A great way to prepare your application to Tulane medical school is to read Tulane medical school secondary essay examples. The secondary essays are a crucial aspect of your application; they show who you are as a person and what you bring as an applicant. You can accomplish a lot in your medical school personal statement, but medical school secondary essays give you a chance to elaborate on what your goals are in the context of the field and program. In this article, we provide strategies for answering prompts for Tulane and show you medical school secondary essay examples.

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10 min read

Introduction to Medical School Secondary Essays Strategies for Answering Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts FAQs

Introduction to Medical School Secondary Essays

When you’re thinking about how to prepare for your medical school application, it’s not uncommon to overlook secondary essays. Medical school secondary essays are sent to applicants after they submit their primary application. Secondary essays consist of a series of prompts indicating topics that the applicant must address. Common topics include why you chose the school, what interests you about the program, and what your goals are in your career.

Secondary essays usually have specific formatting requirements that the applicant must comply with. For Tulane, the first six prompts have a word limit of 150. The optional prompt has a limit of 60 words, and the final prompt has no word limit.

Strategies for Answering Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts

Before we show examples of secondary essays for Tulane, it’s important to know the anatomy of a strong answer. A great way to start brainstorming at this stage is to consider your AMCAS work and activities. Having these activities, along with your medical school resume, at hand when you write essays can help you reflect on your experiences and draw on them to construct your answers.

Let’s look at the various topics you must address in each prompt:

1. Briefly describe the reasons for your interest in Tulane University School of Medicine.

This first prompt, which includes Tulane’s mission statement, asks applicants to explain why they’re interested in Tulane medical school specifically. The inclusion of the mission statement gives away what they want you to reference in your answer. Here is the mission statement:

“We improve human health and foster healthy communities through discovery and translation of the best science into clinical practice and education; to deliver the highest quality patient care and prepare the next generation of distinguished clinical and scientific leaders.”

Given that you only have 150 words to answer this prompt, you must write efficiently. Think about how your professional goals align with the school’s message. Tulane wants to see that you’re a good fit for their program and community. Stats aside, your attributes and experiences will show more about whether you’re poised to become a good physician than medical school GPA requirements. Make a list of what you want to accomplish at Tulane medical school and in your career and emphasize aspects from your background that align with the school’s mission.

2. What disparities in health do you believe are pertinent to the New Orleans patient population and how would you attempt to address them as a medical student at Tulane?

This topic requires some research, because you will have to know about the trends and current state of the New Orleans patient population. One thing you should keep in mind about the general population of Louisiana is that it’s very diverse. About 58% of the population is white, 31% Black, 6% Hispanic, and 5% other. Ideally, support your answer by citing past involvement working with a specific patient population.

To help you formulate an answer, consider some of the items in the Tulane Medical Center Community Health Needs Assessment:

3. Who knows you best and how would they describe you?

For this prompt, you can cite a family member or friend. You will need to highlight traits that will make you a strong candidate for Tulane medical school. Consider the selection factors: a balance of humanism and academic rigor, a broad educational background, an interdisciplinary pursuit of science and humanities, and a wealth of experiences. In addition, consider the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) core competencies for entering medical students to help you think of traits you want to highlight.

4. What have you been pursuing since you graduated?

This question is more straightforward than the others, and the prompt has no word limit. The activities you mention should show that you’ve been preparing for medical school. Considering there is a subsequent prompt asking you to address hobbies and non-academic interests, for this prompt, you should focus specifically on academic or professional activities.

5. Please list any leadership positions you have held.

This prompt has a maximum limit of 150 words, so you will have to keep it brief. Leadership activities may include relevant paid work positions, sports, student clubs, or non-profit organization volunteering, among others. For these positions, consider how you demonstrated leadership in the context of your role. Your goal should be to show that you took initiative and led by example. For instance, if you were a tutor, explain that you were responsible for identifying areas in which to improve for students, and that it was important to articulate in a calm and instructive tone.

6. Hobbies and non-academic interests

This prompt is like the previous two, but it specifically asks for non-academic interests and hobbies. Every student is different, but here are some common examples of hobbies applicants include in this essay: reading, sports, hiking, playing chess, cooking, dancing, gardening, painting/drawing, and writing. Make sure you qualify each entry by explaining what you gain from pursuing each hobby. Remember, Tulane wants to see a wide range of experiences, even when it comes to hobbies.

