October 23, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
What do you do when you receive rejection letters from the medical schools that you’ve applied to? Some students may decide to pursue a different career path altogether but what if you’ve got your heart set on a career in medicine? Should you give up or should you apply again during the next admissions cycle? The fact is several students whose med school applications have been rejected the first time round do manage to get admission on their second or third attempt. If you are passionate about medicine, it is worth re-applying. In the interim period, there are several things you can do to improve your chances.
Go over your rejected application again. Are there any areas where you can improve? If your grades were a little low, consider giving your grades a boost by enrolling in a relevant programme in your undergrad college or enrol in an extension programme at a university. You can also try re-sitting the UKCAT if you think you can score higher marks.
A lot of students go through the entire medical school application process on their own and do not ask for advice. The problem with this is you could overlook a crucial point which could make the difference. As a rule, when putting together your application, always seek advice from people who are in the field or familiar with it because they may point out things that you did wrong the first time. Start by talking to the pre-med advisor in your school. Your advisor will have a lot of knowledge and years of experience in this field and they may even put you in touch with other successful candidates. You could also try asking admission committees for advice. If they rejected you, they may have a specific reason for doing so. Some admission committees will take the time to talk to you and tell you where you fell short so you can work on your mistakes and improve your application.
Look at the medical schools that you applied to. Go through each one’s criteria again and see if you actually meet the criteria or whether you fell short in one or more areas. It is also a good idea to broaden your list and look at other medical schools too. If you applied to five schools the first time, you could re-apply to those again if you want to but also consider a few more.
Most admission committees look for clinical experience in a person’s application. If you didn’t have any the first time, make sure you get some now. Even if you had worked in the field before, a little more experience will do no harm. Look for quality clinical experience and try to get the most out of it so that you can reflect this experience in your application. Avail of volunteering opportunities. Spend time shadowing a doctor. Doing a medical placement in a developing country is the single best thing you can do to boost your application.
Just because a deadline date is given by every medical school doesn’t mean that you need to wait until the last week to send in your application. A number of schools have rolling admissions, which means they stop reading applications when they have filled up their seats, so the earlier you send it in, the better.