CAMPUS INTERVIEW DAY FAQs
STUDENT LIFE FAQs
FINANCIAL AID FAQs
ADMISSIONS FAQs for the class entering in 2017
What is WMed looking for in an applicant? At WMed, we use a holistic review process to select medical students. We are looking for students who are well prepared academically, have had a variety of pre-medical experiences, and exhibit the attributes that align with our mission and vision. The selection process for admission to WMed is rigorous because of this commitment. As part of the supplemental application, applicants complete an online assessment that is designed to help us determine your attributes, such as altruism, accountability, responsibility, duty, honesty, integrity, and respect for others. The results of this assessment are used with the rest of your application materials to select the candidates who are invited for a telephone interview. This telephone interview delves even deeper to identify the strength of your attributes. The final step in the process is a campus interview day in Kalamazoo. During the interview day, we already know so much about your academics, experiences, and attributes that we can use that day to also showcase everything we have to offer to you as a WMed student.
Which extracurricular activities do you recommend to participate in before medical school? You should be involved in extracurricular activities that motivate you and that you are passionate about. We expect that some of these activities will include exposure to the medical field, including research or patient care.
How do I apply to WMed? WMed uses AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service). Click here to learn more about the application process. Students from WMU and Kalamazoo College are also eligible to apply to the WMedStart Early Decision Program.
When is the deadline for applying? The AMCAS application must be submitted by November 15. The WMed supplemental application and online assessment must be completed by January 9. WMed uses a rolling admissions process, so all applicants are encouraged to complete the AMCAS and supplemental application early for greatest consideration. Click here to learn more about the application deadlines.
What is the WMed class size? Beginning in fall 2017, we will enroll our target class size of 84 students annually.
How many applications does WMed receive? Admission to medical school is very competitive. For the class of 2019, we received 3,993 applications for the class of 60 students. We conducted 661 phone interviews, and met 321 candidates on campus for interviews.
Is preference given to Michigan students? As a private institution we seek to enroll outstanding students from across the US. We seek diversity among our students, including geographic background and undergraduate institution. We don’t have a quota for the number of students from Michigan to enroll annually. The inaugural class of 2018 represents 14 different states, from Massachusetts to California and from Texas to Alaska. In the inaugural class, 43% of students are from Michigan. The class of 2019 includes students from 12 different states, with 38% of students from Michigan. Click here for the Class Profiles and additional information about our first two classes.
Is preference given to students from Western Michigan University (WMU) or other schools? WMed has preferred relationships with WMU, including the WMU Lee Honors College, and Kalamazoo College, and seeks to admit outstanding students from each of these institutions into each entering class. Students from WMU and Kalamazoo College are also eligible to apply to the WMedStart Early Decision Program.
What prerequisites courses do I need to have? Beginning with the class of 2019, specific undergraduate prerequisite coursework is not required to apply to WMed. To be well prepared in medical school, however, we recommend applicants complete upper division science coursework in biochemistry, genetics, human anatomy, human physiology, and statistics. Click here to learn more about recommended coursework.
Can I take premedical coursework at a community college? Our most competitive applicants have taken the premedical courses at four-year institutions as the coursework is better designed to prepare applicants for the rigors of a medical school curriculum.
I haven’t completed all of the courses on the recommended list. Can I still apply? Yes. Many applicants are still completing the recommended coursework when they submit an application. It’s preferable to have completed a majority of the recommended courses prior to application. If offered admission, one of the conditions is conferral of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution prior to matriculation.
Which applicants receive the supplemental application? In general, we invite candidates who meet our academic minimums of a 25 MCAT or 40th percentile for MCAT2015, and also a 3.0 GPA to complete the WMed Supplemental Application. The supplemental application includes two short essays, an online assessment, and a $100 supplemental application fee.
What letters of recommendation are required and how should I submit them? Applicants should submit a minimum of three and no more than five letters of recommendation. All letters should be submitted through AMCAS Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation Service. We recommend that science faculty members write at least two of your letters. Letter packets prepared by undergraduate institutions are also accepted.
