amcas email

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jbfuq, Aug 3, 2001.

  1. jbfuq

    jbfuq Member

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    here is the newest email i have recieved from amcas.....hot off the press.....

    what do you guys (and gals) think of this?

    Dear AMCAS Applicant,

    As you know, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
    encountered a series of problems in implementing the new AMCAS 2002
    Web-based medical school application. Our intention, of course, was to
    make the application process easier for you. Much to our surprise and
    deep regret, it turned out that many of you spent hours and hours
    completing the application and experienced considerable frustration in
    the process.

    As president of the AAMC, I want to convey my sincere apologies to you
    and all AMCAS 2002 applicants for whatever difficulties you may have
    encountered with the new application system. I want to reassure you,
    however, that the AAMC staff is, quite literally, working around the
    clock to ensure that your application is processed and delivered to all
    of the schools to which you have applied. Starting next week, in
    addition to transmitting your application electronically, we will also
    be sending paper copies to ensure that your selected schools have all of
    the information they need for the timely consideration of your
    candidacy.

    I congratulate you on your decision to apply to medical school and wish
    you the very best of luck in achieving your goals.

    Jordan J. Cohen, M.D.
    President
    Association of American Medical Colleges
     
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  3. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    Ok, why does AMCAS like you better than me? I didn't get that email. :(
     
  4. jbfuq

    jbfuq Member

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    i don't think they like me better than you---if that were the case, i would have a processed app and everything by now. i imagine that everyone will get this email, i posted it at the exact moment i got it (i just happened to be checking my email then), so yours i am sure is on the way. i hope this is a good sign, and not amcas covering up for another error they have at the present.
     
  5. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    Me either - I think I must be on AMCAS's sh!tlist. :mad:

    Andrew
     
  6. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    I just remembered.....

    Remember when AMCAS tried to blame us and the speed of our computers or the internet servers we were using? HAHAHA we have come a long since the time we all assumed our computer system was garbage.

    This message board is really an important key to all of us through this appl process. without the daily messages about other people's problems we might have just assumed it was our errors and we were the only one having problems. Thanks to all who keep posting. We will all get through this with the help of our fellow pre-meds.
    :D :D :D

    P.S. Oh, how funny, I just checked my email and I have now gotten the AMCAS email. I guess AMCAS loves me too. ;)
     
  7. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    I remember that too. I was doing it from school with a T1 and home with DSL and it was still crap. When they said they were doing the web app, I sent an email asking if they were prepared for 10,000 people trying to apply all at once and got some canned response about how up-and-coming the web app is. :rolleyes:

    And I agree - I wish they had something like this my first two times applying.

    I just got the email, but I know AMCAS still hates me.

    Andrew (very glad there's something other than Mariah Scarey on the AMCAS hold line)
     
  8. jbfuq

    jbfuq Member

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    isn't this a trip...i just checked my old work email address (the email address i originally began working on my amcas with) and i got that same amcas letter. my question is this: why am i getting this letter (as well as other amcas mass emails) sent to this email address even after i deleted said email address from amcas and submitted a newer email address?

    i guess i shouldn't complain too much though, at least i am getting the emails to my new email address!!
     
  9. 12R34Y

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    Haven't got that email yet either, but oh well. it's amcas afterall.

    later
     
  10. Barton

    Barton Senior Member

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    I just got it too!! What exactly does this mean? Has anyone talked to AMCAS about it? Are they going to send hard copies of all completed apps out next week? Or just those whose electronic transmission doesn't work? Anyone who has any info, please post.
     
  11. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    electronic transmission is a complicated problem because it depends on the school. I know that my app has been transmitted electronically to Michigan, but I havent heard from any other schools so I'm assuming that the other schools are still having problems with their transmission.

    I'm also not going to trust AMCAS to mail out my app. True, they may get around to it a month from now, but I'm goign to use the alternate procedures right now. At this point, I have zero faith in AMCAS, even if they state they are going to mail out apps, I'm sure they'll find a way to screw that up somehow.
     
  12. Sammmeyeam

    Sammmeyeam Senior Member

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    Do you guys notice something about this letter?

    It says "Starting next week... blah blah blah"

    ALL of AMCAS's emails / statements promise to do something "starting next week, starting July 1st, starting july 15th, Starting July 23rd... blah blah"

    Why can't they START DOING IT *NOW* ???

