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Every cycle, there are stellar applicants who accumulate 8, 10, 12, or more interview invitations. This is a terrific accomplishment.

In an ordinary cycle, such applicants would usually turn down a number of these interview invitations (either by canceling a scheduled interview, or not scheduling one in the first place) because it was not worth incurring the travel and lodging costs associated with traveling to that many schools, especially to ones where the applicant may no longer be interested.

Other applicants rely on these cancelled interviews for an opportunity to themselves interview at some of those schools that stellar applicants may deem less desirable. Each school can only interview a certain number of applicants, and this capacity reallocation helps ensure those interview spots get to applicants who might not otherwise have had a chance to interview at a given school.

This year, because interviews are virtual, you will not incur travel and lodging costs. So, you may be tempted to sit for every one of your 8, 10, 12, or more interviews. That would of course be your right. But I want to encourage you, if you have the fortune of receiving a high number of interviews invitations or even an early acceptance, to consider canceling the interview(s) with schools you know you are no longer interested in. This will allow fellow applicants, who might otherwise be shut out, to have a shot.

Congratulations to all who have received interview invitations and even early acceptances, and to those who haven't, hang in there. Best of luck to everyone.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Some schools offer merit and others may have generous need based aid so it may be tough for some to cancel interviews.
 
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Some schools offer merit and others may have generous need based aid so it may be tough for some to cancel interviews.
Understood. For some, though, there are schools that they are really no longer interested in, having received IIs or As from more preferred schools.
 
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Also the argument in the OP doesn't make a lot of sense. Medical schools also interview for their wait lists. If you don't even get an interview to begin with, you weren't competitive enough to even get on the waitlist so it really is wishful thinking. Your fate would likely be the same.
 
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Tenk

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Interview invites are not acceptances. This is horrible advice. You can have 12 interviews and fail getting into med school. You should only cancel interviews if you have an acceptance elsewhere and have zero interest in that school. If you have even 10% interest, go interview. You earned it.
 
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Interview invites are not acceptances. This is horrible advice. You can have 12 interviews and fail getting into med school. You should only cancel interviews if you have an acceptance elsewhere and have zero interest in that school. If you have even 10% interest, go interview. You earned it.
Well, you certainly don't have to agree, but there are plenty of others in the admissions community who do. It's not horrible advice.

Likewise, residency PDs have already issued warnings based on modeling done for similar scenarios this cycle. If everyone accepts all of their interviews this cycle, they project there will be more applicants than usual who have zero interviews at all.

I did not suggest people turn down interviews for schools they're interested in. As I said above: "For some, though, there are schools that they are really no longer interested in, having received IIs or As from more preferred schools." Obviously, people should do whatever they feel comfortable doing.
 
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Also the argument in the OP doesn't make a lot of sense. Medical schools also interview for their wait lists. If you don't even get an interview to begin with, you weren't competitive enough to even get on the waitlist so it really is wishful thinking. Your fate would likely be the same.
Actually, it does, although I disagree with the premise that applicants need a gentle reminder from strangers on the internet to cancel their interviews.

Yes, of course schools are also interviewing for their WLs. The fact remains, though, that there are a fixed number of interview slots. In years past, people would start to cancel interviews after receiving As, due the time and expense required to attend all interviews. These slots would then be offered to other people, who, as you stated, might be interviewing for the WL. These people didn't have an interview, until they did, and then they had a shot they didn't have before. Their fate could very well be radically different.

This year, with pretty much all interviews being virtual, there is really no incentive to cancel any interviews. After all, if you were interested enough to apply, you might as well see what happens on the interview. Maybe they will blow you away. Maybe they will offer you a ton of money. Maybe both. If you cancel, you will never know, and it costs you nothing, other than a few hours from the comfort of your home, to find out. OP is encouraging people to cancel them anyway, because, if they don't, people who would have received IIs in prior cycles won't this year.

So, no, it's not wishful thinking to believe that people who receive a late II have a real shot at an A or WL. What's wishful thinking is to believe people are going to do what OP wants and act against their own interest in order to benefit random, anonymous fellow applicants. :cool:
 
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Well, you certainly don't have to agree, but there are plenty of others in the admissions community who do. It's not horrible advice.

Likewise, residency PDs have already issued warnings based on modeling done for similar scenarios this cycle. If everyone accepts all of their interviews this cycle, they project there will be more applicants than usual who have zero interviews at all.

I did not suggest people turn down interviews for schools they're interested in. As I said above: "For some, though, there are schools that they are really no longer interested in, having received IIs or As from more preferred schools." Obviously, people should do whatever they feel comfortable doing.
Find me a single adcom that says you should cancel interviews without an acceptance in hand.
 
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Actually, it does, although I disagree with the premise that applicants need a gentle reminder from strangers on the internet to cancel their interviews.

