Medical School FAQ

1 The Journey to Medical School -- Before Applying

1.1 What is an MD?
1.2 What is a DO?
1.3 What are the prerequisites for medical school?
1.4 What is the MSAR?
1.5 State school or Ivy League for undergrad?
1.6 Which major should I choose?
1.7 Is admission to medical school competitive?
1.8 Do I have to do research?
1.9 Do I have to have clinical experience?
1.10 How old is too old?
1.11 How high does my GPA need to be?
1.12 I completed college without finishing the pre-med requirements, and I want to apply to medical school. What do I do now?
1.13 What are some good sources of information about medical school and medicine?

2 The MCAT

2.1 What is the MCAT?
2.2 How important is the MCAT in the admission process?
2.3 What material is on the MCAT?
2.4 When should I start studying for the MCAT?
2.5 How should I study for the MCAT?
2.6 Should I take a review course?
2.7 Can you tell me about Stanley Kaplan vs. Princeton Review?
2.8 Are there any other options for review courses?
2.9 When should I take the MCAT?
2.10 Does it matter whether I take the MCAT in April or August?
2.11 What is a good MCAT score?
2.12 Are different sections of the MCAT more or less important than other sections?
2.13 My MCAT score was not stellar. Is it advisable to take the MCAT twice?
Three times?
2.14 Should I go ahead and apply with my current MCAT score, or should I wait until I take the test again?
2.15 How do medical schools interpret multiple MCAT attempts?
2.16 I heard that you can take the MCAT as "practice" but not have your score count. I could use the practice; is this a good idea?
2.17 Can I decide not to release my MCAT scores and then later decide to release them after I have seen my score?

3 Applying to Medical School

3.1 What is the timeline for admissions?
3.2 Where can I find a list of medical schools?
3.3 What is AMCAS/AACOMAS?
3.4 How many schools should I apply to?
3.5 Which schools should I apply to?
3.5a What are good sources to help me choose?
3.6 How expensive is it to apply?
3.6a Is there any way to make the application process cheaper?
3.7 Should I apply to DO schools?
3.8 What is a secondary/supplementary?
3.9 What is an MD/PhD program?
3.9a What are the different sources of funding for MD/PhD programs?
3.10 Should I enroll in a combined BS/MD program?
3.11 What are combined MD/MPH and DO/MPH programs?
3.12 Can you tell me about combined MD/MBA programs?
3.13 Can you tell me about combined MD/JD programs?
3.14 What are PAs?
3.15 Should I consider going to a foreign school?

4 The Interview Process

4.1 How can I prepare for my interview?
4.2 What should I wear to the interview?
4.3 Should I bring anything to the interview?
4.4 What will I be asked?
4.5 "Why do you want to be a doctor?
" 4.6 What questions should I ask?
4.7 Should I do anything after the interview?
4.8 What does "waitlisted" mean?
What does "hold" mean?
4.9 What if I don't get accepted?
4.10 How should I choose what school to go to?
4.11 What should I do during the summer before medical school?

5 Medical School Curricula

5.1 How long is medical school?
5.2 What classes are there in medical school?
5.3 How are students graded/evaluated in medical school?
5.4 What are "rotations"?
5.5 What are the "must have" textbooks?
5.6 What is PBL?
5.7 Is there any free time in medical school?
5.8 What is the USMLE?
5.9 What is a good USMLE score?
5.10 What is AOA?

6 Paying for Medical School

6.1 How expensive is medical school?
6.2 How can I pay for medical school?
6.3 Can you tell me about Armed Forces scholarships?
6.4 Can you tell me about Public Health Service scholarships?
6.5 Can I really borrow more than $10K/yr in Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?

7 Residency and Beyond

7.1 What are the different medical specialties?
7.2 What is a residency?
7.2a What is an internship?
7.2b What is a "preliminary" year?
A "categorical" year?
7.3 What is the Match?
7.4 What is the NRMP?
7.5 Are there specialties that don't use the NRMP?
7.6 What is a fellowship?
7.7 How many hours do interns/residents work?
7.7a Aren't there limits on this?
7.8 What does "board certified" mean?
7.9 What does FACP/FACS/FACOG/etc. mean?
7.10 What is an IMG/FMG?
7.11 What is the ECFMG?
The CSA?
7.12 What is CME?