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What’s the Journey to Residency Like?

You may be just beginning to apply to medical school, but have you thought about how you become a resident after graduation? Here’s a quick crash course on what to expect.

International Women’s Day — Celebrating Women in Medicine

The AAMC celebrates International Women's Day by recognizing women in history who've made significant contributions to the medical field.

How to Study for the MCAT Exam: Ask the Examinees

Here are some tips and insight from both the AAMC and former examinees to help get you started.

Five Fee Assistance Program Facts to Help You Apply in 2021

Here are five facts to help you apply and get the most out of the program.

Being First Doesn’t Have to Mean You’re Last: Supporting First-Generation Medical Students on Their Journey to Doctor

As a first-generation student in medical school, you may not know what you don’t know.

2020 in Review: The Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts

As we reflect back on 2020, here’s a look at our most popular stories on the Aspiring Docs Diaries blog.

When Is the Right Time to Take the MCAT® Exam? Three Questions to Ask Yourself!

Virtual Shadowing — Tips From a Current Medical Student and Physician

With the recent rise in telemedicine, premeds and medical students may find virtual shadowing opportunities an option while waiting for in-person shadowing to resume.

Financial Tips for Premed Students

Explore the Health Professions With the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

Resources to Help You on Your Socially Distant Premed Journey

New Field in the MSAR: Support Systems for Gender and Sexual Minority Students

Share Your Journey to Medicine: Write for the AAMC’s “Aspiring Docs Diaries” Blog

From Face-to-Face to FaceTime: Interviewing for Medical School During COVID-19

The AAMC has developed new resources to assist students, advisors, and institutions with the move to virtual interviewing.

Adapting the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This summer over 900 students will participate in SHPEP’s free four-week virtual program, offering a variety of academic and career enriching experiences.

How to Choose the Perfect Medical School

Choosing your medical school is about much more than average MCAT® score and GPA. Read advice from real medical students on how to find the best fit for you.

Demonstrating Competence in an Unconventional Application Year

The AAMC offers tips to applicants who are concerned about demonstrating competencies, obtaining letters of recommendation, and participating in clinical experiences as a result of COVID-19.

What to Read, Watch, and Listen to This Summer: Our Top Picks for Future Physicians

Medical School Application Tips From Real Medical Students

Read a collection of the latest tips from students who’ve participated in our Anatomy of an Applicant series.

Top 10 Questions Premeds Should Ask Medical School Financial Aid Officers

Attending medical school is expensive and most medical students will need to borrow federal student loans to cover their medical school’s cost of attendance. Below is a list of 10 questions to help you get a conversation started with the financial aid office professionals at the medical...

The Anatomy of Cultural Competence

Learn how three medical students successfully demonstrated cultural competence on their medical school applications.

NAAHP Recommends Prehealth Opportunities During the Pandemic

Since many premed-focused summer opportunities have been canceled or postponed, the NAAHP recommends these alternative ideas, in addition to self-care and wellness activities.

Managing Your Student Loans After Graduation

Congratulations! You graduated! Now what should you do with your student loans before you start medical school? Depending on your plans for applying to medical school and the type of loans you have, you have options that will fit your needs before, during, and after medical school.

Highlighting Non-Medical Related Experiences

For college students, there are countless opportunities to develop skills in the core competencies outside the clinical setting.

Admissions Unveiled: What You Need to Know

Get answers directly from the source - the medical schools. We asked three medical school admissions professionals frequently asked questions about the application process. Here's what they had to say.

Applying to Medical School as a Nonscience Major

Although you don’t have to be a science major to apply to medical school, there are some important things to keep in mind if you choose a major outside of the natural sciences.

Behind the Curtain — Utilizing the Holistic Review Process in Class Selection at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix

Learn how one medical school utilizes the holistic review process in setting a strategy for an Admissions Committee.

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Global Health Experience: An Interview with Jessica Evert, MD

If you’re considering going abroad for a global health experience, there are a few things you need to know. We sat down with Jessica Evert, MD, to learn more about what it means to have a relevant and ethical experience, as well as what experiences to avoid.

What You Should Know: Applying and Paying for Medical School

It’s no secret: It’s expensive to attend medical school. However, the AAMC firmly believes that cost shouldn’t deter you from achieving your goals and aspirations.

Exploring Research Careers through Summer Research Programs

The Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) Program provides hands-on summer research experience for high school and undergraduate students interested in exploring research careers. In this eight to 10-week program, students are paired with experienced research...

Five Fee Assistance Facts

Want discounted MCAT® exam registration fees, complimentary access to the Medical School Admission Requirements ™ (MSAR®) database, free MCAT Official Prep products, and more? Check out our five facts about the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program to learn how you can receive these benefits.

