A medical crash course probably doesn’t sound like a very good idea, however when it comes to applying for medical school, most people don’t realize all of the different requirements needed in order to get past the application stage. Below is a quick pre-med course plan to get you started with your med school application.
1. Sign up for the AAMC
The Association of American Medical Colleges is your one-stop for all of your med school application resources. This is where you can sign up for AMCAS, which allows you to apply for several schools using one standardized application.
You can also use the AAMC website to search for prospective schools and see which prerequisites they require so you can develop a solid pre-med course plan for your final undergraduate semesters.
2. Request Your Transcripts
All schools require official transcripts, so whether you are using AMCAS or applying to schools one by one, you will need to get your transcripts no later than four weeks after the application deadline. Because of the number of people requesting transcripts, processing and mailing times and possible delays, be sure to do this as soon as you know which schools you might like to attend.
3. Request Letters of Recommendation
Unlike transcripts, which must be provided, letters of recommendation are coming from busy people who will need plenty of time to write you a meaningful and well thought out letter. There may also be some people who simply don’t have time to write you a letter, leaving you with the task of finding other possible references. Allowing plenty of time for this will take the stress off of both you and the letter writer to get them in in time.
4. Book Your Exams
While you might not be quite ready to take the MCAT, book in for your preferred date as soon as you can. The MCAT is a difficult test, and is time consuming to study for. Be sure you allow enough time to study and sit the test, receive the results, and even retake it if need be. MCAT test scores are good for 2-4 years so this can be done well in advance if need be.
5. Write Your Personal Statement
For some schools, your personal statement holds just as much weight as your test scores and GPA. This is a chance for the school to find out who you are, what decisions or experiences have led to your deciding on a career in medicine, and why you should be selected over thousands of other hopeful applicants. Don’t rush through this statement, and be sure it’s not only a good reflection of your personality and goals, but is also grammatically correct and within the application parameters.
There are obviously many more things that could
be included in this medical crash course for applying to med school, but this
list should get you started thinking about what exactly you need to do and when
to do it. Working with a med school advisor through your school or online can
also help you prepare and complete your application requirements in a timely