December is a great time to start looking for the best medical schools. As a student, you should look for the most beneficial available funding options, whether it is in your particular field or the school you are considering. Applications for the fall semester are generally considered during this period of time and close early in the following year. It is best to get your application in early and start getting the necessary documentation together to complete it. While you are applying to to medical school, be sure to fill out the FASFA application for student loans. This step is vital in funding your education and living expenses.
Some items which all schools, especially ones with medical programs require, whether you are applying as a physician, dentist, PhD in Nursing, or DNP candidate.
These items include:
- Official certified transcripts from all of the schools you attended – regardless of subject, locations, or dates.
- Letters of recommendation; contact several of your former teachers, rather than relying on just one or two. You will probably need 2-3 letters, depending on the medical school you will be attending. Just be sure to request more than what you will need, as not all teachers will be able to accommodate you in a timely manner. Be sure to have them send you a copy as well as sending an original off to your schools of choice.
- Personal intention: Why you want to go into the medical field and why you are choosing their school. If you have an idea of what your specialty or major will be, be sure to include this in your letter. Also state why you believe their school will satisfy your ambitions.
- List any volunteer work, extracurricular activities or clubs in which you participate. It does not have to relate to medical school, although if it does – all the better! If you served in a leadership position, include that and describe your role; what you accomplished, how it benefited you and your group.
Regards the letter of recommendation, please not that it’s usually best to go prepared with an outline of your accomplishments while in school in order to refresh your former teacher’s memory about you. It’s not a matter of them remembering your or not. It’s because they did teach a lot of students and naturally can make a mistake, or have other things on their mind. A lot of professors are sort of doing the same thing as you when they apply for grants. They too have to gather letters of recommendation and write a letter of intent. It is likely that when you become a doctor, you too will have the same obligation to your students. Consider the outline as a grocery list; while you think you will remember everything you need while shopping, you are bound to forget something if you don’t have a list to which you can refer.
When discussing or debating which is the best medical school for you among your friends, keep in mind that your situations and motivations are not always the same. Each of you have specific needs and goals, which factor into your own personal decision. Yours might be for reasons of proximity to transportation, while your friend’s might be financial or climate based. Keeping this in mind is important. On the other hand, you might both be lucky and decide to attend the same medical school for all of the same reasons. Again, don’t forget to apply for your student aid (FASFA) even before you decide on a school or medical program.