Guidelines for Applying to Medical School

1. MCAT

Make arrangements to take the MCAT if you have not done so already.  Continue to prepare for the test.   **Please release your MCAT scores to the UAlbany pre-health advisor.**

2. Centralized Applications

This is the PRIMARY application.  Access the AMCAS (MD schools) and/or AACOMAS (DO schools) application on the web.  YOU must submit the application(s) online.  **Read the instructions prior to beginning the application(s)!  Please release your application information to the UAlbany pre-health advisor.**

AMCAS:  application opens ~ May 8, 2013; you may begin submitting ~ June 4, 2013
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/ (Data Submitted to medical schools on June 28, 2013)

AACOMAS:  application opens ~ May 1, 2013 (12 noon); you may begin submitting ~ June 3, 2013
http://www.aacom.org/Pages/default.aspx

*If you are applying to a medical school in the state of Texas, then you must complete and submit the TMDSAS:  http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/

NOTE:  If you have not yet taken the MCAT, we highly recommend that you spend the bulk of your time and energy on MCAT preparation.  Schools do not take a serious look at your application without an MCAT score.  That being said, you want to apply early (for your own piece of mind if nothing else!).  An August submission is a good goal. 

3. Official Transcripts

  • Make arrangements to have your official transcript sent from the UAlbany Registrar’s Office directly to AMCAS/AACOMAS.  There is a request letter available on AMCAS/AACOMAS.  This request can be made online through myUAlbany.  AMCAS/AACOMAS will use the official transcript to verify your application.  The pre-health advising office DOES NOT send out transcripts.  Please see the Registrar’s Office website for more details: http://www.albany.edu/registrar/transcripts.html
  • AP and IB credits are not identified on your official transcript as particular courses.  They will be identified by the number of credits only (i.e. transfer credits: 7).  If you have AP or IB credit that you want to use to fulfill some of your pre-requisites (i.e. AMAT 112 or AENG 121), you can request that the Registrar’s Office writes a letter attachment to your official transcript that verifies that you have 4 credits of AMAT 112 and 3 credits of AENG 121, etc (whatever the AP credits are).  Dean Knapton is generally the person in the Registrar's office that does this.
  • If you have transfer work, you must also have transcripts sent directly from each institution you’ve attended (even University in the High School credit). 
  • The COURSEWORK section of the application requires you to list every college course ever taken.  We recommend that you request an official transcript(s) for your own personal use to fill out this section.  Be as error free as possible to avoid problems in verifying your application later.

4. Letters of Recommendation and Committee Evaluation

In addition to the committee evaluation, the Pre-health advising office will also send the individual letters of recommendation in your pre-health file.  We DO NOT send resumes or personal statements (you will be asked for this info in another part of the application).

NOTE:  The medical schools ask for letters of recommendation AFTER you have submitted your AMCAS or AACOMAS online and you have begun to get requests for secondary/supplemental applications from the individual medical schools.  There is no need to submit your letters of recommendation until you have begun to get requests for secondaries.

  • We ONLY use Virtual Evaluations (VE) to submit letters of recommendation to the medical schools.  Both MD and DO schools participate in VE.  Many MD schools also participate in the AMCAS Letter Service.  These schools will also get letters submitted through VE.  Once we upload your letters to VE, VE makes the letters available for the med schools to download/read at their leisure. 
  • AMCAS:  There are 3 types of Letters of Evaluation that can be submitted on your behalf in AMCAS.  Most folks will either be submitting Committee Letters or Letter Packets.  In both cases, please use Kimberly Kerker’s contact information (see below) for the primary contact/author. We DO NOT need a copy of your AMCAS Letter Request Form
      1. Committee Letter:  Choose this if you interviewed with the pre-health advisory committee and we wrote you a committee evaluation.  We will upload all of the additional letters of recommendation from your pre-health file along with the committee eval as one PDF file.
      2. Letter Packet:  Choose this if you DID NOT interview with the pre-health committee but we have letters of recommendation in your pre-health file in the Advisement Services Office.  We will upload all of the letters in your file as one PDF document.
      3. Individual Letter:  An individual letter refers only to a letter authored by, and representing, a single letter writer.  These are letters that you will be arranging to be sent to AMCAS on your own and are not part of the committee letter or letter packet.
  • AACOMAS:  All Osteopathic medical schools participate in VE (except for Michigan State University COM).  You do not need to state who the letters will be coming from in AACOMAS.  We will upload your committee evaluation and other letters of recommendation from your pre-health file on your behalf to VE.  We DO NOT use Interfolio.

NOTE FOR DO SCHOOL APPLICANTS:  Most of the osteopathic medical schools strongly recommend, if not require, a letter of recommendation from a physician.  In many cases, they require a letter of recommendation from an osteopathic physician.  It is in your best interest to have a letter of recommendation from an MD/DO as part of your pre-health file.  Check school-specific requirements to make sure that you have the proper letters of recommendation for each school.

5. Submitting Your Letters of Recommendation to Virtual Evaluations

There is a $20 fee that you must pay to the STUDENT ACCOUNTS OFFICE to use VE.  You can pay this before you leave campus for the summer if you’d like.  Use the VE fee transmittal form:

http://www.albany.edu/advisement/pdf/PreHealth_Virtual_Evaluation.pdf

You can pay in person at the student account’s office or fax the form there (fax: 518-442-3818).  We will not upload your letters until you have paid the VE fee.

Once you’ve begun to get requests for secondary/supplemental applications, email Donna LaHue (dlahue@albany.edu) and Kimberly Kerker (kerker@albany.edu)  with the following information in order for your letters to be uploaded to VE:

      1. AAMC ID
      2. AMCAS Letter ID (if applying MD)
      3. AACOMAS ID    (if applying DO)
      4. List of ALL schools to which you are applying.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  For Donna and Kimberly to work efficiently through this process, please make sure that we have ALL of the letters that you want sent in your pre-health file when you contact us.  We will only scan your letters for Virtual Evals 1 (one) time.   If you obtain additional letters after we submit your letters to VE, it is your responsibility to get the letters to the medical schools by your own means. 

6. Sending Letters of Recommendation to Schools that do not participate in Virtual Evaluation.

Again, nearly all MD and DO schools participate in VE.  VE will also send letters to AMCAS for schools that use the AMCAS letter service.  Many Caribbean and off shore medical schools do not participate in VE.  In order for us to send your letters to offshore schools, you need to provide us with an 8.5 X 11 inch manila envelope, addressed to each school, with 3 stamps to cover postage.  Mail or give this envelope to Donna LaHue, and we will send paper copies of your letters directly to the off shore schools.

7. Some Last Thoughts

  • Read the Instruction Manual!  Also, the AMCAS/AACOMAS FAQ and HELP sections are extremely useful when you have questions about the application.  Please see these sections first before contacting us.
  • Early submission is good, but Error Free is better.  Be complete and accurate in your application.
  • Before submitting, print out the application to double check your data.  If there are mistakes, the medical schools will see them!
  • Log back into the application periodically to check on your application status.
  • Keep your contact information up to date with AMCAS/AACOMAS and Advisement Services.
  • Know your deadlines and keep track of them!

 

8. Contact Information

Kimberly Kerker                            
Pre-health Advisor                             
Advisement Services Center
LI 36
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY  12222
KKerker@albany.edu
518-442-3974

Donna LaHue
Pre-Health Office Manager
Advisement Services Center
LI 36
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY  12222
dlahue@albany.edu
518-442-3964