2023-2024 Virginia Commonwealth

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

wysdoc

Plain-spoken Texan
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2016
Messages
12,965
Reaction score
21,845
2023-2024 Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) Secondary Essay Prompts (different from last year)

1. You are approached by a neighbor whom you are friendly with and who knows you are headed to medical school. The neighbor wants your opinion on whether she should have her healthy 3-year-old child vaccinated against COVID. The neighbor is well-researched and thoughtful, bringing up data that suggests limited long-term benefits of vaccination, while pointing to concerning, documented side effects. How would you respond to this dilemma? (Comments are limited to 2000 characters. Research on the topic is encouraged)

2. How do you define “grit”, and how have you demonstrated this in the past? (2000 character limit)

3. Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application.

4. Please briefly explain any low GPAs or poor grades.

5. If not addressed in your application, what are you currently doing now?

Good luck to everyone applying!

Interview Feedback:
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center School of Medicine Interview Feedback

Members don't see this ad.
 
Last edited:
Incoming M1 here, if y’all have any questions about how it was like to apply here, feel free to reply or shoot me a dm :)

Edit: due to potential conflict of interest, I will not be reviewing any secondary response but I am sure you all will do great!

Edit: disregard my statement regarding psych and soc being required, thanks Jacob!
 
Last edited:
Members don't see this ad :)
Also an incoming MS1 here too. OOS, ORM, mid-stats applicant. Was waitlisted for 6+ months since my interview. Would be happy to help out and answer any questions you might have about applying here. Feel free to shoot me a DM!
 
Also an incoming MS1 here too. OOS, ORM, mid-stats applicant. Was waitlisted for 6+ months since my interview. Would be happy to help out and answer any questions you might have about applying here. Feel free to shoot me a DM!
Do you by any chance know if the secondary for this school's MSTP is in addition to the MD prompts?
 
VCU Supplemental Essays:

1. You are approached by a neighbor whom you are friendly with and who knows you are headed to medical school. The neighbor wants your opinion on whether she should have her healthy 3-year-old child vaccinated against COVID. The neighbor is well-researched and thoughtful, bringing up data that suggests limited long-term benefits of vaccination, while pointing to concerning, documented side effects. How would you respond to this dilemma? (Comments are limited to 2000 characters. Research on the topic is encouraged)

2. How do you define “grit”, and how have you demonstrated this in the past? (2000 character limit)

3. Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application.

4. Please briefly explain any low GPAs or poor grades.

5. If not addressed in your application, what are you currently doing now?
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2 users
If not addressed in your application, what are you currently doing now?
My gap year position is in my primary application's work and activities section. Do I write about it again here but in a different angle? Or do I not write about it here since it specifically says "if not addressed in your application"?
 
VCU Supplemental Essays:

1. You are approached by a neighbor whom you are friendly with and who knows you are headed to medical school. The neighbor wants your opinion on whether she should have her healthy 3-year-old child vaccinated against COVID. The neighbor is well-researched and thoughtful, bringing up data that suggests limited long-term benefits of vaccination, while pointing to concerning, documented side effects. How would you respond to this dilemma? (Comments are limited to 2000 characters. Research on the topic is encouraged)

2. How do you define “grit”, and how have you demonstrated this in the past? (2000 character limit)

3. Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application.

4. Please briefly explain any low GPAs or poor grades.

5. If not addressed in your application, what are you currently doing now?
Thanks! for questions 3-5 are they also 2000 character limit?
 
Thanks! for questions 3-5 are they also 2000 character limit?

For 3-4, it was not explicitly mentioned but now that I look, it says 0/2000 at the bottom so yes! For 5, it says “0 / “ and then it’s blank so I’m unsure as to the maximum, if any, for this one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Members don't see this ad :)
My gap year position is in my primary application's work and activities section. Do I write about it again here but in a different angle? Or do I not write about it here since it specifically says "if not addressed in your application"?
I do not think it is bad if you mention your gap year position again and state you addressed it in your primary. For mine, I will describe briefly what I already mentioned that I am still doing it then add any new things such as a running club I joined in July or an online class, new hobbies.
 
VCU Supplemental Essays:

1. You are approached by a neighbor whom you are friendly with and who knows you are headed to medical school. The neighbor wants your opinion on whether she should have her healthy 3-year-old child vaccinated against COVID. The neighbor is well-researched and thoughtful, bringing up data that suggests limited long-term benefits of vaccination, while pointing to concerning, documented side effects. How would you respond to this dilemma? (Comments are limited to 2000 characters. Research on the topic is encouraged)

2. How do you define “grit”, and how have you demonstrated this in the past? (2000 character limit)

3. Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application.

4. Please briefly explain any low GPAs or poor grades.

5. If not addressed in your application, what are you currently doing now?

Interesting first two questions. New and different from the past cycle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Do they send secondaries out at different times if you are a reapplicant? I received the email notifying they received my app but no secondary yet.
 
