Fewer than half of all applicants were accepted into medical school in 2013, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Many med school applicants are rejected due to a lack of clinical experience or not applying to enough schools.
The AAMC reports that the average 2013 applicant had an undergraduate GPA of 3.54 and an MCAT score of 29. Med School Pulse recommends that prospective medical students focus more on their GPAs during the first half of undergraduate education, shifting focus to the MCAT during the second half. GPA is more malleable early on, and building up strong grades can lay a solid foundation for a future medical school application. During Junior and Senior year, it?s still important to do well in classes, but a strong GPA is less likely to change at this point. Alternately, students can wait until after gradation to really prepare for the MCAT.
Many strong applicants are rejected because of a lack of hands-on experience. A background in science forms a good basis for a medical education, but research is not the same as actual clinical experience. Volunteering at a clinic or hospital, shadowing a physician or enrolling in a premed program are all viable options to build experience. Many applicants also overestimate their competitiveness, applying to a limited number of programs or only to top-tier schools, which can lead to not being accepted anywhere.