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TheDataKing

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Please tag a pre-allo moderator when the secondary prompt is posted.

Good luck to everyone applying!

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So we all shooting our shots?
 
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Hey all, incoming first year student at HMS this year and, while I don’t know much yet, happy to talk to anybody throughout this whole process!
 
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So we all shooting our shots?
6d5d5d3a-5412-4df7-8fc2-32ff92600324-567-000000b8c825b9b3.jpg
 
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Hey all, incoming first year student at HMS this year and, while I don’t know much yet, happy to talk to anybody throughout this whole process!

How much of your soul did you have to sell to get into HMS, and do you feel like you have enough of it left to still be a doctor?
 
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How much of your soul did you have to sell to get into HMS, and do you feel like you have enough of it left to still be a doctor?

Omg I feel like I didn't have to sell my soul to anybody but I had to SPILL my soul into all of those damn secondaries and interviews
so maybe my soul is spilt all over the floor of coffee shops
 
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@marcosma how friendly is HMS to URM students and how do they value diversity?
 
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Omg I feel like I didn't have to sell my soul to anybody but I had to SPILL my soul into all of those damn secondaries and interviews
so maybe my soul is spilt all over the floor of coffee shops

Wow this should have had a trigger warning. Remember coffee shops?
#TBT!
 
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@marcosma how friendly is HMS to URM students and how do they value diversity?

I really can't speak to this on an institutional level yet, but I'm happy to share what I know. We are the medical school with the largest proportion of LGBTQ+ students (33/206 accepted students self-identified as LGBTQ+ this year) and there is (seemingly) a very strong queer community at HMS, with an AMAZING advisor (Jessica Halem) who works largely to connect students to queer physicians and other queers in medicine. She is truly inspiring and she is the only person in that type of position at any medical school. She's technically like an "LGBTQ Outreach and Engagement Director" but yeah she's awesome and has been so welcoming.

Another stat of interest might be that 56/206 offers were to URM applicants and 66/206 were to Indian/Asian American applicants. My understanding is that HMS is one of the more diverse schools, certainly more diverse than some other top schools, just looking at stats on MSAR.

I think they really prioritize diversity of experience in building their class, which then results in them also diversifying with regards to race, sexual orientation, gender, etc
 
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Hey all, incoming first year student at HMS this year and, while I don’t know much yet, happy to talk to anybody throughout this whole process!
I noticed that the character limits last year for HMS are much larger (4000) than other schools for similar prompts. I plan on doing the gap year essay and using the "Anything else" essay as a diversity one. Would it look bad to have the character mark closer to the 2000 or 3000 character range? I don't want to fluff but I don't want to seem lazy. Should I suck it up and find more to write about?

Also I'm URM+LGBTQ, mind if I PM you for advice on my diversity essay?
 
I noticed that the character limits last year for HMS are much larger (4000) than other schools for similar prompts. I plan on doing the gap year essay and using the "Anything else" essay as a diversity one. Would it look bad to have the character mark closer to the 2000 or 3000 character range? I don't want to fluff but I don't want to seem lazy. Should I suck it up and find more to write about?

Also I'm URM+LGBTQ, mind if I PM you for advice on my diversity essay?

Current HMS student here. I wouldn’t worry too much about the character limit. My essays were short.
 
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I noticed that the character limits last year for HMS are much larger (4000) than other schools for similar prompts. I plan on doing the gap year essay and using the "Anything else" essay as a diversity one. Would it look bad to have the character mark closer to the 2000 or 3000 character range? I don't want to fluff but I don't want to seem lazy. Should I suck it up and find more to write about?

Also I'm URM+LGBTQ, mind if I PM you for advice on my diversity essay?

Agree with Boneitis ~ and yeah PM me!
 
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I noticed that the character limits last year for HMS are much larger (4000) than other schools for similar prompts. I plan on doing the gap year essay and using the "Anything else" essay as a diversity one. Would it look bad to have the character mark closer to the 2000 or 3000 character range? I don't want to fluff but I don't want to seem lazy. Should I suck it up and find more to write about?

