Medical School Rejection – What To Do Next

Medical School Rejection – What To Do Next

medical school rejection
medical school rejection
Colette Tolley
2nd-year Medical Student at University of Oxford
June 11, 2021

I’ve been rejected from Medical School

Medical School rejection is a very common thing. Every year around 70% applicants get rejected.

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.

If the reason for your rejection are bad A-Level results, have a look at our How to get into Medical School in the UK with bad grades guide.

Medical School Rejection Checklist

  • Take your time
  • Ask for feedback
  • Evaluate your options
  • Review your application
  • Make use of your free time
  • Don’t overanalyse your application

Take your time

Time is key to recollecting yourself, clearing your head and logically planning your next steps. Undoubtably it is a painful thing to hear about your Medical School rejection. 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!

Ask for feedback

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.

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. Also, check out this guide on How to get into medical school UK with bad grades.

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. Good choices could be biomedical science, biochemistry or pharmacology.

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Critically review your application

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.

  • What could be improved?
  • What areas could be developed and enhanced?
  • Could I get better grades to support my application?
  • Could I get more work experience to boost my personal statement? Perhaps discuss this with a trusted friend or tutor at college for a different perspective. 

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

If you’re taking a gap year and reapplying, check our 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 on the weak points in your application for next time!
  • Take some time to enjoy yourself

Don’t overanalyse your previous application

This is perhaps the most important step. Of course, Medical School rejection is disheartening 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!


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