THE ROAD TO MEDICAL SCHOOL APPLICATION
APPLICATION PROCEDURES

For Fall
2012 Admissions and Beyond

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Table of Contents

I. Application Procedures

A. Overview

B. Course Requirements

C. Admission Tests

II. Recommended Timetable/Checklist:

III. Interfolio and Letters of Evaluation

IV. The Application

V. Resources

A. Printed Materials in the Career Center

B. Internet Resources

I. APPLICATION PROCEDURES

A. An Overview This guide is designed to provide you with general information regarding application to medical schools in the United States. Please discuss your plans with a Health Professions Program Advisor and your faculty advisor. It is written in general presuming a desired matriculation to medical school in the fall of 2012; if your plans are for a later date, delaying your application, consult with one of the Health Professions Program Advisors re changes in the timetable.

Before beginning to prepare your application, reflect on your motivation for a health career, your accomplishments, skills, and personal qualities. Identify your strengths and determine how you wish to present a unique and personal application. Consider ways that you might distinguish yourself from other applicants.

There are many criteria that are used to select successful applicants for medical school admissions. No single criterion will necessarily include or exclude one from successful competition. Important components include the grade point average (GPA), science GPA (biology, chemistry, physics and math), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, evaluation letters, clinical experience & exposure, research experience, scholarly activities, extracurricular activities (especially service to others), personal attributes, and the personal interview.

Assess not only your competitive qualifications for admission, but also your motivation for a career in medicine. Review your experience to identify when and how you first began to consider a career in medicine. It is important to ask yourself how much you know about what a medical career entails: lifestyle, the stress from dealing with ill persons and their families, the rapid changes in healthcare delivery in a managed care environment, the impact of these changes on research and academic medicine, the long years of training, and the financial burdens of medical education.

Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, your personal attributes, and how these match the demands of a career in medicine. Discuss these with friends and advisors. If you have doubt or unanswered questions, consider delaying your application. A year or two of work experience or additional education after college will likely increase the probability of being accepted, especially if the extra time also helps you clarify your goals and strengthen your commitment. Medical schools routinely accept older students, including non-traditional students (e.g. career changers); indeed, nationally, the majority of matriculating students come from post-graduate applicants and/or those from "non-traditional" backgrounds. You may wish to consult the excellent surveys completed by alumni/ae located in the Career Services Resource Center.

It is important therefore to plan your application carefully and to be timely in submission of all application documents!

 

B. Course requirements for admission 1. What do I need to take for courses?

Most schools have the same requirements, but a few schools have additional requirements. Check immediately that you have satisfied the prerequisites of all schools of your choice while time remains in your schedule to adjust your courses for next year, if you are a junior. Consult the document "Advice for Entering Students" for these course requirements or link to our summary page. Consult the latest edition of Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). A copy is available in the Career Services Resource Center. Please discuss any questions about Dartmouth schedules and particular courses with your dean, faculty advisor, and a Health Professions Program Advisor.

Most schools have the same SCIENCE requirements for admission:

  • two terms of biology (with labs)
  • two terms general chemistry (with labs)
  • two terms organic chemistry (with labs)
  • two terms physics (with labs)
  • Additional requirements may include:

  • two terms of college math or calculus (some schools require calculus or a substitute)
  • a total of three or four terms of biology; some schools also require or recommend biochemistry.
  • two terms of behavioral science
  • statistics
  • NOTE: More than 20 schools require calculus and 14 schools require biochemistry. Some require statisitics. Most schools recommend all these courses. Additional course work in biology (e.g. courses with a physiologic emphasis) are also quite helpful.

    English requirement

    Many schools require a year (two terms) of college English; Writing 5 (formerly called English 5) plus the First-Year Seminar normally are accepted as satisfying this requirement. If you received an exemption from Writing 5, however, you may need an additional Writing or English course to satisfy the requirement of "one year" of English specified by a few schools. A literature course in a non-English language will NOT count towards this requirement.

    AP credit

    Note that many medical schools restrict Advanced Placement credit in the sciences to one term, in which case more advanced courses in the subject should be scheduled. Check the individual school requirements!!

    2. Where can I get more information on curricular requirements?

    Consult the latest edition of MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS, revised yearly, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Directories for dental and veterinary applicants are ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS OF U. S. AND CANADIAN DENTAL SCHOOLS and VETERINARY MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS, respectively. Copies of each are available in the Career Resource Center. You should discuss any questions about Dartmouth schedules and particular courses with a Pre-health advisor.

