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How to manage a med school rejection?

Dealing with medical school rejections is never fun, especially given the amount of time, energy and focus spent putting together a competitive application. Here are 5 simple tips that can (hopefully) help you navigate and get through this obstacle.

(1) Rejections are not specific

A medical school rejection isn’t necessarily tied to a specific event. For example, it’s common for students to think they got rejected because of the B they got in organic chemistry or the A- they got in physics. Avoid pinpointing every aspect of your application that could have caused that rejection. A medical school rejection is due to several factors combined. Going down the rabbit hole of dissecting and analyzing every application component is a waste of time and not good for your morale!

(2) Rejections are not personal

You weren’t rejected because there is something “wrong” with you. Your rejection isn’t tied to you personally, it’s an indication of the nature of competitiveness of the applicant pool you are associated with. It is possible that a certain application component might have influenced the rejection, but by no means does this suggest that there is something wrong with you as a person, student, and applicant.

(3) Do your research

Remember that a rejection is not a failure. Being rejected just means you did not get accepted. Once you’ve mourned and grieved your rejection it’s time to get to work and be proactive. Look into your school of choice’s medical acceptance procedure. How much weight do they allocate to every application component, do you even fit the criteria? A lot of students will apply to medical programs without doing their research. They keep applying to medical programs they don’t qualify for and keep getting discouraged when they get rejected.

(4) Learn from your rejections

There is always something to learn and take home from a rejection. Of you apply one year and get rejected, reapplying the following year with the same application will most likely get you another rejection. Schools like to see progress and evolution in their student’s applications. If a student consistently reapplies every year with the same application and keeps getting rejection, what does this say about the student’s self-awareness? Every rejection is an opportunity for you to revamp yourself and further enhance and perfect your application.

(5) Stay positive and don’t give up

Just because you get a rejection it doesn’t mean you’ll never get in. The biggest mistake students make is give up after one application cycle. Admission officers like to see perseverance, resilience, and determination. What is more resilience than applying to medical school several times until you get in? Remember, there is a reason why becoming a doctor is hard because if it we’re easy everyone would do it!

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