travelbug73

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I have seen a few threads regarding the entire process but I still have unanswered questions.

Can someone please explain to me what applying to Medical School entails (in terms of LORs, primaries, secondaries, PS, MCAT scores etc) and what timeline do these follow?

What is a primary, what is a secondary? What are these accomplishing?

Another question is about my LOR. Since I'm non-traditional, I do not have a committee. Also, I don't know any non-science professor that can give me an LOR. I'm not in touch with my English profs who taught Freshman English. I can get a letter from my volunteer program director but she would not count as non-science faculty. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.
 

Luxian

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I have seen a few threads regarding the entire process but I still have unanswered questions.

Can someone please explain to me what applying to Medical School entails (in terms of LORs, primaries, secondaries, PS, MCAT scores etc) and what timeline do these follow?

What is a primary, what is a secondary? What are these accomplishing?
Okay, I'm sure you can find more details elsewhere, in particular on the AMCAS website (where you'll be submitting your primary), but here are a few summary details:

The primary: To make it all a little easier the AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) accepts a single common application with materials that all schools will want. This includes your grades, your MCAT scores, your statement of purpose and some other details like your work history (if you have one) and extra-curriculars. You designate which schools to send it to and they send it out electronically. It costs a base amount and then about $30 per school. This is due at different times for schools (from Oct-Dec) but it really helps to get it in by June or July before all the spots are gone.

The secondary: In addition, each school has their own application with additional questions. This may simply be "do you have a relative that went here" all the way to more detailed essays. These cost $75-130 each. These are due at different times (from Nov-Jan) but you should be aiming for Aug/Sep to shoot for interview spots.

You must also go through an interview before being accepted. If you're lucky, you'll get invited to a few. The cost is all on you to go out there, but this give you a chance to check out the school in person as well. These can start as early as Sep and go through March typically.
Another question is about my LOR. Since I'm non-traditional, I do not have a committee. Also, I don't know any non-science professor that can give me an LOR. I'm not in touch with my English profs who taught Freshman English. I can get a letter from my volunteer program director but she would not count as non-science faculty. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

Hmm, I don't think any of the schools I applied to asked for a non-science faculty. Or rather, they asked for non-(science faculty) rather than (non-science) faculty. Do you get my drift? This can be from an employer, a volunteer coordinator or anyone else who can vouch for you. I also did not use a committee. You can use a LOR service like Interfolio or VirtualEval to collect your LORs and then send copies out to all the schools you apply to. This is essential so that you don't ask your recommenders to do the paperwork of filing at 20 different places.

Anyway, go read the AMCAS site for more info. If you have any more specific Q's ask away!
 

Weoh

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Travelbug-- having read the above post, you now understand the difference b/t primary application and secondaries. To reiterate, get these completed as soon as possible. If you're applying for the upcoming cycle, you'll want to get started on your personal statement (it's a big part of the primary application-- basically an essay about yourself that answers: "why medicine, what qualifies you, etc.") There's a lot of info on this in some of the sticky posts, so do a search to find out more.

With regard to LoRs-- if you're not able to get any recent science or non-science faculty, as mentioned in an earlier post you'll want to begin finding some alternative letter writers-- employers, managers, supervisors, etc. However, once you have 3 or 4 people willing to write you a recommendation, it is critical, that you contact each school that you'll be sending the letters to in order to make sure that they'll accept them. Typically, these are sent to the school after you've completed their secondary application. You'll have to call/email or both to make sure that those letters will be acceptable substitutes. I only had a problem with one school (which was eventually resolved, but it held up my app for months), but most schools will work with you on this b/c of your situation.

Good luck!
 
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Omashu

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I didn't know that, Really?!!!? That just makes my day!

So, I've got my 2 science letter of recs., I've got the DO I'm shadowing, and I've got my employer. I'm all set than? Non-science = employer letter?!!?

Really?!!?!!
 

Weoh

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I didn't know that, Really?!!!? That just makes my day!

So, I've got my 2 science letter of recs., I've got the DO I'm shadowing, and I've got my employer. I'm all set than? Non-science = employer letter?!!?

Really?!!?!!

Check with each individual school first before sending those LORs. It's up to the school to determine whether or not they'll accept an employer's LOR in place of a faculty LOR. It's very likely that they'll accept it if you're non-trad, but definitely check first so that at least it's on the record.
 

travelbug73

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Regarding LORs, recent science faculty is not a problem. It is only non-science faculty that is a problem. However, I can possibly ask my volunteer coordinator to write me a letter. My other LORs will be from my graduate school mentors, maybe a couple of undergraduate Professors, current supervisor and past PI.
Yes, I shall check with the respective schools that I plan to apply to, to make sure those will suffice.

Many thanks
 

SketchLazy

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My other LORs will be from my graduate school mentors,

The letter requirements are more lax for graduate students and non-traditionals at most schools. For example, a letter from your graduate PI can be used for your non-science letter at UCSD.

http://meded.ucsd.edu/asa/admissions/faq's/

Creighton's requirements are completely different for non-traditionals and you can use three letters from anybody who knows your capacity in science during your undergraduate, graduate, or professional years.

http://www2.creighton.edu/medschool/medicine/oma/app/index.php

Check the school's website before you apply. If the school says nothing on the website, email or call the admissions office. Most of the time, once they see that your a non-trad/grad, they'll make exceptions and note it in your application file if they've already received your application through AMCAS.
 
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