Osteopathic Medical School Secondary Application Help

If anyone can help…I find the secondary application essays very daunting. I have seen a lot of responses to posts that say something along the lines of “sell yourself”. I’m not sure how to do this without sounding like a complete sycophant or a total braggart. I do believe in myself, my accomplishments and abilities, but I am not the best at relating this in way that sounds authentic to me. I feel like I try too hard to write what I think they want to hear, but I don’t know any other way to write the essays.

Also, what about schools that ask “why this school”. Are they looking for things like their students residency match success? Or just an understanding of how you will fit into their school? Or both? Or what?

Thank you for any suggestions.

Um, my first thought is, are you asking this question because you’ll be applying in 2009? (in which case you haven’t gotten secondaries yet) or are you still sitting on secondary requests from applications you sent out in 2008?

I don’t like to be negative, but if you have not completed applications at this point, I do not see very good prospects for you at having a successful application season in 2008-2009. You are waaaaaaay later than you should be.

I think you are over-thinking the essay questions. You want to present yourself in a positive light and you should certainly be able to articulate the reasons why you selected certain schools. If you have writer’s block with this sort of essay (which happens to lots of us), see if you can say it better while speaking, and tape yourself.

But I have to tell you, your big problem is that it is December 28. Even the most kick-ass secondary response (and the secondary responses are rarely the deciding factor in selecting interview candidates or choosing accepted candidates) is not well-positioned now. I would counsel you to think about the $$$ that you will be attaching to secondaries at this point and consider whether you would be best off re-applying in 2009. I hate to say that, but secondaries are expensive…

If you really feel that you should play this out, don’t spend another minute thinking about what to say and just finish them. Today.


I am more or less in agreement with Mary, but a little less pessimistic. I was doing mine in November, interviewed in March, and got in off the wait list in late May. Many schools work on a rolling admission basis and keep going until they have a full class of signed students. Check the dead-lines.

as to what to write: don’t stress to much about what you think they want to hear. It is an almost hopeless guessing game. As a suggestion, do a careful review of why you want to be a doc, (and in your case why you want to be an Osteopathic doc specifically) – what you have done to make that dream a reality. then write that.

Thank you for the advice. I know it is late, but some osteopathic medical schools have later deadlines than allopathic. I am willing to take the financial risk. My path to school is so long and convoluted sometimes I can’t even keep it straight , but I will do what you advise and write about how I made it to this point/how I worked towards this goal. You are both inspirations to me, if I do get in this cycle I will be 41 when school starts. It is nice to know I am not alone. Happy New Year.