To start off the new year, Renee wants to talk about people that are in the current application cycle that have not yet received any interview invites. Renee and the rest of the Prospective Doctor team get a lot of questions from applicants who, in January, are still waiting for their first invite and do not know what to do.
Renee discusses how there are reasons to worry and reasons not to, but that the most important thing is to stay positive. She gives advice on things you can do to up your chances in the current cycle, how you can be more prepared for the next cycle, and shares her own story about how she didn’t receive her first interview invite until January.[1:12] It’s January and you haven’t had any interviews. Should you be worried?
No, you shouldn’t be worried because every year there ate lots of applicants that get interviews after January. Most medical schools will interview all the way up until May. Some people don’t receive their interview invites until even April. Getting your first interview invites in January is not particularly uncommon nor worrisome.
However, you should be worried just a little bit. You may not get an interview invite, and you need to start planning for that. This is the time to start considering what you will be doing if you have to re-apply. There is still time for you to make significant changes to your application for the next cycle.[3:08] Things to consider if you haven’t had any interview invites.
The obvious things to look at are your GPA and your MCAT. It’s a little harder to make up the GPA in six months, but you can certainly rewrite the MCAT if you need to. The next thing is to re-evaluate your extracurricular activities. If you were lacking in physician shadowing, community service, etc., you have time to make up for that now. Another area which causes good candidates to not get interviews is letters of recommendation. They are most often blind, so you don’t know what your letter writer wrote about you. If you have a bad letter of recommendation, that is pretty much an instant rejection. Think about who wrote yours or even approach them, tell them you haven’t received any interviews yet, and ask if they wrote anything that may have been detrimental to your chances. Of course, do this in a very non-accusatory and in a way that shows you want constructive feedback.
Another thing to think about is what your school list was like. Did you only apply to top medical schools or out-of-state public schools that only accept a very small number of residents? At this point, it’s probably too late to add any schools to your school list. Most medical schools have passed their application deadline. Some finer details to think about if you have to re-apply are if you applied on-time, had your transcript submitted on-time, and had an application which was free of typos and spelling errors.[7:01] What you can do to improve your chances for the current cycle.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton you can do. However, you can write a letter of interest to schools that you haven’t heard from. It is recommended to send a letter of interest to schools than you haven’t heard from within two to three months of submitting your secondary application.
The letter of interest should be specific to the school. Update them on the activities that were included in your secondary application and express why you want to go to that school. Expand on these aspects or talk about different aspects of the school that interest you.[9:14] Closing thoughts.
Renee has submitted her applications to schools a bit late; around the middle of July. Her first interview was around January 20 and she ended up having eight interviews in total, with the last one being in May. It’s still possible to get interviews, but it is important to start thinking about the next step.