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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)

More and more students are taking one or more years off in between their undergraduate program and medical school. 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 pursing one.

What admission officers wish premeds knew before applying

Have you ever wondered what exactly medical school admissions officers look for in applications? Many premed students have wondered the same thing, so 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

Did you know that submitting an incomplete application or an application with multiple errors can cause your application to be 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...

Top 10 Questions Pre-Meds Should Ask Medical School Financial Aid Officers

The cost of attending medical school is high 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...

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...

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

If you haven’t already, there will come a time when you ask yourself, “What’s the best way to prepare for the MCAT exam?” One way to prepare is to develop a study plan. But where to start? We have six steps to help you create a study plan that works for you.

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. One way to get this perspective is through medical school blogs, which are often written by current medical students.

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

As you navigate the application process, you might start wondering how medical schools evaluate your application. Many medical schools use holistic review and to help define holistic review further, they use 15 Core Competencies as a tool to evaluate you and 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 impression....

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...

Tips from Admissions on Maintaining Professionalism Throughout Your Interview

Being invited to interview is an indication that a medical school is interested in understanding more about the person behind the application. An interview is a chance for medical schools to look at the intangible qualities not captured on paper. Professionalism is one of those important...

Dealing with Pre-Med Stress

Being a pre-med student is stressful. Even with a busy semester behind you, you might be using your summer to volunteer or do research, prepare for the MCAT exam, or work on your medical school applications. But summer is also a good time to unwind and begin to practice healthy habits.

Physician Perspective: Why did you choose your specialty?

Did you know there are more than 120 specialty and sub-specialty options to choose from? As a pre-med student, thinking about what you might want to practice is a long way off. And you may even change your mind several times during medical school. That said, you may have wondered how someone...

Lifestyle Medicine at the USC School of Medicine Greenville

Every medical school is different in terms of values, missions, goals, expectations of their students, and learning environment, as well as the unique elements or traditions that define the school. Jeanne Petrizzo, academic communications coordinator for the University of South Carolina (USC)...

Great Summer Reads for Aspiring Physicians, Vol. 2

Summer is a great chance for students to read for fun, so we’ve compiled our second annual list of ten great books for aspiring physicians.

Four Tips for Using the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR®)

The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) is an online database that allows you to browse, search, sort, and compare information based on your personal requirements for every MD-granting, LCME-accredited medical school in the U.S. and Canada. This year, the MSAR received major...

Advisor Corner: Crafting Your Personal Statement

Being able to articulate an answer to the question “why medicine?” is critical for an applicant as they apply to medical school. One of the first opportunities for an applicant to convey this message to admissions officers is through their personal comments essay in the AMCAS application. We...

Four Tips for Completing Your AMCAS Application

The 2018 AMCAS application cycle is now open. While the information entered in the application is straightforward, it can be easy to make simple mistakes that may delay processing time. We asked the AMCAS Verification Team, who reviews and processes thousands of applications each year, to...

Celebrating Your Mentors: David Acosta, MD, AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

For Dr. Acosta, becoming a doctor was something he knew he wanted to be even as a child. But getting there wasn’t always easy. Without the important people in his life who inspired and motivated him to pursue a career in medicine and never give up, he wouldn’t be where he is today. In this...

Becoming an Officer and a Physician at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine

No two medical schools are the same. From one school to another, differences abound: in values, missions, goals, expectations of their students, and learning environment, including the unique elements or traditions that define them. In this article, Aaron Saguil, dean of admissions, describes...

Where to Apply? Factors to Consider When Making Your School List

As you create the list of schools where you’re planning to apply, think about where you see yourself being most successful. Remember, this will be your home for at least four years! We’ve put together five questions for you to keep in mind as you compile your list of schools.

Advisor Corner: Preparing to Apply to Medical School

As a pre-health advisor, what advice do you give students who are preparing to apply to medical school? How can they work to ensure that their candidacy is competitive in this application cycle?

Is an MD-PhD Right for Me?

Do you want the opportunity to train in both medicine and research? An MD-PhD allows you to do just that. But what does it mean to become a physician scientist? We asked AAMC experts to explain why you might want to consider this type of training.

What Made Your Medical School the Right Fit for You?

Whether you're narrowing down your list or just beginning your research on different medical schools, it’s also it’s important to ask yourself, “Is this school the right fit for me?" So we asked current medical students to tell us how they knew their school was the right choice for...

The Dos (and Don’ts!) of Attending a Virtual Medical School Fair

Before you attend a Virtual Medical School Fair and begin chatting with admissions officers from medical schools, these do’s and don’ts will help you make the most of the event and put your best virtual self forward.

Five Ways to Gain Experience Without Shadowing

Gaining experience is an important part of the medical school application process. But to be considered a competitive applicant, do you really need to shadow a physician?

Fact or Fiction: Reviewing Data from the Official Guide to Medical School Admissions

As you prepare to apply to medical school, your decisions about where and when to apply can be based on a variety of factors. To help you navigate through the process, The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions covers a wide array of topics related to the application process. It also...

New Student Success Stories: How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam

As you begin to study for the MCAT exam, you may find many different opinions on what, when, and how to study, making preparing for the exam a potentially overwhelming and challenging process. To offer ideas and stories from the pre-meds who came before you, the AAMC has developed a new...

Medical Student Perspective: What’s Your Advice for Pre-Med Students?

We asked current medical students to give us their best advice for any aspiring physician.

