When to Apply to Medical School - Interview w/ Don Osborne of INQUARTA

Leonardo: Welcome back to the third installment of our three part series on medical admission with Don Osborne. Don, one of the most interesting conversations that you and I have had, something that I really wasn’t all that aware of, was with regard to how important timing is in medical admissions. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?

Don: I would love to. So the medical school admissions timeline is radically different than other college admissions cycles. So to start with, the medical school admissions cycle begins in early June when the application becomes available to submit and continues until the following September or August when medical school starts. So it’s over a 12 month long process. You know most students, most people are familiar with college admissions, which may start in the fall and you get accepted in the spring or earlier and then you start right away in the fall. So it’s less than a 12 month long, from beginning to end, process. The medical school admissions timeline is a lot longer than that. When you think about having to be ready to apply, you’re also adding in months and months of MCAT prep, as well as all the experiences and the prerequisites that you have to do. So the medical school admissions timeline itself is a multi-year timeline. Second, and this is, I think, a really big deal that students often times just don’t understand, and it’s reasonable that they don’t understand because they’ve never been in committee, so they’ve never seen it. Before a medical school admissions office will recognize your application as “complete,” and therefore ready to turn over to an admissions committee, your application has to have everything turned in. And that makes common sense, but for most people when they first think about doing the medical school application, they think about the primary application only. They’re not thinking about transcripts. They’re not thinking about letters of recommendation. They’re not thinking about the secondary application, which is also part of the overall application process. And, surprisingly unlike most other college and graduate schools, the medical school application process has two applications. So that by itself is like, “What?!” Right, it’s kind of a surprise. So all of that has to be turned in, has to be completed and received by the medical school admissions office so that the administrators of that program, of that process can now approve, “Okay, yes you have everything that you need,” and you can then be turned it in to committee. And until that moment happens and until you’re turned over to committee, you actually haven’t, technically speaking, applied to that medical school. They don’t even know you exist.

Leonardo: Understood.

Don: So most students are pretty good about getting their medical school application in relatively early, but other pieces and parts, whether it’s transcripts or letters of recommendation or secondary or other ancillary materials, they kind of lag and they kind of drip and drag throughout the summer to AMCAS or to the medical school. That’s really, I think, one of the biggest surprises for very qualified students, students who have high 30 MCAT scores, high GPA, great experience. Because of this lag, it surprises them why they don’t get accepted to medical school.

Leonardo: Amazing. Can you suggest some resources for viewers that they can look at to get more familiar with this cycle?

Don: Ya, I mean absolutely. You can of course work with your on-campus pre-medical advisor. He or she might be able to give you some ideas. I have a very extensive course that walks you through step-by-step the whole process called “The Medical School Admissions Blueprint,” and if you’d like I’d be happy to send you a link to put that in the description below and arrange for a nice discounts for students who are watching this.

Leonardo: That’s wonderful and I’m sure a lot of our students and subscribers will be interested in that. Don, you’ve given us a lot of really valuable information. I’ve been in this field for a number of years but the level of sophistication that you’ve developed, particularly on strategies, is really impressive and I know our students are going to profit for it. Thanks for stopping by and we’ll make sure that all those links are connected so that our students can get that information and really be successful in their application process. Thanks again Don.

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Click here to access the special discount on the Medical School Admissions Blueprint mentioned in the interview: http://www.inquarta.com/medical-school-admissions-blueprint/