How would you contribute diversity to our medical school?

diversity statement interview prep MD/PhD admissions medical school admissions

a tribute o my frinds since grade school-Feb-16-2021-10-24-50-21-PMDuring the MD admissions process, this question is often dreaded, as applicants reminisce on the mundaneness of premed requirements and volunteer experiences. As with questions of, "What are your strengths?", "Why should we accept you?", and "What makes you unique?", applicants may fear coming off too arrogant and self-promoting. In all these questions, the interviewer is trying to get a sense of how you would add to the medical school class and what unique perspectives you can bring. Instead of dreading this question, take this as an opportunity to highlight something that may not be apparent in your application or to emphasize what drives you and all that you've accomplished!

What is diversity?

Diversity is multidimensional, and everyone can contribute diversity to a class. If you are struggling to determine how you would contribute diversity, consider some of the various dimensions of diversity and ask yourself the following questions:

Your identity

  • What is your race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion?
  • Did you immigrate to the US? Did your parents immigrate? Are you a first-generation college student?  

Your passion

  • What drives you to pursue medicine? What do you want to do in your career? (E.g. Do you want to be a primary care physician taking care of underserved communities? Do you want to lead a research lab to develop new therapies for multiple sclerosis?)  

Your experiences

  • Was your college major unique? You don't have to have majored in 19th century costume design to consider your major unique. If you majored in something non-science, you can explain why you chose that major and what you learned from your courses.
  • Did you participate in any volunteer, clinical, or work experience that changed your perspective of the world and what you're passionate about?
  • Do you have any personal experiences where you felt like an outsider, whether in your neighborhood, school, or broader community? How did that shape your understanding of diversity?

How to approach this question

  1. Make a list of the ways in which your past experiences, who you are, and the way you think adds a unique perspective.
  2. If one of the main reasons why you think you are unique is because of your experiences, reflect on why you chose to pursue those experiences and what you got out of them. 
  3. Research the school and see what they offer. How can your uniqueness contribute to that school specifically? How can you grow from whatever programs that school offers? Are you excited to work with the patient population that the school/hospital serves?
  4. Pick 2-3 ways in which you are unique and how that fits in with the school's objectives. Hone in on those to make your argument of how you contribute diversity. You do NOT need to present your 10 different reasons for why you'd contribute diversity. 

Keep in mind that a good answer should touch upon:

  • What is unique about your identity and experiences and how this makes you a strong applicant.
  • How your uniqueness would benefit from what this medical school has to offer.
  • How your uniqueness would contribute to the med school class.
  • How your uniqueness drives your passion and goals. 

As with all interview questions, the most important thing is to be genuine and to have fun! There is no one right or wrong answer so take this opportunity to really reflect on your story and your goals. 

Connie holds a BA in Neurobiology from Harvard (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an MSc from Oxford, and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She will be doing her dermatology residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Program.

Comments

topicTopics
academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT college admissions expository writing English strategy MD/PhD admissions writing LSAT GMAT physics GRE chemistry biology math graduate admissions academic advice law school admissions ACT interview prep test anxiety language learning career advice premed MBA admissions personal statements homework help AP exams creative writing MD test prep study schedules computer science Common Application mathematics summer activities history philosophy secondary applications organic chemistry economics supplements research grammar 1L PSAT admissions coaching law psychology statistics & probability dental admissions legal studies ESL CARS PhD admissions SSAT covid-19 logic games reading comprehension calculus engineering USMLE mentorship Spanish parents Latin biochemistry case coaching verbal reasoning AMCAS DAT English literature STEM admissions advice excel medical school political science skills French Linguistics MBA coursework Tutoring Approaches academic integrity astrophysics chinese gap year genetics letters of recommendation mechanical engineering Anki DO Social Advocacy algebra art history artificial intelligence business careers cell biology classics data science dental school diversity statement geometry kinematics linear algebra mental health presentations quantitative reasoning study abroad tech industry technical interviews time management work and activities 2L DMD IB exams ISEE MD/PhD programs Sentence Correction adjusting to college algorithms amino acids analysis essay athletics business skills cold emails finance first generation student functions graphing information sessions international students internships logic networking poetry proofs resume revising science social sciences software engineering trigonometry units writer's block 3L AAMC Academic Interest EMT FlexMed Fourier Series Greek Health Professional Shortage Area Italian JD/MBA admissions Lagrange multipliers London MD vs PhD MMI Montessori National Health Service Corps Pythagorean Theorem Python Shakespeare Step 2 TMDSAS Taylor Series Truss Analysis Zoom acids and bases active learning architecture argumentative writing art art and design schools art portfolios bacteriology bibliographies biomedicine brain teaser campus visits cantonese capacitors capital markets central limit theorem centrifugal force chemical engineering chess chromatography class participation climate change clinical experience community service constitutional law consulting cover letters curriculum dementia demonstrated interest dimensional analysis distance learning econometrics electric engineering electricity and magnetism escape velocity evolution executive function fellowships freewriting genomics harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science hybrid vehicles hydrophobic effect ideal gas law immunology induction infinite institutional actions integrated reasoning intermolecular forces intern investing investment banking lab reports letter of continued interest linear maps mandarin chinese matrices mba medical physics meiosis microeconomics mitosis mnemonics music music theory nervous system