Do they send secondaries out at different times if you are a reapplicant? I received the email notifying they received my app but no secondary yet.
I do not think they have sent out a lot of secondaries yet at all. Im in state and first time applicant and I have nothing except the notification email either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
OOS, submitted first day you could and haven't even received confirmation that they got my app yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
+1 OOS at 9AM. VCU screens its applicants, which could explain a slower secondary rollout.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Research on the topic is encouraged
Did you all interpret this as research on the COVID-19 vaccine to provide to the neighbor or research on how to respond to this dilemma with someone ambivalent about getting the vaccine?
 
Did you all interpret this as research on the COVID-19 vaccine to provide to the neighbor or research on how to respond to this dilemma with someone ambivalent about getting the vaccine?
I think they mean if you haven't read much about the pros and cons of COVID-19 vaccination in 3 yo children, you should do that before writing your answer to this question. (If you haven't read about this, where have you been for the last 3 years????)
And yes, a component of the question is, as a non-doctor, should you advise your neighbor?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I think they mean if you haven't read much about the pros and cons of COVID-19 vaccination in 3 yo children, you should do that before writing your answer to this question. (If you haven't read about this, where have you been for the last 3 years????)
And yes, a component of the question is, as a non-doctor, should you advise your neighbor?
Thanks!
 
What is this asking?
"Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application."
Is it asking for gaps during my undergrad, or like also gap years after?
 
This might be a silly question but for question 1, I am doing some research to answer the question in an informed way. Should I be adding citations if I am using news sources?
 
For prereqs, VCU mentions wanting upper div science courses but there is nowhere to assign them. Should they be added to the biology section or is this not necessary?
 
For prereqs, VCU mentions wanting upper div science courses but there is nowhere to assign them. Should they be added to the biology section or is this not necessary?
Similarly, I do not see a section for the psychology and sociology courses that they mention as prereqs. Where should those courses be assigned?
 
Similarly, I do not see a section for the psychology and sociology courses that they mention as prereqs. Where should those courses be assigned?
I believe these two are technically not required, so that is likely why there is not a spot for them
 
What is this asking?
"Please briefly explain any lapses in your undergraduate education that are not explained in your application."
Is it asking for gaps during my undergrad, or like also gap years after?

In this case, they are asking about low grades or other academic deficiencies (multiple Cs or trends of withdrawals or leave of absences or suspensions/dismissals). The gap years you are taking once you graduate undergrad can be explained in ‘what are you currently doing’ prompt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
This might be a silly question but for question 1, I am doing some research to answer the question in an informed way. Should I be adding citations if I am using news sources?

If you are quoting word for word, I would be inclined to but wouldn’t advise it. You should do your research and incorporate that information to explain your thinking process. Treat this as if it was an MMI station or Casper scenario. You wouldn’t go out of your way to directly quote and need to cite during an MMI or Casper station. Plus, you don’t want to waste your characters on unnecessary citations. Again, this is about critical thinking process in making a decision, not necessarily about the answer and the evidence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
For reapplicants, how did yall state your "additional qualifications"? 150 characters doesn't give a lot of room to talk, so I was thinking about doing a list format.
 
okay so for the first question, I'm interpreting it as "how would you go about having this conversation with your neighbor" and saying that I would validate her concerns, be respectful the whole time point her towards peer-reviewed journals saying vaccines are good blah blah blah. I'm not talking about specific evidence I would bring up in favor of vaccines. Is this what other people are doing?
 
secondary received for MSTP

Prompt, in addition to MD secondary,

@wysdoc

MD/PhD​

"Describe scientific topics and/or labs at VCU that appeal to your future research aspirations." (1000 characters)
 
okay so for the first question, I'm interpreting it as "how would you go about having this conversation with your neighbor" and saying that I would validate her concerns, be respectful the whole time point her towards peer-reviewed journals saying vaccines are good blah blah blah. I'm not talking about specific evidence I would bring up in favor of vaccines. Is this what other people are doing?
yeah I'm getting the sense from the question that they want us to be pro-vaccine in 3 year olds so I feel like that's how most people are gonna answer it? idk could be wrong though
 
yeah I'm getting the sense from the question that they want us to be pro-vaccine in 3 year olds so I feel like that's how most people are gonna answer it? idk could be wrong though
I think it's kind of getting at the idea that we should recognize we aren't able to give any medical advice. I'm answering it like a CASPER prompt honestly and trying to give an opinion while also encouraging them to seek medical professionals to have this discussion with rather than me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
I think it's kind of getting at the idea that we should recognize we aren't able to give any medical advice. I'm answering it like a CASPER prompt honestly and trying to give an opinion while also encouraging them to seek medical professionals to have this discussion with rather than me.
true true good point
 
Are you guys adding all of your courses in or just enough to meet their pre-req requirement? I always get confused with this
Just enough to reach their pre-req requirements. If I use AP Credit, I also sometimes add extra higher-level courses.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Top