My 2008-2009 Medical School Application Process
I wanted to share my experiences from applying to Texas medical schools with those who aspire to follow the same journey. Hopefully they will help you make wiser decisions regarding the overall process and help clarify some ambiguities along the way. First, all the Texas medical schools (except for Baylor College of Medicine) take part in a common application service known as the TMDSAS. These schools are as follows:
- University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB)
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston (UTH)
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio (UTSA)
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas (UTSW)
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso
- Texas A&M Health Sciences Center in College Station
- Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) in Fort Worth
Baylor College of Medicine uses a separate application service known as the AMCAS. I applied to BCM as well as UTMB, UTSA, UTSW, and UTH.
It’s a well known fact that the early applicants get the early interviews (and therefore, the acceptance letters). Knowing this, I attempted to finish everything as early as possible. I now realize there were things I should have done a little differently to streamline the process even more.
Application for 2009 Enrollment
|5/12||TMDSAS submitted and transcript requested from undergrad.|
|5/16||TMDSAS receives transcript.|
|5/18||MCAT score is posted online.|
|5/23||MCAT scores are electronically released to TMDSAS. $115 fee is mailed along with passport photos and certification page to TMDSAS.|
|5/27||TMDSAS receives certification page, fees, and photos.|
|6/4||AMCAS opens for application submission.|
|6/5||AMCAS submitted ($160 fee) and transcript requested from undergrad.|
|6/13||Committee letter mailed to TMDSAS and AMCAS.|
|6/19||AMCAS receives transcript.|
|6/25||TMDSAS receives committee letter. TMDSAS is now complete.|
|7/1||Baylor’s secondary app is posted online. I completed and submitted it the same day ($80 Paypal fee).|
|7/8||AMCAS receives committee letter. AMCAS is now complete.|
|7/24||UT Southwestern’s secondary app is posted online. I completed and submitted it the same day (no fee).|
Based on the timeline above, there are several things which I’m glad I did:
- Finished my personal statement before the applications went online.
- Already knew which schools I was going to apply to.
- Submitted my secondary applications the day they were posted.
- Ensured that I was first in line to have my recommendation letter compiled and mailed out.
- Followed up with all the schools after my initial processing was completed.
Of course, there are number of things I advise you to do differently than me:
- Send your transcripts to TMDSAS/AMCAS as soon as you have an account number (even though you’re still working on your actual application)
- Get around ten passport-sized photos before May.
- If possible, take the MCAT early. This will prevent you from receiving your score after TMDSAS has already opened.
By implementing the aforementioned list of improvements, I could have been faster in having my initial processing completed. For those who don’t know, medical schools begin receiving applications only after the initial processing has been completed. Therefore, earlier should be better. My timeline above could have been streamlined a little more, but it wouldn’t have really made a difference. The additional time allowed me to double check my applications for errors, revise my personal statement, etc.
|Medical Institute||Interview Invite||Interview||Acceptance|
|Baylor College of Medicine in Houston||8/22||10/17 ¹||12/10|
|University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston||—||—||—|
|University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio||7/24||8/11||—|
|University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston||7/2||8/8||11/14|
|University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas||8/8||9/13||6/15|
|¹ Rescheduled from 9/19 to 10/17 due to Hurricane Ike|
Here are some posts which summarize my thoughts after each interview and other posts which are relevant to the application process.
- University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Interview Outcome
- University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio Interview Outcome
- University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas Interview Outcome
- Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Interview Outcome
- Baylor College of Medicine versus UT Southwestern