AMCAS (Medical School)
AACOMAS (Osteopathic Programs)
ADEA AADSAS (Dental School)
CASPA (Physician Assistant)
PTCAS (Physical Therapy)
VMCAS (Veterinary Programs)
Primary essay for the AMCAS Section 8. Limit of 5,300 characters, including spaces
In the case of medical school, you will write many essays! Your primary essay (AMCAS Section 8) is your most significant chance to speak in your own voice during the initial application process. This is NOT the place to list all your activities, work and experiences. (That is Section 5 of AMCAS) You should have a compelling rationale for your motivation to attend medical school. You are telling a story that demonstrates the qualities and competencies medical schools seek in their students. You may be reflecting on lessons learned from your experiences. Do not panic if you do not yet have that “Call me Ishmael” moment. Pick some themes and elaborate. Seek help from the Writing Center, Career Development Center or your advisor. Always spellcheck, grammar check and have an advisor or mentor review your essays! Expect multiple revisions!
Secondary Application Essays and Essays for Special Circumstances
You will write different essays for secondary applications to individual schools. Follow their instructions carefully. You may write essays to explain special circumstances or disadvantaged status.
You may enter up to 15 experiences. You may dentify 3 of the experiences as most meaningful and describe why.
Patient interaction experiences in hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility or clinical settings show your knowledge of the profession and your demeanor to be a caring practitioner.
Socially relevant activities such as work with homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries or with church groups demonstrate a sincere connection to humankind. Do not engage in volunteer, leadership or mentoring positions simply to pad your resume. You may have to address these in an interview.
Research, shadowing, summer enrichment programs and the like identify you are a well-rounded applicant.
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