Question of the Week: Medical School Wait Lists

April 8, 2022

Q: I don’t have a medical school acceptance yet but I’m on a few wait lists. How do I maximize my chances of getting in? When might I hear back? When should I start preparing to reapply?

A: Schools handle wait lists differently. Check MSAR and school websites to see if any wait list policies are described; if not, check with the admissions office to see if they’ll share any information, and reach out to students at schools where you’re wait listed to see if they have any advice from their own experiences and those of classmates. 

Work with us to talk about wait list strategy—when to communicate to schools, how to craft your letters of interest, whether or not to send a letter of intent. Continue to learn as much as you can about the school—show your interest by further combing their website, attending events they host, talking with our alums and others you’re connected with at the school—and weave some of the insights you gain into your continued communication.

Last year, we saw applicants accepted from wait lists from February through July, with the majority in the last week of April and first week of May. Wait list movement can happen until the day that classes begin (check MSAR/Choose DO Explorer for start dates for schools where you’re waiting). Anecdotally, one of our applicants shared that she has a classmate who had already moved to one city for medical school before receiving a call two days before classes started and moving across country to attend her program. 

In most cases, reapplying right away does not provide enough time to make significant enough changes to your candidacy (especially if academic metrics were an issue and you haven’t addressed it this year). Most of our reapplicants who are accepted take at least one year between applications. That said, if you do decide to reapply, early in the cycle is best—read through our information for reapplicants on our website and be in touch!

QOTW 2021: Healthcare Experience Abroad
QOTW 2020: Summer Classes