It’s that time of year where most of the universities have finished their interview cycles and are sending out their results. Statistically, around 5% of GEM applicants and 20% of Undergrads will have offers.
If you have an offer, congratulations! You’ve made it through the dreaded cycle, now it’s time to get your DBS and contracts signed. Don’t delay on this, don’t give them a reason to reject you after you’ve come this far.
Step 2: Get your student finance application started. Even if you haven’t got all your offers you can change this before you submit it, but get the rest of the application sorted. If you’re a GEM offer holder, I suggest making a decision early as student finance hire temps you do not realise there is funding for GEM as a second degree. If it gets really troublesome, ask for Tier 2 – Graduate medicine department.
Step 3: Attend the open days. These are put on especially for offer and waiting list applicants where you get to judge the university instead of the other way round. You also get to meet your new potential course-mates and jaded medics from years above. There’s normally free food and workshops as well.
If you’ve been put on the waiting list, do not despair. Last year, every single GEM school used up every single place on their waiting lists. This actually extended beyond the waiting list with people getting called up for an offer during the first week of term. Similar to the offer holders, sort out student finance application (but don’t send it until you have the offer), attend the open days and keep an open mind. Make a back up plan for the next year if it happens that you don’t get an offer but make sure it’s not set in stone until you know for sure. It is hell, every single email from that uni will make you jump. I should know, I was one of the waiting list applicants. I ended up getting the offer while working in July (I was 19th/29 on the waiting list), so keep the hope.
If you’ve had the unfortunate situation of being rejected, it’s not the end of the world (cliche, I know). Take the rejection as a lesson, sometimes a uni just doesn’t feel you’re right for them, sometimes you had a bad day, sometimes you just happened to come up against the cream of the crop. Take a step back, think about your next move. Is medicine right for you? Do you want to apply again? What are you gonna do in the meantime? These are big questions but don’t rush to answer them all at once. If you’re a GEM applicant, you have the GAMSAT score for another year (if you did it) and it was obviously good enough to get interview this time so you’ll have a chance to get another the next year.
If you are going to apply again. Ask for the feedback from the interview. They won’t be able to give you the answers but they can send you the reasons why they didn’t accept you. Spend the next year working on that aspect, be it work experience, communication skills or just interview technique. Remember though, most medical schools only allow 2 interviews per applicant but there is infinite amounts of times you can apply (as long as you don’t exhaust the interview limits)
Regardless of your decision, I wish you all the best in your careers. Maybe one day we’ll cross paths but you’ll never know we did…