Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Medical School Admissions

How will Coronavirus (COVID-19) affect medical school admissions? 

At this point, it’s all conjecture! But COVID-19 is already making its impact on current medical school students and applicants. As schools suspend operations, move to online formats, and work to slow the spread of the pandemic, flexibility will be key.

 

In the short run, the adjustments feel relatively minor:

  • The couple of programs that are still interviewing (Wait. What? For real?) are mostly cancelling in-person interviews in lieu of remote interviews. While that’s a real money and time saver, applicants miss out on the gut-level decision making that a physical visit often provides.
  • Match Day 2020 looks very different than in years past. Many schools put the brakes on the usual gatherings, instead offering “students only” gatherings and more intimate ceremonies, if any at all.
  • “Second Look” weekends have largely been cancelled. A virtual format is a likely alternative.
  • Some MCAT centers (especially in other countries) have cancelled/postponed testing. In the US, MCAT test takers are facing options ranging from wearing disposable gloves to rescheduling without penalty.

But what about the long run? What happens to the next class of medical school applicants? Best case scenario, this all wraps up neatly and the impact is negligible. Worst case scenario? The entire process is turned on its head. A few of our predictions for how things might shake out:

  • If travel remains disrupted, dangerous, or limited, we will see a general shift toward more virtual/online/remote interview options. We’re talking about potentially thousands of dollars of savings here! In fact, lower-income applicants (and all those students pinching pennies) could find it more feasible to afford their medical school dream. But interviews will likely feel a little trickier for those who shine in face-to-face interactions. Also, it may be more difficult to really gauge the pulse of a program through a screen.
  • International applicants could be looking at more hurdles in matriculating this cycle. However, those who persevere may actually see higher acceptance rates than usual.
  • If you are an international student currently studying in the US and you can maintain that status through the whole of the application cycle, you may have an edge over students looking to move from abroad.
  • Domestic applicants may enjoy a slight bump in their odds. International applications will likely drop this cycle, as they do during times of instability.

One final thought: COVID-19 has sharpened the public’s interest in the current state of American medicine. It is possible that we will see some major injections of funding into our healthcare, research, and medical education systems to shore up our crisis readiness. If that happens, your timing may be perfect to apply!

“I can't thank you enough for all your help with the paper! It came out great and I sent out my applications yesterday!! Just wanted to let you know all your help really paid off! Thanks again!!”
2016-05-23T10:45:40+00:00
“I can't thank you enough for all your help with the paper! It came out great and I sent out my applications yesterday!! Just wanted to let you know all your help really paid off! Thanks again!!”

"I received 8 interviews, attended 6 of them and was accepted to 4 dental schools on the first day of admission! Marci did a phenomenal job helping with my personal statement and was always professional and prompt with her communication and advice."
2016-05-23T10:45:59+00:00
"I received 8 interviews, attended 6 of them and was accepted to 4 dental schools on the first day of admission! Marci did a phenomenal job helping with my personal statement and was always professional and prompt with her communication and advice."

“I will be starting medical school in the fall!”
2016-05-23T10:46:16+00:00
“I will be starting medical school in the fall!”

“I cannot think of a more cost efficient way to have made my application stand out. I highly recommend your service to any applicants to a highly competitive program.”
2016-05-23T10:46:32+00:00
“I cannot think of a more cost efficient way to have made my application stand out. I highly recommend your service to any applicants to a highly competitive program.”

“My essay went from mediocre and disorganized to creative, engaging, professional, and memorable.”
2016-05-23T10:46:48+00:00
“My essay went from mediocre and disorganized to creative, engaging, professional, and memorable.”

“You have been a wonderful help, and my essay is great thanks to you...everything flows together, and I am really pleased.”
2016-05-23T10:47:34+00:00
“You have been a wonderful help, and my essay is great thanks to you...everything flows together, and I am really pleased.”

“[EssayMD] is expert in putting together a personalized and effective statement based on my academic achievement to market myself ethically to the next step.”
2016-05-23T10:47:53+00:00
“[EssayMD] is expert in putting together a personalized and effective statement based on my academic achievement to market myself ethically to the next step.”

“We have relied upon [EssayMD’s] expertise, with great results, in our efforts to ensure the acceptance of all four of our children to the universities of their choice. Two are now in medical school, and the other two were admitted to prestigious universities. We unequivocally recommend this service to concerned students and their parents.”
2016-05-23T10:48:13+00:00
“We have relied upon [EssayMD’s] expertise, with great results, in our efforts to ensure the acceptance of all four of our children to the universities of their choice. Two are now in medical school, and the other two were admitted to prestigious universities. We unequivocally recommend this service to concerned students and their parents.”

“I just wanted to personally thank you for all of your tremendous help! I felt pretty proud submitting my application yesterday and even received my first interview invite today!!”
2016-05-23T10:48:27+00:00
“I just wanted to personally thank you for all of your tremendous help! I felt pretty proud submitting my application yesterday and even received my first interview invite today!!”

“The editing…was simply beautiful and I recommend EssayMD to everyone! I know who to contact for future residency applications!”
2016-05-23T10:48:42+00:00
“The editing…was simply beautiful and I recommend EssayMD to everyone! I know who to contact for future residency applications!”

“Just wanted to update you that I was accepted to medical school…I will be leaving next week. Thank you for all your help with my essays!!!”
2016-05-23T10:48:58+00:00
“Just wanted to update you that I was accepted to medical school…I will be leaving next week. Thank you for all your help with my essays!!!”