The Medical School Admissions Guide contains the weekly, step-by-step plan Dr. Miller used to get into Harvard Medical School. She has since utilized the strategy to help hundreds of applicants gain entry into medical school first as a Harvard pre-med tutor and then as CEO of MDadmit, a medical school admissions consulting service. Following this handbook’s advice will provide premeds a distinct advantage in the competitive medical school admissions process as it prepares premeds for every step and helps create the best application. Book Highlights include:
  1. Weekly, easy-to-follow advice on navigating the complex admissions process.
  2. Multiple examples of successful personal statements, AMCAS and TMDSAS work/activities, secondary essays, and letter of intent/update letters.
  3. Special sections on reapplicants, non-traditional applicants, DO schools, foreign schools, and military/public health service options.

The Interview Trail: Scheduling and Style Prep

“In matters of style, swim with the current;in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” -Thomas JeffersonThough you still may be swamped with secondaries, interview season has begun. Interviews generally span from September to February. Rolling admissions schools tend to interview earlier than others (and let you know of acceptance earlier as well). The next twelve weeks will be dedicated to mastering the art of interviewing. I suggest reading all twelve weeks before your first interview. All interviews start with a first impression. This means you need to be well dressed and well groomed. Once you are a physician, your patients will want you to look put together. And so do the interviewers. It may seem cliche and shallow, but you need to look good.

OCTOBER WEEK 1 | Interviews: Scheduling

Does time of interview really affect chance of acceptance? Yes and no. Yes, if the school does rolling admissions. Rolling admissions schools interview a batch of applicants and then offer the best candidates admission within weeks. The later you interview, the less spots are available. Interview timing is less critical for regular admissions schools. You will see pages and pages on medical school admissions blogs discussing the best strategic time to interview. Here’s the bottom line: interview when you will be well rested and well prepared. This means avoid making your top choice school your first interview or your last. Be sure to plan for sufficient time off for interview travel, as you want to be fresh and ready to perform your best in each interview. Try to arrive the night before the interview so if you are held up due to transportation problems, you will have adequate time to make secondary plans.

OCTOBER WEEK 2 | Interviews: Suit and Shoes

The suit is the wardrobe staple of anyone heading out on the medical school interview trail. Despite popular opinion, it does not have to be black and boring. Yes, doctors tend to be on the more conservative side of the fashion spectrum, but you do not need to give up all style for interviews. I wore a lovely silk deep green suit with black heels that stood out in a good way. The goal should be elegant for the ladies and dapper for the men. Your dad’s baby blue tuxedo from the ’70s with matching ruffled shirt may be hip, but it’s probably a little too stylish. And your sister’s four-inch suede miniskirt that looks great with sexy high brown leather boots should probably stay in her closet. I suggest a nice dark (blue, grey, black) tailored suit with cleanly pressed shirt and colorful tie for the gentleman. Ladies, you can pull off either wearing a pantsuit (completely acceptable) or a more traditional suit jacket and skirt combination. Pair the suit with a colorful blouse and simple jewelry, such as stud earrings and a pendant necklace. I know money may be tight, but I do suggest purchasing a nice suit for the interviews. If it is good quality and a classic style, you will use it for the rest of your life. It is acceptable to wear the same suit to every interview.
I promise the admissions committees don’t compare style notes.Shoes. You may think it is absurd to dedicate an entire paragraph to interview shoes but I promise you will thank me later. Shoes are probably the most important part of the interview outfit. These shoes need to be incredibly comfortable, work in various climates, and look classy. I can’t tell you how many poor interviewing souls have cursed the shoes they bought for the trail. The Manola Blahnik stilettos will not seem like a good idea after your first three-hour school tour. At some schools, the majority of your interview day will be spent walking. So these shoes need to be comfortable. In addition, if you are interviewing at schools above the Mason Dixon Line in winter, you likely will be walking in snow and ice. Spending the afternoon in the emergency department after cracking your ankle may seem like a good way to get sympathy points, but it will likely just make you look silly. Finally, the shoes need to be easily cleaned or shined so they look new at every interview. An old business interview secret is that shoes are the window to a potential hire’s work ethic. Shined, well-kept shoes show a person is detail-oriented and dedicated to an overall polished look. Feel free to scoff, but shoes matter.

OCTOBER WEEK 3 | Interviews: Hair and Accessories

The medical school interview season is not the time to experiment with the mohawk you always wanted. Keep hair clean and simple. If you are a man with long hair, you do not need to cut it. Just ensure it is clean and out of your face (same rules apply to women). As for jewelry, earrings in men are always a point of controversy. If your earring is an important part of who you are, leave it in. But if you consider it just a piece of jewelry, I would take it out. There are certainly old-school doctors out there who don’t want to accept an applicant that seems like a “punk.” Yes, I know this is incredibly out of date, but your interviewer may come from a time when men wearing earrings was less acceptable. Do you really want to throw away your entire application on a piece of jewelry? If you want to make a statement, make sure you get into medical school first. Body piercings that show (nose ring, tongue ring, eyebrow ring, etc.) fall under the same general guidelines as earrings. Wear it if it is a huge part of who you are. Lose it for a day if it isn’t.