— NARRATIVE ESSAYS —

Dear Applicant

Jennifer Edwards-Johnson, DO, MPH

Fam Med. 2022;54(5):395-395.

DOI: 10.22454/FamMed.2022.562892

Dear Applicant,

I want to say thank you.

I reviewed your application. I followed your trajectory and your personal story of resilience. I was moved by your intimate understanding of and obvious commitment to the populations that need you the most. I was impressed by the 50th-percentile MCAT and 3.3 GPA that you managed despite a full course load and working all 4 years of college. You did this, while managing to acquire over 200 hours of service and over 100 hours of clinical activity. And your letters. Your letters described the character of someone who is bright, hardworking, and kind. They described a person who is everything that I want in my physician.

I wanted to tell you that I recognized and understood implicitly the energy it took you to compile such a compelling application despite the frequent attacks on your personhood. I know how hard this past year has been, as you watched with an all-too-familiar feeling as COVID ravaged communities that looked like you. Maybe, even, you were more closely affected than you have availability to let on.

I wanted to tell you I felt hopeful as you described the most meaningful events during your undergraduate career. You recounted your attendance at a rally honoring George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and detailed with pride your dedication to addressing health care inequities. I am grateful to you for giving another piece of yourself in this way, for your dedication and implicit understanding of the necessity of this work.

I want to apologize. My institution hasn’t done the work to affirm your presence here. There are simply not enough of us to ensure that the message is delivered—yes you do belong here, and perhaps more importantly, we need you here. Patients need you here.

I want to let you know that I can’t wait to see you in a hallway, on a Zoom session, or see your name on this journal’s byline. If I am so lucky, it will be with the memory of all that you are now—in just a few pages of an application.

Thank you, my dear future colleague.

Sincerely,

Jenn

Lead Author

Jennifer Edwards-Johnson, DO, MPH

Affiliations: Sparrow-MSU Family Medicine Residency Program | and Department of Family Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, MI

Corresponding Author

Jennifer Edwards-Johnson, DO, MPH

Correspondence: 788 Service Road, B120, East Lansing, MI 48824. 517-420-3045. Fax: 517364-5764.

Email: jennifer.johnson2@hc.msu.edu

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