When Should I Expect an Interview or to Be Told I’m Rejected?

Session 16

OPM 16

In this episode of the OldPreMeds Podcast, we again dive into our Nontraditional Premed Forum where we pull a question and deliver the answers right on to you.

Today, the discussion touches on the secondary applications, interviews, and the timing and process of it all. 

OldPreMeds Question of the Week

Our poster has completed 9 secondaries and already has 2 scheduled interviews. If the school is not going to offer an interview, do they let you know, or do they just leave you hanging (also known as a silent rejection or soft rejection)? What kind of timeline do most schools work on? 

Timeline for Med School Acceptance or Rejection

  • AMCAS application is not transmitted to the schools until July 1st (at the earliest)
  • Many schools start sending the secondary applications out before your primary application has been processed and transmitted to them
  • AMCAS provides the schools (upon request) contact information for applicants, so they can send unscreened secondaries to all students who applied to that school
  • While many schools send secondaries to all applicants, other schools have very minimal screening and very low MCAT and GPA grade cutoffs for sending secondaries
  • So virtually all applicants will be getting secondaries
  • Most schools will wait until the secondary is submitted back to them, then review it all

After interview, depending on the school, the status may vary according to:

  • Rejection
  • “Hold” status
  • Leave you hanging

When Will I Know If I’m Getting a Medical School Interview?

Most medical schools hold the majority of students until later in the cycle to decide to waitlist or reject them. But all medical schools vary, and there is no general rule. The waiting game can be painful because they don’t need to finalize it until April 30th.

So if you haven’t heard back about an interview, you may just have to wait. Even though many students get interviews in the fall, others won’t be invited for an interview until January or February.

I Applied Early. Why Is It Taking So Long to Hear Back?

You should get your applications in early so things get reviewed early, but medical schools may not always review applications in a chronological fashion. 

A lot of medical schools actually look at secondary applications more intensely than they do the primary because it allows them to gauge how well you mesh with their culture and mission. It allows them to gauge your motivations, commitment, and what you can bring to their upcoming class.

A lot of medical schools actually look at secondary applications more intensely than they do the primary because it allows them to gauge how well you mesh with their culture and mission.Click To Tweet

Major Takeaway from This Episode

The application process can be painful and slow, but that is the game. Schools take in a lot of applications, so it may take a long time to get through them all. Stay encouraged and motivated while you’re waiting for the answer (hopefully an interview invite)!

Links and Other Resources

If you have questions you want answered here on the OldPremeds Podcast, go to our Nontraditional Premed Forum and ask a question.

If you’re trying to prepare yourself for a medical school interview, check out Dr. Gray’s book, Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview.

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