Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Becoming a Doctor Works

        Culture | Learning

MCAT

Besides your college transcript, most medical schools require you to take the M.C.A.T. and supply your score with your application. The M.C.A.T. (Medical College Admission Test) is an all-day, standardized, multiple-choice test administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges (A.A.M.C.) (www.aamc.org/stuapps/admiss/mcat/). The M.C.A.T. is given twice per year (April and August) and in 1999 cost $165. It is intended to assist admissions committees in predicting who will do well in medical school. Almost all medical schools require it. This is a way for medical schools to compare candidates from different schools and different backgrounds. After all, one could argue that the same GPA from a more prestigious school means more. However, the MCAT provides a common denominator to compare candidates from different schools. This is a one of the most important tests you will take and you should study for it. I studied for almost 2 months for it.

Before you apply to medical school you should know that there are two types of medical training: Allopathic and Osteopathic. Allopathic medical schools are the traditional medical schools that confer an M.D. degree to graduates. Osteopathic schools confer a D.O. degree. They are very similar except that Osteopathic schools have additional courses in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). OMTs are manipulative techniques to help heal, relieve pain, and restore range of motion. There are approximately 38,000 D.O.'s in the U.S., 57% are in primary care and 43% are in a range of other specialties. To find out more about Osteopathic Medicine go to www.aacom.org.


More to Explore