Got the skills and passion for a career in medicine? If you want to study in one of the world’s finest universities, a medical school in the USA is a great choice! A medical education in the USA will boost your credentials and set you up for success in your future medical career.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply to a medical school in the USA:
Step 1: Build your medical work experience
While high grades in your pre-med course is important, it’s just a small part of getting into medical school. Since admission is harder for international students, you should get some work experience to enrich your credentials. Whether it’s getting your feet wet at a healthcare organization or doing volunteer work with the elderly, try your best to find unique opportunities that will make your application stand out!
Step 2: Choose a medical school in the USA
After finishing your pre-med course and gaining some work experience, it’s time to make a plan. Which medical school in the US are you aiming for? Do your research based on factors like school performance, location, and scholarship opportunities.
For starters, here are USA universities* ranked the highest for their Medicine research:
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of California
- University of Pennsylvania
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Yale University
- Columbia University
- Duke University
- University of Washington
There are about 172 medical schools in the USA that offer either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, so you have a lot of options. Aside from top-ranking US universities with high competition among applicants, the country also offers many more quality medical schools with high acceptance rates.
Step 3: Study and apply for the MCAT
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized test for prospective medical students who want to practice medicine in the United States. To increase your chances of passing the test, study for the MCAT at least 5 months before the examination date. Unfortunately, there are no testing locations for the MCAT in the Philippines, so you would have to take the test in one of the MCAT testing locations abroad.
P.S. Find out everything you need to know about the MCAT so you can be as prepared as you can be!
Step 4: Submit your primary application
The American Medical School Application Service (AMCAS) is the main way to apply to a medical school in the US. While the name sounds intimidating, AMCAS actually makes the application process easier since you only need to submit your requirements once to apply to several medical schools.
Applicants will also need to submit their personal statement along with their primary application. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with the admissions department and explain why you want to work in the field of medicine. Make every word count, and be mindful of the 5,300-character limit! You can follow our tips to writing an effective application essay to increase your chances of success.
Step 5: Submit your secondary application
Once you’re done with the initial application, medical schools usually follow up with a secondary application. This requirement includes an application fee, “yes” or “no” questions, or short essays. These short essays should be treated as a continuation of your personal statement so make sure to use this part of the process to prove you deserve to enter medical school in the US.
Step 6: Ace the interview
Congratulations, you are just one step away from entering medical school! Written applications are one thing, but a face-to-face interview is a whole new challenge. Take this chance to really shine in person. If you’re worried about the interview, preparation is key. Review your application, resume, and extracurricular activities. It’s likely that the interviewer will ask you for details about yourself, your experiences, and insights you’ve learned along the way.
If you’re feeling intimidated by all of these requirements, know that many other international students have gone through the same process and succeeded! In 2017, 350 out of 1,933 foreign applicants were accepted into medical school in the United States. So while getting admitted as an international student is difficult, it’s definitely possible.
Check out our Study Abroad section for more tips on how to get accepted into your dream university overseas!