Applying to medical school is a big decision. The process is long and can easily last over a year. This post will summarize the admissions process and what you can do to put yourself in a position to succeed.
Medical School Application Process: Preliminary Work
The process really starts during your years in college. Do your best in all your coursework and build relationships with professors who can write you letters of recommendation. Study hard for the MCAT to get the best score that you can. Start thinking about your personal statement early and have others look at drafts for you. Ideally, you will have your letters of recommendation, MCAT score, and personal statement ready to go by June the year before you plan to start medical school. June is when the AMCAS system opens, and it is a great idea to submit your application as early as possible. After submitting your application, schools will begin sending out secondary applications. These are essays schools require you to write in addition to your personal statement and are often school specific (and expensive!).
Interviews and Beyond
Once schools receive your secondary applications, they will decide whether or not to offer you an interview. If you applied to a wide range of school, a general rule of thumb is to expect interviews from about half the schools you applied to, and acceptances from about half of the schools you interviewed at. Interviews generally go on from about September into February. Some schools have a rolling admissions decision, where they let you know some time after your interview whether you were admitted, rejected, or waitlisted. Other schools release all their decisions on a specific day, usually in March. April 30 is the day that your deposit is due, where you send a check to the school you wish to attend to hold your seat. If you are still on waitlists for schools that you would want to attend, the movement for waitlists usually happens in May and June, where schools assess how many spots they have open and make offers to those on their waitlist. Remember, if you decide to go to a school where you came off the waitlist, the deposit you sent on April 30 is non-refundable.
That’s the medical school application process in a nutshell: primary application in June, secondary applications through the summer, interviews in the fall and winter, decisions in the spring!