So you have decided that you want to be the next wide-eyed medical student on campus. Congrats! That is a big time decision about your future that you just made! Which, if you are anything like me, did not come easy.
Well now the fun stuff starts, if you thought your decision making was going to take a break because it was proud of you for choosing to attend medical school, you were wrong. Now you need to plan out your path on how you will get accepted into the school of your choosing. Hopefully, you have been consistently science heavy with your undergrad courses up until this point, and because you need more than just good grades to get into medical school you should probably have some extracurriculars to show how well rounded you are.
Being a medical student means that you will need to learn how to budget your time and plan things out. That is what this medical school application timeline is meant to help you out with, so let’s get into it.
Fall of Junior Year
MCAT, MCAT, MCAT. The fall of your junior year is the time that you need to start thinking about your MCAT. Think of this as the ACT/SAT of medical school. You will need to prepare to do well. The longer you wait to get your test scheduled, the more crowded the field will get. Most people are procrastinators? Shocker. More than likely, you could have the best application in the world, but you won’t be seriously considered unless your MCAT scores are a part of it.
Late Winter/Early Spring of Junior Year
Get that MCAT scheduled and continue your prep for it. Here is where you go to get it on your schedule.
Spring of Junior Year
Take your MCAT. If you don’t like what you get for a score, register to take it again and plan out what it will take for you to get the score you want. On top of this, take a look at what schools you will be looking to apply to, visit a few schools, and talk to students on those campuses.
Late Spring of Junior Year
At the time of this posting, this is where we are at. You should be looking for letters of recommendation for your application. Think about and ask who you want to recommend you. Write up a quick bio of yourself so the recommenders can construct the best letter possible. Also, make sure that they know when the deadline is.
Summer break! WooHoo! Well not exactly. Now is the time that you should be retaking the MCAT if necessary. By now you should have your list of schools and applications finalized. If you are able to apply through the early decision program (EDP), your deadline will be the 1st of August. For all others, the deadlines will be sometime between now and December.
Fall of Senior Year
If you are liked by some schools, they will send you a secondary application. This means that you will have a few essays to construct. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to proofread and have a good writer proofread these. Also, send thank you letters to everyone that wrote your letters of recommendation. And now start to prepare for the interviews.
Winter/Spring of Senior Year
Here come the acceptance letters! If you got into your dream school, congratulations. If you didn’t get in, it may be time to reconsider your career options, or get ready to apply next year.
Classes begin in August, enjoy your free time you still have it!