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Processing your medical school admissions requirements can be stressful, and not being able to understand basic terminologies can only make it harder for medical school neophytes. Most medical school admissions committees rightly assume that as an applicant, you have a background in medicine or have at least done your research on medical schools before you apply. That’s why it’s essential to have a grasp of the basic terms they use in medical school admissions. Listed below are some of the commonly used words and acronyms in medical school admissions processes and in med school in general:
American Medical Association (AMA) – a professional association composed of physicians that establishes and promotes educational, ethical, and clinical standards for the medical profession and practice in the US.
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) – AAMC is an association of accredited United States medical schools, and is responsible for the Medical College Admission Test which is required in medical school admissions in the US and Canada.
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) – AMCAS is a centralized application service for those applying to paricipating medical schools.
Clerkships – rotations around various clinical settings of medical school; can be elective or obligatory. Clerkships are usually conducted in the students’ third and fourth year in the US. Hospital tie-ups for clerkships are usually one of the FAQs by those going through medical school admissions processes.
Discipline-based approach – a teaching method employed in med school that involves teaching various disciplines such as anatomy, pathology, or surgery as separate educational blocks. Applicants can ask medical school admissions staff regarding the teaching methods and approaches used in the specific medical school.
E-Health – refers to health services and products given over the Internet. E-health is an umbrella term that covers all educational, commercial, and information services. Health information and details on medical school admissions processes can be considered as part of E-health.
Graduate Medical Education (GME) – refers to fellowships and residency trainings after medical school. Information on GME options are usually included in medical school admissions kits.
Health System – composed of different health elements that communities, offices, and educational institutions follow. Health systems and practices may have slight variations depending on the district, region, and province. It’s recommendable for applicants to get acquainted with the local health system before going through medical school admissions to different schools.
Integrated Teaching – in contrast to the discipline-based approach, the integrated teaching method presents different subjects as a unified whole. If you want to get educated in separate disciplines, make sure you check with the medical school admissions staff if they offer discipline-based classes as electives. Information like this is necessary before going through medical school admissions processes.
NCLEX-RN - A licensing examination required by all states before registered nurses can practice in that particular state.
Residency – the training period for a medical specialty that medical school graduates go through. The length of residency depends on the chosen specialty but usually ranges from three to seven years.
USMLE or US Medical Licensing Examination – an exam that med school graduates would have to take in order to get a practicing license in the US.
VMCAS or Veterinary Medical College Application Service – a comprehensive application service that caters to students applying for veterinary medical schools.
World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) – The WFME is affiliated with UNESCO and WHO and promotes global training and education of doctors.
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