Understanding the reasons why med school applications get rejected - Part 3

October 23, 2014

Scrubbed up and ready to observe a day in surgery Late submission

One of the most unforgiveable mistakes that you can make is submitting a late application. Deadlines are set by medical schools for a particular reason. In most cases, applications that are submitted after the deadline are not even read or considered. If you had submitted your application after the deadline, don’t expect to get into medical school. First of all, submitting a late application shows that you do not have any respect for deadlines. This reflects poorly on your time management skills and gives a very bad impression to the admission committee. How will you be able to submit all your assignments on time and keep up with your class if you cannot follow a simple deadline? Most schools issue their deadlines well in advance so you have ample time to get all your documents ready and submit your application on time.

If it’s any consolation, this is that one mistake that is very easy to rectify. If you already have your documents ready, you can send in your application for the next year as soon as the admission dates open. How will this help? Many admission committees start to read applications starting from a few weeks after admissions have begun. If you get your application in right at the start, there will be very few other applications at that time and in all likelihood, yours will be read properly and given more attention. This increases your chances of getting in. Waiting until the last minute will only mean that seats may have already been given to other students and you will have to fight with a larger number of students for the remaining seats.

You will be surprised at the number of students who are rejected purely due to the reasons discussed in this series of articles. If medical schools have rejected you, go back and look through your application again, correct all your mistakes, work on improving your profile and apply again next year.


A recap of what you can do to improve your application

  • Get some clinical experience by doing a medical placement in a developing country. This has the most value as it allows you to actually participate in the healthcare experience at grassroots level. Med school admissions authorities appreciate this as they know that an experience like this will prepare you for anything that a career in medicine can throw at you at a later date. 
  • As a second choice, get some clinical exposure by spending time shadowing a doctor or volunteering in a healthcare related establishment.
  • Work towards improving your GPA score.
  • Work towards improving your personal statement. Get it checked so you know that it is absolutely faultless in every respect.
  • Apply to as many schools as possible. Remember the eligibility criteria and other requirements of all schools are not the same so check each school’s website individually, make note of the requirements and check to see that you actually meet all of the criteria.
  • Last but not least, make sure you send off your application on time. Better yet, aim to send it off as soon as possible and definitely well before the deadline.