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5 Application Tips from Admission Officers

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If you’re applying to the 2019 application cycle, the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) is now open! There is a lot that goes into the application process—and your primary application is one of the first steps. You may be wondering what makes a successful applicant. We asked medical school admission officers to share their top five tips.

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You can begin filling out your application now and getting ready to hit the “submit” button starting May 31. There is a lot that goes into the application process, and your primary application is one of the first steps. These medical school admission officers shared their best tips for successful applicants.

  1. Apply early. Most schools extend interview invitations on a rolling basis, so it’s advantageous to apply early in the application cycle. Doing so requires getting organized and requesting your letters and transcripts well in advance. It’s also a good idea to begin drafting your personal statement early enough to allow time for multiple drafts and revisions.
     
  2. Proofread. While there are benefits to applying early, it’s important to take the time to proofread and submit an error-free application. Admission officers notice  typos and grammar mistakes, which can reflect poorly on an applicant. Make sure you fill out your application carefully and ask at least one other person to review it.
     
  3. Be professional. How would you expect a physician to interact with you as a patient? That is how we expect you to interact with us as admission officers, as well as everyone you meet when you come to campus for interview day. Professionalism also extends to any communications you have with our school, and even your presence online (take a look at your social media).
     
  4. Make it personal. Take time before you begin drafting your personal statement to reflect. Why do you want to be a doctor? Why medicine and not some other area of health care? What are the experiences that impacted your decision to pursue this career? If your answer seems generic or not original, you may need to keep working on it. We encourage applicants to convey their personal motivation for medicine in a way that is authentic to them—this is your narrative!
     
  5. Do your research. Your secondary application is often your opportunity to share why you’re interested in our school specifically, so make sure you’ve thought about why our school is a good fit for you. If invited to interview, find out the interview format in advance and conduct at least one mock interview to prepare. Become VERY familiar with your AMCAS and secondary application. Any part of your application is fair game for interview questions.

These tips were contributed by:

  • Darin A. Latimore, MD, Deputy Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Yale School of Medicine
  • Sunny Nakae, PhD, MSW, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Recruitment and Student Life, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
  • David Neumeyer, MD, Dean for Admissions, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH, DrPH, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Education, Assistant Professor, and Associate Director of Operations, CMCA, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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