    Also, it's not like they had only 3 months to fix the problems with AMCAS 2002. They were planning this program for atleast 2 years. Some people will say that they couldn't predict how the program will react in the "real world." Although I think many programmers can anticipate atleast 80% of how their program will behave, the bottom line is that AAMC still screwed up. They could have given us the option of a paper copy, or even the disk.

    So... I guess my conclusion is that AMCAS always makes empty promises. I don't know whether they lie to us to calm us down (which does not work since their empty promises just frustrate us more), or whether they truly lack the intelligence to properly plan & initiate a project.

    For example, what is this BS about "AMCAS is confident that it will be transmitting applications on July 15th. It's August 3rd already and I've only heard from 2 people on this board who have had their applications sent. That's ridiculous... and way too slow.

    I'm sure that the AAMC has reserve funds for emergencies. Considering they screwed up really bad, they hold the responsibility of spending more money & hiring more staff to accelerate the process.
     
  13. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I've learned one thing thru this process:

    Dealing with AMCAS is like taking a course in defensive driving--just like you have to assume that the other drivers are complete idiots and do unexpected things to cause wrecks, you also have to assume that AMCAS is completely incompetent in order to get thru this process in the most efficient manner.
     
  14. Jacky

    Jacky Member

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    Will there "ultimately" be any benefit for applying within the 1st week amcas accepted electronic submissions this year? It seems that the early birds have been completely screwed!!! Some of us need all the help (or edge) we can get in the admissions process. Couldn't for once, something go right..... :mad: :mad: :mad: wasted effort
     
  15. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member

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    Weird, I got a different letter forwarded by my pre-professional counselor where AMCAS says that they will be FEDEXing applications...

    I have posted it in another link. Read it Here.
     
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  17. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    US mail? FedEx?? Do I hear anyone for Pony Express? How about morse code? I hear smoke signals can be seen for miles. I know all in favor of interpetive dance raise their hands and tell AMCAS to send it through dance.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  18. jbfuq

    jbfuq Member

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    very nice.....but i personally liked the idea of amcas transmitting our applications to the adcoms by way of tin cans connected by fishing string.......... ;)
     
  19. lamyers

    lamyers Senior Member

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    When aamc lost out MCATs last August, they jumped through hoops with FedEx's and phone calls. When we received info for retake, scores, etc, they were all FedEx'ed. We can only hope they will use the same service for the paper apps!!

    (BTW, if you're interested in what the attorneys said about a class action suit, let me know!)
     
  20. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    We're interested! We're interested!!!
     
  21. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!

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    lamyers, I PM'ed you. Unless you just want to post here...
     
  22. lamyers

    lamyers Senior Member

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    I figure others are interested too, so I'll just post. First of all, they reimbursed us any expenses for travel, etc. for the retake. They also refunded our original August fees so our whole process was free for that MCAT. That check came unbelivably fast. There were 32 retakers (about) and we all gave our names as a potential for a suit. The attorneys checked into it for a few weeks. They said we had to prove damages. For example, we had to get a med school to put in writing, that we would have been accepted if not for the late Oct. scores. They ended up only being a few weeks later then everyone else's so that wasn't a big issue. More importantly, most of us were not even in the application phase, just taking the MCAT only last fall. There was no way anyone was going to get a school to put that in writing. No one seemed to appreciate the mental stress that retaking the test was during mid terms with little notice. Again, we had to prove that we suffered above and beyond.

    Now, in this case, a med school would have more reason to state that an applicant would have been accepted if the app wasn't late. But, personally, I don't think AMCAS would let that happen. From our experience, I think they will jump through hoops when they get scared. And from the recent emails, they just might be starting to. If someone can prove damages, not a problem. Then again, maybe our attorney didn't have a clue or know how to go about this kind of case. I don't know if their app. process is as stringent (and painful) as ours!
     
  23. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    My husband says we may have a case here. He's colleagues with one of the top class action law firms in the country. We've paid these guys a lot of money to do what we're now having to do for ourselves, and there's a lot of us!
     
