Here are our picks for the top 50 scholarships for students in healthcare majors.
1. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
Offered by the makers of Tylenol, this is a merit-based scholarship awarded based to students based on the qualifications of their resume as well as their answers to two 500 word essay questions. The acceptance committee looks for students who exhibit leadership, community involvement, academic excellence, and dedication to their careers. The essays ask students to share information about their career aspirations. The company awards multiple students with scholarship money, with a maximum of $10,000 per recipient, and application deadlines are in the spring of each year.
Tylenol Future Care Scholarship Link
2. Allied Healthcare Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by the California Health and Welfare Agency and is available to anyone enrolled in a community college or university in California who is studying for a medical career in medical imaging; social work; occupational, physical or respiratory therapy; pharmacy; laboratory tech; or surgical tech, among others. Recipients of the scholarship must dedicate one year of volunteer hours to underserved areas of California. The deadline is October first, and the maximum scholarship award is $4,000.
Allied Healthcare Scholarship Link
3. Arkansas Public Health Association Annual Scholarship
This scholarship is available to residents of Arkansas who are high school seniors, high school graduates, GED holders, college sophomores, or above the undergraduate level. Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and demonstrate financial need. They must have plans to attend a postsecondary institution and be planning to major in a public health field. Students must submit an application form, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an explanation of financial need. The maximum award is $1,000 and the deadline is March 16th.
4. Behavioral Sciences Student Fellowship
Offered by The Epilepsy Foundation, this scholarship is available to undergraduate or graduate students majoring in the behavioral sciences who have an epilepsy-related field of study. Students must also have a qualified mentor who can supervise independent research in this area. Scholarships are awarded based on the quality of the proposed research, the relevance to epilepsy, and the quality of the facility or lab where the research will take place. Students must also demonstrate significant interest in epilepsy and epilepsy research. The application includes three recommendation letters, a statement of intent, a research plan, and a biographical sketch. The award is for $3,000 and the deadline is March 22.
Behavioral Sciences Student Fellowship Link
5. Benton Meier Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by the American Psychological Association Foundation and is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Students must also show interest in the field of neuropsychology. The deadline is June 1st, and students must fill out an application detailing their research and academic accomplishments as well as how they will use the award money. The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $2,500.
6. The Colorado Healthcare Association for Human Resources Management Scholarship
To receive this scholarship, students must be in their final year of school and be studying for a healthcare- or human resources-related field. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit an application detailing their career goals, academic accomplishments, extracurricular involvement, work history, and references. Applications are due by September 27th and recipients receive an award of $1,000.
7. Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students who have shown commitment to the medical field. Applicants must be U.S. residents, meet certain income requirements, and have at least a 2.0 GPA. Students should show in their application that they have achieved academic excellence and have financial need. Students may apply by filling out an application form and submitting a school bill, transcript, and budget form. They also need to submit a Student Aid Report, an essay, and a school financial aid award letter. The deadline is May 1st and the maximum award amount is $5,000.
Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship
8. Edith M. Allen Scholarship
Offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, this scholarship is available to United Methodist Church members who have been active in the congregation for at least three years. Students must have at B+ grade average or higher, be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, and be majoring in healthcare or a related field, such as social work or education. The application deadline is March 1st, and the award amount varies.
Edith M. Allen Scholarship Link
9. Elizabeth and Sherman Asche Memorial Scholarship
Offered by the Association of American Indian Affairs, this scholarship is only available to American Indian students who are full-time students and are majoring in a public health or science field. They must be enrolled at an accredited college or university, and not a trade school, technical program, or seminary. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Scholarships are due by June 13th and the award amount is $1,500.
Elizabeth and Sherman Asche Memorial Scholarship Link
10. FA Davis Student Award
Offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Endowment, this award is available to students who have finished at least a quarter or semester of a postsecondary medical assisting program. The application involves creating an advertisement that supports the medical assisting profession, the AAMA, and the CMA credential. The ads must have body copy, a call to action, and a slogan, and can be designed using any medium. The award amount is $500, and applications are due July 1st.
FA Davis Student Award Link
11. Health Professions Preparatory Scholarship Program
Offered by the Indian Health Service, this scholarship is offered to students at accredited colleges or university. Applicants must be studying a major that has been designated as a priority career by the Indian Health Service and have plans to serve an Alaskan Native or Native American community as a healthcare provider after graduation. Students are selected to receive the award (which varies in amount) based on their recommendation letters, academic achievements, and career goals. The deadline for the scholarship program is April 14th.
