Penn State College of Medicine offers an accelerated program for students interested in primary care to complete their training in three years. It provides an interdisciplinary training environment for students from their medical school, physician assistant program and nursing school to train together. Currently, they are collaborating with a private institution to create a medical center in Ghana—the first in this nation. Their school is currently unranked by U.S. News & World Report. The secondary application consists of five required essays.
Secondary Application Essays:
1. Is there a unique aspect of your application that should be considered by the admissions committee? (Maximum 75 words)
This type of question can be difficult to answer, if you’re not sure what is unique about you or your application. Review your primary application and make a list. Take some time to identify anything unusual about your upbringing, life, hobbies, skills or other areas that would explain why you would be an excellent physician. If possible, it would be best to find something that you have not already covered extensively in your application. If that is not possible, cover this information from a different angle than you did in the primary. If you are stumped, you are welcome to contact me or one of my colleagues at Accepted for more help.
2. Explain why you decided to apply to Penn State College of Medicine. (Maximum 75 words)
Take some time to review Penn State’s website, mission statement and values:
“Mission: Penn State College of Medicine is committed to enhancing the quality of life through improved health, the professional preparation of those who will serve the health needs of others, and the discovery of knowledge that will benefit all.”
“Values: Individual Dignity, Knowledge, Service Orientation, Excellence, Fiscal Responsibility, Diversity”
Make a list as you review their curriculum and quick facts. Rank your list, based on the level of your interest. Use this list as an outline to answer the prompt, starting with the least important reasons and ending with the most important reason. Be honest.
3. Please write a short paragraph describing a significant experience you have had working in a team setting. (Maximum 250 words)
Use a recent experience that has a clearly positive outcome as a direct result of your team work. You can use anything from team sport accomplishments to research publications. Many different situations could potentially work as a response for this essay as long as you focus on the team aspects of your success.
4. Briefly describe an experience where you had to navigate a complex system (e.g. personal experience, group activity, or development of a project) to achieve an end. Reflect on the qualities and attributes required by you to achieve success in this experience. (Maximum 250 words)
Again, use an experience that has occurred within the last two years. After selecting one, make a list of the characteristics and skills you relied on to be successful. Show rather than tell with each characteristic to create a more dynamic response. There are a wide range of situations that would work well for this essay. If possible, use one that you have not already covered or an activity that is completely new.
5. What have you done since getting your undergrad degree and what do you plan to do from now until matriculation? (Maximum 75 words)
If you are applying directly to medical school at the end of your undergrad education, there is no need for you to respond to this question. If you have already graduated, make a list of everything that you have been doing since then. Include all employment, internships, presentations, posters, awards as well as any volunteer work, extracurricular activities, or hobbies. Next, make a list of what you plan to do this year while you’re applying. Only include activities that you’re certain you’re actually going to do.
6. Please indicate the entering first-year class year(s) to which you applied, and explain how your qualifications have changed since your previous application. (No more than 75 words)
If you are a reapplicant, I recommend reviewing your previous application and making a list of everything that you have changed and improved in your new application. Include everything new that you’ve done! The challenge will be to cover all activities within 75 words.
If you would like professional guidance with your Penn State College of Medicine application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for PSCOM’s application materials.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted 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. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!