  24. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    OK, there are a LOT more of us involved in this mess this time around. Here's what my husband & I have been thinking.
    Someone on "the other forum" said we'd agreed when we certified that AMCAS wasn't resonsible for late transmission. I just scoured the Help menu and all AMCAS's policies and procedures, and couldn't find anything that said they weren't responsible for late transmission. I did find a few interesting things. They say that once they have your application and all transcripts, it should take 15 working days (i.e. 3 weeks) to process an application. They also say that at "peak" periods processing can take longer (so they recommend getting everything in early!). The case for damages due to eliminating early applicant advantage would be hard to quantify -- I mean out of all the people who apply early, not all get in, they just have a better chance. So who can say who of those who applied "early" (and what's the cut-off date for "early?") really have huge damages (i.e. not getting accepted as opposed to just inconvenienced). I think, and of course I'll be talking to my husband some more about this, that the best chance for a class action suit rests on the large numbers of people who have real monetary damages -- monies paid out for services that weren't performed (or performed so poorly they might as well have not been performed) plus additional monies paid out to learn that the services weren't being provided (mainly phone charges) plus monies paid out to perform for ourselves what AMCAS was supposed to do (copying and postage). It's not a huge amount of money per person, but the fact that there are 40,000 of us and we're pretty much captive customers of this service should make it a pretty good case. Another avenue I've thought of, and you obviously wouldn't want to do this until after AMCAS has transmitted your app, is to dispute the charge with your credit card company. Most credit card companies I've dealt with are very good about investigating a charge that the customer didn't get what sh/e paid for. I've had quite large amounts erased from my bill in the past, or credited if I'd already paid. I'll post again when I've run the class action stuff by my husband again.
     
  25. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I've thought about trying to challenge the charge on my credit card, but I decided not to do it based on 2 things:

    1) AMCAS may "blackball" me and prevent my AMCAS from being transmitted anywhere. If the schools didnt require an electronic transmission to offer an admission, then this would not be a concern. However, all schools using alternate procedures (that I'm aware of) specifically state they will not give you a spot until they receive the electronic AMCAS. By doing so, the schools have basically prevented us from bypassing AMCAS and getting our money back.

    2) AMCAS may inform the med schools of this action and they might look upon me unfavorably in the admissions process.

    Then I thought, well I can just wait till after I get admitted (provided that occurs) and THEN try to get the charge canceled. However, that will occur nearly a full year after the charge was first posted and most credit cards have some kind of time limit where you cant challenge a charge after a certain length of time has passed.

    Unfortunately, it looks like AMCAS is going to get paid this year regardless.
     
  26. lamyers

    lamyers Senior Member

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    What baylor21 said has merit for me. I hate laying down and baa'ing, but in this case I'm a little concerned about the repercussions. I know that may sound "scaredy cat" but I don't have many shots at this, so... I do, however, definitely feel there is basis to request compensation for excess out of pocket costs. If nothing else, it is interesting to see how they respond. If anyone is to seriously look into suit, would you wait until you are accepted somewhere? I think that would be obvious, so as not to jeopardize!
     
  27. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes!

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    I think that if AMCAS were to actively discriminate against plaintiffs in a class-action suit, or otherwise attempt to jeopardize our chance for admission (i.e. contacting schools, passing out a "whistleblower" list, etc) that would be an egregious civil wrong, and would give us even more of a case. I don't think you need fear this; furthermore, if a class-action suit does happen, I hope AMCAS tries something heavyhanded like that which will just get them into more hot water.

    Also, even if a class-action suit is unlikely to succeed, don't y'all think AMCAS may want to settle before trial without admitting wrongdoing? I think it would be far riskier for AMCAS to go to trial myslef and risk a judgment against them.

    If anyone is seriously starting a class-action suit, I am willing to be one of the "all others similarly situated" plaintiffs.
     
  28. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    I've been talking to my lawyer husband about the proposed class action suit, and although he was initially enthused, it seems that the damages don't pencil out as enough to warrant filing suit. They might have if AMCAS hadn't said it was going to start sending out paper copies and if all 40,000 applicants had experienced what we've been going through, but it's likely the number of applicants so far hasn't even reached 20,000. He recommends disputing the charge with your credit card company. You can call them now to note your dissatisfaction so that you're within their time window, but ask them to delay taking action until you've been admitted. Sorry I don't have a good idea about getting back phone charges, transcript & bank fees, and copying & postage costs.
     
