Some medical schools, but by no means all of them, have early decision programs. Students should check the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) database or individual school web sites for more information about which schools offer ED programs.
In order to be considered for early decision at an MD program, students must submit and complete their applications by August 1st. The schools will notify ED applicants of acceptances by October 1st. Between August 1st and October 1st, students are prohibited from applying to other schools. If students are rejected under early decision, they will be forced to submit rather late applications to other schools. Students should consider the repercussions carefully. An early decision application may save money and time, but considerable risks accompany an applicant's decision to pursue early decision. They should talk the option over with their premedical advisors. If a student is still interested, their premedical advisor will call the applicant's medical school of choice and attempt to assess the chance of admission.
The early decision process for DO programs is similar. Please check individual school's websites for more information on deadlines and other requirements for applying early decision at osteopathic medical schools.