8 Things You Can Do If You’re Rejected by Medical Schools

by Dr. Kristie

getting into medical schoolYou’ve completed your premedical course work, taken your medical college admission tests, received medical school recommendations, and completed the medical school admission process. You eagerly await word of your acceptance into medical school. When the envelopes finally arrive from your chosen medical schools, you open them, hoping to find a bit of good news inside, but you’re only met with a conciliatory form letter. What do you do now?

The first step is to ask yourself if you really want to pursue the arduous task of becoming a physician after all. Consider the long hours, the years of delayed gratification, and the opportunities and income lost during the additional years of schooling. Are there other careers that would make you happy? If the answer is no, you need to think about what you can do to improve your chances of acceptance when you apply to medical school next year. It’s reassuring to know candidates who take steps to improve their application and apply to medical school a second time, have a higher chance of acceptance.

Here are some suggestions for increasing your chances of medical school acceptance the second time around:

1. Consider how many medical schools you applied to the first time.

If you only applied to a few medical schools, you may have significantly reduced your chances of acceptance. If your grades and MCAT scores are good, acceptance to medical school can be a numbers game. The more schools you apply to, the higher your chances of acceptance.

2. Consider which medical schools you applied to.

If the only medical schools you deemed worth of applying to were Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, and Johns Hopkins, you may need to add some less competitive schools to your list next year. To be accepted to these schools, you need stellar grades, extracurricular actives, and medical college admission test scores.

3. Consider pursuing some advanced coursework.

This strategy can work well, particularly if your grades aren’t up to par. Maybe you got off to a slow start in college with poor grades in the beginning. Getting high marks in some advanced college courses or graduate level courses can both impress the applications committee and boost your overall grade point average.

4. Consider retaking the medical college admission tests.

Do an honest assessment of your scores. Were they really competitive enough to boost your chances of medical school admission? If not, it would be in your best interest to retake them. Consider taking a course designed to boost your scores such as the Stanley Kaplan course. This type of preparation can raise your scores significantly.

5. Meet with your premed advisor to get an objective assessment of how you can improve your medical school application.

Your advisor has seen lots of medical school applications and should be able to objectively assess your strengths and weaknesses. Use his services and give serious consideration to what is said.

6. Work in a medically related field for a year.

This is a great way to show the admissions’ committee your commitment to medicine and get paid at the same time. Medical schools appreciate more mature applicants who have had some real life experiences.

7. Volunteer in the medical field.

Medical school admissions’ committees love volunteer work. It shows you’re a true humanitarian at heart. Consider volunteering at your local free clinic, homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, or any other volunteer organization you feel passionately about.

8. Sharpen your interview skills for next year.

Be prepared to tell the admissions committee what you’ve done to improve your application from last year. If you possess poor interview skills, take a course or get some training in this area. The interview is where you have the chance to show your commitment to medicine and really sell yourself.

Give these suggestions a try before you apply to medical school the second time around. Hopefully, your next set of letters will have the happy news of your acceptance!


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