It’s the end of January, which means if you plan to go to medical or dental school in August 2014, you need to start the process now. You’re thinking to yourself, “What? Most schools don’t have application deadlines until October, or even November. Why are we talking about applications now?” That’s a great question, and a simple one to answer: Getting into medical or dental school takes time and planning.
To keep from being overwhelmed or from missing an important deadline (when is your MCAT or DAT test date?) you need to create a schedule, complete with a calendar of important dates and deadlines. OITE has put together a basic schedule that you can use to create your own, more detailed one. The first step in creating your schedule is to go to the OITE Online Resources page and download the “Medical School Application Schedule for Admission in August 2014.” While you are on the OITE Online Resources page, take a look at the other resources OITE offers to help you with the application process.
Now that you have the OITE schedule, contact your undergraduate institution’s pre-professional advising office. Pre-professional advising offices offer a wide variety of services to assist you in getting your application together, and ensuring it is as professional as possible. Contact your office, and let them know you are applying this year, and make sure you incorporate any of their deadlines into your schedule.
Your next step is visiting the American Medical College Application Service, or AMCAS, website. AMCAS is a non-profit application service provided by the American Association of Medical Colleges. You create an account, complete an online application, and select which medical schools you want to receive a copy of your application. You create one single application and AMCAS provides that application to each school. For those of you interested in Dental school, the American Dental Education Association has a similar service called the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).
Most US medical and dental schools only accept applications through AMCAS or AADSAS. Visit the AMCAS or the AADSAS website to learn about the process. Enter into your schedule deadlines for when you plan to complete the different parts of the application. After you complete and submit your application it can take up to 6 weeks of processing before it can be sent to your schools. You should plan to have all your application materials ready for submission to AMCAS or AADSAS in early June. That way, if your top choice school has an early application deadline, you will not miss it.
Finally, take advantage of the seminars and other resources OITE offers. The Application Schedule for Admission in August 2014 includes the dates of workshops on writing personal statements and filling out applications. You can also arrange an appointment with the OITE’s pre-professional advisor.
Don’t procrastinate and try to cram the entire application process into a single month. Instead, build a calendar of deadlines and milestones that break up the application process into small, achievable steps.