If you take the time to peruse the vast databases of applicant statistics, there’s one striking conclusion which can be drawn about reapplicants – in most cases, they’re fighting an up hill battle against the application, the interview, the first-time applicants, and the statistics from previous years. Unless reapplicants make substantial strides in their applications between cycles, they have a slim chance of getting into a medical school of their choosing. 🙁
Its been said that “you only want to take the MCAT once”, but even more importantly, you only want to apply once. For some (myself included), this translates to taking a year off to improve your MCAT, gain meaningful clinical/research experience, etc. Once your name is out there on the AMCAS and TMDSAS applications, you want to be confident in the impressions you make.
Another point to consider is how to answer the ever-so-popular interview question: “What will you do if you don’t get into medical school this cycle?” While there’s no “right” answer, most people say something along the lines of taking time off to improve their applications by working, volunteering, and/or retaking the MCAT. Sure, this means you’ll hypothetically be a reapplicant, but at least you’re indirectly showing your steadfast determination towards pursuing a career in medicine.
So if you’re deciding whether or not to take additional time before applying, ask yourself some questions.
- Is medicine really what I want to do?
- How much can I realistically expect to improve all aspects of my application?
- If I still don’t get in anywhere, what’s my “Plan B?”