6 Things I Learned after Being Rejected from Medical School

5 thoughts on “6 Things I Learned after Being Rejected from Medical School”

  1. No 5 – you are not too old. Amen – I received my PhD at age 58 and worked for 10 years at a major medical school doing research. After retirement, I received a MPH at age 75. No —- you are never too old to follow your dream/passion.


  2. Rejection is something that everyone will face in their lives, albeit some don’t experience it until later than others. And you make very good points about how it is easy to trap yourself in the fairy tale of “once this happens then I’ll be happy”. Happiness is something you have to find in any circumstance you are in, otherwise you will just perpetuatlly bring the misery no matter how fortunate you are. I discovered medicine after flunking out of college and embarking on several mini careers before going back and completing my degree. I was still in my twenties when I applied and was accepted to Med school but definitely non-traditional. I was fortunate enough to get in the first try. But what they don’t tell you is that even though you pin all your hopes and dreams on that acceptance, you can easily start the cycle of torment and anxiety over again when it comes to competing in grades, step exams, and selecting a specialty and applying to residency. That last issue I failed in, though I was lucky enough to eventually end up doing what I wanted after a detour in another specialty. For those in residency the next problem is fellowship and the rejection that can come with that. If not then it’s the misery of trying to pass boards, or budgeting until loans are paid. And then everything else in life will bog you down. Mixed in there of course are normal problems like keeping up with the Jones’s. You are right that if you continue pinning your hope on how you will feel after the next hurdle then you will never be happy. Gratitude is undoubtedly part of the solution. I always try to take stock in what has gone right and how fortunate I am. I mean even if I was working fast food at least I won the lottery by being born in a first world nation and I’m not starving, dying of disease, or persecuted in the many parts of the world where that is more routine. As someone who is now on the other side, a board certified specialist well into practice who is senior leadership in an academic program, I can tell you eventually you can reach that career stride. But the journey is worthless if you don’t find a way to exorcise all the negativity and feelings of inadequacy because then nothing will ever be enough for you. Good luck, and keep reminding yourself and be proud of all of the amazing things you’ve accomplished to get to this point.


  3. I first just want to say a big THANK YOU for writing this. Currently studying for the OAT for optometry school, 24f. Couldn’t apply last cycle due to a family hardship. Though my GPA is on the lower side, I have work experience in the field, Shadowing and a great letters of rec. I have to believe in myself and tell my myself if I don’t get in this cycle try again! This helped me remember. Again, thank you


  4. I have been exactly where you are. Rejected, time and time again, on everyone’s waiting lists with no calls.
    should I give it up. self doubt, loathing, rejection..

    Be PERSISTENT.. takes the place of GPA, MCAT scores. etc etc
    went to work for seven years, accepted overseas, learn a new language, transfer back
    can’t get residency wanted, finally did, boards passed, matched for plastic surgery after a couple of tries Finally passed that board too.
    No one guarantees you that what you want will just drop in your lap. Go GET IT.. you will be frustrated you will unsure, you will think you are wasting your time, but good things happen

    and as I sit on a medical school entrance evaluation committee, those are the students I look for.
    Everyone has a high GPA, has high MCATs, etc etc etc

    It’s the persistent one that I want to challenge by giving them a shot..



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