7. Do you identify with a particular group that you believe is underrepresented among medical professionals?

This prompt is essentially a medical school diversity essay. You can discuss how your race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, disability, or economic background can represent a voice in the medical profession that is lacking. You can also go beyond the typical definition of diversity and discuss how you gained a unique perspective and how you think it can help you contribute meaningfully to the medical profession.

8. In what ways did the COVID-19 pandemic alter/interrupt your medical school application?

This prompt is an opportunity to explain any gaps on your resume or other items in your application. You can address your GPA, application preparation, or progress in your education. Many students had to take remote learning classes and attend virtual lessons or virtual shadowing; if this was a challenge for you, you can discuss how you overcame it in this essay. In addition to explaining some of the gaps in your application, remember that a lot of pre-meds had their shadowing, research, or community service plans interrupted. Explain the issues you encountered and what you did to circumvent them.

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #1

Prompt: “Tulane University School of Medicine’s mission statement states: We improve human health and foster healthy communities through discovery and translation of the best science into clinical practice and education; to deliver the highest quality patient care and prepare the next generation of distinguished clinical and scientific leaders. Briefly describe the reasons for your interest in Tulane University School of Medicine.” (150 words)

My primary interest in being trained as a medical professional at Tulane University School of Medicine is my goal of pursuing research and serving my community. During the first year of my undergraduate studies, I volunteered at a center for addiction and mental health. During this time, I encountered a variety of recovering addicts; I learned that unfortunately, education for primary and secondary students is lacking in terms of preventative mental health and addiction. For this reason, I want to conduct medical education research while I pursue my degree in medicine at Tulane. I am also interested in becoming a fellow in the addiction medicine program once I graduate from the program so that I can reach my goal of reducing the rate of addiction in my community.

Words: 128

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #2

Prompt: “What disparities in health do you believe are pertinent to the New Orleans patient population? How would you attempt to address them as a medical student at Tulane? You may support your answer by using past involvement working in a similar patient population to compare and/or describe your interest in any student activities offered at Tulane or in New Orleans.” (150 words)

During my pre-med studies, I was a volunteer at a long-term care facility. Every week, my job was to have conversations with the elderly who were living at the facility. We also played games like chess, and I often hosted exercise events like walks or swimming. As a volunteer, I met some of the PSWs who were always looking for nurses and other workers to recruit because they were constantly short-staffed. The growing population of retirees requires a substantial change in health care delivery to relieve this pressure on health care providers and increase the quality of life in an aging New Orleans population. I believe that the student-run clinic for street medicine is an effective way to address health care service accessibility for a significant portion of the elderly population. Having this experience will also allow me to learn about the needs of the community and identify its vulnerabilities.

Words: 150

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #3

Prompt: “Who knows you best and how would they describe you?” (150 words)

The person who knows me best is my younger brother. He and I are only two years apart, so we grew up enjoying a lot of the same hobbies, like sports and after-school clubs. He would describe me as conscientious, ambitious, and organized. I’ve always been someone who likes to track and categorize my responsibilities using calendars and to-do lists. I prioritize my work based on deadlines, and I set long-term and short-term goals for each project or task I’m working on. He, by nature, is more spontaneous and intuitive, which is part of the reason he would sometimes call me pedantic when I plan all my tasks out weeks in advance. He also knows me as an extrovert who thrives in social situations, which is why he has been known to ask me to introduce him to some of my friends who we share the same interests with.

Words: 149

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #4

“Prompt: What have you been pursuing since you graduated?” (No word max)

Before I started applying to medical schools, I wanted to do some travelling to gain a better perspective on the medical landscape on a global scale. I joined one of my local missionary projects to visit Ghana as a medical volunteer. I had a chance to observe many of the nurses and doctors working at one of the major hospitals. Because I didn’t have medical experience, my hands-on experience was limited to mostly shadowing other health care workers and occasionally communicating with the patients in a casual manner. Observing the Ghana health care system showed me that while there was a growing trend in health care access, many patients had to travel great distances to be assessed and receive treatment.

During the next year, I will also continue to develop my French writing and oral skills. In my hometown in Louisiana, many residents speak a combination of French and English. Having the ability to use either language will help me communicate with prospective patients while I pursue my goal of opening a community health center in my area. I will also be working as a tutor for high school students in biology and chemistry. I believe working with this age group will allow me to practice my communication skills and become more sensitive to cultural factors that are transferrable to health care.

