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Supplementary Application Essay Questions


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Hi everyone. I'm currently working on my CASPA application and I have found, much to my dismay, that each of the schools require you to answer additional short essay questions on top of the main essay. These questions have been causing me a lot of concern because they're very open ended, and it is not very clear what they are looking for in an answer. I was hoping to post some of these questions here and get some potential perspectives on what they might be looking for in my answer. 


1. Describe the details of your patient care experience
The page specifies not to write about anything already written about in another section of the application. However, I'm sure they're aware most people are going to talk about their patient care experience in their main essay. Do you think they're asking more resume style? Like a list of all your duties? Or do you think they want something more profound and "lessons learned" from patient care sort of thing? 


2. What do you expect to contribute to this University and community?
This is a big one that I've seen most schools ask. Once again, I'm really more concerned with the general nature of this question. Should I highlight my life background and explain how that has made me someone who can excel in the field (make it personal), or should I go more with an altruistic what I want to "give back" sort of approach? 

Thank you for your guys' opinions! 

 

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I also despised these questions as well! They are so open to interpretation so you will probably get different view points on this question! My interpretation of the first question would be to initially overview the scope of the experience you're talking about and then maybe you can end with what said experience taught you. The second question was asked a lot when I applied as well. Lol I wouldn't copy what is already said in earlier parts of your application TOO much- but definitely reiterate how your experiences and education have formed you into the person you are today and the provider you hope to become. This is a good place to tie in the school's mission and use that to your advantage. Hope that makes sense! Goodluck ?

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There's no right answer here.  They want to know how YOU interpret them and how YOU choose to answer them.  Not the opinion of the masses.  

Use these to help yourself stand out and sell yourself.  Don't over think it.

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1. I would not interpret this as resume style. I would explain my day to day duties and add anything about my position that seemed relevant or meaningful, but definitely complete sentences.

2. This question is a little easier to interpret. I think this, and different variations of this question, are asking if you understand their mission and program goals. Read each program's mission and find the clues. Do they emphasize primary care, the medically underserved, rural health, etc.? Focus on those topics. One school I am applying to emphasizes the camaraderie amongst each cohort and the team work in courses - if you find something like this discuss how you would be a great team player, etc.  

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I have a better idea of what to do for my patient experience question, still no idea about how to do the contribution one, but I think that is just on me lol. It is so hard to "sell yourself" and not feel like you're being cocky, self-centered etc.. and you have to worry about whether it comes off that way or not. I guess I'll just need to think on that one a little more. 

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Also with you patient care experience highlight things you have gotten good at because of it, or what you have learned because of it.  For instance, in my case, I learned to become comfortable with patients and learned to make them feel at ease by figuring out something I had in common with them. So while they had their torturous physical therapy sessions I could distract them by talking about food, cars, spongebob, or soccer.

Edited by JD2012
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