    C. Admission tests

    1. When is my examination offered and how/when do I register?

    The MCAT is now offered via a computer-based format exclusively. Students should consult information on the AAMC web site about this computerized exam. It will be offered ~22 times per year, beginning in January, but is not offered in October, November or December. Registration is on-line at the MCAT test site.

    Given limited seating at each test site and a limited number of testing sites, early registration is paramount, which will open about 12 weeks prior to each testing date. The nearest testing center for Dartmouth students will be at Lebanon (NH) College, but there are only 8 seats for each testing session (maximum 16 seats if the testing offered twice a day for a particular date). Other nearby testing centers are in Manchester, NH or Burlington (Williston), VT. Timeliness in signing up is PARAMOUNT. Otherwise, you might not get the testing location and date you want.

    2. When should I take the test and how should I prepare?

    In general, we strongly recommend that students take the MCAT exam between January and June of the year you plan to apply. The MCAT will be a 5.5 hour exam, covering problems in biology, chemistry, and physics, and a verbal reasoning section. A writing exercise is also included. Everyone must study in preparation for this test. In general, students who have had courses in the sciences within two or three years of the test should be able to review for the test systematically during winter term, with more concentrated effort during spring break, followed by studying a few hours per week until the test date. If there are areas of the sciences that you never mastered well, you should spend time during winter term studying these topics, seeking help, if necessary, from faculty or friends. Many students elect to take one of the MCAT prep courses (Kaplan, Princeton, ExamCrackers); there are pros and cons to this approach and taking one doesn't guarantee success.

    Do not postpone the test until a mid-latesummer date without a valid reason
    . Plan to take the test only once. If you are not satisfied with the results of your initial testing you can repeat the test, but do not look on any testing as a practice test. The results of the test are, in general, good for 3 application cycles, if you choose to postpone your actual application, but one should check the requirements of individual schools which vary. If you do elect to take the test a 2nd time, be aware that ALL results are sent to the med schools you apply to.

    The AAMC offers an Official Guide to the MCAT Exam and a series of full-length MCAT Practice Tests that are comprised of items previously used in "live" administrations of the MCAT. Practice tests are available in Web format and in paper versions. Free access to MCAT Practice Test 3R is also available online. MCAT Practice Tests are the only authentic MCAT tests available and provide the best estimate of likely MCAT scores, given your level of preparation at the time you take the practice test. Additional online practice questions are available at http://www.e-mcat.com.

    If you have been granted disability-related accommodations for test taking at Dartmouth, you might be eligible for the same during the MCAT. See this link for more information. However, the criteria are more stringent and precise documentation is necessary. Consult EARLY with Stacy Barton in the Health Professions Program office on how you might proceed and involve the Student Accessibility Services office at Dartmouth.

    II. RECOMMENDED TIMETABLE: A Checklist

    Note: This timetable presumes application at the end of the junior year in 2011. For students who will be applying at the end of senior year (2012) or after, adjust the year, but keep the blocks of time preceding and following the application the same.

    Fall/Winter Term -- Junior Year

    • SIGN on to the Nathan Smith Society Blitz-list (blitz “NSS” to be added to the Nathan Smith Society Blitz-list); blitz Lee Witters and ask to be added to the blitz list for those applying during this academic year.
    • Talk to a Health Professions ProgramAdvisor about your plans
    • Attend an application procedures meeting and other pre-health workshops; check your access to the NSS Blackboard site where all documents (and podcasts)relevant to application will be posted.
    Open an Interfolio account for collection of your letters of recommentation
    • Review and familiarize yourself with the details of the Interfolio Composite Letter Process
    • Select composite and individual letters of evaluation writers; seek them out and ask them, in person, well in advance of deadlines. Give each of your supporting letter writers a letter request form.
    • Submit REQUIRED Timeline Agreement Form to the Health Professions Program office by end of winter term
    • Submit REQUIRED form identifying letter writers (Composite Letter Worksheet) to the Health Professions Program office by end of winter term
    • Identify Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) registration deadlines and test dates
    • Register and prepare for the MCAT
    • Review the current edition of Medical School Admission Requirements available in the Health Professions Program office
    • Check the required courses for admission at individual schools and schedule needed courses
    • Prepare a preliminary list of schools where you may apply
    • Keep abreast of current health care issues through reading periodicals

