This medical school places special emphasis on the relationships formed during medical school with classmates and faculty. Students join one of four colleges on campus to participate in small group learning activities. In the first two years of medical school, students create their own project to self-direct their learning process with mentorship. The school is seeking students who will contribute to the diversity of their class and share successful strategies in building communication skills and a solid foundation of scientific knowledge. The secondary application requires three essay responses.
Vanderbilt Medical School secondary application essay questions 2021-22
We understand the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a particularly stressful time for many applicants. To allow applicants more time for reflection when completing our secondary application, we are publishing our secondary application essay prompts in advance. Please note that the MSTP and MIDP programs may have additional essay prompts for you to respond to.
Vanderbilt secondary essay #1: Challenge
Please reflect on the upbringing, background, and experiences in your life that have shaped who you are as a person and will help define the person you want to be in the future. In other words, what makes you who you are? (800 words)
Family, culture, norms, expectations, experiences all play a role in shaping who we are as individuals. This is a reflection answer. What in your past has shaped who you are? One could answer this in broad strokes, a value that was constant through your childhood, or one could tell a story about an event that defined you, or changed you (with a positive outcome, ultimately). What makes you tick? What makes you the introspective person that you are? This prompt aims to know you, and of course, see your humanity, your empathy, your compassion, or your leadership, advocacy, investment in the wellbeing of others.
Vanderbilt secondary essay #2: Autobiography
Tell us about a time when you interacted with someone who is different than you. What did you learn? What would you do differently? (600 words)
Meeting someone very different than yourself and moving forward with a bond, with an understanding of difference, requires being a secure and aware individual. Perhaps you learned something, not only about yourself or the other individual, but about how to interact to foster a safe and productive exchange for both of you? Perhaps you learned something about how to interact to build a respectful friendship that includes sharing norms and traditions?
Vanderbilt secondary essay essay #3
Everyone needs help at various times in their lives. Describe a time you asked for help and what you gained from that experience that has influenced your approach to asking for help. (600 words)
Asking for help, for something meaningful, is hard to do. Who are your people, who are your resources and contacts that you feel comfortable reaching out to in a time of need? What does this say about you? What outcome came of reaching out? This prompt seeks a personal story about vulnerability and finding support, resources and strength.
Vanderbilt secondary essay #4 (Optional)
If you have completed your undergraduate education, please comment on what you have done or have been doing since graduation. (200 words)
Applicants must demonstrate how engaged they are during a gap year or two. Why does the activity you present improve your immersion in medicine? If you have been drawn into personal responsibilities, caring for a family member with COVID-19, for instance, is also a valid answer here.
Vanderbilt secondary essay #5 (Optional)
If applicable, please describe how the COVID-19 outbreak affected your pathway to medical school. You may discuss any academic, personal, financial, or professional alterations to your plans. NOTE: Disclosing certain hardships or obstacles that have been faced during this time will not negatively affect an application. (200 words)
Create a separate paragraph for each area of your life: work, community service, school, finances and family as well as any others that are important to you, like athletics, research or music. The best way to approach this essay will be to simply state the facts. If your MCAT was rescheduled three times, make sure that you include that information in the academic or school section. I don’t recommend expressing frustration or sharing any other strong negative emotions. Remember that you are not the only person who has been impacted by the pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs, homes, and most tragically, family members. Maintain a sense of perspective in your response. The most impressive essays on this topic detail how the student has helped others through this difficult time. For your conclusion, highlight the new skills you have gained and what you have learned about yourself and others through this experience. Has the pandemic changed your understanding of medicine and how you would like to practice it? If so, in what ways and how?
Applying to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine? Here are some stats:
Vanderbilt Med School average MCAT score: 519
Vanderbilt Med School average GPA: 3.92
Vanderbilt Med School acceptance rate: 5.5%
U.S. News ranks Vanderbilt Med School #13 for research and #36 for primary care.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Vanderbilt 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 work with 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!
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine application timeline 2021-22
|AMCAS Application Due||November 1, 2021|
|Latest date for submission of application to AMCAS||November 15, 2021|
|Secondary Application Due||November 21, 2021|
***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!Alicia McNease Nimonkar worked for 5 years as the Student Advisor & Director at the UC Davis School of Medicine's postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and other health professional programs. She has served Accepted's clients since 2012 with roughly a 90% success rate. She has a Master of Arts in Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature. Want Alicia to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!