July 23, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Most medical schools in the U.S. require that you submit your application through the centralized application service of the AAMC, which is officially known as the American Medical College Application Service, or AMCAS.
The AMCAS is simply a facilitation service. They do not make admission decisions. They just collect and verify the application information and deliver it along with your MCAT exam scores to the different medical schools that you wish to apply to. Each of the medical schools that receive your application will then make their own individual admission assessments and decisions.
If you are applying for an M.D. program at a public medical school in Texas, you will use the TMDSAS – the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services.
After they’ve received your primary application, some schools that see you as a prospective student may request additional information from you in the form of an essay, additional forms, or letters of recommendation. You will have to send this as a secondary application. Very often, you will also be required to send an associated application fee along with the secondary application. The additional information and the forms requested may vary from one school to another.
As of 2012, the processing fee levied by AMCAS for sending through your application to one medical school was $160 with an additional $34 for every additional medical school. These fees are subject to change.
The AAMC offers financial aid too. To avail of this facility you have to submit an application to their Fee Assistance Program or FAP. If your application for financial aid is accepted, the AMCAS will allow you to submit applications for up to 14 medical schools without paying them any fees. It is always a good idea to apply for financial aid as it could result in substantial savings on your application.
To begin medical school in the fall of the following year, you will have to start with the admission process in the spring of the current year. The AMCAS application opens sometime during the first week of May for admission to the following year’s class, and their submission opens around the first week of June. This gives you a month to work on your application before submitting it.
While the process and the formalities may vary from one school to another, most medical schools require their shortlisted applicants to go through an interview before admission is granted. These interviews can be held on or off campus. Some medical schools may have just one admissions officer conducting the interviews whereas other schools may have a whole admissions committee. Your performance at the interview is assessed and added to the rest of your application materials for a final scoring. Taking some time to read up about how to strengthen your medical school application and how to ace your interview will give you the competitive edge over the hundreds of other prospective medical students applying for admission to the same schools.