AMCAS II Ex. 2 — Diversity Question

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  1. the state of being diverse; variety.
    e.g.: “there was considerable amount of diversity this applicant can add to our program” — says your dream school.
The Diversity Essay Prompt
Many secondary applications will ask, in one manner or another, something about diversity. The end goal for you, as a writer, is to capture or convey:
  1. What do you know about diversity?
  2. What is your understanding what diversity means in the current medical age?
  3. How do you tie that together into an argument of how you’ll help better that medical program?
  4. I found it difficult to brain story what makes me” diverse”. This is only natural, I speak English fluently as a native, but when someone asks me to say something “in English” I can’t think of a thing. So, instead I brainstormed the tangential answers by pretending I was addressing a future patient who misunderstood me, thinking I had nothing in common with them. I then tried to think how I’d assuage their concerns, then it was easier to shift gears into how writing about my “diversity”.
  5. Do not confuse this with the “hardship essay”, though your diversity may contain hardships that in fact make you diverse.

For my own diversity essay, I tried to take advantage of the changing medical landscape with the Affordable Health Care Act, allowing current events to segway into my understanding of diversity was easier for me (it almost gives you a skeleton to work around). Though, the caveat here is that you have to be up on your world and national news to play the part once you arrive at interviews (better start listening to Al Jazeera and NPR now). For myself, growing up without healthcare had an enormous impact on my quality of life, after all when you have a big family you have the unfortunate consequence of seeing ‘statistics’ play out as you’ll see in my diversity essay:

A physician must interact with patients across a large spectrum of income classes, a large swath of patients live in poverty. Therefore a doctor with a diversity of experiences may be better able to adapt to this fact. Lack of affordable health insurance inexplicably leads to overuse of emergency rooms, I know first-hand as I wasn’t privy to having a primary physician as an asthmatic who couldn’t afford insurance. I can only imagine that with the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act the diversity of patients seeking treatment can only increase. Being one of *14 (two dead) I’ve seen that diversity first hand having: a brother diagnosed with HIV, one dying after chronic cocaine abuse, and a brother currently in prison. To better get to know a diverse population I have spent time working with myriad of individuals from prison as a mentor, lecturer and tutor. As a volunteer in children’s oncology department I learned that compassion is a component of professionalism. Furthermore, I am gaining a greater understand the research process as an IRB/ACUC member. As an IRB member and Ethical Compliance Officer I weigh risk versus beneficence in order to protect special populations (prisoners, children, mentally disabled, and pregnant woman) from dangers of irresponsible research: misleading informed consents, conflicts of interest, manipulation and undue influence. I believe my diverse background will create a solid foundation of experience as a medical student and practicing physician.


It’s likely that if you’ve gotten this far, you have a story to tell. So, be assertive and tell it.

*In case you’re curious, for myself, I currently no interest in children nor having a huge family. For now my houseplant named, Fernando, makes a good son.


11 thoughts on “AMCAS II Ex. 2 — Diversity Question

    Derin A. said:
    July 3, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I really liked how you weaved in your personal experience with a greater healthcare care policy issue. Awesome response.

      doctororbust responded:
      July 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Thank you, it’s very similar to in grade school when they had us talk about “current events” =).

      Feel free to tailor your secondary towards whatever issues are local/recent to the area you’re applying. For example, one area had a specific problem that I understood so I wrote towards that in another secondary.

      My 3rd grade teacher would be so proud of me right now.

    Monica Muñoz (@MunozMvicenas) said:
    July 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

    You’re truly inspirational! I love reading your blogs. Keep them coming, please : )

      doctororbust responded:
      July 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

    A.Leo said:
    July 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I really hadn’t though about how diversity can mean more than the usual things (race, gender, religion, etc). This was a good example, thank you! BTW, I love the part about Fernando lol

      doctororbust responded:
      July 7, 2014 at 10:34 pm


      Yes, diversity means a lot of things, I’m happy I could help you consider more ideas.

      Thanks for leaving a comment and Fernando also appreciates your kind gesture.

      Good luck on your apps!

        ALeo said:
        July 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

        Thanks! I turned in my primary in June and so far received one secondary, so I’ll be sure to come back to your blog like I did for my PS =)

        doctororbust responded:
        July 8, 2014 at 8:33 am


        I’m glad you got your primary in early. Also, good to hear you found the blog useful during your PS writing. Just keep up the effort for secondary entries, making sure you found a way to stand out.

        Keep me posted!

    […] – Diversity Essay (one of the ‘harder’ essays), Community Essay, Greatest Weakness […]

    Jake Kalin said:
    December 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Thank you for your post and especially for a good example!
    As I understand it, the essence of this essay is not only the description of the problem. It’s still important how you do it and whether you offer any solutions. For example, in this diversity essay sample the author does not just try to tell his story, but also how she changed it. WHAT have you done? HOW do you think? I think this is the main goal of an essay. Otherwise, it will look like a pretence. This essay is an opportunity to convey a vibrant, sincere impression of your personality to the admissions reader.

      doctororbust responded:
      December 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for reading and a great comment. I may cite your contributing answer, if you don’t mind, as I think it’s an important point.

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