Medical School “Why Us” Essay

August 17

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"Why our medical school?" (or "Why us") is one of the most frequently requested secondary inquiries by medical schools. It might be challenging to explain why you are drawn to a specific school, especially if you have looked at many different programs.

The same response is frequently given by applicants. Thus, you must make a conscientious effort to ensure that the admissions committee sees something in your essay and grant you an interview. 

They want to know that you have tried to understand especially about them, just as you want them to see how you differ from your competitors.

This article focuses on medical school "Why us" essays. We have listed the best tips for creating a solid and compelling one and a few examples for your reference. 

What are Medical School "Why Us" Essays?

The medical school "Why us" essay asks you to describe why you are applying to a particular medical school and how you would make the most of the institution's exceptional opportunities. 

It is one of the most typical supplementary pushes for medical school. Still, it is also one of the most significant.

This question aims to ascertain your motivation for choosing a specific medical school. Each year, medical schools review hundreds of secondary essays

Showing them your affinities with their mission, vision, and values will be more effective than highlighting their program's facts, which they already know.

Mentioning your traits, experiences, and abilities about the school's purpose, vision, values, and programs is crucial. By doing so, you avoid just restating what the school offers and instead highlight how these programs suit you personally.

There are two ways to tackle this assignment: finding subjects on the school's website that interest you or seeing how frequently the school's ideals are referenced. 

To find out if a school is a good fit for you, you might interview current students or recent graduates and ask about their experiences.

8 Ways to Stand Out in the "Why Us" Medical School Essay

Your medical school "Why us" essay is your chance to demonstrate to the admissions panels how or why your values match theirs. 

As you can understand, a vital essay may persuade admissions committees to approve an application. In contrast, a weak essay may convince the reader to reject the applicant.

Here are the most effective tips for writing a strong and competitive "Why us" medical school essay. 

1. Address the Why Us Question

The secondary prompts for the "Why us" medical school essay are not all created equal. 

Some prompts may inquire about your potential contributions to the institution. 

In contrast, others will focus on your personal traits that might support the goals of the medical school.

Similarly, even if you have a "Why us" response prepared for another school, you must modify it to adequately address their questions. 

If you do not, the school will not be able to respond to the question they are directly posing. Keep in mind that they have a particular reason for asking the question. 

Additionally, a general response might give admissions committees the impression that you only have one answer for the "Why us" medical school essays. It would make them think you are less interested in or knowledgeable about their medical school. 

2. Emphasize Your Particular Fit

What specifically about this curriculum — and this program alone — meets your own interests? 

Discuss your passion in that sector and the unique chances the university offers.

Suppose you have read one of their publications. In that case, you might even mention the research of a particular professor or researcher you respect. 

Mention the medical school's multidisciplinary studies and emphasize your interest in their other faculties if you want to look into chances for medical publishing.

3. Research and Brainstorm

Knowing what appeals to you about a school is one thing, but identifying the particulars that set it apart is another. 

By doing this, you can demonstrate that you have done your research and have a sincere interest in that university.

While using their website, do additional research by watching YouTube videos, reaching out to alums or medical students, or looking into the area and community for any relevant information. 

When conducting your own research, think about the following questions:

  • What criteria are you using to choose a medical school?
  • What distinctive features of this school appeal to you? Why?
  • Why would a degree from this institution be the best for your training?
  • Does a particular curriculum or learning framework work better for your learning style? Why, if so?
  • Is there a family or residence close to this school? You could explain why or how these matter to you and your potential medical education.

4. Explain Why Where Is Significant

You could occasionally include the institution's location and discuss its significance to your schooling. 

A busy urban center will expose you to diverse patient populations found nowhere else and are especially attractive for those interested in fields like infectious disease.

The University of Washington also provides students access to rural medicine that few programs can offer. 

For example, George Washington University is excellent for people interested in community health promotion and policy due to its proximity to Washington, D.C.

Support networks, such as neighboring family members, can also be highlighted, but generally speaking, avoid making geographic accidents the primary focus of this essay.

5. Be Specific

Students frequently make the mistake of discussing how the mission statement speaks to them personally. 

If the mission statement does, in fact, strike a chord with you, be careful to explain why and include instances or supporting data to support your claim.

To show your enthusiasm and interest, it is crucial to be specific about what you find appealing about the school. Doing this will boost your chances of being accepted. 

