Photo by Dutko/iStock / Getty Images

To DO List

Starting in January of the year you would like to apply

 

TASKS January - June of APPlication Year

Order an OFFICIAL copy of ALL of your college transcript/s including universities where you took summer school. Check for any errors and rectify them immediately. You will order another one in May to enter your coursework on AMCAS application.

Start a writing draft of the AMCAS essay and short blurbs of your 15 experiences.  Highlight which 3 of the 15 will serve as your most meaningful. What types of activities are you still missing? Leadership? Clinical? Check AAMC Core Competencies to see if you have covered all areas. The draft will serve as a good starting point and you can give it to the faculty who are writing your recommendations. 

Purchase the AAMC Medical School Admission Requirements  (MSAR) for $28 of you have not already. Make a list of medical schools. Aim for 25 then narrow down to 15 +/- after a more complete review. Start your research. 

Sign up for AMCAS Twitter (@AAMCPreMed) and/or Facebook (www.facebook.com/AAMCPreMed) accounts to get application tips and updates. 

Starting February/March

Secure Recommendation letters. Contact faculty and secure letters by June 1. Determine how many letters you need. Aim for 4-5 letters including at least 2 from science faculty that have taught you in science classes. Create a packet for each faculty including a note/letter stating the deadline for submission, how to submit, draft of your medical school essay so they can see your motivation for this career path and request a meeting. By creating a good impression, you will demonstrate your maturity, organizational skills and motivation for medicine to the faculty that will hopefully say wonderful things about you.

Figure out how you are going to submit your letters. See if your university offers a committee letter. If not, does the Career Center have a recommendation service for you to use. If not then please refer to the AAMC website for specifics on how to submit letters.  Once you have STARTED your AMCAS application, you can request your letters to be sent to AMCAS.

Remember to write hand written thank you letters to each faculty member and keep them up to date on your acceptances.

 

May/June

Spend May and early June trying to understand the mechanics of the AMCAS application. In 2017, the AMCAS application opened on May 2 but you could not submit until June 2nd and the files were not forwarded to the medical school until late June. Each year follows a similar timeline. 

AMCAS publishes daily updates on verification times on their website and through Twitter. In June, wait times are just a few days. If you wait until late July to submit, verification can take 4 weeks or more! AAMC will send the initial batch of verified applications to the medical schools starting June 30th +/- each year. From this date on, verified applications are sent as they are verified. AMCAS MUST have your transcript in order to verify your application. 

If you follow the timeline suggested by Newport, you will have plenty of time to get into the system and make sure your data is perfect before you submit. Participate in AMCAS tutorials, download the DIRECTIONS (many people skip this part but it's important), start filling it out. Review the AMCAS tutorials, especially the one on how to enter study abroad coursework.

You can't submit until June 1 +/-, but chip away at the easy administrative data first, then move to the 15 activities then the essay. Once you have started your application (not submitted yet) then you can request transcripts and send recommendations to AMCAS. Don't send them BEFORE you have started you application since they have no file to attach these documents to.

The sooner you apply, the sooner the application can be verified and sent off the medical schools, the sooner you can start writing your secondaries.

Solicit people to read your application and provide honest feedback. Of course seek out friends and family members, but also look for someone who does not know you very well to get an objective opinion.  Ask for feedback to see how you are coming across on paper. Do you think this is an accurate portrayal of you?  If not, then make changes.  Consider contacting Newport Premedical Consulting, LLC to give you an honest evaluation of your application. They can turn your application around, normally in 48 hrs or less. 

Aim to submit your AMCAS application in June or at the latest July 1 but only if your transcript is complete and accurate. This will include study abroad coursework from the spring semester, if applicable. If something will delay your transcript, determine how long the delay will be and work diligently to resolve the problem. If delays will extend beyond August 1st, seek assistance from a dean or advisor to rectify the problem. You can't accurately fill out your AMCAS if the transcript is incorrect. Your AMCAS coursework needs to match the transcript or your application will be delayed at the verification process. If delays reach beyond late July, I would submit with the current transcript (making sure the AMCAS entries match the current transcript) and then send an updated transcript to the medical schools during the secondary review process. AMCAS will only work with the FIRST transcript you send them. All updates after this should be directed to the medical schools. 

