32 FOCUS ON EDUCATION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com T here are few jobs, if any, more demand- ing than those of a physician or sur- geon. It stands to reason then that attempting to achieve acceptance into med- ical school, especially those schools consid- ered prestigious, is quite rigorous. From the test-taking and the interviewing to the search for the best person(s) to write the “perfect” rec- ommendation letters and the general waiting for an answer from the institution, the appli- cation process is intentionally meant to reflect the level at which doctors can expect to have to apply themselves to their jobs for the duration of their careers. That said, having a general understanding of the steps inherent to successfully applying to a program can help to not only remain informed but to establish realistic expectations as one’s decision is pending. With this overview, ADVANCE provides prospective students gen- eral insight into the overall process and some guidance from academia that can potentially increase one’s odds of gaining acceptance to their top school of choice. WHO’S MAKING THE DECISION? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the typical admis- sions committee will be comprised of teach- ing physicians from the institution’s clinical faculty, research faculty from the biological sciences and medical students. Alumni or community physicians may also serve on admissions committees. Most medical schools will require a personal interview by an admis- sions committee member, or by off-campus interviewers, or by multiple members of the admissions committee, such as practicing physicians and/or current students. Interviews may occur on or off campus, and applicants should be prepared to answer questions related to their critical thinking and problem solving, ethics, grades and test scores, motive for their desired career choice, and their per- sonal attributes and experiences. When considering an the strength of an applicant’s application and interview per- formance, committees are typically weigh- ing a combination of academic record, entrance-exam scores, personal statements (from the submitted application), individ- ual activities and experiences, evaluations from faculty members and instructors, state of residence, choice of desired specialty, and how that specialty may align with the Medical School Application Action Need practical advice for your premed admissions process? ADVANCE offers this quick guide for prospective students. By Joe Darrah ISTOCK APPLICATION  |  FOCUS ON EDUCATION