MD
 

Program Description
 

PSMHS has a four-year medical curriculum. The primary goal of the MD Program is to provide quality medical education. A strong foundation in the Basic Sciences is stressed so that students can obtain the most from their training in the clinical sciences. About sixty five (65) students are admitted on a competitive basis to the freshmen class each year. It is mandatory that the students be fluent in both English and Spanish, (writing, reading, speaking and understanding) or their application will not be considered.

A five-year program is also available for students who need to proceed at a slower pace during the basic sciences.

All students are required to pass the USMLE Step1 before continuing the third year rotations. The USMLE Step 2 must be passed prior to graduation.

Tuition: (Subject to change with no prior notification)
First year Puerto Rico residents: $28,413.00, non-PR residents: $42,358.00.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (BS or BA)

Ordinarily, four years of undergraduate education are necessary to prepare for entrance into medical school; however, special programs (e.g., combined baccalaureate-M.D. programs) may allow this to be reduced. General education that includes the social sciences, history, arts, and languages is increasingly important for the development of physician competencies outside of the scientific knowledge domain. Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences strongly suggests that applicants apply with a BA/BS completed at a college level institution accredited by the Council of Education of PR or by a US accrediting organization. Candidates that have completed a bachelor’s degree will be given preference. Within the bachelor’s degree, all applicants are requested to have completed the pre-med courses to comply with the requisites of the Puerto Rico Medical Board of Physicians (“Junta de Licenciamiento y Disciplina Médica de Puerto Rico”) and six credits in mathematics. For these requisites, online courses are not accepted.s.

The courses required for admission are as follows (to be included in the bachelor’s degree):

Course Credits
General Biology I & II with Labs 8
General Chemistry I & II with Labs 8
Organic Chemistry I & II with Labs 8
Physics I & II with Labs 8
Mathematics 6
Behavioral and Social Sciences* 6
Spanish 12
English 12

 

* Any of the following: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Sciences, and/or Economics.

The English and Spanish requisites are direct language classes (grammar and/or literature). For the English requirement, classes from other departments described as “intensive writing” may be considered as substitute.

In addition to the above requirements, we strongly recommend course work in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Liberal Arts and/or Humanities.

  • Fully bilingual in English and Spanish (read, write, speak and understand)

  • Minimum GPA of 2.7 on a four-point scale (as calculated by AMCAS) is required for applying; our average is 3.5.

  • Minimum Science GPA of 2.7 on a four-point scale (as calculated by AMCAS) is required for applying; our average is 3.2.

  • The completion of a graduate degree in science or health allied field may be used to substitute the GPA and Science GPA of the bachelor’s degree.

  • Minimum MCAT score of 19 with no less than 5 in each part. Our average scores are: 21 for total score and 7 for each part (no more than three years prior to matriculation at PSMHS). If your score is less than 19 you must repeat the test.
     

 

 

Selection Criteria
 

When evaluating the applicants, the Admissions Committee selects the best of all candidates applying. PSMHS looks for students of integrity and maturity that show concern for others, leadership potential and a positive attitude for working with people. Preference will be given to local residents, but applicants from the US mainland are also invited to apply.

The Admissions Committee evaluates applications considering several factors which include:

1.            Academic performance

2.            MCAT scores

3.            Applicant’s essay

4.            Extracurricular activities

5.            Life experiences

6.            Experience in the health field (research, community work)

7.            Interviews

8.            Letters of recommendation

Accepted applicants that are still completing the degree, must successfully complete all courses in progress at the academic level they had been performing at the time of application.

 

How to Apply

PSMHS participates in the centralized application service provided by the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS), a division of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The electronic web-based application is available at:

www.aamc.org

The AMCAS application deadline is DECEMBER 15 of the year prior to the requested admission date. We do not use a secondary application but the following documents will be requested after the AMCAS application is received at the Admissions Office:

  • US$150 Application Processing Fee (Check or Money Order payable to Ponce School of Medicine), non-refundable.

  • Official Transcript (s) – An official copy must be sent directly to the Admissions Office. This is besides the one sent to AMCAS. If at the present time, the applicant is enrolled in classes that are necessary to complete the degree or prerequisites, a transcript must be sent once the courses or degree is completed.

  • Letters of Recommendation (a minimum of three, at least two from science professors, no format is required). The authors must forward the letters to AMCAS in one of the following ways:

    • AMCAS Letter Writer Application: This application enables authors to upload PDF versions of letters to AMCAS rather than send letters via the mail.

    • Interfolio or Virtual Evals (VE)

    • Regular Mail: The applicant must make sure the letter author has a copy of the AMCAS Letter Request Form, which includes the applicant’s AAMC ID and AMCAS Letter ID. The letter writer should include this form when sending the letter in order to guarantee it is correctly matched to the AMCAS application.

 

The letters should provide input from people in responsible positions who can comment on the applicant’s academic, employment or volunteer performance, advocacy experience, character and interests. For undergraduates, this often means professors, academic advisors or employers. Letters from people that really know the applicant, rather than from people who have impressive titles are the most valuable.

