Rejected from medical school? What’s next?

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It’s only natural to feel dejected when your application to medical school gets turned down but what do you do when all of the med schools you applied to reject your application?  Should you even bother to reapply to the same schools or to other schools or should you give up on your dream of becoming a doctor and consider some other profession instead? When you are rejected from medical school, there is a lot to think about and plenty of major decisions to be made.

The very first thing you need to figure out is, would you truly be happy if you gave up medicine altogether and pursued another career path? What would you like to do instead? At the end of this brainstorming session, you will have decided one way or the other whether you would be happy with your alternate career or whether it would end up being a major compromise and medicine would always remain your first love. If it’s the latter, there are several things you can do to improve the odds of getting your application accepted the next time.  

Monitoring young patients on the paediatrics ward at Morogoro Hospital, Tanzania Re-Assessing Your Application

The best way to find out the reason why your application was rejected is by going straight to the source itself – ask the universities that rejected you.

If you were rejected after the interview, knowing where you feel short of their expectations will give you a good idea as to what interview techniques you need to work on and improve.

If you were rejected without even being called for the interview, you have to look more closely at all of the paperwork you submitted.  Different med schools have different academic entry requirements. Did you meet that particular school’s minimum requirements with regards to academics as well as UKCAT/BMAT scores? This is actually one of the most common reasons for applications being rejected. When choosing where to re-apply, make sure you check the requirements for each med school before you send in your application.

Take another look at your personal statement. On second look, perhaps it does not look as impressive as you first thought? If you feel it is difficult to assess your own personal statement, request your career advisor to have a look through it and let you know where you can improve it.

You’ve Worked On Improving Your Application – Now What?

Working on improving your application is only one part of increasing your chances of getting your application accepted the next time. With a one year gap in between applications, you have plenty of opportunities to engage in activities that will prove to the interview authorities that you are eager, interested and determined to pursue medicine. Here are a few suggestions:

Spend some time shadowing a doctor. You learn a lot about what it is all really about. At the end of the shadowing period, you will know for yourself if this is truly the career for you and if it is, it will give you something to discuss at the interview.

Do a medical placement in a developing country. School authorities know how tough these placements can be and the fact that you are still pursuing medicine after the experience shows that you are dead serious about it.

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