Medical School Waitlists

The following is some waitlist advice from Wayne Shelton of AdmissionsConsultants. Dr. Shelton served on the admissions committee at Albany Medical College and has been helping applicants gain admission to their top-choice medical schools for a number of years.

Being waitlisted to medical school is a let-down, but it's not completely bad news. The waitlist gives you another chance to make a case for your academic and professional promise. Many students enter medical school from a waitlist. You could make the same move, if you follow these tips.

1) Submit updated grades. Let's say you applied to medical school at the end of your junior year, and your GPA was good but not great. If your subsequent grades are better, submit them. Improved grades will give the admissions committee more confidence in your abilities and focus.

2) Convince the school that you were made for each other. Send the message that there's no other school you would rather attend. Be specific. Say why this school's curriculum, history, rotation sites, etc., make it the right program for you – and you the right student for it.

3) Tell the admissions committee about your ongoing achievements. Let them know when you have been elected Student Council President, or published a research paper. Achievements enhance your appeal as a candidate.

4) Use your contacts, Part 1. Chances are good that some of your professors have connections with medical school faculty and staff. Ask them to put in a good word for you.

5) Use your contacts, Part 2. The representative who interviewed you is another contact in the admissions office. Tell that person you are delighted to be on the waitlist, thank them for their help – and ask what you need to do to get off the waitlist and into the program.

6) Get to know the medical school even better than you already do. Aggressive (and successful) premeds need to learn more about a school that has waitlisted them. Ask the admissions office if you can meet current students, observe classes, or speak with an admissions officer or committee member about your candidacy. Remember to be polite and appreciative in all your contacts. These are people you will, hopefully, be seeing much more of in the course of your medical education.

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