Medical Education Development (MED) Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the MED program?
The MED program is a demanding academic preparatory program for disadvantaged students with an intensive curriculum that mimics the first year of medical and dental school. The program enhances your studying and testing skills and strengthens your sciences to prepare you adequately to begin medical or dental school. Participants take courses in Biochemistry, Gross Anatomy, Histology, Microbiology, MCAT/DAT Prep and Dental Theory (if applicable). Only students interested in dentistry take the Dental Theory component. Your performance in MED is a good indicator of your potential for success in these fields of study.
How long is the program and when/where is the program held?
The program lasts for eleven (11) weeks and will run next year from May 14, 2014 through July 26, 2014 [tentative dates]. It is held on the campus of UNC - Chapel Hill at the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
What is the typical daily schedule?
Classes and professional sessions are scheduled Monday-Friday 8:00 - 5:00 pm daily with study review sessions on Saturday. Participants are in class for the full time most days. The Dental Theory course is usually held in the evenings during the first two weeks of the program. A typical weekly schedule would resemble the following: (Note: Not a final schedule)
8:00-9:30am Quiz #1 Biochemistry & Microbiology
9:30-10:00am Quiz Feedback
2:30-4:00pm Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Seminar
4:00-6:00pm Simulation Course
3:00-5:00pm Dental Theory
2:45-4:45 Biochemistry Small Groups
6:00-8:30pm MCAT/DAT Course Princeton Review
2:30-4:00pm Professionalism Seminar
5:00-6:00pm Dental Theory
1:00-5:00pm Clinical Shadowing Experience
9:00-11:30am MCAT/DAT Course Princeton Review
1:00-5:00pm Quiz Review
Can you miss any days of MED?
Students accepted into the MED Program are expected to be present for the full duration of the program. Absences are excused in the event of personal illness or extenuating circumstances. However, extended absence from the program will hinder performance as the program is rigorous and has weekly examinations without time for making up missed work.
How many people apply each year?
Over 300 applications are completed each year.
How many people are chosen each year?
The program accepts 80 applicants in total. Sixty (60) applicants are accepted for the medical component and twenty (20) for the dental component.
When are selections made?
When applicants should expect notification about the status of their application will be TBD.
Is there a waitlist?
Are there interviews?
Random interviews will be conducted throughout the application process. A sample group of applicants will be interviewed.
What is the amount of the stipend?
The amount of the non-taxable stipend is ~$2400, which is distributed in three installments of $800 at 21 day intervals. These funds are intended to help subsidize the cost of meals, transportation and general living expenses. Housing and other program materials are provided by the MED.
Are accommodations provided?
The program pays for participant housing in an on-campus dormitory. Participants must bring all personal items. Furniture is provided in the dormitory (bed, dresser, and desk included).
APPLYING TO THE MED PROGRAM
Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must have completed at least three years of college course work including Organic Chemistry (Part 1) and possess a strong background in the major biological and physical sciences that are preparation for medical and dental school. Criteria for selection are based on a number of factors, including educational promise, a strong commitment to a health career, and lack of past opportunities. You must be considered disadvantaged in some way to be eligible. Refer to question below regarding disadvantaged status for clarification. The program is typically for rising seniors in undergraduate school and post-graduates. There is no age limit and you do not have to currently be enrolled in school. As long as you fulfill the requirements of the program, your application will be considered with the same consideration as other applicants.
What is the definition of disadvantaged, in terms of being eligible for the MED Program?
The definition for disadvantaged status is any student who is considered educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged within the USA. Examples of each are as follows:
Education: Attending schools that are considered disadvantaged in ranking or are located in underserved areas of the state (such as Eastern & Western NC)
Economic: Low family income and individual income
Social: A member of certain disadvantaged groups that are considered underrepresented in the medical/dental professions, such as African-American, American Indian, Hispanic or Pacific Islander. Non-traditional students, such as older applicants may also be considered.
Can out-of-state applicants apply?
Yes, non-North Carolina residents are encouraged to apply. Each summer approximately one-third of the participants are from other states.
Are international/foreign students eligible?
If your status is US citizen or permanent resident alien, you are eligible. If you only have a Student Visa, then you are not eligible for the program.
Are current medical/dental applicants eligible?
Yes, students currently applying to medical and dental schools are able to apply. If you have completed the AMCAS or the AADSAS application and applied to either UNC School of Medicine or Dentistry, you should request to have your application sent to our program by drafting a letter for the Admissions Office requesting release of your application, including letters of recommendation and transcripts to our program. You will still need to complete the online MED application and submit financial information by the deadline.
What if I am a reapplicant to the MED program?
Reapplicants are eligible to apply. Reapplicants should contact the office and ask that their previous year’s application be added to the current year application. From your previous application, your picture, essay, transcript and letters of recommendation can be used for the current year’s application. However, reapplicants must still complete and submit the following items:
1. Current MED Application
2. Financial Information
3. Any NEW information (updated transcripts, essay, etc)
COMPLETING THE APPLICATION
When do applications become available?
October 1st, 2013
Where are applications available?
What is the deadline for submission of the application and supplemental materials?
All items (online application, transcripts, etc.) should be submitted and received by Friday, January 24, 2014 at 5pm.
What if I cannot open the online application?
Try cleaning out your cache of websites and then try to log in to our system. When your cache of internet sites is full, our system does not work too well. You may also encounter problems with one browser and may need to switch to a different browser. If you are still unable to log in, please contact our office.
What is the applicant ID and is it important?
The applicant ID is your unique number. You should remember this number as information about your application is posted using this number. This ID should also be placed on all information and documentation submitted on your behalf.
What if I forget my applicant ID, username and/or password?
