamwork, or a moment of taking responsibility.
OHSU School of Medicine essay #5
Give an example of personal feedback in the last few years that was difficult to receive. How did you respond? (1,550 characters)
In this response, you should think about a moment when you received criticism or other feedback from someone that wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Then, walk through the steps you took after receiving the feedback. This would include your initial reaction, your contemplation of the feedback (in which you assess the value of the feedback), and then your implementation of change. It’s important to make sure this story isn’t about arguing with someone, but rather about taking into account a viewpoint that isn’t necessarily what you agreed with or expected.
OHSU School of Medicine essay #6
Please discuss how your personal experience demonstrates the ability to overcome adversity and contributes to diversity in the provision of healthcare. Please include any insight into the diversity that you would bring to OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine in the context of OHSU’s definition of diversity: Diversity at OHSU requires creating and sustaining a community of inclusion. We honor, respect, embrace and value the unique contributions and perspectives of all employees, patients, students, volunteers and our local and global communities. Diversity may include age, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. We respect diversity of thought, ideas and more. Diversity maximizes our true potential for creativity, innovation, quality patient care, educational excellence and outstanding service. (1,550 characters)
As with all diversity questions, this is open-ended on purpose. You may, of course, write about diversity in terms of your own personal experience, socio-economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other identity. You can also write about diversity of experience, which might include your own family or upbringing, being a caretaker, etc. Finally, you can write about an experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and how that has helped you appreciate diversity overall.
Medical students, as rising physicians, must be able to embrace diversity as a core value. In order to do this, applicants may draw from personal experience, may draw from observed experiences, or retell a story that was integral in your character education about the necessary and essential value for diversity, a lesson learned.
Applying to OHSU? Here are some stats:
OHSU School of Medicine average MCAT score: 511
OHSU School of Medicine average GPA: 3.75
OHSU School of Medicine acceptance rate: 3.7%
U.S. News ranks OHSU #29 for research and #4 for primary care.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your OHSU application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your target schools. 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!
OHSU School of Medicine 2021-22 application timeline
|AMCAS application deadline||October 15th|
|Secondary applications become available||Mid-July|
Source: OHSU website
*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. Mary Mahoney, Ph.D. 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!