- Knowing Your Expectations for Your Degree
- Strategizing Your Class Schedule
- LSA Transfer Student Program
Investing adequate time and effort into building the most substantive and meaningful profile possible, and applying when you are actually ready, is your best chance at getting into medical school. Don’t force yourself into a timeline that worked for someone else but might not work as well for you. When you are ready, submit a strong application that highlights the valuable contribution you in particular will make to your cohort and the medical community.
Thoughtful planning for and completion of required coursework and tests, and participation in the activities that comprise a competitive application should begin early in your undergraduate career. Research medical schools to find those that are a good fit. The actual application process for medical school begins well over a year from the date of intended matriculation. Most M.D. and D.O.schools follow a rolling admissions policy, so as long as you don’t sacrifice quality it is best to apply early in the cycle.
For preliminary information about the medical school application process, read the Career Center’s overview. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the centralized application service for first-year students applying to M.D. schools, and the Association of American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) is the equivalent system for D.O. schools. As part of the primary applications, you will be asked to provide biographic and demographic information, official transcripts and lists of coursework, descriptions of work and activities, a reflective statement about your desire and motivation to pursue a career in medicine, letters of recommendation, MCAT scores, and a list of prospective schools. Pre-health advisors at the Newnan Center are available to assist you with application-related questions and to review your personal statements and other application materials.
Letters of Evaluation
Letters of Evaluation are an important part of the application to medical school and allow admissions officials to gain valuable information about your character, motivation, and potential. Letter writers should be chosen carefully, and can be professors, supervisors, employers, coaches, or others who have closely interacted with you and known you personally for a significant amount of time. Medical schools often specify the numbers of letters and who those letter writers should be, so be sure to check school-specific requirements via MSAR. Review these AAMC guidelines for writing a medical school admissions letter, and share this information with your letter writers. The Career Center’s Reference Letter Service is a useful centralized service to house the letters written towards your medical school application. Start talking to your potential letter writers early! Give them time to fit the work of writing a strong letter into their schedule.
Medical school interviews are typically held between the months of September to March preceding matriculation. Students should budget for expenses pertaining to travel and hotel accommodations, professional interview attire, etc. Plan ahead and inform professors and GSI’s about absences from class, and make appropriate arrangements for assignments, tests, and lecture notes that you will miss. Be informed and prepared about the format and length of the interview and the interviewers you will meet (medical school faculty and staff, current medical students, etc.).
The interview is a crucial part of the application and is your opportunity to demonstrate emotional readiness for and commitment to the medical profession. It does not focus on test scores or GPA. Conversation and questions aim to test interpersonal and communication skills, and your ability to interact respectfully and comfortably with a diverse patient population. Personality traits such as compassion, empathy, reliability, and ethical standards will be carefully assessed, as well as a candidate’s maturity, fortitude, and ability to function as a member of a cohesive team.
Pre-health advisors at the Newnan Center are available to assist with your interview preparation. The Career Center offers mock interviews and other interview resources for pre-med students. Also, review AAMC’s interview FAQs, tips from the Student Doctor Network, and advice from the U.S. News and World Report Medical School Admissions Doctor.