Reapplying to Medicine – How to Maximise Your Chances of Getting a Place

Reapplying to Medicine

Not getting a medical school place can be disheartening and distressing, not just for the student, but also parents and family.

There are several reasons why students do not succeed in applications. Our own research with local schools does also indicate that a substantial number of students that have an offer do not unfortunately get the required grades.

The next steps for you are to work out how to improve your chances of getting in with a repeat application. If you meet the entry requirements but failed to secure an interview or an offer, you should look at places through UCAS clearing.

If you have only slightly missed your offer, ring the medical school and see if they will still accept you. We have some experience this may be more likely if you had outstanding performance in interview or some other unique attribute which the medical school (or university) determined would add extra value to your application.

We recently went to a university training session for doctors who train medical students and were informed a grade of AAB is sufficient evidence of academic ability for a medicine course. However, competition drives the entry requirements up.

Reapplying to Medical School – Review and reflect on your personal statement

This is especially critical if you were not called for interview. We have found that there are common things that medical schools look for in personal statements.

Here is the Blue Peanut list of what medical schools look for on the personal statement and this is the order we recommend you structure your statement: -

  • Motivation for a career in medicine

  • Your research into the demanding nature and requirements for a career in medicine

  • Demonstration of the caring as well as scientific side of medicine, perhaps through suitable work experience.

  • Evidence of participation in activities, which demonstrate teamwork, leadership, communication and other skills essential for being a doctor

  • Your participation in a suitable range of extracurricular activities and interests

  • The presence of awards or achievements outside normal academia

We have further details on how to write personal statements in our blog. We also cover how to write personal statements in our conference. Get your statement reviewed by your sixth form tutor or careers adviser.

Blue Peanut doctors can also help you write your personal statement – from scratch if needed. Please click here to have look.

Click here for our conference.

Reapplying to Medical School – University Entrance Exams

The UCAT (formerly the UKCAT) and the BMAT are where a lot of students struggle. Contrary to what the writers of these examinations say, you must prepare for these examinations properly.

We have UCAT courses that run each summer season to help you prepare for these exams. They are filled with expert tips on how to approach the domains of the exam and come with a set of challenging questions for you to continue your revision. Click here to look at our UCAT courses.

If you do not perform well in an entrance exam, you should consider medical schools that don’t use that particular exam in their application process or perhaps look at medical schools that put less weight on the examination score.

Reapplying to Medical School – Work Experience

If you do need to take a year out, use some of the time to get some work experience. Some medical schools are asking for ‘certificates’ of work experience in which they ask how long the placement was for and what you did.

You school should be able to help secure work experience placements. These do not have to be in a healthcare setting (but it is better if they are) – a care setting such as a care home would also be fine. Think about some voluntary work for a local charitable organisation.

Reapplying to Medical School – Interview

You may have feedback from medical schools indicating poor interview performance. Again we would take the advice that is sometimes given, that you can’t prepare for these, with a pinch of salt. The topics covered in such interviews are vast. In addition, they also test your communication skills which for some students is the first time they have undertaken an oral assessment of this nature.

Some schools may have interview training sessions for students, but these may be generic rather than focused on medical school applications.

Come to our medical school interview course. We will equip you with the knowledge needed for such interviews and help you refine your communication skills. Over 98% of students get offers following training from our course. Click here to learn more.