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No medical school interview invites? What can you do next?

By December 1, 2019January 27th, 2020Interviews, Q&A
No medical school interview invites?

AMCAS application – check.  Secondary essays – check.  Now it’s the long waiting game of hearing back from various medical schools for the coveted interview invitation.  But what if the application cycle is not going according to plan? What if you are still waiting for a majority of medical school interview invites?  Or worse, what if you have no medical school interview invites?  Don’t fret too much.  Many other applicants are in your shoes and some of the authors of Cracking Med School Admissions did not receive interview invites until as late as March!

Starting November of each year, we start getting emails from students who are worried that they have not yet received a medical school interview invitation.

If you haven’t received any medical school interview invites …

Don’t panic. The first thing to remember about the application process is that timelines are often flexible. While there is an “aggressive” timeline that follows what we would recommend for a medical school applicant, unexpected things do come up and it is important to be able to weather these challenges with poise.

For medical school interviews, it is the case that some applicants may not get called to interview until February or as late as March. In the mean time, there are a few things you can do to enhance your application.

 

3 Things You Can Do While Waiting For A Medical School Interview

There are several things you can do to improve your candidacy for receiving a medical school interview. 

1. Send an update letter about your activities, jobs, awards, and new medical publications

Medical schools appreciate applicants who are actively trying to improve their case for acceptance. An update letter containing the above topics could be just enough to push you over the edge to land a medical school interview. Activities and awards are important because they show leadership, passion, and drive. Be sure to include short descriptions about new leadership roles and updates about your activities. New publications serve as additional proof of how interested you are in the research aspect of medicine, and substantive research can dramatically improve your candidacy.

Other than the sample medical school update letter below, we wrote a blog post recently on how to write an effective medical school update letter. 

Medical School Update Letter: What. When, How & Why

Here’s an example medical school update letter:

2. Send the medical school admissions committee a letter telling them you will be in the area and that you are very interested in their school

This is especially pertinent to students who are doing some portion of his or her gap year abroad, or if you are studying abroad your senior year fall semester.

It’s important to remember that the admissions office is not a black box – admissions offices are staffed by real people who care about selecting the best fit applicants for their school. They also are quite reasonable when it comes to respecting applicants’ travel schedules and the challenges of going on medical school interviews around the country. Oftentimes, if a candidate is in the area, the school will allow them to come and interview if they have already traveled great distances to interview at another school (or even if you happen to be in the area at the time). You can send a letter or an email in advance of your travel, expressing interest in interviewing at the medical school of your choice. If you receive a favorable response in return, you can adjust your travel accordingly and get your interview. This strategy does not always work, but it’s a win-win situation when it does. The important thing is to make an effort!

No Medical School Interview Invite Tip: Remember, don’t just tell the school you will be in the area. Still mention a few key aspects about the school that make it one of your top choices.

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Rachel Rizal, MD

Have Questions About Update Letters or Interviews?

Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA
3. Some Schools Allow You to Send An Appeal

Keep in mind that some medical schools allow you to appeal a rejection decision. Actively keep communication open with the schools that didn’t grant you a medical school interview, and if there is an appeals process in place, take advantage of it to have the admissions committee take one more look at your application! Even if there is no formal appeals process mentioned on a school’s website, if you are particularly interested in a school it may be worth asking if there is an appeals process and supplying a brief statement for why they should reconsider. A thoughtful letter to the admissions office just might make a difference to help you land a medical school interview. We have also seen letters of recommendation writers or pre-med advisors at certain schools write appeal letters/emails to the medical schools’ Admissions offices.

No Medical School Interview Invite Tip: Before you send in an update letter, do some homework: look online or call ahead to acquire the name of the admissions coordinator. Then, address your update letter specifically to that person. It will show that you’ve gone the extra mile.

 

Need help or worried about your application?

Each year, several students contact us because they are worried, “I have no medical school interview invites.” Our Cracking Med School Admissions team can help evaluate your application and help you figure out:

  1. When to update the medical school admissions committees
  2. What to tell each medical school admissions committee
  3. Other strategies to express your interest to the medical school

Email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com with your concern or fill out the contact page below. You can read more information about our update letter package here.

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