Preparing for Medical School

Top tips for premeds on getting into medical school

Issues relevant to medical school admissions were some of the most read stories published by the AMA this year.

FAQs about Med School

Get answers to all your biggest questions about getting into medical school, the application process, the MCAT and more. 

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Here’s a look at the AMA’s top insights on the medical school admissions process.

  1. DO vs. MD: How much does the medical school degree type matter?

    In the U.S., there are two types of degrees with which physicians can practice medicine: MDs, a doctor of medicine, or a DO, a doctor of osteopathic medicine. The two degrees reflect different types of medical school training. MDs attend allopathic medical schools, while DOs attend osteopathic medical schools. 

    1. Learn about key differences between MD and DO medical school programs, and what role degree type should play in your medical school choice. 
  2. The MCAT is not just another standardized exam. Here’s why. 

    The primary function of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is to determine how a prospective medical student will perform in medical school. In that way, it doesn’t differ significantly from standardized tests, such as the American College Test (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), that high school students take as part of their college admission portfolio. Learn why the MCAT is a totally different animal.  

  3. Why a low GPA may not sink your medical school application

    1. Matriculants entering medical school in the 2018–2019 admissions cycle registered a 3.72 mean grade-point average (GPA) in their undergraduate coursework, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Still, if you underperformed in undergrad but dream of working as a physician, you have options. 

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  4. Why are you pursuing a career in medicine? Interviewers will ask.

    Medical school admissions interviews vary in format by school. You may speak to one person or a number of people. They may be students, alumni, community members, professors, deans or some combination thereof. Still, while the audience and venues for these interviews may change, one question is likely to remain constant: Why do you want to go into medicine? 

    1. Medical students and faculty involved in medical school admissions chimed in on the best ways to answer that question. Find out what they had to say.