After years of hard work and months of writing essays and traveling for interviews, you have finally got into medical school! What’s more, you got into more than one medical school and thus have choices! If you find yourself in such a happy dilemma, here are five tips that will help you gracefully balance your multiple acceptances and select that “best fit” medical school.
1 | Secure Your Spot at Your Top Schools
Make sure to expediently (i.e., 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. Bottom line: 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 that you will not attend one of the medical schools that have accepted you, it is advisable to 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 and 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 might possibly make that person’s day.
3 | Maintain Your Wait List 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.
4 | Be Humble and Cognizant of Your Good Fortune
The medical school application is a competitive and draining process. While some are blessed with acceptances multiple programs, other applicants are not always so lucky. Many applicants may not have been invited to any interviews or received any acceptances yet. Therefore, make sure to provide words of encouragement for those still waiting for good news and refrain from vaunting one’s 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
Revisiting the medical schools to which you have been accepted, commonly known as “Second Look,” is a fantastic opportunity to interact with current students and imagine yourself at the school for the next four years. 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 to which you hold acceptances. 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 that you are considering.
Balancing multiple acceptances to medical schools is a happy dilemma that is characterized by careful management of the paperwork and consideration of the pros and cons of each program. Congratulations on this achievement, and best of luck deciding on which medical school at which you will spend the next four years.