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Your Questions Answered About Reapplying to Medical School

Written by Jack Westin on Nov 6, 2019

Your Questions Answered About Reapplying to Medical School

According to the AAMC, of students who applied in the 2017 cycle, only 40% were accepted to medical school. It’s no wonder why so many students need to reapply. Though you’ve already done it before, the process of reapplying to medical school comes with a new set of challenges.

In this post, we’ll answer the most common questions we hear about reapplying to med school so that you can go into your reapplication process prepared.

Jack's Tips on improving MCAT CARS Score.

How Many Times Can You Apply To Medical School?

It depends on the medical school. Many medical schools only allow you to apply twice. The limit will be clearly stated on the medical school’s website. 

Is It Bad to Be a Reapplicant to Med School?

Not at all. Considering over half of applicants are not accepted, reapplying is quite common. 

Unfortunately, there is no available data as to the acceptance rates of reapplicants vs. first-time applicants. If you reapply without making any changes to your qualifications, academic scores, or hours of patient exposure, for example, don’t expect to be treated any differently. However, if you take the time to reassess your application and beef up the areas in which you were lacking before you reapply, it shows your commitment to medicine.  

Should I Wait a Year Between My Original Application and Reapplying?

This varies from applicant to applicant. If you had a strong application and were invited to several interviews, it shows you are close but need to make some moderate improvements. 

If your application was rushed or on the weaker side, taking a year to improve your application can be highly advantageous. 

Can You Reapply to Medical School After a Withdrawal?

Yes, but it depends on the reasons for your withdrawal. If you had to withdraw due to a death in the family or a serious health concern but were otherwise an exceptional student and still show that same commitment to medicine, reapplication should not be a problem. 

If you withdrew because you were failing, it is unlikely you will be accepted back into medical school. 

Can You Reuse Letters of Recommendation?

You can reuse your letters of recommendation, but medical schools do not keep them on file, so you will need to resubmit them each time you apply.

Just because you can reuse a letter of recommendation doesn’t mean you should. If you are reapplying, consider the quality of your current letters of recommendation. Is the content of those letters still relevant? Could you get a better recommendation letter now that you are taking the time to reapply? 

Reapplicants need to show that they are improving their whole application, not just one piece.

The reapplication process needs to be about improving on your first application; otherwise, you can’t expect to receive different results. 

Are There Any Medical School Reapplicant Disadvantages?

One noted disadvantage for students reapplying to medical school is that students cannot reapply with the same application. Even if there was only one aspect of the application that fell flat, such as a flubbed interview or a below average MCAT score, improvement must be shown in every aspect of the application—which can be difficult if you particularly excelled in other areas. 

Using the same personal statement is a big disadvantage for students reapplying to medical school. Reapplicants need to write a new personal statement, and this can be difficult for students who struggled with their personal statement the first time around.

💡 Review Medical School Personal Statement Examples and Crucial Advice.

Reapplicants should also take another MCAT to improve their score, get new clinical experiences, and do everything they can to improve each aspect of their medical school application.

Reapplying to Medical School Resources

Med School Reapplicant Reddit Advice

Use every resource available to your advantage. When reapplying, you’ll need every asset out there to help you build an application that’s better than your last. Reddit message boards can provide a wealth of advice from students who are in the exact same position as you.

Look for advice from those who have been through similar struggles to yours on the /r/MCAT and /r/premed subreddits. 

💡 Learn How Top Students Use MCAT Reddit to Score Well.

Retaking the MCAT

You can take the MCAT a total of 7 times in your lifetime. In a 1-year span, you are permitted to take the MCAT 3 times. In a consecutive 2-year span, you are able to take the MCAT 4 times. 

We strongly recommend taking time away from the MCAT before attempting it again. Receiving a poor score on the MCAT can feel like an absolute disaster, and it can be easy to allow emotions to get the better of you, potentially leading to an even worse score. 

We recommend you don’t start studying again until:

  1. You have coped with the frustration of needing to retake the MCAT.
  2. You have a solid plan for retaking the MCAT.
  3. You are ready to begin studying with a patient and open mind.

💡For more insight into retaking the MCAT, read our blog on the Top Three Principles for Retaking the MCAT

Make Your Reapplication to Medical School Stand Out

Reapplying to medical school is a confusing, tedious, and time-consuming process. Applicants must improve upon their entire application in order to have a chance of acceptance the second time around.

Whether you’re reapplying to medical school or applying for the first time, we can help you navigate the process every step of the way. We help our students with all aspects of the application, including how you can improve upon past applications. 

Our team of editors and advisors (including Jack) have years of experience and are ready to help you overcome any challenge you may have applying or reapplying to medical school.

Join the Waitlist for Medical School Admissions with Jack Westin.

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