Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompts

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


Medicine is a lifelong learning career where new understandings of diseases are constantly changing and new medications are continuously being added, yet motivating patients continues to be a stimulating challenge. Please discuss in 2000 characters or less ways physicians address this issue. You may use resources to answer this question, mention them but foot notes are not necessary.

The crux of this question is how to maintain a career of lifelong learning, which is crucial for success as a physician. Try to describe processes to achieve this and then tie them into your plans as a future physician. There are many ways physicians can continue to learn lifelong. Consider discussing the following points which may be relevant to you:

  1. Physicians must maintain an inherent intellectual curiosity for medicine. Describe how you embody this trait.
  2. Research is one way to stay at the cutting edge of medicine. Not only will you know what is new in your field and have a deep understanding of existing knowledge, you may add to this body of knowledge.
  3. Keeping up on current medical knowledge through reading is key. Physicians ca use medical journals, online resources, and much more.
  4. Attending conferences and lectures as well as workshops to expand your skillset even once you are a successful attending physician.
  5. If you are interested in academic medicine, staying in this environment for lectures, conferences, and even teaching students will help you continue to learn.

Connect all of these to how you plan to use those strategies to succeed in your career.


Imagine that you are a volunteer premed working in a free clinic that serves a large immigrant population. Your duties include taking the patients’ medical history. Today you are working with an elderly patient who does not speak English and the adult son is translating for his mother. You notice that he is answering many of the questions for her without translating. During the conversation, the son tells you that if his mother has cancer he does not want her to know because the news “will kill her”. He says that in his family he speaks for the elderly mother and does not want a translator. How will you approach this situation? (You may seek help to answer this question.)

There’s also a re-applicant essay (if applicable) and fmSTAT essays (if you want to do Family practice):

1. Describe the doctor you want to be and discuss how a career in family medicine will help you achieve that. (2500 characters)

2. Describe your concept of what Family Medicine is and tell us what specific influence led you to this understanding? (2500 characters)


Imagine that you are at a social gathering and your neighbor comes over to congratulate you on your acceptance to medical school. She goes on to ask you about your opinion on childhood vaccinations. She is worried about vaccinating her baby because of some of the things that she has read about vaccines. How would you respond to her? (You may use any resources for your answer) (2000 charactersº

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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