NYU School of Medicine Admissions Consulting Services
NYU has a threefold mission: education and training of physicians and scientists, the search for new knowledge, and the care of the sick. The three are inseparable. Medicine can be handed on to succeeding generations only by long training in the scientific method of investigation and by the actual care of patients. Progress in medicine, which is medical research, must look constantly to the school for its investigators and to the patient for its problems, whereas the whole future of medical care rests upon a continuing supply of physicians and upon the promise of new discovery. The purpose, then, can only be achieved by endeavor in all three directions – medical education, research, and patient care – and they must be carried on simultaneously for they are wholly dependent upon each other, not only for inspiration, but for their very means of success.
Secondary Application Questions
If applicable, please comment on significant fluctuations in
your academic record which are not explained elsewhere on
If there are significant fluctuations in the record, there must
be a reason. Sometimes there are understandable reasons
such as a significant illness or major family emergencies. If
that is the case, then the description should be detailed to
explain the impact to performance. You should do more than
state reasons but add context to the description of the
situation. For example, if you had a parent that was
diagnosed with a terminal disease, that could help explain a
drop in performance but there could be an even greater
impact on your life if the parent does not have a spouse or
any other children to support them. In such a case, there is more information available to help explain the impact. It is important to include and be clear about the context that influences your particular situation. This isn’t an opportunity to justify the fluctuation but it can be helpful to provide more background for the reader to better understand and appreciate the challenges and distractions you faced at the time.
If there is a fluctuation in grades for reasons that are less “explainable” such as irresponsible or immature behavior then you should describe how you have changed and emphasize the actions taken to support that statement.
In either case, it is important to demonstrate additional coping skills or resources to minimize the potential for distractions that may negatively impact your performance in the future.
If you have taken any time off from your studies, either during or after college, please describe what you have done during this time and your reasons for doing so.
This information is already indicated on the AMCAS application so the response needn’t include too much about what the activity is and more on why you chose it. Ideally, the experiences are intended to improve your preparation and qualifications for the pursuit of a career in medicine. Overall, experiences will not always fit neatly into the categories of medical education, research, or patient care, but all experiences have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership, innovation, or commitment. Your description should include your reasons and the level of impact you have made.
The following questions are designed to assess ways in which you embody our institution’s core values. The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach to evaluate a wide range of student qualities and life experiences that are complementary to demonstrated academic excellence, strong interpersonal skills and leadership potential. (2500 char)
This preface to the questions below is clear in stating upfront what they are looking for in the responses. Responses should be aligned with the institution’s core values. In this case it is important to have the following information in mind, the mission of the institution and the mission of the admissions department. Use of evidence and examples to answer the questions could be helpful.
Admissions’ Mission Statement
NYU School of Medicine strives to enroll a diverse group of academically talented students with the personal attributes, endeavors, and accomplishments to succeed as the future leaders and scholars of medicine. The Admissions Committee embraces the broad definition of diversity endorsed by the AAMC and uses a holistic approach to evaluate a wide range of student qualities and life experiences that are complementary to demonstrated academic excellence, strong interpersonal skills, and leadership potential. The ultimate goal is a student body with a collective desire to improve the health of all segments of our society through outstanding patient care, research, and education.
What unique qualities or experiences do you possess that would contribute specifically to the NYU School of Medicine community? (2500 char)
This question can be interpreted very broadly and sometimes there is a tendency to respond very narrowly and literally. For example, an applicant may be a highly regarded musician or Olympic athlete. Surely, those are very unique experiences that stand out in comparison with most peers in the applicant pool and they might be considered appropriate responses to the question. These accomplishments emphasize a unique level of preparation, performance, and determination that can be translated into other areas such as a career in medicine. It can be acceptable to talk about these endeavors but it should be framed in the context of how these experiences will be an asset as a future leader and scholar of medicine. In other words, this response should not exclusively focus on the specific quality or experience but it should also make the connection for how the skills and leadership will be applicable to patient care, research, and education.
Again, please be conscientious not to simply think of this question as a definition of your diverse (broadly defined) experiences but as an opportunity to convey your ability and passion for leadership, advocacy, service, and research, as a result of these unique qualities or experiences.