Admissions committees look for candidates who are engaged in the institution, educated about it, and eager to energetically represent it.

6. Align Your Beliefs and Philosophies

Finally, trying to learn the school's guiding philosophy and basing your responses on that is one of the best ways to approach the "Why us" medical school essay.

As an illustration, Yale is well known for their "Yale System" and takes great pleasure in their interdisciplinary, non-competitive, self-directed learning style. 

You can learn more about each program's perspective by reviewing their website and speaking with alums if you can.

7. Tell Stories

Like any secondary, it is crucial to provide anecdotes that logically lead readers to a conclusion instead of outright stating the decision. 

In this instance, the author discusses their interactions with a particular homeless shelter resident while volunteering there.

This enables the reader to assume that the author has no trouble relating to people from various backgrounds. This inference is more believable when made through a narrative than when it is made explicitly.

Think about the sentence if it had read, "My prior experience working with homeless students demonstrates that I am someone who easily connects with students from different backgrounds."  

Compared to delivering a story, this is much less persuasive.

8. Aim High

Finally, the "Why us" medical school essay does an excellent job of highlighting the author's goals throughout. 

Whether it is to "bridge the gap" between people and policies, to “shape healthcare policies" by conducting research or "create new programs" for "underserved populations," you must come across as a person with a good and clear idea of what they want to achieve in medical school and how they will specifically do it.

Do not hesitate to express your goals and how they relate to the school.

Medical School "Why Us" Essay Sample Prompts

Below are some "Why us" medical school essay prompts from a few schools to give you an idea of what to expect. 

Remember that the themes in each of these prompts are almost the same.

How will you use the Stanford Medicine Discovery Curriculum and the need for a scholarly emphasis to advance your professional aspirations?

In a brief essay, please explain why you are applying to Weill Cornell Medical College.

Please explain how your personal traits and learning style might fit the FSM's unique educational philosophy and integrated curriculum.

If possible, describe your motivations for applying to Pritzker Sch of Medicine in a brief essay.

Please briefly explain why you want to attend the Perelman School of Medicine.

Medical School "Why Us" Sample Essays

Your application to medical school will not be complete without a strong "Why us" essay. Keep in mind that you are up against hundreds of other applicants. Give it your best shot. 

Here are a few "Why us" sample essays from which you can draw inspiration.

Medical School "Why us" Sample Essay 1:

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Tell me, and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me, and I learn." Through my undergraduate studies, I've discovered that one of the most effective ways for me to learn is to put forth the effort to engage with others and their diverse perspectives.

For instance, I thought diseases were just a collection of observable symptoms from bad genes. After having spent a lot of time with families in Boston's inner city, I've realized how racial, physical, and social factors can affect the likelihood of illness.

As my knowledge of the numerous aspects that affect health increased, I began to have more questions and a desire to learn more. How can the requirements of a community be accurately assessed, and how can suitable solutions be created? How can knowledge of sociocultural factors be applied to treat existing patients and stop the development of future ones?

I think the University of Washington's (UW) Community Health Program will have the answers to these and other queries. I can collaborate directly with teachers and students to build comprehensive community-based solutions thanks to the year-round lecture series on subjects like "Health Disparities: An Unequal World's Biggest Challenge." Additionally, I have the chance to collaborate closely with urban Seattle neighborhoods similar to those I have worked with in Boston, thanks to the UW PEERS clinic and Friends of UW.

My self-awareness and cultural sensitivity have increased due to my interactions with various Boston families representing a range of ages, socioeconomic statuses, and ethnicities. I have faith that the University of Washington and the Community Health Program will help me become a doctor who enhances patients' lives and attends to the needs of entire communities.

Medical School "Why us" Sample Essay 2:

At our homeless shelter, one resident would frequently stay up late studying. I inquired about his sleeping pattern and how I might assist because I was worried about his health. We both attended [name of school]. Still, I soon realized how different our lives were as I started helping him with his academic work and career objectives in my spare time.

His pursuit of professional success served as an outlet, and his profound commitment to his studies served as a means of breaking old bad habits. And unlike him, I never had to put my career ahead of my studies or extracurricular activities, something that many others at our shelter had to do.

Despite our situations being different, we still had a lot in common. I remember having a lot of late-night discussions with him on various subjects, including healthcare and medicine, and heated debates about our favorite NBA players.

