Cleveland Clinic Lerner Secondary Application

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Secondary Essay Prompts

(If you have updated prompts, please submit them at

Prompts have been updated June 2023. (Older essays, if available are below)


  • Greatest Challenge Essay: The admissions committee is interested in gaining more insight into you as a person. Please describe a significant personal challenge you have faced, one which you feel has helped to shape you as a person. Examples may include a moral or ethical dilemma, a situation of personal adversity, or a hurdle in your life that you worked hard to overcome. Please include how you got through the experience and what you learned about yourself as a result. (2,000 character limit)
  • Research Essay: Please tell us about ONE research project to which you made a significant contribution. In your essay, describe your role on the project, the hypothesis of your research and whether you contributed to hypothesis generation, why the methods were selected to answer that hypothesis, your results, and interpretation of your results with respect to future findings. In addition, please briefly share your motivation for pursuing this research project and reflect on how this experience affected your future career goals. (3,500 character limit)
    The most successful medical students at our school are generally those who are intrinsically motivated, self-directed learners. Think of a time when you had to pursue a goal without clear external direction. Describe your approach and any new knowledge, perspectives, or skills that you acquired. (1,000 character limit)
  • Career Essay: What does your ideal career entail fifteen years after medical school graduation? (1,000 character limit)
  • Gap Year(s) if applicable: If you are taking time off between college graduation and medical school matriculation, please tell us why you made this decision and what you will be doing or have done during this gap time. (1,000 character limit)

Optional Responses:

  • Additional Information Response: Is there any further information that you wish to share with the Admissions Committee that may not be captured in the rest of your application? (2,000 character limit)

Primary Deadline: Usually around Nov 1st
Secondary Deadline
: Usually around Dec 1st
Secondary Fee: $90
FAP Waiver: Full Fee Waived
Casper Required: No
PREview Required: No
Screens Applications: Yes
Accepts Application Updates: Yes Only if Invited for Interview/Portal

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Mission:

The mission of the CCLCM is “to educate a limited number of highly qualified persons who seek to become physician investigators and scientists committed to the advancement of biomedical research and clinical practice.”

Older Essays:

  • At Cleveland Clinic and CCLCM we are deeply committed to anti-racism and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, healthcare, and our communities. We invite you to share a specific life or work experience that aligns with and will allow you to uniquely contribute to the DEI initiatives at CCLCM. Please limit your response to 1000 characters and leave a blank line between paragraphs.
  • We all have targeted areas for improvement (TAFIs) in our personal and professional lives. Please share a current TAFI you have identified that does not include the acquisition of medical/scientific knowledge. How did you recognize this TAFI, and what steps are you taking to address it? How are you measuring your progress and how will you know when you reached your goal?
  • Please tell us about a time when you prioritized the needs of others (excluding family) before your own. In addition, tell us about a time when you put your own needs first. For each, please explain your decision making process and the outcome.
  • What does your ideal career entail ten years after medical school graduation?