As the medical school application season progresses, you might be getting anxious, especially if you haven’t gotten the response you want yet. Don’t be discouraged. While it is late, medical schools are still (and will be for some time) inviting applicants to interview. Here are a few things that you can do to maximize your chances:
1. Confirm that your AMCAS primary is complete and correct.
If you identify any problems (recommendation letters that haven’t arrived, classes that are categorized incorrectly, missing classes on your transcript), take immediate steps to address them.
2. Contact (by phone or email) any programs that have not yet sent you a secondary application.
Make sure that they have everything they need from you; you can also ask if they are still sending out secondaries.
3. Contact (by phone or email) any programs where you have submitted a secondary to confirm that your application is complete.
You may discover that some of your materials never arrived. You can also ask if they are still sending out interview invites. Keep in mind that the later you sent in your secondaries, the later the admissions committee will review it and get back to you with an interview decision.
4. If you’re planning an upcoming trip, send an “in the area” email to any programs along the way.
Tell them that you will be nearby (although not for another interview) and if they might be inviting you for a future interview, would they consider arranging it around this time to save you the expense.
5. If you have any outstanding updates, prepare an update letter to request that the new information be considered.
Keep these short and on-point – you should only provide new information, not reiterate what was in your previous submission. This would include any recent achievements (either at school, in the workplace, or in a volunteer position), improved test scores, a new med school recommendation, or something else of that sort. You should send this med school admissions updated information in the form of a brief letter – not more than one page – with important documents attached.
6. If you’ve received a rejection letter from a program where you have significant ties, you can send an appeal.
This letter, addressed directly to the head of the admissions committee, should describe your unique ties to the medical school and make a strong case for an in-person interview. Although it is by no means guaranteed, I’ve had several students who were able to gain invitations and ultimately admission through their appeals.
With all of these measures, be sure that you are not violating any of the specific medical school’s guidelines about contact. Some programs make updates very easy through their online portals; others request no additional contact after the secondary is submitted. Abide by their preferences – you don’t want to be that person who can’t follow instructions.
Admission to medical school is a long process, and it’s not over yet. If you haven’t gotten the results you hoped for, don’t give up. Contact Accepted so we can help you take these last steps that will get you the offers you want.By Cydney Foote, former administrator at the University of Washington School of Medicine and author of three ebooks about medical education. Cyd has successfully advised medical school and residency applicants since 2001. Want Cyd to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success, a free guide
• Do I Really Need a Mock Admissions Interview?, a short video
• Typical Medical School Interview Questions
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