What is the WMed policy about the MCAT? For the 2017 entering class, only scores for an MCAT taken between January 1, 2014 and September 2016 are valid for consideration. We require a minimum composite score of 25 MCAT or 40th percentile for MCAT2015. We do not have sub-score minimums. If multiple valid scores are listed, we consider the highest composite score. We do not super-score sections across multiple exams.
Can I submit updates to my application? Yes, if you have significant updates, such as new experiences, you are welcome to email additional information at any time to Admissions@med.wmich.edu.
I am graduating with a degree from a university in a country other than the US. Am I eligible for admission? To be eligible for admission to WMed, you must have either a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree (eg, Master’s degree or PhD) from an institution accredited by one of the US regional accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or in Canada through membership in Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada). If your highest degree prior to admission is a bachelor’s degree, it is expected that at least 90 hours of coursework for the bachelor's degree, including most of the recommended premedical courses, be completed at the degree-granting institution. If you have an advanced degree and your bachelor’s degree is from a university outside the US, you need to have your bachelor’s degree evaluated for US equivalency through WES.org or ECE.org, with the report delivered directly to WMed.
I am not a US citizen or permanent resident. Can I still apply? Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents of the US.
If I’m currently a student at another medical school, can I transfer to WMed? Our highly integrated curriculum blends the basic sciences with clinical sciences throughout all four years. The differences in curricula do not enable advanced placement of medical students from other medical schools. WMed does not consider transfer requests.
How much does medical school cost? The cost of tuition and the total cost of attendance is available on the financial aid website.
Are scholarships available from the medical school for medical students? Yes, scholarships are available for all medical students at WMed including incoming students. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and/or merit. Additional information about scholarships is available on the financial aid website.
How do I contact the admissions office? You can get in touch with us via email at Admissions@med.wmich.edu or by phone at 269.337.6100.
How is the curriculum structured? The WMed curriculum is a systems-based, integrated curriculum. The curriculum map shows the courses of Foundations of Medicine, the first two years, and the clerkships of Clinical Applications, the second two years. The basic sciences and clinical sciences are integrated throughout the four years. We use a variety of instructional methods including team-based learning, small and large group sessions, lectures, and early clinical experiences. Simulation-based learning is used extensively throughout the four-year curriculum. Click here to learn more about the curriculum for the medical degree.
How do I get involved in community service? Active Citizenship is the WMed name for service learning and community service activities. We are committed to training physicians who have all of the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful as a physician and contribute to their community. Through Active Citizenship, each WMed student is part of a team working directly with a community organization affiliate whose mission is related to health, well-being, and service for residents of Kalamazoo County. This service learning helps foster understanding of social determinants of health, as well as advocacy, team-based skills, population health, and cultural competence. Each student group designs a community project that will be of benefit to the organization and the clients they serve. This community project applies the scientific method to community-based research: identify an issue or need, gather and assess information, develop conclusions, and make recommendations.
Do students have the option of studying internationally? Yes, faculty from the medical school have long-standing relationships with clinics and small hospitals in several areas of the world. Faculty-led experiences occur several times during the year. An international health experience is encouraged during the fourth year of medical school.
How much time should I expect to commit to succeed in this curriculum? Medical school is demanding and expected to take at least 60 hours a week, and sometimes more. Most students will have many weeks that require 70-80 hours of time for scheduled events and outside studying. During Clinical Applications, the second two years, student time mirrors that of residents, which may be up to 80 hours per week.
Are lectures recorded for students to use for study? Yes, a video capture of each lecture is provided for students to download soon after the lecture is over. It is not feasible to record other activities such as small group sessions. There is no other transcript or class recording service.
How are students assessed and graded? Grading in Foundations of Medicine is on a pass/fail basis. Grading is based on multiple choice exams, anatomy exams, standardized patient exams, simulation-based testing, and professionalism. Capstone review sessions with faculty assist students with preparation for examinations. Each course has weekly formative exams, which do not count in grading, to provide students with objective interval feedback on their learning progress.
Grading in Clinical Applications is on an honors/pass/fail basis. Grading is based on multiple choice exams, standardized patient exams, evaluations by clinical faculty of students’ knowledge and skills, and professionalism.
