Secondary Applications

Hey guys! I received my first secondary application today and looking for some advice. How long should my essays be? For my “Why this school?” essays, I was planning on incorporating the mission and vision of the school into how I want to impact medicine. Thoughts? Thanks!!!

Essays should be long enough to get your point across, but you should by no means feel like you have to hit 500 of the 500 word limit (or whatever it is). They’re not just looking for WHAT you say, but HOW you say it. Give enough detail to not leave any questions, but don’t purposefully make it long, because no one likes to read all fluff with no substance.

The “why this school” question should definitely reflect on how the school’s mission/vision/organizations/student opportunities/etc match what you’re looking for in an ideal learning environment. It should also hit the highlights on how you could contribute to the aforementioned attributes of the school. I think it’s also worth a mention of how the location/region fits into what you’re looking for. Definitely tailor this essay to EACH specific school; this is not a safe one to copy/paste any cookie-cutter essays.

My general advice for any essay is to say what you want and not what you think they want to hear. Even though they’re pretty straight forward short-answer questions, write it, revise it, walk away from it, come back later, revise it, have someone else read it, make edits, walk away, come back and read it, then decide if it’s complete.

Good luck with the cycle! It’s really good to have an early start to the tediousness of secondary apps.

Thank you! That is really helpful. I have several why responses. It has been difficult to narrow it down to one concise reason specific for the school. I feel like I could go a lot of different routes. The first one is always the hardest I’m sure.

I’m not saying you can’t want to go to a school for more than one reason. State all those reasons and why (concisely). I just don’t recommend treating it like a creative writing assignment.

Yes, I will be concise. I am running it by a few physicians before submission. Thank you!