Struggling to write the University of Toronto medical school brief personal essays? You aren’t alone. If you want to make your University of Toronto medical school application stand out above the competition, then you definitely need to put in some effort to write impressive brief personal essays, following the specific prompts you’ll be provided with. This is a key part of the University of Toronto Medical School’s admissions process that helps the admissions committee judge the applicants’ suitability for medical school. So, it goes without saying that you’ll have to pack a lot of punch into those 250 words in each brief personal essay!

In this blog, we’ll provide the latest* prompts for these essays, and their subsequent sample responses. We’ll also provide a few tips to help you write memorable essays that make your application stand out.

Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. If you see an error here, please notify us with the updated information, and we’ll send you a FREE copy of a BeMo ebook of your choosing! You can receive our Ultimate Guide to Med School Admissions, our Ultimate Guide to MMI Prep, our Ultimate Guide to Medical School Personal Statements & Secondary Essays or our Ultimate Guide to CASPer Prep! Please email us at content [at] bemoacademicconsulting.com with any corrections, and we’ll arrange to send you your free ebook upon confirming the information.


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University of Toronto Medical School Brief Personal Essay Prompts How Do U of T Admissions Committees Evaluate Brief Personal Essays? Tips to Help You Write the University of Toronto Medical School Brief Personal Essays FAQs

You need to submit 2 essays to meet the University of Toronto medical school brief personal essay requirements as part of their admissions process. As one of the top medical schools in Canada, the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine has a highly competitive admissions process. Even our own consultant, Dr. Jaime Cazes, has shared that after “applying to all Canadian medical schools and two in the United States, I only interviewed at one school; U of T.” In Dr. Cazes’ case, this was his top school – but this is also why he recommends students “apply broadly” and spend a lot of time fine-tuning their application components. To put it simply: In order to maximize your chances of getting accepted, you need to craft well-written, meaningful essays that demonstrate your suitability for medical school.

 And, we understand that naturally, this can be a daunting task! While we work with students to prepare for a variety of post-secondary interviews and application components, medical school essays are something our consultants commonly assist with!

“Just had a very productive brainstorming session with Marianne. She provided me with some good advice and direction to write my essays for the University of Toronto. Overall, I enjoyed the session.” – Anonymous, Former BeMo Student and UofT Applicant.


Because these essays have to be written in response to specific prompts, and must be brief, it can be helpful to take your time, and have an experienced, second (or third) set of eyes assist you in the process of curating your essay.

Whether or not you’re tackling your University of Toronto Medical School brief personal essays solo or with assistance, it’s imperative that you review the latest prompts (and pro tips) prior to writing your final drafts.

University of Toronto Medical School Brief Personal Essay Prompts

To apply to the University of Toronto medical school, you must write two essays, each being 250 words or less, in response to the two prompts given below.

Note that this word count does not include titles, references, or verifiers, if you choose to include these elements.

Here are two prompts (as found on the University of Toronto’s website) and sample responses:

University of Toronto Brief Personal Essay Prompts and Sample Response

Question 1:

The use of artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to replace or assist humans in our daily lives. The basis of artificial intelligence are the complex algorithms that drive the technology. In your opinion, what values, ethical and societal implications should be considered when developing such algorithms for assessing applicants to medical school?

 

Question 2:

The Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva said: “it isn't that you need time to think, you need time to feel.” How does this statement connect with your future career in the field of medicine?

 

How Do U of T Admissions Committees Evaluate Brief Personal Essays?

The admissions committee will be evaluating these essays to see how well they align with the four core University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine "clusters" that identify and describe the abilities a physician must possess to effectively meet the healthcare needs of their patients.

These essays are similar in terms of their requirements, format, and style to the medical school secondary essays required at US medical schools.

Our own consultant (whom we mentioned earlier), Dr. Cazes, not only studied medicine at U of T, but sat on the admissions committee. His best advice?:

“Start a personal statement with a compelling story, akin to the opening lines of a novel meant to hook the reader.” 

He advises that the story should be real and possibly slightly embellished to be more interesting but warns against lying or presenting unrealistic situations. This approach aims to avoid the "cookie-cutter" format and make the personal statement stand out to those on the admissions committee!

Want to know more about other secondary medical school essays?