Yes, of course schools are also interviewing for their WLs. The fact remains, though, that there are a fixed number of interview slots. In years past, people would start to cancel interviews after receiving As, due the time and expense required to attend all interviews. These slots would then be offered to other people, who, as you stated, might be interviewing for the WL. These people didn't have an interview, until they did, and now they have a shot they didn't have before. Their fate could very well be radically different.

This year, with pretty much all interviews being virtual, there is really no incentive to cancel any interviews. After all, if you were interested enough to apply, you might as well see what happens on the interview. Maybe they will blow you away. Maybe they will offer you a ton of money. Maybe both. If you cancel, you will never know, and it costs you nothing, other than a few hours from the comfort of your home, to find out. OP is encouraging people to cancel them anyway, because, if they don't, people who would have received IIs in prior cycles won't this year.

So, no, it's not wishful thinking to believe that people who receive a late II have a real shot at an A or WL. What's wishful thinking is to believe people are going to do what OP wants and act against their own interest in order to benefit random, anonymous fellow applicants. :cool:

The interview crowd has a better application (on paper at least) than the rejected pre-interview crowd. Most schools cannot accept everyone they interview; thus, they would go to the interview reject pile (assuming there were no glaring deficiencies evident from the interview) before the rejected pre-interview pile should the waitlist be exhausted and spaces are still open. And if your argument is that it would increase the odds of getting a waitlist spot, if you weren't strong enough to get on the wait list to begin with you are not going to be strong to get off the waitlist regardless. Either way, asking strangers on the Internet to cancel interview invitations probably isn't going to turn a pre-interview rejection into an acceptance which is what ultimately matters.
 
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Well, you certainly don't have to agree, but there are plenty of others in the admissions community who do. It's not horrible advice.

Likewise, residency PDs have already issued warnings based on modeling done for similar scenarios this cycle. If everyone accepts all of their interviews this cycle, they project there will be more applicants than usual who have zero interviews at all.

I did not suggest people turn down interviews for schools they're interested in. As I said above: "For some, though, there are schools that they are really no longer interested in, having received IIs or As from more preferred schools." Obviously, people should do whatever they feel comfortable doing.
Do not turn down any interviews until you have at least 1 acceptance!
Also, "interviewing for the wait list" is a mythical misconception that refuses to die.
 
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If you're an extremely competitive candidate with multiple acceptances (including ones you might have had from canceled interviews), you can also leverage those to seek more financial aid potentially.
 
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The interview crowd has a better application (on paper at least) than the rejected pre-interview crowd. Most schools cannot accept everyone they interview; thus, they would go to the interview reject pile (assuming there were no glaring deficiencies evident from the interview) before the rejected pre-interview pile should the waitlist be exhausted and spaces are still open. And if you argument is that it would increase the odds of getting a waitlist spot, if you weren't strong enough to get on the wait list to begin with you are not going to be strong to get off the waitlist regardless. Either way, asking strangers on the Internet to cancel interview invitations probably isn't going to turn a pre-interview rejection into an acceptance which is what ultimately matters.
Yes, of course. Maybe I am not being clear. I'm not talking about post-II decisions, and neither is OP. I am talking about IIs.

Schools have a fixed number of spots. 500, 1,000, whatever. When someone with an interview cancels the next person on the list is called. It isn't nearly as black and white as you imagine. Let's say 8,000 applications and 800 interviews. In this pool, it's not crazy to assume the top 2,000 are pretty strong, even though only the top 800 will be called for an interview. If 100 people cancel, and #s 801-900 are called, you have no basis to say #850 would have no shot after an interview while #500, or whatever, would. None at all! :cool:

That said, I agree that nobody in their right mind would cancel an II to give an anonymous stranger a shot. They wrote their secondaries. They paid their fees. They received their IIs. No time and travel expense. Zero reason not to let it play out and see what happens.

Yeah, some people will be screwed. I predicted this in the spring, and asked adcoms whether they planned to issue more IIs to compensate. Most said no. So what's going to happen is more people are going to have multiple As, and schools will have to go deeper into their WLs (unless they are smart enough to yield protect out people who would have canceled IIs in previous years), while people who would have filled the canceled interview slots in previous years will be SOL, OP's request notwithstanding.
 
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Do not turn down any interviews until you have at least 1 acceptance!
Also, "interviewing for the wait list" is a mythical misconception that refuses to die.
Until February or March, at schools that are still conducting interviews after they have already issued more than enough As to fill the class, at which point it is no longer mythical nor a misconception! :cool:
 
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Tenk

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Do not turn down any interviews until you have at least 1 acceptance!
Also, "interviewing for the wait list" is a mythical misconception that refuses to die.
Misconception how? I was told point blank by the dean of admissions that our entire group was interviewing for waitlist spots and they had no more acceptance offers. Really wish I could go back in time and stand up and walk out.
 
