I cycled through a lot of different resources to prepare for each interview, and these two were the only ones that actually helped (and resulted in a quick medical school acceptance): 2020 / 2021 Update: The AAMC, the organization responsible for organizing the med school application process, has released an official tool for holding interviews online- the AAMC VITA. But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending (because I did get interviews and was accepted to more than one school). For example, I found out 2 days after Interview #1 that I was waitlisted and 2 weeks after Interview #3 that I was accepted (February 1st will forever be my favorite day). Prioritizing your physical and mental well-being is important for any professional, as it helps with overall performance and also the ability to manage stress. In other words, schools want candidates with demonstrated potential in each of the CanMEDS competencies. There is then a lull over the winter break, with interviews often resuming in January and February, with a few happening as late as early March. That is, in the U.S., those who apply first often have their applications reviewed earliest. Check out this video on how to receive outstanding letters of recommendation for your med school application: Look over your list of work and activities. This is pretty rare – most schools are open to receiving such information. Overall, in the U.S., the majority of candidates hear back from medical schools for interviews between October and January, but there’s variation even in that wide spread of time. Is your score truly competitive? Know the medical curriculum and physician competencies. For U.S. applicants, this could be done around December; for Canadian applicants, mid-February would be an appropriate time; for U.K. applicants, early January would be the earliest to consider such a move. Regardless of whether you’re in the U.S., Canada, or U.K., the next question is, did you apply strategically, focusing only on those schools where you had the strongest chances of admission? I’m telling you (from experience) that that is a complete lie; you absolutely MUST prepare if you want to succeed. When I started the process of applying to med school, I was not fully aware of these early deadlines and how dire they are. If not, the rolling admissions process may have worked against you, as the earliest applications generally get first consideration. not any of those medical schools higher up in your preference ranking). Again, you need to be brutally honest – this isn’t the time for excuses, it’s the time for stark reality. Even if the same questions aren’t asked in more than one secondary (which is the usually the case) you can still reuse bits and pieces of what you’ve already written. So, after taking my MCAT in June, I waited to get MCAT scores back in July before writing my primary (in a few days) and submitting it in the beginning of August. One key thing you can do is focus on your own health and self-care. Most importantly, worrying about it simply isn’t going to help you – quite the opposite! So remain optimistic and tell yourself “I WILL be a doctor”. Keep calm because 80% of the interview battle is preparation. So, while you have some time, prioritize those relationships and your own personal development. Are there any modifications you can make to your current course load to help improve your GPA (if you’re still in school)? By that time, everything in December was gone and I had to schedule my interview for January (on Friday the 13th may I add). My second came in mid-October, which was one I had to schedule myself. For example, Buckingham has rolling interview invitations, and holds a few “Selection Days” each year, where MMIs take place. Schools want students who have demonstrated the capacity to go above and beyond, because that’s what is needed to become an effective physician. Download our mobile app and take Picmonic on the go! It is not possible to understate the importance of these documents, and if you didn’t take those steps, then this is the most likely issue with your application (unless there’s something glaringly missing or below par in the other aspects listed above). Medical School Interview Feedback Forum: post and read feedback from students interviewing at medical schools across the country.. For students completing their undergraduate degrees and applying to medical school, one of the most stressful obstacles will be the medical school interview. Clearly but briefly re-articulate your reasons for applying to this specific program and why you feel your mission, vision, and values align with theirs. This may mean travelling (if you want to and are able to), taking time for leisure activities of your choosing, enriching yourself by reading or taking on creative projects, having weekly meals with loved ones, or anything else that helps strengthen your interpersonal relationships and enhance your mental wellness. In fact, since resilience and self-correction are key qualities needed for a future as a medical professional, it shouldn’t mean the end of your journey. It is expected that applicants will be patient and wait for the process to unfold, so contacting the school can reflect poorly on your patience and ability to manage stress (both of which are needed in the medical profession!). If you take the MCAT in June, you can still be competitive for medical