What to do When You Keep Getting Rejected From Medical Schools

  • Mar 15, 2019

Applying to medical schools can be a volatile time, full of nerve-racking stress and probably tears (don't look at me, I've only cried once). 

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It may be disheartening to keep getting rejected from schools and not knowing what your other options are, especially if a gap year is not something you had in mind. 

So, what do you do?

1. Chill out. The average age of a first year medical student is 26. You have plenty of time to sort your stuff out. 

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2. Contact the schools you applied to and ask them why your application was denied. This will give a good starting point as to what you can improve for the next round. 

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3. If your GPA is not strong enough, consider finding a post-baccalaureate program to show schools you're competent in upper level sciences. Alternatively, you can do a Masters program.

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4. If you don't have enough job shadowing, get some. 

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5. If you need more job experience or need money, consider becoming a scribe for ScribeAmerica, an EMT, CNA, MA, phlebotomist, or any other position in the medical field. If you want to do something geared more towards education/volunteering, consider jobs with AmeriCorps, Teach For America, and PeaceCorps.

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6. If your MCAT was unsatisfactory, now you have more time to prepare. Change your study strategy, take more practice exams, consider taking a MCAT class, or using different resources.

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7. If you need more community service, check out food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, boys & girls clubs, or just go to GiveGab for more opportunities. For clinical volunteering, you can volunteer with Sparrow or McLaren, or elsewhere.

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8. In general, focus on your mental, physical, and emotional well being. Life can get crazy so take a gap year for your personal health. In medical school it only gets busier. What's the rush?

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9. Travel to new places.

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10. Check things off your bucket list. Visit all 50 states, go skydiving, sleep for 40 hours.

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By Anna