Most of us are familiar with the traditional method of applying to medical school. Students complete undergraduate education, take the MCAT, and apply to medical school, during either their senior year or a ‘gap’ year. For nontraditional students, this path can look different and is often much longer; a Post-Bacc may follow undergraduate education, research, or even another career. But what about a shorter path to medical school? What if you’re sure this is what you want to do? Early Assurance Medical Programs shorten the journey to medical school, and might be a good fit for you!
Early Assurance Programs enable students to apply for medical school early, and often make it easier for them to do so. Students can apply to an early assurance program before they finish their undergraduate education and sometimes without even taking the MCAT. EAPs can also eliminate the need for students to apply to multiple schools, making the admissions process more streamlined and less expensive.
If accepted to an EAP you have the time, and flexibility, to relax. Want to really immerse yourself in your research? Tackle a class that you wouldn’t have had time for or might have hurt your GPA? These are opportunities available to you when you no longer have to worry about the stress of the traditional application cycle.
EAPs are for highly motivated students; many programs require that you’ve completed some premed coursework before applying. Since the programs often recruit students during their first two years of undergraduate coursework, you have to be ready to hit the ground running when college starts! Think about it this way: most students commit to medicine when they’re in their early twenties, by demonstrating dedication through their undergrad years.
Similarly, these days, with a rise in applicants from nontraditional backgrounds, some future doctors are applying to medical school when they’re a bit older; this means they have more to show when it comes to committing to medicine than EAP applicants. Non-EAP applicants have an easier time proving their dedication to medicine because they have more time and experience to demonstrate that commitment. Applying to an EAP means demonstrating excellence right off the bat. You don’t have the benefit of time so your GPA, extra-curricular activities, and volunteer work has to get going and stay strong.
Beyond a powerful, holistic resume of your first two years of college, EAPs require many of the same elements in their application process as traditional medical programs.
EAPs will ask you to:
You have to start thinking about these elements early. Who will write these letters for you? What service experiences can you highlight in your application? EAPs might streamline the process, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to accept applicants who haven’t demonstrated a commitment to academic rigor, community service, and hospital system interaction, just like any other medical school.
Your college might ask you to apply to be sponsored for an EAP. In this case, you first have to prove to your undergraduate program that you’re a strong candidate and a student that will make them proud if accepted into an EAP.
It’s also important to make sure you know the specific requirements and opportunities associated with the EAPs to which you apply.
Do your research and make sure you understand the parameters around which the EAP operates.
Also understand what it means to be accepted. Just as with some undergraduate programs, some EAPs require a student to commit to their program upon acceptance, while others enable you to apply elsewhere if you so chose. You’ll have the best chance of success if you understand exactly how the EAP you’re applying to works, and can make a strong argument for why it’s going to work for you.
An EAP might be for you if:
EAPs are NOT for everyone. Some applicants have a longer journey to medicine; that’s ok. In many cases, a longer road to an MD/DO is a good thing; it gives applicants time to grow, mature, and reflect on what they value and why a medical degree is important to them. An EAP is NOT for you if:
Whether an EAP is the right choice for you or not, rest assured that there is more than one way to become a physician. No matter what your journey looks like, remember that the road ends in the same place; with an MD or a DO after your name.
Ready to learn more? Check out the following list of programs with EAPs. And remember: if you need any help along the way, Motivate MD has advising, essay editing, and interview prep services to make sure that you’re ready for whatever type of medical school program is right for you.
If you have any questions about our services, Becca is always happy to answer a call, text, or email from you within a day. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-994-0765.