Also I'm URM+LGBTQ, mind if I PM you for advice on my diversity essay?

You're probably fine. Incoming student, my HST essay was 4k characters (on the nose) but the diversity essay was ~half of that — and to anyone else reading, you don't NEED to write the diversity one unless it adds something important!
 
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boneitis @marcosma Hi! I'm currently prewriting and am a little unsure about the second optional essay. I've noticed many other schools cover diversity of experience, education, etc. in their prompts, but Harvard seems to be more focused on disadvantaged-type things. I can cover a lot of my diverse experiences in the gap year essay, so just sort of looking for confirmation that it's okay to not twist my classic diversity essay (which focused on my work with underserved communities, etc.) to fit Harvard's prompt and instead leave that blank, given that I've led a privileged life and am not URM.
 
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would one of you busily writing peeps please share the essay prompts? Thank you!

These are last year's prompts:

  • If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
  • If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. (4000 character maximum)
 
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These are last year's prompts:

  • If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
  • If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. (4000 character maximum)
Thank you, but I will wait for the official 2021 prompts. There’s a lot of writing to do but would hate to go by the wrong question!
 
Thank you, but I will wait for the official 2021 prompts. There’s a lot of writing to do but would hate to go by the wrong question!

definitely, and I CANNOT stress this enough, prewrite. I had to write about 105 essays and I only applied to around 25 schools. I literally could have never done it if I was starting from scratch in July. Use these next 15 days WISELY, and that involves digging into some of the most common prompts, reflecting on your experiences, and putting it into coherent, impactful essays. Please. Please do this for yourself!
 
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definitely, and I CANNOT stress this enough, prewrite. I had to write about 105 essays and I only applied to around 25 schools. I literally could have never done it if I was starting from scratch in July. Use these next 15 days WISELY, and that involves digging into some of the most common prompts, reflecting on your experiences, and putting it into coherent, impactful essays. Please. Please do this for yourself!
And it's pretty much just a gap year and diversity prompt. No reason not to pre-write as it will help for other secondaries!
 
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boneitis @marcosma Hi! I'm currently prewriting and am a little unsure about the second optional essay. I've noticed many other schools cover diversity of experience, education, etc. in their prompts, but Harvard seems to be more focused on disadvantaged-type things. I can cover a lot of my diverse experiences in the gap year essay, so just sort of looking for confirmation that it's okay to not twist my classic diversity essay (which focused on my work with underserved communities, etc.) to fit Harvard's prompt and instead leave that blank, given that I've led a privileged life and am not URM.

I had friends not write it and get into HMS just fine. I wrote it and did use my diversity essay, but it was about personal diversity (not necessarily hardship, though). I think you can go either way :) If you want me to read it/to talk more, just PM me!
 
I had friends not write it and get into HMS just fine. I wrote it and did use my diversity essay, but it was about personal diversity (not necessarily hardship, though). I think you can go either way :) If you want me to read it/to talk more, just PM me!
I'm not expecting to get in lol but do you know if Harvard screens out applications? I feel like I have a pretty strong application except for my MCAT (514) probably doesn't meet their mark. Still going to apply but obviously expecting to get screened out lol
 
I'm not expecting to get in lol but do you know if Harvard screens out applications? I feel like I have a pretty strong application except for my MCAT (514) probably doesn't meet their mark. Still going to apply but obviously expecting to get screened out lol

I mean, they don't pre-screen for secondaries. I'm sure they have an idea of what their preferred candidate is afterwards, especially if you look at their MSAR accepted/matriculated data.
 
Just a general comment, but why don’t more schools prescreen for secondaries? It would save a lot of time and money for schools that know that they won’t be giving you an interview anyway.
 
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Just a general comment, but why don’t more schools prescreen for secondaries? It would save a lot of time and money for schools that know that they won’t be giving you an interview anyway.

But why not take the money from your secondary and then run their screening algorithm. Easy stonks
 
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What exactly do we write in a 4000 character gap year essay? Do they want more than just want you've done?
 
