The Real PG
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
May 10, 2012
Medical Student
AACOM: American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine- The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) was founded in 1898 to lend support and assistance to the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. Having grown from a handful of college administrators a century ago, the organization today represents the administration, faculty and students of all of the osteopathic medical colleges in the United States. The association, guided by its Board of Deans and various other member councils and committees, is actively involved in all areas of osteopathic medical education. Source.

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service- The application service allows students to submit one primary application that can then be forwarded to any Osteopathic program in the US.

AAMC: Association of American Medical Colleges- The AAMC and the medical schools, teaching hospitals, academic and professional societies, faculty, residents, and students we represent are committed to improving the nation's health through medical education, research, and high-quality patient care. We are dedicated to the communities we serve, committed to advancing the public good, and steadfast in our desire to earn and keep the public's trust for the role we are privileged to play in our society. Source.

ACGME: Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, accredits residency programs- The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is responsible for the Accreditation of post-MD medical training programs within the United States. Accreditation is accomplished through a peer review process and is based upon established standards and guidelines. Source.

ADCOM: Admission Committee

Affirmative Action: Programs designed to provide increased opportunities for historically under-represented minorities.

AMA: American Medical Association- The American Medical Association (AMA), founded in 1847 and incorporated 1897, is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States. The AMA's mission is to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health, to advance the interests of physicians and their patients, to promote public health, to lobby for legislation favorable to physicians and patients, and to raise money for medical education. The Association also publishes the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which has the largest circulation of any weekly medical journal in the world. Source.

AMA-MSS: Medical Student Section of the AMA

AMCAS:American Medical College Application Service- The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is a non-profit, centralized application processing service for applicants to the first-year entering classes at participating U.S. medical schools. For the 2009 entering class, most medical schools are participating in AMCAS. Source.

AMSA: American Medical Student Association, publishes the New Physician-The American Medical Student Association, with a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Today, AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With a membership of more than 68,000 medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians from across the country, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation's health. Source.

American Medical Writer’s Association- The American Medical Writers Association was founded in 1940 to assist medical authors. The mission of the American Medical Writers Association is to promote excellence in medical communication and to provide educational resources in support of that goal. Through an extensive educational program, various publications, and unparalleled opportunities for networking, AMWA encourages and enables its members to extend their professional expertise. Source.

AMWA: The American Medical Women's Association - The American Medical Women's Association empowers women to lead in improving health for all within a model that reflects the unique perspective of women. The American Medical Women's Association is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women's health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and strategic alliances. Source.

Andrew Taylor Still (A.T. Still): Founder of osteopathic medicine; opened KCOM in Kirksville, Missouri 1892

AOA (AΩA): Alpha Omega Alpha - National Medical School honor society- The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, commonly called Alpha Omega Alpha, is a national honor society for medical students, residents, scientists and physicians in the United States. Source.

AOA: American Osteopathic Association- The AOA is a member association representing more than 61,000 osteopathic physicians (D.O.s). The AOA serves as the primary certifying body for D.O.s, and is the accrediting agency for all osteopathic medical colleges and health care facilities. The AOA's mission is to advance the philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine by promoting excellence in education, research, and the delivery of quality, cost-effective healthcare within a distinct, unified profession. Source.

AOA: The American Optometric Association is the premier authority in the optometric profession. With more than 35,000 members in 6,500 U.S. communities, the AOA leads the way in its mission of improving the quality and availability of eye and vision care everywhere. Founded in 1898, the AOA is a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations. Through these affiliations, the AOA serves members consisting of optometrists, students of optometry, paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Source.

Advanced Placement – Advanced courses typically taken in high school. Upon completion of the course and after scoring above a certain grade on the AP Exam students can transfer the credits to most undergraduate institutions. When applying to Medical Schools, this credit can be counted into your GPA if it appears on your academic transcript. Policies regarding AP credit vary.

Attending: A physician who has completed residency and practices in a clinic, hospital, or private practice, in the specialty learned during residency and can supervise fellow residents and medical students.

