MD PHD Application Essays


MD-PhD applicants face one of the most daunting hurdles in the application process” writing three MD-PhD AMCAS essays. While these essays are difficult to write, they are also the crux of an MD-PhD AMCAS application and should not be written in haste. The first essay is identical to the essay everyone must write about why they want to be a physician. The second essay asks the applicant why they want to be an MD-PhD and their thoughts on becoming a physician scientist. The third is a description of the applicants significant research projects.

The key to these essays is finding a way to make each essay readable on its yet intertwined with the other three as well. Material should not be repeated yet the medical school application essays should tell a unified story. A common mistake is having three essays that having nothing to do with one another. Each may be admirable in its own, but the entirety leaves the reader wanting. Another common mistake is to spend too much time talking about role models and people the student has worked with, at the expense of describing their own experiences. Role models and mentors are important but they are best discussed in terms of the impact they have had on the applicant and the action they inspired the applicant to take.

Remember the MD-PhD AMCAS essays are what tells a program that you are mature and know what you are getting yourself into. Make them shine, or don’t bother applying!

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