If you didn’t get into medical school, I’m going to ask you a question:

Have you ever failed in life, before this? 

It is always discouraging to work hard for a dream, just to be let down without an acceptance or accomplishment of your goal. If you’ve applied to medical school and not been accepted there are a couple things you can do, but first, I recommend taking a bit of time to process the loss and compose yourself. For many, working towards medical school has been a large amount of sacrifice and time. Not being accepted can be painful and make you re-assess your own abilities. Fear not though, this is a common occurrence even amongst very successful physicians.

Once you’ve taken a breather you need to decide if you want to re-apply or if you’d prefer to pursue another path. While there is nothing wrong with turning your goals elsewhere, this blog is about re-applying. If you answered no, to ever failing, then this will be the first of many times in life that you will be required to dust yourself off and re-apply your dedication to something. Your decision to fold or stay committed says a lot about your dedication level.

If you answered no, to the question about ever failing in your life, then this will be the first of many times in life that you will be required to dust yourself off and re-apply your dedication to something. Your decision to fold or stay committed says a lot about your dedication level.

In order to reapply, you will need to decide what aspects of your application were insufficient to guarantee you an interview and/or a slot in medical school. I recommend having a mentor or pre-med advisor sit down and review the following topics in your resume:

  • Demonstration of Academic Success:
    • GPA
    • MCAT
    • Is your degree completed, or were you still in progress?
  • Demonstration of Medical Experience:
    • Physician Shadow
    • Medical Job
    • Volunteer
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Demonstration of Research Experience
  • Demonstration of Leadership

A lot of schools will have a copy of your original application, so simply re-submitting it is not going to be successful. Remember, it wasn’t successful the first time. Look through your application and find the weak points. You can change your application by many means, such as:

  • Adding a graduate degree, such as a Masters in Public Health.
  • Take additional pre-med classes to build up your science GPA!
  • Do a prep class and retake your MCAT for a better score.
  • Practice your interview skills if you feel your interview was unsuccessful.
  • Spend more time shadowing physicians for the experience. 

The most important thing you can do is realize that this happens to a lot of people and not feel discouraged for long. The extra year to revamp your app, and what seems like a large amount of money, will be trivial in the long run of your career. Keep your head up, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need to hear some encouragement from someone who has been there!

Best wishes,

Kelsi

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