Secondary Essay Prompts for the University of Illinois College of Medicine

Below are the secondary essay prompts for the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, IL.

2017 – 2018

  1. (if not enrolled in school) Please state your current activities and/or employment status (limited to 3500 characters in length)
  2. Describe a stressful situation that you have experienced. Please detail your reaction, how you managed the situation, and what you learned that will help you handle a similar circumstance in the future.
  3. In addition to training as a competent physician please select up to two additional areas of interest from the items below that you may want to pursue during your medical studies. Your responses will have no bearing on applications to joint degrees or special programs to which you might also apply.
    1. Simulation
    2. Research in healthcare delivery
    3. Basic science research
    4. Interdisciplinary collaboration
    5. Healthcare disparities
    6. Academic medicine
    7. Global Health
    8. Community Health (urban/rural)


  • Provide a short, 300-500 words, statement on your interest and how you see it influencing your learning.
  • Please begin your statement with the letter(s) representing the area(s) of interest enclosed in parentheses as a programmatic cue. Separate multiple areas of interest with a comma.
  • For example, your essay would begin as follows, if you chose Simulation and Research in healthcare delivery: (A,B) …
  • If you choose just one additional area of interest: (A) …


  1. Describe any advantages and/or complications you encountered during your progression in education. Please include any noteworthy achievements and/or obstacles. (Examples: Acute or chronic illnesses, employment, financial difficulty, managerial role in household, etc.) (Don’t exceed 150 words)


  • If you did not experience an advantage and/or complication during your education please indicate ‘Not Applicable’
  • For the second essay prompt there is another option (I) Innovation.

2016 – 2017

MedEdits advises against using outdated prompts for the current season.

  1. If you select that you are not currently enrolled in a college/university it asks: “Please state your current activities and/or employment status.” Please limit to 3500 characters.
  2. Describe a situation in which you were really stressed. Tell us how you dealt with it. Please detail your reaction(s), and how it affected you. If this situation, or a similar one, were to happen again, how would you handle it? Please limit to 250 words.
  3. Describe a hobby or activity other than something in medicine, in which you have a keen interest. Why? Please limit to 250 words.

Secondary Essay Prompts for Other Schools


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*Data collected from MSAR 2016-2017 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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