Frequently Asked Questions
- How do New York Medical College students do in the Match?
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the “Match,” refers to the annual process whereby fourth-year medical students are matched to residency programs across the country. We encourage our students to apply for competitive residency programs and are gratified to observe their success in placement. Our Match results show a breadth of placements, both in specialty area and geography. Generally, about three-quarters of the class match in one of their top three choices.
- How do New York Medical College students do on the Boards?
Our students do exceedingly well on the United States Medical Liscencing Examination (USMLE). The USMLE Step1 exam is taken after completion of the second year and passing is a requirement for graduation. For the last several years, the pass rate for New York Medical College students has been between 99 and 100%. Our students typically achieve scores above the national average for all medical students.
- As a large medical school, what does New York Medical College do to keep the environment personal and supportive?
With approximately 190 students in each class, New York Medical College is considered a large medical school. However, it does not feel like a large school. In fact one of the hallmarks of our program is the strong sense of community among our students. There are many factors that contribute to this community-like atmosphere. The College is situated on a beautiful self-contained campus. Most students live in apartment-style campus housing for their first two years which allows them to easily meet, interact with, and support each other. When first-year classes begin, students are assigned to small 20-person units called modules. Many academic activities occur within these modules: case conferences, small group discussions, seminars, study groups, etc. This module structure provides students another opportunity to easily get to know and interact with their peers on a daily basis. Additionally, there are a myriad of student clubs and campus activities in which many of our students are actively engaged. All of these factors serve to foster a unique close-knit community which students often cite as an important reason why they chose to attend NYMC.
- Are there possibilities for earning a joint degree?
Yes, in addition to the School of Medicine there are two other schools on campus that grant advanced degrees. Students can earn an MD/MPH degree by combining medical school with the MPH program offered by the School of Health Sciences and Practice . With careful planning this can be completed in four years. Through the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences students can earn a PhD along with their MD degree. It generally takes six to seven years to complete the MD/PhD degree.
Application to either program is submitted after acceptance into the medical school program.
- Where do students do their clinical clerkships?
The College has developed a demographically and clinically diverse network of affiliated hospitals where students do their clinical clerkships. This network includes academic medical centers, urban university hospitals, specialty, suburban and rural hospitals, and ambulatory care facilities located in Westchester Country, the lower Hudson Valley, Southern Connecticut, and New York City.
- Is there a mentor/advisor system? Who are the advisors – faculty members, other students, or both?
There are several systems in place.
- The Big Sib/Little Sib program pairs incoming first-year students with students from the second, third or fourth years. The Big Sib is there to answer questions, advice and counsel, provide old notes and books, and moral support.
- The Student/Faculty Friend Program pairs each new first-year student with a mentor who is a clinical or basic science faculty member or other member of the campus community. The meetings are casual and cover non-academic as well as academic issues.
- In the third year, each student is paired with a clinical faculty member to serve as Academic Advisor to help navigate through the process of residency selection.
- Is there competition among students?
Medical students, in general, are known to strive for success which sometimes translates into a competitive learning environment. While NYMC students are highly focused and committed to their studies, the atmosphere on campus is not particularly competitive. The bucolic campus setting, devoted faculty, committed administrators, and inherent character of the student body all serve to support the development of a close-knit community. NYMC students are known for supporting and helping each other and working well as a team.
- How much clinical exposure do students get in the first two years?
Clinical experience begins in the first year with the primary care preceptor office visits. Students are paired one-on-one with a primary care physician for the Foundations of Medicine course for the entire first year. Students are also paired with clinicians during the second year Foundations of Clinical Medicine course, where they refine their communication, diagnostic, and clinical reasoning skills in either office or hospital settings. These experiences are paired with clinical correlation seminars throughout the basic science curriculum.
- Are there research opportunities available?
Many students engage in research during the summer after the first year. The College coordinates bench and clinical research opportunities for students, many of which pay a stipend. There are three major school research competitions each year, which are very well attended and offer cash prizes.
- Do students need to bring their own computer?
Students are required to have their own laptops. Wireless is available in all campus housing and academic areas. Ethernet ports are available in all campus housing as well and there are computers with printers available 24 hours per day. An increasing amount of the curriculum is linked to the school website and to the Internet.
- Where exactly is New York Medical College located?
