It’s not a pleasant experience to be rejected from medical school, and it can be hugely disappointing when your hard work doesn’t pay off. However it’s not the end of your career in medicine, here’s some general advice about what you can do if you’ve been rejected or missed the grades.
The first thing to do is to not give up, because if you choose to give up you will probably regret it later. It is highly competitive to get into medical school, and even if you’ve got the right grades, experience and thought the interview went well, it doesn’t guarantee you a place at all. It might take a little longer than you expected to get into medical school, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough or that you can’t be a doctor one day. Lots of people manage it second, or even third, time round, you’ll get there in the end.
On a medical course, there can be anything from about 4 upwards to about 60 applicants per place depending on the university and the course. Hundreds of great candidates get rejected each year just because there’s not enough places for them all, and a lot of getting in is down to luck. Once you’ve been rejected, it might be worth contacting the universities to ask for feedback and what you did wrong, many will give you some information even if it is only very brief, but you can use this when you apply again. Look at your application and go through it all – what could be better? Is there anything you did wrong?
If you have been rejected and you’re still studying, just concentrate on your grades. Don’t panic, assume you’ll never get anywhere and give up on your exams. If you did have offers but missed your grades, you have a few options to choose from. Be wary that many medical schools don’t accept students who have re-sat A levels, so don’t go back a year without being absolutely sure that the university you want to get into will consider you in the future. A lot of students decide to go to a different university to study something related, and then apply for medicine as a graduate.
However the problem with doing this is that you’re looking at spending three years on a degree you’re not really that interested in, and there’s still no guarantee you’ll get a place at medical school afterwards. This is why the articulation route at Medipathways is a popular choice; you can do a degree in biomedical science in two years, with a guaranteed place at a medical school in Europe afterwards providing you get the right grades. Since many medical degrees in the UK are 5 years, it will only take you a year longer, you’ll have two degrees and a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture.
Just because you didn’t get into medical school first time round it really doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road for your dream career. Have a good look at the options available to you before you give up.