Secondary Essay Prompts for the Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Below are the secondary essay prompts for the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA.

2019 – 2020

The 2019 – 2020 secondary essay prompts from this school are not currently available. Please check back at a later date.

2018 – 2019

(1) Describe the extent and source of your knowledge of Loma Linda University School of Medicine (LLUSM). (750 characters max)

(2) What makes LLUSM particularly attractive to you? (750 characters max)

(3) What qualities make you a desirable candidate for admission to LLUSM? (750 characters max)

(4) Discuss how your spiritual experience has influenced your life and how you integrate it into your daily life. (750 characters max)

(5) What experiences in your life would illustrate your perspective on service to others? (750 characters max)

(6) As a Christian educational institution the medical curriculum integrates spiritual, ethical, and relational issues from a Christian perspective into the practice of medicine. Weekly chapel services and religion courses are part of this program. Please respond to the above as it relates to your personal educational and career goals. (750 characters max)

(7) Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution that has lifestyle expectations that include abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs/substances in all forms. In the past year, have you used any of these substances? If so, which one(s)? (250 characters max)

(8) If accepted to LLUSM, are you willing to abide by the lifestyle policies of Loma Linda University School of Medicine? (250 characters max)

Below are the secondary essay prompts for the Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

2017 – 2018

  • The Loma Linda University School of Medicine strives to ensure that its students become respectful physicians who embrace all dimensions of caring for the whole person. Please describe how your personal characteristics or life experiences will contribute to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1000 characters)
  • Is there any further information that you would like the Committee on Admissions to be aware of when reviewing your file that you were not able to notate in another section of this or the AMCAS Application? (1000 characters)
  • Why have you chosen to apply to the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and how do you think your education at Loma Linda University School of Medicine will prepare you to become a physician for the future? (1 page, formatted at your discretion, upload as PDF)

2017 – 2018

  1. Describe the extent and source of your knowledge of Loma Linda University School of Medicine (LLUSM). (750 characters max)
    • This is a straightforward question and you should give specifics about the who and the what. Who have you have spoken to about LLUSM and what have they shared? It would be appropriate to name any mentors, faculty members, family friends, current students or residents that you have interacted with. Beyond what they have told you about LLUSM, you could comment on the gestalt tone you noted – their enthusiasm or fondness for the school.
    • If you have learned about LLUSM through visits, classes, videos, or their website, you can say this here. It would also be appropriate to say that you are eager to learn more, especially if you truly don’t know much about LLUSM.
  2. What makes LLUSM particularly attractive to you? (750 characters max)
    • You should be able to talk about a few areas that appeal to you most. Is there something about their curriculum – specific content areas such as public health or end of life communication skills and decision making – or do you like the way they teach or approach teaching? Do they offer interesting opportunities during the 4th year or blocks of time for individualized or tailored experiences? Do you like the focus on care for a certain population (ie. disadvantaged populations)? Do you want this location and why? 
  3. What qualities make you a desirable candidate for admission to LLUSM? (750 characters max)
    • Match some of your interpersonal strengths to their “ideal candidate.” Think about your abilities in the areas of interpersonal and communication skills and also professional behavior. (these are both graduation competencies for medical school and residency) This would be an appropriate place to talk about how your religion, faith or spirituality influences you or has shaped you.
  4. Discuss how your spiritual experience has influenced your life and how you integrate it into your daily life. (750 characters max)
    • This is quite specific. I would recommend giving particulars about your religion, faith or spirituality and your daily/ weekly / monthly practices. It could be as simple as meditation or prayer or more extensive involvement with an organized group. You can also explain the origin of your religion/faith/spirituality (any precipitating events) and subsequent development.
  5.  What experiences in your life would illustrate your perspective on service to others? (750 characters max)
    • This is where you should talk about any service you do from your individual helping of others (taking food to neighbors, cooking for roomates, etc) to larger scale efforts. From these activities, who have you become? What qualities have you internalized that will help in medicine?
  6. As a Christian educational institution the medical curriculum integrates spiritual, ethical, and relational issues from a Christian perspective into the practice of medicine. Weekly chapel services and religion courses are part of this program. Please respond to the above as it relates to your personal educational and career goals. (750 characters max)
    • This prompt seems to be asking you to tell them about your past and current involvement in both services/rituals and religious coursework (either college coursework or more informal course work done through your church – Bible or text studies). You could talk here about the benefits you have experienced through attending chapel or church, or more informal services. And, how these benefits would help you be a more well rounded and healthy medical student. (ie. Self care)
  7. Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution that has lifestyle expectations that include abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs/substances in all forms. In the past year, have you used any of these substances? If so, which one(s)? (250 characters max)
    • This is tricky because this isn’t an answer the admissions committee will be able to check out or vet. As in all application materials, be honest. If appropriate, explain the context where you drank or used drugs (ie to celebrate at a family wedding). If this is not a lifestyle commitment you can truly make, this is not the school for you. I would recommend downloading and reviewing their student handbook, which has extensive information in the introduction and student life sections. 
  8. If accepted to LLUSM, are you willing to abide by the lifestyle policies of Loma Linda University School of Medicine? (250 characters max)
    • Medical school is difficult in the best of circumstances. If this is not an environment you can thrive in, do not say yes and do not submit the secondary.

