What are the photos for?

Does anyone else find it odd that you have to send a photo of yourself for some secondary applications? I called and asked one school what type of photo they wanted and they said “just make it head and shoulders, we cant see well when we line them all up if it is a full body shot and keep in mind professional” Does this sound strange to anyone else? Are they looking for under represented minorities who didnt check the race box? really what is the point?

I thought this was weird too. I actually had to submit a photo to the pre-med office at my school when I submitted my biographical info to set up the interview for the committee letter. They told me that they have so many pre-meds that they just like to know who everybody is. Also, I’ve heard that some schools take a photo of the interviewees when they show up for the med school interview (I don’t know if this is true - I read it on SDN). Anyway, I guess it is common for secondaries too.

What I did was go to a place that did passport photos. I got the hard copies and then had them burn the picture onto a CD for me to use later for secondaries.

The reason is a very practical one. Our school uses our applicant photos when they draft attendance sheets for classes with small group meetings and study groups. This way, our professors, tutors and small group preceptors know who is who in each of their classes.

I’ve also heard that medical schools in general like to know that the person taking the MCAT, filling out the application and interviewing are one in the same person.

Of course, it could just be a beauty contest. But if that were the case, then I never would have gotten in.