Most Popular Navigator Articles of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, revisit some of your favorite PreMed Navigator articles from the past year.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

During the past 30 years, the SHPEP program has introduced nearly 30,000 college students to careers in medicine, dentistry, and other health professions. Learn more about SHPEP and consider applying for summer 2020.

More Tips for Attending Premed Conferences

Attending a premed conference or recruitment fair is a good way to learn about multiple schools, programs, and admissions requirements all in one place.

Teamwork Makes the (Medical School) Dream Work

With hospitals increasingly moving toward team-based structures, being an effective team member is essential to creating considerate and high-functioning health care teams where physicians work closely with residents, nurses, PA’s and other care team members.

This week's Heart to Heart conversation: Maintaining balance

AAMC President and CEO David Skorton, MD, shares tips for maintaining balance amidst a heavy academic workload.

Be Our Guest: How to use MSAR® (mostly for free) before, during and after you apply

A significant amount of information from the MSAR is available for free to all users. We’ve compiled a list of the data and features anyone can access free-of-charge, to help you make insightful, strategic decisions about where to apply.

Starting your premed college career on the right foot

We reached out to a few prehealth advisors around the country to ask: What advice do you, as advisors, have for premed students starting at a new college or starting as new premed students?

Five MORE podcasts for premeds

Last year, we shared five popular premed podcasts. This year, we chose five MORE podcasts we think you’ll enjoy, with perspectives from medical students, residents, and faculty.

Researching medical school admission requirements

Though each medical school has its own set of requirements for applicants, a few general recommendations include one year of biology, two years of chemistry, and an English class.

Preparing for your medical school interview

When you’re invited to an interview, you should feel confident — it means you’ve already impressed reviewers with your strong personal statement, letters of evaluation, and academic history.

How success and resilience intertwine in a medical career (and life)

It can be easy to assume that academic metrics are all that matters in the admissions process. However, admissions committees are looking at many different factors when evaluating applications. Learn about two of the 15 Core Competencies that are important qualities for entering medical...

Budgeting to Pay for Medical School

Learn about tools to help you get started and tips for managing your budget going forward.

Medical school admissions perspective: How to stand out in your applications

If you are applying to medical school, you may wonder how to make yourself stand out in your applications. We asked Sunny Nakae, PhD, associate dean for student affairs at the University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine, this very question. She offers three areas to focus on —...

Great summer reads for aspiring physicians, Vol. 4

With summer just around the corner, it’s time for the AAMC’s annual list of book recommendations for any student interested in pursuing a career in medicine.

How to choose the best premed major

As someone interested in pursuing a career in medicine, you may be wondering what you should major in to prepare for medical school. We are answering some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from students to help you make this decision.

New feature update! The Medical School Admissions Requirements™

The Medical School Admissions Requirements™ website for 2019 is now available! This website is updated every year with each medical school’s data, policies, and other information to help you make decisions about which schools you would like to apply to. But we’ve also added new information...

Preparing letters of evaluation for the 2020 AMCAS® application

Are you preparing to apply to the 2020 AMCAS® application cycle? The application will officially open on May 1, 2019! As you begin planning, it’s a good idea to start thinking about and asking for your letters of evaluation. Learn about the resources available to help you complete this...

Watch: AAMC 4th annual Virtual Medical School Fair

On Feb. 21, the AAMC hosted its fourth annual Virtual Medical School Fair. The fair included four presentations that were recorded and are now available. Watch now!

Advisor corner: The questions prehealth advisors wish their students would ask

There is a lot that goes into the process of preparing for and applying to medical school. It is always valuable to ask for help when needed. But are you asking the right questions?

Report: The need for more native youth to pursue medicine (and pipeline programs that help)

As an aspiring physician, it’s important to be informed about issues facing health care, such as the looming physician shortage in the United States or the need for a more diverse health care workforce. A recent report, Reshaping the Journey: American Indians and Alaska Natives in Medicine,...

Resilience: Medical students’ advice for premeds

When medical students are asked to share their advice for premed students, there is a common theme among their responses: resilience.

Fee Assistance Program: What’s new in 2019

The AAMC Fee Assistance Program has updated its resources and benefits for the 2019 calendar year. The program is designed to assist those who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) or apply to medical school through the American...

What it’s like to participate in the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)

There are many ways to gain experience when you are preparing for medical school, like the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP).

How to demonstrate service orientation

Medical school admissions committees look at many different factors when evaluating your readiness for success in their programs, specifically, a set of core competencies. Learn more service orientation, and how current medical students demonstrated this competency in their application.

Perspective from medical students: Important lessons patients teach

As a busy semester comes to an end and you continue to prepare your application to medical school, it can be easy to forget what the medical profession is all about: serving patients. Read stories from medical students and residents about interacting with patients and what those experiences...