Is student attendance at lectures and other curriculum events required? At WMed, learning is a shared activity that requires students to acquire and integrate new knowledge through experiential interaction with faculty, peers, and others in a collegial and supportive atmosphere. Our team-oriented environment in Foundations of Medicine enables individual and group learning through engaged learning strategies including team-based learning, simulation-based learning, and case-based learning. We have some—but not many—lectures, where attendance is encouraged but not required since lectures are routinely scheduled for recording and available for students to view at other times. For group activities and clinical activities, attendance is mandatory.
Do students get to take any electives in the first two years? Yes, throughout your first two years, students select four one-week electives to explore individual areas of interest. These electives range from oncology, to rural health, massage therapy, research, forensic pathology, and everything in between.
What types of clinical sites are available for required and elective clerkships? The major clinical sites for education are WMed Clinics, Borgess Health, and Bronson Healthcare. Other sites include the Kalamazoo Family Health Center, CentraCare (in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek), private clinics, and rural health centers. At these sites, students are able to see a wide variety of specialties and different patient populations.
WMed Clinics are in a state-of-the-art ambulatory care teaching center on the Oakland Drive Campus. There are four primary care clinics and approximately 20 specialty clinics with more than 61,000 patient visits annually. WMed Clinics offer a full range of ancillary services and serve a broad range of patients, providing care for the historically underserved and underinsured. WMed Clinics are accredited by The Joint Commission, and also certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Care Medical Home. The primary care clinics—family medicine, internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, and pediatrics—have designations as a Patient-Centered Medical Home from both the National Committee for Quality Assurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Our Family Medicine Residency Program also sees patients at the Kalamazoo Family Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center that serves a historically underserved patient population of more than 70,000 in Kalamazoo County.
Borgess Health is part of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare corporation in the United States. Borgess operates more than 120 sites in 15 southern Michigan cities including five owned or affiliated hospitals, a nursing home, ambulatory care facilities, home health care, and physician practices. The flagship hospital, Borgess Medical Center, is a 424-bed tertiary care hospital offering more than 40 clinical specialties.
Bronson Healthcare is a not-for-profit, community-governed health care system based in Kalamazoo. Bronson offers clinical services at more than 60 sites. The flagship hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, is a 405-bed tertiary care hospital that received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005 and has designation as a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence.
Is there a specific computer required? The curriculum uses multimedia content that is developed for and delivered via multi-touch texts using iBooks, which permits learning interactions that are not possible on all personal computers and many types of devices. All medical students must have a laptop computer that meets the minimum specifications to access and display curriculum content, use in classroom and team settings, and for examinations. MacBook Pro laptops are required rather than Windows-based laptops because of compatibility with iBooks. A 15-inch display is recommended for optimal display of curriculum content and also for web-based examinations. Other devices such as netbooks, iPads, Android devices, and Kindles do not meet the requirements for all of these purposes. Each spring, the Office of Admissions releases updated information about the required computer standards to the incoming class.
Are students able to print at the medical school? Yes, there are high-speed printers in the library commons that students may use to print. Each student has an annual print allowance.
Since the books are purchased as electronic textbooks, are there options for using traditional textbooks? Yes, the library has several copies of each textbook that students may borrow.
Why isn’t there a 3-month break between the first-year and second-year like some medical schools? Our curriculum is, by design, decompressed, which means you won’t have a long summer break between the first and second year. We took that time and broke it into one-week increments that are spread throughout the first two years of medical school. This approach is typical of many medical schools that have updated their curriculum. These one-week breaks can be used for vacation, electives, or, if needed, to catch up on the required material. These early electives are designed to let you explore, and include a range of options from oncology, to rural health, massage therapy, research, forensic pathology, and everything in between.
What type of preparation is provided for the USMLE exams? A goal of the medical school is having all students pass the USMLE exams on the first attempt. Passing USMLE Step 1, and Step 2 CK and CS are required for graduation. Throughout the curriculum, you will have a variety of preparation for the USMLE exams including:
- The faculty align course content with NBME questions.
- Students take three interval summative assessments using NBME questions during Foundations of Medicine, providing individual feedback on strengths and needs using actual NBME questions.
- Students take the NBME Comprehensive Basic Science Examination at the end of Foundations of Medicine. This is a mock USMLE Step 1 examination that identifies specific gaps to work on during the third year.
