You worked your tail off as an undergrad to have an amazing GPA, took MCAT review courses to get a high score, participated in hours of clinical experience, and still were rejected from medical school! Where did you go wrong? How can you get it right the next time?
Here’s some advice for you from Accepted’s expert consultants after your medical school rejection:
1. Be sure your application is complete…and not just completed.
It seems so basic, but you must complete ALL sections of your application! Consultant Alicia McNease Nimonkar comments “Year after year, I’d see sloppy applications with sections and information missing and essays that raised more questions than they answered.” Often these applicants have lots of wonderful experience that they didn’t know they should include.
Dr. Herman (Flash) Gordon agrees. “Many times, 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.
2. Don’t apply prematurely.
Consultant Dr. Barry Rothman, PhD regularly sees students applying prematurely, without enough upper-division electives and/or not enough clinical experience. These apps are often submitted due to parental pressure. If you know that you need to take more classes or get more clinical experience, do it… despite what your parents say. This will save you time and money in the long run, keeping your parents happy as well.
3. Check cockiness and arrogance before you apply.
Yes, your stats are great, your application is neat and complete, and you believe that you’ll be an asset to the med school you’re applying to, but you’re still not doing the med school a favor by applying. Consultant Cydney Foote cautions “I’ve seen more arrogance in the past few years than in previous ones: People coming in with good or even outstanding stats who just expect that to mean they get into top schools. Practically, this translates to some big errors in school selection, but I think it also reflects a lack of humility that comes across in their essays and interviews.” Arrogance and cockiness can keep you at home in September.
Although it’s tough to face the fact that you’ve been rejected from all of the med schools you applied to, all is not lost.
The first time Jane (a pseudonym for an Accepted client) applied, she had just dropped out of another healthcare program. She had amazing activities and strong numbers. Her essays and application strategy had been weak, but she didn’t know how to write about dropping out. We reworked all of her essays and her entire strategy on each part of the application. The way we reframed her experiences was really effective this time! The mock interviews made all the difference in giving her practice in how she presented her story and confidence.
Sometimes you need to dig deep to unearth your wealth of strengths and your confidence. Your story may not be perfect – no one’s is! – but with the right guidance, you can learn how to create a strategy that’s as perfect for you as Jane’s was for her.
Before you apply again, check out Accepted’s Rejection Review to help you figure out what went wrong and how to be successful in the next application round.