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Tell us your AMCAS problems!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Lee, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. Lee

    Lee Sleestack Staff Member Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 1999
    SDN has been approached by a NY Times writer that would like to learn what pre-meds think about the new AMCAS system. So, please post your feelings about the new system and explain why you love it or hate it.

    Thanks! :)
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  3. pre-hawkdoc

    pre-hawkdoc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Hey, I'll jump on this one.
    I think AMCAS had our interest in mind--they thought that this would be more convenient for all involved and clearly didn't foresee the major problems that have occurred.
    I think the major complaint from most pre-meds is that the system is incredibly slow and difficult to log on to. This makes it difficult and frustrating to start/continue/finish your application. Additionally, there are oversights in the software that AMCAS may not even be aware of. For instance, the Help section directs you to leave the "end date" blank for ongoing activities. Unfortunately, that's not possible--the software won't let you move on unless there is a date there. Things like that make the process even more frustrating and greatly decrease our faith in AMCAS as a whole.
    Add to that the fact that it's nearly impossible to get through to them (via phone or email) and you've got the current situation: stressed-out, frustrated and sometimes bitter pre-meds who just want to apply to medical schools, but are getting held back by the service they have to use to do so.
    OK, kids, the ball is rolling...keep kicking.
  4. willbeMD

    willbeMD Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    I think it's great that AMCAS wants to keep up with technology and improve there services. BUT...they should have taken more time/effort to prepare for all the problems they are having. Also, they should have made this web based application an option, not the only way to apply. They should have at least kept the diskette application as an option.
    I think it is unfair to those who do not own a computer or have internet access. I know people who have to drive half an hour to their school library to use a computer. And what about those who are no longer in school and do not have a computer?
    It seems to me that this whole process was something that AMCAS did not think about thoroughly. It is not fair that the students who are applying this year have to be the guinea pigs. I wonder if they did a test run or if they took the time needed to develop something that could handle such a large number of applicants. I am affraid to see what problems they will have when they submit the students' applications to the schools.
  5. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel 10+ Year Member

    AMCAS went to this new system because they were losing support for their old system and viewed this as a good time to make the switch. That said, they implemented the system without fully testing it (obviously) and now provide little to no technical support or phone support for application questions like transcripts receipt, etc. It is my belief that they did this because they knew their customers were college students without the resources or courage (fear of "losing" their app all together) to challenge them directly or via the courts. In industry the people responsible for this project would be out of a job, in the government these people would be in jail.

    The best part is the medical schools have their own cross to bear on their end. I have heard from several people that the application isn't working on their end and suspect they have equipment, training and personnel issues that are unresolved.

    The only solace one can take away from this is that we are all in the same situation and, thus far, no unfair advantage exists for any one group. That is if you beleive AAMC's statements regarding use of the application by URM's. They claim that 76% (or some similar number) of URM's used the AMCAS-E last year and that justifies use of an all web-based application this year. But as I pointed out in another post the AMCAS-E was disk-based and one could work on it at the office or school computer lab and mail or submit it any time. This new app almost requires one to have a computer at home, and one capable of supporting newer browser versions due to "browser compatibility issues", because the only time the app functions with any reliability or performance is at 2:00 am.

    All of this would be tolerable with a minimum level of support from AMCAS but 1:00 waits on hold are not unheard of and the people one gets on the line have no idea what's going on and advise to "call again later" or try the application server again later.

    I think my view is not uncommon and I have entirely lost faith in AMCAS and will be completely suprised if my application makes it (accurately) to any medical school admissions office via this new application.

    I hate to complain without making a positive comment or offering a solution but I'm at a loss this time. I guess the medical schools could just send out secondaries to those who request them and one could forward AMCAS-type info, such as transcripts, etc, with them.

    I would love to see this story make the news or even better the congressional agenda. I don't know where AAMC/AMCAS gets its funding but I do know many of the member schools are state-supported. A class-action suit would be even better, not because I would expect a personal award but to put AMCAS on notice that the way they do business and specifically the way they treat people is unacceptable.

