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Reapplying to Medical School

Admission to medical school is extremely competitive. There are far more qualified applicants than seats available in medical schools across the country. Unfortunately, many students find themselves in the situation of not gaining acceptance to medical school when they first apply.

If you have applied to medical school and you were not admitted, you should take some time for self-assessment. The first question you need to answer is whether a career in medicine is the best fit for you. Have you fully explored the profession, so that you are clear about the special demands needed to be successful in medical school and as a physician? If after some self-reflection you decide that you want to pursue a career in medicine, and that you will work very hard to do whatever it takes to be successful, the next step is to thoroughly evaluate what went wrong in the application process the first time. You should carefully review all aspects of your candidacy, to determine any weaknesses that resulted in denial of admission. Please feel free to set up an appointment with a HPPLC premed advisor to discuss your candidacy. We often can help you identify problems and come up with a strategy for addressing them.  Many medical schools also are willing to advise students on why they were not successful in being admitted.

After doing a thorough review, you need to endeavor to strengthen any aspects of your application that were weak before you reapply. Some students turn around and reapply with the same academic record, same MCAT scores, same application, even the same personal statement. If you do this, you should expect that the decision on your application will be the same as it was the first time and you will be rejected again. Do not make this mistake.

As a medical student you will need to be able to do continual self-assessment, recognize problems, and address them head on. In order to be successful in medical school, it is crucial that you have the ability to accept and learn from feedback. If you reapply with obvious weaknesses in your application you may be communicating to the admissions committee that you lack these abilities. On the other hand, you can earn a lot of respect from an admissions committee by having the maturity to recognize weaknesses and do the hard work to address them before you reapply.

If you determine that you were not accepted because your academic record was weak (particularly if it was weak in the sciences) you may wish to consider enrolling in a Post-Baccalaureate Program designed for students who wish to go to medical school but need to strengthen their academic backgrounds before admission. The Association of American Medical Colleges provides a search engine allowing users to obtain information on individual Post-Baccalaureate programs (to obtain information on a suitable type of program, in the "Special Program Focus" field please make sure to select "Academic record-enhancers"). Go to the search engine »