MD: Admissions Policies

Advanced Standing Transfers Policy for Medical Students

Background

LCME Standard 10.7 calls upon accredited schools to ensure that any student accepted for transfer demonstrates characteristics comparable to the other students in the class that they will join. Further, the school must accept transfers into the final year only in rare and extraordinary circumstances. Washington University School of Medicine has historically offered a third-year advanced standing (transfer) program that conformed to the LCME standard. Curricular reform has led us to re-examine this policy.

Unlike the Legacy curriculum, which had a 2+2 structure that mapped readily onto other schools’ curricula, the Gateway Curriculum is both unique and integrated. A transfer student would not have an experience substantially equivalent to that of their classmates. Designing custom alternative programs for each transfer student would be impractical and contrary to the program’s philosophy. The Gateway Curriculum involves continuous benchmarking of progress against competencies and program objectives. A transfer student would not have this continuous benchmarking. It is therefore not possible to offer transfers into the Gateway Curriculum.

Policies/Requirement

Washington University School of Medicine does not accept advanced standing (transfer) students from other medical schools.

Guidelines

It is not possible to transfer into the MD degree program at Washington University, either as an MD-only candidate or as an MD-PhD. This policy does not preclude Washington University medical students from transferring internally into the Medical Scientist Training Program.

The Washington University School of Medicine Advanced Standing Transfers Policy for Medical Students was last approved by the Academic Affairs Committee on May 13, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Academic Affairs Committee.


Policy on the Final Authority of the Committee on Admissions

Background

LCME Element 10.2 requires that the “final responsibility for accepting medical students” rest with a formally constituted admission committee, with specified authority, composition, and rules of operation.  

Policy

The Committee on Admissions (COA) has final authority for determining the acceptance of all candidates for the MD degree at Washington University School of Medicine. The COA is assembled by the Associate Dean for Admissions and is drawn from the faculty and staff of the School of Medicine, with the majority drawn from the full-time faculty.

Final decisions for the acceptance of an applicant during the regular season (prior to May 1) are made by the Steering Committee, a committee of the whole at which all COA members have seat, voice, and vote. Five voting COA members must be present at Steering, and the majority of voting members present must be members of the faculty for a quorum to be reached at Steering. After May 1, during the waitlist phase, final decisions are made by the Leadership Subcommittee on behalf of the COA. 

The selection of individual medical students is not influenced by political or financial factors, in accordance with our policies on external factors and conflicts of interest.

The Policy on the Final Authority of the Committee on Admissions was last approved by the Academic Affairs Committee on August 12, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Academic Affairs Committee.


Policy on the Selection of Students

Background

LCME Element 10.3 calls upon the faculty to establish criteria for student selection and to develop and implement effective policies and procedures regarding medical student application, selection, and admission and to make available to all interested parties its criteria, standards, policies, and procedures.

Policy

The selection process that has been developed by the Committee on Admissions identifies applicants whose life experiences, personal attributes, academic achievement, and career goals align with the mission and vision of WUSM and the guiding principles of the Gateway Curriculum. The purpose is to identify candidates who will contribute to the medical profession and who are most likely to enrich and benefit from our learning environment. Our process follows the AAMC principles of holistic review. Furthermore, the AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students are the overall dimensions on which students are evaluated. All of the committee’s rubrics and forms have been linked to these Core Competencies.

The Policy on the Selection of Students was last approved by the Academic Affairs Committee on August 12, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Academic Affairs Committee.


Policy on External Factors

Background

LCME Element 10.2 requires that the final responsibility for selecting medical students must reside with a formally constituted faculty committee and that the selection of individual medical students for admission is not influenced by any political or financial factors. This policy, together with the Policy on the Final Authority of the Admission Committee, is intended to clarify the role that external factors may play.

Policy

Persons or groups external to the Committee on Admissions may assist with the identification of applicants, but they do not have decision-making authority. The selection of individual students at WUSM must not be influenced by factors exogenous to the admissions process, such as political or financial factors.

The Policy on External Factors was last approved by the Academic Affairs Committee on August 12, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Academic Affairs Committee.