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 three to four 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 or Montana, 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 communities.
University of Washington’s 2017 Secondary Application Essay Questions:
1. Autobiographical Statement Addendum
You must submit a brief autobiographical statement. It should describe 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, and other issues of importance. The Personal Comments section of the AMCAS application may be used to satisfy this requirement, or an additional autobiography may be submitted with your supplemental materials. Your AMCAS personal statement will already be on file with our office. (250 words max)
To demonstrate your interest in their program, submit an additional autobiographical statement. Be strategic in your approach—focusing on clinical or research experiences that you have not discussed in your personal statement. It may be helpful to draft a timeline of your life experiences and to focus on those that you have not yet covered in detail. Is there anything that you would like the admissions committee to know about how your interest in medicine developed or your approach to patient care in your clinical experience? How will a medical education influence your life goals? What unique experiences or talents do you have that will influence how you practice medicine?
2. How do your experiences match the mission and values of the University of Washington School of Medicine? (250 words maximum)
Avoid repeating experiences you have already written about above. I would suggest making a list of a few experiences you have in the areas of patient education, community service, and public health. Then, explain how these experiences relate to the mission of the school by linking what you have done to those goals. Your answers should highlight compassion and service.
3. How have your experiences prepared you to be a physician? (250 words maximum)
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?
4. What perspectives or experiences do you bring that would enrich the class? (250 words maximum)
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.
5. What obstacles have you experienced and how have you overcome them? (250 words maximum)
Be sure to select a life experience in which you have actively worked to overcome challenges to achieve your goals. Maintain a positive focus and provide all the facts relevant to the situation. It can be helpful to establish a cause and effect relationship between the elements. What were your goals? What obstacles arose in the situation? What approach did you take to address the issue(s)? What were the results? I recommend selecting a situation that has a clearly positive outcome as a direct result of your active efforts.
6. From your most recent previous application until now, how have you strengthened your application? (250 words maximum)
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.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
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