Here’s why med school applications get rejected

June 6, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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It is impossible to get into the minds of a medical school admissions panel. While some applicants are rejected for obvious reasons, such as poor grades or low MCAT scores, there can be other factors, which lead to a rejection. According to U.S. News and World Report, in the United States, about 49,000 people applied to medical schools in 2014. The bad news is less than half were accepted. But understating why applications often get rejected may help increase your chances of making the cut.

Lack of Extracurricular Activities

If you lack in extracurricular activities you may be sending the wrong message to medical schools. Whether you participate in sports, student government or a campus club, you show you are a well-rounded applicant. In the past, medical schools may have looked for focused applicants who spent their free time volunteering in hospitals or clinics. But times have changed. Med schools want to see students have interests in addition to medicine. Schools have found well-rounded students to be better candidates. Also, having interesting hobbies and extracurricular activities sets you apart from the rest.

A Weak Interview

If you are invited to a med school interview, you have done something right. Something about your application must have made you stand out. Don’t let a weak interview cause you to strike out and be rejected. Up until your interview, you were just a candidate on paper. But during your interview, you can show what makes you a perfect fit for the school. You can let the admission’s panel see why you will be a good doctor. Interviews are a time to sell yourself. They can make or break you when it comes to getting accepted. If your interview skills need work, consider doing some mock interviews with friends to practice.

Downward Trending Grades

Not everyone who gets into med school has a 4.0. But grades do matter. But what can really hurt you is if your grades started out well and got worse as the years went on. Downward trending grades make it appear you did not continue to work hard.

Poorly Written Personal Statement

With your application, you have the chance to write a personal statement. Think about the message you what to get across. Your grades and MCAT scores may tell how smart you are, but your personal statement tells who you are. Make it count.

Not Showing a Commitment to the Profession

Med schools want to know you are enthusiastic about becoming a doctor. It takes a lot of hard work, and not everyone is cut out for it. A medical school admission panel wants to see you are excited about the profession and will do what it takes to succeed. So how do you show a commitment to becoming a doctor? Volunteering in the medical field, shadowing a doctor and getting high grades in sciences classes helps. Showing your enthusiasm in your writing and during your interview is also a must.

“I am grateful that the surgeons allowed us to see different operations and I feel that it provided me with great experiences to talk about in my personal statement.” Nicholaos Mansolas, Medicine in Thailand

Our Gap Medics programs are a brilliant way of showing commitment. Your dedication and initiative will shine through, and because you get to see real doctors at work in real hospital or community settings, it shows that you understand what it means to be a doctor. You’ll be more likely to make the right choice about your future – something every admissions panel wants!



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.