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Misconception how? I was told point blank by the dean of admissions that our entire group was interviewing for waitlist spots and they had no more acceptance offers. Really wish I could go back in time and stand up and walk out.

That should have been disclosed before people expended funds to come. What school was this?
 
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That should have been disclosed before people expended funds to come. What school was this?
This definitely happens later in the cycle. Disclosure wouldn't make much of a difference, since people attending interviews at that point don't have a lot of choice. It's not the end of the world, since most school do pull from the WL every year, so if they really like you, you still definitely have a shot.

@Tenk can explain exactly what happened in his case, but most people interviewing at the end of the cycle aren't in a position to be picky, and would still spend time and money for the opportunity to be on a WL. Remember -- sellers' market! :cool:
 

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Call me selfish but I am definitely going to every interview I receive and consider every acceptance I can get.
 
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This definitely happens later in the cycle. Disclosure wouldn't make much of a difference, since people attending interviews at that point don't have a lot of choice. It's not the end of the world, since most school do pull from the WL every year, so if they really like you, you still definitely have a shot.

@Tenk can explain exactly what happened in his case, but most people interviewing at the end of the cycle aren't in a position to be picky, and would still spend time and money for the opportunity to be on a WL. Remember -- sellers' market! :cool:

I'm the type that would show for most if not all interviews regardless of existing acceptances for the reasons discussed above. If I had an acceptance and was told by another school I was being interviewed for the waitlist, I would withdraw my application.
 

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That should have been disclosed before people expended funds to come. What school was this?
I actually don’t remember but if I did I would definitely post it. Never felt more insulted in my life. Felt like a guinea pig because they were testing their MMI out on us for the first time. This was years ago btw, I’m a PGY-8.
 
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I actually don’t remember but if I did I would definitely post it. Never felt more insulted in my life. Felt like a guinea pig because they were testing their MMI out on us for the first time. This was years ago btw, I’m a PGY-8.
Sorry this happened to you, I would feel exactly the same and have same regret now not to have walked out.
 
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Call me selfish but I am definitely going to every interview I receive and consider every acceptance I can get.
For real, I didn't spend 1000s of hours studying and investing in ECs, research, etc. just to throw it away at the last minute. What kind of logic is that. You never know what kind of financial aid you'll get too, which is usually given out separately in the spring.

Also just curious, how do you get half of an interview? (your sig)
 
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I'm the type that would show for most if not all interviews regardless of existing acceptances for the reasons discussed above. If I had an acceptance and was told by another school I was being interviewed for the waitlist, I would withdraw my application.
Same here. Remember, interviewing for the WL is a late cycle thing. In an ordinary year, where you'd have to travel for an interview, most people would turn down a late interview (or even withdraw an app before an II was even issued) if they already had an A they preferred, whether or not the interview was for the WL. Hence, the predicate for OP's post. This year is different for obvious reasons.

On the other hand, if it's a dream school, many people would want to stay in the game regardless. While all this talk about interviewing for the WL is interesting, it has nothing to do with withdrawing an application in October to create opportunities for people like OP! :cool:
 
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For real, I didn't spend 1000s of hours studying and investing in ECs, research, etc. just to throw it away at the last minute. What kind of logic is that. You never know what kind of financial aid you'll get too, which is usually give out separately in the spring.

Also just curious, how do you get half of an interview? (your sig)
Apparently, some schools are asking candidates to submit to phone screens prior to being offered a Zoom interview! AKA, half an interview!! :cool:
 
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For real, I didn't spend 1000s of hours studying and investing in ECs, research, etc. just to throw it away at the last minute. What kind of logic is that. You never know what kind of financial aid you'll get too, which is usually give out separately in the spring.

Also just curious, how do you get half of an interview? (your sig)
Western Michigan offers a phone interview to around 17% of applicants, and half of those receive the formal II after the phone interview.
I got the phone interview invite, hence only half an II. Hope I can turn that into a full interview. :)
 
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Why? Just curious.
Because they can! It's a low cost (in time) way for them to expose themselves to more candidates and not waste time with people they don't like on the phone. Yet another hurdle, because the process isn't hard enough for us.
 
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Every cycle, there are stellar applicants who accumulate 8, 10, 12, or more interview invitations. This is a terrific accomplishment.

In an ordinary cycle, such applicants would usually turn down a number of these interview invitations (either by canceling a scheduled interview, or not scheduling one in the first place) because it was not worth incurring the travel and lodging costs associated with traveling to that many schools, especially to ones where the applicant may no longer be interested.

