UC Riverside School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts

These are the secondary application essay prompts for University of California Riverside School of Medicine. To put your best foot forward and maximize your chance of an interview invitation, visit our secondary application editing page.

2017-2018

Has your education been continuous since graduation from high school? (yes or no, explanation if no)

If you had a gap year at any point, describe the experiences you had during that time. Either an essay or a list is a reasonable approach to this questions, but essays tend to be more elegant and allow you to show off your writing skills more. Lists read more like a CV. For each experience, explain how this helped you grow and become a better medical school candidate, which should be the goal of the gap year in the admissions committee’s eyes. If the gap year was earlier and for another reason, be forthright and explain the situation. Try to list a lesson you learned from the experience.

Activities:

Describe the single MOST important event or non-academic activity in your life and explain why it’s significant.

Think of an experience which taught you a lesson and helped you grow as a person outside of academics. This may be your biggest hobby or pastime outside of work such as sports or music. Paint a picture, perhaps by describing a memorable or poignant experience with one of these pursuits. This will make it more unique and let it stand out from the crowd.

What activity or accomplishment are you MOST proud of?

Brainstorm your personal accomplishments which were most formative. Ideally you do not want to just describe a simple victory or triumph, but something which helped you grow and taught you a lesson. Think of a scenario in which you overcame particular adversity. Succeeding over personal challenge will be more poignant than beating a foe, for example. Tie the experience to what lesson it taught you and what skill or trait you gained that makes you a stronger person. Be humble; do not emphasize our tout your personal excellence.

What experiences or activities have prepared you to work with medically underserved communities?

A good answer necessitates strong community service work. If you are interested in applying for this, you have likely done this work. Recall your prior volunteer work with homeless or underserved populations in the past. The experience need not be medical, as helping the community in any capacity shows a dedication to serving the underserved.

Please list any Scholastic Activities that you have been involved with (including honors and awards)

Consider listing research work, scholastic clubs, academic organizations, honors societies you have been a part of. You can list publications, scholarships, and awards you have received through any of them.

Personal:

Describe a major problem you have had to deal with at some time in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth.

Choose this experience wisely. Avoid choosing something which makes you sound like a victim, as this can reflect poorly. If talking about personal or family hardship, describe how it was a challenge but focus on what it taught you and how you overcame it. If choosing an interpersonal dispute, be sure to paint it in an objective manner without maligning the other person or negatively depicting yourself. Focus on the positive outcome. The lesson learned is key.

Is there any specific hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application? Please briefly explain below. (Include any geographic, language, economic, academic, physical, or mental factors.)

Do not feel compelled to answer this question if you cannot think of a good reason to. Do not let this overlap with the “describe a problem” question above. Avoid sounding like a victim and focus on the personal strengths gained and lessons learned.

What kind of health care setting do you envision yourself working in?

You will need to introspect to answer this question. Consider your career goals. Do you plan to be a full-time clinician or do some research as well? Are you interested in global health and medical work abroad? Do you see yourself performing community outreach here in the US? Be realistic but optimistic. You are not bound to your answer so it is ok to have reasonable but lofty goals. Make sure to focus mainly on your career in medicine. Detailing your goals in other professional spheres (if you have them) does not necessarily show your strength as a potential doctor.

How do you see yourself contributing to the mission of the UCR School of Medicine?

UCR SOM mission, as listed on the website:
“The mission of the UCR School of Medicine is to improve the health of the people of California and, especially, to serve Inland Southern California by training a diverse workforce of physicians and by developing innovative research and health care delivery programs that will improve the health of the medically underserved in the region and become models to be emulated throughout the state and nation.”

Also listed on the website:
“Our Values: Inclusion, Integrity, Innovation, Excellence, Accountability, Respect”

Think of specific ways in which your strengths and goals align with these components of the UCR mission and values.

All of the prompts are 250 word limit

PERSONAL STATEMENT: Your personal statement from the AMCAS application will be used in our admissions process. You do not need to duplicate it here. At your option, you may use this space to provide any further information you may want us to consider in addition to the AMCAS personal statement. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY.

If you choose to answer this question, be sure not to repeat what is stated in the personal statement or other components of the application. Some might say it is a good opportunity and should not be passed up, but needs to be done carefully and effectively. Some ideas to consider which could make for an interesting paragraph: discuss your favorite book and how it informs your intellectual curiosity; discuss a hobby or pastime outside of medicine; discuss one your ideals such as family values.

2016-2017

All essays have 250 word limit

Describe the single MOST important event or non-academic activity in your life and explain why it’s significant.

What activity or accomplishment are you MOST proud of?

What experiences or activities have prepared you to work with medically underserved communities?

Describe a major problem you have had to deal with at some time in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth.

What kind of health care setting do you envision yourself working in?

How do you see yourself contributing to the mission of the UCR School of Medicine?

PERSONAL STATEMENT: Your personal statement from the AMCAS application will be used in our admissions process. You do not need to duplicate it here. At your option, you may use this space to provide any further information you may want us to consider in addition to the AMCAS personal statement. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY.

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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