What to Expect Following Medical School Interviews and Mentally Preparing for Admissions Results Part 1

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We spend so much of our time thinking about the events leading up to interviews or envisioning acceptance day, we often forget about the time we spend waiting. This is an agonizing part of the medical journey that is often unappreciated. You try to navigate being hopeful, but also not hoping “too much” to protect yourself from possible failure or disappointment. Here are some things I found that were useful to consider preparing for the “big day”.

#1 Will I Be Able to Meet Graduating Requirements in My Current Degree?

A lot of medical schools have the expectation that following admission, you will confer your degree before the start of medical school. There are exceptions from some schools which allow you to complete your degree requirements (especially for graduate programs) within the first year, but these are few and far between. It is especially important for graduate students to work on their thesis or any outstanding coursework or requirements.

From my personal experience, when you find out about your acceptance (usually in May), all degree requirements are to be completed by the end of June. As most students need several months to write a thesis, trust me in saying that that this time is not sufficient to write a thesis, get edits, arrange a defence date, defend, and get proof of completion for the degree. Like any degree you may be completing, it is better to get ahead now. If an acceptance does not work in your favour, I promise you this hard work will be useful to get ahead for future admission cycles. BUT you can’t create more time for yourself. No one wants an offer retracted because they didn’t finish their current degree on time. Trust me, I came close.

#2 Start Thinking About Finances

Medical school is expensive, it can cost up to ~$30,000 a year in tuition. It is a stressful financial time, so definitely start to discuss it with people around you about your options ranging from a line of credit, being supported by parents, what to do with your existing investments, and your plan for how to manage your financial situation. Nothing feels worse than working this hard to end up feeling like you can’t afford to enrol in a program that you worked tirelessly for.

#3 Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

This can be the most challenging aspect of preparing yourself for acceptance day. You surely have other peers who like to openly discuss how they felt after an interview, how many interviews they had, or how their interviewers seemed to love their responses. Now is the time to focus on yourself and your needs. If you are someone who likes to discuss these aspects, that is fine. If you want to keep to yourself, that is respectable too. Just be mindful of your well-being and what you need right now. I can honestly say, your feelings about how something went are often not indicative of the result. I personally was waitlisted at the school I felt the best about and was admitted to the school I felt the worse about. Things happen, you are your own toughest critic. Focus on yourself for now if that will help keep you sane.

#4 What Are Your Next Steps?

There are many outcomes that can occur on this anticipated day. You need to think about what your next steps are. There is not a ton of time between admissions day and the next admissions cycle. That leaves limited time for you to retake standardized tests, get involved in other extracurricular activities, enrol in other graduate programs, or address any weaknesses in your application. The first step for the future is to decide if you have had enough. Everyone has a different journey and a limit. If you have reached the limit, listen to your inner voice. But if a voice is telling you to keep trying, try to position yourself to have a stronger chance in the limited 5-6 months leading into the next admissions cycle.

Check out our other blogs!
The Waiting Game: The Period Between Medical School Applications and Medical School Interviews

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