Does anyone know if we for the first essay we can just list out the things we have done in paragarph form or if it has to be like straight up essay format (intro, thesis, body, conclusion)?
 
Does anyone know if we for the first essay we can just list out the things we have done in paragarph form or if it has to be like straight up essay format (intro, thesis, body, conclusion)?
For the gap year essay? No way are they expecting a thesis and conclusion. I just listed what I've done in paragraphs and organized it by topic (work/volunteer/future plans).
 
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For the diversity prompt, I'm torn between elaborating on my experience w/ my religion and not including anything as a white woman. I definitely dont want to seem insensitive. Do y'all have any thoughts?
 
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anyone unable to fill out the secondary? It's not letting me type anything.
 
For the diversity prompt, I'm torn between elaborating on my experience w/ my religion and not including anything as a white woman. I definitely dont want to seem insensitive. Do y'all have any thoughts?
I'm personally not filling anything out as, although I am religious, I do not feel that it matches the spirit of what they're asking with the prompt so would seem like filler. That's at least what I garnered from previous years' threads
 
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Secondary Received! All the prompts are the same as last year, plus an optional COVID prompt asking if/how it may have affected you.
 
Also, it asks if any courses were taken online... does this include courses from Spring 2020 that started in person but ended online???
 
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Also, it asks if any courses were taken online... does this include courses from Spring 2020 that started in person but ended online???

I’d just include those and clarify that they started in-person and ended online. There is no way—NO way!—that they will hold that against you. I promise.
 
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Would it be too much of a reach to answer the second question if I am lgbt but haven’t been involved in the community regarding volunteering or outreach? I’m not sure if wanting to use my experiences to provide more inclusive care as a physician would address my identity as motivation to pursue medicine since I don’t have anything concrete to back this up. What do you all think?
I'm in the same boat as you and I personally won't be mentioning being lgbt anywhere since I don't want to come off as "using" my identity if that makes sense.
 
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How should we answer the gap year and reapplicant essays if our gap year IS our reapplicant update??? (applied last cycle, taking gap year now)
 
For reapplicants who applied the first time right out of college, the answers to the reapplicant prompt and what youve been doing since graduating are going to be basically the same; what are yall doing for that?
 
1. If you have already graduated, briefly (4000 characters max) summarize your activities since graduation.
2. If there is an important aspect of your personal background or identity, not addressed elsewhere in the application, that you would like to share with the Committee, we invite you to do so here. Many applicants will not need to answer this question. Examples might include significant challenges in access to education, unusual socioeconomic factors, identification with a minority culture, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Briefly explain how such factors have influenced your motivation for a career in medicine. (4000 char)
3. The Committee on Admissions understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted applicants in various ways. If you wish to inform the Committee as to how these events have affected you and have not already done so elsewhere in your application, please use this space to do so. (This is an optional essay; the Committee on Admissions will make no judgment based on your decision to provide a statement or not.) (4000 char)
4. ESSAY FOR APPLICATIONS TO THE HARVARD-MIT DIVISION OF HEALTH SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY (HST)
Instructions: The HST MD program draws on the combined resources of Harvard and MIT to provide a distinct preclinical education tailored to preparing students for careers as transformative physicians who will shape the future practice of medicine. Our students come from the full spectrum of disciplines including biological, physical, engineering and social sciences. HST classes are small, commonly include graduate students and have an emphasis on quantitative and analytic approaches. The unique HST pre-clinical curriculum prepares students well for the HMS clinical education while also emphasizing disease mechanisms and preparing students to solve critical unmet needs in medicine and healthcare (ranging from novel diagnostics and therapeutics to applications of ‘big data’ and systems engineering). Please focus on how your interests, experiences and aspirations have prepared you for HST (rather than identifying specific HST faculty or research opportunities). Limit your comments to the equivalent of one page of single-spaced text with a font size of 10 or 12. (4000 char)
@TheDataKing
 
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