Becoming a Successful Applicant


3 students at a GeorgeHack event


In addition to academic achievement and entrance exam scores, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and health profession programs look for core competencies among applicants.

You must also have a thorough understanding of the health profession to be a successful applicant. Gaining hands-on healthcare experience is crucial to test your assumptions about the medical field.


Gain the Experience You Need



Boost Your Application



Core Competencies for Applicants

These 15 core competencies have been endorsed by the AAMC Group on Student Affairs Committee on Admissions to indicate a student's preparedness for medical school. Developing these characteristics takes time and effort. Students should explore campus and community involvement opportunities to gain valuable leadership and interpersonal experiences. Explore your interests — not all of your activities need to be health-related!



  • Service orientation
  • Social skills
  • Cultural competence
  • Teamwork
  • Oral communication



  • Ethical responsibility to self and others
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Capacity for improvement


Thinking & Reasoning

  • Critical thinking
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Scientific inquiry
  • Written communication



  • Living systems
  • Human behavior


View AAMC's Anatomy of an Applicant





Applying to the Right Medical Schools for You



How to Present Yourself as a Strong Applicant