Getting Past Medical School Rejection

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Getting Past Medical School Rejection

Future doctors! Every year medical schools receive far more applications than they can accept. This means, the rejection rate can be pretty high at every medical school. So what happens if the medical school application results are released and you find out that you did not make the cut? Should you give up on the idea of medical school entirely or should you apply again?

There is no one answer that is right for everybody. Whether or not you decide to reapply will depend on a combination of several factors. The time and cost involved with applying to medical school can be significant and will play a role in your decision. But there are also other factors that you will need to take into consideration.   

1. Can you improve your application?

Many applicants make the mistake of re-applying to medical school without making any attempt to improve their application. This is a total waste of time. You cannot simply reapply and hope to be accepted by beating the odds. Every year thousands of candidates apply and you will always be competing against some of the best minds around. For your application to be noticed there should be substantial improvement in at least one area – your qualifications, your experience or an extracurricular activity. Spending the down time between applications doing some volunteer work, shadowing a local doctor or doing a medical placement in a developing country and including that experience in your application, will help you score some brownie points with the schools admission authorities. If you do not intend doing any of these, chances are your application will only get rejected again.

2. Did you follow the instructions correctly?

Medical schools are very specific in their requirements and they expect all applicants to comply with their requirements. Your application may have been rejected simply because you sent only two recommendation letters instead of three. Or perhaps you submitted your application past the last date of acceptance. If anyone of these was the reason for your rejection, being extra vigilant will easily take care of that.  

3. Widen your scope of application

Applying only to a couple of select medical schools reduces your odds of acceptance significantly. If you are considering reapplying, this time increase your odds by applying to several medical schools.

4. Be Realistic

Sometimes, the reasons for rejection cannot be so easily rectified or overcome. If you did everything by the book and still your application was rejected, you need to take a good hard look at your previous years’ grades. While grades are not the sole qualifying factor, they do affect your application. If your grades are anything less than stellar, you really need to think about whether it is worth going through all of the trouble of reapplying to medical school.

Perhaps it’s time to re-think and explore other health-care careers that do not have such challenging eligibility requirements. You could consider becoming a clinical social worker, physician assistant, psychologist or pharmacist. While these career paths are by no means easier than the one you would take to become a physician, the programs are a bit less challenging to get into and definitely worth exploring.  

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