Given UWSOM’s top ranking in primary care, they will be looking for applicants with a strong interest in patient education and community health. 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.
To learn more about UWSOM, check out our podcast interview with Admissions Dean, Dr. LeeAnna Muzquiz.
University of Washington School of Medicine secondary application writing prompts 2022-23
University of Washington Medical School essay #1
We recognize that the world has changed significantly due to the global pandemic.
Please share how COVID-19 has impacted you, your family, your community, and/or the patients that you would like to serve. (250 words)
Most schools ask a COVID-19 question in their secondary essays. This U of Washington SOM prompt has a different spin to it. How were you, your family, or your community, or the patients you would like to serve, affected by COVID-19? Your answer could be practical, about school adjustments, isolation adjustments, or a story about rallying to support the more vulnerable in your community. Your answer could be a story of hardship, if you or your family struggled first-hand with the virus.
However, they are also asking about your awareness of its impact on a patient population dear to you, one that you envision serving. How would a pediatrician understand what COVID-19 has done, is doing and still will do to kids – if you’re interested in pediatrics? How would an obstetrician understand what changes and challenges COVID-19 brings to the lives of pregnant women – if ob/gyn is your interest? How does COVID-19 affect patients in a family practice clinic? Knowing what you know from the pandemic , what is the new reality for a particular patient population? What’s happening now for a population now that we’re no longer in quarantine? How do you as a future physician respond to variants of Covid-19, and long term Covid?
University of Washington Medical School essay #2
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. 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 others in your story. You will also want to conclude by explaining how you will handle these inequities as a physician and med student.
University of Washington Medical School essay #3
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 Medical School essay #4
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 Medical School essay #5: Demonstrated competency – Social sciences, Humanities or “Human Condition”
Entering medical students should understand the social forces that shape the health of the individuals and communities they will serve. This includes understanding how social contextual factors and policy operate at the community and national level to impact the health of individuals. Students should be familiar with disparities in health currently present in society and their underlying etiologies. Candidates seeking acceptance to UWSOM can establish competency in this area through course work in the social sciences, humanities or related interdisciplinary fields such as public health or ethnic and gender studies, clinical and/or population health research, service learning, lived experience or a combination thereof. Examples of social science/humanities coursework to consider: Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Religion, History, Philosophy, Literature.
Describe your competency by explaining how you’ve explored and come to understand issues in the social sciences and humanities related to the “human condition”. (250 words)
What do you already know about any of the following: how do people thrive? How do people suffer? What is a life well-lived? What is healing when exclusive of curing? How is life sacred? In order to answer any of these questions, what did you learn about a particular population’s belief regarding life and meaning? What do we know about patient experiences through memoir and narrative? Give a small lesson about the value of life, the regard for critical illness, the particular path to embrace healing for a population or for a group associated with a disease entity, for instance breast cancer or glioblastomas, that sheds light on lived experience and what we can learn from it.
Watch: What UW School of Medicine is looking for in secondary essays – tips from Admissions Dean Dr. LeeAnna Muzquiz
University of Washington SOM reapplicant essay
From your most recent application until now, how have you strengthened your application? (250 words)
As a reapplicant, 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.
Applying to UW School of Medicine? Here are some stats:
University of Washington School of Medicine average MCAT score: 510
University of Washington School of Medicine average GPA: 3.72
University of Washington School of Medicine acceptance rate: 3.7%
U.S. News ranks University of Washington SOM #9 for research and #1 for primary care.
Check out the Med School Selectivity Index for more stats.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your UW Medical School secondary application? We hope so. It’s our mission to help smart, talented applicants like you gain acceptance to your top choice medical school. 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!
University of Washington SOM 2022-23 application timeline
|AMCAS Application Due||October 15; 11:59 pm, EST|
|Secondary Application Due||December 1; 11:59 pm, PST|
|MSTP Supplemental||December 30|
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, PhD, is the medical humanities director at Elmira College and has more than 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 past 20 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!