What is a Letter of Intent and Should I Send One?


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What is a Letter of Intent and Should I Send One?

Session 41

If you’ve been waitlisted at a med school, sometimes letting them know that you will go to there school if accepted is something they need to hear. This is what the letter of intent is all about.

By the way, the episodes in this podcast are recordings of our Facebook Live that we do at 3pm Eastern on most weekdays. Check out our Facebook page and like the page to be notified. Also, listen to our other podcasts on MedEd Media. If you have any questions, call me at 617-410-6747.

[00:29] What is a Letter of Intent?

It’s basically your pitch to the school that says if they accept you, you will go there. It’s a powerful thing because the medical schools need to over accept the students for each class. There’s going to be a percentage of students every year who are accepted who don’t actually matriculate into the class. And there are a lot of reasons for this. Some of the students will be accepted to other schools that are high up on their list and they decide to say no to school A and go to school B. There are going to be students who chicken out at the last minute and decide not to go to medical school. Some students may fall into some research or may want to go travel the world for a year. So they call the school and ask if they could defer a year.

In my case, I deferred a year after I got accepted to a New York medical college. I was managing a gym and running a business. I was learning skills I was going to use in the future so I asked them if I could defer and they said yes.

'There's going to be a percentage of students every year who are accepted who don't actually matriculate into the class.'Click To Tweet

[02:02] The Repercussions of Over-Accepting

Sometimes this over-accepting comes back to bite the school. One example is this school in New York where they over-accepted but for some reason, not as many students decline the acceptance they were expecting. So they had no choice but to defer students for a year.

[02:50] The Benefit to Medical Schools

The letter of intent really helps the medical schools understand who is going to come to the class and who may be on the edge of declining acceptance and going to another school. It really helps the medical school to understand that they are accepting students that really want to go to their school.

[03:10] Should You Write a Letter of Intent to Every School You Apply To?

This doesn’t mean you should send a letter of intent to every medical school out there. Don’t do that. If you have one top choice, send one letter to that school. And you do this after you have been interviewed.

'Do not send a letter of intent to a medical school that you haven't interviewed at.' Click To Tweet

They’re not interested enough in you for you to be sending a letter of intent. You can send update letters, but not a letter of intent to a school that you have not interviewed at. After an interview, sending a letter to that school to tell them their top choice, then that’s a perfectly legit thing to do. Wrap it into an update, with classes, and other extracurriculars. If not, a letter of intent alone is fine.

[04:35] Final Thoughts

Think about what medical school is your top choice. Think about after you’ve already interviewed. If you’re on a waitlist and you’re just waiting to hear, what one school do you want to send the letter to, to tell them that if they accept you, you will come. Again, if it’s not your top choice, don’t send it. If it is, think about sending it.

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