school during that year’s admissions cycle. Think about it – to get to the point where you’re able to apply to med school (and expect reasonably good responses), you had to put in. Another option is writing an update letter or letter of intent, which will be discussed at the end of this post. Until I got accepted to a medical school, I treated myself as if I would be a reapplicant the following year. Did you crank out a draft overnight and send it in, or did you conduct brainstorming and outlining, composing multiple drafts and re-writes, getting expert feedback, reviewing for impeccable grammar and flow, crafting a shining gem of a document over days – if not weeks – of composition, review, and revision for each and every essay? In this blog, we’ll give you some insights into the timeline for interview invitations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and offer some ideas for getting through this difficult period and using the waiting time wisely. It also helped relieve stress because I knew that I was bettering myself in the case I would have to reapply. You need to consider the potential strength of each individual letter and letter-writer, as well as the strength of your references as a group. So, here are some things you can do instead of worrying, at various stages of the med school interview invitation timeline. How many medical schools should I apply to? Does this mean that medical schools start … Students can expect the same style of questions one would see in a traditional interview, so prepare for it in the same way. Finally, consider your application itself, particularly your personal statement, secondaries, or other essays you had to write. Think about it – to get to the point where you’re able to apply to med school (and expect reasonably good responses), you had to put in years of hard work to fulfill those formal (and informal) med school admissions requirements. Starting in the month of May, you can input responses, grades, and a personal statement into the system so that it’s ready to send in early June when submissions open. 2.) The good news is that this means much less uncertainty, which might result in less stress and turmoil. Overall, in the U.S., the majority of candidates hear back from medical schools for interviews between October and January, but there’s variation even in that wide spread of time. Student-to-Student: Best Study Resources for USMLE Step 2 CK, First Year of Med School: 5 Ways to Thrive, GET A HEAD START WITH PICMONIC FOR MEDICINE, GET PREPARED WITH PICMONIC FOR MED SCHOOL, CLICK HERE TO TRY PICMONIC FREE AND GET A HEAD START, Entering Your Second Year of Med School-What You Need to Know, Reflecting on my Lifelong Medical School Journey, 8 Reasons Why Med Students choose Picmonic over Sketchy Medical, 10 Key Things SketchyMed Users Don’t Know about Picmonic, What You’re Missing (if you use Sketchy Medical), Physician Assistant: 7 Characteristics of an Awesome PA for 2021, Seven Tips for Succeeding in Online Nursing School in 2021, The Top Nursing Student Books to Use this Semester, [Infographic] How to Study – Parasitology: Protozoa. You’ve come to the right place! This article was written to show you exactly how to make that happen, from understanding why medical schools interview you to sending follow-up thank you letters, and everything in between. Some secondaries will ask you the same question, so you can use what you’ve already written in more than one application. THANK YOU, I am so relieved to hear im not the only one. Needless, to say, I then had quite a few secondary applications to fill out. It’s partly due to the time of year – all those fall and winter holidays – and the thousands of applications that they have to process. This could even be one of your letter-writers, particularly if they are scholars or part of the academic establishment. Many interviews occur in January, February and even through early spring at some schools. If you’re distracted by the stress of waiting to hear back from medical schools for interviews, it’s going to impact your productivity, your performance, and your engagements with others in your volunteering, clinical work, and other valuable roles where you should be gaining experience and undergoing the process of professionalization. Here are some things you can do to stay sane and prepared during this time. How you respond to events during the application cycle is totally in your control. However, the time pressure to submit your applications in a timely manner will increase dramatically. With such a letter, you can send copies of recent transcripts with any new grades, and include any new information about your work and activities since you submitted your application – new volunteer work, leadership opportunities, honors or accomplishments, awards, jobs, research activities, or anything else that hasn’t yet been conveyed in your primary or secondary applications. First, if you have a supporter who is an alumnus of the program to which you are applying, or who is otherwise able to speak to your fit with the school, you can ask them to call the admissions Dean on your behalf. All decisions are made after interviews are held in November or December with candidates usually being notified by the end of January. Essentially, you’re in a race to beat over 50,000 students and get your application to the top of the admissions committee’s review