AWPA: Acceptance when place available; used when a medical school or college desires to admit a student but lacks a spot to accommodate that student

BA/MD: A combined program where a Bachelors of Arts and Doctor of Medicine degree are conferred over 6-8 years depending on the program

BCPM: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics

BS/MD: A combined program where a Bachelors of Sciences and Doctor of Medicine degree are conferred over 6-8 years depending on the program

CAM: complementary and alternative medicine - Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an umbrella term for complementary medicine and alternative medicine. The term also incorporates integrative medicine. Typical examples of CAM approaches are herbalism, meditation, chiropractic, yoga, body work and diet-based therapies. Definitions of CAM vary with culture and time and can change with scientific evidence. Source.

Carribean Med Schools: Popular alternative to those not attending school in the US- needs more

CC: Community college – Typically two year institutions that offer associates and technical degrees. This requires a transfer to a four year college or university to finish a bachelor’s degree program.

Chief Resident: a senior-level resident who has been assigned administrative and training responsibilities within the residency training program.

COMLEX: Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (the Osteopathic equivalent of the USMLE), a 3 step medical licensing test all DO's must take. Step I is taken after the 2nd year of medical school and is a major determining factor in residency placement, Step II is taken prior to graduation and Step III is taken following your first year of residency.

Committee Letter: composite letter of LOR's which is submitted by the school's pre-professional advising committee

CSS: College Scholarship Service

Curricula Vitae: Document that focuses on ones education, publications, and other accomplishments.

D1, D2, D3, D4: Dental student year 1, 2, 3, 4.

DDS/DMD: Doctor of Dental Surgery/ Doctor or Dental Medicine- The DDS degree, referring to Doctor of Dental Surgery, denotes one of a few degrees that are awarded to dentists, the others being Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Bachelor of Dentistry (BDent), or Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Chirurgiae (BDS) or (BChD), all of which are equivalent degrees for the practice of Dentistry. Source.

DO: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine- Osteopathic Physicians (D.O.) are fully-licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. D.O.s are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat patients. Source.

DPM: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine-A podiatrist is a podiatric professional, a person devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. The term originated in the United States but has now become the accepted term in the English speaking world for all graduates of podiatric medical schools who have earned one of the following degrees: D.P.M., D.P., B.Pod., Pod.B, or Pod.D. Source.

Doctor of Physical Therapy-The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is a postbaccalaureate degree that is a first professional degree for entry into the profession of physical therapy. The specific nomenclature "DPT" is not a substitute or alternative for the physical therapist clinical designator "PT." The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree serves as a credential. It signifies completion of the current requirements needed to enter the profession and represents the completion of a comprehensive program and the fulfillment of high standards of clinical performance in professional preparation. It does not, however, signify advanced preparation or specialization. Source.

Dual Enrollment/Concurrent Enrollment:
In education, dual enrollment is where a student is enrolled in two separate, academically related institutions. Source.

DVM: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine-US graduates are awarded either a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or the less common Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (VMD) degree, the latter if they are a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. A veterinarian (North American English) or a veterinary surgeon (British English), often shortened to vet, is a physician for animals and a practitioner of veterinary medicine. Source.

EC: Extra-curricular activities- Activities students partake in away from academics. These cover a broad range of activities from athletics, to volunteer work, to research.

EDP: Early Decision Program- Program in which you apply to one school through AMCAS EDP. If not accepted you are then allowed to enter the pool of all applicants. More information can be found here.

EK: ExamKrackers, test preparation course materials for the MCAT examination.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid- Government document that is filled out yearly to be eligible for financial aid. More info here.

Fellowship: Post residency training in specialized fields

FMG: Foreign Medical Graduate

Gold Standard: Test preparation review course materials.

GPA: Grade Point Average; BCPM is the science GPA; AO is the GPA for all other courses

Gunner: slang for an anxious premed student who will do anything to get good grades.

HBCU: Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Hospitalist: a physician who specializes in treating hospitalized patients; a specialist in inpatient medicine.