2016 – 2017

MedEdits advises against using outdated prompts for the current season.

  • Describe the extent and source of your knowledge of Loma Linda University School of Medicine (LLUSM). (750 characters)
  • What makes LLUSM particularly attractive to you? (750 characters)
  • What qualities make you a desirable candidate for admission to LLUSM? (750 characters)
  • Discuss how your spiritual experience has influenced your life and how you integrate it into your daily life. (750 characters)
  • What experiences in your life would illustrate your perspective on service to others? (750 characters)
  • As a Christian educational institution the medical curriculum integrates spiritual, ethical, and relational issues from a Christian perspective into the practice of medicine. Weekly chapel services and religion courses are part of this program. Please respond to the above as it relates to your personal educational and career goals. (750 characters)
  • Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution that has lifestyle expectations that include abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs/substances in all forms. In the past year, have you used any of these substances? If so, which one(s)? (250 characters)
  • If accepted to LLUSM, are you willing to abide by the lifestyle policies of Loma Linda University School of Medicine? (250 characters)
  • Describe your involvement with your religious group: (750 characters)

Secondary essay webcast with Dr. Jessica Freedman, founder and president of MedEdits Medical Admissions.  Read more about Dr. Freedman.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine Secondary Essay. Loma Linda University School of Medicine Secondary Application

Loma Linda University School of Medicine Secondary Application

Topics covered in this presentation:

  • When should I submit my secondary essays?
  • Pay attention to the word/character limits.
  • Can I recycle secondary essay prompts for multiple schools?
  • Identify topics that you left out of your primary application.
  • And, much more.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine Admissions Requirements

2017-2018 Accepted Student Data
Median GPA = 3.83
Median MCAT = 508
Applications = 5252
Interviewed = 362
Matriculated = 168

Learn more about this school:

Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Associate Dean for Admissions
School of Medicine
Loma Linda, CA 92350 USA
(909) 558-4467
(909) 558-0359

Secondary Essay Prompts for Other Schools

 

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How To: Master the Med School Secondary Essay

After you submit your  primary applications, medical schools will ask you to submit secondary applications (most automatically) the majority of which require you to write secondary essays of varying lengths. The topics will give you clues to the culture of the medical school. As you research each school to apply to, begin to make notes about what draws you to that school so you can use these thoughts in your secondary essays. You can prepare for these in advance by organizing notes in these areas: my accomplishments, obstacles I have overcome, challenges I have had and how I’ve handled these, why I want to attend this school, what kind of physician I want to be, what activities I’ve been most intimately involved with and what have I learned.

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Most Common Essay Prompts

Several common secondary essay topics that are listed below.

Greatest Challenge/Failure/Adversity Essay

Essays that ask about personal challenges, failures or adversities are seeking information about your ability to manage conflict and challenge. They also want to know how you cope with conflict and that you can be objective when things don’t go your way. Schools want to know that you are level headed, and that you won’t crumble when feeling vulnerable or faced with less than ideal situations. Students often immediately gravitate to academic or scholarly subjects for these essays, but, sometimes the most compelling topics are those that are personal. Why? These topics can often say much more about your character, values, ideals, and decision making. Ideally, you should also write about what you learned and how you grew or changed as a result of the challenge, failure, or adversity. 

Students also consider writing about red flags for this topic such as a class failure, poor MCAT exam or institutional action. Generally speaking, we find that these topics are usually less interesting and don’t offer enough information about who you are as a person.

