Paths to Medicine: M.D. or D.O.?
SMP Team Leader Josh Watson talks about the distinctions between M.D. and D.O. medical programs: their matriculant pools and qualifications, med school experiences, and residency outcomes.
We encourage our students to apply to medical school for the next entering class. We are here to support you through the application process. Remember: You would not be here if we didn’t think you were an outstanding applicant, could perform well in the curriculum, and would be a good candidate for medical school.
Please continue clinical and service experiences prior to matriculating to the SMP in August. Remember that competitive applicants to medical schools will have about 400 hours of clinical work (such as shadowing, work in hospitals, free clinics, medical missions, etc.) and about 100 hours of community service focusing on underserved persons (food banks, homeless shelters, tutoring or teaching at-risk youth, etc.).
All of these experiences are important, as they inform your basic understanding of what a career in medicine will be like as well as the challenges facing underrepresented communities. Your work in these areas will give you a heightened perspective, and hopefully will increase your desire to give back as a medical student and physician.
If you start an experience after submitting your AMCAS application, please make sure that you update schools on the clinical and/or service experiences once the AMCAS application is released to them. Lastly, remember that schools usually look at everything, and if you have less of one experience, but are great in the other, they may still be interested. This said, we still suggest you continue volunteer work until you get to us!
We suggest that you submit your AMCAS/AACOMAS application as soon as you can in the summer. You can be working on secondary applications before starting school in August. Both the AMCAS/AACOMAS and secondaries take a while to complete. If you come to school with the majority of your applications finished, you will be able to concentrate on studying and getting good grades.
Do not send a secondary back to Georgetown University School of Medicine right now. They will accept it later in the fall, when you can write clearly about your experiences here. In orientation you will receive information about additional schools you might want to apply to.
If you are accepted to the SMP prior to submitting your AMCAS/AACOMAS application, list Georgetown University under schools attended. The anticipated date of degree will be August 31. In addition, you can list the classes you will take at Georgetown in the “classes and grades” portion of the AMCAS/AACOMAS. All of the course names and numbers can be found on our Courses page. (Make note of the AMCAS classifications of SMP coursework, found below.)
Please mark on your AMCAS that a transcript from Georgetown is not required. It is not required because SMP classes will not have started yet.
For the AMCAS application, use the following classifications of your SMP coursework:
CHEM: Med Mol & Cell Physiol; Med Mol Biol & Metabolism
BIOL: Med Embryol & Intro to Anatomical Sci; Principles of Physiology; Adv Physiol & Pathophys; Med Intro to Pathol & Immunol; Med Intro to Pharmacology; Principles of Gross Anatomy; Med Cardiovasc Biol; Med Respirator & Renal Biol; Med Gastrointestinal Biol; Med Endo & Repro Biol; Grad Pharmacology
HLTH SCI: Biomedical Career Pathways; Biomedical Career Explorations; Human Nutrition & Health
After SMP Orientation, you will be asked to submit a list of the schools you are applying to. The SMP office will send an enrollment verification to each school, verifying that you are attending the Georgetown SMP.
You must use your undergraduate letters of recommendation for medical school applications; you should include two letters from science professors. The SMP Director will send a letter of notification to your schools to let them know that you are in the program.
In July, Program Director Amy Richards will give you the name of your faculty letter writer so you can put it on your AMCAS list. The letter writer will send a letter with your late fall grades for completed classes. This will not replace the undergraduate letters.
If you have a MCAT of less than 510, you might want to consider retaking it prior to the start of the SMP. However, you need to be realistic about whether you have the time and focus to study for it during the summer. Take several practice tests. Your practice tests should be consistently 510 or above to be deemed ready. If you aren’t ready, please do not take it. Be sure not to schedule the MCAT during SMP Orientation dates, or after classes start.
Remember, MCATs are only valid if they are within three years of the matriculation date (e.g., an August 2020 MCAT is good for 2023 matriculation). Most schools are pretty strict about this requirement, although there are schools that accept MCAT scores that are a year over the expiration. If you think you can up your points a bit before you get here, take some time to discern but do not take another MCAT unless you feel fully prepared. If you are taking another MCAT, take as many practice tests as you can to get ready for it (old section tests are good, too), and we wish you much success!