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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Medical School Admissions: Program Options

Are you applying EDP? How about MD/JD? Wondering what I am talking about? Read on…

Before starting on your personal statement and list of activities for AMCAS, you need to decide what general program you will apply to. Do you want to be a MD/PhD? How about getting a dual MD/MBA? Or perhaps you know exactly where you want to apply and hope to be accepted early. No matter what path you choose, it will require some research to learn the exact rules and requirements for each path. Here are some general guidelines:

Early Decision Program (EDP): You can only apply to one school and will find out by October 1 if you are accepted. If don’t get in, you can then turn in a regular AMCAS application. This approach is fantastic if you are a stellar candidate and know exactly where you want to go to school. However, it is risky for most. If you are not accepted, you will be submitting an application much later than the rest of the pre-meds, a huge detriment when it comes to rolling admissions schools. You are not allowed to apply to the EDP and AMCAS at the same time. The EDP deadline is August 1.
Regular MD: Follow the AMCAS guidelines. The application deadlines vary by school and range from mid-October to mid-December.
MD/PhD: This program is for candidates who want to focus on research. MD/PhD students generally complete their first two years of medical school then head off to lab for 3-7 years and return to complete medical school upon finishing their PhD research. Many are drawn to the MD/PhD path because tuition is subsidized by the school. However, money is certainly not a reason to pursue this course. Schools expect you to enter this program because you love research. You will need to prove a talent for research to the admissions committee. MD/PhD candidates are required to submit two extra essays through AMCAS.
Other combined programs: Many schools are starting to offer combined programs such as MD/MBA, MD/JD, MD/MPH, and MD/MPA. Such programs often shave a year off of the regular requirements. Joint degree programs are becoming more popular so be sure to check with each school to see if any such programs exist or will exist in the near future. You will have to contact each school separately for the specific application. Many schools will have you apply to the joint program once accepted into the medical school.

Want help deciding which program to apply to? Email or call 415.939.5251 to set up a consulting session with a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions insider.

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