How To Decide Which Medical Schools To Apply To?

July 25, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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There’s no doubt that this is a tough question. With so many medical schools in the United States, each of them varying in size, location, course fees, admission criteria and several other variables, deciding which school to apply to is not easy. In the end, the most important factors you should take into consideration are your personal interests and your personal medical goals. Here are a few tips that can help you narrow down your options and shortlist the most appropriate schools for you…   

Watching surgery during a Gap Medics Medical Work Experience placementHow Many Schools Should I Apply To?

You can apply to as many or as few medical schools as you would like to. However all applications have to be submitted through the AMCAS or the American Medical College Application Service and they charge you a fee for this facility. The base fee is $160 for sending the first application and then $34 for every additional application. You can read more about the AMCAS here. As you can see the cost of sending multiple applications can quickly add up so it is advisable to submit applications only to those schools that you would attend if your application were successful.


When Is The Best Time To Start Checking Out Medical Schools? 

If you are in high school and you are considering enrolling for a B.S./M.D. program, the best time to start researching medical schools would be during your junior year. If you are already in college, you will need to start exploring your options well ahead of submitting your AMCAS application/s. AMCAS applications open early in May each year for entrance into the following year of medical school. 

Students with their mentor in the obstetrics department

What To Look For In The Different Medical Schools

When you check out the websites of the different medical schools, look for their qualifying requirements, their curriculum and schedule, their approval criteria and interview process.

If you need financial help, make sure that the medical schools on your shortlist offer financial assistance and take a look their conditions for doing so.

If you already know which specialty you would like to pursue, look for medical schools that offer that specialty.

Every school will have their own deadline for accepting applications. Make sure you check out the deadlines for submission. There’s nothing worse than finding that you qualify in every way but are too late to put in your application for the current year. 


Talk To Your Pre-Health Advisor

Even with all of the information available, narrowing down your options for medical school can still be pretty overwhelming. Talking to someone in the know can help make the decision process a little easier. The most knowledgeable person to talk to is the pre-health advisor at your school or college. If your school does not have a pre-health advisor, talk to an academic advisor. Whoever you choose to talk to, be sure to schedule an appointment to discuss your options as early as you can so you have enough time to think things over and go over your application.