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***Everyone Email AAMC & Complain about AMCAS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Sammmeyeam, May 6, 2001.

  1. Sammmeyeam

    Sammmeyeam Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    Hi Everybody,

    As we all know, AMCAS is toooooo slow. Considering the amount of money they charge us, they shouldn't have any problems upgrading their systems or hiring new personnel to fix the problem.

    Everybody please email them at [email protected] and use the subject heading "Application Feedback" to tell them to UPGRADE THEIR SYSTEMS. This is ridiculous, it takes like 1 - 2 min for each page to load. I've even tried signing on early in the morning (e.g 8am), and there's no difference.

    The web application is all automated, and does not require too much intervention from AAMC employees. The reason they made the Web-application (and not use AMCAS-E) is because the web-application makes it easier for AAMC. They don't care much about the applicants, they just want to use the cheapest, most convenient, most profitable method that is most beneficial for themselves. Think about it: We input the data, the data is stored on their computers, June 18th the application is automatically printed and mailed out.

    We need to let them know that we're unhappy so that they will fix the problem ASAP.

    Anyone have tips about what browser works fastest? What are the best times to access AMCAS?

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  3. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    AMCAS is already fully aware of the problem and is working on it. The first two days of application season it has been flooded with applications and they may have to add more servers. They are already patching up some small glitches reported to them by students and advisors. If you flood their computers with email, it will only exacerbate the problem.

    Most other professional schools have already switched to electronic applications only and they found time, cost, and convenience savings.

    Because you commented on how much you pay for the AMCAS service, let me say this: application fees do not cover the costs of the admission process anymore than tuition covers the cost of education at any level from pre-kindergarten to medical school. One way or another, all education is subsidized. If this were truly a free enterprise system, only the very wealthy could dig into their own pockets to pay for the true cost of education, especially a medical education, and to pay for adequate, expensive high tech medicine. The economic result: fewer patients, fewer hospitals, fewer medical schools, fewer medical students, fewer premedical students, fewer college students of all kinds, fewer jobs for ancillary health care personnel, etc.
    Public funds, raised by taxation, underpin the entire economy, including the costs of application and tuition for your medical education.
    In most countries with good economies, the contribution of public funds to education
    is far higher than in the US.

    I expect this to start a political debate which I now excuse myself from. I have no intention of visiting this issue again so argue with each other, not me.
  4. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I agree with gower, AAMCAS must know about the problem, and I'm sure they're doing what they can to fix it.
  5. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland

    So what you are saying is not only that $150 per app and $30 per school is not enough, but that also AMCAS needs additional funding to cover the file processing and application process?

    I'm sorry but I have worked at other non profits that do file processing that I cant imagine would be any more in depth than what AMCAS does. There is no way it should cost them $150 per app.

    If it really does cost them this much just to break even on all costs associated with file processing, then they really dont know very much about how to run an effective non profit.
  6. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I agree AMCAS is probably working on something, but they should have had the foresight to recognize that there would be thousands of people trying immediately to fill out their applications as soon as they became available.

    The way they programmed the application, it requires constant user requests to the webserver. For example, it is typical that a user would have to send in more than 10 requests to the server FOR EACH PAGE LOADED. Thats entirely too high and a poor design strategy in my opinion. Its a very user-interactive web app, but that extra interactiveness comes at a high price in the form of bandwidth required. The AMCAS people had a good idea, but it seems as if they didnt think through the consequences of actually implementing their system in a real world scenario.

    The TCP/IP packets that get sent to their webservers are smaller and contain more overhead than necessary. Instead of sending out so many small packets, it would have made more sense for each user to send out larger packets less frequently, thus freeing up some bandwidth for higher connectivity.

    AMCAS hasnt really done anything to improve the situation as of yet, even though they've had their site down for maintenance. That makes me wonder if they are really intending to do the changes that are necessary or just trying to find some shortcut around the problem.

    What AMCAS should have done is have two web apps in place, the highly user interactive site as their first choice, as well as a backup version that is much less interactive but also requires less bandwidth. Its too bad for us that AMCAS could not foresee these problems and anticipate the need for a backup system in light of problems that we are seeing now.

    Instead, AMCAS put all their eggs into one basket.

    As I have stated before, its not that serious of an issue at this point because its treating all of us the same. There is nobody benefitting from the setup so at least its fair to everyone. Any new process like this one is bound to have some glitches, the real test will be next year to see if AMCAS actually corrects these problems in an effective way or just tries to take the shortcut route.
  7. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel 10+ Year Member

    I agree with everyone about the slowness of the app and that emailing will probably not help. I called them last week (see another post where I listed the number) and was told to "keep trying". Now that's not really a solution is it? How many people would take their shirts back to the same cleaners if every time you went in there they asked you to try again later, or maybe stop by at 3 a.m!?!

    I also think we are missing the forest for the trees here. Although we pay them $150 and $30 for each school or whatever, don't they actually exist as a service to the MEDICAL SCHOOLS? Don't you think that they pay for that service? Surely they do. That's why in another post I suggested calling the schools to let them know. They're going to find out eventually, most likely June 18th (17 days later than previous years) when there are no completed applications available!

    It's a sticky wicket for sure but I have to believe that AMCAS is actually doing what they can to improve it. I hope it's soon.

    I have been subconsciously hoping that I'll get a 4 on the MCAT and not have to do the application at all!!!!

    Best of luck, all. We're all in this together!

  8. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    AMCAS is a non-profit organization! But it sounds like they really screwed up with this web-based app. Sorry guys. Good luck!


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