How to Write About Career Changes in Your Secondary Essays

Are you coming into medicine as a career-changer?

You may see questions in your medical school secondary essays that ask about why you’re changing careers.

When you get these questions, you should not focus on the reason for leaving your career.

Instead, discuss what about medicine excites you so much that you’ve decided to leave your previous career.

Focus on the Positives of Your Career Change

What has been pulling you toward medicine? 

Focus on the positives of why medicine—not the negatives of why you hated your job or your employers, or anything you didn’t like about your previous career.

Don’t come across as someone who complains a lot or isn’t willing to work together with a team of imperfect peers and supervisors.

Your past job may have been awful, but there’s no need to tell the med school admissions committee all about that. Even at best, it’s still wasted space.

Focus on what’s pulling you toward medicine. What are you excited about learning as a medical student and doing as a physician?

The admissions committee is made up of other people like you who have a passion for medicine. Connect with them over that shared passion and your excitement to enter the medical profession.

Why Are You Changing Careers to Medicine Now?

Some of your medical school secondary essay questions may ask why now? Why is this the right time for you to change careers into medicine?

When you get this question, you have to focus on what it is about your current life that’s motivating you to uproot your life and change careers now

What made you decide to go back to school to become a physician? What was that moment that got you thinking?

If going to medical school is something you’ve been considering for a long time, then what finally stirred you to action?

Again, this is a great opportunity to connect with the admissions committee over a shared passion for medicine. 

Share the experiences you’ve had with patients. Share how shadowing and clinical experience have confirmed that this path is right for you.