pile. The Medicine interview season can start as early as November and will run to March. Finally, U.S. Osteopathic programs using AACOMAS report the earliest interviews generally taking place in late-August, running through the fall, pausing in mid-to-late December, and then resuming from January to early-March. If you’re a U.S. applicant, did you apply early? The rolling admissions system in the U.S. can also factor into the medical school interview invitation timeline, to some extent. It’s pretty tedious, but I’ve learned that each medical school’s website becomes your best friend; so definitely take the time (or 10 minutes) to explore what each school has to offer. The medical school interview time frame varies a lot by school- some schools may give you an answer in October, while some might not have a decision for you until April. Keep up with Aimen’s journey as a first year medical student by following her on Instagram @lil_waimen. Then, once you complete the MCAT, you can return to writing. Waiting for medical school interview invites can be mentally (and physically) exhausting- and no one really knows, when to expect interview invitations for medical school. That’s a lot of information for the admissions committees to review, and it’s in your best interest to have it reviewed carefully and thoroughly. If you’re hoping to become a medical professional, you’re preparing to enter an inherently stressful line of work, so learning to compartmentalize stress and directing your efforts to where you can actually make an impact is crucial. That doesn’t need to mean the end of your journey, however. 10 December - 18 December 2020 2. So what do you do if instead of opening an acceptance letter, you find out you’ve been waitlisted or rejected from medical school this cycle? About the Interview. That sentence of linguistic genius you came up with while on a sugar rush at 2 am? As the U.S. has the most variable application evaluation system, by far, and the longest time period during which interviews are conducted (as compared to Canada and the U.K.), it's worth taking a moment to discuss some important considerations to bear in mind, so that you can maintain perspective during this waiting period. This strategy can be effective if you have a strong connection to the school or its locale. You can send this when you have not heard back for an interview and are waiting to hear back from a school. It can be hard to tailor yourself to 10+ different places (especially if, like me, you haven’t heard of some of them until this process). Quite frankly, the bare minimum just isn’t enough for medical school. Remember: a rejection is not the end of the world and a waitlist is a beacon of hope! Here is the list of all medical schools, their interview dates and the time by which you should expect to have received your invitation. This way, you’ll be exponentially more prepared than I was! For every month after my interview in November, I got an email letting me know that I was still being considered but was not quite accepted. Interview invites can pop into your inbox as late as April and you can get an acceptance as late as July! Now, you have a better understanding of when to start becoming concerned and when to simply step back and let the process play out. Like the typical medical student, I applied to quite a few medical schools. If mid-February rolls around and you haven’t received a medical school interview invitation, look into the suggestions at the end of this post to think through how best to move forward. If you get waitlisted you could theoretically get a … If it’s been 6-8 weeks since you applied and you haven’t been invited to submit a secondary, you might consider sending a Letter of Interest (LOI)to the program. For the most part, UK students will hear back from medical schools for interviews between November and March, with invitations usually coming out approximately 2 weeks before the interview. So for any of you who are applying this cycle, early or “late”, I’ll give you the inside scoop on how the process went for me. Again, refer to the end of this post for further discussion of how to strategize and move forward, if you find yourself anxious and waiting at this stage in the medical school interview invitation timeline. Wondering when the medical schools you’ve applied to will start sending their interviews? Interview day is, at heart, a "fit" day - a day to determine whether you and Duke make a good match. I experienced this during my first interview, right after listening to one of my fellow students tell me his interviewer took him on a scenic walk and called him “buddy”. Congratulate yourself for the work you put in, not just what you’ve achieved. Now, multiply that by 50k to get a grasp of the scope of the task application reviewers face! So once interviews start rolling in, make sure to review the secondary you wrote for the school you’re interviewing at. Maintaining these activities will help demonstrate your continued dedication, it will help you gain more experience, and it will make you an even more competitive applicant. Med school acceptance rates vary greatly, but are generally on the lower side- acknowledging the possibility of failure is a healthy way to prepare yourself for the future. Week commencing 8 February 2021 We reserve the right to alter these dates if necessary. 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