How to Balance Multiple Medical School Acceptances


After years of hard work and months of writing essays and traveling for interviews, you’ve finally reached your goal—a medical school acceptance! What’s more, you got into more than one medical school and have choices!

If you find yourself in such a happy dilemma, here are five tips that will help you gracefully balance your multiple acceptances to select that “best fit” medical school for you.


1 | Secure Your Spot at Your Top Schools

Make sure to expediently (within 1-2 weeks) secure your spot at all your top choice medical schools, which usually requires you to respond to the acceptance email and submit a deposit online. Allopathic and osteopathic medical schools have different policies for handling acceptances.

In general, allopathic schools charge a $100 deposit that is fully refundable before the April 30 deadline where all applicants may only hold one acceptance. Conversely, many osteopathic schools charge a hefty $1000 (or more) deposit that is nonrefundable or partially refundable.

Make sure to read the fine print of each medical school’s acceptance policies and submit deposits to secure your spot in the incoming class early.


2 | Withdraw Acceptances to Schools You Won’t Attend

If you are sure you will not attend one of the medical schools that has accepted you, withdraw your acceptance as soon as possible. This also applies to schools for which you put down a deposit.

Again, make sure to read the fine print of the medical school’s policy to understand whether your deposit will be refunded if you withdraw your acceptance. Withdrawing your acceptances expediently will allow the admissions committee of that medical school to extend an acceptance to another applicant, which can really help out another anxious premed.


3 | Maintain Your Waitlist Position at Dream Schools

If you are really set on attending a specific “dream school” program, make sure to maintain your position on the waitlist and convey your interest in the program by submitting a letter of intent.

You can remain on a waitlist even after the deadline for holding one acceptance to a medical school. These waitlists can shift around throughout the summer, so don’t lose hope yet. You could hear from your dream school in August that a space for you has opened up.

Get the answers to 18 medical school waitlist FAQs, including questions about the waitlist procedure, how to get off waitlists, and what to do while you wait.


4 | Be Humble and Cognizant of Your Good Fortune

Applying to medical school is a competitive and draining process. While some are blessed with acceptances to multiple programs, other applicants are not always so lucky. Many applicants may not have been invited to any interviews or received any acceptances yet.

Make sure to provide words of encouragement for those still waiting for good news. Refrain from boasting about your acceptances in person or on social media. Medicine is a small world, and we are all going to be colleagues for decades.


5 | Revisit Your Top Choice Medical Schools

Revisit the medical schools you were accepted at. This is commonly known as the “Second Look.” It’s a fantastic opportunity to interact with current students and imagine yourself at the school for the next four years.

Could you see yourself living in the city? Do you feel comfortable on campus? Do you enjoy the company of the other students and professors?

It is advisable to attend a medical school’s revisit day before committing to that program, especially if you are having a hard time deciding between different programs. Most schools try to woo accepted students with a mixture of informational sessions and fun events.

Make sure to prepare a list of questions for each school’s Second Look, and maintain a pros vs. cons list comparing each program you are considering.


Final Thoughts

Effective decision making takes ample time, research, and introspection. Choosing your medical school is one of the many important decisions you will need to make over the course of your journey to become a doctor. These 7 Strategies for Better Decision Making will help you make decisions you can feel good about for years to come.

Balancing multiple acceptances to medical schools is a happy dilemma; greet it by carefully managing any paperwork and deeply considering the pros and cons of each program.

Congratulations on this achievement, and best of luck as you transition into medical school!


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