Tips to Help You Write the University of Toronto Medical School Brief Personal Essays

Tip#1: 

The first step to writing the perfect medical school application essay is to start as early as possible. You might think that two brief pieces of writing could be a breeze, but it’s important not to underestimate the fact that these types of essays are truly about quality…not quantity.

An excellent essay may take several drafts – and in some cases, weeks or months – to create. Not only will you need to brainstorm response ideas related to your prompts, but it is also important that you discuss the questions with others who may be able to shed some light on the deeper intentions behind the questions being asked. One of our consultants, Dr. Monica Taneja, reflects on her experience when she helps students navigate through various application components. Here's her advice:

“Don’t rush and (do) prioritize. The requirements for medical school are all tough! Don’t overload yourself on classes trying to knock out requirements as you don’t want to be spread too thin.” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD


Tip#2:

Remember, this is a test of your written communications skills. Therefore, the essay should have excellent structure and flow. This means it will need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. You must also be able to convey your sense of maturity, professionalism, and self-reflexivity (i.e. essential non-cognitive skills), while clearly demonstrating your motivation for the medical profession.

As with most pieces of writing, your introduction and opening sentence(s) will most certainly make or break your overall statement. Thus, ensure that you have a creative and captivating opening sentence that captivates the admissions committee. As Dr. Cazes has recommended, “Treat it like a story. It needs to be REAL but it has to hook the reader.”

Tip#3: 

Your introductory paragraph should also serve as a road map to the reader and allow them to understand where the remainder of the story is headed. This can be tricky to do with a limited word count. The ‘less is more’ premise of these essays can be intimidating! One of our former students, Ruhee, found working with her advisor, Amanda, to be beneficial for this reason:

“Amanda really walked me through each part of my essay and broke down for me how I was going to go about writing it and what to include in each section and what we would include in them. She really helped me see the big picture and help breakdown the details step by step. I love Amanda and she's been really helpful! I don't think my application process would be the same if she wasn't my advisor.” – Ruhee Momin, Former BeMo Student


Tip#4: 

In the body of your essay, you essentially want to elaborate on the ideas that you have introduced in your opening paragraph and draw on your personal experiences to provide evidence. Dr. Taneja strongly recommends that you, “have a punch line.” By that, she means, “having 1-2 ‘sayings’ throughout your essay that give schools something to remember you by.”

Tip #5:

Lastly, the conclusion of your personal statement should be insightful, captivating, and leave the reader with an impression, not just a summary. Remember, to quote Dr. Cazes:“It’s a real story that must hook and captivate the readers from beginning to end.” And, Dr. Taneja: “Everyone’s path to validation is unique, but regardless of how you got to your medical application, you should detail your growth [from the opening line to conclusion of the personal essay].”

FAQs

1. How many brief personal essays do I need to submit for University of Toronto medical school?

You need to submit 2 brief personal essays as part of your University of Toronto medical school application.

2. What are the prompts for the University of Toronto medical school brief personal essays?

You need to write an essay in response to each of the following questions:

  • Question 1: The use of artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to replace or assist humans in our daily lives. The basis of artificial intelligence are the complex algorithms that drive the technology. In your opinion, what values, ethical and societal implications should be considered when developing such algorithms for assessing applicants to medical school?
  • Question 2: The Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva said: “it isn't that you need time to think, you need time to feel.” How does this statement connect with your future career in the field of medicine?
3. How do I make my brief personal essays stand out?

To make your essays stand out, start by making sure you give yourself enough time to write the essay, at least 3 to 4 weeks. That will give you enough time to first brainstorm the topics and think deeply about what you want to write about. Make sure your essays have an excellent structure and flow, and a captivating introduction that draws in the reader and clearly establishes the thesis of the essay. Draw on your personal experiences to flesh out your ideas and finally, make sure you conclude with a memorable key takeaway or meaningful insight.

4. What is the word count for the brief personal essays?

Each essay should be no longer than 250 words.

5. How important are these brief personal essays?

The brief personal essays play a crucial role in your application review, and you must put in both time and effort to make them as memorable as possible. They demonstrate certain key qualities about yourself to the admissions committee and this information helps them rate your application.

The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine designates 4 core clusters that identify and describe the abilities a physician must possess to effectively meet the healthcare needs of their patients - professional, communicator/collaborator/manager, advocate, and scholar. They review the autobiographical sketch, brief personal essays, and reference letters in each application to evaluate how well the applicant aligns with these four clusters and their associated skills and qualities. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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