No single formula guarantees acceptance into medical school. However, there are several trends that we have noticed over the years about successful Gettysburg applicants:
- They engage wholeheartedly in their undergraduate education.
They choose a major that interests them, and they choose challenging courses both within and outside the major that also interest them. Because they are interested in their courses and enjoy learning, they do well in their courses. Their professors get to know them and can write strong letters of evaluation.
- They do well in the required courses for medical school admission.
Whether they are a science or non-science major, they have the ability and genuine interest to understand science, which is apparent in the required premed courses.
- They perform well on the MCAT.
They understand the importance of MCAT scores, and make a serious commitment to engage in proper MCAT preparation.
- They show accomplishment and leadership outside the classroom.
They get involved in a sustained way with something worthwhile that they love (i.e. mastering a musical instrument, playing a sport, volunteering, doing research, etc.)
- They have experience with physicians and patients.
During the years prior to applying to medical school, they do shadowing experiences, externships, and internships and/or work in a medical setting.
- They may apply to medical school for admission later than the fall immediately after graduation.
Some students arrive at Gettysburg College prepared and motivated to plunge right into the required premed courses. However, other students may not be so prepared and motivated at first, and they wait to take the required premed courses until they are prepared and motivated. This means that they will not attend medical school in the fall immediately after they graduate from Gettysburg. Applying for admission after graduation often enhances their qualifications, and they are not behind in their careers, since the average age of first year medical students in the US is 23.