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School of Medicine

What does holistic review mean to me

Holistic Review

What is the holistic review?

Holistic review is examining an applicant’s full application to determine how the applicant might contribute to Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and as a future physician.

VCU SOM has adapted the AAMC Holistic Review Process E-A-M Model of evaluating Experiences, Attributes and Metrics.  It’s our mission to select diverse class aligned with our mission and promote diversity as an essential element to achieving institutional excellence.

Are grades and test scores important in a holistic review?

Grades and test scores are important predictors of future academic and testing performance. However, academic metrics do not measure all the skills and abilities to be a successful student or physician. By utilizing a holistic review process, we evaluate academic metrics along with experiences and attributes to assess potential for academic and clinical achievement.

How is Holistic Review applied in the VCU SOM Admissions Process?

VCU SOM committee members uses a holistic approach to evaluate an array of applicant attributes, including academic excellence, personal characteristics, leadership, service to others, contribution to diversity (gender, race, ethinicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, geographic origin) and extracurricular activities.

Holistic Review metrics model by AAMC

What makes a competitive applicant?

The decision to send a supplemental is based on AAMC Holistic Review Project E-A-M Model of evaluating Experiences, Attributes and Metrics and the 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical School to determine how the applicant might contribute to VCU School of Medicine learning environment as well as to the medical profession as a future physician.

  • Evidence of academic preparation for a rigorous medical school curriculum
  • Dedication to serving others
  • Ability to work in teams toward a shared goal or mission
  • Excellence in an activity that shows commitment, drive and passion
  • Competence for delivering quality care in a global society
  • Understanding of the medical field and what it takes to be a physician