- Make a separate email address just for applications. Ensure you update this in your My AAMC, AACOMAS, or CASPA profile, and don’t accidentally update it in any other product. Do this before you submit your application; you can always add it after submission, but you will need to resubmit it for the schools to see. Make sure not to make it cringe-worthy like “firstname.lastname@example.org” pick something simple and to the point.
- Pay attention to timelines, not deadlines. MD/DO, and PA application cycles are rolling admissions – if you aim for deadlines, you will be late. The expression “If you’re early, you are on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” holds for applications. However, don’t be so obsessed with submitting the very first day and the very first minute that you don’t submit your BEST application, submit early but when your application is ready. Remember to consider the verification time for each application service and remember that your application is not considered complete for a school until they have received your secondary & supplemental essays, letters of recommendation, and test scores.
The current opening dates for each application portal are as follows:
CASPA: April 27th, 2023
TMDSAS: May 1st, 2023 8am CST
AMCAS: May 2nd, 2023
AACOMAS: May 4th, 2023
- Pay attention to the date on the application you are opening. Application cycles are named by the year you will start medical or PA school. For example, the “2023 application cycle” means you are applying for entry to school in the Fall of 2023. Make sure you are not starting an application in AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, or CASPA for the prior application cycle. The cycle that “starts in May 2023” is actually called the “2024 cycle.” And yes, this isn’t very clear.
- Download the application guides. You can find them here: AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, CASPA. Your question is likely answered in this guide. The most common questions are about entering coursework since this is the most time-consuming portion; in particular, there are many questions about study abroad coursework, and many of the application systems have tutorials for each of their sections.
- Follow AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, or CASPA on social media. Most of them will post any updates, troubleshoot if the system is down, and discuss where they are in reviewing applications. For the most reliable information, always follow the application service directly. Do not rely on third-party sources to tell you the rules or the timelines if you have a question go to their handbooks or ask them directly.