What to do during a gap year(s)

If you are considering taking time after graduation and wondering what you could do, we’ve compiled a list of things for you to think about.

Expectations of professionalism during the medical school admissions process

You may be unaware, but there are a set of principles in place to help students, advisors, and medical school admissions staff ensure fairness and professionalism throughout the medical school process. Understanding the Application and Acceptance Protocols are important as you apply to...

Tips from an admissions officer on interviewing for medical school

How do you be the best you can be on interview day? Sunny Nakae, assistant dean for admissions at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, discusses four tips to help you interview with confidence.

Considering a combined degree: MD-PhD, MD-MBA, MD-MPH, MD-JD

You may not have known there are dual-degree programs offered by medical schools for students interested in pursuing an additional master’s degree. Learn about the difference between each of these dual-degree programs and why you might consider pursuing one.

What admission officers wish premeds knew before applying

What exactly do medical schools look for in applications? We asked three admission officers what they want applicants to know before applying to medical school.

Is a baccalaureate-MD program right for me?

You may not know, but there are programs out there for students who already know they want to pursue a career in medicine. These dual-degree programs combine your undergraduate education with medical school. Learn more about these combined programs and whether they might be right for you. ...

Free resources every aspiring physician should read

“Where do I even start?” This is a common question for students as they decide to pursue a career in medicine or move from one part of the process to the next. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but there are many free resources available to help you navigate preparing and applying. Learn...

Advisor corner: Effective study skills of successful students

Developing good study habits and skills is important for you to be academically successful. But what types of skills do the most successful students demonstrate? We asked four pre-health advisors to share what study skills they feel are most critical for students to be successful in their...

Living on a student’s budget

Talking about finances — let alone thinking about them — is never a particularly fun conversation to have. However, learning to budget and manage your finances now will serve you well once you are a medical student. Get a snapshot of money management and the free resources available to you to...

Premed perspective: AAMC summer interns

Every summer, the AAMC offers internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to gain experience by assisting with initiatives, programs, and services. Students who intern at the AAMC are interested in a variety of careers, but each year there are several interns who are...

Misconception, misinformation, and myths: Premed students with disabilities

Premed students with disabilities often receive misinformation about their competitiveness and candidacy for medical school. To help change these misconceptions of health care providers with disabilities and dispel prevailing myths, Lisa Meeks, PhD, shares the most common misinformation and...

Five Ways You Can Help Prevent Your AMCAS® Application from Being Delayed

To help you avoid any delays during the verification process, we’ve compiled five tips to help prevent application delays.

Advisor Corner: Preparing for Secondary Applications

Secondary applications are specific to each school and focus on their specific values and interests. We asked three prehealth advisors to offer their best advice for applicants on how to approach your secondary applications

Great Summer Reads for Aspiring Physicians, Vol. 3

It’s finally summer! Whether you’re looking for something to read by the pool or looking to take a break from writing secondary applications, check out our list of great reads for aspiring physicians.

Application Tips from Medical Students & Residents

Preparing your medical school application can be like a puzzle. Each piece comes together to form a more complete picture of you as an applicant. As you prepare to apply, it can be helpful to hear tips from those who have successfully matriculated. Read these medical student and resident tips...

Reapplying to Medical School? Tips from Admissions Officers

It goes without saying that the medical school application process is competitive. If you weren’t accepted on your first try, don’t be discouraged! We asked three medical school admissions officers to give their best advice for how to approach reapplying and ways to strengthen your...

Ignore the National Rankings and Make Your Own School List

The AAMC always encourages students to ignore national rankings when putting together their school lists. There are many tools you can use to create your own school lists, including the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) website. Now you can create a ranking system completely...

A Medical Student’s Perspective from Sitting on the Admissions Committee

Did you know that at many medical schools, current medical students have the opportunity to be part of the admissions process? Luis E. Seija, class of 2019 at Texas A&M University College of Medicine, is one such student. We asked him to share his experience on the admissions committee...

5 Application Tips from Admission Officers

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...

Apply to AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program

To help those who would be unable to apply to medical school without financial assistance, the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program (FAP) covers some of the costs associated with the application process.

Medical Student Perspective: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria that devastated so many last year, the AAMC asked medical students to share their experiences both during and after the storms.

Your Questions Answered: The MCAT Scoring Process

As you prepare for test day, you might be wondering how the AAMC calculates your MCAT scores. Or, perhaps you have already heard one of the many theories on how we do it. To help remove the mystery of the process, we are answering your frequently asked questions about how your exam will be...

Tips to Get the Most from the Medical School Admission Requirements™ (MSAR®)

The MSAR is the resource with detailed profiles for medical schools and baccalaureate-MD programs.

