If you have experienced any form of social, economic or educational disadvantage—at any time in your life—you can apply to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant. To receive this designation means that you will need to complete an additional essay on the AMCAS application. The character limit for this short essay is 1,325. Examples of each of the three forms of disadvantage are listed below:
1. Social: Being treated differently due to ethnicity, language or religion.
2. Economic: Receiving any form of government aid or growing up in a single parent household on one income that is below the poverty threshold.
3. Educational: Overcoming a learning disability or attending low performing public schools.
It can be difficult to know what to include in the Statement of Disadvantage. I recommend approaching it by using the following strategies:
It’s important to remember that your application will be treated with the utmost respect and that you are heroic for overcoming obstacles that would have prevented most people from applying to medical school. Congratulate yourself for making it to this point in your education!
It can be helpful to have another person review this essay to make sure that you have included all relevant information. Be sure to include the details of the most significant obstacles that you have overcome to reach higher education. The advantage of applying to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant is that most medical schools will not reject your application until it has been reviewed by at least one admissions officer.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
from Accepted Admissions Blog