    Spring Term -- Junior Year

    •Attend workshops on the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) primary application and on devising personal statements
    • Talk to a Health Professions Advisor about your plans
    • Take the MCAT sometime between January and June (preferably) and no later than August (discuss with advisor).
    • Schedule a meeting with your composite writer and discuss the date by which the composite letter will be written and submitted to your file (end of Spring term is preferred). You will need to release your accumulated file to your composite writer by submitting the Release To Composite Letter form.
    • Complete your Interfolio credential file (letters, resume, transcript/citations, and autobiographical essay) by May 1 (preferred; July 1 is final deadline)
    • Request that your credential file be sent to your composite writer
    • Begin the AMCAS primary application (available at http://www.aamc.org in late April/early May 2011) and have your official college transcripts sent directly to AMCAS after your Spring grades are recorded. We strongly recommend that you have your AMCAS application completed and filed by the end of June or early July.
    • Verify AMCAS school deadlines
    • Write, rewrite, and edit your personal statement; if you would like a draft reviewed, submit it to the Health Professions Program Advisor prior to June 1
    • Finalize list of schools to which you will apply

    •Check your Interfolio file to see that your credential file is complete
    • Submit Release to Composite Letter Writer form by mid-July (final deadline)
    • Submit your AMCAS application as soon as your Spring grades are available
    • Request, complete and submit non-AMCAS school applications and have your official transcripts sent
    • Complete and return supplemental applications to AMCAS schools within two weeks after receipt
    • You will arrange through Interfolio to have your composite letter packet sent to schools you are applying through (once the composite letter has been uploaded to your Interfolio file by Career Services. Note: the applicant has to do this, not Career Services.
    • If necessary, take MCAT in summer months (notify schools of your testing date).

     

    Fall Term and Winter/Spring Term-- Senior Year

    •Aim to file ALL secondary applications by Sept. 1 at latest and your composite letter must be completed by Sept 1 . Again, we strongly recommend that the primary application be filed by late June and that letters & transcripts be filed shortly thereafter. Delay into the fall could jeopardize your competitiveness at certain schools.
    •Use Interfolio to check that your composite letter packet has been mailed
    • Interview with schools
    • Verify financial aid deadlines at schools and complete applications before January 31, 2011
    • Visit schools that accept you and pay deposits by schools’ deadlines – you may hold multiple acceptances until May 15, 2011
    • By May 15, choose the one school that you prefer and withdraw from all other schools to which you have been accepted
    • Follow-up with schools where you have wait-listed

     

    III. THE INTERFOLIO FILE AND LETTERS OF EVALUATION

    A. The InterfolioFile

    If you intend to apply to medical school, please open an Interfolio account. Via Interfolio, you will choose your letter writers and create letter request forms to give to those individuals from whom you are requesting letters. Details of the Composite Letter process should be reviewed.

    Decide whether you want to keep your right to read the letters in your file or waive your rights of access. This information will be shared with the persons writing your letters of evaluation and your composite letter writer. The schools receiving letters will also be informed of the waiver status you have elected. Please note: medical schools prefer that you waive your rights. If you choose to retain your rights, please discuss your decision with a Health Professions Program Advisor.

    B. Letters of Evaluation

    In order to recieve full consideration by admissions committees, current undergraduates and recent alumni/ae should have a composite letter of evaluation prepared. This letter serves as your "Committee Letter" and must be written by a member of the Dartmouth community (faculty preferred). Because most schools prefer composite letters of evaluation, failure to have one prepared may hamper your ability to be admitted to medical schools. Although you may choose your composite writer, you should discuss your decision with your health professions advisor.

    In order to have your Composite Letter written, you must first have appropriate letters of evaluation prepared and submit the documents outlined below to Career Services.
    • All college transcripts and citations (if earned) - contact the Registrar for information.
    • A resume – information on how to prepare this document is available at Career Services
    An autobiographical sketch – This narrative essay will be used only by your composite writer and will not be sent to any schools. The sketch should expand on the essays that you’re planning to submit as part of your application to medical schools. Please include an assessment of yourself, your reasons for choosing medicine, and your personal qualifications for a career in medicine. You may want to discuss some of the following topics:

    Why you want to be a doctor: The origins and development of your interest, recent experiences which have convinced you that medicine is the right choice, and personal characteristics that would make you a good physician;
    Academic experiences: Why you chose your major and how it has met your expectations. If you have majored outside the sciences, provide evidence that you will perform well in medical school and enjoy this science-based profession; Academic record: What courses you found most interesting and why. Discuss any weaknesses or problems in your academic record for which you can provide clarification or explanation.
    Extracurricular activities: Mention athletics, community service, and any other activities to which you devoted significant time and effort. Note how much time you spent, and what you have learned from your participation.
    Summer or leave-term employment: Describe your most significant experiences, noting especially of what value the jobs or projects were to you.

