July 18, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Applying to medical school is a multi-step, resource intensive process. By the time you will have sent in your application, it would have cost you a few months and several hundred dollars. If you’ve made the decision to apply, it is important that you review the process and make sure that you complete all of the formalities correctly and on time so that you get to see the fruits of your labour. The absolute worst thing is to go through all of the trouble and then have your application rejected simply because your application was a day late or because you missed out on one small little detail.
Submit Your Application As Early As Possible
Once you’ve made up your mind about medical school, put together all of the necessary documentation and submit your application as early as possible. Don’t wait till the deadline is staring you in the face. There may not be a big difference whether you submit your application on Day 1 or Day 5 but you will be at a distinct disadvantage if you get on with your submissions a month or two after the admissions have started. This is especially true for schools with rolling admissions, where they start assessing applications as they come in and once the classes are filled up, the admissions are considered over and done with. No more applications will be assessed after that.
Schools receive thousands of applications every year and could very likely fill their classes with qualified applicants in the first couple of weeks itself. While an early application may not guarantee a seat, a late submission will almost certainly result in a rejection. Why take the risk? It’s not worth it. Many students have admitted that their biggest regret was that they qualified but were still put on the waitlist only because the seats were already filled up. If you’ve set your heart on becoming a doctor, find out the admission formalities of your shortlisted schools and get started right away.
Keep Track Of Your Applications
This is one of those details that most students do not even give a thought to. Usually everyone just sends off their application and waits to hear back from the university or medical school. Ideally, that’s the way things should happen. However, you cannot afford to take things for granted. Just because you dropped your application in the mail, it does not guarantee that it would have reached its destination. One way to check that the mail has been received is to monitor your bank account to make sure that the application fee check has been processed. If you are still unsure, call the school and ask.
Chances are you would have applied to more than one school. As every school has a different deadline and different process, you are likely to hear from them at different time lines. To keep track of things, create a spreadsheet with dates, notes and reminders.