    You asked,

  6. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2001
    i'd second that response. the major problems with the new software are the extreme difficulty in logging on (even in the middle of the night sometimes, when one would assume that the traffic is low) and the number of bugs in the program that were not foreseen earlier and that keep popping up as applicants begin work on the application.

    in addition, due to the slew of glitches in the software, the staff at the 'help' number often flat-out don't know how to address some of them. i've called three times in regards to the same problem (a software glitch) and spoken to three different people--and have received two completely-opposite answers as to how to handle the problem. who am i to believe?

    i think it might have been more prudent for the web app to have been offered this year, as a test, but only in addition to the AMCAS-E app of previous years. it's unfortunate that the online application is the only option we have, because it's clear that much more work needs to be done in order for this service to be 100% efficient. that way, AAMC would have gotten an indication of potential problems as small numbers of applicants tried the web app out, but in case the web app simply wasn't feasible (as it is for many, many people who haven't even been able to log on, let alone complete their applications), they would have the extremely easy-to-use AMCAS-E app as a back-up.

    i know there is a stereotype of pre-med students as ruthless, obsessed gunners. but the fact is, we're pursuing a field that is highly competitive--it's hard enough simply being accepted to med school due to the small number of spots (as evidenced by the fact that 2/3 of all applicants, most of whom are highly qualified, are turned away every year), and our 'gateway' to the application process is holding many applicants back from being able to put their best foot forward. this simply isn't fair--there are futures at stake here. unfortunately the only other option we have is to not apply at all.
  7. drintraining

    drintraining Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2001
    Guys, correct me if I'm wrong:
    Lets look at the Numbers,
    Approxiametly 80,000 people take the MCATs each year at $170.00 a piece that comes to 13.6 million a year!
    Approxiametly 40,000 people actually apply each year to medical schools and apply on average to 11 schools. applying to 11 school is $450.00 this comes out to, are you ready, $18 million a year. What's wrong with this picture? A gross of over $31 million a year. Come on AMCAS put some of that money into staff, problem support, an 800 number for crying out loud. I was on hold for over an hour without speaking to a single person and had to hang up becuase I had to go to class. The bottom line leads me to believe that the top executives at AMCAS are going to dinner on all of us. Its ridiculous.

    $30+ million a year!!!!! and we put up with it......
  8. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I had no problems with the web-based AMCAS application although it was slow at times. Early on I encountered a few errors but this was a browser incompatability problem.
  9. Lee

    Lee Sleestack Staff Member Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 1999
    Thanks for your replies so far! :)
  10. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    i think the ny times shouls write about real news and not a stupid application process...but i'm alone on this one!

    oh wait, here we go...i can't believe this app, it's so bad...i was logged on for 15 hours yesterday because i have no other obligations or hobbies and i couldn't submit my mother's high school correctly...boohoo, i think i'll go post an inane message on sdn!

    now, i admit that i flipped out when i started this damn thing months ago but by now, i say get used to it and zip it!
  11. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line. 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    San Fran, CA
    Absolutely horrendous.

    I respectfully disagree with the previous posters who feel that AMCAS had our best interests at heart. I feel that this is an ill-conceived and poorly implemented project that is most likely the pet of the IT Manager at AMCAS. The system is ridiculousy slow, kicks you out constantly (when you can even log-in), has a useless help system, and has a help desk staffed by people incompetent in their field.

    I realize that is a harsh critique, but my feelings stem from the fact that AMCAS has the monopoly on the system. They hold all the cards, and because of that, in my opinion, need to be held accountable in instances like this. We HAVE to deal with whatever problems they've created because there is no alternative for us; we can't go to another vendor to apply to med school. If this forum is truly for the benefit of the NY Times then let me offer some simple questions for them: Why didn't they at least offer the choice of the disk based system? Why didn't they do enough testing on the compatibility of browsers? Why didn't they staff their phone lines with temporary IT workers who could help to answer questions and frustrations?

    This isn't like a brand new company that got hit with a surge in website activity and then had their system crash. These people knew exactly how many applicants there would be and exactly when they would be applying. They should have planned accordingly. Also, they know the amount of frustration and anxiety that goes into this process, why haven't they updated/apologized on their website.

    Yes, we are all in the same boat. But only time will tell what sort of domino effect (if any) this will have. We're all told to get our apps in as early as possible; well, will it even matter this year if everything is screwed up and/or lost? If it's true that the schools are also having problems on their end; will this force them to implement GPA/MCAT cutoffs, and/or quotas? Will they get 10,000 apps dumped in their laps all at once in the near future?

    Yup, I'm frustrated, but that's what Duff Beer is for.

    Homer J.

    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  12. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I think that something everyone needs to keep in mind is that the AAMC and AMCAS are not particularly interested in the plight of students.

