Given UWSOM’s top ranking in primary care, they will be looking for applicants with a strong interest in patient education and community health. This secondary application will require that you provide an autobiographical essay and answer four to five short essay questions. In constructing your responses, focus on highlighting those life experiences that will demonstrate your commitment to community service and leadership and reveal the depth of your maturity, compassion and integrity. If you are from a rural background or Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho, be sure to reference your life experiences in these areas since UWSOM has a special program called WWAMI that is designed to serve the needs of these states.
University of Washington School of Medicine 2020-21 secondary application writing prompts
University of Washington SOM autobiographical statement addendum
Autobiographical statement that includes (250-word limit):
- The origin and development of your motivation to be a physician
- Your prior experiences in healthcare
- Steps taken to explore a career in medicine
- Your eventual goals as a physician
- Personal attributes that would make you a good physician
Please do not repeat what you wrote in your AMCAS Personal Comments (this will already be on file with our office). If you have already covered all of the above topics in your AMCAS application, use this space to let the Admissions Committee know more about who you are in addition to being someone who wants to be a physician.
This prompt seeks an autobiographical statement. Be strategic in your approach—focusing on who you are. Do not repeat anything from your personal statement, activities and MMEs.
Do you have an experience in your background that defines you, differently than the way your application proposes? In your variety of roles in life, is there one where you stepped forward, demonstrating good character, that is exceptional and outside of the intention of becoming a physician? Did you have a major personal challenge in your life that you’ve worked through?
University of Washington SOM essay #1
How have your experiences prepared you to be a physician? (250 words)
Since you will be providing an in depth autobiographical statement that will complement your personal statement, I recommend providing a “big picture” summary in response to this short essay response. It will be important to cover the number of years you have of relevant experience—community service, research, and clinical experience. What did you learn from these experiences? How did these activities influence your decision to pursue a medical education? What did you learn about yourself as you became actively involved in community health?
University of Washington SOM essay #2
What perspectives or experiences do you bring that would enrich the class? (250 words)
This essay is asking you to consider how you might contribute diversity to the class. You should consider diversity both in terms of background – cultural, ethnic or linguistic – as well as experience – dealing with mental illness or experiencing loss. Explain how your background will be of value to other students and what you will be able to contribute to the class. Your response should focus on emotional and mental maturity and reflect how that will enable you to work with or understand others.
University of Washington SOM essay #3
What obstacles have you experienced and how have you overcome them? (250 words)
In answering this question, select obstacles or life experiences that will give you the opportunity to show how much you have grown and changed. Be sure to select challenges that you actively worked to overcome and maintain a positive focus. The bulk of the essay should explain how you overcame the challenge as well as how these new skills will help you in medical school. It can be helpful to establish a cause and effect relationship between your efforts and the net outcome. What approach did you take to address the issue(s)? What were the results? I recommend selecting challenges where the stakes were somewhat high either for yourself or for someone else.
University of Washington SOM essay #4
How have societal inequities in the U.S. affected you or patients you have worked with? (250 words)
This question is asking for your experience working with people who are underserved OR whether you have been impacted as a member of an underserved community. My tip here is to provide a specific example from your life experience if you come from an underserved population or from your clinical or other volunteer/work experience. Then explain what social inequities you encountered in that scenario and how they impacted you or subjects of your story. You will also want to explain how you will handle these inequities as a physician and med student.
University of Washington SOM essay #5 (Required for reapplicants)
From your most recent application until now, how have you strengthened your application? (250 words)
As a re-applicant, you are demonstrating the depth of your determination to attend medical school by reapplying. Reiterate that determination in your response to this question. Strategically focus on the improvements you have made to your application—your new GPA, MCAT score, and life experiences. Focus on how the time you have spent improving your application has made you a better and more focused applicant.
The CASPER test is also required.
If you would like professional guidance with your University of Washington SOM application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for UWSOM’s application materials.
University of Washington SOM 2020-21 application timeline
|AMCAS Application Due||October 15; 11:59 pm, EST|
|Secondary Application Due||December 1; 11:59 pm, PST|
Source: UWSOM 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. 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!