If you are someone with a disability or unique health challenges, if you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education, if you come from a lower socioeconomic background, if you’re from a rural area, if you’re multilingual (either by choice or by necessity), these are all features that would be considered “diverse” in the context of the traditional university campus or professional program. Almost certainly not, and for obvious reasons. “I have always dreamed of being part of Doctors Without Borders, and helping to save the world one person at a time.”, Is that so? Have you connected in meaningful ways with someone who challenged you to think from a new perspective? As well, all of us have triumphed or excelled in some way – music, art, or craft; academics, athletics, or competitions; personal triumphs only evident to those who care to hear of them. ), you're probably wondering how to tackle the monster of secondaries coming your way. ), you also want to think about experiences you’ve had that may not be common experiences among other members of your class. Today’s campus makeup is considerably different than that of even 50 years ago, and the ways in which we understand what constitutes “diversity” expand continuously. Prove it. Of course, in the US we have a powerful tradition of diversity in higher education. An ability to understand your patients — regardless of background — is an integral part of your life as a doctor.

Indeed, universities have historically (and somewhat paradoxically) both maintained and challenged such divisions, and the push for diverse campuses is one method of trying to counterbalance long-standing inequities. Quite the opposite. Rather, a strong essay might focus on your activities which were committed to diversity and social justice issues; or on your pursuits which address health disparities between minority and non-minority populations; or experiences which provide tangible evidence of your cross-cultural competence during patient or client interactions. No one holds exactly these same values and priorities for the same reasons as you. | August 10, 2018. Founded in 2004 by Kevin Pho, MD, KevinMD.com is the web’s leading platform where physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses, medical students, and patients share their insight and tell their stories.

to find out how we can help you get accepted. Who among us wouldn’t be able to connect to at least one of these categories? The point is simple: once you have identified what makes you unique, your primary task is to explain how that uniqueness will allow you to contribute something special in school and beyond. The Committee on Admissions strongly encourages you to share unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment, socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and life or work experiences. ), you’re probably wondering how to tackle the monster of secondaries coming your way. For example, being a chronic truant or two-time felon are certainly unique qualities and experiences for an applicant to medical school. It won’t. Will they help you get in? The more kinds of voices we have in our centers of education, the more robust, nuanced, and well-considered that education becomes. Thus, if you do decide to focus on ethnic, cultural, or religious diversity, the best approach is not to hammer the adcom with how significant your minority status is. The patient who reminded this student to care for everyone equally. An ability to understand your patients -- regardless of background -- is an integral part of your life as a doctor. Returning to that and thinking through what you wrote through a slightly different lens is a great way of gathering some ideas about what sets you and your life story apart from others. Diversity, though it may be an intangible concept or quality, still requires tangible evidence. Although it seems plausible that you would know more than others who are from affluent, non-immigrant backgrounds, you still need to prove it. Most frequently, this lamentation originates from a lack of creativity and fundamental understanding about what diversity means. I’ve heard a lot of pre-med students eager to write this off as a political move on the behalf of medical schools, without taking the time to truly consider its value. This brings us to our second action point: 2. You must show your readers these things, both with your words and – importantly – in your deeds. Indeed, diversity is anything about you which is special and which will allow you to satisfy the objectives of diversity as described above. For example, if you are a first-generation college student and the son/daughter of immigrants, you cannot just baldly state that this background gives you some crucial insight into the needs of immigrant populations. That’s diversity. So, now that we have solved the great admissions diversity mystery, we can get started on the actual essays. Diversity. I love motivating people to better their lives. In fact, it is no more likely to convince them of your diversity credentials than if I tried to convince you of the quality of this article by simply repeating “this article is super informative and comprehensive, and it is likely the best thing you’ve read all week.”. Diversity in the classroom (and on campus) allows students to produce a “creative friction,” thereby improving the educational experience for all. 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