IMPORTANT RESOURCES For Pre-Medical Students
Dow Science Office (Mrs. Dinwoody) Center for application files
Visiting Speakers and Panelists Keep an eye open for programs throughout the year.
GAPS program Sign up through the Dow Science Office.
MSAR (Medical School Admission Requirements) A copy of this book is located in the Dow Science Office. It summarizes all MD programs in the U.S.
If You Have to Reapply!
So March comes and there hasn’t been much action on your application. You may even have gotten some rejections. Usually there is more than one reason that you did not get accepted to professional school.
Request an exit interview with one of the schools. If you got an interview, then that’s a very positive step, so they will probably want to be helpful for your reapplication.
The WORST thing you can do is to reapply the following year without updating your letters and your application. Think of the message this sends! You clearly don’t care enough to do a better job, so why should they take a chance on you a second time?
Have a serious talk with yourself…maybe several talks. It is possible that this is not the path for you. Medical/professional school is such a cauldron of experiences that you have to find academics easy or you won’t be able to balance the load.
If you struggle academically, now is the time to ask yourself if you want this struggle for the rest of your professional life, since learning never stops. Now is the time to consider the health care field at a different level than you originally planned.
Potential Problems and Possible Solutions
Lack of contact with school It is amazing how many students apply without even seeing the school or making an informational interview with the school. MSUCOM often denies people who start the application process too late, or fail to have adequate contact with them. They believe that late applicants are also-rans for the MD application process. If you didn’t do your homework before, do it now.
If academics are not strong enough Get an honest appraisal of your ability and the magnitude of the deficit. Retake problem classes and take additional classes while you work in the health care field. Study smarter.
If MCAT scores are not high enough MCAT and ACT scores are considered good predictors of USMLE scores so it is hardly surprising that schools pay attention to these indicators. There are many solutions (including paying for a review class), but most involve creating a plan and sticking to it.
If volunteer/knowledge of medicine seems to be the problem The solution to this is obvious. Get a job and get the experience you need. Read journals. Talk to doctors. Model yourself on the young professionals that will surround you.
If letters are not strong enough Either you selected people that couldn’t write strongly in your support or someone gave you average ratings (which you might have deserved) but the result was that your position was not as strong as other applicants. Find additional people that you can impress with your dedication and talk to them about the kind of reference that you need.
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO BETWEEN NOW AND THEN? There are postgraduate programs that last 1-2 years, and some are outright “we will fix you up for medical school” programs. You could take that road. Perhaps the most impressive is to get a job in the health care field (even EMT or CNA training) and do everything you can to get the kind of experience you really need to be sure this is your path…and solve the problems above as well. Good luck!