Once January comes, medical school applicants who do not yet have an interview often start to worry that it’s ‘too late.’ If you’re in this position, here are answers to some questions you may have as you await an interview offer:
Is it Really Too Late to be Offered an Interview?
Although much of the scheduling and actual interviewing takes place in the fall, things are not over yet. Many interviews occur in January, February, and even through early spring at some schools. However, if you sent in your application early and have not heard anything from the schools yet, your application may be on ‘pre-interview hold.’ This usually means that the school has evaluated your application and did not find it competitive enough to offer you an interview immediately, but may do so later in the cycle.
Should I Make a Backup Plan?
While you certainly could still get an interview and acceptance at this point, it is a good idea to think about your options for next year early on, just in case. This way, if you do end up having to reapply, you won’t be left scrambling to figure out what to do next. The first step you should take is to determine any weaknesses in your application and make a plan to address them. That way, you can gain the additional clinical experiences you need, retake the MCAT, or take other steps to improve your application in time for the next cycle. If your academic record needs significant work, consider taking additional coursework or enrolling in a post-baccalaureate program.
Is There Anything I Can Do Besides Wait?
Yes… If there have been significant changes to your application that might affect a school’s decision, you can send the schools an update letter and copies of your transcripts with your fall semester grades. In your update letter, include any new volunteer work, awards, jobs, research, or other activities that you have not already listed in your primary or secondary application. Also, briefly reiterate your reasons for applying to the school. Keep it positive and concise.
Hopefully, the coming weeks will bring you the interview invitation you have been waiting for. In the meantime, work on your update letters, start investigating the possibilities for next year, and keep working to strengthen your application.
Remember, we’re always here to help! If you’d like to talk through your options, please email Mary Lothrop (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Hannah Benz (email@example.com) with questions or to set up an appointment.