Guest post from Yael Redelman-Sidi, co-founder and admissions consultant advisor at Admit2Med.com, a medical school admissions service.
Reapplying to medical school is a very difficult process – you know you want to be a doctor, you know you could be a great one, but last year you couldn’t convince medical schools to admit you. At Admit2med, we’ve worked with many applicants and re-applicants, and have come up with a list of tips to help you get into medical school this time:
1. Figure out what went wrong last time
Did you get any interviews last year? How many, and how did they go? This should be your starting point. If you didn’t get any interviews, it is probably a sign that you were relatively far from the benchmark of students admitted to your target schools and will need to improve your profile, whether it is your MCAT, volunteer work, or GPA. If you got interviews but didn’t make it, it could be a sign that you didn’t prepare enough or that you have difficulty presenting yourself effectively.
2. Come up with a plan
Once you know what went wrong last year, create a detailed plan for what you are going to do with your gap year. It’s not just about filling your time – it’s about making significant progress in all the vectors that are important to schools.
3. Apply to a long list of medical schools
Maybe you applied to 15 schools last year and didn’t get into any; if so, you are not alone. As the medical school application process becomes more and more competitive, you want to open up and give yourself options. Don’t judge schools just by their ranking or brand name; think about whether they will be a good place for you to train.
4. Take the personal statement and essays seriously
Maybe you think that the personal statement is only a small piece of the puzzle, and that your 32 on the MCAT or your cum-laude from Stanford are more important; this is not true. Medical schools are not just looking for smart people, they are looking for applicants with interpersonal skills, sensitivity to diversity and experiences that will contribute to the classroom; the personal statement and the essays are your place to show that.
5. Seek feedback and guidance
If you applied on your own last year, this might be the time to seek some help – either from your friends who are already in medical school, from a family member, or from a professional admissions consultant who has helped other students get into medical schools. While your mom/dad loves you, they are not in a position to give you objective and sometimes difficult feedback, whether it’s about your shadowing experience or your communication skills. Reach out to others and find ways to get better – that’s the only way to get in.
6 Show concrete progress
If you are re-applying to some programs, you will need to show specific progress and how your application this year is better than the one you submitted last year. The schools will look to see that there is something different; otherwise your chances of admissions are even lower, as the applicant pool gets more competitive by the year.
Admit2med.com is a medical school admissions consulting service, helping students with their medical school essays, interviews and overall applications. Connect with them on facebook or twitter to hear more news and tips about med school admissions.