There's a few key scenarios you could find yourself in as a result of results day...
You have just picked up your A-Level Results, and you missed the grades you needed for medical school
You got the grades you needed, but you didn't get into medical school for another reason
You just picked up your AS results or got your predicted grades, and you're under what you need for medical school
The first thing to do is don't panic - on average only 10% of students get accepted to Medical School the first time.
Never give up!
It is never nice to be told you have been rejected, especially when you have set your sights on attending medical school. But don’t give up that easily! As you know, competition for medical school is fierce, as the reality is there just aren’t enough places for everyone. A rejection does not mean you are not good enough to study medicine or become a doctor. Indeed, a valuable attribute for doctors is perseverance and determination, and that is exactly what it takes to get into medical school. So, if you are willing to keep at it, there is no reason why you can’t re-apply for med school in the next academic year. But remember, you need to start planning now to improve your application!
Did you know that for every place available on a medical course, there are between 4 and 60 applicants? So, rejections are to be expected. However, it is important to know what happened in your application process that led to your rejection so that you work on this. Did you miss the required grades? Do you have less experience than other candidates? Maybe you didn’t perform your best during your interview. Whatever the reason, it might be worth asking the medical school for some feedback on your application. Of course, they are not obliged to do this, but there is no harm in trying and they may even give you some ideas as to how to improve your application for next year.
Common reasons for rejections
It is essential you now go back to your application and review with a critical eye. You can then ask yourself the following questions:
What could be improved?
What areas could be developed and enhanced?
Could I get better grades to support my application?
Could I get more work experience to boost my personal statement?
Perhaps discuss this with a trusted friend or tutor at college for a different perspective. Generally, there are common reasons why applicants are rejected from medical school. Here’s a couple of them:
Missed the grade requirements – this is when none of the medical schools you applied to (and you can apply to four each time through UCAS) accept your grades because they are not high enough. Find out whether your medical school would accept you if you re-sat the exam and achieved the required grade. It is essential to find this out directly before taking such action.
Lack of medical work experience – medical schools want to see clear demonstration of your commitment to medicine, and the only way to show this as a student is through work experience or voluntary experience. If you think this is an area you are lacking in, and you still want to attend medical school, it would definitely be to your advantage to develop more experience.
What to do to improve your chances of success
There are many things you can do to enhance your chances of being accepted next time you apply. Here are a few ideas that our past students have suggested:
Develop your experience – apply for as many jobs as you can in health care. This does not have to be in a hospital, but in any health environment such as nursing homes or day care centres.
Apply to be a healthcare assistant (HCA) – this is a specific role in the NHS, so it is paid and is generally based in hospitals.
Gain some overseas medical work experience – find a reputable overseas placement where you can gain excellent experience working at overseas hospitals with medical professionals. You can find out more about how Medical Projects can assist with this medical work experience here: Medical Work Experience.
Remember... this isn't the end of the road for your medical career. In fact, it's just the beginning! We have several Doctors and Medical Students here at Medical Projects who experienced this rigorous application process, some of which got in the first time and some of which had to re-apply and took a medical gap year.
Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to speak to them directly by contacting us on email@example.com