Ultimate Guide – Dealing with Rejection from Medical School

4 minute read


I’ve been rejected from Medical School, what now?


You may have been rejected from Medical School and are feeling unsure about how to proceed. It can be overwhelming to think about your next move, hopefully this guide can offer you some help with some useful tips.

Rejection can be turned into a positive, even if it feels overwhelmingly negative initially. It is an opportunity to reflect, understand what went wrong and improve ready for next time.

Here’s our six top tips for reflecting on your rejection: 

1 – Time

Time is key to recollecting yourself, clearing your head and logically planning your next steps. Undoubtably it is a painful thing to hear that you have not gotten into Medical School. Ensure you’re focusing on keeping other aspects of your life healthy during this period – social life, diet, exercise and any studies you may be completing.

At the end of this process you may have an idea if you want to apply again or if you want to pursue something else. If you want to reapply then this guide will provide useful tips on how to improve next time!

2 – Work out why you were unsuccessful

Before you begin to plan your next steps, it’s essential you work out exactly why you were rejected. Ask the universities for feedback on why they rejected you.

If it was pre-interview it may be a simple reason such as grade requirements, UCAT or BMAT score.

If its post-interview, universities should be able to supply you with detailed feedback on why they rejected you. They may have mentioned certain qualities they felt were missing, certain qualities you showed too much of, or something as simple as the structuring of your answers wasn’t up to scratch.

Once you receive the feedback, you’ll be able to move forward focusing on the weaker points of your application.


3 – Evaluate your options moving forward

Once you understand where the application failed, you’ll be able to know your options surrounding medicine in future. If you’re reapplying, you’ll be having a year off so consider how you can make that year off useful!

✓ If you were rejected because of your grades you’ll need to consider resitting, foundation years or a different degree course. Check Medical School websites for resit policies and foundation year degree entry requirements

✓ If you were rejected because of UCAT or BMAT you’ll need to re-sit them next year.

✓ If you need to consider another degree, all together then start to think about what you’d like to study. If its with an aim of reapplying to medicine afterwards, make sure its related to medicine


4 – Critically review your application and how you can improve it

✓ If its exam scores; entrance exams or academic exams, look at the score breakdown in the mark sheets and highlight your weaker areas. When coming to re-sits, be sure to put extra time into preparing for your weaker sections to avoid the same thing happening again

✓ If you were rejected because of interview performance look at the universities feedback of your performance. From this feedback, identify the areas you need to work on in the next cycle.

5 – Act, make use of any spare time you now may have!

If you’re taking a gap year and reapplying, check our ‘ultimate guide to a gap year before studying medicine‘ on how to make the best use of your time off! Things you should be thinking of include:

✓ Gaining more experience – work experience, paid or voluntary, can only look good on your medical CV and improve your chances when reapplying

✓ Work on the weak points in your application for next time!

✓ Take some time to enjoy yourself – you’ve worked hard up to this point and taking time to return to the next application with a clear head will be beneficial

6 – Don’t overanalyse your previous application… it’s happened, in the past, move forward and better yourself!

This is perhaps the most important step. Of course, it’s disheartening to be rejected but don’t let it knock your confidence. You’ve got an opportunity to improve your application, your knowledge and get to know yourself better.


Remember… It’s not the end of Medicine for you, it’s the beginning of a new and exciting journey!



Author: Cameron Elsworth

Author: Cameron Elsworth

Manchester Medical School