Getting into Medical School For Dummies
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Before reapplying to medical school, consider increasing your clinical, research, and other life experiences. Often, students are denied admittance to medical school because they have minimal exposure to clinical medicine, an overall thin resume, or a lack of in-depth involvement in community service and leadership activities.

If you’re lacking significant shadowing or clinical volunteer experience, actively seek opportunities in those areas so that upon reapplication you have strong evidence of your exploration of the medical field. If you already have numerous clinical experiences on your application, seek out different specialties within medicine to explore or branch out into doing basic or clinical research.

Whatever area you participate in, get involved early, because a sudden flurry of activities dated a few months before your new application is much less valuable than evidence of an ongoing, organic commitment to your endeavors.

If reapplying results in a gap year, you potentially have the opportunity to work in a clinical setting or research position on a full-time basis, which can provide a significant boost to your application portfolio.

Applicants who already have strong resumes sometimes rely on their previous experiences to carry them through the new application cycle and thus end involvement in their activities to focus on retaking the MCAT or improving their grades. However, stopping all volunteer work, physician shadowing, and other activities is a bad idea.

Schools like to see evidence of continued involvement in activities, not that an applicant dropped everything upon submitting his application to medical school. Continue your work with existing organizations or seek out new opportunities as you gear up for another application cycle, no matter how robust your previous achievements are.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Carleen Eaton, MD, has used her expertise in admissions and test preparation, as well as her experiences as an applicant who received acceptances to top-ranked medical schools, to guide hundreds of applicants successfully through the medical school admissions process. She is the founder of, a medical school admissions consulting firm.

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