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Cracking AMCAS. How to Apply to Medical Schools As presented by PHS. AKA all the grunt work. Primary Information. Identity/Official Transcripts. Identity. Official Transcripts. Request two copies of official transcripts One for you to enter in coursework One for AMCAS

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cracking amcas

Cracking AMCAS

How to Apply to Medical Schools

As presented by PHS

identity official transcripts
Identity/Official Transcripts

Identity

Official Transcripts

Request two copies of official transcripts

One for you to enter in coursework

One for AMCAS

Make sure AMCAS Transcript Request Form is attached to each official transcript

  • Must enter Social Security Number or Canadian equivalent
  • If missing, you need to contact AMCAS to be registered.
biography
Biography
  • Basic biography similar to applying to college.
  • Some states have special felony rules.
    • CA: don’t need to report misdemeanor for marijuana if over two years ago
  • Some terms to be aware of:
    • Language ranking you knowledge: Native, advanced, good, fair and basic
    • Childhood info: Intermediate family, underserved, Assistance Program
coursework
Coursework
  • Every class taken must be entered.
  • Assigning year to courses
    • High School: College classes taken in high school
    • Freshman: 0-32 semester hours
    • Sophomore: 31-64 semester hours
    • Junior: 61-96 semester hours
    • Senior: 91+ semester hours
coursework1
Coursework
  • Each term gets only one designation.
  • Each course entered must match transcript and be designated lecture or lab.
  • HS status to any college courses taken in high school.
  • FR status is awarded to AP classes, Exempt or CLEP classes
    • AP courses: must be on transcript and when entering must be entered separately.
the hardest part to complete
The Hardest Part to Complete
  • Wrong: Just most confusing…
  • AMCAS GPA=Your GPA from all the courses you have taken
  • Read this section CAREFULLY
activities types to consider
Activities – Types to Consider
  • Clinical Experience
  • Research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Employment
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Internship
activities how many
Activities – How Many
  • List up to 15 activities
  • Can list up to 3 as “most memorable”
  • Will get additional 1325 characters to describe why you chose these 3 “most memorable”
  • Out of 3 must list 1 as “most meaningful”
  • Consider how activities impacted your personal growth and how you made an impact doing the activity
activities leadership
Activities - Leadership
  • Having leadership experiences within your activities is great as “quality over quantity” is better
  • If multiple leadership experiences within same organization, would list it all under the same slot, and put the types of leadership and years in the note explanation portion of each slot
activities contacts
Activities - Contacts
  • It will ask you to list a present contact to reach verifying your experience for each activity
  • Consider who would best be able to describe your work ethic and dedication
  • Make sure you have present contact information for everyone you need it for and let them know they may be contacted
activities some places to consider volunteering at
Activities – Some Places to Consider Volunteering at
  • Research on Campus
  • Volunteering at Alta Bates, UCSF, Oakland Children’s Hospital
  • Soup Kitchens around Berkeley: Dorothy Day House, YEAH! Shelter, Dinner for the Poor at Newman Hall, Berkeley Food and Housing Project
  • Tutoring Programs: BUILD, OASES, School on Wheels
recommendation letters1
Recommendation Letters
  • 2-3 letters from people who know you well and who supervised your professional work
    • Professor
    • GSI
    • Supervisor from clinical/research experience
    • Employers
    • Physicians
recommendation letters2
Recommendation Letters
  • Visit office hours
    • More about you than “you got an A”
    • Research opportunity
  • Ask for a strong letter
  • Prepare resume, unofficial transcript, and personal statement
recommendation letters3
Recommendation Letters
  • Ask early
    • 2 months before deadline
  • Schools prefer confidential letters
    • Not allowed to see letter content
  • Career Center’s Letter Service
    • “a repository for letters of recommendation for grad/prof school or academic employment”
    • career.berkeley.edu/Letter
basics
Basics
  • 5300 Characters
  • On why you want to go to medical school
  • Start Early and Edit Frequently
  • What experiences stick out to you in your path to become a doctor
redemption
Redemption
  • Chance to write about special hardships, challenges, obstacles that may have influenced educational pursuits
  • Chance to comment on any significant fluctuations on academic records not explained elsewhere on application
  • WARNING: Not a pity party
special notes
Special Notes
  • Enter key= 2 Characters
  • No spell check in AMCAS
  • Write in Microsoft Notepad/Apple equivalent- Format
md phd
MD/PhD

