How to Write About Diversity in Your Secondary Essays

With the majority of students applying to medical schools still being white, a lot of these students ask how they can add diversity to the school.

Think outside of the box.

Whether you’re an underrepresented minority or overrepresented in medicine, that doesn’t automatically dictate whether you can write a good diversity essay. 

Even if you are an underrepresented minority, don’t lean solely on that. Dig deeper into your specific life experiences.

What jobs have you held? What passions or side projects have you worked on? What uncommon experiences have you had? These could all allow you to contribute diversity to the class.

Talk about your experiences. 

If you are African-American or Latino in this country, what does that mean to you? How has that shaped who you are as a person? 

If you’re a parent applying to med school, that’s diverse. How has being a parent shaped your experiences so far?

How are those experiences going to come out as you interact in this community of students?

How can you add to the educational environment of students?

We learn from people who are different and come from different backgrounds. How is your background likely different from other students in the class?

How are you going to add to the educational environment of others? You don’t have to be underrepresented to do that. 

Regardless of your race, you can still add to the educational environment of your peers because of the experiences that you have had.

Dig deeper than just being a minority or an immigrant. 

Reflect on how being a minority or an immigrant has shaped you and your perspective. Reflect on what that will allow you to bring to the medical school class.

What are you besides a premed student?

Think about how you would finish the following sentence: “I want to be a doctor and _______.” That second part is likely something that makes you diverse. If it’s not something that’s going to apply to everyone in medical school, it’s diverse.

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