Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Secondary Essay Prompts

These are the secondary application essay prompts for Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine (OHSU). To put your best foot forward and maximize your chance of an interview invitation, visit our secondary application editing page.

2018-2019

General MD Questions

1. What experience have you had that has given you insight into the patients you hope to eventually serve? (1500 characters)

Draw on the prior patient interactions you have had. You can also be creative and consider other volunteer experiences during which you may have interacted with populations you wish to serve. The key is to not repeat what you have already stated in your primary application. You will likely have to use an experience you have already listed there. Try to come at it from a different angle. Perhaps provide an anecdote which you had not previously discussed. Focus on what that experience taught you and how it will help you serve such patients in the future.

2. What will be your greatest challenge in becoming a physician? (1500 characters)

This question will require some introspection. Try to choose something that is a moderate challenge but does not point to a weakness or deficiency you have in your qualifications to become a doctor. Make it something you can certainly overcome and explain how you plan to do so.

3. Discuss a time in your life that demonstrated your resilience. (1500 characters)

Brainstorm experiences or accomplishments which were particularly formative. Think of a scenario in which you overcame particular adversity. Tie the experience to what lesson it taught you and how it made you encounter your own limitations, and was thereby challenging. Then focus on what skill or trait you gained that made you a stronger person. Be humble; do not emphasize our tout your personal excellence but rather show your introspection and personal growth.

4. Describe a time when you did not receive what you felt you deserved, and how you reacted. (1500 characters)

Tread softly when answering this question. Be careful not to sound entitled. Think of a time when you worked very hard to overcome adversity, but perhaps you failed for some reason. This may be the best way to point out that your efforts were not rewarded, but also state possible reasons why and what lessons you learned.

5. Give an example of personal feedback in the last few years that was difficult to receive. How did you respond? (1500 characters)

In this question the goal is to demonstrate a time when you dealt positively with something that was difficult to hear. Choose a piece of feedback over which you reflected and had personal growth, but not something that actually points out a strong weakness which could be alarming to an admissions committee. Focus on how you tried to respond positively by reflecting on the feedback, introspecting about your opportunities for personal growth, and implementing the feedback into your actual behaviors.

6. Please discuss the diversity that you would bring to the OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine. (2000 characters)

Start by brainstorming what is unique about you and your background. Is it your place of birth, your family, your culture, or you path to medicine? Also consider prior adversity you have had to overcome and how that has shaped your values. Next consider your personal strengths and attributes. Consider 1-2 of these characteristics to focus on. Discuss them in detail, providing specific examples as to how you demonstrate these qualities. Weave a story which shows how your unique characteristics will contribute to your medical school class as well as the future field of medicine. Be sure to answer both of these components. Consider the effect you might have on your peers, professors and patients.

MD/PhD Questions

7. What specifically interests you in the OHSU MD/PhD program? (1500 char)

The first step to answering this question is doing some research on the program website to understand some of its nuances. Is it very strong in a particular field of research or does it provide unique opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines such as bioengineering or finance If one of these aspects aligns with your strengths or interests, explain how you are a great fit for this reason. Outline how these opportunities will help you grow toward your career goals as you envision them. Think about the opportunities the location provides in terms of clinical experience and social experience as well. Be sure to tailor your answer to the unique aspects of OHSU.

8. Please list 3-5 faculty members at OHSU whose research is of interest to you. (1500 char)

This will be a very personalized answer for each applicant. It likely will not be difficult, as any MD/PhD applicant will likely already have a significant research interest. Do your background research and answer based on your preferences.

9. Thinking about one of your research projects, how could the results affect the way we diagnose and treat patients? If your research is non-biomedical, describe how it advances scientific knowledge. (1500 char)

Draw on your prior research experiences and provide the clinical implications for the practice of medicine and treatment of patients (or how it adds to the general body of scientific knowledge). Be optimistic but realistic.

10. List publications and grants.

Answer as appropriate based on your research history.

11. Please tell us the graduate program at OHSU you are most interested in (this is not binding)

Here is a list of the OHSU MD/PhD graduate programs. Answer based on your preferences.

2017-2018

What experience have you had that has given you insight into the patients you hope to eventually serve? (1500 char)

What will be your greatest challenge in becoming a physician? (1500 char)

Discuss a time in your life that demonstrated your resilience. (1500 char)

Describe a time when you did not receive what you felt you deserved, and how you reacted. (1500 char)

Give an example of personal feedback in the last few years that was difficult to receive. How did you respond? (1500 char)

Please discuss the diversity that you would bring to the OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine. (2000 char)

2016-2017

1. What experience have you had that has given you insight into the patients you hope to eventually serve? (1500 char)

2. What will be your greatest challenge in becoming a physician? (1500 char)

3. Give an example of a time when you tried your best to work with a person or a group but the problems still remained. What did you learn from the experience? (1500 char)

4. Describe a time when you did not receive what you felt you deserved, and how you reacted (1500 char)

5. Give an example of personal feedback in the last few years that was difficult to receive. How did you respond? (1500 char)

6. Please discuss the diversity that you would bring to the OHSU School of Medicine and the profession of medicine. (2000 char)

Optional: Explain your adversity in: Economic, Educational, Cultural, Family (4000 char)

Disclaimer: The information on this page was shared by students and/or can be found on the medical school’s website. Med School Insiders does not guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page.

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