Medical University of Michigan Medical School Secondary Application Essay Tips

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
University of Michigan Medical School is ranked in the top ten schools for excellence in primary care. Given the school’s focus on self-directed learning and building on a strong science foundation, it will be important in your secondary essays to convey the level of your self-awareness in meeting your academic goals. How did you approach challenging science courses? In what ways have you demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning? How has your community benefited from this commitment? For students interested in earning a MD/PhD, UMMS has a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Program. As part of this program, students will be given the training to enter academic medicine and conduct basic science research.

University of Michigan Medical School 2018-19 Secondary Application Essay Questions:
Three short essays with 250 word limits are required.

  • For MSTP applicants, a different essay prompt is provided for Essay #1.
  • Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.
  • Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths, especially to demonstrate how they align with UMMS’ mission statement and goals.
Application Tip: Check out this helpful advice.

University of Michigan Medical School Essay #1 (For MD Applicants)
Choose one of the following areas in which you have interest. (Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Underserved Populations, Entrepreneurial Medicine or Other (specify)). Comment on how you would hope to impact medicine in this area. Please do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).

Select the area that you are most excited about because your enthusiasm will be captured in your prose. Once you have narrowed down your topic, create a list of previous experiences you have had in this area. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Sharing what you have done in that field will demonstrate your knowledge, level of experience and accomplishments. Next, you can impress the reader by setting realistic goals for what you hope to achieve as well as addressing any obstacles that you will have to work around or overcome.

University of Michigan Medical School Essay #1 (For MSTP Applicants)
Instead of the above, briefly describe why you decided to apply to the University of Michigan MSTP. If you are interested in a specific department, program, or area of research for your Ph.D., please provide a brief explanation (we recognize that your interests may change). Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).

This essay response will require that you complete significant research on the history and structure of the MSTP program and curriculum. After reading their web pages, what features of the program stand out in your mind? After reviewing a complete list of their departments, what areas interest you? Have you completed research or a degree in any of these fields? What attracted you to that research project or field? Align your background and long-term interests with their program in your essay response.

University of Michigan Medical School Essay #2
At the University of Michigan Medical School, we are committed to building a superb educational community with students of diverse talents, experiences, opinions, and backgrounds. What would you as an individual bring to our medical school community? Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).

This is a common general question on secondary applications; the response that you develop for this essay can be adapted for other applications. An effective response to this question will provide an overview of the diverse talents and interests that you will share with the UMMS community. Have you received awards or recognition in any of your fields of interest? What has been your most long-term commitment—to music, science, volunteering, research, clinical experience, leadership or athletics? What talents have you cultivated that you have shared with your community? How many languages do you speak and how has your cultural background increased your connection with the community? After you have selected those talents and activities that you feel best represent you—relate them back to medicine and how you will share or involve your classmates in these interests. How will they enrich your classmates’ experience as well as your own?

University of Michigan Medical School Essay #3 (Optional)
If you would like to comment in depth regarding your research background you may answer this optional question. How would your past experiences in laboratory-based research on fundamental problems in the biological and biomedical sciences motivate you to pursue similar efforts as a physician-scientist? Do not exceed 1500 characters (about 250 words).

To provide the best response to this question, use your resume or CV to create a list of all your research experiences. Use this list as an outline to detail what you were able to accomplish in each role. Highlight your growth and development as a researcher through each transition or promotion. Based on what UMMS offers, tailor your response to the areas of research you can pursue on their campus. Be realistic and honest about what you want to study.

If you would like professional guidance with your University of Michigan Medical School application materials, check out Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for UMMS’s application materials.

University of Michigan Medical School 2018-19 Application Timeline

AMCAS Application for MD / PhD (MSTP) Applicants Due: September 15
AMCAS Application for MD Applicants Due: October 15
Secondary Application for MD / PhD (MSTP) Applicants Due: October 15
Secondary Application for MD Applicants Due: November 15​

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

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

This article was originally posted on blog.accepted.com.
Applying to medical school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants like you get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where apply, working on your AMCAS application, working on secondary essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away. Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!