acronyms and abbreviations list

Hi -

I’m having some difficulties with all the abbreviations. Does anyone know of a common definitions list here on OPM or on the net?



Neil, not right off the top of my head, but if you want to ask them on here, we’d be happy to help.

TWA: Three-word acronyms. :wink:

Well here’s a few off the top of my head, totally random firings from a very tired brain and no, I am not going to put them in alphabetical order. It’s just what occurs to me.

MCAT = Medical College Admissions Test

URM = Under-Represented Minority

AdCom = Admissions Committee

UGPA = Undergrad GPA

BCPM = Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics

AO = All Other (on the AMCAS, you’ll see calculations for your BCPM GPA, your AO GPA, and your overall GPA)

AMCAS = American Medical College Admissions Service (or something like that, the clearinghouse through which applications to MOST allopathic schools go)

AACOMAS = um, the Osteopathic equivalent of AMCAS, I dunno what it stands for though

USMLE = United States Medical Licensing (Licensure?) Exam; Step 1 generally taken after 2d year of med school; Step 2 taken after third year to around graduation from med school; Step 3 taken during intern year or later

COMLEX = the DO equivalent of USMLE, hopefully one of our DOs can spell it out

DEA = Drug Enforcement Administration, and once you’ve got an unrestricted license you’ll get a number from the DEA, so yes, this is a relevant acronym

USUHS = Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences, or something like that - the med school for military folks

HPSP = Health Professions Scholarship Program, for those intending to enter the military after med school.

It’s not quite a precise analogy, but I think of USUHS as the equivalent of the service academies for undergrads, and HPSP like ROTC at other schools.

OPM = OldPreMeds

SDN = Student Doctor Network (

I think we’ve done this at least once before; as I recall it devolved into some fun, silly stuff. Let the acronym-flinging begin!


killing time until the office server comes back up so I can finish working for the day…

on the MCAT, the subtests are:

VR = Verbal Reasoning

WS = what s**t, oops, I mean, Writing Sample

BS = no, silly, Behavioral Science

PS = Physical Science

GFY = rejection letter