In almost all cases, applying for medical school involves three steps, including the application, a supplemental application, and an interview. The supplemental application is sent to you if a medical school is interested in you as a potential student. If you return the supplemental application and the medical school retains that interest, you will be contacted for an interview. Each step in the medical school application process is important, so it is vital you perform each on time and in an effective manner. Read on for a few tips on how to best complete the three steps of a medical school application.
The major difference between a college application and a medical school application is that the latter involves a general form (the AAMC's American Medical College Application Service), whereas the former involves individually applying to each school. The AMCAS form is a common application which is sent to each medical school to which you want to apply, making the entire initial application process faster. You simply identify the schools to which you want your information sent (including the all-important MCAT score), and AMCAS will send your applications to those medical schools.
Prior to filling out your general medical school application, you should have an idea of the schools to which you want to apply. Make sure you have thoroughly researched potential schools, making a list of the ones which are best for you. Without this knowledge, you will make the application process more difficult. Make sure you submit your application on time, giving plenty of time for AMCAS to send off the information and for medical schools to contact you.
If a medical college has interest in you after they receive your AMCAS form, they will send you a supplemental application package. This application step is more like the one you completed for your undergraduate degree, as each application is specific to the medical school from which it came. You will likely have to submit letters of recommendation and an essay or two in this application. These two items in particular are quite important in the application process, so take your time with them. Make sure your essay is thorough and addresses the topic they provide you. Knowing the philosophy of the medical college to which you are applying will help you create the best possible essay. Note that many supplemental applications charge a fee.
If a medical school likes what they see in your supplemental application package, they will likely invite you for an interview. The interview process can differ vastly from school to school. You may be interviews by a single practicing physician, or even a board of directors for the school. No matter who interviews you, make sure you are prepared. Dress nicely and come prepared to answer difficult questions. If a medical school invites you for an interview, you can be sure they have a lot of interest in you as a potential student. Thus, it is important that you do some research so that you know everything you can about the school, their philosophy, the courses they offer, and so on. If you can display a sound understanding of the school and explain why you will make a good fit in it, you will maximize your chances of getting accepted.