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Choosing a Medical School Admission Consultant

A checklist to help you choose a medical school admission consultant.

Choosing the Best Medical School Admission Consultant is about being a savvy consumer.  
 

 

So you have decided to apply to medical school and to hire an admissions consultant. What now? There is no national ranking system of the best medical school admission consultants and so there's no easy way to determine if an admission consultant is qualified and knowledgeable about the medical school admissions process. Below we provide a checklist of questions you should ask the admissions consultant you decide to interview:

 

1.  Admissions Committee Experience

 

  • Has the consultant worked in an allopathic (MD) medical school admissions office? (Experience working in a medical school admissions office is probably the most important factor as no one in the field knows more about admissions than individuals who have worked in the admissions offices of the medical schools to which you will be applying.)

  • Or is the consultant simply a doctor without any admissions committee experience? (Doctors who have not been on the medical school admissions committee are not nearly as knowledgeable about the medical school admissions process as those who have served on the admissions committee.)

  • How many years did the consultant work in a medical school admissions office? (Be sure that the admissions officer didn't only spend a summer interning at the admissions office, but actually worked as a full-time employee in a decision-making role.)

  • In which allopathic medical schools did the consultant work?

 

2.  Essay Editing by Admissions Officers

 

  • Is the person editing your personal statement a former Allopathic Medical School Admissions Officer who has reviewed and rated thousands of medical school personal statements? (Many medical school admissions consultants outsource the editing of personal statements to humanities majors with no knowledge of the medical school application process. Unfortunately, these writers do not know what the admissions committee looks for in the personal statement.)

  • Or does the consultant outsource the editing of essays to non-admissions officers who are simply doctors without admissions committee experience? (Doctors without admissions committee experience do not know why certain essays are rated highly by the admissions committee while others are not, since they have never been on the admissions committee.)

 

3.  Methodology and Culture

 

  • Does the consultant have a clear methodology for determining your unique positioning strategy or narrative and for driving the entire process, or does the consultant let the student drive the process?

  • Does the consultant use a team-based approach to bounce unfamiliar questions off other consultants who are former admissions officers who may have more knowledge on the topic?

  • Is the culture of the consulting company one that treats you like a number or one that is invested in your future success?

 

4.  Cost and Size

 

  • Does the consultant provide comprehensive consulting on all facets of the medical school application or simply provide hourly help on individual elements of the application? (Since medical school admission rates are 3% to 4%, it’s important to get comprehensive help on the whole application.)

  • How does the cost of the consultant compare to other consultants with similar admissions committee experience and success rates? (Be careful about companies that offer services at too low a cost. This may mean that they have a dearth of clients as a result of low success rates or lack of knowledge and admissions committee experience.)

  • Is the consultant someone local who primarily works with students within driving distance, or is the consultant someone in demand nationally who works with students across the entire country?