Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina
Expected Graduation Year: 2024
Undergraduate Institution: Clemson University
Major: Health Science
Why I’m becoming a doctor
My mother has been a veterinarian tech since the beginning of my memory. Whenever she was unable to find a babysitter for me and my brother, we would go to work with her. Through that experience, I was exposed to a lot of animal medicine and found it interesting.
As I grew up, I enjoyed being the one to grab the first aid kit or packing and bringing my own makeshift kit on trips. Throughout my educational journey, I took on leadership positions and sought out ways to contribute to the community. I wanted to go to medical school because I felt that it was the best opportunity to become someone who could aid others in improving their overall well-being. Now I am interested in emergency medicine, but I want to approach each specialty with an open mind in case one has a stronger calling.
My experience with the AAMC Fee Assistance Program
I used the following benefits during my premed journey:
- MCAT Official Prep Online-Only Bundle
- Reduced MCAT registration fee
- Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)
- Waiver for AMCAS fees
I heard about the AAMC Fee Assistance Program from an upperclassman who applied to medical school two years before me. Learning about this resource early on truly helped my journey because it allowed me to apply for benefits at the optimal time, prior to registering for the MCAT exam.
Studying for the MCAT is a significant undertaking, and it can also be an expensive one. Thankfully, fee assistance benefits include access to official MCAT Prep products. I used the practice problem banks for each of the major sections to assess what I knew and to expose myself to the general setup of the questions I would see on the actual exam. I also used the practice exams to see which areas I needed to focus on, how the exam would run, and how well I might do on the actual exam. Ultimately, using prep products created by the same team that writes the exam allowed me to prepare intentionally and thoroughly, without spending significant amounts of money to do so. Furthermore, I also used the reduced MCAT registration fee benefit to take the exam at a lower cost.
The MSAR was a great resource as I started making decisions on which medical schools to apply to. Having access to admissions requirements, costs, and other information about schools allowed me to make distinctions and build my list in a more informed manner. Moreover, since the Fee Assistance Program also provides AMCAS waivers to designate up to 20 schools on one application, I was able to apply to a total of 15 medical schools as a first-time applicant and receive waived secondary fees for most of the schools I applied to in the process.
I appreciate and made it my mission to make the most of every program benefit, although the benefit I found most useful was the chance to take multiple practice exams. Incorporating these into my MCAT prep regimen gave me an idea of what my actual test day would be like and highlighted the problem areas that I needed to focus on more ahead of the big day.
Advice to future applicants
As you complete your Fee Assistance Program application, it is important to be honest about you and your parents' financial standing. The application requires documentation to confirm that you meet the federal income guidelines, so be thorough and meticulous in gathering and submitting the required information.
If your application is approved and you are granted benefits, make sure you look at all the benefits you are given through this program. Save the e-mail they send listing out your benefits, it contains important information. Try every benefit out at least once, you might make more use out of it than you think!
These students’ testimonials were selected because they represent diverse stories. The views expressed herein are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the AAMC.