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Intangible Factors

A. Motivation and Commitment

There are some intangible factors that are very important in the application process. Primary among these is your motivation. First of all, with the competition to gain admission to medical school, it is very important that you submit your AMCAS application close to the earliest possible date or as soon as you have received your MCAT scores during the summer, to show you are highly interested in going to medical school. (Normally the first date on which you can submit your AMCAS application falls in early June.) Apply early! When you receive a secondary application from an AMCAS school, submit it within two weeks. Return all secondary material promptly! For non-AMCAS schools, apply as early as possible to show you are interested.

As noted above, health care related experiences are extremely helpful in demonstrating your degree of commitment to medicine — summer jobs, research experience, externships and volunteer hospital work are all helpful. Once medical schools get interested in you on the basis of your credentials they will try to find out your attitude toward questions such as: Do you know what you are getting into? Are you prepared to cope with the demands, stresses and frustrations and to take full advantage of the opportunities? How do you feel about the prospect of working with sick people most of the time? Are you planning realistically to finance your medical education?

B. Character and Integrity

Medical schools are looking for students of high character and integrity as well as academic ability. The Health Sciences Advisory Committee is responsible for recommending students to medical school. Each year the Dean's Office reviews the list of candidates for medical school and reports to the Health Sciences Advisory Committee any cases of disciplinary action taken against the student by the College.

If the student has not been disciplined by the College, the following statement is attached to the end of the Committee letter of recommendation: "There are no disciplinary actions noted on _________'s record."

If a student has been disciplined by the College, the above statement is not included at the end of the student's Committee letter and the Health Sciences Advisory Committee meets to discuss how the case should be handled.

On your AMCAS application, you will be required to state whether you were ever convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or the recipient of any institutional action for unacceptable academic performance or a conduct violation, even if it does not appear on your transcript. If this is an issue for you, be sure to discuss your situation with Gigi.