Applying to medical school is a long, complicated process. As it drew on for Melaku Arega, he found himself leaning on his friends.
The graduating Johns Hopkins student said the university offers good services, but they’re often too busy for that individualized attention. Students have to “find a support system and friends that will support you with medical school application cycle,” he said.
Or, they can go through a consulting service, but Arega said those companies often charge lots of money.
With recent Hopkins alums Haziq Siddiqi and Lamin Sonko, Arega formed a startup that is seeking to fit in the middle.
White Coat Strategists is made up of medical students who have been through the process of applying before. It also creates an environment where students are helping each other.
“I think it should be students who have gone through the process who should be doing this,” he said.
White Coat Strategists provides consulting, but Arega said they are aiming to charge less than large companies.
“We just thought it was outrageous how much companies were asking,” Arega said, adding that one they researched charged $325 per hour. For its basic package, White Coat Strategists is charging $300. Along with consultations, students get help with multiple drafts of a personal statement, secondary applications and go through a mock interview.
The startup’s current team is a total of six people, five of whom attended Johns Hopkins. They’re at medical schools like Harvard, Penn and Stanford, and will keep the company running while in school. Arega said about a dozen students have used the service so far, and they are planning on ramping up as the application cycle gets into full swing in the summer.