The medical school application process takes nearly a full year to complete. Therefore, excellent planning and organization are essential, especially since most medical schools have rolling admissions. Rolling admissions means that the school does not wait until all of the applications are submitted to begin evaluating applications, so applying later in the cycle could place you at a disadvantage. Many schools begin interviewing in September, and some offer acceptances as early as mid-October. As spots in the class fill up, it may be more difficult to gain admission.
To start, you need to know some basic information about how the medical school application process works. There are three separate centralized application services for U.S. medical schools:
(American Medical College Application Service) – Used by most allopathic (M.D.) schools.
(Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service) – For public medical
schools in Texas. http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/
(American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service) – Used by most osteopathic (D.O.) schools.
In addition to a primary application submitted through one of these services, most medical schools require a supplemental or “secondary” application. The final step in the application process is an interview.
To help you plan for the coming year, here is a general timeline for the 2012-2013 application cycle:
- Become familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the application service websites above and your prehealth advisor.
- Find out if your school offers a committee letter for recommendations and the process for obtaining one. If you do not have a committee letter, you will need to submit individual letters from faculty and other references. Since the requirements for letters of recommendation differ by school, check with the schools you plan to apply to about their requirements.
- 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 at the AACOM site.
- Continue to gain clinical, research and community service experience throughout the next year.
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty, physicians and other references individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
- 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.
- Register for the MCAT. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/
- Prepare for and take the 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.
- Finalize your list of medical schools.
- Begin working on primary applications.
- AACOMAS opens in May.
- AMCAS applications may be submitted beginning June 5.
- The TMDSAS application becomes available in early May.
- Retake the MCAT if needed.
- Complete supplemental (secondary) applications. Some will arrive within days of your submission of the primary application, while others may take months. Return these to the schools as soon as possible.
- Interviews begin in late August at some medical schools.
September 2012 – spring 2013
- Continue submitting secondaries.
- Interview at medical schools. Interview season continues through late winter or early spring.
- Some schools notify applicants of acceptances beginning 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.
Begin medical school!
Need the help of an experienced medical school admissions advisor? Contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or email@example.com for a free 20- minute phone