While we always hope for the best, sometimes life does not go as we plan. If your child has received rejections from all of the medical schools that they applied to, it may seem like the end of the world. Here are 4 tips to help your future physician overcome this devastating experience:
1. Give them some time
Our brains process rejection like physical injury. Each rejection from medical school feels like a kick or a punch. Understanding the science behind rejection can help us to understand that what we’re feeling is normal and experienced by everyone in a similar situation. Giving your child time to process the experience can be helpful. Encourage them to be kind and gentle to themselves as they grieve this lost opportunity.
2. Be supportive
When they are ready to talk about their next move, encourage them to research alternative options. There are lots of ways to turn a rejection into an acceptance. When it’s time, you can help your premeds reevaluate their application or encourage them to seek the guidance of a professional consultant or mentor. There are lots of options and lots of alternative paths to medical school! Don’t hesitate to remind them of this fact.
Here are some alternative routes to consider:
• Formal postbac programs
• Informal postbac coursework
• Working a year to gain clinical experience, perhaps retaking the MCAT, and then applying earlier
3. Put it in perspective
It’s difficult to see the big picture when we’ve experienced a minor setback in our academic plan. Remind your child that this will only be a hiccup in the timeline of their life. While it is a painful experience, they can develop the resilience to reevaluate their application and reapply successfully the next time by addressing any weaknesses in their application.
4. Seeking personalized advice
While these tips may only help you manage the immediate crisis, if your child is reapplying to medical school, it will be critically important that they do make significant changes to their application the next time they apply. Working with a medical school admissions consultant can make a significant difference in the admissions outcome – many Accepted consultants have spent years working in admissions and can provide lots of insight on the application process and the strategies required to be successful.
Of particular interest to you and your child may be our unique Rejection Review Service where you’ll receive feedback on your child’s rejected med school applications and personalized advice on what needs to be addressed/fixed for a successful reapplication.
Looking for more advice? Register for our upcoming webinar, The Reapplicant’s Guide to Med School Acceptance, airing live on March 14th, for step-by-step guidance through the reapplication process.Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!