How do I Write a Medical School Essay?

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  • Written By: Laura A.
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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Part of the medical school admissions process involves writing an essay about why you want to become a doctor. You should write a medical school essay that shows the admissions board your skills and interests without resorting to a long boring list of characteristics. Most people describe past experiences that spurred their interest in the medical profession. A well-written and unique essay is the best way to make a good impression on the admissions board.

A medical school essay is part of the larger process of applying to medical school. Good grades and excellent MCAT scores are only a part of the formula. To get accepted into medical school, it is essential that you write a medical school essay that captures the attention of the admissions board and highlights your interests and abilities. Most medical school essays focus on your reasons for wanting to become a doctor.

The best way to approach this task is by relating an experience in your life that changed you. Perhaps you or a family member suffered an injury or illness and spent a lot of time in the hospital. Maybe you visited a third world country and were deeply moved by the suffering there. Think about your most profound past experiences and choose something that you feel will give you enough material to write about.


When you write a medical school essay, it is important to show the admissions board why you should be accepted rather than telling them. Avoid a long list of characteristics such as “I am hard-working, responsible and reliable.” Instead, describe a past experience that illustrates your hard work, responsibility, and reliability. If you show and don't tell, your medical school essay will stand out from the rest. Work in your characteristics without being too self-promoting. Try to include a few weaknesses as well and explain how you are trying to overcome them.

Be sure to write an essay that is unique. Do not copy a sample essay and change the words slightly. Admissions boards read thousands of essays so it’s important to capture their interest from the very beginning. Start with a strong opening when you write a medical school essay and write in an active voice.

Avoid sounding trite. Many people want to become doctors because of a desire to help people. Instead of stating this explicitly like so many other candidates, relay a story from your life that illustrates this concept instead. When you write a medical school essay, your goal should be to show the board what kind of person you are and how you became that way.

Always check your grammar and spelling very carefully when you write a medical school essay. Try to find a few people with strong English skills who can proofread your essay and offer input. Also check that your transitions between concepts and paragraphs are smooth. Don’t jump around from one subject to another or you may lose your audience. Write an essay that flows well and is ordered logically. Finish with a strong conclusion that makes a lasting impression on the admissions board.


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Post 2

@talentryto- A good way to avoid the need for help writing a medical school essay is to study several examples of this type of work. This will give the student ideas about style and content.

However, it is then just as important to put those sample essays away and write original content.

Post 1

Sometimes a student who isn't very good at writing may ask a friend who is to help with this type of task by writing the essay. This is a big mistake because not only is it unethical, but it could also result in the student not being accepted into medical school.

During the medical school admission interview, members of the admissions board often ask questions relating back to the medical school essay written by the student. This could be a disaster because the student may stumble when it comes to answering such questions. This could be a giveaway that someone else wrote the essay.

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