The College is located in Valhalla, New York - a small town in Westchester County located approximately 40 minutes north of New York City. Valhalla is a suburban area surrounded by quaint towns and villages that boast great local restaurants and outdoor activities. Valhalla also offers easy access to the local cities of White Plains and New Rochelle home to great shopping, pubs, and music clubs. In addition, NYMC students take full advantage of our close proximity to most exciting city in the world – New York City - which is accessible by car, train or bus 24/7.
- What kind of housing is available for students?
Most students live on campus for the first two years, although off-campus housing is readily available. Campus housing in Valhalla comes in two varieties. (1) Suites for three or four students with individual bedrooms and a common kitchen and living room. These are new, furnished and very convenient. (2) Married and non-traditional student housing with individual apartments, unfurnished but equally convenient to class. Check out the Office of Student and Residential Life section of our website for information and photos.
- Do students need a car?
Cars are certainly a convenience for students living in a suburban area like Valhalla. However because NYMC is a campus community and so many students do have cars, those without a car can manage quite easily –especially during the first two years. Travel to clerkship sites during the third- and fourth-years may be easier with a car.
- What kinds of activities can students participate in outside of class (besides studying!)?
New York Medical College offers a wide range of social, cultural, athletic and service-oriented clubs and organizations. The College views these activities as essential to the well being of our students, and as a significant enhancement to the diversity and vitality of the campus community. While students have great latitude in creating activities, student participation in existing clubs and organizations is very high. The Student Senate is an active and important component of the academic and social community. In addition, students serve on virtually all College committees including Admissions, Student-Faculty Relations, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, Curriculum and Financial Aid, to name a few.
- Can I bring my dog with me?
Dogs are not allowed to live on campus. The Housing Office can address particular questions about pets because some types are permitted (i.e., fish). If it’s essential that your four-legged companion be with you, suitable housing can be found nearby.
- Are there gyms nearby?
There is a small gym on campus that is open 24 hours a day free of charge. It has stairmasters, treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights and nautilus. For those who prefer a larger gym, there are several in the area. Prices vary, but they all give discounts to New York Medical College students.
- What is the profile of your student population?
Our student population reflects the College’s core belief that a diverse student body provides a valuable educational experience which prepares our medical students for the real world of medical practice within a multicultural society. Our students come from all over the United States building a mosaic of racial, ethnic, cultural, economic, and educational diversity within the NYMC community. In recent years about one-third of the class has entered medical school directly from college, while the majority has spent one, two or more years between undergraduate and medical school. Women comprise about half of the class.
- How are multiple MCAT scores viewed?
Many applicants take the MCAT more than once. This is not considered a liability. We attach greatest importance to the most recent scores, although we review the last two sets of scores. For applicants applying for entrance in 2013, the MCAT must have been taken between January 2010 and September 2012.
- When and how are interviews conducted?
After an application is complete, the Committee on Admissions invites applicants under serious consideration for an on-campus interview. Interviews are generally conducted from mid-September through April. Applicants may be invited to interview at any time during this period as applications are reviewed throughout the application cycle. The invitation to interview is sent to the applicant via e-mail. Applicants are offered alternate interview dates to enable them to schedule a date that accommodates their individual travel plans. The interview day program begins at 10AM and ends between 3:30 and 4:30pm. The day consists of a morning group orientation followed by lunch and a panel discussion hosted by current students in the School of Medicine. Interviews and campus tours take place after lunch. Beginning in the 2012-13 application cycle, NYMC is moving to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. During the MMI, applicants move through a circuit of short, carefully-timed scenario-based interview stations. The scenarios are neither knowledge-based nor necessarily clinically-oriented. They are designed to evaluate non-cognitive domains considered critical to becoming an effective physician. These include but are not limited to domains such as empathy, critical thinking, moral reasoning and ethical grounding, open-mindedness, ability to collaborate as well as interpersonal skills. Applicants are each given 2 minutes to read a scenario outside the interview room. They then enter the room, introduce themselves to the interviewer, and begin an open-ended 6 minute discussion about the scenario. After the elapsed time, the applicant moves to the next room and repeats the process with a new interviewer and scenario. The NYMC MMI interview circuit consists of 8 scenario stations; therefore each applicant interacts with 8 different interviewers during the MMI.
- What do you look for in a medical school applicant?
There is no “perfect” medical school applicant. Applicants to NYMC are viewed as individuals and their applications are given a holistic review with no one credential given greater weight over another. That being said, a candidate must demonstrate academic competence to succeed in medical school as evidenced by strong GPA and MCAT scores, a commitment to medicine as evidenced by related extracurricular, community service, research and work experiences, stellar personal qualities confirmed through letters of evaluation from faculty who know the applicant well, and a compelling personal statement explaining why the applicant has chosen to pursue a medical career and the steps he/she has taken to confirm this decision.