HCP: Health Care Provider

House Staff: The physicians and surgeons in specialty training at a hospital who care for patients under the direction and responsibility of attending staff.

II: Interview Invite

IMG: International Medical Graduate

Internship: First year of medical residency training for physicians

IS: In-state

JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association

Kaplan: Test preparation review materials and service

LCME: Liaison Committee on Medical Education, accredits medical schools

Legacy: A student whose parents or grandparents have attended and/or heavily contributed to the school

LOI: Letter of intent/interest- Letters sent to a prospective school to tell them you are interested in their school.

LOR: Letter of recommendation- Letter sent to schools from a professor or other professional contant in which they lay out your qualifications, and why they think you should be accepted to a school.


The Real PG
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
May 10, 2012
Medical Student
Match: The electronic process where 4th year medical students are fitted to residency spots based on their preference rankings and preference rankings of the residency program.

MBA: Master of Business Administration

MBChB or MBBS:UK model - Bachelor of Medicine and surgery

MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test, a computer based standardized test used to assess a medical school applicant's aptitude in a variety of fields. Subject matter includes Chemistry, Physics, Verbal Reasoning, a Writing Sample, Biology and Organic Chemistry. It has 3 sections each scored on a bell curve from 1 to 15 (total possible points 45) and the writing section ranges from a J-T.

MD: Doctor of (allopathic) Medicine- Doctor of Medicine (M.D. or MD, from the Latin Medicinae Doctor meaning "Teacher of Medicine,") is a doctoral degree for physicians. Source.

MD/PHD: Combined Doctor of Medicine and PhD. program, 6-8 years

MDApplicants.com: Web site that allows students applying to medical schools to share their application stats and track their progress through the application process. Students can view others profiles and leave comments.

MPH: Master of Public Health- The Master of Public Health (MPH or M.P.H.) is a professional master's degree awarded for studies in areas related to public health. In the United States the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredit schools of public health through a formal review process. Master of Public Health programs are available throughout the world in Medical Schools and Schools of Public Health. MPH is usually a one or two year program, with many students already possessing an advanced degree. The degree is designed to expose the candidates on five core public health areas: Health Services Administration/Management, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Behavioral sciences/health education, Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences. Source.

MS I, II, III or IV: medical student year 1,2,3 or 4

MSAR: Medical School Admission Requirements (published by AAMC)

MSTP: Medical Scientist Training Program- Medical Scientist Training Programsare highly selective combined M.D. and Ph.D. graduate degree programs offered by a number of United States medical schools with grant support from the National Institutes of Health. The vast majority (over 80%) of MD/PhD program graduates eventually go on to work in positions in academic medicine, government, or industry where medical research is a central component of their duties. Source.

NBME: National Board of Medical Examiners, administers the USMLE- The NBME is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides high-quality examinations for the health professions. Protection of the health of the public through state of the art assessment of health professionals is the mission of the NBME, along with a major commitment to research and development in evaluation and measurement. Source.

NBOME: National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners- Administers the COMLEX exam.

NonTrad: Student who is applying to a professional program 2 or more years after completing his undergraduate program, often as a career change (non-traditional student)- the 2 years seems pretty rigid, there’s no real definition for a non-trad…

NP: Nurse Practitioner - A R.N.who has completed additional training and is allowed to practice semi-autonomously. The extent to which a NP can practice varies by state.

OMM/OMT: Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine/Treatment

OOS: Out-of-state

OP: Original poster of a thread

OR: the Operating Room (usually in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center)

Orgo: Organic Chemistry, and a common prerequisite for medical schools

PA: Physician Assistant- In the United States, a physician assistant (PA) is an advanced practice clinician licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. Source.

PCP: Primary care physician

PCT: patient care technician- Patient care technicians (PCT) work with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professional to provide direct patient care in a variety of healthcare environments. PCTs often have more contact with the patient than any other health care member including doctors and nurses. PCTs are an important factor in patient recovery, because their close contact with the patient allows them to monitor developing signs of distress. They are sometimes known as PCAs, or patient care assistants. Source.

