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Dealing with Med School Rejections

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It’s going to happen. With increasing number of applicants, and only about 100-120 available seats in each medical school, a lot of students are going to face rejections. Last year, according to AAMC, of the 45, 266 applicants, only 19,500 matriculated. That’s barely 43% who got accepted into medical school. More than 50% of the applicants got rejected (1).  It hurts, trust me. Whether the school emails you and lets you know that they just can’t take you even with your super high GPA, and exceptional MCAT score, and outstanding volunteering and research, or they decide to give you the cold shoulder and let you sit anxiously for the entire application year, don’t take it too personally. This is your life. If this is what you want to do, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, least of all an admission committee that takes less than 2 minutes to assess you and your application.

This year, I’ve already gotten rejected from several schools after paying my several hundred in secondary fees. I have one acceptance, and I am pretty sure I’m not going to be hearing back from many schools, especially so late in the game. In fact, I got rejected from one of my top schools just a few days ago. I was bummed. It was so perfect for me: close to home and outstanding hospitals nearby. Brilliant professors, great research programs, and exceptional local health outreach organizations. Rejection hurts, but a good workout can help. So can your attitude. I was upset, and talked to the momma. Then I went in to my usual 4pm Crossfit and got a great WOD in, and then did some running while doing some soul searching, where I finally kicked myself for being so hard on myself. I have an acceptance. And I have an amazing family and great friends. I’m lucky I’ve a great support system and incredibly supportive parents. And I have an incredible opportunity to go to India soon. It’s all about perspective. If you didn’t get accepted this year, and you know this is what you are meant to be, then:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go to med school now, or decide to take a few years off and apply later (I actually took 2 years off…Best decision ever!). Admission committee want to know that you are serious about your decision to pursue this career. They want to see your perseverance. I can tell you that one of my close friends had brilliant statistics: graduated from an ivy league with a phenomenal GPA and well above the average MCAT score, did more than 4+ years of research, and volunteering, and even got published in a well known journal. Rejected from all the schools he applied to his first year. The second year he applied. He nailed it. Schools loved him, and now he has a very difficult decision to make. So be patient. Enjoy life, and do something fun. But don’t beat yourself too much because it didn’t happen the first time around. One of my favorite quotes from the book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo is, “when you want something [so earnestly, and for the right reasons], all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Good luck! And stay safe. And if you have questions, I’ll try my best to answer from my own personal experience 🙂




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