Words: 222

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #5

Prompt: “Please list any leadership positions (clubs, organizations, paid work) you may have held.” (100 words)

Goaltender for the X University hockey varsity team

Editor for student news column at X University

Home Health Aide for the Nurture Health Company

Member of the X University Health Science Society

Words: 32

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #6

Prompt: “Please list your hobbies and major non-academic interests.” (150 words)

Reading – I’ve been fond of reading classic philosophy ever since I took a first-year introduction to philosophy course. I’ve read all of Plato’s dialogues and Descartes’s Meditations, and I’m currently reading David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

Writing – I got involved in a creative writing workshop in my second year and have been published in the school journal for poetry.

Running – I’ve been a track and field runner since elementary school. After spending a season as a 400-meter runner for X University, I’ve since enjoyed running casual long-distance.

Ice Skating – I used to play hockey when I was younger, but now I skate regularly at a local ice rink just for fun with friends.

Gardening – I recently took up gardening with my roommate. We’ve grown tomatoes, microgreens, and carrots.

Words: 130

Want to know how to write a successful medical school secondary essay? Check this video:

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #7

Prompt: “(Optional) Tulane University School of Medicine values the diversity of its patients, faculty, staff, and students. Do you identify with a particular group that you believe is underrepresented among medical professionals? These include groups oriented around, but not limited to: ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion, disability, and economic background.” (60 words)

Growing up, I moved around a lot. When I was eight, I moved from Nigeria to France, and then back to Nigeria at age 12, and then to the US when I was 19. As a Nigerian and as someone who has a broad cultural background, I feel that I can offer a unique perspective in the field of medicine.

Words: 60

Tulane Medical School Secondary Essay #8

Prompt: “In what ways did the COVID-19 pandemic alter/interrupt your medical school application?” (No word max)

I took a gap year before the start of my third year of undergraduate studies to help support my family. My mother owned a coffee shop and restaurant in the downtown area of New Orleans, but she had to let go of most of her employees and eventually closed her business during the lockdown. My father was also laid off, and although he was rehired at the end of the lockdowns, there was a long period of financial strain in which I was called upon to help.

I became a freelance content writer and editor, and I also opened my own tutoring services for high school students and first-year college students. During this time, I was still able to explore a virtual shadowing opportunity with a family doctor who gave a series of presentations on how to handle diverse patient populations; I was also introduced to some patients who were attending virtual screenings, which was a great opportunity to learn how to communicate in a health care setting.

Once I got my vaccination, and my parents were able to start working again, I immediately registered for classes and started working toward completing my degree. I continued working as a tutor but began offering in-person sessions. In the following summer, I volunteered at a local high school’s life skills department working with students with disabilities. In many ways, the interruption in my studies caused by the global health crisis helped me discover my passion for teaching and meeting new people.

Words: 249


1. What formatting requirements are there for Tulane medical school secondary essays?

Your secondary essays for Tulane have varying word count requirements. Some have a maximum of 150 words, others 100, 60, and no word limit. Make sure you verify the word count limit for each essay before writing.

2. How do I talk about what interests me about Tulane medical school?

You should start by researching the program; look specifically at the curriculum, student activities, and research opportunities. Think about what appeals to you about each component and relate your long-term goals with what the program offers.

3. Should I write the optional essay?

The optional essay asks you to identify with a specific group that you believe is underrepresented among medical professionals. This is essentially a diversity essay; as such, if you don’t belong to a particular race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender expression, religion, or economic background, you can still discuss a perspective that is unique to you.

4. Should I include my extracurriculars in my list of hobbies and interests?

You can, but it isn’t required. This prompt can include non-academic activities, such as sports, reading, writing, hiking, etc.

5. I’m having trouble thinking of leadership positions to list. What can I do?

For this prompt, it’s helpful to have your resume with you. Leadership has a broad scope; consider work experience, volunteer activities, and extracurriculars, and think of ways in which you were a leader.

6. What are some of the best activities I can do during a gap year?

A great way to prepare for medical school applications is to gain clinical experience. Find opportunities to volunteer at your local hospital or clinic as an administrator or medical scribe. Community service is also a great way to learn more about patient demographics.

7. How can I find out more about health care trends in New Orleans?

A great resource for learning more about health trends is to read the health needs assessment provided by the Tulane Medical Center. They identify four applicable areas of interest: access to quality care, behavioral health, discrimination in health care, and health literacy.

8. Should I use my references for the prompt referring to who knows me best?

As professors and professionals, the people who provided your medical school recommendation letters are likely not the ones who know you best. For this prompt, consider using a parent, sibling, or friend. You can ask them directly how they would describe you, and then use what they say to answer the prompt.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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