Five Podcasts for Premeds

Podcasts are everywhere and their popularity is increasing, so it’s not surprising that there are now a host of podcasts about medicine and medical education. We’ve picked five podcasts about the application process and what it means to be in medical school that we think you’ll enjoy, with...

Watch: AAMC Hosts 3rd Annual Virtual Medical School Fair

On February 15, the AAMC hosted its third annual Virtual Medical School Fair, which included four presentations that discussed the application process, holistic admissions, getting experience, and financial aid. The four workshops have been recorded and are available now!

How to Train for a Marathon—or the MCAT Exam

Sunny Nakae, MSW, PhD, assistant dean for admissions, recruitment, and student life, and assistant professor of medical education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, likens preparing for the MCAT exam to training for a marathon. Just like a marathon takes training and...

Medical School Spotlight: The Path to Serving the Underserved at VCU School of Medicine

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine's International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship Program (I2CRP) brings together like-minded students who want to make an impact on underserved communities. Program Director Mary Lee Magee describes the success of one student who credits...

Advisor Corner: Preparing for Committee Letter Process

Students are often strongly encouraged to obtain a committee letter of evaluation to support their medical school application if it is available through their undergraduate or post-bacc program. We asked four pre-health advisors to give their best advice to students who are seeking a...

To Apply In-State or Out-of-State?

Based on your comments to a recent AAMC Premed Team Twitter Poll, one of the most important factors when choosing a medical school is location, specifically, whether the school is in-state or out-of-state. Location is certainly a valuable consideration, but before ruling out medical schools...

Active Learning the Focus for the Larner College of Medicine

At every medical school, the way courses are structured varies. For the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, traditional lecture style classes are about to be a thing of the past. By 2019, all classes will be based in active learning methods. Learn how active learning within the...

Before You Apply! 8 Tips to Completing your Fee Assistance Program Application

The AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program helps to alleviate some of the costs associated with preparing for and applying to medical school. Here are eight tips to help you complete your application.

6 Steps to Creating an MCAT Study Plan

What’s the best way to prepare for the MCAT exam? One way to prepare is to develop a study plan.

4 Reasons to Take a Service Year Before Medical School

Increasingly, students are taking time off after their undergraduate programs before entering medical school. One way to make the most of this time and gain real-world experience while working in the community is to take a service year.

An Artful Approach to Medicine

A few times each month during the fall semester, a group of first-year students at the Perelman School of Medicine spend their day observing works of art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art instead of in the classroom. No, these students aren’t simply taking a break to enjoy the museum; they...

How to Maximize Your Pre-Interview Research

Congrats for landing that important medical school interview! But now what? How do you make a good impression? How do you set yourself apart? The key is to do your research. Asking questions is one way to make a big impression—not only to show you’ve done your homework, but also that you’re...

9 Medical School Blogs to Follow

A current medical students’ perspective is valuable when researching schools that might be a good fit for you and where you might apply.

Staying Motivated: Advice from Current Medical Students and Physicians

Pursuing a career in medicine is an incredibly noble and rewarding career path, but it is challenging and rigorous. Sometimes the journey to medical school can seem overwhelming and daunting. But you’re not alone. Current medical students and practicing physicians have all experienced the...

Gaining Experience: Summer Health Professions Education Program

Getting health-related experience will not only help you enhance your medical school application, but will ensure you like working in a health field, give you a chance to take on leadership roles, and build your resume. While there are many opportunities out there, as a college freshman or...

Advisor Corner: Balancing it All

Balancing difficult science courses, leadership in student organizations, research, community service, campus jobs, and numerous other commitments—all while applying to medical school—is no easy task. We asked three pre-health advisors to give their best advice for premeds who are preparing...

What Medical Schools are Looking for: Understanding the 15 Core Competencies

Many medical schools use holistic review and to help define holistic review further, they use 15 Core Competencies as a tool to evaluate your application.

Celebrating Women in Medicine Month

September is the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Women in Medicine Month, created to recognize the growing number of women in the profession. To celebrate the importance of current and future female physicians, we’re spotlighting five blog posts written about, and by, women in medicine...

Tips for Interview Day from Current Medical Students

An invitation to interview is a huge accomplishment and indicates that a medical school is interested in learning more about the person behind the application. We asked five current medical students to share their best advice for having a successful interview and making a positive...

5 Things I Wish I Knew as a Premed About How to Pay for Medical School

Medical school is expensive. Kevin Keith, a third-year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina, remembers being overwhelmed by the cost of medical school as a premed student. Now well into his medical education, he has come to realize that paying for medical school is...

5 Tips for Finding and Working With a Mentor

A mentor can be key in helping you throughout your journey to medical school. Whether a physician, medical student, or a professor, a mentor is someone who has experience in the medical field and can listen, relate, and be supportive as you navigate this process. To help you identify and...