Health Professions Preparatory Scholarship Program link
12. Health Resources and Service Administration Bureau of Health Professions Scholarship
Offered by the United States Public Health Service, this scholarship is available to full-time students from disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrate financial need. Students must also be studying in a health field, such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy. Students can be U.S. residents, permanent residents, or nationals, and other scholarship requirements are set by participating schools. The deadline is June 30th and the maximum award amount is $15,000.
Health Resources and Service Administration Scholarship Link
13. Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded by the National Hispanic Medical Association at New York University in amounts anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. Students must be Hispanic students enrolled at a postsecondary institution and majoring in a healthcare field such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, health management, policy analysis, public health, allied health, or health research. The award committee decides on recipients based on leadership skills, academic accomplishments, and commitment to serving the healthcare needs of the Hispanic community.
Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Link
14. Illinois Hospital Research and Educational Foundation Scholarship
Applicants for this award must be Illinois residents and be either accepted into or enrolled in a hospital-related healthcare program, excluding any programs with a general education component (such as pre-medicine). Applicants should have at least a year left in their program of study, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and demonstrate both financial need and academic merit. Students must submit an application form, a transcript, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and (if a freshman) proof of acceptance into a qualifying program. The application deadline is April 15th and the award amount is $1,000.
Illinois Hospital Research and Educational Foundation Scholarship Link
15. International Student Scholarship
Offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, this scholarship is available to applicants who are full-time Master’s or Doctoral degree students studying audiology and speech language pathology. Master’s degree programs need to be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation for Audiology and Speech Pathology, but doctoral programs do not. Deadlines vary, and recipients receive awards in the amount of $5,000.
International Student Scholarship Link
16. Jimmy A. Young Memorial Education Recognition Award
Offered by the American Association for Respiratory Care, this award is available to students currently enrolled in an accredited respiratory care education program. Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and submit an essay on the topic of respiratory care. The award committee gives preference to minority students, applications are due June 15th, and recipients will receive a maximum of $1,000.
Jimmy A. Young Memorial Education Recognition Award Link
17. McNeil Consumer Health Rural and Undeserved Scholarship
This scholarship is available to students who are enrolled in a full-time master’s degree pediatric nurse practitioners program. Students must plan to work in a rural area for at least two years after graduation, must be a registered nurse, must have a year or more of pediatrics experience, and must demonstrate financial need. Applicants must also be National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) members. The award amount varies and applications are due by June 15th.
McNeil Consumer Health Rural Undeserved Scholarship Link
18. National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarship
Offered by the NAHN, this scholarship is available to aspiring nurses who are members of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Applicants must be enrolled in a diploma, practical/vocational, associate’s, baccalaureate, or graduate program related to nursing. The deadline is March 14th and the award amount is $1,000.
NAHN Scholarship Link
19. NBRC/AMP Gareth B. Gish, MS, RRT Memorial and William F. Miller, MD Postgraduate Education Recognition Award
Offered by the American Association of Respiratory Care, this award is offered to respiratory therapists who have been accepted into an advanced degree program. The award is in the amount of $1,500, and students must have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students must write an essay about how the award will help them achieve an advanced degree and contribute to their future goals in healthcare. The application deadline is June 15th.
NBRC/AMP Gareth B. Gish, MS RRT Memorial and William F. Miller MD Scholarship Link
20. NCPA Foundation Presidential Scholarship
This scholarship is for eligible students who are members of the NCPA (National Community Pharmacists Association). Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. school or college full time and be studying pharmacy. The application committee chooses recipients, who are awarded $2,000, on the basis of both leadership and academic achievements. The deadline by which to apply is March 15th.
NCPA Foundation Presidential Scholarship Link
21. NFMC Dorothy Dann Bullock/NFMC Ruth B. Robertson Music Therapy Award
This award is offered by the National Federation of Music Clubs Bullock and Robertson Awards and is available to students who have an interest in social work and are majoring in music therapy. Schools must be approved by the National Association of Music Therapists and AMTA. Recipients for this $300 to $1,350 award are chosen based on musical talent, skills, training, leadership ability, ability to work with groups, and dedication to social work and music therapy. The deadline for applications is March 1st.
