Applying for medical school is a necessary pain. Alan has been busy with this since May and the process won't finish until June next year. First Alan filled out primary AMCAS applications, a complete history of his academic record, grades, test scores, research activities, personal statement, letters of recommendation, (breathe) degrees, projects, awards, service, clinical experiences, work experience, etc.
That application was sent to each school Alan wanted to apply to with the required $31 fee for each school on top of the $165 processing fee.
Allright, step 1 - check - onto step 2.
Now secondary applications (and you thought Alan was done).
Some schools send secondary applications to everyone who submits a primary application, other schools evaluate your primary application then send you a secondary application. These applications want to know things such as, "Why do you want to attend ______ school of medicine? (250 words)" or "How will you handle the pressures of medical school?" After answering these questions and "checking one of the following boxes" to assure admissions committees that Alan has never been convicted for a felony Alan signs submits the secondary application with a check written for the non-refundable amount of $60-$125.
Whew! Still not done.
Interviews: Sometime in the future.
After scrutinizing the primary and secondary applications admissions committees may decide that they want to meet Alan. If so, they will extend an invitation (at his expense, of course) to interview him with around 600 other applicants. Then Alan may be kept in the dark until sometime between May and August to know if he is one of the 1%-10% of applicants accepted to enter the medical class of 2010. And then the 4 year medical school, followed by residency, fellowships, and finally, Alan's first real job.
Lyanna really loves Alan to put up with all of this (and he promised her a puppy when they finally get a house)