Research The Schools To Which You Are Applying
Do not apply to medical schools blindly. Be selective in choosing which schools you want to attend. Make sure that you meet all the medical school requirements that are listed by the school. Medical school rejection is often the result of not taking the time to find out what kind of applicants different medical schools tend to admit. To be a competitive applicant, you will need to meet some of the criteria set not only by the school but by its former matriculants. Even though most schools have no official GPA or MCAT cut-offs, you will learn their GPA and MCAT score expectations from this blog and from our DO school rankings make sure to meet these averages. For example, if the programs matriculants had an average GPA of 3.7, then you should work to at least meet this GPA expectation. If the schools matriculants had a median MCAT score of 515, then you must prepare for the test and receive a score no lesser than 515.
Get Into Medical School
Discover the six secrets of how to get into Medical School, with tips on how to succeed at each step. Learn how to choose the right Med Schools, become a stronger candidate, secure interview invites, and stand out at your interviews!
How To Get Into Med School
- Find out which Med Schools you should apply to
- Build your medical experience
- Make sure you score highly in UCAT and BMAT
- Write a compelling Personal Statement
- Prepare to stand out at interviews
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Know The Different Types Of Medical Schools
There are two types of physicians in the US:
- Allopathic physicians
- Osteopathic physicians
Both types are fully licensed physicians and are often very similar in the way that they practice medicinethey just receive degrees from slightly different types of programs.
We’re most used to hearing about doctors with MDs, so if you’re not familiar with DOs, I encourage you to do more research on these types of programs. DOs receive additional specialty training in certain areas, including using the hands to diagnose/treat illnesses and injuries.
You can read more about osteopathic medicine on the American Osteopathic Association site.
Allopathic or osteopathic: which type of med school is right for you?
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Are You Compassionate Mature And Emotionally Intelligent
Compassionate people are kind. They are aware of suffering in the self and other living things, and they want to help alleviate suffering. Mature people are able to accept responsibility. They are considerate of others, patient, and supportive of others, among other qualities. Emotionally intelligent people are aware of their emotions. They can harness and apply their emotions to problem-solving and other tasks and manage emotionslike being able to cheer up yourself, or other people, or to infuse calm into a situation.
How Much Is Medical School Tuition
Once you get accepted to medical school, how much can you expect to pay for your education? How can you decrease that amount with scholarships, and how can you pay off your student debt?
Medical school tuition varies greatly with each state and each school. State schools almost always cost less than private medical schools. Medical school tuition starts around $15,000 for most in-state residents. Of course, there is also the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences School of Medicine if you want to go to medical school for free.
Attending a public medical school out-of-state can be upwards of $60,000 just for tuition each year! This doesnt include books, fees, and living expenses. Medical school costs can add up quickly, with the average debt of graduating medical students in 2018 at $196,520 according to the AAMC.
I’ve done several podcast episodes about paying back your student loans as a doctor. One of the best was my interview with Dr. Dahle of The White Coat Investor on The Premed Years.
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Don’t Be Afraid To Self
“It’s OK to highlight the accomplishments you’re proud of put these in your required personal statement or find a way to work them into conversation during interviews. The key is to do it humbly but confidently: ‘I was fortunate enough to win a teaching award from my time as a chemistry lab TA, and that’s something I’m really proud of.’ It’s OK to be proud of your own achievements! Selectively highlighting a few make your application stand out from the rest.”
Premed Timeline: What To Do In What Order
The premed process should go off like a well-choreographed dance. Unfortunately, it’s typically more like a waltz performed with someone with two left feet.
Having a plan and following that plan is essential. We put together a pretty comprehensive timeline for medical school to help you create that plan. In that post, you’ll learn when you should be talking to your premed advisor, getting involved with volunteering, and preparing for the MCAT.
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Harvard Medical School Personal Statement
HMS requires that you apply using the AMCAS application. In order to do so, you must write a personal statement, which serves as an overview of your personal, academic, and extracurricular background and your path to medicine.
To give you a sense of how to write a personal statement at the level expected by top-tier medical schools, here is an essay written by a student who matriculated at Harvard Medical School. All identifying details and names have been changed.
It was strange to find myself at a hospital without a visitors desk or a cash register. I was volunteering at Raul Morales Hospital, a non-governmental organization that provides free medical care to people who are underserved in Mexico City. There I met Mr. Lopez, a middle-aged man who was homeless and suffering from hypertension, liver cirrhosis, and insomnia.