NFMC Dorothy Dann Bullock/NFMC Ruth B. Robertson Music Therapy Award Link
22. Oliver Joel and Ellen Pell Denny Healthcare Scholarship Fund
Offered by the Winston-Salem Foundation, only students from North Carolina are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be studying a major in the field of allied health and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Any students who are studying toward a certificate, diploma, associate’s, or baccalaureate degree are eligible, and master’s degree students are not. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and the deadline for the application is August 15th.
Oliver Joel and Ellen Pell Denny Healthcare Scholarship Fund
23. Paul Cole Scholarship Award
Offered by the Society of Nuclear Medicine, this award is offered to anyone who has career aspirations in the nuclear medicine technology field. Students must have at least a 2.5 grade point average and be either high school seniors or undergraduate students at a college or university. Scholarship recipients will receive between $500 and $1,000 and must have their applications submitted by January 31st.
Paul Cole Scholarship Award Link
24. Robanna Fund
Offered by the Hawaii Community Foundation, this award varies in its monetary amount and is offered to undergraduate students who are majoring in a health-related field. Students must be attending an accredited two or four year college or university full time and must also demonstrate financial need. Students call fill out the application online, but must mail in supporting materials, such as a personal statement, copy of their Student Aid Report, and official transcript. The deadline for applicants to submit this material is February 20th.
25. Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and is available to students who are members of the association. If students are not members they may join as part of the application process. Students must be majoring in health, physical education, recreation, or dance, have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA average, and be either a junior or senior when applying (if an undergraduate student) or have completed at least one semester of full-time study (if a graduate student). Students are selected based on their leadership, character, community involvement, and academic achievement.
Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
26. Sharps Scholarship Program
Offered by Sharps Compliance, this scholarship is available to U.S. and Canadian residents who are enrolled (or planning to enroll) in an accredited university. They must be enrolled in said university during the spring or fall semester following the application deadline. Students must be studying a health-related major and should submit a 1,250 to 1,500 word essay about how to prevent accidental needle stick injuries. Applicants are selected for the $750 to $1,500 award, which is due October 31st, based on the strength of their essays.
Sharps Scholarship Link
27. Student Research Fellowship Award
This $2,500 award is offered by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and is available to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Students must be attending a school in North America and have a mentor with whom to conduct research. Their proposed researched must be relevant to IBD and must last at least 10 weeks. The deadline for application submissions is March 15th.
28. Win Cash for Class Scholarship Program
Offered by the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Connecticut Chapter, this scholarship is only available to students attending an accredited postsecondary institution in Connecticut. Students are also eligible if they are the spouse or child of an HFMA – Connecticut Chapter member, are Connecticut residents who commute to a school located in an HFMA Region 1 state, or have graduated and are working in the healthcare industry in Connecticut. Students are only eligible if they are studying financial management or healthcare, and recipients are chosen based on the strength of their essay. Awards are between $1,000 and $4,000 and applications are due August 2nd.
Win Cash for Class Scholarship Link
29. Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program
Applicants for this scholarship must be enrolled (or planning to enroll) in a postsecondary school in the state of Maryland. If students are dependent, their parents must also live in Maryland. Students must be majoring in an area that will serve a regional need, such as childcare, teaching, nursing, occupational or physical therapy, human services, or public service. Students must agree to work in their field after graduation for at least one year for every year the scholarship was granted. Scholarship money is awarded up to the amount of $19,000 and applications are due July 1st.
Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program Link
30. National Institute of Health Scholarship Program
This scholarship, offered by NIH, is available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to have a career in biomedical, social, or behavioral science research. The scholarship program will pay up to $20,000 per year in educational expenses, tuition, and living expenses, and is renewable for up to four years. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited U.S. institution, have a GPA of 3.3 or higher OR be in the top 5% of their class, and have exceptional financial need. The application deadline is March 3rd and the letters of recommendation deadline is March 31st.
NIH Scholarship Link
31. Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship
Offered by the Daughters of the American Revolution, this scholarship is available to students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in (or have been accepted into) an accredited nursing program. The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000 and the application is due by February 15th.
Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship Link
32. Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship
This DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) scholarship is available to students who have been accepted into or are currently enrolled in an accredited nursing school. Preference is given to candidates from the greater Lowell, Massachusetts area. Students must submit both an application and financial need form by February 15th. The award is in the amount of $1,000.
Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship Link
33. Occupational/Physical Therapy Scholarship
Offered by the Daughters of the American Revolution, this scholarship is aimed at students who have financial need and have been accepted into or are currently enrolled in an accredited school of occupational therapy. This includes art, music, or physical therapy. Applications must be postmarked by February 15th, and scholarship award amount is $1,000.
Occupational/Physical Therapy Scholarship Link
34. Alice W. Rook Scholarship
This Daughters of the American Revolution scholarship is awarded in amounts up to $5,000 annually, renewable up to four years with a maximum payout of $20,000. It is available to students who have been accepted into or are currently enrolled in a program to be a medical doctor. Pre-med, osteopathic medicine, physician assistant or veterinary programs do NOT count. Scholarships are renewed if students maintain a GPA at or above a 3.25. Applications are due February 15th.
Alice W. Rook Scholarship Link
35. Irene and Daisy MacGregor Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to students with notable academic achievement and strong character who have been accepted into or are enrolled in a program to become a medical doctor (students who are in pre-med, physician assistant, veterinary, or osteopathic medicine programs are ineligible). Students may also apply if they are enrolled in a graduate program in psychiatric nursing. Preference is given to females if all else is equal. The award is given in amounts up to $5,000, renewable up to four years for a maximum award of $20,000.
Irene and Daisy MacGregor Memorial Scholarship
36. Foundation for Seacoast Health Scholarship
This scholarship is available to undergraduate or graduate students who are studying health-related subjects. The awards are based on academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership ability. Applicants must reside in either Portsmouth, Rye, Greenland, Newington, North Hampton, or New Castle, New Hampshire. Applicants are also eligible if they live in Kittery, York, or Elliot, Maine. The application deadline is March 1st and award amounts range from $1,000 to $3,500.
Foundation for Seacoast Health Scholarship Link
37. Aetna Foundation/NMF Healthcare Leadership Program
This program awards 10 deserving students with a $5,000 scholarship. Students must be in their second or third year of medical school and come from an underrepresented minority group. Students must also be U.S. citizens and demonstrate a commitment to serving medically underserved communities. Applicants should show their dedication to community service as well as their leadership abilities. Applicants must be attending medical school in either Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, or anywhere in New Jersey or Connecticut. Deadlines are March 13th (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia), April 10th (Los Angeles), and August 14th (Chicago).
38. GE/NMF PCLP Capstone Scholarship Program
Students are eligible for this scholarship if they are in a master’s degree program for either public health or law. 10 scholarships are awarded to students in the amount of $5,000 each to support research at a community health center under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Students must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in a Council on Education for Public Health-accredited program, or an Association of American Law Schools- or American Bar Association approved-law school. Students must be at least half way into their program to be eligible.
39. Monash/Scott Medical Student Scholarship Program
This program offers two different types of scholarships. Service scholarships are available to second or third year medical students in the amount of $5,000. The money is given so that students can conduct community health rotations at the site of their choice. Residency scholarships are given to students who have graduated medical school and are clinical residents of the Chicago area. Residents must show a commitment to serving underserved populations and will be given $25,000, 80% of which must be used to pay off medical school debt. The application deadline is April 24th.
40. NMF Emergency Scholarship Fund
This scholarship is for third and fourth year medical students who are in underrepresented minorities. Students must show that they need fast, emergency funding because they have exhausted all other forms of financial aid. The fund is meant to support students who have experienced circumstances outside of their control that have put them in financial hardship and may make it difficult to continue medical school. Awards generally do not exceed $5,000, and applications are accepted throughout the academic year.
41. APA/APAGS Award for Distinguished Graduate Student in Professional Psychology
Offered by the American Psychological Association, this scholarship is given to a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding practice and application of psychology. Students must demonstrate outstanding performance working with underserved populations or have developed an innovative method for delivering health services to underserved populations. The deadline is June 1st.
42. Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
This scholarship supports graduate students who want to do psychological research related to understanding and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. The scholarship amount is $5,000 and the deadline by which all applications must be submitted is May 15th. Students must be in graduate school full-time, be in good standing at an accredited university, and demonstrate a commitment to studying stigma.
