Are Medical School Reapplicants At A Disadvantage?

If you got rejected from med school the first time around (Which is fairly common since less than half of applicants get in), your probably wondering if reapplying puts you at a disadvantage.

Being a med school reapplicant does not immediately put you at a disadvantage. However, most med schools will pay close attention to whether or not you made any improvements since applying last.

As a reapplicant who got into med school, I have done a ton of research on this topic.

Keep reading as we answer common reapplicant questions, how med schools view reapplicants, and what you should do to improve your odds of getting in as a reapplicant.

Does being a Reapplicant hurt your chances of getting into med school?

Getting into med school is highly competitive. Med schools are flooded with applications and they only have so many spots available.

To some med schools, simply being a reapplicant can hurt your chances. Some schools might immediately dismiss you because you have already failed once. It’s unfortunate but something to keep in mind.

This is why it’s so important to make your application as competitive as possible the first go around.

However, there is some good news. Most med schools will give you another legitimate shot. In these cases, a drastic improvement in your application can show resilience and a strong desire to get into med school.

What About 3rd Or 4th Time Reapplicants? 

If you are consistently reapplying to med school without showing much effort in improving your application, it is almost guarenteed that you won’t be considered again.

Plus you will be spending a ton of money on med schools applications which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If you are applying to med school for the third or fourth time, make sure you have done something during the year that makes you a stronger applicant.

A good friend of mine was in this situation. He was applying to med school for the fourth time. I remember him specifically saying that this would be the last time because it was too much of a strain on him.

To give him the best shot of getting in as possible, he attended a special master’s program. This sort of willingness and determination to improve ultimately got him accepted into med school.

When Should You Stop Reapplying To Med School

As I mentioned above, applying to medical school is very expensive. At some point, you should call it quits if you are not getting in.

When you give up on med school is up to you.

If you are applying for multiple cycles and not actively seeking ways to improve yourself, chances are you probably gave up a while ago and you should seek a different career.

If you are improving your application, by doing more extracurriculars, taking additional classes, shadowing, volunteering, or whatever it is, then you are probably very close to getting in and should keep pushing.

My suggestion is to stop when you don’t have that passion for medicine anymore. Because if you can’t maintain a level of determinism or drive after being rejected, you will struggle in medical school, residency, and beyond.

Do Medical Schools Know If You Are a Reapplicant?

If you are applying to the same medical school, then yes, they will know that you are a reapplicant. If you are applying to a new school during your reapplication cycle, they will not know that you are a reapplicant from the AAMC. However, sometimes schools will ask if you are a reapplicant in their secondary.

You will be asked to check a box for schools that you are applying to a second time.

Do Medical Schools Keep Old Applications

Most med schools do keep your old application. Therefore, if you are a reapplicant, med schools should be able to compare your new application to the old one they received a year ago.

This is all dependent on the individual school’s database. The AAMC doesn’t automatically send them your previous year’s application.

What Percentage Of Reapplicants Get Into Med School?

According to the most recent statistics from the AAMC, about 36% of premeds that apply to medical school get in. The AAMC also states that about 25% of the applicants are reapplicants.

Unfortunately, at this time there is no data that shows what percent of reapplicants get into medical school.

There are a lot of factors to consider, but we can assume that around the same percentage of reapplicants get in as regular applicants.

Students who don’t improve their application will have a harder time getting in. Students who do show a lot of improvement will have a higher chance of getting in.

Are You Technically a Reapplicant If You Don’t Submit a Secondary?

As long as you submitted a primary application to a med school, you are considered a reapplicant. Even if you did not submit a secondary there.

It will just be shown that you have submitted an incomplete secondary.

My suggestion is to follow through with all parts of the application if you decide to apply.

Should A Med School Reapplicant Reuse Essays?

No, a reapplicant should not reuse an essay. This includes your personal statement, any primary essay, or any secondary essay.

That being said, you don’t have to totally rewrite your essays. You can copy the majority of the essay, add any relevant experience you had since applying, and change anything else that is outdated.

How Reapplicants Can Improve Their Medical School Application

If you are reapplying to med school and need to improve your application, here are some things you could do during the year between your applications.

  1. Get involved in new extracurricular activities. This could be anything from volunteering to learning how to fly. Do something that is unique and makes you a more well-rounded individual.
  2. Improve your GPA. If your GPA is to blame, make sure you do something to improve it. If you are already in school, make sure you get a 4.0 or close to it during your last year. If you are out of school, consider attending a post-bacc program.
  3. Retake the MCAT. Is your MCAT score competitive? If not, maybe with some extra study time you can significantly improve it. We designed a 1-month MCAT study schedule that will help you improve your score quickly!
  4. Gain more clinical experience. Showing med schools that you have inside knowledge o the medical profession is essential. Here are some great clinical experiences you should look into:
    1. Scribing
    2. EMT
    3. CNA
    4. Surgery tech
    5. Shadowing
    6. Ophthalmology Tech

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