AAMC Spotlight: Ross McKinney Jr., MD

Growing up, Ross McKinney, MD, always knew he was going to be an academic. Inspired in high school to pursue a career in medicine, it wasn’t until a ward rotation in his second year of his pediatric residency that he understood what he really wanted to do. This ultimately led him to discover...

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

It’s not surprising that one of the questions we’re asked most frequently is, “When should I take my MCAT exam?” Between class, extra-curricular activities, a job, and remembering to relax and have fun every now and then, it may seem hard to find time to also prepare for your MCAT exam.

Medical Student Perspective: The White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders and often the Hippocratic Oath is recited, signifying their entrance into the medical...

A New Career Opportunity in the Summer Health Professions Education Program

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), is an unique, free summer opportunity for college freshmen and sophomores to experience first-hand what medical school is all about. SHPEP is expanding to accept...

Is a Post-Bacc Program Right for Me? Seven Benefits to Consider

Increasingly, students are taking time off in between completing their undergraduate and medical school, often referred to as “gap” or “bridge” years. For many, this additional time is used to help strengthen their applications to medical school. While there are many different ways to do...

Women in Medicine Month Spotlight: Janis Orlowski, MD

Dr. Orlowski was given the opportunity to design, build, and test a pacemaker at the encouragement of her undergraduate mentor. Through that mentor and others like them, she found her passion for medical research.

Advisor Corner: The Value of Working with a Pre-health Advisor

As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember the valuable resources already available to you on your campus. One of those resources is your pre-health advisor. We asked three pre-health advisors to share their perspective on the value they can bring as you prepare for and apply...

Budgeting to Pay for Medical School

Before entering medical school, its important to begin thinking about your financial situation while in school. One way to get a handle on your finances is to create a budget. Learn about tools to help you get started and tips for managing your budget going forward.

An AAMC Summer Intern Perspective: Symone Jordan

Every summer, the AAMC hosts a number of undergraduate and graduate student interns who gain real world experience working in several units across our association. Over the summer, these students have the chance to learn what the AAMC does on a day-to-day basis, and are also given the...

Medical School Interview Do's and Don’ts

One of the most important phases of the application process is your interview. It’s your chance to demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills, judgment, maturity, and the qualities that are important for a future physician. It’s also your opportunity to see if the school’s...

AAMC Spotlight: Atul Grover, MD, PhD

While in college, Dr. Grover, AAMC's executive vice president, spent a summer at a rural hospital in India where he learned a very valuable lesson during his few weeks experiencing clinical work for the first time.

Financial Health Checklist

Being financially healthy is just as important as being physically healthy. Below are a few activities that can help prepare you for a healthy financial future as you begin your medical school journey.

Online Advocacy Helps #SaveStudentAid

While medical education is an excellent investment, federal financial aid programs are critically important to helping ensure medical school remains affordable for all students. Many federal programs also provide support and incentives for physicians to practice in public service.

Top 3 Myths about MCAT Scores Busted

As with any high stakes exam, it’s not surprising that there are a number of rumors circulating around the MCAT exam. So we are busting three of the top myths about the MCAT scores and score scale.

Great Summer Reads for Aspiring Physicians

At the end of the school year, hopefully you will find a little bit of downtime. If you are looking for a good book to take with you on vacation or to read on breaks during your summer experience, we’ve compiled ten great reads for aspiring physicians.

AAMC Spotlight: John Prescott, MD

Dr. Prescott, AAMC's Chief Academic Officer, always knew he wanted to be a doctor, but college proved to be more challenging than anticipated. It wasn’t until a volunteer experience in the emergency department confirmed his path to medicine and inspired him to keep pushing forward.

Medical Student Perspective: Gaining Summer Experience

While summer is the time to catch up on sleep, hang by the pool, and binge watch your favorite show on Netflix (we don’t judge), summer is also the time to gain valuable experiences and exposure to the field of medicine.

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.

Your Pathway to the White Coat: 7 Tips for Writing Your AMCAS® Personal Comments Essay

The Personal Comments Essay section of the AMCAS application is your opportunity to tell medical school admissions officers who you are and what makes you unique. Here are seven tips to help you as you write your essay.

Advisor Corner: Choosing the Right Letter Writers

Letters of evaluation are an important component of your application to medical school. We asked three pre-health advisors about their advice for choosing the right individuals to write letters of evaluation on your behalf and what best practices they have for approaching these people.

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. With the addition of over 30 new enhancements to the MSAR edition in 2016, we wanted to provide you with a few tips to help you make the most out of the MSAR.

How Federal Budget Changes Could Affect Your Future Medical Training

Educational and research opportunities offered during medical school are federally funded. Find out how the president's requested budget could affect you and your future medical training.

What Does it Mean to Make Sure You “Fit” with a School’s Mission?

It's important to learn what your desired school's mission statement is and explore how it fits your medical career goals.

Pay for Medical School Through Service

Some students who want to borrow less, or who want to have some or all of their loans forgiven, might want to consider providing medical service for a particular organization, employer, or program after medical school (or licensure).

New Study Materials Complete the Khan Academy MCAT Collection

Like others who are preparing for the MCAT exam, you probably wonder how you can prepare for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section, which doesn’t require you to study specific content. The Khan Academy MCAT Collection now includes new study and guidance materials for this section...

Advisor Corner: Advice on Applying to the Application Cycle

We asked five pre-health advisors what their advice would be to a pre-med student applying for an application cycle. Here’s what they had to say.