Does it help your chances to apply to a medical school twice?

Feb 23, 2014
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Hello all,

I am currently planning on taking two gap years between undergrad and medical school for several reasons. There is one medical school (Emory) that I would attend if I got in, for several more reasons. I'm not all that confident that I would get in if I applied right now, given that the cycle is already a few months in and I am still building my resume with clinical hours. However, I was thinking that I may just go ahead and apply to that one and only school on the off-chance I get in.

My question: does anyone know if it helps/hurts/makes no difference if a school reads my application next year and sees that I applied this year? And presumably did not get accepted this year?

Thanks!
 

Goro

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Some schools will accept you if you fix things that kept you out the first time around.

There are others, like gyngyn's that do NOT interview reapplicants.

My advice to you is apply ONCE, with the best possible app, even if it means sitting out a cycle.
 

gyngyn

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Some schools will accept you if you fix things that kept you out the first time around.

There are others, like gyngyn's that do NOT interview reapplicants.

My advice to you is apply ONCE, with the best possible app, even if it means sitting out a cycle.
To be precise, we rarely re-interview applicants, but the idea that the first application should be as strong as possible is entirely correct.
 
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Feb 23, 2014
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Duly noted, thank you for the input. I think that settles it, unless there are any conflicting or corroborating accounts
 
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deleted158872

To be precise, we rarely re-interview applicants, but the idea that the first application should be as strong as possible is entirely correct.
Why not?
If a person made it to the interview last cycle and ended up not getting in, i assume he's qualified on papers and the most likely weakness would be poor interview skills, right?
 

gyngyn

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Why not?
If a person made it to the interview last cycle and ended up not getting in, i assume he's qualified on papers and the most likely weakness would be poor interview skills, right?
Here and everywhere else, yes.
 
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deleted158872

Here and everywhere else, yes.
then why does your school not re-interview applicants? Or do you mean that your school does not re-interview anyone (meaning: interview applicants TWICE in the same cycle?)
 

GrapesofRath

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then why does your school not re-interview applicants? Or do you mean that your school does not re-interview anyone (meaning: interview applicants TWICE in the same cycle?)
ADCOMS correct me if I'm wrong but here's one possible guess

Motivation, meh personal skills, poorly expressing your interests, not coming across as particularly impressive in describing your accomplishments and doing your HW on the school; those aren't the type of things that often simply just change in one year from one cycle to the next. IF you don't come across as that impressive in person once, how is one year going to really change things all that much?

You can try and pull a different strategy for next cycle to new schools; but the ones that have already seen you a) already have made their opinion of you meeting you b) won't buy the radical changes you made in a year c) might possibly think your just being phony coming across with an entirely new persona and person with suddenly different motivations and call into question what you said last cycle and this cycle.
 
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gyngyn

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then why does your school not re-interview applicants? Or do you mean that your school does not re-interview (meaning: interview applicants TWICE in the same cycle?)
The flaws revealed in the previous cycle are likely to persist into another cycle.
 

sovereign0

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then why does your school not re-interview applicants? Or do you mean that your school does not re-interview anyone (meaning: interview applicants TWICE in the same cycle?)
I would guess that the admissions committee perceives that it isn't a good allocation of resources to offer an interview to someone who they know doesn't interview well, and already had their shot. Social awkwardness might be a little harder to fix in a gap year than a poor MCAT score.
 
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then why does your school not re-interview applicants? Or do you mean that your school does not re-interview anyone (meaning: interview applicants TWICE in the same cycle?)
It would seem that if you find an applicant unsuitable after an interview, that is not something that can be fixed with more research publications or shadowing hours.
 
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To be precise, we rarely re-interview applicants, but the idea that the first application should be as strong as possible is entirely correct.
So if a strong applicant applied late, and didn't get any II's because of the lack of spots, would their situation be better than a reapplicant that interviewed?
 

gyngyn

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So if a strong applicant applied late, and didn't get any II's because of the lack of spots, would their situation be better than a reapplicant that interviewed?
One might reasonably presume that he interviewed elsewhere and was not accepted.
We have no way of knowing that he didn't get any interviews.
 
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gonnif

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Why not?
If a person made it to the interview last cycle and ended up not getting in, i assume he's qualified on papers and the most likely weakness would be poor interview skills, right?
Here and everywhere else, yes.
To play devil's advocate, the other side can simply be that intense competition can easily leave outstanding candidates without an acceptance, even with great paper and great interview. For example, I attended a white coat yesterday and of 6400 applications, 107 matriculants.
 

gyngyn

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To play devil's advocate, the other side can simply be that intense competition can easily leave outstanding candidates without an acceptance, even with great paper and great interview.
Especially if they lack strategy.
 
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Doug Underhill

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SDN seems to dislike reapplicants, but we all know of the individual who got in on their second cycle.
 

gyngyn

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SDN seems to dislike reapplicants, but we all know of the individual who got in on their second cycle.
A re-applicant needs to address their content or strategy.
Both of these seem very personal so it translates as "dislike."
We don't actually dislike them.
 
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gonnif

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SDN seems to dislike reapplicants, but we all know of the individual who got in on their second cycle.
About a 25% of applicants in any one cycle are reapplicants. They are accepted at a lower rate than first time. Here are what some medical schools say about reapplicants
http://admissions.med.miami.edu/md-programs/general-md/reapplicants
http://admissions.med.miami.edu/md-programs/general-md/reapplicants

http://www.med.unc.edu/admit/general-info/admissions-process/reaaplicants

http://www.med.wisc.edu/education/md/admissions/reapplying/31716
 
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Does the school know that a student is a reapplicant based on internal files?

Only 1 secondary asked me if I had applied before (and I have, but only in Canada) so I answered honestly, but checked off no to the school-specific reapplicant question that followed.
 

gonnif

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Does the school know that a student is a reapplicant based on internal files?

Only 1 secondary asked me if I had applied before (and I have, but only in Canada) so I answered honestly, but checked off no to the school-specific reapplicant question that followed.
You are only a reapplicant to the specific schools that you have applied to previously. AMCAS will tag you to those schools.

https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/faqs/301606/amiareapplicanttoallschools.html
 
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GrapesofRath

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Can you elaborate on this? What do you mean by strategy?
Applying too top heavy. Applying to the wrong schools. Poor interview skills and techniques that need an overall and new "strategy". Theme and direction of essays and personal statements don't match, come across poorly or don't convey a very convincing picture of someone who will make a successful doctor. Adjusting that takes a new "strategy" of convincing an ADCOM to accept you.

None of us like people telling us who we are as a person isn't good enough. And none of us should. It's very easy to think of someone telling you "your interview went poorly" "the theme you tried to portray in your essays about yourself and why you'd be a good doctor was poor" as insults to who you are as a person without hte proper perspective. But it's all a strategy at the end of the day; getting into medical school requires a plan and any plan is defined by your strategy to succeed.
 
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