Wednesday March 10, 2010
Overview of the Application Process
In the first part of the application process you deal with the medical schools as a group. You submit a generic (primary) application, MCAT scores, a processing fee and official transcripts to AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service), the organization for most allopathic (M.D.) medical schools, and/or AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service), the organization for most osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools. AMCAS and AACOMAS are centralized application services that collect, check and duplicate your primary application materials and forward them to the medical schools that you designate.
In the second part of the process individual medical schools send you their own (secondary) applications, usually after they have received the primary application from AMCAS or AACOMAS. Many schools send secondaries to all applicants, but some send them only to candidates who have passed an initial screening. A request for an additional fee and for letters of recommendation accompanies the secondary application.
Although the procedure varies from school to school, after a medical school has reviewed all application material and letters of recommendation, it may sort the candidates into categories such as reject, decide later, or invite to interview with one or more members of the admissions committee. After the interview, the comittee normally decides whether to accept or reject the applicant or to place him/her on an alternate list. This process continues throughout the application cycle until a school has filled its class. Note: It is your responsibility to be accessible if you are on a medical school’s alternate list. If you are traveling, you should give the school the name and telephone number of a dependable person who can contact you. If a school finds that there is no way to reach you, it may offer the position to the next person on the list.