No Invitations to Interview?
This time of the year is very exciting for medical school applicants. Social media is buzzing with people discussing the schools where they have interviewed or will soon be visiting. In addition, many applicants are joyously celebrating being accepted to medical school. Unfortunately not everybody who has applied is enjoying a similar experience.
Like the people on social media, you too have spent the better part of a year completing primary applications, writing your personal statement, tracking transcripts and letters of recommendation, and completing seemingly endless secondary application questions. Then you wait. And wait. No schools have contacted you with an invitation to interview. Or perhaps you have been invited on some interviews but you have not heard from the schools since then. You might be starting to suspect that your application cycle will end without being accepted in any school.
Although it might be difficult to do, try to be patient as you await the results of your application. Medical schools often continue to admit applicants until classes start. It is possible that you may be called with an invitation to interview at the last minute. However, while you are waiting, it is a good idea to begin making alternative plans for the upcoming academic year.
Realize That You Are Not Alone
Although it may seem like everybody around you is receiving numerous invitations to interview and acceptance letters, the actual truth is that the majority of applicants to medical school do not get in. Furthermore, many of the people who fail to gain admission to medical school are talented people who would make good physicians. In many cases, a medical school’s rejection is not due to a candidate’s lack of ability, rather the cause was one or more errors or deficiencies in the student’s application.
Critically Evaluate Your Application
Since many unsuccessful medical school applicants are rejected due to deficiencies on their application, your first step after should be to critically evaluate your application. It is often extremely helpful to have someone else help you troubleshoot your application. It is often difficult to see one’s own shortcomings, and another set of eyes can be very helpful.
Make Alternative Plans
If spring is approaching and you still have not gotten any interview invites, it is time to start thinking of other plans. You do not want to waste this upcoming year. Think of activities that will strengthen your medical school application in a future admissions cycle. Perhaps the best ways to do this is to look at the weaknesses you identified on your previous application and find activities that will strengthen them. If you determine that your academics are lacking, often the best method for transforming yourself into a strong medical school candidate is to enroll in a post-bacc program. Many of these programs are affiliated with medical schools and confer graduates an advantage in applying to that particular school.
Begin Planning Your Next Application
Just because you did not get admitted to medical school on your first try does not mean that you can never become a physician. Many successful doctors did not get into medical school on their first try. However, they did not give up. If your application to medical school was unsuccessful, you should begin planning your next application cycle. Most reapplicants feel compelled to re-apply to medical school immediately. However, it is often a better choice to wait one or more cycles before applying again. This will give you the time to correct the deficiencies of your first application cycle. Take one or more years to become a stronger applicant. Look for clinical and research opportunities. Working as a scribe is an excellent way to gain clinical experience while earning an income. Some people also get combined clinical experience and employment by working as a phlebotomist, medical assistant, or emergency medical technician. Although these jobs require additional training and certification, they are generally possible to complete quickly.
If your first attempt to gain admission to medical school is unsuccessful, do not give up hope. Use this as an opportunity for learning and growth. If you are serious about going to medical school you will improve your weaknesses and return as a stronger and more desirable candidate.
Do you need help determining what went wrong in your application? We can help. Check out our services for potential re-applicants.