    They cater to the medical schools. The only real regrets they will ever have will be to the medical schools who will probably be forced to step up their evaluating timeline this year.

    From a computer engineer, the worst thing about this whole process is the design of the web application itself. By making it so interactive, the bandwidth required increases greatly. Compare that to the Texas app, which contains just about all the same information in about 1/10th the total number of screens. The Texas app is simple, but very effective. I havent had a single problem with it. AMCAS handles much more people than the Texas system, but it still would have been MUCH easier to design the web app in a way similar to the Texas system.

    Some pages on the AMCAS app require more than 10 submissions per page, whereas the same number of clicks on the Texas app takes you through a significant portion of the total application.

    Of course, interactivity is nice in some ways, but to throw so much of it out there on the very first attempt on a web based app was foolish on the part of their web designers.
  13. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2001
    This is precisely what the head of admissions said to me when I went to talk to him today. He said they haven't received anything yet, and they don't know what they're going to get from AMCAS, nor when for that matter. He mentioned how poorly this whole thing is being run and that they're in as tight a spot as we are. The only advice he could give was that the deadline's in October, so just be patient and hopefully it will work out in some manner. He looked more stressed than most of you sound. :mad:

    Indeed this is a sorry state of affairs. However, you see things run like this every day, your phone company, your internet provider, lines at the movie theater, your educational institution and who knows what else. Sadly, this should be the exception, not the norm. I remember when they first mentioned the web app, I emailed them "for any concerns" and asked about server load, alternate application methods and such. No surprise I got no response. I have already submitted and simply want to know how many transcripts, if any, AMCAS has received. Yet, paying for a long-distance hour+ wait isn't my idea of a good time. How much effort would this have taken to install numerous servers, modify last year's application so we had an alternative, hire people to input transcript data so you can check the status over the web, and have some knowledgeable people over the phone? Certainly something $20 million could cover.

  14. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2001
    I cut and pasted the following from another premed discussion forum:

    Date: June 23, 2001 05:15 PM
    Author: Kim
    Subject: A few predictions...

    1)Non-AMCAS school like Columbia and NYU will get a record number of applications this year. Columbia uses an private company ( for its online app which ACTUALLY works and NYU uses good old paper. 2) Med school mutiny? The med schools can't be happy with AMCAS either for f'ing things up. Maybe the system will change. 3) Someone(s) will sue (i.e I didn't get into my Early Decision school because....) 4) Less applicants overall this year than there would ordinarily be--due to people throwing up their hands in disgust over this application. The idea of sitting it out a year and working, etc sounding more and more appealing, maybe they will sort this crap out by next year..(Believe me this has crossed my mind!) 5) Overall detrimental effect on the diversity so coveted by med schools. Those with better computers, access to a wider variety of computers and just plain more time on their hands seem more likely to actually get the application completed in a timely manner. This likely selects for the affluent young applicant who might be able to sit in front of a computer all day and keep trying to log on.

    Any comments on my random musings? I invite others to reflect on possible fallout from this online AMCAS 2002 application and the shockingly incompetent organization that created it. After the blackout, the application showed back up with these supposedly improved *2 Pathways*. Now it works worse than before!!(I didn't think that was possible) The idea that if and when I actually am able to complete my application, that I will then have to pay these #$%#s lots of money for the privilege makes me want to hurt someone. I really think they ought to make our AMCAS apps FREE this year since they screwed it up so bad. I would rather take 10 MCATS than waste another day trying to make progress in my application!!!!!!This sucks!!!!!! I wish we could do something...there are a lot of us.Hmm..AMCAS is in Georgetown...D.C...Million Premed March? Just a thought :)


    Date: June 23, 2001 05:59 PM
    Author: MCVgradstudent

    very good points. I especially agree with the "selectivity" that may indirectly result from this. That is, some individuals are very busy - and not merely on summer break between semesters.

    Lucky for me, I can just put of thesis writing and get this done - no big deal. The thing is, IT WILL NOT WORK. I will have the LUXURY of sitting on the phone all day Monday calling AMCAS OR possibly even driving there (2 hrs away). It has crossed my mind that I am fortunate to have this option. Mny folks are not this lucky.

    I find it utterly APPAULING that AMCAS is not more apologetic for their incompetence. Merely saying, "we appreciate your patience" is NOT good enough. Also, they should have people on the phones available during weekends.

