After certifying your application, start thinking about your personal statement(s), assigning LORs, USMLE scores, and assigning these documents to individual programs. It’s a good idea to select and assign documents to programs as soon as possible so that you are ready to just click “apply” on September 1 when applications open. Here are some tips for your documents:

  1. Make sure copies of all LORS are sent to AUA so they can compose your MSPE including all of your glowing recommendations.
  2. When Graduate Affairs sends you the first draft of your MSPE, read it carefully and correct any errors therein. In general, you can’t change the overall content, but if there are gross abnormalities, or if you have updated USMLE scores, you should inform them.
  3. Make sure you paid the Registrar’s office to transmit your official transcript and send an email to them indicating that you would like them to transmit it as early as July or August.
  4. Your personal statement:
    1. Should probably take 3 or 4 drafts before it is completed.
    2. Have several people look at it.
    3. There are many tips on how to compose your PS, but my personal recommendation is to just be honest and talk about your passion. Most professionals can see right through “fake” individuals in person and it’s just as easy to see through them on paper.
    4. It should NOT be longer than ONE page! PDs will likely not read further than that.
    5. If you are applying for multiple specialties, write a separate PS for each, and label them so that you do not mix them up when assigning them to programs!
  5. Your USMLE Scores:
    1. Your Step 1 scores will be transmitted automatically.
    2. You will decide whether or not to transmit your Step 2 scores automatically or manually, which depends on whether or not you think you will do well. They will find out anyways, but the theory is that maybe you may get more interviews with just Step 1 than if you release a poor Step 2 automatically. It’s your decision.
  6. Your LORS:
    1. Choose your LOR assignments carefully, especially if you are applying for multiple specialties. Once you apply to a program with certain LORS, you cannot take them back!
    2. Adhere to LOR requirements for each program.
  7. Your programs:
    1. Select all the programs you are interested in. Refer to the fee schedule here and apply broadly.
    2. Apply on September 1st!
    3. Don’t underestimate your worth – apply to some “dream” programs if you have the scores. You’ll never know unless you try.
  8. Once you have applied, sit back and wait a few days/weeks for your interviews to roll in!

by Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, Class of 2011