2021-2022 Pittsburgh

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wysdoc

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Thank you to @writingsucks101 for sharing this year's questions!

2021-2022 Pittsburgh Secondary Essay Prompts:

1. Tell us about a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

2. UPSOM is committed to building a diverse and talented community that will train physicians in delivering culturally competent, person-centered care, and promoting a supportive, collaborative learning environment. To achieve this, we want our fellow students to recognize health disparities and advocate for health equity. We are interested in combating all forms of systemic barriers, and would like to hear your thoughts on opposing specifically: systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny. How will you contribute? (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

3. Please write about anything else you would like to add to your application, or anything you would like to emphasize to the Admissions Committee. Limit your response to 250 words or less.)


Good luck to everyone applying!

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writingsucks101

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This cycle's (2022) prompts:

1. Tell us about a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

2. UPSOM is committed to building a diverse and talented community that will train physicians in delivering culturally competent, person-centered care, and promoting a supportive, collaborative learning environment. To achieve this, we want our fellow students to recognize health disparities and advocate for health equity. We are interested in combating all forms of systemic barriers, and would like to hear your thoughts on opposing specifically: systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny. How will you contribute? (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

3. Please write about anything else you would like to add to your application, or anything you would like to emphasize to the Admissions Committee. Limit your response to 250 words or less.)
 
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heathgamb

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Secondary received! OOS, regular MD, primaries transmitted 6/25/21.
 
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Redman3122

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Are you entering course name / number as: General Chemistry 1 - Chem 102 or just Chem 102??
 

fingerscrossed1085

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Are you entering course name / number as: General Chemistry 1 - Chem 102 or just Chem 102??
I did the first option that you put. Are you only listing enough courses to fulfill the requirement? It's weird that they give you so many boxes
 

MacroPhagoCytosis

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For the MSTP secondary, is anyone else also not able to save the "field of interest" page? My faculty selections disappear when I hit save.
 

BubzHoo

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Incoming M1 here! Lifelong Pittsburgher (minus undergrad), i’m happy to answer questions about the application process, school, or city!
 
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MacroPhagoCytosis

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What are the MSTP prompts?

There's a place to pick a field interest, including selecting faculty and briefly describing why. And then they ask you to basically rehash your CV with prompts for education, awards, presentations, pubs. Only those two tabs.
 

BubzHoo

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Is all financial aid need-based or have you heard of merit scholarships?
This past year it was all need-based for M1’s. From what people have said in the groupme and last year’s thread it looks like the financial aid is pretty generous. Not everyone will qualify for the need-based money though. However, you can always apply for outside scholarships as well. To be completely honest, I really wouldn’t worry about it too much unless you’re lucky enough to have multiple acceptances.
 
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KnightDoc

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Has anyone else submitted early but not received?
This is happening at lots of schools. Unless the school is known to prescreen, please don't worry -- it's just a workflow management thing for them. They will happily take everyone's money. Just give it a few days, or even a week or two.
 
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INeedHelp1234

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This is happening at lots of schools. Unless the school is known to prescreen, please don't worry -- it's just a workflow management thing for them. They will happily take everyone's money. Just give it a few days, or even a week or two.
okay that's reassuring. is prescreening usually just minimum mcat or do some schools actually screen by looking deeper at your application?
 
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KnightDoc

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okay that's reassuring. is prescreening usually just minimum mcat or do some schools actually screen by looking deeper at your application?
Most schools don't do it at all, which is actually unfortunate, because, they end up taking our money and then ghosting us for the rest of the cycle when they could have easily screened us out on the front end.

Yes, most schools that prescreen just use a pretty low GPA/MCAT (3.0-3.2/very low 500s) bar. Some also screen for IAs. It's not a huge deal. They don't take the time to actually read anything until they get their mitts on our secondary fee.

Vanderbilt is an example of a school that takes a deeper dive, actually screening out around 1/3 of applicants pre-secondary. Pitt does not prescreen. I also have not yet received one. I am not worried.
 
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byokemyst

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Has anyone else not received a secondary?
 
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BubzHoo

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Most schools don't do it at all, which is actually unfortunate, because, they end up taking our money and then ghosting us for the rest of the cycle when they could have easily screened us out on the front end.

Yes, most schools that prescreen just use a pretty low GPA/MCAT (3.0-3.2/very low 500s) bar. Some also screen for IAs. It's not a huge deal. They don't take the time to actually read anything until they get their mitts on our secondary fee.

Vanderbilt is an example of a school that takes a deeper dive, actually screening out around 1/3 of applicants pre-secondary. Pitt does not prescreen. I also have not yet received one. I am not worried.
That’s true but of all the T-20’s I think Pitt may be one of the most forgiving when it comes to stats. If you are truly qualified for medical school and Pitt likes you, you at least have a puncher’s chance here. Obviously there aren’t enough interviews and seats to go around but Pitt admissions looks at more than just stats. Definitely grateful to get to call this place home for four more years.
 
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KnightDoc

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That’s true but of all the T-20’s I think Pitt may be one of the most forgiving when it comes to stats. If you are truly qualified for medical school and Pitt likes you, you at least have a puncher’s chance here. Obviously there aren’t enough interviews and seats to go around but Pitt admissions looks at more than just stats. Definitely grateful to get to call this place home for four more years.
Yes, absolutely correct. I'm afraid I did not make myself clear. I wasn't talking about stats. I meant in general, stats and all.