    I do not know much about the law, but I hope that somebody sues the living doo doo out of AMCAS. Unfortunately, I am afraid that most people will say, "its too much of a hassle" and just leave it alone (I am guilty of that).

    And to think we are paying AT LEAST $150 for this (most people more like $400). Downright disgusting!
  15. watto

    watto Sleek White Pantsuit 10+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Let me put it this way: after dealing with AMCAS this year, I look forward to my next contact with the DMV. Even they look efficient and service-oriented compared to our friends in D.C.
  16. djipopo

    djipopo SDN Angel 10+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2001
    Cheers to the NY Times for recognizing our plight! I've been waiting for some national news organization to pick up the story about this abominable situation. What a disgusting waste of precious time and resources - as if pre-med students didn't have enough to do: it took me five hours to enter three semesters worth of coursework, this was during a "non-peak" hour -- 1:00 am. AAMCAS needs to be held accountable, I want reparations!
  17. medethicist

    medethicist New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    I am working as a researcher in medical informatics while doing my M.A. in Medical Ethics and attempting to apply to med school. I do alot of usability-type studies in my work and I can honestly say that the AMCAS application system is one of the most screwed up systems I have ever seen.
    It's not just a question of bandwidth demand, which, let's face it they've really dropped the ball on. The actual architecture of the application is so lame-brained, bassackwards that there's no chance of the application working to any level remotely bordering on satisfaction. The errors in design are egregious!
    Take for instance the "Designate Schools" section - it would be so much easier to have a system of check boxes that allowed you to select multiple schools at once. Instead they use a multipage approach where you can only select one school at a time. The actual database structure underlying the program isn't very different in this scenario, just the part we care about, the user interface. In other words, same amount of work for them either way, vastly different levels of effort required from us.
    Other areas of the application present equally appalling, if not more so, errors. Come on! If you are going to instruct users to select a "No Minor" option in a pull-down menu, then there should logically be such an option listed. It's not.
    As computer oriented as my life currently is and my medical practice will be (if I can ever manage to get through the application process), I am almost begging for an old-fashioned paper and typewriter version! This is not a step in the right direction.
  18. pete.

    pete. Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    From the perspective of an internet project manager who puts sites like these on the web for a living... this was a very poor effort. I was told that there was a reason they had to go live with this web application this year, but no one elaborated. In any case, I can tell you that I would be unemployed if one of my sites fucntioned like this, once it went to production. The testing phases of this launch had to be virtually (no pun intended) non-existent. I really don't understand just how so many MAJOR flaws slipped through the cracks.

    I do believe that this is the future and that they have the right idea, however, the architecture and flow seem to be a little botched. I would think by next year, this site will function nearly perfect. The only problem is that the final testing phase of this launch is during live web time. We are all paying the price and acting as lab rats. I would be very interested to know the business reasons behind launching this year - they obviously had no back up plan.

    One more thing. If there is going to be a story on this - please send out a post or a link so that we may stay informed. Thanks for the interest NY times!!!
  19. Sammmeyeam

    Sammmeyeam Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    The new AMCAS is representative of how the AAMC organization operates. It is not just the AMCAS that works horribly, but it is also the AAMC that does not know how to properly operate.

    How many transcripts do they lose? I had to send transcripts for two schools: School 1 and School 2. They keep messing up with my transcript. They claim they don't have one of them. Listen to this: I call once, and the lady says they have my transcript from School #1, but not School #2. So I resend the transcript from School#2. I call back a month later, and another guy tells me they have my transcript from School#2 but not from School#1. LoL. Can you believe this? And it's not like I have different names. It's the same name, same social security number. Maybe they need to hire more people? When you charge $150 for 1st school and $30 for each additional school for an application that is run entirely electronically now, where does the $$$ go?

    Here's another problem: They email us on June 25th saying that some students had a problem submitting their applications, but that this "problem has been resolved as of June 25th." Well, guess what, I submitted my application at 1:30am on June 27th, and after they bill my credit card, I had to press the "continue" button, and I get an ERROR MESSAGE!

    This is truly sad. You would think that the most important part of the application is the submission. But they still cannot get this to even work right?

    And I don't believe this junk about how they tested it, but "you cannot predit how the program will run in the real environment." Yes you can. Why is it that other companies can properly make 98% bug free programs on their BETA RELEASES.

