There is no denying the fact that the medical school admission process is a challenging and stressful process that takes a lot of patience, commitment, and impressive academic records. There are many competitive applicants that are accepted for the first time because of limited seats and a large number of applicants. Out of hundreds of thousands of applicants, only the top 8-10% applicants get the chance to get an interview invite.
If you have been rejected from the school you applied to on your first try, don’t be disheartened, take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the next application cycle. Take a critical look at your application and try to find out the reasons for your rejection. There are many reasons why medical school admission committees reject an applicant, such as unimpressive MCAT scores, low GPA, poorly written personal essay, no previous clinical experience, unsatisfactory interview performance, and the timing of application submission.
If this happens to you, it’s time to gear up for a second application cycle and strengthen your medical school application. Understand your application weakness and try to improve it by retaking the MCAT exam, shadowing a physician, finding a volunteer opportunity in a research lab, improving your low GPA, and do anything that will make you a successful medical school applicant.
Here are some effective strategies that second-time applicants should consider when it comes to thinking to reapply to medical school.
Improve Yourself as a Candidate
Many candidates who have not been accepted to medical school try to reapply immediately in the next cycle. But before taking this step, take some time to carefully review your application to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Since there are many reasons why a candidate may be rejected by the medical school admission committee, such as low MCAT scores, poor academic records, poor interview performance, badly written personal essay, unimpressive letters of recommendation and more. It is advised to improve your profile by improving your grades, retaking the MCAT exam, gaining some clinical experience and participating in volunteer and research opportunities. You can seek advice from premedical advisors and medical school admission representatives to improve areas of your application that need to be improved.
Premedical advisors can guide you on how to make your application stand out from the rest of your applicants. They also recommend enrolling in the post-baccalaureate program to improve your GPA and gain knowledge of science courses which is the most important Caribbean medical school admission requirement. In addition, medical school admission committees can help rejected applicants on how to improve your medical school application and prepare for the interview.
Strengthen Your Academic Performance
Your MCAT and GPA are the most important components of a medical school application that can make or break your chances of getting into medical school. In fact, your academic metrics can serve as a deciding factor when schools are making an interview decision. Therefore, it is important to have an impressive MCAT and GPA to bolster your chances of acceptance. If your grades are not impressive, it is the right to give your GPA a boost and consider enrolling in undergraduate courses or post-baccalaureate program. These courses are especially designed for those students who want to improve their science GPA. You can also retake the MCAT exam to improve your scores. Consider enrolling in MCAT prep courses and take as many practice tests as possible. Check the websites of all the schools you are thinking of applying to get a better understanding of the average scores they accept.
Keep in mind, academic records are a crucial part of your medical school application, securing outstanding scores will definitely make the admission process easier and smoother.
Get Some Clinical Exposure
Obtaining some hands-on clinical experience can make you a competitive medical school applicant. Medical school admissions committees will surely impress by your unique experiences as it demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to the field of medicine as well as the desire to help others. Most importantly, it helps you decide whether the medicine is the right career for you.
It is strongly suggested to get work experience in a number of medical settings such as government hospitals, medical centers, private clinic of a GP, research lab, rehabilitation center or simply enroll in a medical placement program. This will allow you to polish your personal statement and get a variety of clinical experiences that will give you an extra edge over others.
Timing is Important
Applying early is a good strategy when it comes to submitting your medical school application. If your medical school application hasn’t changed, there is no point to apply to the next cycle. Medical school admission committee wants to see major improvements in the applications of reapplicants. You need to give yourself a significant amount of time to improve all the weak areas.
Recheck the List of Schools
Prior to reapplying, it is important to carefully check the list of schools you are aiming to apply to. Many applicants make the mistake of applying to top medical schools. To become a competitive applicant and bolster your chances of acceptance, add more schools in your list when reapplying that favor applicant similar to your academic background and strengths.
Get Strong Letters of Recommendation
Believe it or not, letters of recommendation are one of the most integral parts of your medical school application. They truly reflect your personal strengths, academic metrics, and unique experiences. Prior to reapplying, carefully evaluate the letters, you submitted earlier. If you have obtained new experiences, consider getting new, strong and detailed letters of recommendation about your candidacy.
Gear Up for the Interview
It feels out of the world when you get an interview invite from medical schools, as it is a true indication that they are considering you for their institution. Obviously, you don’t want to break your chances of getting accepted by appearing unprepared. Practice some interview techniques and be prepared for questions that you might expect to face. Remember, lack of preparation can ruin your chances of acceptance. So be prepared and demonstrate the admissions committee that you are the right fit for the medical field.
It is advised to mock interview questions with your friend, teacher or family member to boost your confidence and to get yourself acquainted with an interview setting. Furthermore, there are many interview courses, tutoring sites and mock interviews available to improve your interview skills and set yourself up for the real interview with admission experts.
Improve Your Personal Statement
Another important thing to consider before reapplying to medical school is to take a deep look at your personal statement. Carefully analyze the things you can add to make it impressive that will eventually help your application stand out from the other candidates. If you want to add some new skills and experiences, write a new essay and highlight what you have done to improve your candidacy.
Once you have identified the areas that need your immediate attention, take your time to improve them. As a medical school reapplicant, it is also a great idea to meet successful candidates who have been accepted on the first try and follow the strategies they adopted. It is also a worthwhile approach to check the medical school admission requirements and what medical schools are looking for in their future talent. Applying to another application cycle with complete preparation will give you the desired results and help you get into a Windsor Caribbean medical university and fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor.
Taha Ahmed, a tech-savvy blogger, likes to read tech blogs and watch movies. Professionally, he is a Digital Marketer and Content Writer.