The Financial Cost Of Applying To Medical School

If you are currently applying to medical school you are probably encountering a harsh reality: it is not cheap. So what sort of expenses will you be looking at?

In this post I will break down exactly how much I spent during the entire med school application process from the MCAT to deposits holding an acceptance. This will give you an idea of the costs to apply and then plan accordingly. I’ll also toss in where I saved money, some of which I mentioned in this post.

The MCAT

  • MCAT Test Fee: $225
  • MCAT Practice Exams from the AAMC (3 at $35 each): $105
  • Lost wages due to giving up shifts to study: $360

Total MCAT Cost: $690

How I Saved Money

  • I chose to self-study as opposed to taking an expensive review course. $1500-$2000 in savings.
  • I borrowed the Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package from a friend. $110 in savings.
  • I used practice tests and material from the local library. $35 per test.

Primary and Secondary Application Fees

  • Applications to 7 MD schools through AMCAS: $346
  • Applications to 8 DO schools through AACOMAS: $390
  • Secondary application fees to 13 different medical schools: $1,110

Total Application Fees: $1,846

How I Saved Money

  • I chose not to complete secondary applications for 2 MD schools. Approx. $200 in savings.

Interview Costs (7 Interviews)

  • New Suit, Shirt and Tie: $220
  • Flights to 4 cites for 5 interviews: $823
  • Hotels (2 nights): $140
  • Rental car for one interview: $100
  • Gas money to the other 2 interviews: $50

Total Interview Costs: $1,333

How I Saved Money

  • One flight was free as I earned a voucher on a previous flight. $300 in savings.
  • At three interviews I stayed with student hosts instead of hotels. $210 in savings.
  • I turned down interviews to 2 DO schools and 1 MD school. Perhaps $1200 in savings.
  • I scheduled back-to-back interviews saving another flight. $400 in savings.

Miscellaneous Costs

  • Nonrefundable deposits to hold acceptance spots at two osteopathic schools: $2,000
  • Deposit to confirm acceptance at Creighton University: $100
  • Thank you notes with gift cards for everyone that wrote me a letter of recommendation: $55

Total Miscellaneous: $2,155

Grand Total: $6,024

Wow, that’s a lot of money. No doubt about it, applying to medical school is expensive. I feel like I did a lot to cut down on costs too. Adding up my potential savings comes to approximately $4,290.

Hopefully you can use this post to gauge how much you will spend to apply to medical school. I recommend planning ahead and saving that money, unless you’re lucky enough to have parental support.

Have I missed any other costs? Does this compare to your experience applying to medical school?

Accepted!… and exhausted

I will be going to medical school.

It feels great to type that. I recently heard back from my first interview and was granted an acceptance. I was also accepted at my second interview.

All the hard work, the long hours studying in undergrad, the revisions of the personal statement, the tedious application process and the nerve wracking interviews, well, it’s all starting to pay off.

Not that the work was not rewarding itself at times, but ultimately the purose was to get into med school. And I have accomplished that goal.

Unfortunately I have had little time to reflect. I’ve had three interviews in as many weeks. Sandwhiched in between has been 12 hour scribe shifts, Christmas parties, family problems and flight delays. Last week I came home from an interview at 11PM Friday night, worked at 6:30AM the next day, then worked a string of 12 hour shifts until Wed when I left for another interview. I finally made it home yesterday.

I’m tired and looking forward to a break.

But I made it into med school. And that is awesome.

Adventures in Medical School Interviews

My first interview was last week. It was everything an interview day should be: fun, informative, boring, nerve-wracking, awkward, stressful and relieving. I hope you all get to have this enlightening experience.

Biggest take home lesson?

The interview is as much about the school evaluating the candidate as it is about the candidate evaluating the school. The school goes out of it’s way to display the best possible picture of life at their institution of learning. Keep that in mind as you go on interviews, it may put you at ease a bit.

Best question during the actual interview? (which by the way was only 25 minutes out of the 5 hour interview day)

If you happen to come to this university (and I hope you do) when we the faculty are watching you walk across the stage during graduation, how we will remember you? This question caught me a little off guard, but has provoked a lot of thought since the interview. I essentially answered it talking about my perceived personal strengths.

So what’s next? I am the lucky recipient of five more interview requests. One is this Friday, another the following Thursday.

All the interviews are at Osteopathic schools. I applied to five MD schools and have one rejection so far, but no interviews. Let’s get a move on MD schools!

I will be updating as I continue with the interview process. It is finally starting to feel like all the hard work on this journey is coming to fruition. The beginning of the next journey is becoming more tangible. I can hardly wait!

My First Interview Request

Well, it has started. I received my first interview request this week. I got another phone call yesterday for my second interview request.

Whew.

It’s nice to know that my applications are complete and schools are reviewing them. It’s better to know that they like what they see and they want to know more.

I’m excited and anxious. I thought about how I would answer interview questions last night. The thought crossed my mind, “Do I really want to do this? Am I really sure I want to commit my life to medicine?”

How can you be 100% sure about something? I don’t know. Could there be a calling out there that fits better with who I am, that would make me happier? I suppose. But I do know, medicine fascinates me. I love the interaction with people, the opportunity to be there in difficult times, the responsibility of leadership, the influence a physican can have on a community, the problem solving, the intellectual stimulation, the commitment to life-long learning. I could go on.

As I pondered my life path, I considered what careers I would enjoy more. The only thing that really stood out to me was playing basketball in the NBA. While I have a sick jumpshot and once scored 27 points in a 7th grade basketball game, I just don’t see that as a realistic opportunity.

Of course this is all a little premature, I have not been accepted yet.

Good luck to all applying. It’s a long haul. Look forward to a guide showing how I’m using Google Docs to streamline the interview process.