    Another problem: The AMCAS is WAY TOO SLOW.
    Why can't they fix this? It's not that complicated. All you do is spend more $ to add more RAM, add more disk space, add more servers, add more CPUs. That's it. They have done this, which has improved the speed significantly, but they obviously have not adequatly updated the system since you have to wait literally over 60 secs for each page to load.

    What is sad is that you spend 30 secs inputting your information into the page, but then you have to wait like 120 secs for the page to save and load the next page.

    It would have been better if we DOWNLOADED a little program that collects all our application data, and then we could UPLOAD a little "data file" to them.

    Perhaps AMCAS can learn from COLUMBIA'S web application. It has only 6 pages, and it's not like you input 5 boxes and press "next" every 30 secs. There are long pages so that you spend more time inputting information and much less time waiting.

    Columbia uses the company EMBARK to power their web application. AMCAS would be wise to hire this company.

    Sorry about the long post. But it's because I'm just pissed. This application can determine our futures, yet we are under the mercy of an organization that does not really seem to be a "non-profit" organization.
  20. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes! 10+ Year Member

    AMCAS does not have our best interests at heart. As another poster pointed out, AMCAS likely phased out the paper and disk application because of data showing that underrepresented minority students used the online version. AMCAS 2002 is quite likely designed as a facade for PR purposes first, with the function of transmitting applications to medical schools a lesser concern. As other posters have pointed out, AMCAS encountered problems that any reasonable person with a background in IT would expect to happen, yet is completely unprepared and overwhelmed by them. To add to this glaring oversight, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. They do not have enough competent staff on hand to handle students' concerns, and the lack of a toll-free number means holding for more than an hour, and big telephone bills. AMCAS is indeed a monopoly as another poster pointed out, and when a company such as AAMC is free from competition or oversight, abuses such as the numerous problems listed under this topic occur and quality suffers.

    Others on this topic have stated well what seem to be universal concerns with AMCAS, and I have little to add except to reiterate that AMCAS does not care about the students dependent on it. AMCAS may be nonprofit for tax purposes, but is decidedly profit-oriented. With a flood of new applicants to medical school each year, AMCAS does not count on nor need our continued patronage. All AAMC has to do is convince medical schools to subscribe to AMCAS, and as problematic and frustrating as AMCAS 2002 is, with no other alternative for medical schools, I believe that AMCAS and AAMC which pushes it will not suffer anywhere near the amount of possible repercussions as applicants for the medical class of 2006.
  21. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    I have not read the other postings and I'm not currently applying, but one constant problem with AMCAS is the inability to got a hold of a person to talk to in the phone. I applied last year and this has been a constant problem.

    The stress level of applicants would considerably decrease if we can just all talk to a person rather than a machine telling us we have x amount of minutes and we are # in waiting or something like that.... I never had a problem talking to an individual with AACOMAS, I don't see why AMCAS can't get any money allocated to people to answer the phones.

    Just my two cent....
  22. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2001
    An extraordinary slow server is the least of my problems. I can not save my course work for the university I took most of my classes at. I think there might be a glitch specific to certain schools, that gives a "nothing to save" message when trying to add courses under the university. I've called AMCAS five times in the past three weeks, emailed them three times, and even sent them a signed letter, yet I'm still left helpless. i think AMCAS should declare a state of emergency and have outside people come and help sort out the thousands of glitches 24-7. otherwise, someone out there with attorney friends will take AMCAS to court.
  23. caseyvib

    caseyvib New Member

    Jun 14, 2001
    new orleans
    I sure hope the NY Times runs something on this. I called the other day with a rather complicated question and after a 45 minute wait, the woman on the phone said she couldn't answer my question because "we" are temps and have only been there two days. So she put me through to a supervisor. The supervisors voice mail said he would be gone all week, and when it came time to leave a message, it said the voice mail box was full. I sent two emails and never got a response.
    This is unacceptable. AMCAS owes applicants and schools an apology and an explanation. We pay a great deal of money for this "service" and I also agree that this new system is biased towards people with resources. I hope someone does start a class action suit, because AMCAS needs to be held accountable.
  24. Rhiana

