Okay, so you are rejected from all the schools you applied to. Now you have to wait another year to reapply and fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor. Even though your GPA is great, your MCAT scores are good enough, you shadowed, you volunteered, in short, you put your best efforts – still, you didn’t get accepted to medical school. After being rejected from medical school, a series of thoughts jump into your mind – what was the actual reason, what should be your next step and how to set yourself on the right path.
Though you are feeling depressed, that’s okay. You are not alone. Thousands of students are rejected every year. If you are not accepted to medical school, it’s not the end of the world. It can be overwhelming to figure out what to do after being rejected from medical school. But the good news is that there are many ways to improve your medical school candidacy and prepare you for your next application cycle.
- Do Whatever Works Best for You
Whatever the cause of rejection, set aside time for yourself to recover. Establish some healthy habits to get back to normal. Eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, exercise daily, and take time for your favorite hobby to refresh your mind. Do whatever suits best, within a few days, you will get back into your routine. Don’t give up, work hard, stay focused, and turn a disappointing rejection into a successful acceptance.
- Review Your Medical School Application
It is important to carefully review your application before reapplying as it helps the admission committee to decide whether or not you are an eligible candidate for their school. Make sure your application is highly impressive and beautifully tells a compelling story. Keep in mind that a stellar application can increase your chances of getting accepted to one of the most prestigious medical schools.
To find out the actual reasons for your rejection, contact the medical school admission officer of each school you were rejected from. Ask them, was it your MCAT scores, low GPA, insufficient work experience, or poor recommendation letters? Finding the weak points of your application will help you improve those areas for the next cycle and get you on the path to medical school acceptance.
- Reconsider the List of Medical Schools
Being realistic is the key. Don’t apply to the top-tier schools unless you are a top-notch applicant and have impressive MCAT scores, excellent grades, letters of recommendation, experiences and other amazing qualities. Your grades, MCAT scores, clinical and volunteer experience, and letters of reference can make or break your chances of getting accepted.
You should revise the list of medical schools where you are thinking of applying to. Before reapplying to medical schools, keep your GPA, MCAT, experience and other factors in mind, as it will help you get the acceptance letter you are desperately waiting for. You can apply to the same schools you applied before or add some new schools to the list to improve your candidacy. Make sure you know the application timeline of all those schools you are reapplying. Some medical schools offer rolling admissions; you don’t need to wait for a whole year to reapply.
- Improve Your Grades
If you have a strong academic profile, you will definitely gain admission to medical school. Many medical school admission officers critically review your grades and MCAT scores, and if they are not up to the mark, you will receive a rejection letter. If truth be told, your MCAT and GPA decides if your application should be reviewed or not.
If your academic records need to be improved, consider pursuing a postbaccalaureate program to improve your GPA. A postbaccalaureate program is specifically designed for medical school reapplicants or those students who want to improve their grades and attend medical school. If MCAT scores are the issue, equip yourself with the appropriate resources and MCAT study essentials. For instance, take an online MCAT quiz, practice sample questions and sections, read prep books and online resources to learn from your mistakes, and raise your score.
- Hone Your Interview Skills
Believe it or not, a medical school interview plays a key role in assessing the candidate whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the school. Unfortunately, many students don’t spend enough time preparing for a medical school interview. And if they receive an interview call, they only repeat the information that is already written in their application.
Medical school reapplicants are advised to practice enough before appearing in an interview. You can make the most out of this opportunity by preparing well for the interview. In order to get your ideas across, it is important to hone your communication and interpersonal skills. Practice common interview questions will boost your confidence, and you will feel comfortable talking about your personality and work experience.
- Get More Clinical Exposure
Shadowing a family doctor is not enough to show the admission committee that you are the right fit for the challenging field of medicine. Impressing the admission committee is no easy feat; you have to spend time with physicians and get some work experience in different healthcare settings. You can shadow a surgeon, work in a research lab, work as a hospice volunteer, hospital scribe, or caretaker, to get hands-on experience. Gaining more clinical exposure before reapplying will strengthen your medical school application and depict your motivation for a career in medicine.
Obviously, you don’t want to miss the second chance of attending a medical school. Don’t repeat your mistakes and try to come up with a different approach to brighten your chances of gaining the much-deserved acceptance letter. Perfect your application, enroll in additional coursework to improve your academic profile, do volunteer work, study well for the MCAT, and improve your communication skills. In short, do your best and pay attention to every single detail that can improve your candidacy and help you achieve your dream of becoming a doctor.