- Each of the six third-year clerkships includes unique integrative experiences during the preparatory and assessment weeks that reinforce basic science principles.
- Students take the NBME Comprehensive Basic Science Examination again at the end of the third year to confirm readiness for USMLE Step 1.
- The USMLE Examination and Preparation course provides final preparation immediately prior to taking the USMLE Step 1 examination.
Taking the USMLE Step 1 examination in April provides more than sufficient time for return of scores to be incorporated in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), which is part of the application to residencies that is completed by October 1. We expect that students will take USMLE Step 2 CK and CS before October 1 as well, so that these scores also can be included in the MSPE.
As a WMed graduate, where will I complete my residency training? Our graduates will be prepared to excel in any chosen specialty field and competitive for residency training at outstanding medical schools and hospitals across the US. We anticipate that some of our graduates will choose to stay here in southwest Michigan at WMed for residency training. Our inaugural class will match in 2018, and our match list will be available at that time.
CAMPUS INTERVIEW DAY FAQs
When do you conduct campus interviews, and on which days? Interviews are conducted from September through March on selected Fridays. It is to your advantage to complete your AMCAS and supplemental applications early as interviews are granted on a rolling basis as applicants complete their applications. Campus interviews are by invitation only.
What happens during the interview day? Throughout the day, applicants have the opportunity to:
- Meet current WMed students.
- Meet faculty and Founding Dean Dr. Hal Jenson.
- Learn more about the WMed curriculum, simulation experiences, student life, and financial aid.
Our interview day begins in the morning and wraps up mid-afternoon. Click here to learn more about the day and for travel suggestions.
What kinds of interviews are conducted? Our interviews include both structured interviews and a traditional one-on-one interview. During the structured interviews, applicants respond to short questions that provide multiple samples of applicants' ability to think on their feet, critically appraise information, communicate their ideas, and demonstrate they have insights into some of the values and issues that are important to the medical profession. The one-on-one interview is an open-file personal interview. Click here to learn more about the campus interview.
I’m planning my visit to Kalamazoo. What suggestions do you have for travel? Our website includes information about air, train, and automobile travel to Kalamazoo, as well as hotel accommodations, including discounts provided to applicants. After confirming an interview date with the Office of Admissions, instructions about parking and other travel details are emailed to you. Click here for more information about travel suggestions.
STUDENT LIFE FAQs
Are there student organizations? Yes, the Office of Student Affairs helps coordinate various student organizations including AAMC Organization of Student Representatives (OSR), AMA Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS), American Medical Student Association (AMSA), National Student Medical Association (NSMA), American Women's Association (AMWA), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The Student Council represents all medical students, communicating the needs and opinions of the student body to faculty and administration.
Is there a mentor/advisor system? Yes. Students across all four years are organized into four learning communities, which allows each student to be a part of a smaller, more intimate group. Three faculty advisors guide each learning community. These communities provide opportunities to work together on projects, become an avenue for communication, provide educational and personal support, and form collaborative partnerships for community participation. Individual mentors are designated for each medical student near the beginning of the second year. A Big Sibling/Little Sibling program also has been designed to pair incoming students with second year WMed students to help acclimate to medical school.
What are the WMed policies on medical student accommodations? The medical school requires that all students have abilities in the five areas as defined by the recommendations of the AAMC Special Advisory Panel on Technical Standards for Medical School Admissions, approved by the AAMC Executive Council on January 18, 1979. Students may apply for accommodations after acceptance to the medical school. Click here for more information about the Essential Abilities.
How important is student professionalism at WMed? Professionalism is an essential part of being a physician—and a medical student. Acting with integrity and professionalism is one of the core values of the medical school. Professionalism is one of the eight domains of the medical school curriculum and is continuously evaluated. Applicants need to review the following information related to professionalism at WMed:
- Code of Professional Conduct – describes the expectations for conduct of our students, faculty, and staff.
- Educational Pledge – states the expectations of our students, faculty, and staff to contribute to a positive learning environment.
- Medical Student Handbook – serves as the medical student bylaws, course catalog, and reference guide to the roles and responsibilities of medical students.
We are seeking students who are willing and able to abide by these high professional standards. If you accept an offer of admission to WMed, you must attest to your willingness to abide by the Code of Professional Conduct, Educational Pledge, and Medical Student Handbook.
