can I apply to just one school?


Very briefly, I am married with 3 kids, 13, 9 and 5. I have dreamed of going to med school most of my life. I am finally, at 44 years old, ready to undertake such a monumental journey. BUT… because I do have 3 kids and a spouse, I really need to stay close to home. Our town has a great med school and residency program I’m interested in. If I kicked butt in class, keeping my 4.0, and scored high on my MCAT, what are the chances I’d get in to the one school I’d be applying to? Do they take into consideration my 10 years as a respiratory therapist?

Thanks!! Wish me luck!

It’s a very difficult decision with a family. We’ve had a few OPMers in that situation, so perhaps they will chime in.

It’s certainly not impossible to apply to and only be accepted to one school. Being local may or may not help you out. If a dean of admissions or an admissions advisor will meet with you, though, it would be well worth your while to get some input from them about how competitive of a candidate you are and if there is anything you can do to improve your application.

Good luck!


I don’t know if you saw it online but this is off the admissions section “Applicants to The University of Arizona College of Medicine who wish to be considered must be U.S. citizens (or have permanent resident visas) and must be residents of Arizona or WICHE applicants from Montana or Wyoming” I don’t how much that factors in to the one school option but it is a definite plus! I am here in AZ also and only want to attend U of A. Since they partner with ASU now - my alma mater- it would be ‘almost’ acceptable to go there. I have teens who will still be in school when I plan to start (Fall 2010). There is also at least one OM school here in AZ, if that is an option for you. There may be more but I am not sure.

Also, if you get everything together early, you can apply Early Decision if the school offers that option. They have to review your file in a timely manner. It would show them you are intent on going to that school. The thing is, if you don’t get in, you’d be behind in the cycle if/when applying to other schools.

I hope it works out. I want to stay in a general area, so I won’t be applying to too many schools. It’s a gamble, but, sometimes, you just have to take it.

I agree with trying for early decision. Try it, You have a shot with such good stats, did you do the Volunteering? Shadowing is also a good thing, Resp Tech is good for Patient contact.

If you have these things along with good stats I think you have a fair chance.

As a parent of a tween, I certainly understand why you’d want to stay put in one place. I agree with the advice about meeting with the Dean or advisor at that school (although these things are best done in the “off” season) is a good idea. Good luck!

The one problem with early decision that I learned about at this week’s conference is they do not have to give you an answer until October. If you are not accepted, that would make your application VERY late for other schools.

In a word - sure you can. It is not essential to apply to 30 schools in the hope of getting into one of them. Many schools have as their mission statement something to the effect of wanting to train physicians for the local market. I don’t know if that is true of your locl school or not.

I did sort of the same thing, Limiting my appliction to 2 schools in fairly close proximity to home. With a bit of luck and a fortuitous blizzard it worked.

Steve Y.

Just wanted to give you some encouragement. I am married with two teenage kids (12 and 15). I have been an RN for 9 years. I decided to go to medical school and was faced with the same considerations. My husband was military for 12 years so we moved alot when the kids were young and we wanted them to be able to settle down for the high school years that are coming. Okay, to the point. We picked a city before we got out of the military that was kinda rural, but was close to a medical school and a level I trauma where I could work til I was done with the pre-reqs that I didnt have to do in nursing school.

I start medical school in three weeks. I kept a decent GPA (not 4.0) and scored fairly well on my MCAT’s. I had volunteer work…non-medical…as you know alot of volunteer hours end up being as a soccer mom…or something of the nature related to the kids.

I knew that we didnt want to move again…I only applied to the school here where we live. I did the early decision program. Basically, you agree to only apply to one school and agree to accept the offer if they give it to you. If they terminate your app you are free to apply to other schools though you would be a little behind the curve in the app process compared to other people that had thier apps in early. One of the other +'s of the early decision program is that they give you a decision ealrier in the app cycle then they do to the regular applicants.

Anyway, hope this helps a little. If you got more questions you can email me at