Tips For Second Time Applicants To Medical School

December 30, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Every year, the number of applicants to medical school heavily outweighs the number of seats available. In the face of such daunting odds, you should not be too disappointed if your application was not successful the first time around.  

The important thing is to focus on making a few changes and improving your application so you have a better chance when you reapply. 

Arriving at Morogoro Regional Hospital for the day! Evaluate your first application

If you’ve decided to reapply to medical school, start by evaluating the strengths and the shortcomings of your earlier application. Get some help to do this so you can get a more objective assessment. The best way to do this is through the pre-med advisor at your school. They typically have years of experience in this field and will be able to tell you exactly how your application measured up against the rest of the applications. In addition to this, they will be able to give you a fair idea about which programs proved to be more favourable for applicants who had a background similar to yours.

Contact admissions committees

You might find that admissions committees are often more than willing to give you advice. You will be surprised to find that some of them can be quite helpful when it comes to giving you some solid pointers. It would be a good idea to get in touch with the interviewers from the schools where you had not been accepted. As a rule medical colleges will only invite candidates for an interview, who have been seriously considered by them. They will be able to give you a clear idea about how you can do a better job the next time round and what you were lacking on.

Focus on the core areas of improvement

In most of the cases, if you have been unsuccessful you will have to improve in one of the 3 areas – your MCAT score, the GPA scores or your communication skills. If your grades need improvement you might want to consider taking some extra classes through the undergraduate college you attend. Alternatively, you can take these through any local university. Many medical schools will average the undergraduate coursework as part of the GPA. Some post–baccalaureate programs are also specifically designed for med school hopefuls whose undergraduate grades did not meet the average admissions criteria.

Get some clinical experience

The key factor in improving MCAT scores is practicing as much as you can. Collect as much material as you can, allocate some time every week for studies and complete it judiciously on schedule. In order to get maximum results, you can enroll in a prep course for MCAT. Before you apply, check what policy a college follows in terms of accepting multiple MCAT scores. Some colleges accept only the highest score while others will average out the score and consider that for your application.

Other things you can do

The other things you can do is to get some additional work experience in the clinical field. Spending some time shadowing a doctor in a healthcare setting in your neighbourhood or registering for a medical placement abroad in a developing country are both good ways of showing the interview committee that you are dedicated and serious about your career.  

You should also re-evaluate the entire list of schools that you have applied to. Make it a point to apply to the schools that had invited you in the previous year. Submit your application as early as you can. Most medical schools accept candidates on a rolling-basis. Above all, work hard and be positive.