The Anatomy of Medical School Applications


There are many components to medical school applications, but to sum it up, these are the 3 main components of a medical school application that you must complete or partake in before receiving a decision from admissions committees.

  1. Primary Applications

  2. Secondary Applications

  3. Interviews

Before entering an application season, it is important to be knowledgable regarding the different components of medical school application, and what is included and required throughout this process. Thus, let us begin this conversation.


The Primary Application


The primary application is the what EVERY medical school you plan to apply to will receive and where you will designate which medical school you would like to apply to. Thus, nothing in your primary application should be tailored towards a particular medical school because every medical school you apply to will see this document.


The primary application is completed and submitted through at least one of 3 application portals.

  • AMCAS (MD Schools)

  • AACOMAS (DO Schools)

  • TMDSAS (Texas Medical Schools)


The primary application contains your...

  • Biographic information

  • Transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, post-bacc)

  • MCAT scores

  • Work and Activities section

  • Personal Statement

  • Letters of Recommendation


The two written parts of the primary application where applicants have an opportunity to share the experiences they have participated in over the years and help answer the quintessential question of "Why Medicine?", are the Work and Activities section and your Personal Statement.


Work and Activities Section


The work and activities section is a part of the primary application that allows students to share what kind of experiences (such as shadowing, research, volunteering, work, post presentations, conferences, leadership roles, teaching, etc.) they have participated in.


Specifically, this is an opportunity to share what you were responsible for when partaking in these activities, what you learned/gained, and how (if applicable) they have inspired you to pursue medicine or how the skills or lessons you learned will be valuable as a medical student/physician. Do not merely list these qualities, but maximize your character space to highlight your strengths and tie in medicine.


Whether your are applying via AMCAS or AACOMAS, there are different requirements/criteria to follow, as shown below.