Committee Letter Autobiographical Questions
Due January 15

The following questions serve two purposes.  First, your responses should help you see how competitive your application is for this application cycle. If you see that you are not as competitive as you should be, you will know you need more time to develop in some areas and that you may need to consider waiting a year to apply.

These questions do not include information about your “metrics.” Your GPA’s and admission test scores are not included here. It is important to keep in mind these numbers will not offset or take the place of inadequate preparation in other key areas of your application. Likewise, activities do not compensate for less than competitive GPA’s and test scores. (Remember there is a range for both competitive test scores and GPA’s.)

In addition, responses to these questions will help you generate ideas and information for your personal statement. For MD applicants, these responses can also help you determine your three most meaningful activities to be included on your AMCAS application.

Complete your responses thoughtfully, completely and professionally.  These will be shared with your committee interviewers and will be used to provide background information for your committee letter.  Type your name, the date, and “Autobiographical Questions” in the upper right hand corner of each page of your responses. Number and write each question and your response.

The due date for submission is January 15, but you should answer these questions early in this process for your own benefit.

  1. Discuss your background, including your family and where you grew up. 
  1. Describe any personal experiences that have influenced your path and decision to pursue your chosen health profession. Beyond this, how have you confirmed your choice of health profession? 
  1. In addition to required courses for your health profession, what has been your focus (theme) in choosing your classes? How do you see these as adding to your preparation for applying and/or adding to your personal growth and development? 
  1. What has been the focus of your health professions related experiences? How/why did you choose these experiences? What did you learn about the patient experience and the relationship between the patient and the care provider? 
  1. How have your service activities, especially non-health care, shaped who you are as a person? Why is this important for you as an applicant? In which community or communities did you serve and why did you choose this? 
  1. What have been your experiences with the underserved? What is the one most important thing you have taken away from these experiences? Why did you choose to work in that community or with that population? 
  1. What leadership skills have you developed and how? Include formal and informal leadership. 
  1. If you participated in research, what was the “theme” of your research (more than “I think I’d better have some research to put on this application”)? What have you learned from your research that has helped you or will help you in your chosen health profession? 
  1. If you are re-applying, what have you done over the last year to enhance your application? 
  1. If you are applying/re-applying to osteopathic medical school (DO), how have you learned about osteopathic medicine and why have you chosen this particular field?

 Adapted from Duke University Health Professions Advising Office Committee Pre-Interview Questions