You’ve taken the MCAT, completed all the pre-reqs, and maybe shadowed a physician, done some research, and volunteered. Now it’s time to make sure you’re all in for the last legs of this long journey. In this series, we’ll discuss how you can continue to navigate your way to a med school acceptance by analyzing your profile, creating a strong med school application, writing stellar AMCAS and secondary essays, and nailing your interview.
All is not lost! If you’ve been placed on the waiting list, do not lose hope. Some students receive an acceptance as late as a week before classes begin. If you can, maintain your sense of perspective.
Of all of the applicants under review, the admissions committee has decided that you are a promising enough candidate that they want to keep your application on the table. You have made it to the top half of the pile. Most medical schools will accept double the number of students they have space for because they anticipate losing students to other schools. The likelihood that you could be called up from the waiting list – depending, of course, on where you stand – is high.
To increase the likelihood of your acceptance from the waiting list, you can:
1. Continue your involvement in all activities
Out of disappointment, please do not give up any of your activities. When things do not go as planned, the way we respond to these situations speaks volumes of our character. Worst case scenario, if you are not accepted this cycle, you can always reapply after addressing any weaknesses in your application. It would be hard to reapply with a stronger application, if you do not maintain the level of your commitment to service, research, and clinical experience.
2. Create reasons to update the selection committee
Use this time to see what you can achieve! Take another class and earn an A. Work hard enough to receive an award – employee of the month or a certificate of recognition for the number of volunteer hours earned. Finish your research project or article so that you can work towards a publication, if you have not already started the process. Or present your work at a conference through a poster.
3. Write a letter of interest
If you have not heard back from any of the schools by mid-April, when they give students a deadline to make a decision about their acceptance, you can write a letter of interest.
4. Consult with an admissions expert
If you’re not sure why your application was placed on the waiting list, you can contact an expert at Accepted for assistance. Our consultants can help you by reviewing your application and identifying any areas of weakness and creating a plan to address those in the most strategic manner possible – based on our extensive experience.
When applying, no news can be good news – especially if it leads to an acceptance. An acceptance is an acceptance, regardless of when you receive it.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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