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Medical and Health Profession Schools / Apply to Medical/Health Profession Schools / Pre-application Steps
Each health profession school requests a 4,000-6,000-character essay on “Why do you want to go to medical/health profession school?”
Suggested Writing Process
- Attend an essay writing workshop or view the online version of the workshop.
- Brainstorm ideas. Consider writing about experiences that had a major impact on you or that helped you determine that this career is a good fit.
- Create an outline. Narrow down your ideas to three-four experiences and develop a theme to tie them together.
- Have your essay critiqued. Use the MIT Writing Center, Prehealth Advising staff (see instructions below), professors, academic advisors and/or your peers to get feedback.
Two essay critiques are provided by the Prehealth Advising office and up to three total essay critiques are provided for joint degree applicants (ex. MD-PhD). Essay Critique Options:
Call 617-715-5328 to make an in-person or phone appointment with a member of the Prehealth Advising staff and email your essay to him or her 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment.
Send a Word document of your essay to email@example.com. (Please no PDFs.) Critiqued essays are typically returned via email within three-four days.
The essay should be complete by May 10 of the application year. Applicants should begin writing their essay in January to allow several months for multiple revisions.
Three to five letters of recommendation, including the MIT Prehealth Advisory Board Letter (if applicable) must be included in your application. Please refer to each school/program’s guidelines for recommendation letters.
Seek strong recommendation letters that come from individuals who know you best. General letter requirements:
- Two science letters: preferably from professors who have taught you.
- One non-science letter (humanities preferred)
- Research letters: MD-PhD: You must include a letter from all research experiences in your application information. MD: some programs request research letters.
- Community service
- Leadership experiences
Applicants should begin requesting letters of recommendation in January of the application year to provide at least two months time for a letter to be written. General letters of recommendation are due by May 10 if receiving a Prehealth Advisory Board letter.
- Selecting a Medical School
- Prehealth Data
- Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)
- AAMC Member Medical Schools
- ADA Dental Education: Schools and Programs
- AAMC Financing your Medical Education
A decision to embark on a health professions career is a huge commitment of time and money. It is important for applicants to educate themselves on the financial implication of applying to health profession schools. Resources are available through the AAMC and through individual health profession schools. Applicants should be prepared to submit important financial aid paperwork as early as possible within the year of application.