U-M Launches New Smartphone App For Prospective Medical Students

First-ever program makes checking admission status even easier

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Michigan Medical School has launched M.D.Stat+, a free application designed for prospective medical school students to check their admission status. The app is now available for iPhones and Androids, but the mobile-friendly site it's based on is accessible via any smartphone's web browser.

A top 10 medical school with more than 5,000 applications last year, the U-M Medical School is believed to be the first to have an app of this kind developed just for medical school applicants.

"We understand today's applicants communicate differently than 10 years ago. Traditional communications such as phone and mail are not the norms anymore.  Even web and email isn't always the preferred route for some students," says Robert F. Ruiz, director of admissions at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"M.D.Stat+ provides a quick and convenient way for our applicants to stay current on not only their status with us -- which we know they may be very anxious about -- but also on our overall admissions process," he says. "It's simply a mobile-friendly way for them to view a subset of information that's been available for many years through our secondary application web site."

After applicants download the app and log in once, the app allows them to quickly and easily see important status updates such as if their application has been received, an interview has been offered or they've been admitted. If their status changes at any time, a badge is added to the iPhone icon and a status bar notification is added to the Android. M.D.Stat+ also includes frequently updated admissions stats, as well as links to U-M's social media channels.  

"When we think about recruiting, we think about providing information," says Ruiz. "We want to tell the U-M story to the broadest possible audience so that people can make informed decisions about our outstanding community."

By collaborating with the Medical School's offices of Enabling Technologies, Applications Development, and Marketing, the admissions office created an application that would best meet the needs of prospective students.

"This is the first application we've created using a new development environment that allows us to simultaneously develop for both iPhone and Android," says Laurence Kirchmeier, technologist at the Office of Enabling Technologies at the U-M Medical School.

M.D.Stat+ is available on the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. The mobile-friendly web site is also available at https://www.umms.med.umich.edu/mdstat/

This app is another way U-M's admissions office has kept up with today's technology. The office already communicates with prospective and admitted students through a variety of channels including a web-based status page, e-newsletters, text messaging, social media and on-line chats.  

"It's important that we continually assess the needs of our applicants and keep those needs at the top of our priority list.  Applying for medical school can be a stressful experience so we want to have as transparent of a process as possible," says Ruiz.

Last year, the University of Michigan Medical School received 5,266 applications and interviewed just over 700 students, which resulted in an incoming class of 170 students.  Interviews begin this year on August 19 and continue through January 2012.  A rolling admissions process begins October 15 at midnight.

For more information about the app, including screen shots and features, refer to:  www.med.umich.edu/medschool/mdstat

SOURCE University of Michigan Medical School