- What are the average grades and MCAT scores of the first-year class?
Typically, the first-year class arrives with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6. The average composite MCAT score is 31, with the following breakdown: verbal reasoning, 9.8; physical sciences, 10.4; biological sciences, 10.8.
- Is it possible to stay on campus the night before the interview?
Yes, the College offers an overnight hosting program. The list of available hosts is provided to applicants when they are invited for an interview.
- Does someone who is re-applying need to submit a new application and new letters of evaluation?
Yes, all applicants to the first-year class at New York Medical College must start with an AMCAS application for the current year. However, many undergraduate schools will keep letters of evaluation on file and resubmit them on request.
- Can accepted applicants defer their entrance into medical school?
Yes. Accepted applicants may request a one-year matriculation deferral. (Note: Students accepted off the wait-list are ineligible for deferral consideration.) Deferral requests must be submitted in writing before June 1st of the year of entry and include a detailed explanation about how the student intends to use his/her time. Additional supporting documentation may be requested. All deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. In recent years deferrals have been granted to applicants who wish to complete an existing research project or pursue additional study (i.e.) Rhodes Scholar, complete a PhD degree or engage in extended volunteer or community service projects (i.e.) Peace Corps. Deferred students cannot apply to other medical schools during their deferral year.
- How do you apply for financial aid?
Approximately 90% of our students have sought financial aid to fund their medical education. The process of applying for financial aid begins in March when all accepted applicants are mailed a packet from the Office of Financial Planning. Applicants accepted later in the year are sent the packet shortly after receiving the acceptance letter. The Student Financial Planning office coordinates the entire process.
- How are re-applicants viewed?
Applicants who reapply receive a full review and many are accepted each year. Most successful re-applicants have taken concrete steps and time to strengthen their application such as (1) improving their MCAT score; (2) completing and doing well (minimum GPA 3.6) in a Basic/Medical Science Master’s Program; or (3) gaining meaningful clinical exposure or research experience. Many successful re-applicants comment the extra time they spent on strengthening their application was invaluable as they were better prepared to begin medical school. Applicants who re-apply must go through the full application process again.
- Why are certain applicants not accepted?
There is no simple formula for gaining admission to medical school. However, it can be helpful to compare an individual applicant’s academic credentials with recently matriculated NYMC students. For example, members of the current first-year class have an average total MCAT score of 31, and an average science GPA of 3.59 and non-science GPA of 3.69. Typically students who were below the average on one of these measures were above average on the others. In addition to GPA and MCAT scores, the breath and quality of extracurricular, community, research and work experiences, letters of evaluation and a candidate’s personal statement are of great importance. If applicable, interview feedback provided to the committee is also given serious consideration.
- How is your wait list ranked?
NYMC does not have a ranked wait list. If a position in the class becomes available to a wait listed applicant, ALL files will be reviewed. It is important for all applicants to keep their files updated with any additional information during the year.
- Do you accept transfers?
We accept applications for transfer into the third year only. Openings are extremely limited at best and in some years nonexistent. We do not know how many openings, if any, that we will have until March of the year of entry. Please go to our Special Situations section on Admissions web page for further information on transfers.
- How do you apply for a combined MD/MPH or MD/Ph.D. program?
Application for the combined degree programs is submitted only after acceptance into the medical school program.
- Does NYMC offer scholarships?
A number of scholarship awards are given to first year students based on need. The awards are renewable annually for each of the three succeeding years of medical school if academic performance is satisfactory.
- Does NYMC have a Criminal Background Check matriculation requirement?
Matriculation to the School of Medicine at New York Medical College is conditional upon student consent to and satisfactory completion of an AAMC-sponsored criminal background check conducted by Certiphi Screening, Inc., and upon NYMC’s institutional review of such completed criminal background report. NYMC has sole discretion to rescind an offer of admission in the event any inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information is discovered in the student’s application or that post-dates their application as a result of this criminal background check. Notification of any subsequent criminal charges and/or convictions that occur after the date of processing of the initial criminal background check is also required. Within 10 days of any subsequent criminal charges and/or convictions, notification must be sent in writing to the NYMC Office of Admissions if the offense occurs before the date of matriculation and to the NYMC Office of Student Affairs if the offense occurs after the date of matriculation.
Updated: May 21, 2013