Timeline for Application and Admission to Medical School

 

 

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Each person’s journey and experience are different, but this guide can help you prepare for the medical school application and admission process. Talk with your prehealth advisor to create a plan that works best for you.

Read the timeline in its entirety, or navigate directly to a specifc year:

Four or More Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

Prehealth Advisor Activities
A Prehealth advisor can help you navigate the journey of becoming a competitive applicant and then applying to medical school. If your school doesn’t have a prehealth advisor, connect with one via the The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
Make an appointment with a prehealth advisor to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Finalize your fall classes.
  • Discuss how to sequence your classes moving forward.

Campus Activities

  • Learn about campus resources and organizations for prehealth students.
  • Attend prehealth meetings and subscribe to email and social medial updates.
  • Develop relationships with faculty, advisors, and mentors on campus. This will be helpful for finding volunteer, shadow, and research opportunities and for your letters of evaluation.

Work and Activity Experiences

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

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Three Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

Prehealth Advisor Activities

  • Check in with your prehealth advising office; attend prehealth meetings, and make sure you’re receiving information and updates.

Campus Activities

  • Continue to develop relationships with faculty, advisors, and mentors.

Work and Activity Experiences

  • Pursue or continue meaningful medically related activities, including volunteer roles, paid work, research positions, and/or leadership opportunities in health organizations.
  • Consider returning to your previous summer position or applying for a new summer volunteer, paid, or research position in a health care-related environment.

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

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Two Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

Prehealth Advisor Activities
Meet with your prehealth advisor to:

  • Strategize about your application timeline; determine if you’ll apply to enroll immediately following graduation or after one or more gap years.
  • If you are considering a gap year, investigate a meaningful paid or volunteer medically related experience to complete during that time.
  • Discuss your schedule for completing remaining premedical coursework and other school-specific degree requirements.
  • Consider when it’s best for you to take the MCAT exam; visit the MCAT website to find test dates and locations.
  • Determine eligibility for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program. The benefits of the program are not retroactive. You should not submit MCAT registration materials, an AMCAS application, or  purchase MCAT Official Preparation products or an MSAR Subscription until your fee assistance request has completed processing and has either been approved or denied.  
  • Discuss letters of evaluation and learn about your university’s procedures for committee letters.
    • Review the list of medical schools you’re interested in; you can use the “Favorites” feature in the MSAR to email your list of favorite schools to your advisor.

Campus Activities

  • Identify, pursue, or continue leadership opportunities within the prehealth on campus.
  • Think about which faculty, advisors, and mentors you’ll approach to write letters of evaluation for your applications.

Work and Activity Experiences

  • Continue participating in meaningful clinical experiences, other medically related activities, volunteer work, research, and/or leadership roles on campus; if possible, take on a more substantial role.
  • Continue to research medical schools you labeled as favorites in MSAR. If available, apply to their premed pipeline programs.

Registering and Preparing for the MCAT 

  • Read the MCAT Essentials to familiarize yourself with registration, scheduling and test day policies and procedures. 
  • When you’re prepared and ready, register for the MCAT exam.
  • Use the six step guide in the Study Plan for the MCAT Exam to create your own personalized MCAT study plan.
  • Explore free and low-cost MCAT Official Prep resources and products to help you prepare for the MCAT.
  • If needed, decide when to register to retake the exam.

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

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One Year Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

Prehealth Advisor Activities
Meet regularly with your prehealth advisor to discuss:

  • Letters of evaluation and committee letters (if available).
  • Your education options, such as a post baccalaureate premedical program or gap year.
  • The status of your applications and the admission process for schools to which you’ve applied.

Campus Activities

  • Ask instructors, mentors, and advisors to write letters of evaluation for you.

Work and Activity Experiences

  • Seek new meaningful clinical experiences, other medically related activities, volunteer work, and research and/or leadership experiences. 

Applying to Medical School

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

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 Gap Year(s) Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

  • Seek meaningful employment, education, and/or experience, if possible, in a medically related environment.
  • Pay down credit card and/or undergraduate debt as much as possible. Review the AAMC’s financial resources and information.
  • Continue to meet regularly or keep in touch with your prehealth advisor throughout the process.

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

  • Explore FIRST resources that can help you manage undergraduate debt and prepare for medical school expenses. 
     

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After You’re Accepted to Medical School

  • Receive program acceptances.
  • Make interim and final decisions about medical school choice.
  • Notify medical schools on or before the deadline given that you will not be attending.
  • Ensure all IRS and financial aid forms are completed and submitted as early as possible.
  • Purchase books and equipment, and make appropriate living arrangements.
  • Attend orientation programs and matriculate into medical school!

AAMC Resources, Services and Tools

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