As a parent, few things are more rewarding than watching your child grow up to pursue their dreams. If your son or daughter aspires to attend medical school and become a doctor, you likely want to support them every step of the way. 

However, the path to medical school can be long and winding, with many intricacies you may not fully grasp. By educating yourself on the medical school journey, you can provide more meaningful guidance to help your child craft the strongest application possible.

Amidst the whirlwind of prerequisites and test preparations, you might wonder, ‘When does AMCAS close?’ This seemingly simple inquiry marks the beginning of a meticulously planned timeline, one that you and your child will navigate together.

So, take a deep breath and step into this journey with confidence, knowing that your support is the cornerstone of your child’s dream to don the white coat.

When To Begin Preparing

From an early age, gently expose your child to healthcare and science. Read anatomy books, visit science museums, and demonstrate how you make healthy choices. Your child will subconsciously absorb these lessons. 

In high school, encourage enrollment in advanced science, math, and writing subjects to build a strong academic foundation. Mastery of foundational STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts is essential for the MCAT exam. 

Outside academics, motivate your teen to engage in meaningful extracurriculars like hospital volunteering, peer tutoring, and leadership roles in clubs. Admissions committees want well-rounded applicants who give back to others.

Researching Schools

In college, your child should research medical schools thoroughly to identify the best fit. Have them make a spreadsheet of factors like location, cost, class size, curriculum style, and areas of speciality. Schools range from large state institutions to smaller private colleges. 

The location also varies from rural campuses to urban centres with more hands-on clinical training access. Compare each program’s mission statement as well. Some skew toward research, while others champion community outreach. Ensure your child applies to a balanced mix of ‘reach,’ ‘target,’ and ‘safety’ schools.

Pre-Med Academics

Regardless of major, certain coursework is required for medical school admission. These prerequisites typically include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and English. 

Strong grades in these foundational classes help demonstrate academic readiness for the rigors of medical education. Beyond required subjects, additional electives like biochemistry, genetics, sociology, and psychology are favoured. Course selection should align with the MCAT’s sections on biological, chemical, psychological, and sociological concepts.


The MCAT is a stressful standardized test assessing proficiency in these scientific areas. Most students take the MCAT during their junior year of college. 

Comprehensive studying over several months is a must to earn competitive scores. Invest in prep materials and encourage your child to form study groups with classmates. 

On test day, make sure your teen is well-rested and fed for peak performance. Plan to take the test early to allow time for retakes if needed. Scores are valid for just a few years.

Non-Academic Development

While strong grades and scores are crucial, medical schools value interpersonal skills and real-world experience. Encourage activities that build empathy, compassion, and leadership ability. 

Possibilities include volunteering at hospitals or clinics, mentoring younger students, travelling abroad, doing research internships, and getting jobs in healthcare settings. Not only does this strengthen the application, but it helps your child determine if the medical field suits them. They will interact with patients and doctors to gain insight.

AMCAS Application

The centralized AMCAS application opens every May, and submissions are due in October. AMCAS consolidates grades, test scores, essays, and extracurriculars for review by medical schools. 

Assist your child in brainstorming meaningful essay topics early. Refining drafts and tailoring content to specific schools takes time. 

Also, be sure immunization records, transcripts, and letters of recommendation are submitted before the deadline. Only finished, verified applications are sent to medical schools.

Interview Preparation

If granted interviews, your child should thoroughly research each school and practice responses to common questions beforehand. Interview attire should be formal and conservative. Focus on projecting confidence and friendliness. 

Listen closely to each question, and answer honestly using specific examples. Send prompt thank-you notes to interviewers afterwards. Manage interview anxiety through breathing exercises and positive self-talk. This is your teen’s chance to make a memorable impression face-to-face.

Decision Time

Following a flurry of interview offers and acceptances, your child will eventually have to narrow options and select one medical school by April. 

Weigh factors like cost, location, campus culture fit, and strength of residency placements. Don’t let prestige be the only factor. Comfort is key to thriving in medical school’s intense environment. 

Respect your teen’s autonomy in making this major life decision, too. They know themselves best. Once they’ve committed to a school, the medical journey truly begins!

Final Thoughts

Medical school admissions are undeniably complex. However, by regularly educating yourself in the process, you can better support your child in crafting a strong, well-rounded application. 

Your guidance, combined with their hard work, can successfully propel them on the path to becoming a doctor. This journey requires immense dedication, but the ultimate reward of serving patients in need makes it worthwhile.

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About Akansha Bansal

Post graduate in Masters of Business Administration from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She live with a notion “SIMPLE LIVING, HIGH THINKING” and have an optimistic approach towards life. Always eager to learn new things... She loves to write blogs on parenting. She is the Co-founder of "Budding Star".

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