Contact the MED office at (919) 966-7673 and we can give you this information. However, you should make all efforts to keep a copy of your applicant ID, username, and password as you will need it every time you log into the application.
Can I leave items blank on the application?
No. All fields in the entire application should be completed. If a certain question does not pertain to you, simply put N/A, but do not leave the item blank.
How do I indicate that I am still enrolled at an institution?
Under the end date for that institution, place the date 5/2014.
What SAT, MCAT, DAT, GRE scores should I list?
You should list the highest score in each section of each test that you have taken, even if the scores are from tests taken at different times. You list scores for all tests that you have taken, no matter how long ago the tests were taken. Official copies of test results are NOT required.
What type of photograph should I upload?
The photograph should only be a headshot of only you, and professional. Passport style photographs are the most professional and best suited for this type of application.
Does ownership of a laptop affect admission into the program?
No, not in any way. The questions about your computer are to assess the number of additional computers that will need to be available since many of the components of MED are electronic-based.
What is the minimum overall GPA? 2.75
What is the minimum science GPA required? 2.75
What courses should be included in the science GPA?
ALL Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics courses should be included. This includes courses in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Genetics, Physics, and Mathematics. Courses in Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, etc should not be included. Courses should also be included that were taken at other institutions and during postgraduate work.
How do I calculate my science GPA?
Tally all your math and sciences courses to determine an average. We will do the official calculations for our purposes.
What are the Organic Chemistry requirements?
Our program requires two levels of Organic Chemistry because students are at a disadvantage in the Biochemistry course if they have not successfully completed both sessions when doing our program. This requirement can be met in the following ways:
*Successfully passed Organic Chemistry I and currently enrolled in Organic Chemistry II or Biochemistry during the semester prior to MED
What does it mean to have a “strong background in the physical sciences”?
This means you have taken and successfully completed several courses in the biological and physical sciences.
What if there is not enough space on the application to list all of my science courses?
You can submit an additional list to our office, but this is not required or necessary, as all of your courses are listed on your transcript(s).
What does it mean to explain grade discrepancies?
In this section, you should explain any poor performance in courses, repeated courses, course withdrawals, etc.
Supplemental Materials (Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation, Financial Information, Criminal Background Check)
Where should I send supplemental materials? Send all supplemental materials to:
Please remember to include your name and applicant ID on ALL materials submitted to the program.
Which transcripts should be submitted?
Official transcripts only, sent directly from the registrar’s office at your institution, or by you in a signed sealed envelope from ALL institutions that you have ever attended to be sent to our office. This includes summer session courses and bi-institutional programs, such as the Robertson Scholar’s Program.
Should I send a transcript if the courses were transferred to my primary institution?
Yes. Even if you received transfer credit for courses taken at an institution, you still need to send an official transcript from the other institution. Grades and credit hours for transferred courses do not routinely appear on primary institution transcripts.
What is the deadline for transcripts?
All transcripts should be received by the application deadline date of Friday, January 24, 2014. Please realize that it can take weeks for registrars to process transcript requests, so please allow sufficient time to meet the deadline.
What if the transcript cannot be postmarked by January 24th?
You should contact the MED program by telephone or email to inform us. Then you should submit unofficial copies the transcript(s) by January 24th. Please note that official transcripts are still required and should be submitted (by mail) as soon as possible.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Your letters of recommendation should be from two science or math professors who know you academically/professionally, who are able to speak on your academic standing and your ability/suitability to pursue a degree in Medicine and Dentistry. The best letters of recommendation are personal, and thus should come from people who you know well and that know you well. A third letter from a non-academic person can also be submitted for additional support.
What format should they submit the letters of recommendation?
A standard formal letter is appropriate. It can be addressed to the “MED Program Admissions Committee.” The letter should be in a signed and sealed envelope and sent to the MED Office (see address above). Please make efforts to ensure that your letters are received by the application deadlines.
What financial documentation should I submit?
The only acceptable forms of financial documentation are the Student Aid Report (SAR) compiled from your most current FAFSA application or IRS Tax Forms (not W-2 Forms). You should submit the most current financial documentation available.
- If you are an undergraduate/graduate student, who is claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of the most current year SAR and/or your parents/guardian tax forms (not W-2s)
- If you are an undergraduate/graduate student, who is not claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of the most current year SAR.
- If you not currently an undergraduate/graduate student and are working, who is not claimed by their parents/guardian, then submit a copy of your most current year IRS Income Tax Return forms (not W-2s).
What is the most current year financial information?
In order to most accurately assess economic disadvantaged status, the most current available financial information should be submitted. For example, if you are applying for the MED program for the summer of 2014, then the 2012-13 or 2013-14 SAR or 2012 or 2013 Tax Forms would be acceptable.
How do I know if I am independent or dependent?
You are considered independent if you were not or will not be claimed on anyone’s taxes. You are considered dependent if you were or will be claimed on another’s taxes.
What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
The SAR is a summary of the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA applications are available online at www.fafsa.gov are used to assess financial need. Do not send a copy of the FAFSA. Several days after submitting your FAFSA, you will be able to access a SAR, which should be mailed to our office.
What if I do not fill out the FAFSA?
If you are no longer in school, a copy of your 2012 or 2013 Income Tax Return will suffice for our records. If you are claimed as a dependent on your parent(s) taxes, you must also submit a copy of their income tax returns for 2012 or 2013.
Can I just indicate on my FAFSA that I want it to be sent to UNC-CH?
No. The Office of Special Programs is a distinct office separate from the Undergraduate campus. Therefore, we will not receive documents sent to UNC-CH. Please mail the SAR directly to our office.
CHECKING STATUS OF RECEIVED MATERIALS
How do I check the status of received materials?
Our office staff will contact you if any materials are missing from your file as the application deadline nears.