How to apply to medical school

Congratulations on choosing to pursue Medicine!

This Step-by-Step Guide along with the Premed Committee are here to help you through the process.  Please read this guide completely.

*Please notify the Premed Committee that you will be applying by January of the year in which you wish you reply

Applying to medical school includes several specific components.

  • Collecting letters of recommendation
  • Completing your Currier House personal information form
  • Working with your Premed Tutor
  • Your House Committee Letter
  • Selecting schools to which to apply
  • Completing the medical school application forms
  • Completing secondary applications
  • Medical school interviews

Premed Important Dates

1. Important Dates

Date Due  
3/10/17 Request for Dean’s Letter and Academic Release Form Due (submit to the Academic Coordinator)
3/10/17 Submit your Personal Information Form and Resume to the Premed Committee Chair (currierpremed@gmail.com)
4/01/17 Letters of Recommendation (submit to the Academic Coordinator)
5/26/17 Meet (in person, via skype or phone) with your assigned Non-Resident Pre-Med Tutor.
6/01/17 Letters of Recommendation from Spring Semester activities / classes/Transcripts due to the Academic Coordinator
6/26/17 Submit your complete AMCAS/VMCAS/AADSAS application. After you submit your AMCAS/VMCAS/AADSAS, send a copy to the Academic Coordinator.
July Request transcripts to be sent to AMCAS
July-August Complete secondary applications (within 2 weeks of receiving the secondary from the medical school).
September Mock interviews with the Pre-Med Committe
September-March Interviews

*Per Harvard policy, House letters from all houses are sent to schools by August.

Personal Information Form

2. Completing the Personal Information Form

Completing the Personal Information form is key to starting the application process.  It tells the committee that you are ready to start the process.  The premed committee relies on the information you provide in the form to write your House Letter, help you to complete your AMCAS application, and to prepare for your mock interviews.

We need more details then what you provide in your resume in order to write a strong House Letter.  Additionally the Personal Information form is modeled after the AMCAS application to help you to complete the application by the last week of June.

You do not have to a completed personal statement in order to turn in your Personal Information Form.  But it is important to start thinking about what topics and experiences that you want to include in your personal statement.  It is okay to provide bullet points or a draft of paragraphs that you might include in your personal statement.

Send you completed personal information form as a word doc attachment to currierpremed@gmail.com.

Working with your Premed Tutor

3. Working with your PreMed Tutor

All of us on the PreMed Committee are excited to work with you.  You will be assigned a PreMed tutor once you have turned in your Personal Information Form.

The members of the Currier PreMed Committee include residents and practicing physicians.  We are all very familiar with the medical school application process.  Many of us also spend a large part of our day working with patients in the hospital.  Though we may not always be available to meet during the day we are happy to work with you over email and in the evenings.

Please allow at least 1 week for us to review any written documents and at least 48 hours to respond to emails.

Your premed tutor will write your House Letter.  All letters are then reviewed by the PreMed Committee Chair and the Resident Dean.

Your assigned tutor is your primary contact but feel free to speak with any member of the committee.

Schools and AMCAS

4.    Selecting Schools to Which to Apply

Your conversations with your premedical tutor will be a valuable resource.  Make sure to go over your list of prospective schools with your tutor.

We recommend that students should apply to at least 20 medical schools with a wide range of competitiveness.  Medical schools receive thousands of applicants for approximately 100 spots per year.  Therefore we strongly suggest applying to at least 20 schools to give you the best chance at getting invitations to interview and acceptances to a wide variety of schools.

Selection Factors of Individual Schools

Applicants should apply to schools with a wide range of selectivity.  Just as you applied to safety, target, and reach schools when you applied for college, the same should apply for medical school applications.  Unfortunately, since medical schools have classes of 100 students rather than 1,000 students, it may be difficult to judge how selective a particular school may be.  This is further complicated by the fact that state schools have a strong preference for applicants who are residents of that state.

In general, apply to a wide range of schools.  The Office of Career Services has a profile on each medical school in the country and who from Harvard applied and who was admitted in terms of GPA, MCAT score, and state residency requirements.  This is a valuable resource, but remember this information should not discourage you from applying to a school in which you’re interested.

Curriculum/Teaching Philosophy

Trying to determine the academic philosophy of a particular medical school can be very difficult.  Most school brochures and websites seem to be similar and extol the best aspects of the curriculum.  In general, medical school curriculums are mostly lecture-based, mostly case-based, or somewhere in the middle.  Most schools attempt to have a combination of both.  Most applicants do not know yet which style of teaching they prefer.  Regardless of the teaching style, all students leave their medical schools well-prepared for residency.  If you are curious about a particular school’s curriculum, your tutor can refer you to many different alumni at various medical schools for more detailed information.

Geographic location

Some students have a preference for a specific geographic location and apply to more schools in that region.  For example, a student from California who wants to return will apply to all of the UC schools.  Although the selection of schools can be weighed towards a specific state and geographic region, applicants are encouraged to carefully consider schools from all regions.

State Medical Schools

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to their state medical school.  Make certain you meet the state residency requirement for the medical school.  The requirement differs by state.

5.  Completing the Medical School Admissions Application

AMCAS

The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a non-profit, centralized web based application service for member U.S. medical schools.  The majority of medical schools participate in the AMCAS.  Once your application has been filled out online and processed by AMCAS, copies of your application are sent to your designated schools.  These schools will then contact you directly.

The Texas Medical Schools use a different application service, the Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service (http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas).  Please let us know if will be applying to any Texas Schools as the application process is slightly different.

Before starting your applications visit the OCS website for in depth information about completing AMCAS and TMDSAS.  The site includes a step-by-step guide to AMCAS which you should review.

**Though medical schools will deadlines for applications which are late in the fall, we strongly suggest that you submit your AMCAS or TMDSAS applications the last week in June.  Applications submitted earlier will have a higher chance of being given an interview and this is especially important for schools with rolling admissions.  We have found that students who submit their applications after June receive significantly fewer interviews.

6. Completing Secondary Applications

Once schools receive your AMCAS common application, they will send you a secondary application which requests school-specific information as well as more money.  Some schools automatically send secondaries to all applicants who apply.  Other schools will screen the AMCAS applications before sending secondaries.  If you submit your AMCAS application by June you should receive your secondaries between July and September. Complete and submit these secondaries as soon as possible (within 2 weeks of receiving the secondary application).  If you delay submitting your secondary applications you will loose any advantage you gained by submitting your AMCAS application early.

7. Medical School Interviews

We will send you a primer on preparing for interviews later in the fall.

Mock Interviews

We encourage students to have mock interviews.  In the fall we will send information on scheduling a mock interview.  For Alumni who are not in the area we can arrange Skype and phone interviews as well.