The decision to reapply to medical school hinges on numerous factors, not the least of which is potentially waiting for decisions from medical schools regarding waitlists or application holds. For some individuals, the decision to reapply may not be solidified until May because of these timing issues. However, we encourage you to be proactive instead of reactive so you are ready to resubmit again in early June if you decide to do so. Please complete the Intent to Apply Form before May 1 even if you are not yet completely sure you will reapply; it is much easier to let us know you have been admitted to medical school(s) and cancel any appointments you may have made with our office rather than finding time to meet when our schedules have already filled closer to the application submission date. We are glad to continue to work with you (in person or virtually, e.g. email, phone, or Skype) in the reapplication process.
Several factors to consider as you decide/prepare to reapply to medical schools:
- Review and reflect on your first application and ask yourself the following questions: a) How well did my application represent my strengths and tell my story about “why medicine” for me? b) What, if any, weaknesses in clinical experience, service outside of healthcare, research, leadership/teamwork, MCAT, GPA, or application content may exist in my application? c) How well did my list of schools align with the competitiveness of my application?
- Reach out to medical schools that rejected your application for feedback on your application. From those schools that provide feedback, you may receive some very insightful information to assist you in crafting a stronger application moving forward. We strongly recommend soliciting feedback from medical schools!
- If you decide to reapply, plan to demonstrate significant growth or change from your first application; this may include additional experiences, further coursework, a stronger MCAT score, and more.
- Consider reworking your experiences, personal statement, and secondary essays for your next application. You are in a different place than you were a year ago and subsequent experiences may have influenced you in ways that need to be communicated in your next application.
- Review the list of individuals who wrote letters of recommendation for your application and consider any changes you may want to make.
- You may decide to delay reapplication and instead spend a year enhancing your application before you reapply.
- You might re-evaluate your school list so you can apply to schools that are a better match, or where you are not a reapplicant.
- If you plan to retake the MCAT, develop a preparation plan that works for you and supports you in achieving your target score.
How to Request Advice
Whether or not you request a Committee Letter from us, we are glad to provide advice and guidance on preparing a new application, choice of schools, who to ask for letters of recommendation, and more. For 24/7 advice, you can utilize the Application Curriculum on the Apply section of the HPA website. You can also make an appointment with one of our prehealth advisors (https://prehealth.duke.edu/advising) and meet in person or virtually.
Before your appointment, please send your advisor a) a copy of your previous verified application, b) a recent resume, and c) a paragraph describing what you have done since the previous application was submitted.
How to Request a Committee Letter
If you wish to request a committee letter from our office, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform us that you intend to reapply to medical school; this is in addition to completing the Intent to Apply form mentioned above. Include the following with your email:
- Subject line: Reapplicant 2021M
- Attach a completed Reapplicant 2021M form to provide us with information about your reapplication, some of which will be used for your committee letter
- Attach a PDF of your last verified AMCAS application
If you have not previously received a Committee Letter from us, please schedule an RMA (Review My Application) appointment and complete ONLY the essay section of the RMA form, which is included in the Reapplicant 2021M form. We will use your verified AMCAS application and Reapplicant 2021M form in place of the experience section of the RMA form.
If you have previously received a Committee Letter from us, we will update our previous Committee Letter based on the new information you provide in the Reapplicant 2021M form. We recommend that you schedule an RMA appointment so we can offer tips and suggestions for the next application, but it is not required for us to write an updated Committee Letter; you do not need to complete an RMA form for this appointment.
If you graduated before 2017, please contact us to discuss options. A Committee Letter is not necessarily appropriate or helpful for non-traditional applicants.
If you are enrolled in or have completed a Special Masters or Post Baccalaureate program, talk with individuals in your program to see what advising services they offer for reapplication and whether they offer a Committee Letter. A program’s Committee Letter may provide you with a stronger and more recent evaluation of your academic strengths from their observation of your performance and activities in the program. If your program does not write committee letters, contact us to discuss options.
We are here to support you as you consider next steps on your journey to becoming a physician!