My ideals have been shaped by my interactions with these students. I feel compelled to influence healthcare regulations and carry out research to solve issues that broadly impact people. Through the Scholarship & Discovery program at Pritzker, I'll research disease treatment and health policy more while gaining knowledge from trailblazers like Dr. David Meltzer. 

I am interested in how modifications in illness management affect more general care recommendations. As the director of a trial looking into early sepsis resuscitation, I recognize how complicated illness treatment is linked to policy because standards of care and health policies immediately impact patients and doctors.

And I must make more prominent policies more in line with these specific requirements when they are out of sync. Pritzker will allow me to share my findings through its Senior Scientific Session and a variety of fellowships that will pay for presentations at national conferences. My background in education will enable me to contextualize study findings, link them to policy implications, and motivate stakeholders to take action.

As I strive to develop new programs for these patients, Pritzker's distinctive organizations mirror my values by showcasing the student body's passion for assisting the underserved. I revised our food training at the student shelter to account for differences in the cooking abilities of volunteers to feed 10 homeless students.

Encouraging comments from the community confirmed how my concepts might be implemented into effective procedures by guiding a team toward a common goal. I'll keep helping marginalized communities at Pritzker by participating in student organizations like Chicago Street Medicine.

I am particularly interested in their work since I have observed this community's distinct difficulties when working with homeless adolescents. In Chicago Street Medicine, I want to hone my leadership abilities while continuing to delve into these topics. Pritzker student organizations will uniquely help me by giving me early, practical experience caring for these patients and using my developing medical expertise to help others.

My desire to complete my medical education at Pritzker is motivated by opportunities to perform clinical/policy research with distinguished faculty members and distinctive student organizations.

Medical School "Why us" Sample Essay 3:

I never imagined that I’d have a human heart in my hands when I first signed up for the trip. In 2013, I had the opportunity to explore various hospital departments as part of a high school educational trip to Hackensack University. This experience helped me learn more about medicine. It was then that I realized that this one-day tour was insufficient. I yearned to continue learning here after entering one of the top hospitals in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. I lost my employment six years later when Englewood Health's scribe program was shut down by the end of August 2019.

But it was because of this initial setback that I was able to locate my current position at Hackensack University Medical Center and return to a great learning environment. I worked with and learned from renowned medical professionals like Dr. Sanjeev Kaul, Dr. Javier Martin Perez, and Dr. Saraswati. The chance to learn at some of the top hospitals serving northern, central, and southern New Jersey and from one of the most varied populations in the country is what drew me to the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.

I believe I can develop the skills necessary to serve and offer top-notch care to patients from various backgrounds through Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest healthcare network in the state.

I'm curious about the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine's distinctive curriculum and fantastic clinical possibilities. I became more interested in preventive health during high school and more conscious of sleep hygiene, posture, nutrition, and physical activity. I want to pursue a medical career to effectively encourage other people to take responsibility for their health. I'm particularly interested in the Human Dimension course because of this.

I will have a better understanding of the socioeconomic, social, and environmental determinants of health by meeting with families in the community and developing relationships. I will ultimately discover how to actively change the lives of others. The unique 3+1 curriculum, which will let me tailor my fourth year with various options, including research projects, more clinical experience, early admission into residencies, community service endeavors, and several dual-degree opportunities, excites me.

The lower-class size will foster a close-knit group and improve my overall training and learning experience. I am lucky the school is within a 20-minute drive from my house. It allows me to continue to be close to my support system and thrive in a comfortable setting while in medical school.

Additional FAQs – Medical School "Why Us" Essay

When Should I Submit My Medical School Secondary Essay?

Submitting your secondary applications as soon as possible would be the wisest course of action. This is usually within two weeks of getting your secondary application. The few colleges that do have stringent deadlines will clearly express them.

Remember that schools gauge your interest in the institution by how quickly you respond. It is, therefore, ideal to submit your work within two weeks.

What if a School Changes Its Essay Prompts?

Schools typically vary their prompts every few years, and if they do, the themes are frequently constant. 

Questions like "Why do you want to come to our school?" might change to "How do you feel your passions align with their goals as an institution?" 

Prewriting is still advised because of this. You could always rework and repurpose one of your essays for other colleges, even if they change it.

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