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What to do if you don’t get into Medical School

Medical school applications are so competitive that deserving candidates are turned away every year. However, please be encouraged that many applicants get rejected first time and are later successful. It is important to not lose hope. Here are some tips to help you through this time.

Allow yourself to heal

Rebounding from medical school rejections is tough. Being rejected can feel discouraging and demotivating especially when you know you have worked so hard. I would encourage you to allow yourself to recover and to heal from it. However, you must bounce back. Don’t give up on the fight. Rejections may mean you might have to wait a little longer than expected but it doesn’t mean that you will never get there. Rather than view rejection negatively, see it as a true test of your passion and desire to study Medicine.

Concentrate on A levels

Do not let any rejections hinder your motivation to study for your A-levels. It’s okay to feel down for a little while but make sure to bounce back and redirect your focus to achieving the best grades possible. Don’t lose hope!

Reflect on why got rejected

At times, a rejection can be due to a flaw in your application. Take to examine every aspect of your application to see what went wrong. Was it a pre-interview or a post-interview rejection? If pre-interview, did you meet the GCSE requirement? Do your predicted grades meet the A-level requirement for that medical school? Did you meet the non-academic requirements including extra-curricular activities, volunteering and work experience?

If post-interview, how was your interview performance? Why did your interview performance let you down? What could you have done differently?

If you can, try and get feedback from the medical schools that you applied to. Although this might not always be possible, it is always worth asking.

Consider clearing

The universities offering clearing spaces differ from year to year. Although getting into Medicine via clearing is competitive, it is definitely worth a shot and there is no harm in trying. Clearing opens on July 5th 2019. By going on the UCAS website you’ll be able to search the Medical schools that you can apply for via clearing.

Note that you would have had to achieve the correct grades and have met the entry exam threshold to be considered. Also, prepare for another round of interviews!

To find out more about clearing, you can check the UCAS website by following this link:

Consider taking a gap year

Be excited! You’ll have a year of endless opportunities and this can serve much better than diving into a degree that you might not be committed to. If you do decide to take a gap year, be sure to make the most out of it. Spend the year constructing an even better medicine application. You can do this through:

  • Getting more medical related work experience. This can be achieved through paid work, potentially as a health care assistant, volunteering or shadowing a doctor. The longer term the experience is, the better.

  • Work on improving your UKCAT or BMAT if this was a weak point that you identified.

  • Make smart decisions when reapplying such as researching the medical schools that allow reapplications.

  • Spend some time doing the things that you love and that will make you happy! Whether that is through travelling or picking up a new hobby, go for it. Let your gap year be an opportunity for you to grow and learn new skills.

Consider graduate route entry

You may have a 5th university choice that you applied for at the start of the year. If you have an offer for that course you may consider studying it and following a graduate route entry into medicine which is an accelerated four-year course. However don’t limit yourself to graduate only programmes! You can still apply to the traditional/standard medical courses. While doing your degree be sure to undertake as much work experience as possible, including some form of volunteering to help with your future medicine application.

If this is something you think you’ll be interested, please research the pros and cons thoroughly.

If you want it, work hard for it and you will get it! Don't give up!


Are you wondering where you may have gone wrong in your Application? Contact us and we will be happy to go through your Application with you over a phone call with one of our team members. We will identify any weak points and suggest how you could have improved it.

Email us:

Wishing you all the best of luck!

Written By Sarah O'Connell

Applications Coordinator


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