University of Vermont

Path to Medical School: Applying to Medical School

The best time to apply to medical school is when a candidate can offer a strong application demonstrating all of the following:

  • Outstanding metrics (GPA –cumulative & BCMP-- and MCATs): see above for national averages
  • Understanding of the medical profession based on first-hand exposure to (and ideally hands-on participation in) clinical medicine (100 hours - >1000 hours) and/or medically-related research;
  • History of meaningful engagement with others, leadership and a commitment to serving the UVM and larger community;
  • Active growth and development in all of the 15 Core Competencies;
  • Passion for the field and evidence of a commitment to devoting the next several years of one’s life to the intense training required to become a physician

The AAMC offers important resources to learn more about the process of preparing for application and determining schools which are the best fit based on a candidate’s metrics and goals. Two of these resources are: The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions: How to Prepare for and Apply to Medical School (in print and ebook, each for ~$20) and the Medical School Admissions Requirements(MSAR) database (~$30 for one year subscription). MSAR is the authoritative directory for school-specific admission requirements and also provides up-to-date data regarding matriculants’ demographics and median GPA and MCAT scores. Each school’s mission statement is provided which should be a key factor to consider before applying. AACOM publishes a College Information Book yearly (free download) with information about each of the osteopathic schools and admissions preparation / process. The AAMC has created a worksheet to help you identify potential schools of interest which can be used in both a search of MD and DO schools. Note that all state schools and many private schools have a preference for applicants who are residents of that state. Fee assistance programs are offered for both MD and DO applicants.

The application cycle opens up in June every year through AMCAS (MD) and AACOMAS (DO). Because many schools operate on rolling admissions, it is advisable to apply in the cycle when you can complete all aspects of your application by mid-July at the latest (June is preferable).

A very small percentage of candidates from UVM proceed directly from undergraduate to medical school. To do so requires application immediately after junior year. The majority of applicants from UVM apply as alums, after one or more “growth years” in which they have had time to gain additional perspectives and meaningful experiences. This trend is supported by the fact that the average age of matriculants to medical school is ~25 years. Increasingly, medical schools are looking for candidates who can demonstrate maturity and readiness for medical school and have deep insights into the realities and challenges of the profession.

It is strongly recommended that anyone considering application to MD or DO schools consult the Pre-Health Advisor during drop-in hours, group advising sessions, and through 1:1 advising appointments starting in sophomore year. In the Fall prior to the application cycle, all candidates who wish to participate in the Committee Letter Process that year are required to complete an “application readiness” document and get feedback from the Pre-Health advisor to assess the appropriateness of the timing of application.

The Committee Letter Process (CLP): UVM offers eligible current students, alums who have graduated within the last 4 years, and Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program students the opportunity to participate in the CLP. This thorough and holistic evaluation (which includes review of: transcript, experiences report/resume, conduct record, responses to essay prompts, faculty letters of recommendation, and interview) occurs well before anticipated matriculation into medical school and therefore requires keen attention to details and excellent organization. Participation in CLP results in the preparation of an institutional letter of reference for the candidate. The process begins with an information sessions in the fall semester (~ 21-22 months prior to anticipated medical school matriculation), followed by completion and review of a “CLP Readiness Assessment” with the Pre-Health advisor. Additional requirements include a formal letter of intent to participate, the completion of a Committee portfolio, the submission of letters of recommendations and an interview with a Premedical Advisory Committee member. The CLP prepares the candidate to submit their final AMCAS and/ or AACOMAS application in June, just over a year prior to anticipated medical school matriculation. Learn more about the Committee Letter Process, including eligibility, readiness/self-assessment, and Timeline

Last modified October 10 2018 03:26 PM