Last time we spoke about the college essay for the BS/MD applicant. Today we are going to discuss what is important for the medical school essay for the BS/MD programs.
The medical school questions may change from year to year but in my experience they will fall into one of four general categories. The first question looks at your motivation for becoming a physician. To answer this question you might look at a personal experience you had that provided your motivation. Or you might find your motivation from one or more of the activities you have been involved in.
The second general essay question attempts to confirm your seriousness about becoming a physician. This essay question allows you to address in more detail your involvement in your volunteer activities, your reseaach experience or your experience in shadowing a doctor.
The third general medical school essay focuses on your interest in the particular program you are applying to. To answer this question you need to understand the specifics on the BS/MD program. Different programs have different focuses and this question is trying to confirm that you have chosen the proper program for your interests.
The fourth, and final, general type of medical school essay you may have to answer tries to confirm your level of maturity. Here is one example from Northwestern HPME: “How did you deal with a situation where you didn’t achieve the outcome you desired?”To show maturity in your essays, keep the focus on your beliefs and actions rather than on you.
The medical school essay is a critical component of the BS/MD application process. The students with whom I work often spend as much time working on these essays as the rest of the process combined. Although you may not know the specific questions until you receive the medical school portion of the application, you should start framing answers to these general questions early on in the process.
Getting an early start is helpful for most aspects of the college admissions process, but for the BS/MD programs an early start is particularly important. Now that you have some basic idea of the categories of questions, you can start thinking about your answers.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.