Other applicants rely on these cancelled interviews for an opportunity to themselves interview at some of those schools that stellar applicants may deem less desirable. Each school can only interview a certain number of applicants, and this capacity reallocation helps ensure those interview spots get to applicants who might not otherwise have had a chance to interview at a given school.

This year, because interviews are virtual, you will not incur travel and lodging costs. So, you may be tempted to sit for every one of your 8, 10, 12, or more interviews. That would of course be your right. But I want to encourage you, if you have the fortune of receiving a high number of interviews invitations or even an early acceptance, to consider canceling the interview(s) with schools you know you are no longer interested in. This will allow fellow applicants, who might otherwise be shut out, to have a shot.

Congratulations to all who have received interview invitations and even early acceptances, and to those who haven't, hang in there. Best of luck to everyone.
this advice is so bad that it's outright malicious
 
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here is a response from the only adcom who participates with real name and school identified.

 

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Natural laws will always take its course in this selection process.., as long we all abide by the professional rules of interviews to avoid no shows “Ghosts” later on in this cycle..
More interviews will be offered, longer waitlists and deeper movement are expected this year in spring..!!
Number of offers will still be dependent on school competitiveness and their yield’s protection mechanisms.
All will normalize when we go back to “The ideal” in person interviews!
 
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only way i’d cancel any II’s is if I got accepted into my top choices. II’s mean nothing if they all end up rejecting me in the end anyway
 
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I understand the sentiment that prompted the OP, but this is ridiculous for a lot of reasons. To summarize:

  • Interviews =/= Acceptances. No one in their right mind should turn down an II prior to an acceptance or if they would prefer the new school over previous acceptances.

  • FinAid: Most of these decisions aren't made until the spring, and the only way you'll be considered for this is if you interview and get accepted. There are also countless stories on this site about negotiating between multiple offers +/- aid. Obviously, if you only have the one offer, that school has no incentive to court you as opposed to someone who could reasonably turn them down. "Oh, but how would they even know?" They're not dumb, they'll ask for receipts to verify your other offers before making their decision on extra aid.

  • How many people will actually be helped? Like @KnightDoc's example above, it could be a hundred people, or it could be far less or more. It's difficult to associate any given interview being declined for altruistic reasons to tangible benefit for any other applicant. Moreover, and I'm sorry if this is a little harsh, but the applicants who go through most of the cycle just not hearing anything back from any school should not be hedging their bets on a miracle II just dropping out of the sky one day. No one should be doing this, because until you get the A you are rejected, not "waiting". Most of the time, an objective analysis of an app cycle will make clear that there were issues that should have been addressed prior to ever applying. It constantly amazes me how people are willing and able to spend thousands of dollars year after year on failed apps rather than taking the time to see why the method they've been trying (and failing with) again and again might be flawed. Finally, the OP is assuming that the people who are receiving more than 3 II's are a dime a dozen, or that the people who will be called to replace them in the II are significantly less impressive. Per @gonnif, only about ~20% of applicants receive multiple II's to begin with.

  • Lower costs help schools too. Just as applicants now have the ability to attend every interview, schools also benefit from being able to put on more interviews at significantly reduced cost. If schools know that a lot of people will be interviewing with them even if they have no interest, they can just add a bit of a buffer by interviewing and waitlisting more people. In fact, there were a lot of schools even in the Pre-COVID era, who interviewed way more people than they would ever have seats for, even if it meant incurring some cost to set up.

  • Hate the game, not the player. The frenzy in med admissions that would prompt someone to make a post like the OP's (these pop up every year) is largely due to supply and demand. There are and always will be way more qualified and [insert positive trait here] applicants than there are medical school seats. Everyone should have or did know that going in. This kind of guilting people online will likely not get anyone to suddenly change their mind and throw away/reduce their earned opportunities on the off-chance that someone random will benefit (nor should it).

To put it bluntly, if the schools themselves don't owe applicants anything, then applicants definitely don't owe each other anything either. You have no idea what thoughts/emotions/effort etc. went into someone else's journey and application. So how can you expect them to just throw that away? This kind of guilt tripping is naïve at best and malicious at worst. Everyone should be able to shoot their shot without worrying about "hurting" other people. All of this is not to say that the process doesn't suck. Is it unfair and frustrating that some people will get a bunch of opportunity and some won't get any? Maybe. But, again, this is not news. Life isn't fair and we all get by and move forward in spite of that.

To the applicants who are struggling and are not simply waiting for miracles to happen, I see you. Keep putting in the work and take advantage of all the resources out there. So many people come onto this site and others to complain, or whine, or pick fights with others from the safety of their anonymity. Don't be one of them. Read the threads that are relevant and helpful to you, DM people in the know like adcoms and med students, and focus on your own journey while tuning out the noise. That will do far more to help you in getting in to med school than people giving up II spots ever will.
 
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