In order to get into medical school, you have to make yourself a competitive applicant. Aside from having a good GPA, this means doing lots of extracurricular activities and having solid letters of recommendation.
You may be wondering, what do medical schools actually verify on your application? Will they notice if I add an extra 50 hours to my volunteer activities?
Let me start off by saying, it’s never good to lie. Especially on your med school application.
But if you’re still curious, in this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about what med schools verify on your application.
Do Medical Schools Ever Contact Your Activities Or Verify Hours?
Alright, let’s get right to it. Are people at the med school admissions office getting on the phone and calling volunteer organizations and physicians to verify your hours?
Yes and no. For the most part, med schools are not going to have the time to call every activity you listed on your application. However, if there is a particularly significant activity, they might.
The key here is that med schools are going to be purposeful when it comes to physically/virtually contacting people. There are a ton of applications to go through and only a finite number of people are able to reach out.
And even if they do reach out to an old employer or a physician you shadowed, there is a pretty big chance that person won’t answer anyway.
But, as I mentioned earlier, if it’s a significant activity there is a good chance they will verify the activity. What do I mean by a significant activity? Here are some examples:
- A very large number of hours (we are talking in the 1000s)
- An activity that results in a publication (these are easy to verify because usually they can do it online)
- Or something that is not typical for a student (like being a police officer)
Do Med Schools Verify Shadowing?
Usually no. This is because shadowing is very difficult to verify. In order for a med school to verify your shadowing hours, they will have to actually get the physician you shadowed on the phone.
This alone is tough because most doctors are very busy and won’t take random phone calls.
In addition to this, most doctors won’t remember how many hours you shadowed them. The only chance of you getting caught in a lie here is if you fabricated a ridiculous amount of hours.
Does AMCAS Actually Contact Work Activities?
The AMCAS does not verify your work activities.
In fact, AMCAS is not responsible for verifying any work activities, shadowing hours, research experience, or other extracurricular activities. All of this is done by individual med schools.
That means that every med school is going to have its own policies for verifying activities. Some might not do it at all, some might only do it for interviewees, and others might have a different policy altogether.
Do Medical Schools Call Your Employer?
This is going to depend a lot on the type of employment. Most of the time, no medical school is not going to call your employer.
But for medically related employment jobs, especially ones that are not common for premed students, they might.
It all depends on the school and whether or not they think it’s necessary for your application.
Do Med Schools Verify Volunteer Hours?
Volunteer hours are very rarely verified by med schools. This is due to the fact that most volunteer organizations don’t keep track of hours on their own.
Plus, you aren’t listing any direct phone numbers. A med school would have to find the organization, find the right contact there, and see if they remember you.
But again, if the volunteer activity is especially unique or borderline unbelievable, they probably will try to verify it.
Do Med Schools Verify Research Work?
Research work is much easier for med schools to verify and this is because there tends to be a lot of documentation in these types of roles.
The most common is publications.
Usually, if you are working with a researcher, you are trying to get your name on a publication. This is easily verified online.
Even if you are not published, chances are you did some sort of research report. These kinds of reports make it really easy for med schools to see if you were BSing or not.
Do Medical Schools Verify Letters Of Recommendation?
The process of getting your letter of recommendation from the writer to a med school is very tight. Therefore, med schools don’t have to verify letters of recommendation.
Your letter has to be submitted by the letter writer directly to AMCAS/AACOMAS or through the 3rd party Interfolio.
Therefore, it’s almost impossible to fabricate a letter of recommendation.
Do medical schools contact your references?
Will med schools contact your references from your letters of recommendation? No. Very unlikely.
The only reason for them to contact your references would be some extraordinary scenario. Such as the letter writer commenting on something crazy you accomplished.
Do Medical Schools Verify Transcripts?
Medical schools don’t verify your transcripts because the AMCAS and AACOMAS already do. You have to submit official transcripts to the AMCAS through your school.
Therefore, there is no way for you to falsify your transcripts records.
Can Med Schools Verify Future Hours That You Put On Your Application?
On your med school applications, you are going to put in extracurriculars that you are currently doing and expect to continue doing throughout the year while your application is being reviewed.
Obviously, you can’t confirm these hours so you’ll have to give your best guess.
A lot can change during the year, so it’s not considered lying if you don’t complete those hours.
However, if you get called for an interview, the med school is most likely going to ask about your ongoing activities and compare them to what you entered on your application.
If you are way off your mark, you’ll need to justify that during the interview. Be honest and explain why you didn’t continue doing that activity.
During the interview with the med school, I was ultimately accepted into, there was a dedicated interviewer around the topic of ongoing activities. They basically gave me a list of things I said I was going to do and asked if I did them. Then they asked what else I did.
Your Med School Interview Is A Verification Process
Even if the med schools you apply to don’t call around your extracurricular activity contacts, your interview is like a verification process.
If you are lying about the activities you have listed, it will show in your interview. Med school interviewers are masters at the art of detecting BS.
If you claim to have 2000 hours of scribing but you actually only have 100, your lack of experience will come out.
Again, don’t lie on your med school application. It’s a terrible idea.
What Happens If You Get Caught Lying?
If you get caught lying, this will end very badly for you. You will be blacklisted from the school you applied to.
Plus, people in the med school community talk. Chances are your name will get circulated around.
And by the way, you aren’t safe just because you get accepted into a med school. If your lie surfaces later on, you can still be rejected and even kicked out of med school.
I can’t stress it enough, don’t lie on your med school application.