Understanding the reasons why med school applications get rejected – Part 1

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On placement in Africa Medicine is unarguably one of the toughest professions to get into and not surprisingly, the challenges start right from trying to gain admission into a good medical school. Most medical schools across Australia receive thousands of applications for just a limited number of seats. With such overwhelming odds, it’s only natural that only a select few will actually succeed in getting admission. Still, if you met all of the qualifying criteria with high GPA scores and stellar letters of recommendation and you think you did everything else right including composing a compelling personal statement it can be very disappointing to get your application rejected. A question you may be faced with at this point is what you can do to improve your odds of getting admission if you reapply. Should you do the same things and hope for the best or is there anything you can do to put together a more impressive application? To get the answers to these questions, take a look at some of the common reasons why applications get rejected so you know what you need to avoid and what you should be doing differently instead.

 

Lack of clinical exposure

Although it may not be specifically mentioned, it is a given that almost all medical schools will look for mention of some kind of medical related work experience in your application. This could be in any form, from shadowing a doctor, working in a medical institution, volunteering or spending time on a medical internship abroad. Doing a medical placement in a third-world country can give your application a huge boost.

Having spent time acquiring clinical experience, especially if it is in a resource poor country speaks volumes about your commitment and dedication to medicine and immediately tells med school authorities that you are serious about the profession. It says that you know what working in this field is like and you still want to be in it. It also shows that you will be able to keep up with the long hours and challenging environment and not be overwhelmed by it all.

 

A badly composed application

It is extremely important that your documents are all impeccably composed. Even if you think that your achievements are enough to get you through, that doesn’t mean you should fall behind on your overall application. Spend enough time on your documents to make sure that they are written well and that there are no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Certain documents like your letters of recommendation are out of your control but you are in control of everything else right from your basic form to your personal statement. Go over them properly and get them proofread by another person before you send them off in the mail. Always, always put your best into every application, whether it is for one of the top medical schools in the country or for the school that is closest to home.

 

Look out for Part 2 for more advice on applying to medical school.

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