Essay Example:

I had worked on my presentation for weeks. I knew it was so important, not only for me, but for my principal investigator (PI), that I present the work we had done succinctly and clearly since I would be speaking in front of the entire biochemistry department. Public speaking has never been a strength and I was very nervous. Before it was my time to speak, I could feel my heart racing and my palms sweating. When I got to the podium, I was literally unable to speak; I was shaking uncontrollably and had to sit down while my PI took over. It was the most humiliating experience of my life. I was able to calm down, and, rather than leaving the auditorium, I waited until the conference was over and apologized to my PI who was kind and forgiving. I then resolved to improve my public speaking skills. The the next day I signed up for a Toastmaster’s course and have taken every opportunity since this incident to speak in public. Although I still get nervous before I have to speak, I have learned to actually enjoy speaking in public.

Essay Example:

I saw the Microsoft Word document on the screen of my roommate’s computer. It looked familiar. I realized that this essay my roommate had written on the works and life of Jane Austen contained the exact language I had seen elsewhere. Where had I seen it? Why was this so familiar? I also asked myself, “Do I have a right to be looking at  this document?”

Then it dawned on me. When my roommate got this assignment for her literature class, we discussed it with our housemates from down the hall.  One girl offered to give my roommate a paper she had written on this topic for an AP class in high school. She printed out the paper and gave it to me to give to my roommate. Curious about the topic, since I am a Jane Austen fan, I read it before handing it to my roommate. The document on the computer in front of me contained parts of this paper that were copied, verbatim.

The issues here were complicated. First of all, I was invading my roommate’s privacy. I should not have been looking at her computer even though we often shared our computers. But now that I was aware of what she had done, I felt an obligation to confront her.

That night, when my roommate returned home from studying, I first apologized for invading her privacy and explained that I had read the document on the screen. I then told her that I realized she had plagiarized and told her I thought this was wrong. She explained that she felt under tremendous pressure since she also had a big organic chemistry mid-term that week and it just seemed so easy to copy the paper even though she recognized it was not right to do so. With my urging, since she had not yet handed the paper in, she stayed up late into the night to compose an original essay and, in the end, she thanked me for noticing and for encouraging her to do the right thing. I realized that even confronting my roommate, which was uncomfortable and awkward for me, encouraged her to make a better choice and reinforced for me the importance of acting ethically even if these easier choice would have been to look away.

Diversity Essay

Medical schools have broadened their definitions of diversity and for essays like this you can write about your unique interests, talents, or experiences. Maybe you have a distinctive background, perspective, or outlook. Think outside the box when writing about diversity. Do you have a special hobby or accomplishment that sets you apart? Or, you can also choose to write about your own experiences with diverse or minority populations which most people think of as the more “traditional” approach to questions about diversity. 

Essay Example:

I grew up in a diverse community even though my undergraduate college was quite homogeneous. During college, I sought out  experiences beyond campus to immerse myself in more diverse communities. I volunteered in a free clinic, tutored children in Africa, and traveled during my vacations, when possible. I gained insights into the challenges facing  others and how their backgrounds and experiences influenced their perspectives and attitudes. On a medical mission abroad the summer after my junior year, I worked in medical clinics helping to care for Mexican families, which helped me understand that such challenges and unfair inequalities in education and health care also exist internationally.

Through my experiences, I came to realize that all patients, regardless of their background, fare better when their unique circumstances, cultures, and outlooks are considered. To improve my ability to communicate with some of these populations, I minored in Spanish and became more proficient in  the language through my studies in Spain. I have learned the importance of listening and seeing situations through the eyes of those I help. Throughout such experiences, apart from realizing that I hope to work with these populations as a future physician, I was continually reminded of the pervasive societal inequalities and injustices both locally and internationally.

Another Example:

Whether playing a Beethoven or Brahms sonata, playing music has always been an outlet for me. Since the age of seven, I have emulated my mother, a professional cellist. In fact, even during college, my goal was to practice medicine while working as a professional pianist. While doing my premedical coursework and majoring in biology, I also minored in music and composed my own work. The year following college, while playing piano professionally, I realized this wasn’t what I wanted to pursue for my lifetime. However, my musical interests will always be more than a hobby and serve as my escape from the stresses of daily life.

Why XXXXX School Essay

Medical schools want to know that you have the qualities and characteristics they are seeking. Before writing these essays, read the medical school’s mission statement and review their student biographies (if offered) to get a sense of what the school values in applicants. The key in writing “Why our School Essays” is to offer as many specifics as possible. You want to show you will take advantage of the medical school’s opportunities and that you will make valuable contributions as a medical student. Do this by showcasing how your interests and experiences are aligned with opportunities at the medical school, that you can benefit from what the medical school offers and that you will contribute to the medical school community.