    Rhiana Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Los Angeles, Ca
    AMCAS should never have put this application online if it couldn't do it right. The paper and diskette applications were much more convenient and offered an advantage because you could look at other people's apps and see how to do it. In our case there is no where to turn when we get stuck except to AMCAS which is useless. They don't respond to questions in a timely matter and when they do respond they don't usually answer the question. Then there is the complete lack of responsibility for these problems they created. For instance, I couldn't even get an ID number because there wasn't a place to enter the information and it was a requireed field. I e-mailed them and when they finally responded they said that this was a problem with some browsers, they couldn't help me, and I should try another computer. Thanks but isn't it their responsibility to FIX the problem instead of making me drive to school and work to find a computer where this doesn't happen.
    As a URM I can't believe that AMCAS would use us as an excuse for moving to an online app. If they can't get enough URM's its not about the application: its the money, honey.
    If NY Times really wants to know what this application process is like then they should try it. Pretend that there an applicant or try to follow an applicants day to day trials with the program. Hell, I'll volunteer. Then they'll see what thousands of us are going through just to be doctors.
  25. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    I second everything everyone here said, and add a couple of additional things as well.

    AAMC needs a complete revamping of their system....I do sympthasize with all the amount of work load they have to deal with in a short amount of time. However, besides, placing all my complaints, I have indicated resolutions next to them that may be useful in the future....

    1) the hotline, I live in california, and to be the first person on que to ask them all the questions that i have about applications, score release. I had to wake up 6:00 in the morning 7times. On two occassions, I was placed on the "Zero" que meaning that there was nobody in front of me. I spent two hours on the phone from 6 to 8:00 and on the first day, I had to miss my 8:00 o'clock class!!! :mad: So I told myself, u know what, they are probably having some power outages or extremely busy. The second time around, I was in "zero que" but after the first ten minutes, I knew I was going to be on the phone for another 1 hour. So I took a shower, ate breakfest, came back after 1 hour, still the same song. I waited another 30 minutes before I hung up the phone.....!!!!!

    WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF KEEPING PPLE ON THE PHONE FOR 2 HOURS IF YOU ARENT GOING TO ANSWER IT!!! now i have staggerring phone bills to pay, because I am simply kept on the phone for 3 hours EVEN WHEN THERE CLEARLY WAS NO ONE AHEAD OF ME?!!?

    SOLUTION: It has to be mandated to have a toll free for any testing organization. Why should I be forced to pay financially, if AAMC is not well equipped to handle even a phone call?

    2) They enacted a new system, without keeping the old choice in play. I THINK THIS IS SUCH A DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDE AGAINST PPLE WHO DONT HAVE COMPUTERS, or pple who dont have computers with high connections. AT home i have a 56K and it woudl take me approximately 12 minutes to load to the next page?!? it would take so long to load to the next page, that the connection would get reset by the server and I would lose all that information?!?!? So you know what I had to do, go to Kinkos, get the state of the art connection and finish the application in less than 3 hours!!!

    Mind you, I had tried finishing the application on my home computer for 2 weeks and didnt get anywhere

    SOLUTION: WHENEVER YOU INTRODUCE A NEW SYSTEM NO MATTER HOW "PERFECT" IT MAYBE. KEEP THE OLD SYSTEM "DISKETTE" IN TACT. Thankfully I am financially well off so I could afford going to kinkos, but this whole online application thing really serves as a discriminatroy tool against pple who dont have computers!!!!!

    3) I have faxed AAMC approximately 7times for them to release my score. It had been over 2 months, and each time I call, they reply either that "the score release is on hold at the moment, they either lost it, or I didnt use the correct form?!"

    This is so UNACCEPTABLE, I have requested transcripts from schools in other states to be sent and I never had such a problem. I have faxed them numerous times, sent a CERTIFIED mail and yet it is still not processed. On one occassion, I called them and asked for an update on my score release, and the women asked me, what score release? I mentioned I wanted to release my MCAT scores to non-AMCAS schools. She was like, well that is nice, but why are u calling us, we are AAMC?!?!?!? I WAS LIKE HUH?!?!? then she is like, hold on let me talk to someone.....20 minutes on hold, they are like let me get ur name and we will call u back. needless to say, that was 2 weeks ago, and I haven't even heard a word...

    SOLUTION: WE NEED TO BE SUPPLIED WITH A SUPERVISOR OR SOMEONE TO SUPERVISE THESE PPLE? I honestly, think their nice pple, but for bettter or worse they don't seem to give a damn about us?