An AMCAS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (by Certiphi Screening, Inc.) will be conducted once the applicant is accepted. If a criminal record appears in the results of the background check, the acceptance will be revoked.

 

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  •  Written confirmation of acceptance and a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 to secure the seat in the entering class.

  • Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office)

  • Health Certificate from the Department of Health of PR

  • Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).

  • Policy on Technical Standards

  • Other documents will be notified as pertinent.

Registration, orientation period and commencement of classes take place in the second half of July.


Binary Programs


Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences has a combined baccalaureate-MD program in consortium with two private universities:

1.  Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico at Ponce (PUCPR) - The program with PUCPR includes two years of pre-medical courses at PUCPR and four years of medicine at PSMHS. You must contact their General Science Department at 787- 841-2000 for details.

2.  Interamerican University of PR at Ponce (UIA) - The program with UIA includes three years of pre-medical courses at UIA and four years of medicine at PSMHS. You must contact their Science Department at 787-284-1912 for details.

Each university is responsible for the selection of the candidates to participate.  They are selected among those who show outstanding performance in High School and College Board Exams.

For PSMHS, these candidates must comply with all requisites but are requested a minimum MCAT score of 20. Once the student meets all the admission requisites, will automatically be admitted to Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Applications are processed through AMCAS.

 

Advanced Standing (Transfer)
 

The MD Advanced Standing Committee will consider applications for transfer from other medical schools to the second or third year of the MD Program. Applicants must be in good academic standing. Students with academic or disciplinary sanctions will not be considered for transfer. Students seeking transfer from LCME accredited schools may be accepted to the level for which they are applying provided that their curriculum is equivalent to that of PSMHS.

The number of acceptances will always depend on the availability of vacant spaces. . Preference will be given to local residents.

Tuition: will be in accordance to the academic year to which the applicant will be enrolled in.

Advanced Standing Admission Requirements

  • Present evidence of a bachelor’s degree from a college level institution accredited by the PR Council of Education or by a US accrediting organization and comply with the following courses:

     

    Course Credits
    General Biology I + II with Labs 8
    General Chemistry I + II w Labs 8
    Organic Chemistry I + II w Labs 8
    Physics I + II with Labs 8
    Mathematics 6
    Behavioral and Social Sciences* 6
    Spanish 12
    English 12

* Any of the following: Psychology, Sociology, Political Sciences, Economics, or Anthropology
 

  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher (on a four-point scale)

  • Fully bilingual in English and Spanish (read, write, speak and understand)

  • Have taken the MCAT

  • Be a bona fide student in good standing at his/her Medical School

  • Have completed courses in medical school equivalent to PSMHS's curriculum prior to the year for which admission is requested.

  • USMLE Step 1- approved preferably on the first attempt (to apply for admission to the third year)

  • The student must submit the following:

o   Official transcript from all institutions attended (undergraduate and graduate)

o   Official transcript from the medical school from which the candidate is seeking transfer

o   Letter of good standing from the dean of the medical school

o   Submit two letters of recommendation from professors, academic advisors or clinical supervisors from the medical school which the student is attending, who can comment on his/her academic performance, character and interests.

o   Letter explaining the reason(s) for seeking transfer to PSMHS

o   Certificate of No Penal Record (Police Clearance/Background Check)

o   Application fee of US$150, non-refundable

 

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  • Written confirmation of acceptance and a non-refundable deposit of $100.00 to secure the seat in the entering class.

  • Physical Exam (using a form provided by the Admissions Office)

  • Health Certificate from the Department of Health of PR

  • Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).

  • Policy on Technical Standards

  • Other documents will be notified as pertinent.

Classes and clinical rotations begin every July.

USMLE REQUIRED FOR PROMOTION

USMLE Step 1 - must be passed before continuing to the third year clinical rotations
USMLE Step 2 - must be passed prior to graduation


SELECTION CRITERIA

PSMHS look for accepting students of integrity and maturity that show concern for others, leadership potential and a positive attitude for working with people. The Advanced Standing Committee will also consider:

·         Student's performance in medical school

·         Undergraduate record

·         MCAT and USMLE scores

·         Interviews

·         Letters of recommendation - the letters of recommendation should provide input from people in responsible positions who can 
    really comment on the applicant’s academic performance, character and interest

Students from non-LCME accredited medical schools must have at least two years of medical studies to be considered for a second year position.

Already graduated medical doctors from a non-LCME accredited school will not be considered.

Applicants who have been dismissed from another medical school due to academic or disciplinary reasons will not be considered. Transfers from osteopathic, veterinary or dental schools will not be considered either.

PSMHS Admissions Office and the Admissions Committee act in accordance with the “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” including the Amendments Act of 2008. Once the candidate is accepted, if he/she needs special accommodations, he/she is responsible to contact the Academic Affairs Office for further information. It is the student's responsibility to make his/her condition known to PSMHS Administrators and to seek out assistance.

HOW TO APPLY

Application for Admission to MD Advanced Standing may also be obtained personally at the Admissions Office.

The deadline for submitting a complete application is MAY 15 of the same year admission is sought.

 

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