Later in the medical school application cycle, especially after your med school interviews, you might be wondering if there’s anything else you can do to get an acceptance. One common tip we give our advisees is to send their top school(s) a medical school letter of intent. Keep reading to learn more about how to write an outstanding medical school letter of intent and download a sample medical school letter of intent down below.
Download our sample Medical School Letter of Intent example down below.
WHAT: Medical school update letter vs. Medical school letter of intent (LOI) — What’s the difference?
In brief, a medical school update letter and medical school letter of intent are short letters of correspondence, usually less than one page in length, that are addressed to the dean/director of admissions or the admissions committee. The key distinction between the two is that medical school update letters disclose updates on achievements, awards, and endeavors to the admissions committee, whereas a medical school letter of intent reaffirms and strengthens your interest in the school. If you are sending a letter of intent to admissions committees after you interview at a medical school, make sure you clearly state that you have a strong interest in attending the medical school. Or better yet, if you are certain, tell the admissions committee that you plan on going to the medical school if you get accepted.
There is no distinct line that separates the two letters, and the content in both of these letters can be similar; in fact, it is perfectly fine to write a letter that incorporates updates on your application AND your interest of going to that specific medical school. The key factor is whether you have notable things to update.
The most important thing you need address in your letter of intent is why you want to attend that specific medical school. You reasons need to be extremely specific and relate to your application. For example, if you are passionate about global health, your med school letter of intent should include: courses outside the normal med school curriculum you want to take; professors you may want to research with; global health electives and rotations.
Other than explaining why you want to attend that medical school, you can also include updates to med school letter of intent. It’s important to keep these updates brief. Write succinctly and clearly. Below are worthy and unworthy topics you can discuss as part of the update component of your medical school letter of intent.
- Noteworthy projects or milestones that you have not yet mentioned in your application, including:
- Job promotions
- Research Publication acceptances
- Poster presentations not previously mentioned in your application
- Leadership positions or milestones
- Extracurricular activity milestones. For example, you organized a health fair on your college campus.
- Expansion of extracurricular activities. For instance, you expanded the after school program you do tutoring at from 2 middle schools to 4 middle schools.
It is important that these updates are all new and you have not mentioned them in your AMCAS application or secondary application.
- MCAT Scores – these are automatically sent to AMCAS, which distributes it to the medical schools. Unnecessary to mention in the update letter, UNLESS you have taken the MCAT a second time and there is drastic improvement between the scores.
- Grades from ongoing courses – As with above, this is not worth mentioning UNLESS it portrays a drastic improvement in your GPA.
GET our proven update letter Examples
Get off the wait list today!
WHY: Why can a medical school letter of intent be useful to your application?
Here are specific reasons as to why you should send a letter of intent to medical schools you are highly interested in:
- You are still waiting for an interview at one of your top choice medical schools and it’s late in the application cycle (December or later).
- You are put on-hold or on a waitlist for a medical school interview.
- In some cases, after you interviewed at a medical school. Through the years, we have worked with applicants regarding sending a letter of intent after a med school interview, and whether to send a letter of intent is determined on a case-by-case. Please contact us if you are in this position and you have questions.
- You are waitlisted at a medical school post interview.
Simply put, a medical school update letter is an extra bit of you for the admissions committee to read and learn about. A medical school letter of intent gets added to your file, and many (but not all) schools will re-examine your application upon receipt of these documents. As such, they should be written with the same level of care and formality that you would use in a personal statement or secondary essay.
WHEN: When should you send a medical school letter of intent?
The most common question we get from medical school applicants is, “when should I send my letter of intent to admissions committees?” Over the past few years, our rule of thumb for sending updates letters to medical schools has been this: the optimal timing for sending med school update letters is on a case-by-case basis.
Factors that weigh into your decision for sending an LOI include: when you interviewed; when you expect to hear back from the admissions committee regarding decisions; what month of the application cycle you are currently in; who your original recommendation letter writers are; and if you have any noteworthy updates to the medical school.
Again, if you have any questions about when you should send your med school update letters, feel free to contact us.
HOW: How to write a letter of intent for medical school? Read a sample medical school letter of intent.
- Before sending your letter, call up the school to confirm the correct email address to send the letter to.
- Attach your update letter as a PDF to the email, NOT as a word document.
- In the body of the email, state that you are an applicant, include your name, AMCAS ID, and a brief message detailing your update letter.
The most common mistake we see medical school applicants make is that their letters of intent are too generic and not specific enough. This one letter may be your last opportunity to convey to the admissions committee why you would LOVE to attend [____] medical school. Make the letter count.
We often get requests from applicants about how to write a letter of intent for medical school. Our Cracking Med School Admissions team can help you with edits to your own letter of intent for a medical school!
A sample medical school letter of intent is provided above.
KEY TIP: Before you send in a letter of intent medical school, do your homework:
- Some medical schools explicitly note that they do not want medical school update letters, medical school letters of interest, or additional materials. If that is the case, DO NOT send them any additional materials. These policies are pretty strict, and rather than viewing your letter as the exception, the committee might perceive it in a negative light.
- Look up online or call ahead to inquire the name of the medical school dean, director, or admissions coordinator. Then, address your update letter specifically to that person. It will show that you’ve gone the extra mile than just addressing the letter to “Admissions Committee” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Make sure the letter is tailored specifically towards the medical school. It is very obvious if you use a generic template and give generic reasons for wanting to attend a medical school.
GET our proven update letter Examples
Get off the wait list today!