Medical School Admissions: The Power of Recommitment and Renewal

A new year is upon us and 2011 brings with it the power to refocus on our goals and to renew our efforts.   At this point in the med school application cycle some of you that have applied to medical school have received your acceptance letter, and sadly for others it did not go as well.  If you are in the first group, congratulations are in order for a job well done.  I wish you the best of luck as you continue on your journey towards a fulfilling career in the medical field.  However, if you are in the second group (or have not yet applied) then this article is for you.  As Tom Krause put it, “there are no failures—just experiences and your reactions to them.”   If you didn’t get in to the medical school of your choice, don’t despair!  Success may be waiting for you right around the next corner.  So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to work.  The dawning of a new year is a great opportunity to refocus your energies—whether you’re heading back to the drawing board after being denied admissions, or if you haven’t yet finished the application process.  Below are several thoughts to keep in mind as you recommit yourself to the med school application process:

1) Realize that success or failure rests in your hands. As a premed student, it’s easy to feel that the medical school application process is out of your control.  You’ll do your best on your application and your interviews, and then sit back and hope for the best.  That is a common approach, but it shouldn’t be.  Instead, take an extremely proactive approach.  Pore over every detail of every application and relentlessly improve each area.  Work until you are certain that the application cannot possibly be improved.  Don’t leave anything to chance, and don’t depend on others to do your work for you.

2) Make sure your med school applications tell a story. What is your story?  What do you want admissions counselors to take away from your application and your interviews?  Whether it’s your passion for helping others, your superior academic record, or your lifelong dream of becoming a doctor—make sure that you weave your story into every element of your application.  Take every opportunity to emphasize your strengths and your potential.  Your application provides a snapshot of your abilities, your dedication, and your academic history.  Make sure that you convey the strongest possible message!

3) Recognize the stakes. Let’s face it, spending hours upon hours working on your medical school admissions applications isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.  There are other things you’d rather be doing.  But when you have the urge to neglect your applications in favor of something more fun, remind yourself of the stakes.  Your dedication during this stage of the process will be the difference between acceptance into medical school or choosing a new career.  Your focus today will literally shape your future.

So whether you’ve just received disappointing news from a med school or you haven’t yet completed the application process, now is a great opportunity to refocus and recommit yourself.  Take a few moments to think about all of the reasons you’re dedicated to this goal—and then rededicate yourself to success.   

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