The ultimate goal of our institution is to produce a population of physicians with a collective desire to improve health of all segments of our society through the outstanding patient care, research and education. In this context, where do you see your future medical career (academic medicine, research, public health, primary care, business/law, etc.) and why? Your answer need not be restricted to one category. If your plans require that you complete a dual degree program, please elaborate here. (2500 char)
The first consideration for how to answer this question is that you maintain a consistency with your stated career interest and your track record/ previous experience. For example, if you have only had an extended background of experience in basic science research but indicate that your future career interest is in public health, it may appear to be inconsistent. Of course, you can have a strong basic science research and then focus in another direction to pursue a public health career but usually an individual will have relevant and sustained experiences in the category of the career they choose to pursue. Therefore, it can seem premature to have a clear career interest in an area where the applicant has not had experience.
The other consideration is to be very conscientious of the reasons why you are interested in whichever career track. Sometimes those reasons can come across as pretty generic such as an interest in academic medicine because of the opportunity to teach and conduct research or interest in health policy in order to effect greater population interests. These may very well be legitimate reasons but describing a more nuanced understanding of the various fields can make the response more compelling.
While there is not a source available to indicate the comprehensive career tracks (such as academic medicine, research, public health, primary care, business/law) pursued by recent graduates of the NYU School of Medicine, there is information about the specialties chosen by those that pursued an immediate medical track. Some may have immediately pursued a non-medical track such as business or law or some may still pursue that and other areas after they have completed residency programs. For those that pursued a medical track, an overwhelming majority of graduates pursued various medical subspecialties. About only 10% of the recent graduating class pursued a primary care track as defined by pediatrics (8%) and family practice (1%). Understanding the track that most of the graduates of the institution pursue can be revealing about the institution’s emphasis.
Please answer only one of the following three questions:
The most meaningful achievements are often non-academic in nature. Describe the personal accomplishment that makes you most proud. Why is this important to you? (2500 char)
Most of the responses that are provided throughout the application are focused on how it relates to one’s interest in medicine. If your response to this question is also related to medicine, that is certainly fine but this can be an opportunity to provide more insight about your maturity, self-awareness, larger perspective of the world. This can be an opportunity to demonstrate a balance in passions beyond science and medicine or even to provide a better understanding of the context of your life. For example for most applicants, graduating from college is a given. For a first-generation college student from an underserved area with significant socio-economic challenges, graduating college could indeed be their most significant achievement. Appreciating the context of your stated accomplishment is valuable. Again, this is an opportunity to think broadly and introspectively as this response could provide insight on your maturity and not just your determination to accomplish something significant.
Conflicts arise daily from differences in perspectives, priorities, worldviews and traditions. How do you define respect? Describe a situation in which you found it challenging to remain respectful while facing differences? (2500 char)
The definition of a concept such as this one is very personal and as such, the response should demonstrate a level of depth and introspection that goes beyond a dictionary definition of the word respect. A good way to do so is through an example and this question requires such. In the example, an ability to value some aspects of a competing interest or perspective should be included. Another emphasis is to provide as much honesty and sincerity in this kind of question as it is otherwise simple to give an unemotional account of how you remain respectful in a challenging situation. A goal should be to convey emotional sincerity in this response as that is more interesting to read.
Describe a situation in which working with a colleague, family member or friend has been challenging. How did you resolve, if at all, the situation as a team and what did you gain from the experience that will benefit you as a future health care provider? (2500 char)
Similar to the previous question, sincerity and introspect are important goals in the response. The process of appreciating (as much as possible) other people’s perspectives and your ability to mature and grow from this conflict will be an asset for your interactions with all people and not just as a health care provider. An important part of the learning process is to admit your own shortcomings and taking responsibility for that can be an important demonstration in your response.
NYU School of Medicine Application Timeline:
AMCAS Application submission: June 1, 2019 - October 15, 2019 (last date)
Secondary Application submission: July 1, 2019 - November 15, 2019 (last date)
Admissions Decisions Released: October 15, 2019 – until class is full
All AMCAS applicants will be invited to submit a secondary application.
For more information about the medical school application process,