Rejections – Medical School – Regrets?

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There are many “ups” and “downs” during medical school application period (AMCAS). With any luck, the “ups” will outweigh the “downs” — when the dust is settled you’re acceptance into any program. Regardless of your intelligence, cheery disposition, or divine birthright, there’s a large chance you’ll experience a large “down” — a medical school rejection. Each year, a little less than half of applicants experience a net “up”, while a little more than half of applicants unfortunately end in rounds of disappointment. However, what unites both accepted and non accepted students is the fact that at some point we were all most likely rejected.

My first rejection, or mutual rejection, came when I pulled one of my applications during the primary — it was just after I saw that the school had just admitted about 8 out of state students in the previous class via MSAR, so I decided to not hedge my bets. You may think, why not just go through with it? Well, the school wanted over a $100 (US MD school) just to pre-screen my primary. When I decided not to invest the cash, I was promptly sent an auto-generated message with a check list of reasons why they rejected my application [not paying fee]. This was my first rejection, I was okay with it, it felt a little scary seeing my school list dwindle down. But hey, you can add more schools during a certain time, and I did.

I received a plethora of kinds rejections since that time. Actually, I just received the last of my rejections last month in March, though my rejection was pretty obvious seeing as how I wasn’t invited for an interview by now. My latest rejects weren’t that surprising either, they like BU (entering class 2014 BU applicants to matriculate is 1.4%) were on my lists of “keep my fingers crossed” schools. In fact, all of my rejections were from schools I never interviewed at, every time I had an interview I scored a spot at a program (I’m used to interviewing and round table talks). So, I never really took the rejections all that personal.

I see rejection letters a little differently now, and it’s not just because I’m biased as an accepted student. Now, one of my jobs is to write acceptance and rejection letters for research scholars now. I’ve taken a page from our medical school friends, dosing out a slice of one of the best slices of insult sandwiches ever dished up. Know that a rejection truly doesn’t have much bearing on you as an individual, especially if you’re rejected early on, they aren’t rejecting you they’re rejecting your stats. Once you’ve been invited for an interview, and you’re rejected then they wanted to get to know you, to establish why you should be accepted as a fit there, and you couldn’t win them over. This again doesn’t say much about you, it just says you have to work on your effective persuasion and communication skills a little.

In the end of all my journey, nearly going bankrupt (creditors! hide me!), all those nights spent thinking if I’d made a mistake by applying when I’d never get in, I did get in. And I got into my top pick. I regret nothing.

Remember applying to medical school is like most things, nothing risked : nothing gained.

find me on twitter @doctorORbust #doctororbust

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