    4) So this is my story, I finally am near finishing my AMCAS application. THIS IS HONESTLY THE TRUTH...I MAKE ONE CORRECTION TO MY ESSAY, AND ABOUT READY TO SUBMIT




    :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:





    i fell to my knees, i was taking summer school had two midterms the next day and also had to write a paper....i began to literally cry on the floor....I wasn't really angry at AMCAS to be honest, they seem like lovely pple on the other end of the line that is when you get the chance to talk to them!!!

    but it seemed like my whole application was lost!!! well to make a long story short, I cried for 30 minutes...I never had a nervous breakdown this bad in my whole life....It was 5:30 in the morning and I went to get my 1th cup of coffee. I was like it is hopeless, maybe I shold apply to dentistry....
    then it dawned on me!!! GO TO KINKOS (sorry didnt mean it to be an ad for kinkos)

    I rush there, unshaved, completely to the guy at the counter and say


    finally rech the computer, log in!!!! AND HOORAY I CAN ACCESS MY APPLICATION!!! I didn't give a damn anymore about last minute changes, changed two simple things and hit SUBMIT!!!!

    CALLED THE SAME DAY AND THEY SAID IT WAS RECEIVED....i was trembling when i got back, and was in such bad shape when i got home....

    I was happy. I told myself the hard part is over....the irony huh?

    I am sure I am not the only one...however, should I or anyone else be made to suffer this much? It isn't really nice to say the least. I really had almost a mental breakdown. I made it, and on the phone I thanked like the guy on the other line 20 times!!!1

    I was like, u sure it is there, everything all the files? all the answers, and I was like GOD BLESS U, god bless u man...thanks so much...thanked him for 10 minutes on teh phone.....

    :( :eek:

    it is over for me...and everyone else who is of luck to u, and remember what doesnt kill us only makes us stronger....maybe we will be better physicians with the amount of stress, and torture we have been forced to bear....
  26. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    On a second note...

    I honestly think we all deserve an apology from AMCAS and AAMC. As a recompensatory and nice gesture I propose the following

    1) cut our fees in half, :p


    2) get a guaranteed spot in at least one medical school that we are planning to apply.... :p

    now how many pple like that idea? ;) :D
  27. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    gosh, it feels so nice venting your frustration....

    I feel like a born again premed with naive expectations from the world

  28. mcnugz

    mcnugz Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    moe...this isn't making fun of you in any way, but that is one of the funniest stories i've heard in a while...and it seems fairly representative (albeit to an extreme) of the frustrations of many people
  29. FisherKing

    FisherKing Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I agree with many of the other posts. I can't, for the life of me, figure out why AAMC put such a flawed system up. Even the most elementary programmer checks for bugs. Why didn't they test in the winter?

    Anyway, it's a nice idea but poorly executed and I'm sure that this hurts AAMC too. They have to field all those calls and scramble to fix things. I hope they get some kind of payback for all this agony.
  30. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    I see no end to my AMCAS nightmare. Here goes. (Actually I am on hold with them right now and have been on hold for 1 hour and 22 minutes). I sent them three transcripts. They said they recieved #1 and #2 but not #3.
    Then I was shocked to discover they don't have my name correct. They have my maiden name as my name now. I told them the only place they would have gotten my maiden name was from transcript #3 which she again said they don't have. She told me to see if the school had mailed it and call back. HAHA call back again.

    So I found out #3 school had sent it to them on May 3. I called back again and they said no... They don't have it. I again explained my maiden name is ONLY on that #3 transcipt. He said after you get married the schools take time to change your name. I told this incompetant idioit that I have been married for 15 years and the other schools DO NOT have my maiden name.

    They said it should all work out in the end when they start to match up transcripts with applications. The person said they have 100's of transcripts literally sitting on desks in their office. How scary to think they are in control of our applications and they don't know how to match names, schools, transcripts and social security numbers.

    My question is this... How will we know if they sent our correct application to our schools and how can they say we are resonsible for any errors when they might be the ones making the errors.

    Oh, I also have lost hours of my life working on this stupidly, slow application
    :mad: :mad: :mad: :confused:

    P.S. I had to edit this... I waited on hold for 1 hour and 50minutes before giving up. My position in queue was always 0. I guess I will never find out what AMCAS has deceided my name should be.
  31. MoeDaMan

    MoeDaMan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    please tell AMCAS to make a website similar to SDN so that they wont HAVE TO ANSWER THE SAME QUESTION 200 TIMES.....I think it would help everyone a GREAT DEAL, and save more time doing more important things like processing applications :D
  32. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes! 10+ Year Member

    Holy sh&t. I thought I had it bad.

    Is all of this anguish really necessary, to submit one silly little application? Shame on AMCAS for their outrageous incompetence.

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