University of Iowa College of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts

These are the secondary application essay prompts for University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. To put your best foot forward and maximize your chance of an interview invitation, visit our secondary application editing page.

2018-2019

Question 1: We understand you are probably applying to multiple medical schools. Please explain your reasons for applying to the Carver College of Medicine.

Do research on Iowa’s program to see if your interests align with their strengths and if you can tailor this question specifically to the program. Providing specifics here will be key. Even if there is not an exact reason, identify a few points which fit well with your interests and use them as the keys to your desire to attend Iowa specifically.

Question 2: Describe any unique personal characteristics and obstacles you may have overcome that will contribute to the diversity of, and bring educational benefits to, the entering class.

Start by brainstorming what is unique about 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. Consider 1-2 of these experiences and weave a story about them which show your unique characteristics. Specifically answer how this can contribute to your medical school class; consider the effect you might have on your peers, professors and patients.

Question 3: Please list and briefly describe all medically related experiences (paid/volunteer) you have completed during the past 5 years. Do NOT forecast future hours. Please include experiences listed on your AMCAS and also provide any additional experiences NOT listed on your AMCAS.

This is essentially a request for a CV. As the prompt specifically asks to repeat experiences from AMCAS, it is ok to do so. If possible focus on some detail of the experience you did not highlight on AMCAS. The prompt calls for a brief description which tends to favor simply an explanation of your role, but you may try to work in one line about the significance of what you learned.

Question 4: If you are a reapplicant to the Carver College of Medicine, how have you strengthened your application?

Focus on personal growth during the time since last application. Rather than avoiding the elephant in the room which is the failed application cycle, introspect on why you did not get accepted. Find something that is a weakness in your prior application which needed work, and then demonstrate how in your off year you were able to strengthen yourself in this regard. Examples include GPA (post bacc), research (additional research work or publications), clinical work (additional clinical hours).

Question 5: If you are not currently in a degree-seeking program, please indicate what you will be doing from the time you complete this secondary application to the start of medical school.

It is important to be honest with this question, but generally this is not an issue as applicants have dedicated plans during their gap years. If possible, demonstrate a continued commitment to medicine during your off year. Ideal examples are ongoing research or clinical work, personal reading and learning, gaining of new skills that will help your future success as a physician. Non-medical pursuits are even more interesting and unique so it is great if you have those. Ideally, tie them to your interest and future goals in medicine.

ALL 1500 Character limit

2017-2018

The secondary application essay prompts from this medical school application cycle are the same as above.

2016-2017

Do not exceed the maximum character limit of 1500 (including spaces) for questions 1, 2, 4 and 5. Question 3 has a limit of 3000 characters.

Question 1: We understand you are probably applying to multiple medical schools. Please explain your reasons for applying to the Carver College of Medicine.

Question 2: Describe any unique personal characteristics and obstacles you may have overcome that will contribute to the diversity of, and bring educational benefits to, the entering class.

Question 3: Provide a numbered list and very brief description of medically related experiences (paid or volunteer), including total hours, in which you have participated over the past 5 years.

Question 4: If you are a reapplicant to the Carver College of Medicine, how have you strengthened your application?

Question 5: If you are not currently in a degree-seeking program, please indicate what you will be doing from the time you complete this secondary application to the start of medical school.

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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