Top 8 Funniest/Strangest Secondary Application Videos for Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

By: Ryan Kelly

Yep, you read that correctly: a secondary application video.

If you didn’t already know, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) encourages its medical school applicants to submit a two-minute video for its secondary prompt:

 

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Secondary Prompt ‘16-‘17

“Please provide us with a video of no more than two minutes duration that will help us understand you better. Alternatively, you may provide a written statement of no more than 500 words showing why you think BCOM is the perfect place for you and what qualities you feel you would bring to BCOM that would help develop and foster the climate of our school or submit a physical exhibit (art piece, published research, etc.) to the BCOM Admissions Office.”

Making a video might sound terrifying (or at least painstaking) to you as a candidate, but just imagine how we felt reviewing 50+ of these videos on YouTube to compile this list! We saw things that horrified, surprised, and delighted us. We can’t wait to share them with you.  

If we poke fun at some of the video examples below, it’s not because we’re mean-spirited. We’re just exploring the content that’s publicly available and giving our two cents to help other candidates in the future.

Remember, this is an art, not a science. The purpose of our critiques is to draw lessons that you can use when creating your own admissions video for Burrell.

 

Video #1 - The Spoof      

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loFWEGtnK40

You can tell something strange is going on right away, when you hear that epic movie soundtrack with orchestral crescendo and Gregorian chanting. 

Then it gets weirder. Suddenly we’re viewing a series of satirical BCOM interviews, complete with silly voices and goofy SnapChat filters. It all ends with a hilarious statistic flashing across the screen: “8 billion students were interviewed that year… 0 were accepted.”

What can we learn from this video?

Although humor is encouraged, it shouldn’t come at the expense of substance. This candidate’s spoof of the application process is refreshing, but we don’t learn anything specific about him that would help the admissions committee make an informed decision.  

 

Video #2 - The Cribs Episode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmVsQUSCctU&t=42s

In the style of MTV’s Cribs, this candidate chooses to give you a virtual tour of her apartment.

“They say that your home is a reflection of who you are.” Hmm… a pre-med homebody? Who knew?

We’re not a big fan of any sentence that begins with, “As you can see from my shrine to One Direction…” The wholesome cheesiness hits its climax towards the end: “Your bedroom is the reflection of your soul.” Then why does your soul have a Nerf basketball hoop?  

We also have to give her a shout out for choosing the most generic set of adjectives to describe oneself: dedicated, hardworking, passionate, compassionate.     

What can we learn from this video?

Even if you love your home or apartment, it’s probably better to showcase other aspects of your life. Admissions committees prefer students who are busy and driven, so you might not want to focus too much on relaxing and hanging around the house. Instead, show yourself engaging with the outside world in ways that are most meaningful to you.

 

Video #3 - Vanilla Ice, D.O. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrL8LWBvvDE

In a video entitled “BCOM Baby,” this candidate does his best Vanilla Ice impression by spitting some raps about his life and love for osteopathy.  

The famous hook is replaced with “BCOM Baby… Pick Jakob maybe?” There’s that hip-hop confidence we all know and love. At least he’s mastered the intense staredown.  

The funniest adaptation of the original lyrics comes near the end of the first verse: “If there is a problem, you know I’ll solve it, check out my progress in your post-baccalaureate.” At one point, he also rhymes the word “culture” by claiming he’s going to “tackle med school like a vulture.”

What can we learn from this video?

Stop, collaborate, and listen!

No, seriously, did this candidate share his video with anyone before sending it out? This video seems like a somewhat impulsive idea that was hastily executed (some lyrics don’t even rhyme), and it probably could have been improved with some constructive feedback and more rehearsal. 

 

Video #4 - Whoa... Far Out, Man!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LenMQgRgbL0

Okay, dude, you love the cosmos. That’s cool and everything, but you’re really tripping us out.

Go ahead and skip to 47 seconds in. Just stare into the starry nightscape and listen to that silky soothing voice: “Looking into the vast, outstretched cosmos and pondering the physical reality of our universe makes me feel, in a word… ‘closer to home.’”

That’s technically three words, but we forgive him. We can tell he’s a bit lost in the stars.

What can we learn from this video?

Your tone and inflection are super important when delivering your message. Rather than sharing an enthusiastic and lively narrative, this candidate sounds like he’s trying to create a meditation or hypnosis video. Don’t let your voice put the admissions committee to sleep!

 

Video #5 - The Most Interesting Man in the World? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Z2tl53GGo 

Everyone knows the famous Dos Equis beer commercials with “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” This candidate borrows that idea, featuring his own variety of humorous, paradoxical jokes in the style of Chuck Norris facts

“In a past life, he was himself.”

“If opportunity knocks and he’s not home, opportunity waits.” 

“He gave his father the talk.”

“Mosquitoes refuse to bite him, purely out of respect.”  

What can we learn from this video? 

Using popular culture and other such references can be a tad dangerous. For example, let’s just say that the admissions committee had never seen a Dos Equis commercial and therefore had no knowledge about “The Most Interesting Man” ad campaign. That would certainly change one’s perception of the video. To be safe, avoid any allusions that might be too obscure to understand.

 

Video #6 - Ballad of the Hopeful D.O. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRDviLNDGJc

We have to give this guy credit for his funky riffs and fresh rhymes: “helping underserved patients, skeletal manipulations.” But his lyrics about changing the world and final line “Medical school here I come” left us a little gaggy.

We later find out that his tune is a parody of theme song from BoJack Horseman, a cartoon for adults on Netflix. Good to know he’s getting his inspiration from such sophisticated sources.     

What can we learn from this video?

Even though a song is a fun way to introduce yourself, it doesn’t help your cause much if the lyrics are generic and could apply to anyone. His opening line, “Osteopathic medicine is what I want to do,” does absolutely nothing to distinguish him from the thousands of other candidates.  

 

Video #7 - The Slam Poet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YTa_przUoQ

We love the humorous opening, which immediately cuts to the candidate sitting in an armchair, as if we’ve interrupted his deep reading from his “Poetry” book. With his vest and pocket kerchief, he looks like a narrator who’s about to introduce a TV mini-series on PBS or the History Channel. All he needs is a pipe.

We find out that he loves performing slam poetry, but we don’t get to hear any of it! However, we do get to see his balance of substance and humor through a few more skits.    

What can we learn from this video? 

Don’t be a tease. If you start your video by highlighting a unique hobby (slam poetry) that separates you from the majority of candidates, you better be prepared to deliver! We were waiting for some iambic pentameter or free verse, but it never came! Even just a short clip of him performing would have enhanced the video.     

 

Video #8 - The Open Mic 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx7OudBzIpk 

The video has the confessional, informal feel of an open mic. He really tries to create that unplugged, raw vibe, man. Before doing his best Kenny G impression on the saxophone, this candidate aimlessly rambles: 

“Today my goal is just to be myself. I wanted to show you something about me that’s not on paper, that you can’t find electronically, that just from the naked eye you wouldn’t know.” 

This goes on and on, until he only has 40 seconds to play his sax.  

What can we learn from this video? 

Spare the intro. If your video is going to be you playing the saxophone, then for the love of god, play the saxophone already.

 

Although BCOM is a small school that usually attracts a niche group of applicants (minority candidates with experience helping the underserved), our group at Savvy Pre-med thought that its video secondary prompt was too intriguing to ignore. We hope our examples and lessons will inspire and guide your own application.  

Stay tuned for more coverage of this school and its unusual secondary prompts. We’ll be highlighting common mistakes to avoid when filming and editing your video.