    Your letters should represent a balanced group of faculty who know substantive things about you. In addition to the letters from your instructors in the required prerequisite science fields, a professor from your major department is highly recommended..

    You may request one or two additional letters from coaches, administrators (e.g. deans), or employers, but these cannot substitute for the faculty evaluations. A person who has not known you well is usually not your best choice, unless he or she can assess a significant activity or experience. One or two additional letters from outside of Dartmouth can be quite valuable, as they reflect on your experiences in an internship, job or other activities. You should plan, however, to have no more than six letters. Non-Dartmouth letters can not substitute for the needed Dartmouth faculty letters.

    Persons writing evaluations (not including your Composite writer) often appreciate some additional personal information from you. You may want to discuss with the letter writers why you have asked them to write for you, what skills and qualities you have demonstrated to them and perhaps, provide them with - a resume or autobiographical sketch.

    Meet with your selected faculty to plan your letter. Select your letter writers early in the academic year you are applying; don't wait until the spring term.

    Plan to meet several deadlines and read over and file (where required) these forms about your letters and your credentials file. PAY ATTENTION TO ALL DEADLINES.

    A. The Composite Letter Process
    B. Composite Letter Worksheet

    C. Composite Letter Timeline Agreement (this should be filed with Career Services by the beginning of the winter term 2011); note the deadlines listed.
    D. Composite Writer Release Form (deadline July 1, 2011)

    Arrange a date by which the letters of evaluation will be sent to your Interfolio file. Check your Interfolio file to confirm that the requested letters have arrived. If not, it is the applicant's responsibility to remind the writers of their agreement to write the evaluations.

    C. What options are open to me in a choice of a composite writer and letter?

    Option A - Non Science Composite Writer
    If you have selected a Composite Writer who is not one of your pre-medical science professors, you must obtain no more than six (6) letters of evaluation.
    •At least two (2) individual letters must be written by pre-medical science professors (Chemistry, Biology, Physics - Dartmouth faculty preferred).
    • You should have 2-4 additional individual letters of evaluation prepared (e.g. thesis or major advisor, research mentor, supervisor from service experience, etc.).
    • If you have earned a citation, add it to your Interfolio file for submission to medical schools.
    • Once all of your letters of evaluation, transcripts, resume, and autobiographical sketch have been submitted to Interfolio , you must release your documents to your composite writer.
    • After your composite letter has been submitted and approved by the Health Professions Advisor, it will be uploaded by Career Services to your Interfolio account. The composite packet serves as Dartmouth's "committee" letter.

    Option B -- Science Composite Writer
    If you have selected a Composite Writer who is one your pre-medical science professors, you must obtain no more than six (6) letters of evaluation.
    • At least one (1) individual letter must be written by a pre-medical science professors (Chemistry, Biology, or Physics - Dartmouth faculty preferred).
    • You should have 3-5 additional individual letters of evaluation prepared (e.g. thesis, major advisor, research mentor, supervisor from service experience, etc.).
    •If you have earned a citation, add it to your Interfolio file for submission to medical schools.
    •Once all of your letters of evaluation, transcripts, resume, and autobiographical sketch have been submitted to Interfolio , you must release your documents to your composite writer.
    •After your composite letter has been submitted and approved by the Health Professions Advisor, it will be uploaded by Career Services to your Interfolio account. The composite packet serves as Dartmouth's "committee" letter.

    Option C – Individual Letters (option only available for older alumni/ae)
    If you are an alumna(us) and graduated more than two years ago, rather than have a composite letter of evaluation prepared, you may opt to obtain individual letters of evaluation for submission to medical schools. Most medical schools require two (2) letters written by your pre-medical science professors. In addition, you may want to obtain letters representing your experience or more recent educational pursuits. If you have earned a citation, add it to your Interfolio file for submission to medical schools.

