January 9, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Not every student who applies to medical school gets accepted on the first try. Statistically, it is impossible as every year, the total applicants far outnumber the collective seats available at all medical schools. But well, many applications are accepted and you want to be among those. Re-applying may seem like the best solution if you are committed to pursuing a profession in the medical field, but experts suggest that before you re-submit your application, it is advisable to first try and identify what went wrong the last time.
These are some of the factors that you should examine and evaluate in your quest to determine what went wrong with your earlier application and what you can do to change that when reapplying.
Every medical school has their own set of policies that may be completely different from the other schools. Did your application comply with these policies and did you send it in within the deadline? Failure to meet any one of these two criteria will get your application denied without even being read.
Did your academic scores meet the minimum requirements of that particular school? If you have a weak academic record, don’t rush to reapply. It is better to take your time and enter into an additional program or a master’s program and work hard to improve your scores. It may mean applying for med school later than you had planned but the higher scores will improve your chances of being accepted when you so apply.
Take a good, hard look at the personal statement you submitted with your application. Was it really impressive enough to help your application stand out from the other candidates? Get a second opinion of your earlier personal statement from someone reliable and get some advice on what you should change when writing a new statement. Even if your earlier statement was good, do not resubmit the same one or even rehash it when reapplying. It’s easy to tell when a personal statement is recycled. Take the time to write out a new essay, this time emphasizing on what you’ve done to improve your candidacy during your gap time.
More often than not, no matter how good an applicant’s scores or how dazzling their personal statement, students get rejected because of the lack of any type of patient-related experience such as spending time volunteering in some type of health care settings or shadowing a doctor. Medical school authorities see this type of experience as crucial to understanding what it takes to be a doctor. Use the time in-between applications to strengthen your extracurricular activities. Shadow a doctor, enroll with a medical placement program abroad or volunteer at a local health care establishment. Better still, do all three. Not only will it help you write a more compelling personal statement, but it could also help you learn more about yourself and reiterate your passion for medicine.
It makes sense to reapply only if you are going to take steps to correct what went wrong the first time. If you make the same mistakes all over again you are only going to disappointed all over again.