2 More Essays

  • 1. MD/PhD Essay= Why? [3000 Characters]
  • 2. Significant Research Experience Essay [10,000 characters]
what are secondaries
What are Secondaries?
  • Secondary applications (also called Supplemental Applications) are submitted after your primary application to AMCAS
    • They can arrive days after you submitted your primaries or up to months after
    • They should be submitted as soon as possible, usually a couple days after you receive them
  • They come from each individual school, so they differ between schools
  • Schools send them out after reviewing your primary application
    • Some schools send it to all their applicants
      • Most likely the case because they can charge you a fee for sending it in
    • Other are only sent to those meeting the MCAT and GPA requirement
what s on the secondary application
What’s on the Secondary Application?
  • Secondaries are different for each school, so they can vary a lot
  • Generally, they consist of:
    • A variety of essay topics (varying in focus and length)
      • Possible topics:
        • Additional information for your application
        • What you’ve done since graduation?
        • Why are you interested in this particular medical school?
    • Letters of Recommendations
what happens a fter the s econdary applications
What Happens After the Secondary Applications?
  • Schools will either invite you for an interview or reject you based upon your secondary application
  • Final decisions are made after the interview
timeline for the application process
For the 2014 Cycle2011September- DecemberBecome familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the application service websites above and your prehealth advisor.Find out if your school offers a committee letter for recommendations and the process for obtaining one. If you do not have a committee letter, you will need to submit individual letters from faculty and other references. Since the requirements for letters of recommendation differ by school, check with the schools you plan to apply to about their requirements.Gather information about medical schools. The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), available for purchase through the AAMC site is an excellent resource.  The Osteopathic College Information Book can be downloaded online at the AACOM site.Continue to gain clinical, research  and community service experience throughout the next year.2012January-MarchRequest letters of recommendation from faculty, physicians and other references individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.Begin studying for the MCAT several months before you plan to take the test.Request copies of your transcripts to ensure that there are no errors on them.April-JuneRegister for the MCAT. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/Prepare for and take the MCAT. Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.Finalize your list of medical schools.Begin  working on primary applications.AACOMAS opens in May.AMCAS applications may be submitted beginning June 5.The TMDSAS application becomes available in early May.July-SeptemberRetake the MCAT if needed.Complete supplemental (secondary) applications. Some will arrive within days of your submission of the primary application, while others may take months. Return these to the schools as soon as possible.Interviews begin in late August at some medical schools.September 2012 – spring 2013Continue submitting secondaries.Interview at medical schools. Interview season continues through late winter or early spring.Some schools notify applicants of acceptances beginning October 15. Notifications continue until the class is full. By May 15, applicants to AMCAS schools should only be holding a spot at one school. They may remain on waitlists for other schools.Update schools you are waitlisted at about new activities and accomplishments.Fall 2013Begin medical school!Timeline for the Application Process
  • If you are applying for admission for Fall 2015:

2013

  • September- December
  • Become familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the application service websites above and your prehealth advisor.
  • Find out if your school offers a committee letter for recommendations and the process for obtaining one. If you do not have a committee letter, you will need to submit individual letters from faculty and other references. Since the requirements for letters of recommendation differ by school, check with the schools you plan to apply to about their requirements.
  • Gather information about medical schools. The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), available for purchase through the AAMC site is an excellent resource. 
  • Continue to gain clinical, research  and community service experience throughout the next year.
timeline early mid 2014
Timeline Early-Mid 2014

2014

  • January-March
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty, physicians and other references individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
  • Begin studying for the MCAT several months before you plan to take the test.
  • Request copies of your transcripts to ensure that there are no errors on them.
  • April-June
  • Register for the MCAT. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/
  • Prepare for and take the MCAT. Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
  • Finalize your list of medical schools.
  • Begin  working on primary applications.
  • AMCAS applications may be submitted beginning June 5.
timeline early mid 20141
Timeline Early-Mid 2014

2014

  • January-March
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty, physicians and other references individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
  • Begin studying for the MCAT several months before you plan to take the test.
  • Request copies of your transcripts to ensure that there are no errors on them.
  • April-June
  • Register for the MCAT. Information regarding the MCAT can be found at https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/46412/mcat/
  • Prepare for and take the MCAT. Take the MCAT in the spring if possible, but no later than early summer in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
  • Finalize your list of medical schools.
  • Begin  working on primary applications.
  • AMCAS applications may be submitted beginning June 5.
some resources
Some Resources
  • https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/
  • studentdoctor.net
  • Check out the website of the schools you are interested in to get more info!
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