Applying to Medical School

How To Write a Letter of Intent

If you want to inform a certain medical school that they are your top choice, you must write (now usually through email) them a letter of intent. The letter of intent is important because medical schools want to accept applicants that will actually attend their school. If they know that they are your top choice, they are more likely to accept you.

|| Read: Medical Application Help

This letter should communicate why you want to attend that school and why you would be a good fit. It should be formal, specific, and direct. This letter cannot be generic. You can write letters of intent to multiple schools if necessary If you have any advocates such as a premed advisor, professor, mentor, research PI, or physician who is willing to call the school or send a letter to the admissions office, that is helpful as well. If you do not know how to write a letter of intent, specifically for medical schools, here are some step-by-step instructions. Try to limit your letter to one page.

1. Address the letter to the dean or director of admissions

You need to communicate with the people making the decisions. Do your research and figure out who is the dean or director of admissions. Use the correct titles and spellings when addressing your letter. Also, if there was a particular interviewer who you really clicked with, you should include him or her on the cc line as well.

||Read: How To Get Off the Waitlist||

2. Introduce yourself and get straight to the point

Ex. My name is John Doe and I am current applicant to Best University School of Medicine. I interviewed on December 1st. I am writing this letter for two purposes. My first purpose is to reiterate that Best University School of Medicine is my top choice for medical school and explain why I am a good fit for the school. Second, I want to update you on any new accomplishments that may not be in my current file.

3. Explain why the school is your top choice and why you would be a good fit

Give legitimate reasons why you would attend this school over any other school. Include any memorable moments from your interview. If you really enjoyed your time with your interviewer, mention that as well. There might be aspects of the school that would really mesh with your personality or learning style. You can talk about the vision, mission, or certain emphasis of the school and how it resonates with you. Ultimately, you need to explain what makes you a distinct candidate that will fit into their school. Highlight some accomplishments that may make you unique.

||Read: How Do I Decide What Schools To Apply To?||

4. Update them on any recent accomplishments that might not be in their file

Include any newsworthy updates that would not be in your primary or secondary application and update letters. You can also talk about your upcoming plans. You can include things like a new research publication, leadership endeavors, and accomplishments at your job or volunteer place.

||Read: A Year Off Before Medical School||

5. Cleanly close the letter

Give a final statement that reiterates your interest. Thank them and express how you look forward to the rest of the admissions process. Use a professional closing such as sincerely or best wishes. You should be aggressive when it comes to contacting schools and writing letters of intent. If you are really interested in one school, it is acceptable and helpful to write multiple letters of intent to that school. A good guideline would be to send a letter once a month. Just make sure that each letter is unique and informative.

Here is an example letter of intent.

Edward Chang

Edward Chang is the Co-founder and Director of Operations of He graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is currently a urology resident at the University of Washington. He also attended UCLA as an undergraduate, graduating with a major in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. If you are interested in contributing to, please contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EdwardChangMD and Prospective Doctor @ProspectiveDr.

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