You’ve taken the MCAT, completed all the pre-reqs, and maybe shadowed a physician, done some research, and volunteered. Now it’s time to make sure you’re all in for the last legs of this long journey. In this series, we’ll discuss how you can continue to navigate your way to a med school acceptance by analyzing your profile, creating a strong med school application, writing stellar AMCAS and secondary essays, and nailing your interview.
Here are some questions for you to reflect on:
• Should I reapply right away next month?
• If I do reapply right away, what will be different in my application this year that was lacking last year?
• What about my extracurriculars – do I need more service or additional clinical or research experience?
If you have any doubts when answering these questions, consider waiting a year to reapply and spend the next twelve months enhancing your credentials.
If you feel confident that now is the right time to reapply to medical school, then you should immediately do the following six things:
1. Prepare your AMCAS application ASAP so you can submit promptly in June.
2. Spend time rewriting your personal statement. It is not wise to resubmit the same essay. You are a different applicant this time than last, and you want to make sure the admission committee sees the difference in the materials you resubmit. Yes – many of the descriptions of your activities will remain the same, but you should be able to add a few NEW experiences from the past year. If necessary, due to space limitations, combine older or less significant activities (such as several mentoring/tutoring positions) in order to add current and more relevant experiences.
3. Try to speak to your recommendation writers and have your letters updated. Sometimes it isn’t possible, for instance when you’ve been out of school for years and/or working in a different field, but try and update as many letters as possible. This is important because one key goal for the reapplicant is to appear more qualified than in the previous application cycle.
4. Make sure you submit early and forward supplemental materials including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and MCAT score(s) as soon as possible.
5. Turn your secondary applications around in a week or two at most.
6. Lastly, check and recheck that all supporting documents have arrived and that your application is complete.
Remember, timing is key not only for reapplicants but for all students. You cannot receive an interview until your file is complete.