However, there was one patient who did not fit in. He frequently quarreled with the other residents, and the nurses called him hopeless. Maybe they resented his lies when he tried to avoid taking his prescribed drugs or sneak out of the hospital to smoke a cigarette. When I first approached him, he told me to leave him alone. This was Mr. Lopez.
Temple University Lewis Katz School Of Medicine Early Assurance Program
- Enrollment policy: Eligibility includes Temple University, Washington & Jefferson College, DeSales University, Lehigh University, Moravian College, Muhlenberg College.
- GPA requirements: Overall GPA, 3.5 Science GPA, 3.5 at the end of junior year. No grade can be below a B-.
- MCAT required: Yes, minimum score of 508, with no section score lower than 126.
- Other notes or restrictions: Students interested in linking through the EAP are nominated by undergrad pre-med advisors.
- Students must complete 2 semesters of chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology for consideration by the end of junior year, students must have completed 2 semesters in biology, 4 in chemistry, 2 in physics, and 2 in mathematics.
- Students must also complete 50 hours of physician shadowing or related experiences and 50 hours of community service.
- Accepting an offer to this program is binding, and students are expected to refrain from applying to, or accepting offers from, other medical schools.
- Due date : Not stated
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Work With A Premed Advisor
There is a set of general requirements that are going to be applicable to most every medical school. Your undergraduate institution very likely has a premed or prehealth advisor. These people will be familiar with the requirements.
John D. Schriner, PhD, is associate dean for admissions and student affairs at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, one of 37 member schools of the AMAs Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.
He does see applications from graduating college students that are excellent.
They have it going on. Performing academically, being involved with some great service or volunteer work, research, Schriner said. What that tells me is heres somebody who has incredible time-management skills and is driven and focused on what they want to do.
What’s The Best Way To Build A Strong Med School Application
According to Kaitlyn Kraatz, a career advisor with Waterloo’s Centre for Career Action, it’s about “being the best version of yourself and following the path that reflects you as an individual. Accumulate experience, try not to get overloaded, and choose your program or extracurriculars based on what you love to do.”
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Be Polite And Be Yourself At Interviews
Research the schools you’re interested in and look at mission statements, so you know something about the institution that you can share at the interview. Practice answering interview questions. When you arrive, be courteous to everyone you meet at the interview, including the receptionist.
“Schools are interested in learning what kind of student and person you are,” says McKenzie. Schools invest in students and are looking for a good fit.
If you need help with effective body language, knowing how to dress professionally or for other tips, check out your school’s Career Services office, which may offer mock interview opportunities and other techniques to help you present your best self.
Get Some Work Experience Related To The Medical Field
Work experience related to the medical field is of particular value when applying to medical school. The primary value of working in a hospital, doctors office, public health clinic, or nursing home is to increase your exposure to the field and also help you decide whether to pursue a career in medicine. Many admissions committees will view this type of medically-related work experience favorably. This is not a medical school prerequisite to admissions, but is becoming increasingly important.
Boston University Early Medical School Selection Program
- Enrollment policy: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Written agreements exist with: Chaminade University, Clark-Atlanta University, Dillard University, Hampton University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, Spelman College, Tougaloo College, University of the Incarnate Word, University of Texas at El Paso, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University
- GPA requirements: Not stated
- MCAT required: Yes, no minimum requirement stated
- Other notes or restrictions: Program emphasis is on underrepresented minorities.
- Students are required to complete at least 1 year of biology, with lab, and 1 year of chemistry, with lab, at minimum.
- Students accepted to this EAP will remain at their undergraduate school through junior year, spending summers taking courses at BU. They will then go to BU during their senior year, where they will live in campus residence.
- Due date : Not stated
Do Well In High School
If you’re serious about becoming a doctor, you’ll do yourself a big favor by getting focused in high school. As mentioned, this is a pretty competitive field, so the earlier you start distinguishing yourself as a great student, the easier the process will be.
Here’s what you can do in high school to help prepare you for later steps.
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Medical School After : Should You Do It
Starting medical school after the age of 30 is not easy. Its a tough call that involves decision-making both at the individual and family level, not to mention considering the exorbitant costs associated with it.