  29. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    i think baylor21 sums this up well. i posted this in another thread some time ago, but consider this: AMCAS collects applications from 40K applicants, collects everyone's transcripts and matches them up, checks grades, and then distributes our applications to the proper combination of 120 different medical schools. if one honestly believes that something isn't going to go wrong with this extensive a process, then we're all a little naive. things in life often don't go the way you'd expect them--that's just a fact. so you take what life has dealt you and you move on.

    all of this talk about a lawsuit just goes to show you how sue-happy our society has become. every time i've mentioned this whole AMCAS fiasco to anyone, the first thing out of everyone's mouth, without fail, is 'sue'. how would threatening a lawsuit necessarily make things easier for all of us? not every single one of the 40000 applicants is in support of a lawsuit...but should you all pursue one, it's going to affect *everyone*. that's selfish. every single medical student before us has had to deal with AMCAS--and they're all in medical school now!

    besides, although it isn't as efficient as everyone hoped, the fact is, AMCAS *still* is providing the service they intend to. they are still the ones verifying our grades against our transcripts--thus easing the schools of this burden--and even if they have to mail paper copies, they are still carrying out the distribution of our primary apps. remember that in the past, this entire process was done using paper applications, so it can be done. perhaps the process hasn't gone as smoothly as anticipated, but it will still occur.

    the more i think about it and the more med schools i contact in regard to this, the less i think this will really affect us as applicants. sure, we may be losing the advantage that applying early normally affords us, but in reality, the qualities of accepted applicants isn't going to change: schools that are numbers-heavy will still prioritize numbers, and schools that try to evaluate the *whole* applicant have maintained their commitment to doing the same this year. adcoms aren't happy about this situation either, but from what i gather, they refuse to compromise the quality of their classes simply because of AMCAS's problems--meaning, they're not going to hold AMCAS's situation against us as applicants. adcoms will just have to meet more often and the whole interview/acceptance timeline is just going to be pushed back a little this year, that's all.

    my point is, put this all into perspective. yes, the situation is unfortunate. yes, it is certainly less than ideal. but the bottom line is, there's no use in speculating to what extent AMCAS is affecting our competitiveness as applicants, because frankly, that's something we can never know. we'll all be physicians someday.

    just some food for thought.
     
  30. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    Just because AMCAS says that they will be sending out paper applications is by no means a guarantee that they will do so. And most of us have not yet had our grades verified. In fact, I am starting to question whether AMCAS is real or not, given that the only activity I have personally witnessed was the posting of my MCAT scores (and I submitted on June 23). As far as I am concerned, they have thus far failed to do what many of us have paid quite a bit of money for them to do. No matter how you cut it, 500-1000 dollars is a lot of money, weeks of pay for many. I realize that this is nothing compared to what we pay for med school, but med school gets paid from loans that are repaid when one is financially stable. I paid for my AMCAS fees right out of my pocket, and on student wages. And since many of us find ourselves in the position of printing out applications (doing the job AMCAS is supposed to do), I completely understand the frustration of having paid for a service that appears to be more inefficient than even government services (and that's saying a LOT). If you were to pay a mechanic $1000 to fix your car and s/he failed to properly do so (or took two months to do it), you would definitely be upset - even if 40,000 other people were waiting the same amount of time. This isn't much different.

    However, I also understand that suing will do no good. I liken AMCAS to McDonald's - you don't want to deal with it, the quality is awful, the service is terrible, but hey, that's the only thing available for 200 miles (and the kids love the happy meal toys).
     
  31. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    i do agree with you, rxfudd. i'm in no way pro-AMCAS; i'm as annoyed as the next person about all of this. but to play the devil's advocate for a second, even if application transmission had worked from day one, that's no guarantee that AMCAS would have submitted our apps the instant they finished processing. there's a lot of variables that we don't know about. i'm just trying to see the bright side to all of this--i might as well, considering that this is really out of our control.

    AMCAS has *always* been ridiculously expensive and frighteningly inefficient. if there was a way that i could have bypassed AMCAS in the beginning and taken the effort, time, and costs upon myself to distribute transcripts and application materials to each of the 23 schools to which i'm applying, i'd have done it, because as a second-time applicant, i already know how bad AMCAS can be! i'm not saying that we don't have a right to be frustrated--we certainly do. i guess i'm just jaded and came into this application process with extremely low expectations for AMCAS, which is why the fact that everything has gone wrong for them doesn't leave me too surprised.
     
  32. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
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    I am in the same boat as you RXFUDD. The only activity I have had on my application is the addition of my MCAT grades. I submitted on June 27.
     

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