As my fourth year of medical school is coming to an end, I’ve found myself reflecting on where I was four years ago. Four years ago, I was finishing up my college degree and I still didn’t know if I would get into medical school. It was very frustrating watching my friends make plans for after graduation, knowing that they were heading off to medical or dental school, or graduate school, or a job. Most of my classmates could list their postgraduate plans in the commencement programs and not being able to do the same was disappointing to me. By this point, I was sitting on five wait lists, scouring the internet for clues about when I might be accepted, and if the wait lists were moving. I had also applied for some jobs as back up plans.
If you haven’t been accepted to medical school yet, hold out hope! My first acceptance didn’t arrive until June 18th so you still have plenty of time for the wait lists to shift in your favor. Even after that, I received my acceptance at AMC on July 24th. It is possible that you will wait much longer than you ever expected but still find success. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have back up plans. I interviewed and was offered a job at a chemical company, which I ultimately turned down as I expected one of my more transparent wait lists to go my way shortly thereafter. I was correct, and my first acceptance arrived within a few days of turning down the job.
But seriously consider your plan B and plan C if medical school doesn’t ultimately come through. Decide early if you want to apply again right away, or wait another year, or not apply again at all. If you plan to apply again, apply earlier and to more schools. Widen your net and clear up any deficiencies you may have had in your previous application cycle.
I’ll be honest and say that if I hadn’t gotten in on my first try I would have been unlikely to try again. The whole process was pretty demoralizing and I have a hefty list of other careers I would be happy to have. But props to you if you are persistent enough to try more than once – your efforts will be rewarded when you reach medical school and achieve your goal. The application process is a long slog, but you’ll get through it! Send love letters and hold out hope; even in July you just might get lucky!