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Charting A Course to Medical School: PART VIII

We hope you are enjoying this series and that it's helping you chart your own course to medical school. There are only five more articles left. The topics will be applying to medical school, financial aid, interviewing, considered foreign medical schools and additional resources.

If you have questions or want us to cover additional topics, please submit your ideas by emailing us. Now onto Applying to Medical School.....

Tips for Applying

Our number 1 tip: APPLY EARLY!

And when we say early, we mean turning your AMCAS or AACOMAS in by the end of June (the earlier the better, but no need to FedEx it or anything and do NOT submit it before June 1st) and returning your secondaries within 2 weeks of receiving them. We know that you have heard this a million times before, but it is one of the most important elements of the application process.

Make sure to apply to a range of schools so that you can keep your options open and give yourself the best chance to get admitted to medical school.

Be prepared to spend a lot of money as the AMCAS and AACOMAS fees, individual school application fees, and interview costs (flights, hotels, meals, etc...) add up quickly. Some schools have hosting programs, but make sure to contact them early because they usually can't place you at the last minute.

Distinguish Yourself! Each school receives about 7000 applications for 100 spots. Try to make your application distinctive in order to separate yourself from the masses. Before they accept you, they have to remember you.

What if I don't get in the first time?

If you do not get accepted the first time that you apply to medical school, do not worry. It is NOT the end of the world. Take some time off, reevaluate your goals and make sure that becoming a physician is indeed the path you want to pursue. If you know medicine is for you, apply the following year. Medical schools often have so many excellent applicants that it is difficult for admissions committees to determine who will be in their entering class. Not being accepted does not necessarily reflect on your ability to become a physician. It is important for you to be confident about yourself and your desire to become a physician. When you reapply, your confidence and dedication will undoubtedly be even stronger.

If you thought there was a particular area in which you were weak, and this was the primary reason why you were not accepted, you may want to try to improve that area. For example, if your MCAT scores were very low, but all other aspects of your application were outstanding, you may want to consider retaking the MCATs. If your grades were low, then taking more challenging courses and doing well in them may help you to prove yourself academically.

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