Episode #2: How to get more medical school interviews

Episode #2: How to get more medical school interviews

Strategies tips and trends from pre-med
medical school and residency admissions experts. This is the MedEdits podcast
and here’s your host Dr. Jessica Freedman. My name is Dr. Jessica Freedman
and I am the chair and founder of MedEdits medical admissions and today we are
going to be talking about how applicants can get more Medical School interviews.
This is certainly a question that we get from our students as well as from
many other students who are sort of searching the web to find out how they
can possibly get more interviews. The good news is that there are many things
or several things that you can do to try to earn more Medical School interviews
during the application season. I encourage applicants to always think
about the medical school admissions process as a fluid process. Assuming
you are not accepted to your top choice Medical School right off the bat, it is
really important to provide medical schools with more evidence that you are
an excellent candidate. What can you do to try to get more Medical School
interviews and to convince a medical school that you are a great candidate
whom they should offer an interview to? Some of these approaches we find
have better results than others. The first thing you can do is you can send a
medical school update letter which should also should serve
as a letter of interest. We will talk more about that you can send in or you
can have additional letters of reference sent in to your medical schools and you
can also recruit something that we call a medical school applicant advocate and
we find that that third option of recruiting an advocate is actually the
most effective way to get more Medical School interviews during the application
season so let’s first talk about metal school update letters and letters of
interest so update letters and letters of
interest always come together so you never want to write to a medical school
about anything that you have done without expressing your interest in some
capacity in that medical school ok so updating medical schools about
recent accomplishments whether that is you know writing to them about what your
first semester grades are or any recent developments that might be impressive
maybe you’re working in a lab maybe you are volunteering somewhere and you’ve
had some really interesting observations you know all of this can potentially
influence a medical schools decision okay now if you are writing an update
letter to to tell the medical schools about your recent accomplishments in
that letter you also want to express your specific interest in the medical
school now since you have not yet visited the medical school your
knowledge of that medical school is going to be limited to what you can find
on the internet but thankfully you can actually find a lot of useful
information on the internet about any given medical school so maybe you want
to include in your update letter slash letter of interest information about
what you appreciate about the medical school’s curriculum maybe you want to
write something about the clinical sites or the clinical departments that really
interest you maybe there are some researchers who are doing research in
your area of interest or maybe there are some extracurricular activities that
really appeal to you when including information about what interests you
about the medical school it’s always good to try to highlight those things
that also sort of are reflected in your own interest so for example you know
let’s say you’ve done a lot of really amazing orthopaedic research maybe you
want to identify why the orthopedics department at that school you know would
really be a great fit for you and how maybe you could continue to
contribute to orthopedics research because there’s somebody there doing
research that relates to a topic that really interests you now in our
experience update letters and letters of interest don’t usually have great
influence in earning medical school applicants more interviews but they’re
still good to send because then when you do get an interview it kind of shows how
interested you are in that medical school and certainly that can help you
now the second thing that you can do to try to get more Medical School
interviews is to send in additional letters of reference now these
additional letters of reference should not be from individuals who have already
sent in letters of reference you want to send in new letters of reference so if
you’re in school that’s usually an easy place to get additional letters of
reference from you know new professors new classes that you’re taking if you’re
doing research and your principal investigator has not yet sent in the
letter of reference that’s a great person to ask so really think about okay
have I met anybody new since I submitted my application in June who would be
willing to you know endorse my candidacy and you know and think about that and if
they if you can think of somebody certainly sending in additional letters
of reference that you know sort of further say how fabulous and wonderful
what a great medical student you’re going to be you know that can help your
candidacy now at the top of sort of our priority list of you know in terms of
things that we encourage our students to do to try to get more Medical School
interviews is to recruit an advocate and so what is an advocate an advocate is
somebody who is going to call medical school admissions offices and they are
going to say look you know sarah has applied to your medical school she is a
student of mine I think she’s fabulous I think she’s going to be a great
medical student and I think she’s going to be a fabulous future physician
she hasn’t gotten an interview yet from you and I know that she’s really
interested in your school and not only do I want the best for her because I
believe in her but I also think that you’re really missing out on a great
medical school applicants so I just want to do everything that I can to try to
get her an interview at your school okay so we find that these types of advocacy
phone calls are actually the most influential in terms of getting
applicants additional medical school interviews now there are some smaller
undergraduate colleges who make these types of advocacy phone calls on a
regular basis and it’s really part of their pre-med routine to sit down with
all of their medical school applicants and say okay you know are there any
schools you’re really interested in where you don’t have any you don’t have
interviews yet and to then call those medical schools to try to you know get
their applicants you know more interviews or interviews at the schools
in which they are particularly interested so you know and keep in mind
that not everybody is necessarily comfortable making these types of phone
calls if someone sort of isn’t fluent in the
language of academic medicine and academic politics they may not
necessarily be comfortable you know making these phone calls but you know we
feel that it’s still worth call still worth asking for you know for advocates
to do this because just because we think and we know based on the results our
students have had that this really becomes the most effective way to try to
get more Medical School interviews now when should you start worrying about not
having any medical school interviews and this is a difficult conversation but a
conversation that we have a lot every year with students who contact us so our
general rule is that if you don’t have any medical school interviews after the
new year it’s time to reevaluate it’s time to sit
and say okay what could I do better or differently or how do I need to improve
my candidacy or my application for next year to ensure that I get more medical
school interviews and you know certainly there are some students that we sit down
with in January and we do that evaluation and then you know a week
after that happens they get an interview and they get accepted you know so
certainly there are exceptions to this rule but generally speaking for students
who have no interviews come January that’s when we start to get a little bit
concerned and that’s when we like to you know have meetings with our students to
find out okay what can be done differently and it might be something
you know just you know simple like oh you need to broaden your school list
we certainly have worked with students who have come to us who have great
experiences and great numbers and but just the way they presented themselves
on paper was really ineffective and and then we make a lot of suggestions on how
to improve that and then the next year they get you know a you know have very
different results and much better results you know but in the fall you
know in the sort of mid to late fall / early winter you know certainly sending
letters of interest and update letters sending in additional letters of
reference and recruiting those advocates – called missions offices can definitely
get students additional medical school interviews and you know in the fall and
you know even into the very early winter there are still many medical school
interviews that have yet to be extended so you know certainly there is
definitely a lot you can do you know during those months to you know get
additional medical school interviews but kind of you know it’s really important
to be patient the medical school admissions process is long and it’s also
important to realize that this is in your control that there’s a lot that you
can do to you know to try to influence the process and you know in terms that
you should always be improving your candidacy because you know many people
are not successful the first time they apply to matter
school and they have to apply again there is really very little stigma to
being a reapplication the medical school admissions process and so it’s vital
that during your application year that you’re doing everything possible to to
improve your candidacy in the events that you have to reapply the following
year so we always welcome questions from our audiences and from our students so
always feel free to email us at info at Med edits com
visit our website at www.nasa.gov/station strategies that
will help you obtain the career of your dreams be sure to rate and review this
podcast so we can continue to provide more admissions guidance


  1. Gregory Snigur says:

    I have read so many conflicting opinions on whether or not sending a pre-interview update letter is a good idea. I've read everything from "ABSOLUTELY DO IT" to "do you want your application to be thrown in the trash?" I just want a clear cut answer and don't want to make a mistake. Is this the right??

  2. MedEdits says:

    Learn how to prepare for an upcoming med school interview. We also inserted a link which explains how to get more interviews. ?

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