Medical Stanford University School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Tips & Deadlines [2019 – 2020]


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Ranked in the top three for research by U.S. News, Stanford University SOM provides a strong foundation in the basic sciences and the opportunity to select a scholarly concentration—to pursue topics of individual interest. Students are provided with a mentor, coursework and research opportunities in the topic of their choice. This medical school strongly prefers an extensive background in research and leadership experience.

Stanford University School of Medicine 2019-2020 secondary application essay questions
  • One longer essay, with a character limit of 2,000, and two short essays with 1,000 character limits are requested.
  • Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.
  • Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.
Stanford Medical School essay #1
The Committee on Admissions regards the diversity (broadly defined) of an entering class as an important factor in serving the educational mission of the school. The Committee on Admissions strongly encourages you to share unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment, socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and life or work experiences. Please discuss how factors have influenced your goals and preparation for a career in medicine. Please limit your answer to 2,000 characters including spaces.

Using the list provided above, “unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment, socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and life or work experiences,” free write a response to each item. To free write, simply give yourself five minutes or longer to jot down any experiences you have had that fit the description given. Try not to use examples that you have already used in your primary application essays. Using those descriptions, select the most relevant for this response—those that may also fit the mission and goals of the school’s curriculum. Create an outline and use this to stay on topic. What transitions will you use to connect the experiences? What did you gain, from a bigger picture perspective, from those experiences and how will they benefit your classmates? This essay is pretty broad, but it’s also long, so you should strive in the final draft to be organized with what you present.

Stanford Medical School essay #2
What do you see as the most likely practice scenario for your future medical career?

Choose the single answer that best describes your career goals and clinical practice setting:

  • Academic Medicine (Clinical)
  • Academic Medicine (Physician Scientist)
  • Non-Academic Clinical Practice
  • Health Policy
  • Health Administration
  • Primary Care
  • Public Health/Community Health
  • Global Health
Why do you feel you are particularly suited for this practice scenario? What knowledge, skills and attitudes have you developed that have prepared you for this career path? Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

In asking this question, the school wants to determine how extensive your clinical experience is and how knowledgeable you are about the different methods of medical care delivery. Be honest in selecting the area of your interest. By describing the experience you have in this area to explain why you prefer it over others, you will convince the adcom of your realistic understanding of the practice of medicine. Create a list of “knowledge, skills and attitudes” to explain as support for your interest in this field. Your conclusion could provide an explanation for how and why their program would be the best to support your pursuit of a career in this arena.

Stanford Medical School essay #3
How will you take advantage of the Stanford Medicine Discovery Curriculum and scholarly concentration requirement to achieve your personal career goals? Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

Given the unique feature of their curriculum, the scholarly concentration, review the possibilities and select those that reflect your research background and interests. How extensive is your research experience in this area? Do you have training in special techniques or laboratory methods in this area? How will the mentorship, coursework and research experience available at Stanford University SOM assist you in meeting your academic and professional goals? If your prior research experience has allowed you to impact the delivery of medical care, how will further expertise and experience enhance your contribution to patient care?

Stanford Medical School essay #4 (optional)
Please include anything else that will help us understand better how you may uniquely contribute to Stanford Medicine? Please limit your answer to 1,000 characters including spaces.

This is an optional essay that gives you space to discuss anything else relevant to your application to Stanford. You should not repeat earlier material. This can include specific experiences that you would like to explain or a specific connection to Stanford that you want to elaborate for the admissions committee.

If you would like professional guidance with your Stanford Medical School application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for your Stanford application materials.

Stanford University School of Medicine 2019-2020 application deadlines

AMCAS Applications Due: October 1 (11:59 pm PST)

Secondary Applications Due: Secondary Applications Due

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Alicia McNease Nimonkar worked for 5 years as the Student Advisor & Director at the UC Davis School of Medicine's postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and other health professional programs. She has served Accepted's clients since 2012 with roughly a 90% success rate. She has a Master of Arts in Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature. Want Alicia to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays, a free guide
Secondary Strategy: Why Do You Want To Go Here?
What NOT to Write in Your Medical School Secondary Application Essays

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