why do you want to attend this medical school
The correct answer IMHO is to identify the unique factor that makes that school different from others. At my school, the correct answer is:
I am interested in research and academic medicine and I feel that the curriculum fits my style of learning as it gives ample time to explore my research interests. I will thrive in this i environment because. etc etc. At another school, it may be: I am interested in this school because of the school s commitment to rural and family practice which mirrors my underlying social philosophy of becoming physician who is a true part of the community, not just a visitor providing services for hire. You can talk a little about location, especially if the location provides something unique. I want to attend this school because in addition to the curriculum, resources etc etc etc, the location affords a patient population in which I can learn to care for a variety of different ethinicities and expand my cultural horizons. I can learn to be sensitive to different cultures, exploit my spanish speaking skills, give back to my particular community, etc etc etc. Another thing that is a great thing to say in my opinion is that the curriculum is one in which you will thrive and not have to struggle with, giving you time to excel above and beyond what is expected (i. e. extracurriculars, volunteering, etc. ).
Just some ideas. Last week, we looked at how to research med schools properly in order to help improve your chances of getting in. To recap, med schools only want to accept you if you would choose their medical school, even if youБre accepted to another school on your list. ThatБs why the most common secondary essay is БWhy our school,Б or better interpreted, БIf we accept you, how do we know you will actually choose our school out of all of the ones on your list? Б The "why our school" secondary essay is your chance to prove that you are indeed a good fit at that med school. Let's figure out how to tackle this tricky prompt. George Washington: What is your specific interest in the MD Program at GW? What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student here? Why? (2000 characters) Miami: Why have you selected the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for your medical education?
Please be as specific as possible. (500 words or less) UPenn: Please explain your reasons for applying to the Perelman School of Medicine and limit your response to 1,000 characters. So how do you tackle this essay question? Well, weБve got a formula that Б if you execute it well Б will help give you structure and purpose to your essay. HereБs the formula: A Б what each med school offers There are two main sources of information on medical schools: a) the schoolБs specific website, and b) the (paid, $20 for a yearБs subscription) Use one (or preferably both) to try to find information about what each medical school offers. Remembering our list from last week, consider: Location Б is the school located in an urban area with a diverse patient population? A rural area with more chances for hands-on interaction in primary care? Are there specific communities that you would be interested in getting involved with? Curriculum Б how does the school teach its science classes? Organ-based systems? Is there small-group, problem-based-learning? Does the school offer an opportunity to get early patient contact?
A research thesis as part of its curriculum? Residency placement Б Looking at the residency match placement list for the school, do the results look good? Are there people in the areas that most interest you? Class size and student-faculty ratio Б is the class small? Would you get a chance to interact with faculty? Student groups Б looking at the list of student groups on the schoolБs website, are there specific ones that you could see yourself getting involved with? Research - are there research projects at the medical school that you think you could contribute to? Does the school have NIH funding in the areas that most appeal to you? Mission Statement Б does anything appeal to you about the schoolБs mission statement? Overall Б based on the schoolБs website, what are the things the school prides itself on? How does that match with what you want from a med school? B Б What I want from med school (as exhibited by past experience) B is a list of preferences about what you want from a medical school. Your list might look like something like: I want a school in an urban environment with a diverse patient population that will prepare me to practice medicine in a similar setting. relate to past experience: I want a school with lots of radiology research dollars so that I can gain hands-on experience in the specialty that most appeals to me at the moment. relate to past experience: I want a school that offers Problem-based learning (PBL), since thatБs the way I learn material best. relate to past experience: the group projects I did as an undergrad.
C Б Happy Connection The happy connection exists when the two match up Б what you want from a med school and what each med school offers. HereБs the litmus test for whether youБve answered this secondary question well: Can you change the name of the school to any other medical school and have the essay still work? If so, then your essay is not specific enough. A completed essay looks like 3 distinct reasons for why you would attend a given school, all tied to past experiences and in line with what youБre looking for from a medical school. So there you have it Б a flexible formula to help answer the most common secondary essay. Happy secondary writing!
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