Example Essay:

My interest in geriatrics and emergency medicine evolved as I worked clinically in these two departments last summer. Through my coursework in health policy, I also learned of the imminent need for geriatric specialized physicians to support the aging baby boomer generation. Through your hospital’s renowned telemedicine and information technology departments, I would be offered the unique opportunity to explore this interest further. I would also take advantage of the medical school’s summer research program to participate in research projects related to geriatrics or  emergency medicine.

At the clinic where I worked, I gained first hand exposure to disease complications, which often were  caused by lack of access to primary care. My travels and work in India have shown me how common these issues also are internationally. Your unique medical school program would allow me to continue my active community participation during my first year, while providing care to diverse populations who lack access to care. This endeavor also could be augmented through participation in research and study in South America, so I could pursue my interest in global health while caring for other underserved communities and  improving my language skills.

Of supreme importance, the urban location and suburban hospitals affiliated with the medical school as well as the Level I trauma center would offer unparalleled exposure to novel academic and clinical opportunities. Apart from the school’s location in my favorite city of Great City, it is the superior curriculum, supportive medical educational environment, opportunity for community involvement, and team-oriented culture that would make your medical school a perfect fit for me.

What are you doing next year or what have you done since graduating from college?

Answer these questions in a straight forward fashion. Typically, medical schools require that only applicants who are not full-time students answer the question. In answering these questions, write about what you will be doing, but also include information about what you hope to learn and how this will prepare you for medical school.

Example Essay:

For the upcoming academic year, I will continue my research on breast cancer at Outstanding Oncology Center, where I have been working for one year. Our findings last year have already provided evidence for the etiology of what receptor is involved in  the development of tiny cell cancer, and we hope to build on these findings to continue our work. I have already become proficient in using the literature to design experiments, and I hope that this year I will learn how to analyze our findings. My hope is that our findings will be significant enough to lead to a publication on which I would be an author.

I  will also shadow several doctors throughout the year to broaden my understanding of clinical medicine. Right now I have plans to shadow an internist, a surgeon, and an ophthalmologist.

My Saturday mornings will be spent volunteering at Inner City Clinic, where I will be promoted to the level of triage. I will be responsible for taking vital signs and basic intake histories on patients.

This year will be productive and, I hope, will provide the foundation I need to be an excellent medical student.

Writing Tips

For each essay prompt you receive, pay attention to the character and word limits and use them as cues for how much information a medical school is seeking. A medical school that limits your responses to only 50 words, for example, is asking you for a simple, straightforward response. On the other hand, the school that allows 1,000 words per essay wants you to elaborate and go into some detail.

Secondary prompts vary, and I find that students can often recycle essays for multiple schools. But reading secondary prompts carefully is important. The most common mistake students make is providing a response that does not really address what is being asked. Even though writing secondary essays can get laborious, don’t try to make an essay you have already written “fit” for a prompt if it just doesn’t work. Remember, good secondary essays can help you earn a  medical school interview.

Sometimes, especially if your primary application is comprehensive, responding to a secondary essay may force you to repeat information that is already in your primary application. That not only is  okay but also suggests that you are in good shape; many schools determine prompts by identifying topics that applicants frequently leave out of primary applications.

I discourage  applicants from  writing a “one size  fits all document” for various secondary essay themes. Since the character/word limit for secondary essays is so variable (50 – 3,000 words) it would be a waste of time to write an essay before knowing specific character limits for each prompt. Having an idea of what you would write about for  each of the common themes is wise, however. Some schools’ secondary essay prompts do not vary from year to year, and you can often find these essay prompts and start working on them in advance. But, be warned, schools do change secondary essay prompts on occasion.

Above all, just as you did with your personal statement, write authentically and honestly and don’t try to spin your responses to tell admissions committees what you think they want to read. 

A couple of additional tips: 

  • Never quote others; your essays should be about you!
  • Optional secondary essays are truly optional. Don’t fill a space or recycle an essay unless you have a good reason to do so.
  • Unless medical schools specify a secondary essay “due date,” there are no real turn around rules. Submit your essays when they are ready and ideally within two to three weeks after receiving the secondary application.

Secondary Essay Editing Services

MedEdits’ secondary essay review and editing services will ensure that your secondary essays address what is being asked by the prompt while ensuring you highlight what is necessary to distinguish your candidacy.

About MedEdits

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Secondary Essay Prompts By School

*Data collected from MSAR 2018-2019, 2018-2019 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book, and institution website.

Disclaimer: The information on this page was shared by students and/or can be found on each medical school’s website. MedEdits does not guarantee it’s accuracy or authenticity.

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