Do students have time and advance notice to plan travel and trips back home? We know that balancing medical school and personal life is important. A detailed curriculum map is available for each incoming class that shows vacation periods for all four years. During the first 21 months of the program, students have seven fixed weeks and six flexible weeks of vacation. There are six fixed weeks of vacation in the third year, and ten flexible weeks of vacation in the fourth year.
Do students need cars? Yes, a car is necessary during all four years. The curriculum involves experiences at various clinical sites beginning early in the first year. Most of the clinical experiences are within a couple of miles of the downtown W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus including the School of Medicine clinics on the Oakland Drive Campus, Borgess Medical Center, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo Family Health Center, and CentraCare. Some researchers are based at the Innovation Center on the Parkview Campus of WMU (5 miles or 13 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo). Some students will have occasional clinical experiences at sites outside of Kalamazoo including Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, and the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, Michigan (18 miles or 30 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo), and the Wyoming VA Health Care Center in Wyoming, Michigan (46 miles or 45 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo).
Do students need to provide their own stethoscope? What about scrubs? All students receive a white coat, stethoscope, tuning fork, reflex hammer, and a set of scrubs to use in the anatomy lab. Donors from the medical school and community support these purchases. As part of the White Coat Ceremony, students meet the donor who has provided the funding for their white coat and equipment.
What is it like to live in Kalamazoo? With a population of more than 325,000, Kalamazoo is the sixth largest metropolitan area in Michigan and part of the 115th largest in the country, providing a perfect combination of big city energy and small town feel. The W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus is located in downtown Kalamazoo, which offers great dining, eclectic shops, galleries, and entertainment. A wide variety of outdoor activities, lakes, festivals, and attractions are available nearby. Click here to learn more about Downtown Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo is a great community to live in. There is ample rental housing available near the medical school in downtown Kalamazoo, an area that caters to young professionals. Apartments, lofts, and homes are available for rent within walking distance of downtown. The Kalamazoo-Portage area offers a wide variety of attractive rental and housing options for medical students.
When is the building open to students? The W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus in downtown Kalamazoo is open to students every day of the year except observed holidays. Regular building hours on business days are from 6 a.m. until midnight. On weekends, students have access to the building for studying from 10 a.m. until midnight.
Is parking available for students? Yes, the medical school offers parking for medical students for a modest monthly charge at a lot within walking distance from the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus. Parking is also provided for students while on clinical activities at the WMed Clinics, hospitals, and affiliated clinics.
Is there a fitness center available for students? Yes, there is a fitness center located on the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus that is available to students at no additional cost. The fitness center includes fitness machines and equipment, locker rooms with showers, and a studio that is available for a wide variety of fitness activities. WMed students also have the option to use the WMU Student Recreation Center for an annual fee of approximately $25 per month. The WMU Student Recreation Center is a $32 million facility that includes an aerobic room, eight full basketball courts, 45-foot indoor climbing wall, indoor cycling studio, fitness testing lab, two 4,500-square-foot multipurpose courts, nine racquetball courts, squash court, swirl pool, three indoor tennis courts, and an 8,000-square-foot weight room.
What is the medical school library like? The medical school library features individual and group study areas, reading spaces, access to workstations and printing, as well as a reference area for information consultations with a medical librarian. Library resources are available electronically from any location, both on‑campus and off‑campus. In addition, there are library facilities at each of the hospitals and WMU.
What security is provided for students who are studying in the building, especially in the evenings and on weekends? Student safety is a priority at WMed. Even though our sites are located in an overall safe environment, diligence is always wise. Access to the medical school building is controlled at all times. During business hours, greeters are present and screen individuals entering the building. Outside of business hours, all doors require an identification badge to enter, and a security guard is in the building from 5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. daily. Security guards make periodic rounds in the building on weekends during the day. Security personnel are available for students who wish to be escorted to and from their car after dusk, whether at the medical school parking lot or parked on adjacent streets (Portage, Lovell, and South Streets) as well as the WMed Clinics, hospitals, and affiliated clinical sites. Emergency poles on the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus are located at the north and south entrance, in the courtyard, and by the medical student parking lot on John Street.