“The mission of Yale School of Medicine is to educate and inspire scholars and future leaders who will advance the practice of medicine and the biomedical sciences.”
As a top research institution, Yale is not simply interested in training students to practice good medicine. It is searching for physician-scientists who will take medical knowledge to the next level. Yale provides countless opportunities to do research and makes them available early on. The first two years of the Yale curriculum are flexible and self-directed, allowing students to follow their own interests and complete a required research thesis by the end of four years. They also have an optional 5th year, which is taken between years 3 and 4, and can be used to complete a research project.
If you are applying to Yale’s MD/PhD program, you probably already know that it is one of the largest in the country (they accept 20 per year). A unique feature of the program is that students do 6 months of clinical rotations at the end of their second year, to solidify their clinical knowledge before undertaking PhD work. This can theoretically make your research more clinically based and increase your potential to solve real-world medical problems. They also have a program called Start@Yale, which allows MD/PhD students to take an early 8-week research rotation in the first year, in addition to two 6-week research rotations in the summer between the first and second years. With all this back and forth between clinical and research education, Yale helps students connect the dots between medicine and science while furthering their overall mission.
Yale Medical School 2021-22 secondary application essay questions
Below are some suggestions for the Yale Medical School secondary essay prompts.
Please submit answers to the following questions. Please limit your responses to approximately 500 words each.
Yale Med School essay #1
Yale School of Medicine values diversity in all its forms. How will your background and experiences contribute to this important focus of our institution and inform your future role as a physician?
While this is a chance to highlight something that makes you unique, many premeds who have followed a traditional track wonder if they can write about anything genuine. The answer is, find something about you that has changed. First, make a list of possible topics, including academic and non-academic experiences, humanitarian or research work, and challenges you faced. Choose one that has a different angle from your primary application and which highlights a personal strength. Now, bring the focus of your essay to the present. What skills or self-insight have you gained as a result, and how are you different from the person you were before? Lastly, take your self-discovery to the future. Show how this self-awareness has equipped you to work well with others, to solve problems, or to effect changes. How will your colleagues and patients benefit from what you learned? What you are bringing to your interactions with others? Ultimately, diversity is about being able to thrive in settings with people who are different from you, and to create an environment in which others’ strengths complement your own. Your diversity does not have to be extraordinary. It just needs to be meaningful.
Yale Med School essay #2
MD applicants: Please answer either one of the following questions.
MD/PhD applicants: Please answer question 2 as it pertains to your proposed PhD research.
Option 1. While there is great emphasis on the physician-patient relationship, Yale School of Medicine also emphasizes the importance of training future physicians to care for communities and populations. Describe how your experiences would contribute to this aspect of the mission of the Yale School of Medicine.
If you tend to think about big-picture issues, such as improving access to care, funding for underserved populations, and research on environmental determinants of health, then this question is for you. Show the Yale admissions committee that you have thought deeply about the effect of environmental variables on individual health and how to change risk factors by impacting population dynamics. This is an opportunity to discuss your interest in public or global health, so if you have an interest in these fields, include your preparation and future goals.
Option 2. Research is essential to patient care, and all students at Yale School of Medicine complete a research thesis. Tell us how your research interests, skills and experiences would contribute to scholarship at Yale School of Medicine.
If your research interest takes a more basic science approach, you can use this question to highlight your understanding of research methodology and study design and your awareness of the potential pitfalls of research. Be sure to go into possible clinical implications of your work. There is currently a big focus on translational research, and Yale is at the forefront of this movement. Show your ability to not only delve into the fine details of science, but to make this knowledge applicable to clinical problems. Discuss your long-term research goals and what you hope to accomplish at Yale.
Yale Med School additional info section
This section is optional. It should be used to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee any important information (personal, academic, or professional) not discussed in other sections of your Yale Secondary Application. If you are a recent graduate, please also list your post-graduation plans/activities in the “Additional Information” section and submit any relevant updates for finalized plans/activities as the application year progresses.
If you are applying during a gap year, list any changes in your activities since your primary was submitted. Ideally you want to show how you have grown in your research or clinical skills.
If you are still in school, you might write about changes in your activities since you submitted your primary. You could also touch on how the Covid pandemic impacted you. Either way, be careful not to focus too much on your challenges, but rather emphasize how you found new ways to learn and grow.
Applying to Yale Medical School? Here are some stats:
Yale Medical School average MCAT score: 519
Yale Medical School average GPA: 3.85
Yale Medical School acceptance rate: 6.2%
U.S. News ranks Yale Medical School #10 for research and #59 for primary care.
Has this blog post helped you feel more confident about approaching your Yale 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!
Yale Medical School application timeline 2021-22
|Yale Secondary Application Deadline||November 15|
|Letters of Recommendation Deadline||November 15|
|Interview Invitation Mailing||August-February|
|Decision Notification||By March 15|
Source: Yale School of Medicine website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Dr. Suzi Schweikert has served on the UCSD School of Medicine’s admissions committee, and has mentored students in healthcare programs for over 20 years. She holds a BA in English Lit from UCLA, an MD from UCSD, and an MPH from SDSU. Want Suzi to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch with Dr. Suzi Schweikert.