MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Storytelling is at the core of the profession of medicine – it is often the first exchange between doctor and patient as they begin their relationship. Similarly, when you tell your story during medical school and residency admissions processes, your future professor/colleague will be listening. Like the patient’s chart, your application will tell your story, but it will come to life only when you arrive on campus and meet people in the admissions or program office and interview with faculty members.

Interviewers often will ask you, “tell me about yourself” or “why medicine?” – this is your cue to tell your story. The better you know your story, the better you will tell it.  A great answer can convey how insightful you are, how thoughtful, how reflective. Are you familiar with yourself on a deep level? Have you reflected on your decision to pursue medicine and discussed it with a few trusted friends or family? Have you journaled about it, even your concerns? Every good story has a beginning and an end, one or more problems or dilemmas, and high and low points. To captivate your interviewer with how you arrived at this moment of pursuing medicine or residency, you need to go back a ways – to the beginning wherever that is for you – and be open to sharing some personal information that led to your decision. Think about your favorite work of fiction or non-fiction, or your favorite movie. Now go a step further and figure out why it resonates with you. Take cues from that story and craft your own.

Students often worry that whatever their story, the interviewer has “heard it before.” Not true. Just as every patient has a story uniquely his own, so too does the applicant. Before your interview, spend some time thinking about what your story really is. If you prepare for this question and then answer it honestly and engagingly, your story will be compelling.

By Laurie Brown Tansey, MA
Senior Consultant, MedEdits Medical Admissions

Monday, August 5, 2013


I heard I should complete all of my secondary essays within 24 hours of receiving them.
I heard the secondaries don’t matter.
I heard the secondaries are the most important part of the application.
Needless to say, there are many myths about secondary essays floating around. Alot of them, like those above, are not true. Every piece of your application is important and the most important part is largely dependent on the perspective of the person reviewing your documents. This is why I encourage my clients to put equal effort and thought into everything they submit. Don’t rush your writing; inevitably, this leads to sloppy work and weak documents.
Read my previous posts on secondary essays.
I would also like to congratulate our 2013 medical school applicants who have already received interviews at medical schools.

Thursday, August 1, 2013