What is the minimum GPA I must have to apply?
DM will consider any student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
What do you consider underprivileged?
Income eligibility is based on many factors including, but not limited to, geographic location and family size. Students whose families have an adjusted gross income of over $100,000 are not eligible. You can find this information on your parents’ tax return.
I am from Galt, right outside San Joaquin County. Will you make an exception?
Decision Medicine will only accept applications from students who live and attend high school in San Joaquin County. No exceptions will be made.
I am a freshman/senior. May I still apply?
DM will only accept applications from students who are sophomores or junior at the time they submit an application and MUST be 16 years old by the first official day of the program, July 20, 2020. There are NO exceptions as this is a requirement of many of our host sites.
I will turn 16 on the third day of the program, May I still apply?
You must be 16 years old by the first official day of the program, July 20, 2020, which does not include the Orientation.
I am a high achieving student who skipped a grade (or two). I will not be 16 until halfway through my senior year. May I still apply?
While we greatly appreciate the significant motivation and academic excellence it takes to skip a grade, all students must be 16 years old by the first official day of the program, July 20, 2020. This is a requirement of many of the hospitals and other host sites we visit during the program. No exceptions can be made.
I am not underprivileged. May I still apply?
All eligible applicants to DM must be low-income as defined above. Many, though not all, of our students will be the first in their families to attend college. There are many other similar programs that will motivate and challenge you. Please see question below regarding other programs and resources.
I am not eligible to apply to Decision Medicine. Are there any other programs I should consider?
Yes. There are a variety of similar programs that we would encourage you to explore and consider. Please visit:
Application and Review Process
If I’m not able to submit my application before the February 29 deadline because of problems out of my control, will you accept my application the next day?
Complete applications for DM are due on or before February 29 at 11:59pm. We won't accept applications after this date for any reason. Please allow yourself at least 30 minutes to complete the application. You cannot save and complete later and may get timed out. It is our recommendation that you type your answers to the essay questions in a word document, which can be easily cut/pasted into the application.
Please submit your application early in the event that you run into circumstances that may be out of your control. For example, students have missed our application deadline because their power went out the night of February 29 just as they were about to hit the submit button. Please plan ahead. Submit your application early to avoid any disappointments.
What are the essay questions?
1. Why are you interested in a career in medicine? How would this career path benefit you, your family and/or your community? (250 words max)
2. Please describe a time in the last year when you had to demonstrate your leadership or problem-solving abilities in an academic or extracurricular activity (e.g. student organization, class, sports team, volunteer group, church, etc.). (100 words max)
3. Describe any responsibilities or volunteer opportunities you have at home, school, church or in the community which relate to your career choice of becoming a physician. (100 words max)
4. Please list your top three extracurricular activities. These are any activities outside of school work that are most important to you or take most of your free time (job, sports, clubs, etc.) (20 words max)
I forgot to submit a response to one of the essay prompts and the deadline has passed. May I submit that essay late?
Complete applications for DM are due on or before February 29. Incomplete applications will not be accepted after this date for any reason. Please plan ahead.
How competitive is your program?
DM typically receives 120+ applications for 24 final placements each year. We will consider applications from students who have clearly demonstrated an interest in becoming a physician and motivation to learn and grow academically. However, we also recognize that not all students are in a personal situation where they can excel to their fullest potential. For that reason, we will accept applications from students who have a 2.75 or greater GPA and are showing an upward trajectory in their grades.
What is your selection process?
All applications received will be screened by SJMS staff for eligibility and then reviewed/scored by DM Program Facilitators and San Joaquin Medical Society member physicians. From there, applicants will be selected for an in-person panel interview on Saturday, April 4, 2020. The final 24 students will be selected by the panel after reviewing completed application and essays, with GPA’s confirmed, and cumulative personal interview score.
When will I hear if I am invited to interview?
Students will be notified via email by March 23, 2020 via email. Please do not call our office to check on the status of your application. Make sure to keep an eye on your junk mail as our emails occasionally are filtered out. Additionally, we post important updates on our Facebook page.
I was invited to interview, but I have an ACT test that day. Can you reschedule my interview?
Applicants must attend the scheduled interview day to be considered for program selection. However, we may be able to schedule an alternative time in the afternoon following your test. Please plan accordingly.
I submitted an eligible application but wasn't selected for an interview. I am very qualified for your program. Will you reconsider your decision?
Decision Medicine receives over a hundred applications from well-qualified students. We carefully and thoughtfully review all applications before we make any admission decisions. However, we are limited in the number of students who are selected for DM each year. Please understand that your application was reviewed carefully and that our decision wasn't an easy one to make. We are unable to reconsider our enrollment decisions. All decisions are final.
I was accepted into the Class of 2020, but I am on vacation through the second day of the program. Can I still participate?
Students accepted into Decision Medicine are asked to sign a program agreement which confirms you are available to attend each day of the program including Orientation and Celebration Banquet. Students who cannot participate in each scheduled activity are not eligible to participate in Decision Medicine.