You worked your tail off as an undergrad to earn an amazing GPA, took MCAT review courses to get a high score, and engaged in many hours of clinical experience and community service, but you were still rejected from medical school! Where did you go wrong? How can you get it right next time?
Three tips from the Accepted med school experts
Here’s some advice for you from Accepted’s expert consultants on how to increase your chances for success when reapplying:
Don’t reapply prematurely.
Consultant Dr. Barry Rothman, PhD, says that he “regularly sees candidates reapplying prematurely, without taking the time needed to improve their grades or gain clinical experience. These applications are often submitted because of parental pressure or worries that one will ‘age out’ of medical school.” If you know that you need to take more upper-level classes or get more clinical experience, take the time to do it – despite what your parents or a ticking clock might have to say. A well-timed reapplication will save you time and money in the long run (and keep your parents happy as well).
Choose your schools strategically.
Sure, everybody would love to attend Harvard Medical School (ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for medical research) or the University of Washington (ranked #1 by U.S. News for primary care education). But creating a school list strategically – including safety, in-range, and reach schools – will help you manage your time and budget while maximizing your results. When curating school lists for her clients, consultant Cydney Foote goes beyond quantitative factors to consider acceptance rates, school missions and values, and most importantly, individual fit. “I see too many applicants aiming for big-name schools without knowing much more about them,” she says. “The right medical school isn’t the one with the best name but the one that helps you get to where you want to go.”
Know what makes you stand out.
GPAs and MCATs provide a measure of a candidate’s academic potential, but it is in the written parts of the application that each applicant must distinguish themself. “While reviewing primary and secondary essays for a recent rejection review,” observes Cydney Foote, “I realized that they were saying all the right things, but there wasn’t much that was personal or unique about them. I still didn’t have a clear image of who they were and why they would be a good physician.”
Consultant Dr. Herman (Flash) Gordon agrees. “Many times,” he says, “I thought that an applicant was probably very good, but I just couldn’t make their case from what they had written.” You need to be able to persuade the committees you deserve that spot. Taking time for this reflection should be an essential step in the reapplication process.
Facing rejection…and moving forward
Although it’s tough to face the fact that you’ve been rejected, all is not lost. It’s important to assess your strengths and weaknesses with honesty and open eyes. Where did you go wrong? How can you get things right the next time?
Before you apply again, Accepted’s Medical School Rejection Review can help you figure out what caused your application to fail and how to be successful in the next application round. We look forward to helping you GET ACCEPTED!
What our clients say.
“I was concerned with being a reapplicant, having average statistics, and having an IA (due to leaving graduate school due to health issues); however, Cydney was dedicated and a great person to work with. Every penny was worth it. I successfully completed ten interviews (DO and MD), received two acceptances (DO), and was placed on four waitlists. As of now, I will be attending MSU COM; unless, I get accepted off the waitlist for my top choice. Team Accepted and Cydney played an invaluable role, and I am forever in your debt.”
“Herman’s expertise in the medical school admissions process and his years working on medical school admissions committees provided me the unparalleled insight I needed as a re-applicant. Through his guidance I was able to convey exactly what I wanted to admissions committees. Without his help I would not have achieved my dream acceptance into medical school.”
“I really wanted to thank you again for all of your help and support. The reapplication process was a rough one for me. I dealt with a lot of uncertainty regarding what went wrong the first time, a very negative experience with the previous med school counselor I was working with, and many in my inner circle telling me to look at other professions. Your taking the time to work on my essays, bring out my voice, and speedy responses and feedback definitely made the difference in making sure I got my secondaries in, and I deeply appreciate you going above and beyond in wrapping up my application.”
“I was a reapplicant for the AMCAS and TMDSAS applications and was ultimately accepted to my top choice medical school, McGovern Medical School, in the Texas pre-match! Cydney’s feedback not only helped to improve my application to be much more competitive, she also helped me to understand and learn more about how to properly and actively write about myself for such applications. During my interview I received multiple comments on my writing, with one interviewer saying she knew she would enjoy speaking to me after reading my application.”