Becoming a doctor, nurse, or medical physician will take you more time than most other after-college pathways. You have to go through a full four years for an undergraduate degree in the medical sciences but then spend another four years in medical school. That is the most challenging part because now the field is swarming with qualified individuals who are equally willing to see a future as a future doctor.
It would be great, at least, to secure your future and get into the medical school of your choice right after college without having to fight for that coveted seat. But should you apply for Early Decision for medical school?
What Does Early Decision Mean for Medical School?
Taking Early Decision or medical school means you are given a chance to be accepted into the appropriate, credited school. Those interested in looking for these specific programs may find themselves enamored by the Early Decision Program, or EDP, that several medical schools hold.
Early Decision primarily factors before you enter school. Bear in mind that once you get approved, that is when Early Decision stops mattering. Early Decision is also not at all required to get into medical school. It is simply an alternate pathway and a method to secure your place in the medical school of your choice as early as possible and allow yourself enough time to pursue other medical schools if you are not accepted to your initial selection.
However, we must stress that choosing to miss out on using Early Decision would be a drastic mistake for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in medical school. The field of medical sciences is too crowded, competitive, and essential for businesses and future doctors to leave your chance to the heavens above or just do things whenever you feel.
Early Decision is a significant part of choosing your medical school and continuing a career path into becoming a doctor. But how does Early Decision affect your chances for medical school?
Does Early Decision Increase Chances for Medical School?
Upcoming medical students take up Early Decision to secure their place in what will likely be a long list of applicants vying for the same spot. You are simply placed on the larger but more crowded regular decision list if you are rejected. Early Decision only affects your chances for early acceptance, not just any sort of acceptance.
If you are the type to make an Early Decision, you are likely to be accepted. Students who apply for Early Decision are typically confident enough to get into the school but not confident enough to feel that they will actually be able to compete for it. Therefore, Early Decision allows you to get that early seat.
However, there is no guarantee that Early Decision will guarantee you a spot in medical school. It is strictly only a method to start your application and have your transcript evaluated early.
The benefits of applying for Early Decision in medical school are varied and simple. If you are confident in your chances of being accepted, you can skip the hassle of waiting for a concrete answer and get to preparing to attend medical school.
It costs a lot of money to apply to medical schools: this includes the application process, paying for the Medical College Admission Test, and all the traveling and interviews you will likely have to do. Applying for Early Decision tests your chances for application as soon as possible and without costing as much.
However, there are also some negatives to applying Early Decision. While applying early is good, it is a process that still takes time. If you apply to a school and they reject you, you can definitely apply to another school. Still, it will likely be in the regular, long, and crowded application cycle, negating your reason for applying for Early Decision in the first place. It becomes harder actually to make your mark to the interviewer. Applying for Early Decision is a considerable risk if you are not entirely sure that you will actually get accepted.
Early Decision is also not a choice for many medical schools that will not allow you to do so. The lack of an option is a massive pain if it is a medical school you want to get into. The pool for medical schools that offer Early Decision is incredibly more limited than regular applications, so know if your decision to apply for Early Decision factors into your desired medical school.
Finally, once you apply Early Decision to a medical school, you are bound to that school until they make the ultimate decision. You have to go to that school and wait for the decision to complete before you can start moving on to the next school if you are rejected. The Early Decision acceptance rate is rather low as well, so that may be time you spend to learn that you did not measure up anyhow.
Early Decision is a decision that will net you many benefits and provide a risk. It can slow you down as much as speed up the process. Early Decision itself does not increase your chances–that is to say, it will not make you more likely to be accepted into your chosen medical school. However, it does allow you to take more chances, which is always a bonus.
But overall, just how important is it to apply early to medical school?
How Important Is It to Apply Early to Medical School?
We consider it crucial to be able to apply early to medical school. As we have stated prior, the apparent benefit is that it allows you to enter the application process early and deal with things like interviews and possible rejection or acceptance before the proper application round begins. By doing this, you have gained a head start compared to your peers—an initiative that schools generally respect and reward with higher chances than average in actually being accepted into the dream medical school of your choice.
It is, of course, possible to apply to any medical school and even the school you want to go to the standard, boring way, but that introduces many variables and chances for you to fail or have your other chances jeopardized. Don’t let this speech frighten you, however: Early Decision is significant in getting you into medical school, as well as preparing you for a carer of facing acceptance, rejection, and having the initiative and bravery to pursue what you want!
However, this all begs the question: what kind of school do you want to go to, and will those schools allow you to apply early?
What Medical Schools Offer Early Decision?
A medical school that offers Early Decision will likely use one of the many accredited programs for which to do so. These various programs are a part of one centralized service that handles many of the United States’ medical schools.
As an example, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, or just simply the AACOM, is an organization that connects several medical schools throughout the country. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service, or simply the AACOMAS, is an application service that, among other behaviors and benefits, verifies your academic history and sends your application to your preferred medical schools.
Naturally, this organization and service is connected to many different medical schools and colleges, including, but not limited to:
- Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine,
- Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (situated in Midwestern University),
- Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (at the New Mexico State University),
- Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine,
- and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.
It would be easier to list what colleges are not part of the system at this point. The AACOM represents thirty-eight accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine across the country. We emphasize that they are colleges of osteopathic medicine: “osteopathic medicine” refers specifically to treating the patient instead of their symptoms, such as helping the patient develop anti-harm practices and lifestyles to avoid harm entirely. Many medical schools are similarly segregated, and other services and systems group medical schools together under similar labels.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and its schools, are not the only schools to deal with Early Decision–however, these schools are guaranteed to use it. The thousands of other medical schools and colleges may not grant you the same opportunities like these.
There is no guaranteed methodology to ensure that the medical school you want to has an Early Decision program. To determine if the medical school you want accepts Early Decision, you will have to do a little research on Google or Bing yourself.
We have talked so much about Early Decision and applying to medical school, but how does the process work? In other words, how does one apply Early Decision to medical school?
How to Apply Early Decision to Medical School?
Applying for Early Decision is an opportunity some medical schools will allow you. However, it is in your best interests to fully convince them to accept you. A successful acceptance is a matter of presenting yourself. To create a winning application, adhere to these guidelines:
- Present your abilities and ambitions as clearly, concisely, and favorably as possible. You must be prepared to answer any questions the interviews give you.
- Demonstrate your passion as to why you deserve that seat. Interviewers want to know that you are eager and willing not just to be a doctor, nurse, or any other type of physician, but to go to this school. Proof of academic excellence is good but not good enough.
- Of course, being a good medical student is highly important for any medical school. An excellent and well-rounded transcript may push you over the edge compared to your competitors.
To apply for a medical school, and especially Early Decision, you must prove to the interviewers that you absolutely want and deserve this spot at the school and that you (and them) will accept nothing less. Anyone can say that this school is great or that it came up on a list of “best medical schools in the general area.” You need to show that you want to be part of this medical school and that you will excel as a student. Do that, and your chances of becoming a student at your dream medical school will more certainly become a reality.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Apply Early Decision to Medical School?
Should you apply Early Decision to medical school? Of course. But like all matters of being accepted into an institution or a group, it’s not about whether you can do it; it is whether or not you will be able to succeed. But applying for Early Decision is always better than sitting around and being anxious. Get yourself out there as soon as possible, and the fruits of your labor will be made readily apparent. Good luck out there, future medical student!