As you make your plan for the 2011-2012 medical school cycle, remember that most medical schools have rolling admissions. This means that the school does not wait until all of the applications are submitted to begin evaluating applications and that applying later in the cycle could place you at a disadvantage as spots in the class fill up.
There are three separate centralized application services for U.S. medical schools:
- American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), which is used by most M.D. schools. https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) used by osteopathic medical schools. http://www.aacom.org/InfoFor/applicants/Pages/default.aspx#aacomas
- Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMSDAS) for both M.D. and D.O. public medical schools in Texas. http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/
To help you get started making your schedule, here is a timeline to follow for the 2011-2012 application cycle:
- Become familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the application service websites above, medical school websites and a premedical advisor.
- Gather information about medical schools. The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), available for purchase through the AAMC site, is an excellent resource. The Osteopathic College Information Book can be downloaded online or purchased at the AACOM site.
- Find out if your undergraduate institution offers a committee letter of recommendation and the process for obtaining one.
- Continue to gain clinical, research and community service experience throughout the next year.
- Make sure that you are on track to complete the prerequisite course work for medical school.
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty and physicians individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol. Check with individual schools about their letter requirements.
- Begin studying for the MCAT several months before you plan to take the test.
- Request copies of your transcripts to ensure that there are no errors on them before you have official copies sent to the application services.
- Register for the MCAT early in order to get your preferred date and site. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/
- Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
- Register for the MCAT if you have not done so already.
- Prepare for and take the MCAT.
- Fill out primary applications.
- Arrange for a clinical, research or shadowing experience as part of your summer activities.
The AMCAS application may be submitted on or near June 1 and the ACOMAS application may be submitted starting June 1. Both applications become available a month or two prior to that so you can begin filling them out online, although you may not submit them until the application cycle opens.
The TMDSAS application becomes available in early May.
- Retake the MCAT if needed.
- Complete supplemental (secondary) applications. Some will come within days of submitting the primary application, others will take months. Return these to the schools as soon as possible.
September 2011 – spring 2012
- Continue submitting secondaries in the fall.
- Begin interviewing at medical schools. Interviews start in late August at the earliest schools and continue into the early spring.
- Some schools begin notifying applicants of acceptances October 15. Notifications continue until the class is full.
- By May 15, applicants to AMCAS schools should only be holding a spot at one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.
- Update schools you are waitlisted at about new activities and accomplishments.
- Prepare to start medical school.
Begin medical school!
Need the help of an M.D. experienced with medical school applications? Contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 minute phone consultation.