Such a shift in mid-life is also likely to invite strong reactions from friends and family, both for and against. Whether the majority opinion is supportive or discouraging, should you do it? Will the rewards be worth your effort and sacrifice?
At this point, the experience of those who have gone to medical school after 30 or even later might serve as a helpful guide for your thought process.
Requirements For Early Assurance Programs
The requirements for application vary from school to school, so you must look into the program that interest you to see if you are eligible. However, in general, most Early Assurance Medical Programs require you to have at least 5 pre-med courses completed by the end of your second year of undergrad. Some Early Assurance Programs require that you be selected for application by your pre-health advisor. As well, your overall academic performance during those first two years is critically important, so high overall and science GPAs are generally required. Youre trying to convince an admissions committee that you are prepared to commit to a life as a medical practitioner much earlier than many of your peers, so demonstrating that you have the stellar academic abilities and refined personal qualities necessary to make that commitment at such an early stage is paramount.
As well, youll have to go through a similar application process for med school, including submitting a medical school personal statement, medical school secondary essays , letters of recommendation, demonstrating a thorough history of service through volunteer, work, and extra-curricular activities, and so on . This means that, while youre achieving academic excellence during those first two years of undergrad, you should also be gaining experience by shadowing a doctor, volunteering and community service, getting research and clinical experience, and so on.
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Georgetown University School Of Medicine Early Assurance Program
- Enrollment policy: Georgetown undergraduates only transfer students are not eligible to apply.
- GPA requirements: Overall GPA, 3.6 Science GPA, 3.6. Earning a C or below in any course results in disqualification.
- MCAT required: No
- Other notes or restrictions: Must be in fourth semester at Georgetown and completed 4 of 5 pre-med courses by the end of May .
- Cannot withdraw from any course related to major.
- Changes to proposal or coursework plans must be pre-approved by School of Medicine.
- Due date : Pre-application interviews and related preparations usually begin in November, with the finalized application package due in late-March.
Choose The Correct Initial Education
Because of the stringent standards for medical school admission, you must pick a major and minor that will give you the best chance of being accepted.
Learn about prerequisites using our course selector. In most, if not all, courses, there is a need for at least two scientific disciplines.
Chemistry, physics, and mathematics are required. Applicants should only apply if they match the admissions criteria.
There are choices if youre too far down the path to fulfill the admittance requirements. Medicine with a foundation year, for example, is a six-year study that aims to prepare students for a standard degree in medicine.
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How Hard Is It To Get Into Harvard Medical School
Given its acceptance rate of just 3.5 percent, getting into Harvard Medical School is a challenge for even the best applicants. Below are the Harvard Medical School admissions statistics for the class of 2025:
While helpful, these statistics dont fully answer everyones favorite question: How hard is it to get into Harvard Medical School? To get a better sense of that, lets review the academic data among accepted students:
Average GPA: 3.9
Average MCAT score: 519.46
Before you throw your hands up in defeat, consider that while Harvards average stats are quite high, not everyone getting in has a 3.9 GPA and 519 MCAT score. Given that these are average scores, approximately as many students with lower stats get in as those with higher stats. With a strong extracurricular background and systematic application approach, youll increase your odds of getting in.
Note that, to apply to Harvard Medical School, you must submit MCAT scores taken within the past three years.
Put Together Your Med School Application
There are three parts of the med school application process.
Part 1: Primary Application
You send in your primary application by June the year before your first year of med school. Most med schools use AMCAS, which is like a Common Application for med schools.
This application includes official transcripts, a personal statement, your resume/CV, and your MCAT scores. Start preparing these materials a few months before submission.
Part 2: Secondary Application
This usually happens in July-August on a typical application timeline . At this point, a school will either reject your primary application or ask you to complete its secondary application.
The secondary application will differ for each school you apply to. Sometimes, schools just ask you to submit an application fee to continue with the application process. Other times, though, schools send fairly extensive lists of essay prompts for you to answer.
If the medical school is happy with your primary and secondary applications, you’ll move on to the next part.
Part 3: Interview
If a school definitely does want to interview you, you’ll hear back from them pretty quickly. Some students are left in limbo for a while as schools deliberate over what to do with them.
Interviews are the final decision-making phase. Your interview will either make or break your application. Preparing for interviews is tough because each school will have its own priorities and questions.
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