43. Best Student Research Competition Scholarship
This award is given to the student who wins the competition at the Work, Stress, and Health Conference. Students must demonstrate outstanding research in the field of occupational health psychology. Students must submit an abstract (either in the form of a paper, poster, or as part of a symposium) and then a competitive paper for evaluation. The abstracts must be submitted by October 1st, and the competitive papers by February 15th.
44. Irene Woodall Graduate Scholarship
Offered by the American Dental Hygienists Association, this award is available to students pursuing a graduate degree in dental hygiene or a related field. Students must have a cumulative dental hygiene grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Students who are selected to receive the scholarship are given a monetary award of $1,000.
45. Sigma Phi Alpha Certificate/Associate Scholarship
This award is available to outstanding students who are pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree at a school with an active Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honors Society chapter. Students must be considered to be a potential future Sigma Phi Alpha Honors Society member. The award amount is $1,000.
46. Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity and Education Research Fund Scholarship
This scholarship’s purpose is to assist educational and scientific research in the field of medical laboratory science. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be eligible and graduate students must be members of the ASCLS (American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science). Students must be attending or accepted into a program related to clinical laboratory science. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000 and the deadline for application submission is April 1st.
Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity and Education Research Fund Scholarship Link
47. Healthcare Information Management Systems Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to three students (one each at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level) in the amount of $5,000. Applicants must be members in good standing of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, must be majoring in a health information or health management systems field, and must not have won the award previously. Undergraduate students must be at least a first-term junior at the time the scholarship is awarded.
Healthcare Information Management Systems Scholarship Link
48. AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship
Offered by the American Health Information Management Association, this scholarship is available to members of AHIMA who have at least a 3.0 GPA, have at least six hours completed in health information management or health information technology, have at least one semester left in their studies, and be taking at least six hours of study toward their degree. Students may be pursuing associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees. The amount awarded is between $1,000 and $2,500 and the application deadline is September 30th.
AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship Link
49. Harry J. Harwick Scholarship
Offered by the Medical Group Management Association, this scholarship is for undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in public health, healthcare management, healthcare administration, or a related field of medical practice management. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in programs that are members of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and graduate students must be enrolled in programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. The award amount varies and the application deadline is May 1st.
Harry J. Harwick Scholarship Link
50. Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management
Offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives, this scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a healthcare administration program at a U.S. or Canadian postsecondary institution that is a participant of the American College of Healthcare Executives Higher Education network. The award amount is up to $4,000 and the deadline for essays is December 6th.
Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management
About the Author:
Iris Stone has worked as a freelance writer since 2011. Her writing has included content on medicine, healthcare, and education, although her interests are wide and varied. Prior to breaking into the freelance biz, Iris worked in sales for a health company and prior to that as an assistant in a chiropractic office. She is currently attending George Mason University and is majoring in Political Science. Check out her Google+ profile.
Sample Medical School Essays
This section contains two sample medical school essays
- Medical School Sample Essay One
- Medical School Sample Essay Two
Medical School Essay One
Prompt: What makes you an excellent candidate for medical school? Why do you want to become a physician?
When I was twelve years old, a drunk driver hit the car my mother was driving while I was in the backseat. I have very few memories of the accident, but I do faintly recall a serious but calming face as I was gently lifted out of the car. The paramedic held my hand as we traveled to the hospital. I was in the hospital for several weeks and that same paramedic came to visit me almost every day. During my stay, I also got to know the various doctors and nurses in the hospital on a personal level. I remember feeling anxiety about my condition, but not sadness or even fear. It seemed to me that those around me, particularly my family, were more fearful of what might happen to me than I was. I don’t believe it was innocence or ignorance, but rather a trust in the abilities of my doctors. It was as if my doctors and I had a silent bond. Now that I’m older I fear death and sickness in a more intense way than I remember experiencing it as a child. My experience as a child sparked a keen interest in how we approach pediatric care, especially as it relates to our psychological and emotional support of children facing serious medical conditions. It was here that I experienced first-hand the power and compassion of medicine, not only in healing but also in bringing unlikely individuals together, such as adults and children, in uncommon yet profound ways. And it was here that I began to take seriously the possibility of becoming a pediatric surgeon.
