MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Letter of Intent: What should be included?

Letter of Intent: What should be included?

This time of year, many medical school applicants ask us about what should be included in a letter of intent. Below is a general outline for a letter of intent letter:

1) Introduce yourself. Include the date of your interview and the status of your application. State why you are writing the letter -- to provide an update of your accomplishments and/or to express your interest in the school. If you can honestly state that the school to which you are writing is your #1 choice and you will attend if accepted, that, too, should be stated in the first paragraph.

2) Provide an update of any recent accomplishments; include information on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, clinical exposure, research, etc. List all course work and grades earned. Most schools will not require official transcripts.

3) Express, SPECIFICALLY, why you are interested in the medical school. Try to go beyond the "basics" such as mentioning the curriculum or the student-run free clinic, for example. Try to relate your interest in the school to something in your background. Does the school have an excellent neurology department and do you have a demonstrated interest in this specialty, for example. In other words, don't write what every other applicant might write. Your interest in the school should reflect who you are and what you have done.

Letters of intent DO influence admissions committees decisions. Schools want to accept people who are enthusiastic about attending and they also want to accept people whom they know will attend, especially when it is crunch time and close to the start of classes.

Questions or comments?

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