Getting into Medical School For Dummies
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If you reapply to medical school, be sure to revise your personal statement. Do not reuse your previous personal statement; as a reapplicant to medical school, you really need to differentiate your current application from the previous one as much as you can. Some medical schools keep previous applications on file and compare the old and current applications.

When revising a personal statement, you don’t have to do away with all the material from your original version. For example, if your previous statement discusses an early experience you had within the medical field that inspired you to pursue the profession, you can still mention that activity in your new version.

However, you should also do a significant amount of fresh writing and emphasize your achievements and growth since the last time you applied, discussing how they’ve further motivated or prepared you for a medical career.

Because the opening and closing of a piece of writing make the greatest impact on a reader, revamping those sections for your new personal statement is especially important. A statement that starts exactly the same as last year’s essay sets the expectation that you won’t be offering much new material this time around.

Some applicants choose to directly address the fact that they’re reapplicants, discussing what they learned from the experience of applying previously and reflecting on how they’ve worked to improve their applications since they last applied. Others highlight new activities and discuss why they’re stronger candidates for medical school than ever before without addressing outright that they’re reapplying.

Both approaches are acceptable; however, if you decide to talk about a past attempt, don’t make it a major focus of the essay. The limited space you’re allowed for the personal statement is better used to discuss your strengths and motivation for medicine than to dwell on a previous rejection.

Even if you don’t mention that you’re a reapplicant, the schools that you’ve applied to before will likely still have your old application on file and be aware that you’re reapplying.

About This Article

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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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