My interest was sparked even more when, as an undergraduate, I was asked to assist in a study one of my professors was conducting on how children experience and process fear and the prospect of death. This professor was not in the medical field; rather, her background is in cultural anthropology. I was very honored to be part of this project at such an early stage of my career. During the study, we discovered that children face death in extremely different ways than adults do. We found that children facing fatal illnesses are very aware of their condition, even when it hasn’t been fully explained to them, and on the whole were willing to fight their illnesses, but were also more accepting of their potential fate than many adults facing similar diagnoses. We concluded our study by asking whether and to what extent this discovery should impact the type of care given to children in contrast to adults. I am eager to continue this sort of research as I pursue my medical career. The intersection of medicine, psychology, and socialization or culture (in this case, the social variables differentiating adults from children) is quite fascinating and is a field that is in need of better research.
Although much headway has been made in this area in the past twenty or so years, I feel there is a still a tendency in medicine to treat diseases the same way no matter who the patient is. We are slowly learning that procedures and drugs are not always universally effective. Not only must we alter our care of patients depending upon these cultural and social factors, we may also need to alter our entire emotional and psychological approach to them as well.
It is for this reason that I’m applying to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as it has one of the top programs for pediatric surgery in the country, as well as several renowned researchers delving into the social, generational, and cultural questions in which I’m interested. My approach to medicine will be multidisciplinary, which is evidenced by the fact that I’m already double-majoring in early childhood psychology and pre-med, with a minor in cultural anthropology. This is the type of extraordinary care that I received as a child—care that seemed to approach my injuries with a much larger and deeper picture than that which pure medicine cannot offer—and it is this sort of care I want to provide my future patients. I turned what might have been a debilitating event in my life—a devastating car accident—into the inspiration that has shaped my life since. I am driven and passionate. And while I know that the pediatric surgery program at Johns Hopkins will likely be the second biggest challenge I will face in my life, I know that I am up for it. I am ready to be challenged and prove to myself what I’ve been telling myself since that fateful car accident: I will be a doctor.
Medical School Essay Two
Prompt: Where do you hope to be in ten years’ time?
If you had told me ten years ago that I would be writing this essay and planning for yet another ten years into the future, part of me would have been surprised. I am a planner and a maker of to-do lists, and it has always been my plan to follow in the steps of my father and become a physician. This plan was derailed when I was called to active duty to serve in Iraq as part of the War on Terror.
I joined the National Guard before graduating high school and continued my service when I began college. My goal was to receive training that would be valuable for my future medical career, as I was working in the field of emergency health care. It was also a way to help me pay for college. When I was called to active duty in Iraq for my first deployment, I was forced to withdraw from school, and my deployment was subsequently extended. I spent a total of 24 months deployed overseas, where I provided in-the-field medical support to our combat troops. While the experience was invaluable not only in terms of my future medical career but also in terms of developing leadership and creative thinking skills, it put my undergraduate studies on hold for over two years. Consequently, my carefully-planned journey towards medical school and a medical career was thrown off course. Thus, while ten-year plans are valuable, I have learned from experience how easily such plans can dissolve in situations that are beyond one’s control, as well as the value of perseverance and flexibility.
Eventually, I returned to school. Despite my best efforts to graduate within two years, it took me another three years, as I suffered greatly from post-traumatic stress disorder following my time in Iraq. I considered abandoning my dream of becoming a physician altogether, since I was several years behind my peers with whom I had taken biology and chemistry classes before my deployment. Thanks to the unceasing encouragement of my academic advisor, who even stayed in contact with me when I was overseas, I gathered my strength and courage and began studying for the MCAT. To my surprise, my score was beyond satisfactory and while I am several years behind my original ten-year plan, I am now applying to Brown University’s School of Medicine.
I can describe my new ten-year plan, but I will do so with both optimism and also caution, knowing that I will inevitably face unforeseen complications and will need to adapt appropriately. One of the many insights I gained as a member of the National Guard and by serving in war-time was the incredible creativity medical specialists in the Armed Forces employ to deliver health care services to our wounded soldiers on the ground. I was part of a team that was saving lives under incredibly difficult circumstances—sometimes while under heavy fire and with only the most basic of resources. I am now interested in how I can use these skills to deliver health care in similar circumstances where basic medical infrastructure is lacking. While there is seemingly little in common between the deserts of Fallujah and rural Wyoming, where I’m currently working as a volunteer first responder in a small town located more than 60 miles from the nearest hospital, I see a lot of potential uses for the skills that I gained as a National Guardsman. As I learned from my father, who worked with Doctors Without Borders for a number of years, there is quite a bit in common between my field of knowledge from the military and working in post-conflict zones. I feel I have a unique experience from which to draw as I embark on my medical school journey, experiences that can be applied both here and abroad.
