Application Support and Guidance
TIMELINES AND DEADLINES
PIR: Under ordinary circumstances, WashU’s PIR deadline (www.prehealth.wustl.edu > application support) is April 1st. The pre-health team is poised to be flexible with this deadline under these extraordinary circumstances, hoping that most PIRs will be completed by the end of April. Your personal pre-health advisor may have already communicated with you their own internal deadline for his/her advisees.
MCAT: The March 27 and April 4th MCAT exams were cancelled globally. Flexible re-scheduling has been extended for exams taking place through the end of May. For additional information relating the impact the Coronavirus is having on 2020 exam dates, please visit the MCAT Coronavirus Page on www.aamc.org
AMCAS: At this time there are no anticipated changes of the Application and Acceptance Protocols for Applicants, but students should check frequently for updates on the www.aamc.org website, as well as for communications about individual medical schools’ policies.
COURSEWORK AND GRADES:
Your coursework instructors will keep you apprised of their policies with regard to how your spring/summer classes will be graded. Medical schools are aware of the extraordinary situation in which students, universities and medical schools find themselves. AMCAS will accept pass-fall grades as part of your official transcript, but of course, courses taken p/f will not have an impact on your AMCAS GPA. It is advisable that you take any required courses, such as biology, chemistry, math and physics for a grade, if that option is offered. We are hoping that most medical schools will remain as flexible as possible in terms of grades. Please remember that all pre-medical students across the country are “in the same boat” during this uncertain and challenging time. As you move forward with your eyes on your ultimate goal of becoming a healthcare professional student, please try to use the resilience, creativity and compassion that you will use as a future professional to see you through this challenging situation.
ACTIVITIES – CLINICAL, SERVICE, RESEARCH, ETC.
Many of the activities that you have been engaged in or were hoping to be engaged in this spring and summer may have been suspended/postponed due to the Coronavirus. Most non-research projects are not feasible at a distance. Medical school admissions committees understand all of this, and fellow students/applicants nationally are in the same situation. AMCAS may eventually come out with directions regarding how to fill out an Activities List for anticipated activities that were cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus. For those of you working on your Activities List now, our team suggests that the start date that you list for the planned activity should be a date before your AMCAS submission date (in order for the computer to accept the entry). In the space given for describing the activity, you can explain that, due to Covid-19, this activity has been postponed; you should add what you had hoped to get out of the activity.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Please see the information provided in Ms. Heidger’s email regarding soliciting letters of recommendation at a distance, https://prehealth.wustl.edu/making-remote-requests-letters-recommendation-guidance-premeds-applying-june-2020. As well as the “Letters of Recommendation” tab on our prehealth team’s website, https://prehealth.wustl.edu/letters-recommendation of recommendation.
INTERVIEWS FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
As we are all committed to supporting the nation’s public health efforts, information regarding how interviews for medical schools will be conducted for the upcoming application cycle will be forthcoming. Depending on the current recommendations from public health experts, it is quite possible that medical and other professional school interviews in the fall of 2020 may be conducted virtually – either by phone or videoconferencing.
WashU’s prehealth website contains a tab for “Interview Preparation”. This would be a good time to check out the many helpful resources provided there and use them to get acquainted with the various types of medical school interviews and learn how to prepare for them.
For those of you anticipating interviewing for medical/professional schools in the summer and fall of 2020, please be aware that mock interviews are available through the Career Center, by phone or Zoom. To make an appointment, use online scheduling or call the Career Center administrative assistant @ (314) 935-5930.
The Writing Center @ Washington University is available to help you with your personal statements and other writing needs during this time of social distancing from your campus. Please go to their website for information re: scheduling an online video appointment with them.
RESOURCES FROM HEALTH PROFESSIONS ORGANIZATIONS
For pre-medical students:
MCAT Coronavirus FAQ page
AAMC Services (for MD) Coronavirus page
AACOMAS (for DO): click on the Coronavirus updates link on this page
TMDAS (Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service) – check here for updates
AAMC Coronavirus resources page
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the Fee Assistance Program
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and AMCAS
Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the MCAT exam
For pre-dental students:
DAT – see “important updates” section
TMDSAS (Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service) – check back frequently for updates
For pre-veterinary students:
AAVMC COVID-19 Student and Applicant Information (Links to an external site)
For pre-physician assistant students:
PAEA Coronavirus Resources
SUGGESTIONS FOR THINGS YOU CAN DO NOW, REMOTELY
- Study for the MCAT. Perhaps you can be prepared to take at the end of summer or next January, freeing up time for clinical experiences and service when access to those opportunities increases again.
- Read about medical school programs/prepare for medical school interviews. Even if you won’t be applying this cycle, becoming familiar with medical schools and what differentiates them from each other will be extremely helpful when you do apply.
- Check out websites for ways that you can help during the Covid pandemic – are there ways you can volunteer to do work remotely via the United Way or Red Cross in your area? Investigate ways to connect with under-resourced schools and the summer programs that serve them, or isolated elderly.
- Start a writing/reflection practice. Journal weekly or semi-weekly. Inevitably, many applicants in the next few cycles will be applying with less clinical experience. That means that what applicants have to say needs to be even more compelling, so start reflecting now on why medicine is the best place for you to make your contribution to society. Also, when you get to interviews you may be asked about your responses to this unprecedented situation. Having some notes at hand may help you prepare.
- Consider applying to work as a virtual MCAT tutor.
- Read about how to talk about medical ethics topics in an interview (see the Interview Prep tab on our pre-health website re: preparing for MMI interviews). Ethical decision-making in medicine is on the nightly news. It will probably show up on the interview trail, as well.
- If you worked in a laboratory before leaving campus, check in to see if there is any data crunching, etc., you can do to assist them, remotely.
As always, take good care of yourselves and those within your social-distancing sphere. Carefully follow guidelines, directives and orders from local, state and national organizations. Pay particular attention to information coming from the NIH, CDC, and WHO, and other reputable information outlets. There may be a lot of misinformation coming from other sources.