propadex

7+ Year Member
May 24, 2011
34
1
Status
For example,
"In evaluating applicants with a variety of backgrounds and strengths the Admissions Committee assesses each applicant as to what they can contribute to their class. Please describe to the Admissions Committee what you have to offer in this regard."

Are they asking for my background and strengths? Or are they asking what I can contribute to their class? Or are they asking what I can add to the diversity of the school?

If the question is asking about diversity, I'm a superstandard non-URM upper-middle class male. The only thing I can talk about would be my study abroad experience and international service trips.

But I have no idea how to answer if it is asking what I can contribute to the class. My hobbies(dancing, playing guitar, and running marathons) wouldn't contribute to the class unless they are looking for a dancing musician who can run long distances. I am STUMPED. I'm also pretty tired of thinking. Any help would be appreciated.
 

235788

God Complex
10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
5,368
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The Slab
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Medical Student
I'm in the same boat: white/upper-middle/no family problems or disasters. I wrote about American Sign Language and my experiences with deaf culture.
 

chronicidal

Scrub
7+ Year Member
May 14, 2010
1,189
350
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Medical Student
Socioeconomic
Race and ethnicity
Nationality
Cultural immersion, domestic and abroad
Linguistic
Religious and philosophical; lifestance / worldview
Occupational
Academic discipline
Artistic
...

There are probably a few things in your life that you think are insignificant, but a good writer would be able to make them seem significant and unique.

Dancing and marathons could be one of those things.

The book "Perfect Phrases for Medical School Acceptance" has one example diversity blurb focused on salsa.
 
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mauberley

radiating prestige
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2009
4,533
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Urbs in Horto
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Medical Student
But I have no idea how to answer if it is asking what I can contribute to the class. My hobbies(dancing, playing guitar, and running marathons) wouldn't contribute to the class unless they are looking for a dancing musician who can run long distances. I am STUMPED. I'm also pretty tired of thinking. Any help would be appreciated.
I do think it would be more helpful for you to talk to people who know you and ask for their advice.
 

FattySlug

10+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2010
1,074
29
Status
Dance, music and marathon can all contribute to your class. You can teach them how to do all those things ...etc... This is the essay where you talk about your unique qualities. Anything that is unique about you can contribute to your class.
 

235788

God Complex
10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
5,368
17
The Slab
Status
Medical Student
Focus on music. As mentioned, a good writer can run with this.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
24,480
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Candor Chasma
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Academic Administration
What background and strengths do you have that will contribute to the class?


Think of it this way, when you get together to discuss a case, and another case, and another whether in a small group classroom setting or in a clinical care setting, what arcane knowledge do you bring to the table based on your upbringing and experiences?

Maybe you are familiar with training routines and injuries common to runners as well as some standard prevention tips. Same goes for musicians who play your instrument(s). That sort of "insider" information forms the basis for an informal curriculum shared among students.
 
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