In ten years’ time, I hope to be trained in the field of emergency medicine, which, surprisingly, is a specialization that is actually lacking here in the United States as compared to similarly developed countries. I hope to conduct research in the field of health care infrastructure and work with government agencies and legislators to find creative solutions to improving access to emergency facilities in currently underserved areas of the United States, with an aim towards providing comprehensive policy reports and recommendations on how the US can once again be the world leader in health outcomes. While the problems inherent in our health care system are not one-dimensional and require a dynamic approach, one of the solutions as I see it is to think less in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and more in terms of access to primary care. Much of the care that I provide as a first responder and volunteer is extremely effective and also relatively cheap. More money is always helpful when facing a complex social and political problem, but we must think of solutions above and beyond more money and more taxes. In ten years I want to be a key player in the health care debate in this country and offering innovative solutions to delivering high quality and cost-effective health care to all our nation’s citizens, especially to those in rural and otherwise underserved areas.
Of course, my policy interests do not replace my passion for helping others and delivering emergency medicine. As a doctor, I hope to continue serving in areas of the country that, for one reason or another, are lagging behind in basic health care infrastructure. Eventually, I would also like to take my knowledge and talents abroad and serve in the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders.
In short, I see the role of physicians in society as multifunctional: they are not only doctors who heal, they are also leaders, innovators, social scientists, and patriots. Although my path to medical school has not always been the most direct, my varied and circuitous journey has given me a set of skills and experiences that many otherwise qualified applicants lack. I have no doubt that the next ten years will be similarly unpredictable, but I can assure you that no matter what obstacles I face, my goal will remain the same. I sincerely hope to begin the next phase of my journey at Brown University. Thank you for your kind attention.
To learn more about what to expect from the study of medicine, check out our Study Medicine in the US section.
Tips for a Successful Medical School Essay
- If you’re applying through AMCAS, remember to keep your essay more general rather than tailored to a specific medical school, because your essay will be seen by multiple schools.
- AMCAS essays are limited to 5300 characters—not words! This includes spaces.
- Make sure the information you include in your essay doesn't conflict with the information in your other application materials.
- In general, provide additional information that isn’t found in your other application materials. Look at the essay as an opportunity to tell your story rather than a burden.
- Keep the interview in mind as you write. You will most likely be asked questions regarding your essay during the interview, so think about the experiences you want to talk about.
- When you are copying and pasting from a word processor to the AMCAS application online, formatting and font will be lost. Don’t waste your time making it look nice. Be sure to look through the essay once you’ve copied it into AMCAS and edit appropriately for any odd characters that result from pasting.
- Avoid overly controversial topics. While it is fine to take a position and back up your position with evidence, you don’t want to sound narrow-minded.
- Revise, revise, revise. Have multiple readers look at your essay and make suggestions. Go over your essay yourself many times and rewrite it several times until you feel that it communicates your message effectively and creatively.
- Make the opening sentence memorable. Admissions officers will read dozens of personal statements in a day. You must say something at the very beginning to catch their attention, encourage them to read the essay in detail, and make yourself stand out from the crowd.
- Character traits to portray in your essay include: maturity, intellect, critical thinking skills, leadership, tolerance, perseverance, and sincerity.
Additional Tips for a Successful Medical School Essay
- Regardless of the prompt, you should always address the question of why you want to go to medical school in your essay.
- Try to always give concrete examples rather than make general statements. If you say that you have perseverance, describe an event in your life that demonstrates perseverance.
- There should be an overall message or theme in your essay. In the example above, the theme is overcoming unexpected obstacles.
- Make sure you check and recheck for spelling and grammar!
- Unless you’re very sure you can pull it off, it is usually not a good idea to use humor or to employ the skills you learned in creative writing class in your personal statement. While you want to paint a picture, you don’t want to be too poetic or literary.
- Turn potential weaknesses into positives. As in the example above, address any potential weaknesses in your application and make them strengths, if possible. If you have low MCAT scores or something else that can’t be easily explained or turned into a positive, simply don’t mention it.