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Medical, Dental,
and other Health Professions

Medical and health professional applications have similarities with law school apps, as well as differences.

All health profession programs require one or more essays. These include:

  • a basic background essay, similar to a law school diversity essay;
  • one or more essays explaining your interest in this field as well as in this school; and
  • explanations of any weaknesses in your file, especially poor grades.

There are two major differences between law school applications and applications to medical and health programs:  the timing of the applications, and the addition of an interview.  

The Application Timeline

Applications for graduate and professional schools operate on a very different schedule from those for law schools. Most law schools have only one application deadline each year, and only one application.  That application includes all the essays you will need for that school. The earliest deadlines each year are in February (except for binding early decision programs), and extend through as late as August for some schools.

Medical, dental, other health schools have much earlier application deadlines in order to accommodate the interview schedule.  In addition, many of these schools have more than one deadline, reviewing files in successive waves. Some promise to save a portion of their seats for those who apply later, while others only read later applications on an "as needed" basis.

Perhaps more importantly, medical schools generally send a second application a month or so after receiving the first one. This second application often has several additional essay questions, and allows a very brief time for answering them; it is common to be given 10 days to two weeks to answer these often profound questions.

Because these secondary applications bestow themselves upon you without notice, you must either be prepared to "put on your thinking cap" at a moment's notice, or you must prepare a number of essays in advance, anticipating the commonest questions presented in these later applications.

The many additional steps and minutia involved in applying to medical schools guarantee that only the most organized and self-disciplined applicants will successfully complete the obstacle course that applications present.  We help keep you organized with spreadsheets and timelines throughout the application process.    

The Interview

Virtually all health profession schools conduct personal interviews. Not everyone is interviewed; many applicants are weeded out before the interview stage is reached. It is also possible, but rare, that a person is admitted without an interview. It's safe to say that such people have extraordinary grades, test scores, and recommendations.

The interview serves a multitude of purposes. It may be used to explore the applicant's motivation or to address weaknesses in the applicant's file. It may tell the interviewer whether you have the interpersonal skills necessary for the program you wish to enter. Interviews may also be used to verify that you are indeed the person who wrote your essays; writing skills, vocabulary level, and general presentation can all help the interviewer assess the likelihood that your essays are truly yours.

Interviews can also help the school to evaluate your level of maturity and dedication to your stated goal. A tendency to switch the interview topic toward your favorite sports team or hobby might lead the interviewer to believe that school is not foremost in your mind.

Finding the right level of formality, humor, and casual conversation can be challenging. That's why we believe that interview training is an essential part of completing your professional application. We expect to spend 4 two-hour sessions preparing you for interviews

  • In the first session, we discuss potential topics of inquiry and the suggested directions for your answers.
  • In the second session, we role-play the interview, critiquing each answer as it is made, to suggest ways to improve.
  • The third session is your chance to incorporate those suggestions into your answers in an additional role-play situation.
  • The fourth (and hopefully final) session is a full "dress rehearsal," allowing you to become comfortable in your interview clothes as well as in your interview voice.

Where to Apply

In addition to these differences in the application process, the process of choosing health-related schools is controlled by factors very different from those in the law school process.

Both medical and dental schools pay far more attention to residency than do law schools; many state-supported health programs are open only to residents of that state. It is rare for a public school to take more than a handful of non-residents into a medical program. Private schools, on the other hand, pay far less attention to residency than do law schools; medical schools assume that you're willing to travel across the country in order to attend their school, while law schools almost always consider residency as a factor in the admissions process.

Similarly, medical schools pay far more attention to a good programmatic fit, expecting each applicant to know details of the school's interests and specialties as well as teaching style; virtually no law schools expects this level of familiarity with their program.

Test Scores

Surprisingly, grades and MCAT (or DAT) scores are often less important than are the corresponding numbers to law schools. The effect of US News rankings is diluted by the desire to attend an affordable state school whenever possible.  This allows the applicant to consider a much broader range of schools than a law applicant can.  

Fees and Schedule

Unlike our law school service, applicants to professional programs may choose to work with us for any part of the application process.  Fees for each component are:  

Step 1:  AMCAS other Common Application:  includes personal statement and review of application.  Fee:   $1000

Step 2:  Choice of Schools -- includes building a data base, discussing each school, and suggesting further research.  Fee:   $1000

Step 3:  Individual school applications:  Includes data base of questions, recommendations, and deadlines, supplemental essays, and review of applications.  Fee:  $200 per school plus $100 for each new essay topic.

Step 4:  Interviews:  Includes up to 16 hours of interview preparation -- 8 hours of general  prep before the first interview and more as needed for individual schools.   Fee:   $1,500

 

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