If schools actually took a look at our primaries before sending out secondaries, like Vandy apparently does, we'd all save a ton of money and anguish. For many of us, schools will know whether or not they have any interest at all in us just by reviewing our primaries. Unfortunately, they don't do that until we pay the secondary fee and take the time to write the essays. They do this because they want our money, not because it is impossible to screen before sending secondaries.
 

MrPankow

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OOS secondary recieved
 
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heathgamb

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For the second essay are you guys saying something specific about systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny? I feel like a limit of 250 words makes it hard to devote specific thoughts on all three, so I was thinking of talking about them all in a more general sense.
 

Gwynbleidd

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For the second essay are you guys saying something specific about systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny? I feel like a limit of 250 words makes it hard to devote specific thoughts on all three, so I was thinking of talking about them all in a more general sense.
I picked one specifically and talked mostly about that to avoid sounding wishy-washy, but YMMV. It is a really rough prompt to answer in such a minuscule word limit.
 
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NormalUsername42

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For the second essay are you guys saying something specific about systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny? I feel like a limit of 250 words makes it hard to devote specific thoughts on all three, so I was thinking of talking about them all in a more general sense.
I picked the two that were very relevant to me (systemic racism and anti-LGBTQ+) but didn’t touch misogyny. Hoping that doesn’t affect me negatively but I guess we’ll see.
 

heathgamb

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I picked the two that were very relevant to me (systemic racism and anti-LGBTQ+) but didn’t touch misogyny. Hoping that doesn’t affect me negatively but I guess we’ll see.
Hm. Do you think it would look bad if I email admissions to clarify if they want us to be specific about all three?
 
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deleted1106140

Pitt - UPSOM is committed to building a diverse and talented community that will train physicians in delivering culturally competent, person-centered care, and promoting a supportive, collaborative learning environment. To achieve this, we want our fellow students to recognize health disparities and advocate for health equity. We are interested in combating all forms of systemic barriers, and would like to hear your thoughts on opposing specifically: systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny. How will you contribute? (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

How much is everyone focusing on things they have already done vs. things they hope to do as a physician/medical student?
 
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Redman3122

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Pitt - UPSOM is committed to building a diverse and talented community that will train physicians in delivering culturally competent, person-centered care, and promoting a supportive, collaborative learning environment. To achieve this, we want our fellow students to recognize health disparities and advocate for health equity. We are interested in combating all forms of systemic barriers, and would like to hear your thoughts on opposing specifically: systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and misogyny. How will you contribute? (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

How much is everyone focusing on things they have already done vs. things they hope to do as a physician/medical student?
I struggled with this too but I put 40% of what I did for context of how it influenced me and 60% expanding on what I want to do in the future
 
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iceman579

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Incoming M1 here! Lifelong Pittsburgher (minus undergrad), i’m happy to answer questions about the application process, school, or city!
Do you have any idea if there is any advantage/disadvanatage for someone who attended Pitt for undergrad and also is a life long Pittsburgher? I've heard it helps chances of admission but also heard it hurts.
 

BubzHoo

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Do you have any idea if there is any advantage/disadvanatage for someone who attended Pitt for undergrad and also is a life long Pittsburgher? I've heard it helps chances of admission but also heard it hurts.
I would say Pitt is one of the only schools where it could be a significant plus. I don’t know everyone in the class but I would say about 15% of the class (or more) are Pitt undergrads. I didn’t go to Pitt for undergrad but I’m from just outside the city and I think there’s probably around a similar percentage of kids with my background as well. A combination of those two things will absolutely help yo. Getting into Pitt is seriously competitive so that alone won’t carry you but it will help much more than it hurts. This is just my theory though.
 
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deleted555445

It seems like a lot of people put "Why Us?" essays in additional information sections, but I'm wondering if this is actually smart? If the schools wanted one of these, they can ask it, like a lot of them do. Is anyone doing that for Pitt?

edit: typo
 
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KnightDoc

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Do you have any idea if there is any advantage/disadvanatage for someone who attended Pitt for undergrad and also is a life long Pittsburgher? I've heard it helps chances of admission but also heard it hurts.
The bottom line is that it's definitely a double-edged sword. They love Pitt UGs, because they know you are more likely to attend, you are generally excellent candidates, and most of you have some touch with the med school through volunteering or research. As a result, Pitt UGs are disproportionately represented, probably as compared to any other single school.

The bad news is that Pitt is not unique in this respect. Most med schools with an affiliated UG also have an over representation of their UG in the class. The flip side of this is that they probably receive more applications from Pitt than from any other single school and, at the end of the day, you are really only competing with them for however many seats the med school is going to allocate to Pitt. In addition, you have to deal with the fact that they are also taking in however people are in their BS/MD program.

Again, it's probably good to be coming from Pitt, but as you noted, it's not the slam dunk advantage you would want it to be.
 

KnightDoc

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It seems like a lot of people put "Why Us?" essays in additional information sections, but I'm wondering if this is actually smart? If the schools wanted one of these, they can ask it, like a lot of them do. Is anyone doing that for Pitt?

edit: typo
You're right, but you can say that for absolutely anything at all that anyone would write! :)

The simple fact is, every school doesn't feel the need to put every conceivable prompt in their secondary, and the free form "Anything Else?" prompt is meant to be whatever you want it to be, so that you later cannot complain that they didn't give you a chance to place something you feel is important in front of them.
 
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