Once you have STARTED your AMCAS application, you can request your transcript to be sent to AMCAS. You need to download the AMCAS Transcript Request Form from your AMCAS application and share this ID number with the registrar. This information is vital to AMCAS so they can accurately match your transcript with your file. 

Print it. Proof it. Have others proof your application. 

JULY/AUGUST

Complete all secondary applications in a timely manner. Aim for a turnaround time of 2 weeks from the time your receive them. After your application is verified, you will get a flood of secondary applications so plan accordingly. If you are overseas at the time, make sure you plan ahead and seek out a high speed internet connection to receive, write and review your secondary applications. Complete all secondaries by the time school starts in September.  You don't want to juggle new schoolwork and secondary essays. There are many websites that will give you las year's secondary medicals school essays. You may want to review these sites to check out what type of questions they are asking. Some schools don't change their essay questions from year to year so you can start writing sooner!

Confirm recommendations are set to go. Recommendations are part of the secondary application so make sure they don't delay your application. 

Sit back and wait for an interview : )

APPLICATION SERVICES

AMCAS for allopathic schools

AACOMAS for osteopathic schools

TMDSAS for Texas schools

OMSAS for Canadian schools.

How long are my MCAT scores good for? Medical School policies for accepting old vs. new MCAT scores


ALLOPATHIC MEDICAL SCHOOL (MD) LINKS

First start with the AAMC site entitled Preparing for Medical School.  

Applicants are strongly encouraged to purchase ($27) the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements), an online database of medical school statistics, GPA ranges, requirements and summaries. The MSAR is an essential tool for applicants.

Always download the instructions to the application services. By completing the application correctly the first time will save you time in the verification process. Although each year it changes, here is the link to the 2017 AMCAS Instruction Manual. The document will outline how to enter coursework correctly; how to enter AP and repeated courses correctly; how to enter study abroad; outlining what you can change after submitting. 

Do Engineering classes count for BCPM on AMCAS? What do Public Health classes count as? Check out the AAMC Course Classification Guide

Allopathic Medical School Applicant and Matriculant Data

Table A:1 US Medical School Applications and Matriculants by School, State of Legal Residence and Sex (2015-2016)

AAMC FIRST.  This great resource from the AAMC on Financial Information, Resources, Services and Tools (FIRST) to help students and residents understand and plan financially for a career in medicine.

Paying for Medical School

AAMC Fee Assistance Program

The cost of APPLYING to medical school

Official Guide to Medical School Admissions

AAMC Core Competencies for Incoming Medical School Students. Please refer to this document often as it should inform you of the essential core competencies you should acquire in your premedical years and then incorporate into your medical school application. 


OSTEOPATHIC MEDICAL SCHOOL (DO) LINKS

Students are strongly encouraged to read the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book 2017. It lists medical school statistics, requirements and summaries as well as board requirements and residency match information. It is an essential tool for applicants.The download is free but you can purchase a hard copy as well. 

Always download the instructions to the application services. By doing it right the first time will save you time in the verification process. Although each year it changes, here is the link to the 2017 AACOMAS Instructions. The document will outline how to enter coursework correctly; how to enter AP and repeated courses correctly; how to enter study abroad; outlining what you can change after submitting. 

Please refer to the Osteopathic Core Competencies for Medical Students. This document outlines expectations and competencies required for medical students in order to be a successful osteopathic physician. This will give you an overview of your educational outcomes as result of your degree. 


UNDERSTANDING AAMC & AACOM

As you apply to medical school, sign up for the MCATs and move through medical school, residency and practice, the AAMC will be with you through this entire journey. The AAMC stands for the Association of American Medical Colleges. The AAMC includes all allopathic (MD) schools. Osteopathic (DO) schools partner with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. All students who need to take the MCATS, will register with the AAMC.

Understanding Residency Match Program.  Times are changing and the American Osteopathic Association and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) are joining forces and offering a more cooperative front as far as coordinating  MD/DO residency and fellowship options. Here is a link to the most recent 2017 resident match statistics from NRMP.