Medical School (MD & DO) Admissions Consulting


Judy Colwell, M.A.,
Counseling Psychology

Former Assistant Director of Admissions
Stanford University School of Medicine

For further information: (best)
or 650.888.9477)



Please Note: I focus my practice only on the special concerns of the
Non-traditional Medical School Applicant

who has his/her bachelor's degree already conferred and is within a year of applying to medical school.

(Click on link for my definition of non-traditional and my recommended contact for high school/undergrad applicants.)

Entering Class 2016: The interview "season" continues well into April for some schools. Plan to do a mock interview before you hit the interview trail.

Entering Class 2017: These applicants should be assessing their qualifications for medical school and preparing for the spring application process.


"Client Information/Release
Personal Inventory" Forms

Picture of a small bucket with a drop of water going into itFees - A Drop In The Bucket

Payment Options and PayPal

Small picture of a bunch of colorful balloons
Congratulations (Some success stories)

Picture of rural mailboxClient Comments


Help You May Need

Philosophy & Goals

Applying to Medical School - Information

"What can you do for me?"

Useful references/Other links

My Credentials


What I do (in a nutshell): I counsel those who are interested in what it takes both academically and non-academically to become a well-qualified applicant to medical school.

Virtually no medical school admissions consultant has this combined background of both a decade as an Admissions Committee Voting Member AND as an on-staff university pre-med advisor.


Formerly Assistant Director of Medical School Admissions at Stanford University (1990-1999), and as an Academic Advisor to pre-med freshmen and sophomores, I understand your questions and uncertainties. With my 10 years medical school admissions committee, I have a unique knowledge of the admissions process from the "inside."

As a 25 year undergraduate advisor to pre-meds coming from every possible college major, I am able to blend this knowledge with my Admissions Committee experience.

Current Applicants to Medical School:

- Evaluate your application credentials.
- Discuss the application process; timing; schools; transcripts; MCAT exam.
- Review your AMCAS application for style and content.
(More than 50,000 AMCAS applications have crossed my desk. I know what constitutes an easy-to-read application vs. a glazed eye and "Next!")
- Review your personal statement and essays. (Do they convey who you are? Are they well written? Do they need editing? I look at content and style. I do NOT correct sloppy grammar, nor do I re-write.)
- Prepare for interviewing.

      What to expect in the interview process.
      How to handle difficult situations.

      Mock interviews.
- Choose a medical school. Which one is best for you?
- Evaluate the special needs of the re-applicant and the non-traditional applicant.

If you are within a year of applying, you and I will:

- Evaluate your coursework.
- Review your extracurricular activities.
- Discuss clinical opportunities and community service.
- And, I will remind you that your first responsibility is to get a broad-based college education.
    I work both with local and distance clients. Please get in touch with me for more details.

Current Applicants for Residency Programs:

- Discuss and review your personal statement.
- Prepare for interviewing.
- Mock interviews.

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I want you to know the joy of a congratulatory acceptance

Working with college and post-college students has been the highlight of my recent career. Not only have I spent 18 years volunteering as an Academic Advisor for Stanford University freshmen and sophomores in their adjustment to campus life, but for 10 years I was Assistant Director of Admissions for Stanford University Medical School. I have reviewed tens of thousands of applications, and have been a member of the admissions committee - admitting, and rejecting, applicants. I have experienced the great joy of calling admitted students and giving them the good news. It was the best part of my job! I want to share that joy of acceptance. . .you becoming a successful healthcare professional. This may even mean looking at educational and career opportunities other than medical school.

You will define and focus your path toward your profession, not in order to "look good" to an admissions committee, but for you to know "who you are." You need to know yourself before an admissions committee can know you. And you need to be able to relate this knowledge to those evaluating you.

We will address questions involved in the general application process; we can discuss interviewing; and if you have been an unsuccessful applicant in the past, we will review ways to improve your candidacy.

It is my desire to help you as much as possible so that you, too, will experience the joy of hearing "Welcome to our medical school!"

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As you go through the daunting process of applying to medical school, or even considering if medicine might be your career, you may have many questions and concerns. Your campus pre-med/pre-health advisor is there to help you, but sometimes you need more personal attention than they have time to give you.

I will coach you through the admissions process, helping you through the application maze.

At our first conference. . . We will discuss and evaluate your application credentials. In future discussions we will continue to explore your progress toward your goal. You will have the opportunity to talk about your interest in medicine, how it began, how it is part of your life now, and how you envision your future career.

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When I give workshops and talk with interested applicants, I am often asked, "Just what exactly do you do for me?"

Applying to medical school can be a long-term arduous project. We begin as soon as you decide that you will be applying to medical school within the year.

As a non-traditional applicant, we begin first by:
Evaluating your current credentials.
Discussing whether or not med school is even "a viable option."
What are the challenges?

Academic record
Current career path
Depth of passion for medicine
Support system

Create a plan (if necessary) to "fill in the gaps" and/or improve the academic credentials.
"Coach" you through the process, which may take longer than the traditional pre-med process.

At this point we pick up with the time-line/activities appropriate for any medical school applicant, traditional or non-traditional.

Pre-Med (the year prior to applying)
       Evaluation of credentials
        - grades, MCAT scores, "non-cognitive variables" (extra-curricular activities)
AMCAS application
       Presentation of your material in the strongest possible manner
       Personal statement in-depth review for content/style
       Transcript discussion
       Recommendation letters
       Help in selecting med schools to which to apply
       Sorting through school-specific secondary applications
       Timing the return of the "secondary"
       Discussing/reviewing essays
       Handling the possible rejection letter
The interview trip - planning, etc.
       Dealing with the Admissions offices
The Interview Itself
Possible questions
Mock interviews (!)
"Too many interviewees are unprepared," according to Dr. Gabriel Garcia, former Assoc. Dean of Admissions, Stanford U. School of Medicine
Post-Interview follow-up
Acceptance - CELEBRATE!

Each applicant is different - beyond the standard needs of the application process, someone may need to improve study skills, or develop time management skills, or learn stress-reduction techniques; whatever the issue, someone is dealing with it. I can be a useful resource for these other challenges.

I am often asked, "How many hours do your clients typically spend with you?"

There is no standard answer...anywhere from 2 to 6 hours (includes mock interviewing). Generally 4 hours is the average.

I am also asked, "How are your current clients are doing in the application process?"
Most, but not all, of my clients, those who have wanted more than just a one-to-two hour consultation early in the season, received invitations for interviews.

Congratulations (Some success stories)   Client Comments   Introduction   
Help You May Need   Philosophy & Goals  
 Applying to Medical School - Information   "What can you do for me?"   
Fees - A Drop In The Bucket  
Payment Options   "Personal Inventory" Forms   My Credentials   Useful references/Other links


Judith J. Colwell, MA
Medical School Admissions Consultant
Menlo Park, CA
Tel: 650-888-9477
Email: or

Last updated: January 31, 2016

© Judy Colwell, 2014