After all the hectic measures you’ve taken to get your primary application and secondary applications submitted, there may be a long period of time before you hear back from medical schools. It’s partly due to the time of year – all those fall and winter holidays – and the thousands of applications that they have to process. How can you best take advantage of this time? Is there anything you can do to improve your chances of acceptance?
With over a decade of experience in medical school admissions and with a 94% acceptance rate in assisting clients this past application cycle with getting into medical school and an 100% acceptance rate of helping students get accepted into postbac programs, SMPs and other alternative programs, I’ll share with you the recommendations I give to my clients. I suggest that you use this time to complete the following activities:
- Get Healthy
Use this time constructively to exercise, eat well, and find new outlets to reduce your stress and anxiety during this high pressure application process. Try new sports. Meditate. The more tools that you can identify that work well for you in learning to manage the stress that you are experiencing will provide you with the skills to be successful in medical school and your career. This is only the beginning! Most importantly, when you’re invited to interview and you’re in the best health of your life, you’re more likely to shine during the final step of the process and make a good impression.
- Gain a Sense of Perspective
While you’re waiting, take some time to think about how far you’ve come in your life and your education. Look at old yearbooks, journals, and scrapbooks. If you don’t have any scrapbooks or photo albums, use this time to create them because when you’re accepted into medical school there won’t be time. And having a little scrapbook or photo book that you’ve made of your life could be an inspirational little tool to have to look through when you’re feeling down or depleted during your medical education. Create a box of your favorite memories that you can use to cheer yourself up when needed.
- Visit Friends and Family
Spend time with the people you love the most. Build your network of support now because you will need it during medical school! Also, think about what you can do for others. I find that I am happiest when I am helping others – it takes my mind off of anything that is bothering me. It can help you gain a new perspective.
- Stay Connected to Your Volunteer and Clinical Activities
Don’t stop building upon your professional resume just because you’ve already submitted your application. Use the time to pursue the volunteer work and clinical experiences that you’re most excited about. You’ll have lots to talk about during your interview and your genuine enthusiasm will shine through.
- Update Medical Schools
If you have new grades, publications, or awards, you can send an update letter to medical schools. I don’t recommend sending this letter unless you really do have something new and significant to share. The letter should highlight your accomplishments and provide a summary of the most recent developments. You can work with me or one of the other Accepted advisors if you’d like assistance with this letter.
- Visit Medical Schools
If you have not already done so, visit all of the medical schools in your area that you would like to attend. You can call the admissions office and schedule a tour (see my blog series about Visiting Medical Schools for more information on this topic) or attend premed or pre-health fairs. Networking and learning more about your options can be helpful. If you receive multiple acceptances, the more information you collect now will make your decision much easier later.
Record your thoughts and experiences. What an exciting time in your life! How much would “future you” enjoy reading your reflections about applying to medical school 10 years later when you’re a practicing physician? It could help you gain perspective and connect deeply with the feelings you’re experiencing so that you can process them in healthy ways that will move you forward in your life.
Still not done with your medical application? Need help with interview prep? Reapplying to med school next year? Wherever you stand in the admissions process, we can help! Explore our Medical School Admissions Consulting & Editing Services and work one-on-one with an expert advisor who will help you get ACCEPTED.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!