PGY1: intern year

PharmD: Doctor of Pharmacy (6 years - 2+4 or direct entry)- In the United States, the PharmD.,Doctor of Pharmacy, degree is a professional degree that prepares the graduate for pharmacy practice. Traditionally in the United States, the bachelor's degree in pharmacy was the first-professional degree for pharmacy practice. However, in 1990, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) mandated that a doctorate in pharmacy would be the new first-professional degree. Source.

PhD: Doctor of Philosophy- Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph.D. or PhD for the Latin Philosophiæ Doctor, meaning "teacher of philosophy", is an advanced academic degree awarded by universities. In some, but not all countries in the English-speaking world, it has become the highest degree one can earn (but see also the Higher doctorates awarded by universities in the UK, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries) and applies to graduates in a wide array of disciplines in the sciences and humanities. Source.

PM: Private Message

Post-bac: Coursework taken (typically after earning a bachelor’s degree) to allow applicants to meet medical school admission requirements. May be useful for students with degrees in non-science fields; can be formal or informal; short for post-baccalaureate program

Pre-Professional Advising: Most Universities offer academic advising to pre-professional students. They advise students on classes to take, and additional requirements needed to gain acceptance to a professional degree program.

Pre-Professional Committee: Some Universities have a comittee that helps students along their pre-professional pathes. These committees compile Letters of Recommendation and write a "committee letter".

Pre-req: Undergraduate course listed as minimum requirement for entry into medical school (e.g. general chemistry)

Primary Application: single initial medical school application submitted online via AMCAS (MD) or AAMCOMAS (DO) or TMDAS (Texas schools) for verification and forwarding to individual schools.

Primary Care: generally, Family Practice, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine (medical specialties)

PS: Personal Statement

Psy-D: Doctor of psychology- The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree is a professional doctorate, which is earned through one of two established training models for Clinical Psychology. In the United States, the other doctorate-level degree in Clinical Psychology is the PhD. Source.

Psychiatrist: A mental heath professional who has obtained an M.D. or D.O. degree and completed a residency in psychiatry. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications independently.

Psychologist: A mental health professional who has obtained a bachelors degree followed by a PhD. in psychology. Psychologists can not write prescriptions for medications, and therefore work with primary or auxiliary physicians when medication is needed.

QFT: Quoted For Truth

RD: Resident Director- needs more

Re-Applicant: Applicant who has also applied during a previous cycle

Residency: A period of time, after completing an internship, during which a doctor receives special training in a particular type of medicine

ROAD: Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, Dermatology - medical specialties considered by some to afford a good mix of income and quality of life

Secondary Application: additional follow-up application for individual schools, which is submitted directly to the school. Content, fees, and methods of selecting applicants for distribution vary widely.

SDN: Student Doctor Network

SMDEP: Summer Medical and Dental Education Program- needs more

SMP: these programs are one-year masters degrees (usually) that allow you to earn an MS in biomedical sciences or a related field. They are usually done by people who have a science background and are looking to make their application more competitive, for GPA or other reasons.

TBR: The Berkeley Review, test preparation review materials and service

TMDSAS: Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service- needs more

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

TPR: The Princeton Review, test preparation review materials and service

Transient Student:
A student enrolled in a degree program at one school who takes classes at another school and transfers in the credit.

URM: Under Represented Minority in medicine

USMLE: United States Medical Licensing Examination, a 3 step medical licensing test all MD's must take. Step I is taken after the 2nd year of medical school and is a major determining factor in residency placement, Step II is taken prior to graduation and Step III is taken following your first year of residency. In the future, a combined Step I and Step II exam in the third year will likely be used

US News Rankings: Annual ranking of colleges and professional schools by U.S. News and World Report (magazine)

Waitlist: List of students who will be offered acceptance if seats become available at a given medical school

WAMC: "What Are My Chances" threads - designated posting area for all questions related an applicant's chances for admission

WICHE: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. WICHE provides a program for medical students from Alaska, Montana and Wyoming

WWAMI: A program for medical students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho
Last edited: