It’s secondary application season – wow!
When you’re applying to medical school, you’re a small name in a big a pool of applicants. The medical school secondaries are your chance to make yourself the most appealing applicant in the crowd.
What are the medical school secondaries?
Medical school secondary applications are a second round of essay questions medical schools send out after they have received your initial application. Some schools send essays to a certain selected candidates, and others automatically send the secondary application essays to all applicants.
And you may be think that after pouring your heart into the initial applications , what else is there to write about?
How to write a winning medical school secondary essay
- Continue themes from your primary application — Use the medical school secondary application as a continuation of the themes laid out in the original application. If you talked a lot about your experiences overseas with an under served population, continue that theme in the secondary essays without re-using the same stories.
- Expand on themes from your primary application — Further extrapolate on the given themes of your original essay, but keep the vision consistent. If you were inspired by working with an under served population, expand upon that theme by forecasting about your future with under served populations.
Here are some mistakes that many premeds make on the secondary essays:
- Contradicting or mismatched themes — In your primary application, you may have said that you want to be a doctor so you can help improve juvenile health in the US. But in the secondary, you now say that you also want to be a doctor because your father and your grandfather were doctors. These themes don’t match up very well, and make you sound like a “schizo” applicant — your mind is all over the place.
- Mentioning New Interests — The initial application seems confining to many applicants, so you might be tempted use the secondaries as an opportunity to mention new interests. This is a mistake If your new interests don’t align with themes from your primary application.
- The complete list of secondary application mistakes
Winning secondary essays present the core themes that define you as a candidate. This can be tough to pull off, so feel free to post your questions about the secondaries in the comments section below. Cluttering your secondaries with themes unrelated to your primary essays will confuse your reader by throwing too many different ideas at them at once. Don’t be the “shizo” applicant — no multiple personalities!
Take a look at our guide on how to write the secondary application to see a big list of all the common secondary prompts, and training videos that walk you through all the techniques you’ll need to know if your goal is to write compelling secondaries. It’s a great resource that will give you a big head start on your secondaries.
Will you be ready when medical schools send you pile after pile of secondary applications? Learn how you can pre-write your answers.