    D. What happens after the composite writer is finished? How do my letters get mailed to medical schools?

    You will be informed that your composite letter has been uploaded. It will then be your responsibility to release through Interfolio. your composite letter packet to the AMCAS and non-AMCAS schools you are applying to.

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    IV. THE APPLICATION

    Early completion of all your applications is advantageous. Most medical schools have rolling admissions, and the first acceptance notices may arrive in October or November. Aim to complete your applications, including supporting letters, no later than September.
    A. What is the AMCAS application and how do I file one with participating schools?

    AMCAS: 122 of the 130 U.S. medical schools participate in this centralized application service. A list indicating which schools do and don't participate is available at the Association of American Medical Colleges web site. For 2009-2010, the following schools DID NOT participate in the AMCAS application and you should contact them directly to get their applications.

    • University of North Dakota
    • Texas Tech (except for the MD/PhD program)
    • Texas A&M (except for the MD/PhD program)
    • UT-Southwestern (except for the MD/PhD program)
    • UT-Galveston(except for the MD/PhD program)
    • UT-Houston (except for the MD/PhD program)
    • UT-San Antonio
    • University of Missouri-Kansas City

    In order to apply to an AMCAS school you must complete the web-based application available at the http://www.aamc.org/amcas to be released in late April/early May, 2011. AMCAS requires official transcripts from all U.S. colleges you have attended. Please order a transcript from each schools’ Registrar. Transcripts should be sent to AMCAS prior to submission of your application, but applicants should wait until spring grades are recorded. AMCAS applications cannot be submitted before approximately June 1.


    When filing AMCAS applications: Designate Dartmouth terms as “quarters”. Dartmouth courses should be assigned “1” course unit. AMCAS will grant 3.3 semester hours for most courses and 4.5 semester hours to science courses with laboratories.

    B. How do I write the essays for the AMCAS application?

    AMCAS Personal Statement: The important part of your application (and probably the most challenging) is the essay or "Personal Comments" which must be restricted to a single page (strict limit of 5300 characters including spaces). Your task is to portray yourself,  your personal qualities, motivation and accomplishments, in an accurate and balanced fashion. Produce a well-written essay with substantive content, free from grammatical and spelling errors. Speak of yourself with pride and in a positive tone, never apologetically. Avoid trite phrases, such as  "I want to help people," and concentrate on topics that can distinguish  you from other applicants. This is not easy, but neither is it impossible.

     DO NOT make the essay a prose form of your resume; pick out one or two things that were most important in helping you to decide about medicine and as career and write thoughtfully and fully about them. Show literary style and imagination! Use anecdotes of important events. Identify life-turning experiences and important mentors and how they influenced you. Avoid using family background in medicine or long stories of family illness as a rationale for application to medical school. Show how you have prepared yourself both as a student and as a humanist for this career direction. If you feel that there are weak points in the application (a poor grade or term, mediocre MCAT scores, etc), address them forthrightly in the statement, not to explain them away, but to indicate other things about you that counterbalance these issues.  

    Admissions committees do not all think alike, but they do look for similar human qualities in applicants. Some of these include:

    1) Academic achievement.  This goes beyond grades to an active mind, intellectual curiosity, love  of learning, independent study habits.

    2) Motivation. Factors affecting your  career choice and what you have done to test your motivation. 

    3) Knowledge of the health care system as it exists today and possible changes  in the future.

    4) Personal Qualities, including leadership, positions  of responsibility, contributions to community service, maturity and self-knowledge.

    Important information about yourself can come from your own essays as well  as from letters of recommendation. A handout on writing personal statements is available in Career Services.

    It is  important to have your Personal Statement reviewed by peers and by faculty advisors. The Student Center for Research, Writing and Information (RWiT), located in Berry Library, has trained tutors who can also review personal statements.

    C. What is the secondary/supplemental application to an AMCAS-participating school and what is involved in filing that?

    Secondary Applications (AMCAS-participating schools): Individual AMCAS schools may request additional information from you, usually including a supplementary application, an additional fee, and letters of evaluation. Many of the supplementary, or secondary, applications include additional essay questions. Plan to spend considerable time throughout the summer/fall completing these applications and return the completed form within two-four weeks after you receive them.

    You will be asked on supplemental applications to indicate whether you are submitting a “committee letter” or individual letters. If you have a composite letter indicate “committee/composite letter.”

    D. How do I apply to a non-AMCAS participating school?

    For schools that do not subscribe to AMCAS, write directly to each school in May or early June to request an application. Many applications are now available on-line. The applications normally consist of a personal essay and questions about your academic record and activities. 

