What is it Like to Work in a Medical School Admissions Office?

What’s it like on the med school admissions committee?

Answer by Joel Butterly:

My company has a number of former admissions officers from various medical schools (see Medical School Team). In speaking with them, I’ve found that there is a significant difference between the student committee members and the full-timers.

For many of the top-ranked medical schools, the student committee members do what you imagine they do: they are assigned (along with members of their sub-committee) a number of applications, they discuss those applications with the members of the sub-committee, and then selected applications are brought to a central or “standing” committee, where final decisions are to be made. Often times, these students will also interview applicants whose applications they read.

The full-timers (either professional admissions officers or deans of admission, etc.) work just like any other admissions officers. The greatest difference is that, unlike college admissions officers, these admissions officers are usually current or former practitioners/professors, and so their incentives are a little different than the usual admissions officers. I.e., they are probably more concerned about questions such as: do I really want to have this person as a part of my professional community?

Hope that helps. Again, this is based on a limited school sample, so I’m sure there is a great deal of variance at other schools.

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About the Author


Joel Butterly, Co-founder and CEO of InGenius Prep, is an experienced admissions counselor and entrepreneur. Joel comes from a rich educational background—his immediate family alone has 14 Ivy League Degrees—from Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and Dartmouth.

Joel attended Dartmouth College, where he studied Government, Geography, and the Philosophy of Ethics. He was inducted early into Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He graduated with a double major in Government and International Studies, and a minor in Ethical Philosophy.

After Dartmouth, Joel attended Yale Law School, where he served on the executive board of the Journal on Regulation, as well as the Law School’s entrepreneurship society.

Joel currently resides at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. He lives with his fiance – Emily – who teaches and is receiving her PhD in Medieval History from Yale.