Do you have a dream school, the one place where you’ve always wanted to study medicine, and no other place will do? Do you have a compelling reason for this one program, maybe a spouse whose job requires them to be in this location or your only living family member is in the area? Or maybe this program has a particular track or professor or other feature that specifically appeals to you?
If this is the case, then you may want to apply to medical school through the Early Decision Program (EDP).
The requirements of the EDP are simple: Apply by August 1st (for schools participating in AMCAS) to a single school, and promise to attend that school if accepted.
Early Decision Program Advantages
If you apply through the EDP and get accepted, then you’ll know early on that you’ll be going to your dream school. No lengthy applications to 10+ more schools, no endless months of nail-biting and suspense. By October 1st (usually), you’ll be IN and DONE!
Early Decision Program Disadvantages
If you aren’t accepted to your chosen school, then your other applications will go out extremely late in the cycle. Since many programs extend interview invitations and then acceptances on a rolling basis, the earlier you apply, the better. It’s for this reason that the AAMC cautions that you should only apply for EDP if you think you have an excellent chance of admission.
Another disadvantage is that, by focusing entirely on one program, you’re cutting yourself off from possible funding offers at other schools. Especially if your scores are high, you have a much better chance of finding a program willing to finance your education (not to mention, one that might be a better fit for you) if you spread your net more widely.
What Should You Do?
Clearly, early decision is not for everyone. But for those who can show they are the perfect fit for their dream school, it might be a chance you want to take.
In order to apply early decision, you’ll need a strong, compelling, as close to perfect as is humanly possible application. And we can help you do that. Explore our Medical School Admissions Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you get ACCEPTED.By Cydney Foote, former administrator at the University of Washington School of Medicine and author of three ebooks about medical education. Cyd has successfully advised medical school and residency applicants since 2001. Want Cyd to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!