    E. How many schools should I apply to and how do I select them?

    Finding the best schools for you will require careful research. Include in your list of schools those with programs of special interest to you and/or in locations attractive to you. It is also important to choose some schools where your probability of acceptance is good. All medical applicants should read Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR 2011-2012), mentioned above (available in the Health Professions Program Resource Center) and visit key web sites regarding information about med schools and the application process (see Medical Schools). Apply to schools where you have some advantage in the selection process, including your state-supported schools or regional schools. Beyond these, private schools are reasonable choices, provided they have the program, teaching philosophy, and location that meet your needs.   

    Selecting Schools: Visit the school's web site. Check the curricula of the schools you are considering: look for differences in scheduling of clinical courses, as well as the biomedical science courses; note how structured the curriculum is, how much time may be used for electives; check the grading system and the strength of the faculty in the specialties you want to consider. The CS library has catalogs of most medical and dental schools. A summary of all U.S. medical programs, the CURRICULUM DIRECTORY, also published yearly by the AAMC, gives a concise presentation of the 4-year curriculum in each school. 

    Other considerations may be important to prospective medical students: the size; the location - rural or urban - or the setting within a city; the tuition; the supportiveness of the faculty or the student body.

    We have a collection of QUESTIONNAIRES in the CS library which we request yearly from Dartmouth alumni/ae attending medical schools, in which they give personal insights into the schools they are attending. Study their comments and contact these people when you are visiting the their schools.

    The Nathan Smith Society has an NSS Alumni Network listing over 300 DC alums who are at or have attended various medical schools. They have all agree to offer "on-line" advice about their particular school and to speak to you (if possible) during your visit to their school. Feel free to e-mail these individuals to pick up some valuable pointers.

    Many applicants try to identify "the best medical schools." Keep in mind that "best" is a relative term and that all medical schools have strengths. If famous name and prestige are important to your future career goals, you can identify 10 to 15 schools which most professionals agree are prestigious, although they might argue about their exact ranking, depending on the criteria used and the personal preferences of the individuals. Before you put undue emphasis on the rankings, study the methodology used in the ranking.

    Some other MUST-READ documents if you are beginning the application process, particularly with respect to choosing which schools you plan to apply to:

  • Summary information on all American medical schools An Excel file.
  • Choosing Medical Schools: Some general considerations. A .pdf file.
  • Constructing A Personal Rating System. An Excel file.
  • 31 Questions I Wish I had Asked. A .pdf file.
  • Most importantly, you should discuss your selections with a pre-health advisor.

    A few other tips:

    Aim to apply to 15-20 schools, unless there are extenuating circumstances (Dartmouth students have averaged about 20 in recent years).

    Strongly consider your state school, where you have the advantage of residency.

    If you have had an internship at a medical school or academic medical center, consider applying to that school, since there might be some "inside information" about you emanating from the faculty mentor there.

    Dartmouth Medical School should be considered, but keep in mind that it is a very competitive school to which many Dartmouth College students apply. While some preference is give to DC applicants, only 5-10 students per year from DC are accepted at DMS.

    Be sure to include some schools that you consider a "reach"; students of all ranges of applications credentials are accepted at even the best medical schools.

    Include schools that you think might be less competitive. A range of schools is important in crafting a competitive application!!

    F. What will it cost to apply to medical school?

    In recent years, we have polled our applicants and the average expenditure (with quite a range) has been about $3000. This includes the cost of the AMCAS application, fees with secondary applications and travel expenses for interviews, but does not include the cost of the MCAT exam ($225), travel to an MCAT testing site or any MCAT prep materials (or a prep course, which can cost up to $1800). The basic AMCAS application costs $160 (which is the core application plus one school). Each additional school costs $32, so for a typical Dartmouth student, the cost of the AMCAS application would be about ~$700. The secondary application fees, charged by every school you will apply to, may range from $25-$100 per school. The AAMC offers a fee assistance program for the MCAT and AMCAS application fees. FAP eligibility decisions are tied directly to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' poverty level guidelines. For the 2009 calendar year, applicants whose total family income is 300 percent or less of the poverty level for their family size are eligible for fee assistance.

