Managing Acceptance To Medical Schools & Traffic Rules

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have each adopted policies and procedures that govern how an applicant handles acceptances.  These policies are commonly referred to as “Traffic Rules" and you should understand and follow them. The AAMC and AACOM have different traffic rules so you may need to review both (see the links at the end).

After you have interviewed at a medical school you may receive one of several notifications.  You could be accepted, rejected, waitlisted (or placed on an alternate list) or given deferred action status.  A deferred status simply means they have not decided; this is usually considered a neutral outcome.  If you are accepted, the medical school will ask you to indicate if you will continue to hold a seat (or withdraw).  A small deposit may be required.  

For AAMC schools, you can hold more than one acceptance, continue to interview with other medical schools, and remain on alternate/waitlists up until April 30.   However, if you do receive more than one acceptance and know that you will not be attending a school, you should withdraw from that school in fairness to other applicants. 

February 19, 2019:  On this date, the AAMC will open the AMCAS Choose Your Medical School Tool.  If you are holding one or more acceptance offers, you can now indicate the school you currently plan to attend.  You are not required to select a school at this time, and your selection of a school is not binding. You may continue to hold multiple acceptances and/or remain on alternate/waitlists, and continue to interview.  If you indicate Plan to Enroll for a school and you are subsequently accepted at another school you would prefer, you can change your selection.  Medical schools will be able to see the number of applicants selecting their school and other schools, but will not see your personal information.

April 15, 2019:   On or by April 15, the AAMC asks you to narrow your acceptances to three schools or less, and withdraw acceptances from any others.  You can remain on alternate/waitlists.   

April 30, 2019:  On or by April 30, the AMMC asks you to narrow your acceptance to one school.  At this point you can indicate one of two choices for this single school:

a) If you are not ready to make a final commitment to a single school on April 30th, you list your preferred school as “Plan to Enroll.”  This allows you to stay on alternate/waitlists.  This will not prevent you from choosing “Commit to Enroll” at a later date.

b) On April 30th “Commit to Enroll” will become an option in the tool.  If and/or when you have no other schools pending and you can choose one school to matriculate to, then enter this school as "Commit to Enroll."  Your "Commit to Enroll" school is a final decision, it is your commitment to matriculate to only that school, and it indicates that you have withdrawn your application from any other school where you were accepted or were on an alternate/wait list.  The Commit to Enroll does not notify schools; you need to contact every school personally to withdraw an acceptance or alternate/waitlist offer.

Note that while the AAMC has set the above deadlines, medical schools may set their own policies and deadlines and can request that you indicate a "Commit to Enroll" at their school anytime after April 30.  You need to honor school-specific deadlines.

Since the AMCAS Choose Your Medical School Tool is new, this is an evolving process and we strongly encourage you to regularly check communication and updates from AAMC & AMCAS throughout the cycle.  

 

For more information see:

AAMC Traffic Rules: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/application-and-acceptance-protocols-admission-off/

AMCAS Choose Your Medical School Tool: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/amcas-choosing-your-medical-school-tool/

AACOM Traffic Rules: https://www.aacom.org/become-a-doctor/applying/traffic-guidelines