There are 151 schools in the United States that offer a M.D. degree, and 34 that offer a D.O. degree. Each year over 50,000 students apply for admission into these schools. This suggests that competition is tough. With that being said there are certain advantages that can give you to help push you to the top of the list. Building an advising relationship with the Pre-Professional Health Studies office beginning in your freshman year is your first step toward becoming a competitive applicant.
General Medical School Requirements
Medical schools all look at applicants differently; they put different weight on different aspects according to what the admissions panel sees as being most needed. Some characteristics are identified below.
- Completion of pre-requisite courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Psychology, and Sociology
- An overall and a math/science GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred
- MCAT score in the 75th percentile and above is preferred
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Clearly defined motivation for a career in medicine
- Clinical and research experience
- Community service, both related and unrelated to medicine
- A Pre-Health Evaluation Committee letter along with recommendations from faculty and mentors
The Application Process for Medical School
For individuals pursuing an M.D., the centralized application for allopathic schools of medicine is the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). For those pursuing a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine degree, the centralized application is the Association of American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS).
The MCAT, or the Medical College Admissions Test, is a 7.5-hour exam that consists of four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Each section is scored between 118 and 132, with the total score ranging from 472 to 528. Scores above the 75th percentile are considered competitive.
More information on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Temple Resources: Pre-Professional Health Advising
Pre-Professional Health Advising (PPHA) is a university-wide support service that provides direct guidance and support to Temple students and alumni who are interested in pursuing careers in the health professions. Preparing for professional school is a very demanding and detailed process, which involves a commitment to both academic and professional development. Organizing these details in a timely manner is important for successful preparation to professional school. PPHA provides advising support and follow-up advising services for students who seek admission to Medical school as well as other types of health profession programs including Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Optometry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Podiatry and Veterinary Medicine.
The PPHA advising process includes one-on-one advising, group workshops, ePortfolio files, and opportunities for a Pre-Health Evaluation Committee interview and letter of recommendation. Understanding that most Medical schools prefer a committee letter from an undergraduate pre-professional health advising office, the PPHA ePortfolio process prepares Temple University students, in any of the nine career paths noted above, to be considered for a committee letter. Pre-Professional Health Advising works with pre-health professional students who are interested in careers in health care to help assess their preparation and provides advising in support of their health professional school application.