Congratulations on considering or choosing medicine as your future career field! These resources will aid you as your start to prepare for your journey after graduation.
Choosing a Med-School
Secondary Application Fee: $50 – $150 per school
Note: You will need to cover travel expenses for your interview; those costs rack up, especially if you are applying out of state. With that said, here is a list of online resources to help you search for schools that might be a good fit for you:AMCAS Participating Schools
Resources you might consider buying:
- Primary Application: Submit through application service (June)
- Medical School: AAMCAS
Student’s legal profiles are critical. Even small citations on your record may come back to haunt you during the application process. Even though the AMCAS application may not ask explicitly about your legal record, when given the opportunity to provide “other information,” do so and explain the circumstances.
Secondary Applications (July)
The schools examine your application and then decide whether to invite you to complete a secondary application, one that’s directly tailored to that institution.
These secondary applications involve more questions, statements, and a separate check payment to each school ($75-$100 per school).
The schools expect that secondary applications will be returned in about 2 weeks. Getting them right back can really make a difference as those who delay response may be perceived as being less serious about attending a particular medical school.
Committee Letter of Recommendation
Important: You must communicate to your HSAC advisor / the committee chair the accurate addresses for those institutions to which you need the committee letter sent.
Instructions for how to submit addresses
- Your HSAC letter of recommendation will get to the school, for the most part, 7-10 days after your application arrives.
- This sequence ensures that when the letter gets to the school it has a “home” in your file.
- The sequence also allows you to make a legitimate phone call to the school to ask, politely, if your application is complete.
- Most schools cut you some slack and will be happy to receive them even 3-4 weeks after the secondary is received, but once you send your secondary, all that should be left to complete the file for final evaluation is our letter.
Check to make sure your file is complete!
Once our letter has gone, your chair will email you; contact each individual program in 2 weeks to be sure the letter has arrived and your file is complete.
Letters get lost and misplaced at this point in the process. Every year we resend about half a dozen letter out of the 150-200 letters that go.
Unfortunately, some students don’t check on their files for months and a second letter from our end may arrive too late to really make a big difference.
Letters of Recommendation
Seek letters from professors at St. Mary’s, as well as professionals who have supervised your volunteer work in the health care field.
- A minimum of 4 letters should be requested.
- These letters should come from faculty who know you well.
- Copies of letters written by faculty for other opportunities, fellowships or internships for example, may also be forwarded to the chair of the HSAC for your file. Letters of support within your file are confidential and will not be forwarded for any purpose.
- A few medical schools require copies of all letters within your file and only in those instances will the letters written to the chair of the HSAC be sent upon your request. When requesting letters from volunteer experiences, please consider that Hospital Volunteer Coordinators don’t usually know you as well as the health care professionals who work with you.
- A letter from someone on staff who can speak to your potential in medicine can truly strengthen your committee letter.
Recommendation forms are available here and on the HSAC Blackboard “course” site.
- UMD usually starts interviews around the last week of September.
- Private schools always seem slow.
- Good candidates typically spend all fall interviewing.
- Appreciate that some of our students have already interviewed and been accepted before others find time to send their secondaries back. When this happens, if you are “late to the gate, “you are not usually interviewed until Jan.-Feb. after the class if nearly or completely filled. Then you may find you’re in the categories “waitlist,” “hold” or “alternates.”
- How much does medical school cost?
- Financing your education
- Top Ten Things to Know
- FAQS & Resources
- Interactive loan-finder
- Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)
- Applying for admissions fee assistance / exemption
Medical Scholarships and Loan Repayment Assistance
- Bureau of Clinician Recruitment And Service (Overview PDF)
- The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program
- Faculty Loan Repayment Program
- National Health Service Corps: Loan Repayment Program
- National Health Service Corps: Scholarship Program (PDF)
- If you are interested in more programs where you agree to work in underserved areas in exchange for tuition assistance, look at the Health Resources and Services Administration site, or do a google search for Health professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) to learn more about such programs.
- Another Option: Army Health Professions Scholarship Program
- The army pays all your tuition and fees in exchange for years of service in the army following medical school graduation.
31 Questions To Ask Your Med School
- Are there any special programs for which this medical school is noted?
- Describe this school’s curriculum in the pre-clinical and clinical years. Are there any innovations, like Problem-Based Learning?
- Are there opportunities for students to design, conduct, and publish their own research?
- Is there a note-taking service? If so, is it University-run or student-run?
- Is there flexibility in the coursework (the number of electives) and the timing of the courses (accelerating, decelerating, and time off) during the pre-clinical and clinical years?
- Has this medical school, or any of its clinical departments, been on probation or had its accreditation revoked?
- How do students from this medical school perform on the National Board Examinations? How does the school assist students who do not pass?
- How are students evaluated academically? How are clinical evaluations performed?
- Is there a formal mechanism in place for students to evaluate their professors and attending physicians? What changes have been made recently as a result of this feedback?
- What kind of academic, personal, financial, and career counseling is available to students? Are these services also offered to their spouses and dependents/children?
- Is there a mentor/advisor system? Who are the advisors-faculty members, other students, or both?
- How diverse is the student body? Are there support services or organizations for ethnic minorities and women?
- Tell me about the library and extracurricular facilities (i.e., housing and athletic/recreational facilities).
- Are there computer facilities available to students? Are they integrated into the curriculum/learning?
- What type of clinical sites-ambulatory, private preceptors, private hospitals, rural settings- are available or required for clerkships? Does this school allow for students to do rotations at other institutions or internationally?
- Is a car necessary for clinical rotations? Is parking a problem?
- What is the current tuition and fees? Is this expected to increase yearly? If so, at what rate?
- Are there stable levels of federal financial aid and substantial amounts of university/medical school endowment aid available to students?
- Are there students who have an “unmet need” factor in their budget? If so, where do these students come up with the extra funds?
- Are spouses and dependents/children covered in a student’s budget?
- Is someone available to assist students with budgeting and financial planning?
- Does this school provide guidance to its students, and to its graduates/alumni, on debt management?
- What medical school committees (e.g., curriculum committee) have student representation?
- Are students involved in (required or voluntary) community service?
- How active is the Student Council/Government? Are there other student organizations?
- Is there an established protocol for dealing with student exposure to infectious diseases? Is disability insurance provided to cover this exposure?
- Does this school provide, or does the student pay for, vaccinations against Hepatitis B or prophylactic AZT treatment in case of a needle-stick or accident?
- Is there a school Honor Code? Is there a grievance process/procedure? Are the students involved?
- May I see a list of residency programs to which this school’s recent graduates were accepted?
Questions to ask yourself
- Does this school have strengths in the type of medicine (primary versus specialized care, urban versus rural practice environment, academic medicine versus private practice) that I will want to practice?
- Would I be happy at this school (for at least the next four years)?