    G. What about early decision applications?

    Considering Early Decision? This option may be ideal for a very few, but not advisable for most applicants. The Early Decision Program (EDP) is for well-qualified applicants only. By applying as an EDP candidate, you agree not to apply to any other medical school (AMCAS or non-AMCAS) unless you receive an EDP rejection. If you are accepted Early Decision, you are not permitted to apply to other schools; you must attend the EDP school. Applications must be filed by August 1 and all supplementary materials received by September 1. If your grades and MCAT scores are competitive and if you have a strong desire to attend one particular school, you should seriously consider this option. If you are accepted, it will save time, money, and anxiety. Acceptances are announced nationwide by October 1. If you are not accepted in the EDP process, you are free to apply elsewhere on October 1. This allows you to meet all deadlines, which fall between November 1 and December 15. If you are considering applying Early Decision, please consult with the Health Professions Program Advisor in Career Services.

    In general, early completion of all your applications is advantageous. Most medical schools have rolling admissions, and the first acceptance notices may arrive in October or November. Aim to complete your applications, including supporting letters, no later than September, and you will increase your chances of joining this early group of admitted students. Few joys can match that first acceptance!  

    H. How do I prepare for an interview?

    Interviews: Admissions decisions at almost all schools are based in part on interviews. Applicants who have some knowledge of what to expect in a medical interview are more relaxed in the interview, and better able to convey their true personal qualities in the short time allotted to this procedure. Career Services has prepared a handout giving some general advice on interviewing techniques, including some suggestions and some sample questions collected from alumni/ae who have shared their experiences with us. Two useful references in the CS library are the Medical Professions Admission Guide and The Medical School Interview.

    Travel expenses for medical school interviews are high. It is sometimes possible to arrange to visit several schools on a single trip. When you receive your first invitation you may be able to delay that interview while you contact other schools in the area to make arrangements to visit several on the same trip. Alumni/ae attending a school can often advise you of inexpensive accommodations nearby. (Do not overlook the Alumni/ae Questionnaires for names, addresses, phone numbers, available in the Career Resource Center and the Alumni Advice e-mail network of former DC premed students now at different medical schools).

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    V. RESOURCES

     A. Printed Materials in the Career Services Resource Center

    The publications listed below are good starting points for researching medical school programs. Each is available in the Health Professions Program Resource Center.   

    Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) 2011-12

    The Princeton Review: Complete Book of Medical Schools

    Write for Success: Preparing a Successful Professional School Application

    Medical School Questionnaires  Completed by Dartmouth students who have gone on to medical school. Includes what they like and don't like about their medical school, and advice to students who wish to pursue a medical career. 1991 to 2009 questionnaires are available.   

    B. Internet Resources for Health Profession Education

    Key general sites of Medical, Dental and Veterinary School

    Association of American Medical Colleges

    Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

    American Dental Education Association

    Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service

    Medical School Curriculum Directory

    Canadian Medical Schools: School listing; Ontario schools

    Post-baccalaureate Premedical Programs: These postbac programs are designed for those students who have not taken all their requirements for medical school during their undergraduate years, and who have already received their diploma. Also refer to programs on the masters level which prepare students for medical school.  AAMC list; collation at Syracuse University web site

    Combined Degree Programs Many students are interested in combined degree programs (MD/PhD, MD/MPH, MD/MBA and MD/JD). You should discuss these types of applications with one of the Health Career Advisors early, as these are more complex applications and, in general, are more competitive programs.

    Financial Planning Information: Info from the AAMC, General info from DMS Financial Aid Office (includes podcast)

    AMCAS Fee Assistance Program

    C. Other health career sites/addresses

    Chiropractic Medicine -- American Chiropractic Association 1701 Clarendon Blvd./Arlington, VA 22209

    Clinical Laboratory Science -- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

    Dental Medicine -- American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association

    Diagnostic Imaging - American Society of Radiologic Technology

    Genetic Counseling -- National Society of Genetic Counselors

    Health Administration -- Assoc. of University Programs in Health Administration

    Health Advocacy -- Healthcare Consumer Advocacy

    Naturopathic Medicine -- American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

    Nursing - American Association of Colleges of Nursing

    Occupational Therapy -- American Occupational Therapy Association

    Optometry -- Assoc. of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

    Osteopathic Medicine-- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

    Pharmacy -- The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

    Physical Therapy --American Physical Therapy Association

    Physician Assistant -- Association of Physician Assistant Programs

    Podiatric Medicine -- American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine

    Public Health -- Association of Schools of Public Health

    Veterinary--Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges