Prospective medical students come along many different pathways. Some follow the traditional path from high school to college to medical school with little breaks. Others take time between college and medical school. Still others pursue service in the military or another career before deciding they want to pursue medicine.
We want to encourage any prospective applicant no matter their pathway. Our admissions process is not focused on whether applicants apply directly out of college or whether their journey has taken them through a unique road to arrive at medicine. We have accepted applicants from every one of these different journeys. Please view our class demographics, which will be updated each time we enroll a new cohort.
- The AAMC also has a page full of Inspiring Stories!
- Admissions officers also share their feedback to prospective applicants here.
- The Anatomy of an Applicant is another helpful AAMC resource.
- The Aspiring Docs page also provides great insight.
Below is feedback and resources to help applicants along these different paths.
For prospective applicants who plan to apply to medical school while in college and hopefully matriculate after graduation, there are many resources on college campuses to assist. We highly recommend that you rely on your pre-health offices and advisors for guidance on how to be competitive applicants.
There are other resources available through the Association of American Medical Colleges. The Premed Navigator page provides many different insights.
We encourage you not to focus so much on when you could start medical school and instead consider how you can gain as much experience and exposure and grow as an individual to be ready for medical school. If this changes your path to add a gap year(s) or to pursue another career first, there is nothing wrong with that!
For prospective applicants who plan to apply to medical school after a gap year(s), we encourage you to be thoughtful about how you want to spend that time and how you hope to grow as an individual. Medical schools want to know how applicants are spending their time between college and medical school.
Be mindful that you may also lose contact with your former professors as you transition out of college. If you aim to ask for a letter of recommendation from a former professor, it is up to you to maintain that contact and keep them informed of what you are doing.
If you plan to pursue postbacc courses or apply to a formal program, this page has some helpful resources.
For applicants who have pursued other careers and/or served in the military, having access to pre-med advisors may not be an option. If you need to take pre-requisite courses, consider taking them at a four-year institution where there would be access to pre-med advisors. We understand this is not always possible, however, so we encourage you to reach out to us directly for an advising meeting.
Know your value!
We encourage you to share with us on your application how your former career and/or military service has helped prepare you for medical education or the practice of medicine. Often applicants who are transitioning from other careers forget that medical schools are not only concerned about your health care exposure; they also want applicants who have leadership and teamwork experience and skills, among others. Consider how you can highlight what you have learned from these other fields that will help you as a medical student, bring diversity to the class, care for others, and/or help us solve challenging healthcare problems.
Below are links to AAMC resources: