Allopathic & Osteopathic Medicine (MD/DO)

Should I become a doctor?

“Think about what kind of future appeals to you. Do you like challenges? Are you interested in science and how the body works? Do you care deeply about other people, their problems, and their pain? Are you a good listener? Do you enjoy learning? Are you intrigued by the ways medicine can be used to improve life?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, chances are you have the right personality for a career in medicine. But, there’s more to consider. Pursuing a career as a doctor is a long and intense journey. Further explore whether being a doctor is the right choice for you…” – read more on the AAMC website

“Physicians support and manage the health care of people of all ages. They take medical histories, perform physical examinations, conduct diagnostic tests, recommend and provide treatment, conduct research, and advise patients on their overall health and well-being. While there are many different types of physicians, they can usually be divided into three broad categories:

  • Primary care physicians are the doctors patients usually visit most frequently. They treat a wide range of illnesses and regularly provide preventive care, and they also enjoy long-term relationships with their patients. Pediatricians, family practitioners and general internists are primary care physicians.
  • Surgeons perform operations to treat diseases and repair injuries.
  • Specialists have expertise related to specific diseases as well as body parts, organs, and systems. Cardiologists, oncologists, neurologists, and ophthalmologists are examples of specialists. The AAMC’s Careers in Medicine website contains information about various specialties in medicine”

(Association of American Medical Colleges)

AAMC’s Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR)

  • $28
  • Updated each year
  • View detailed statistics for US and Canadian MD programs

AACOM’s Choose DO Explorer

  • Free
  • Updated each year
  • View detailed statistics for US DO programs

Centralized Application Services

Personal Statement

  • Guidelines:
  • Preparation:
    • Brainstorming: A well-crafted personal statement takes time. Begin by brainstorming ideas for your statement, thinking about what you would like to share with the admissions committees. Consult with mentors, friends and family on topics.
    • Outline: Look for themes within your list of brainstorm ideas. Choose a few points from your list that seem especially salient, and develop them into an outline of your essay.
    • Working Draft(s): Once you have written a draft, have people read it and give you honest feedback. Incorporate feedback and come back to it in a couple weeks and see if you still feel that it conveys the impression that you meant to give, and make necessary edits. Consider making an appointment with the Writing Center. Make sure that you have a developed draft on MAP, to review during your Application Readiness Meeting.
    • Resources:

Secondary Applications

  • Secondary applications may be included within the primary application or sent directly to applicants by a school’s admissions office. In most cases, you will receive secondary applications after your primary application has been verified by the application service (4-6 weeks after submission).
  • Schools have varying criteria for who they invite to submit a secondary application. Some schools will send them to every candidate who applies to their program. Others will send them only to applicants who meet their GPA and entrance exam score requirements. Some schools will select only candidates who they are very interested in for secondaries. Your application is not considered to be complete until you have submitted your secondary application.
  • Secondary applications are designed by individual programs to learn more about applicants. It is important to realize that secondary applications are both labor intensive and expensive. They typically require answers to essay questions and a fee. Set aside time and money in preparation for writing your essays and paying for submission. Returning your secondary applications within a week or two of receipt demonstrates your continued interest in that program. Waiting longer may hurt your application.
  • When you formulate your list of schools to which you plan to apply, take these secondary applications into account. Don’t apply to so many schools that you won’t have the time or money for secondary applications.

General Timeline

  • January of year prior to matriculation – Begin Committee Letter process (see below)
  • May – AMCAS opens for editing, AACOMAS opens for editing and submission
  • June – AMCAS opens for submission
  • Fall/early spring of year of matriculation – Interview invites/interviews
  • Fall- First acceptances to medical programs (beginning 10/15 – MD program, rolling – DO programs)
  • Spring – Last day to hold multiple deposits MD programs (4/30) & MD go to wait-lists for second round of accepts (beginning 5/1). Make final choice of school based on AAMC and AACOMAS traffic rules
  • Summer – Start medical program

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)  is the required entrance exam for medical (MD/DO) Programs

  • The MCAT® is offered on set dates from January through September, except February. The MCAT® has four test sections: 1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, 2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and 4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
  • The MCAT should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than August for Pre-Podiatry, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended. Applicants cannot sit for the exam any later than August for Pre-Podiatry and receive a committee letter that cycle.

Committee Letter Processes

The Committee Letter is a composite letter that includes full content of all required evaluator letters plus an evaluation from the PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program. The PreMed and PreHealth evaluation is a competency-based summary of a student’s clinical, community engagement, and research experiences as well as academic performance, professionalism, and additional interpersonal competencies.

We do not restrict our Committee Letter service based on grades or exam scores; however, the basis of our recommendation does take grades, exam scores, experiential preparation, and overall readiness to apply into consideration. While we do not employ a formal ranking system, applicants will receive recommendation based on the aforementioned competencies. Applicants should consult with their individual PreMed/PreHealth Advisor to determine the best time to apply.

Committee Letters are a traditional option for medical programs. To qualify for a Committee Letter, applicants and re-applicants* must meet all deadlines and requirements below. If you do not meet all deadlines and requirements you will no longer be eligible to receive a Committee Letter but may still qualify for a Letter Packet.

If you are an Alumni who graduated three or more years ago, it is recommended that you apply with individual letters of evaluation following the instructions in the common application for your profession, or the directions of the specific schools if they have a different application process. If you choose to send individual Letters of Evaluation, please do not request them through MAP.

Applicants who are accepted to a medical school and decline matriculation are not eligible for future Committee Letters. The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program has a three time limit for Committee Letters. The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program cannot forward letters to any program other than what was designated on the original request. Thus, we are unable to send letters to medical masters or Post-Baccalaureate programs. Please contact your evaluators directly to request that letters be tailored to the program to which you are applying.

Requirements and Deadlines**

First Time Applicants
  • January 31: Committee Letter Agreement & Completed Self-Assessment due.
  • March 20: Required Internal Letters of Evaluation due in MAP.
  • April 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting (ARM) with your assigned PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • May 1: Required Clinical and Optional letters of evaluation due in MAP.
  • May 31: Deadline to take MCAT.
  • June 30: Deadline to complete MAP, submit primary application, and request Committee Letter.
  • May 1: Committee Letter Agreement & Completed Self-Assessment due.
  • May 1: Updated Letters of Evaluation due.
  • May 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting (ARM) with your assigned PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • May 31: Deadline to re-take MCAT, if applicable
  • June 30: Deadline to complete MAP, submit primary application, and request Committee Letter.

*Re-applicants refers to Northeastern University students and alumni who have already completed the Committee Letter process for a previous cycle, and are again requesting a Committee Letter to re-apply to their programs.

**To be completed in your application year. Requirements and deadlines are subject to change. 

Required letters

The following letters of evaluation are required and must be requested through MAP to be eligible to request a Committee Letter.

3 Internal, Faculty Letters
  • Letters must be from Northeastern faculty (current, former, or retired).
  • Letters must be from a graded course (at least 3-credit lecture or 1-credit lab). Evaluations can be requested from in-progress courses.
  • Two of the three required internal letters must be from Biology, Chemistry, Math, or Physics (BCMP) faculty OR from the approved list of Internal Science Letters.
  • One letter may be from academic faculty in any discipline, though we recommend a non-science letter.
1 External, Clinical Letter
  • This letter must come from a practitioner in the health profession to which you are applying (i.e. MD or DO). Applicants applying to MD and/or DO programs may have a clinical letter from either an MD or DO.
  • The letter must represent a college-level patient-facing experience (strongly recommended in-person) with a U.S. licensed physician. The experience must be within the United States or, if abroad, with a State Department, US university/hospital sponsored, or recognized U.S. organization. Letters from family friends, even if they are physicians, are not encouraged. Letters from family members are prohibited.
2 External, Optional Letters
  • Up to two additional external letters may be requested from supervisors, research PIs, clinicians, coaches, etc.
  • Applicants may NOT use optional letter slots for additional internal academic letters unless there is a relationship with the faculty member outside of your academic coursework (i.e. research supervisor).
  • Applicants applying to MD and DO programs are strongly encouraged to obtain a clinical letter from BOTH an MD and a DO, utilizing one of their optional letter slots.

See below for additional Committee Letter eligibility requirements for Northeastern Post-Baccalaureate Students only.

Additional Committee Letter Eligibility Requirements for Northeastern Post-Baccalaureate Students

In addition to all other Committee Letter requirements and deadlines, students in the Northeastern University Pre-Medical Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate program must also meet the requirements below to be eligible to receive a Northeastern University Committee Letter.

You must take 10 of the courses listed below (with corresponding labs), earning a minimum grade of C, at Northeastern by the conclusion of the Summer 1 semester of the application year to qualify for a Committee Letter. CPS Post-Bacc students who have taken at least 8 courses, but fewer than 10, may still qualify to apply with a Letter Packet.

  • BIO1100/BIO1101 Principles of Biology 1
  • BIO1200/BIO1201 Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO2100 Microbiology
  • BIO2300 Cell Biology
  • BIO2500/2501 Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • BIO3100/BIO3101 Biochemistry
  • CHM1100/CHM1101 General Chemistry 1
  • CHM1200/CHM1201 General Chemistry 2
  • CHM2110/CHM2111 Organic Chemistry 1
  • CHM2200/CHM2201 Organic Chemistry 2
  • CHM2300/CHM2301 Analytical Chemistry
  • PHY1200/PHY1201 Physics 1
  • PHY2200/PHY2201 Physics 2