What makes a given applicant a good fit for a particular school?

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One of my applications is asking me to discuss why I might be a good fit for their school.

I don't really know how to approach this question. I am passionate and hard working, so in that sense I think I could be successful at this school, but that stuff would also make me a good fit at any osteopathic med school.

What makes a candidate a good fit for a given school?
 

Peach Newport

board certified in jewish dermatology
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Jun 26, 2014
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Geography:

1. Do you live near the school? Is your support system (family, friends, etc) nearby? This will help you with med school stress and increase your chances of dealing with it in healthy ways.
2. Are you committed to practicing in that area? Many DO schools include a commitment to serving their area in their mission. They want to produce physicians who will serve the area.
3. Have you already done work (volunteer or otherwise) that benefits the area? This provides evidence for your claims of #2.
4. If you don't live near the area, you should offer a damn good explanation of why you'd want to uproot yourself and settle in the area... Or try to mention other reasons besides geography.

Mission Statement:

1. Are you a URM applying to a school dedicated to training Minority physicians, like Touro NY?
2. Do you dream of practicing rural medicine, and are you applying to a school like WVSOM that specifically mentions that it wants to produce rural physicians?
2. Is there another specific aspect of the mission statement that really speaks to you? Be specific, because writing about why you identify with a school's dedication to "academic excellence" is spectacularly unimpressive.

Academics:
1. How does the school's curriculum fit your learning style? Do you crave a Problem-Based Learning Curriculum, like that offered at LECOM-Seton Hill? Make sure to provide evidence as to why you think this is best for you.
2. Student Resources: are there unique student resources offered at the school that you feel you're especially likely to take advantage of?
3. Class schedules and dress code: How does it for with your study habits?
4. Rotations. Does the school offer the type of rotations you want? Does it offer them where you want? Do you want to rotate primarily at Community Health Clinics, like you would at ATSU-SOMA? Be sure to provide evidence of why you want this!

Other:
1. Religious Affiliation: Would you feel better at a Catholic-affiliated school, like Marian?
2. Honor Code: Would you prefer to be among students who share your personal religious values, like a very Christian student might prefer at a school like Liberty University COM?
3. Research: Do you plan to be heavily involved in research, like that offered by schools like Rowan and Michigan State?

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this is by no means inclusive, but you get the idea. Ideally, your essay should include a combination of many factors like this, or a VERY strong reason for just one of them.

Also, ALWAYS make sure to provide EVIDENCE of why you think one of these factors makes you a good fit. There's a big difference between (1) "I want to go to TCOM because I want to practice in the State of Texas," and (2) "Having volunteered in several clinics around the Houston area for the better part of three years, I have begun to understand what it takes to effectively work with its uniquely diverse population. I have learned to speak fluent Spanish with patients and have started to learn how to address some of the cultural nuances of working with Hispanic patients. I hope to continue to serve the area as an osteopathic physician."
 
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