How To Answer Secondary Prompts About The Future

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 15 years? This is a very common question that comes up in medical school secondary essays. Do you know your answer?

Somebody who’s applying to medical school should start picturing what their life will look like as a physician. So that’s what you’re doing in this secondary essay.

Is becoming a doctor what you really want?

A lot of students are pushed into medicine by their parents or they are doing this just because they’re really good at science. If this is the case for you, it will come across in this essay or during an interview. 

And if you’re not sure about it, this would make the reader or the interviewer pause and question whether this is really something you want.

So that’s really part of the purpose of this question. Medical schools want to make sure that you’ve thought about the future you want and that medicine is truly a part of that future vision.

Focus on where you want to be

Don’t focus totally on what you want to be doing. Focus more on where you see yourself.

Discuss whether you want to be living in an urban environment or a rural environment. Discuss if you see yourself working in an academic setting or doing private practice.

This is a big part of what a lot of medical schools are looking for when determining fit for their mission, and some applicants overlook this aspect of the question.

Support your future vision with experiences from your past

Don’t say that you see yourself in a rural environment in the future just because the mission of that school is to train physicians to go out in a rural setting. 

Be able to refer to experiences in your past that are informing your vision for your future.

So, for example, talk about how you liked the area you grew up in, so you want to practice in that kind of area. Or talk about how you prefer the kind of area you went to college in, so you want to practice there instead.

Beware of contradicting the rest of your application

Be aware of what your extracurricular activities are saying, as well.

If your experiences don’t back up what you’re writing about, the readers are just going to assume that you’re putting in fluff to sell yourself to that school based on their mission.

So it can be a good idea to refer back to the activities in your application and say what you learned about your ideal future from them.

Overall, when writing about your future in your secondary essays, be honest and be specific!