Does rejection hurt your chances if you reapply?

Hi all,
I’m sure this topic has been brought up in the past but I wasn’t able to find anything referring to it. I spoke with two pre-med advisers one of who said that if you apply and are rejected it will severely hurt your chances of being accepted if you reapply, even if your overall application is better. The other advisor told me this is untrue so I don’t know who to believe.
My situation is that I’m planning on taking the MCAT in August and applying this year.(I know about the whole disagreement about whether this is a good idea or not)
Because of my tight schedule this past year I haven’t had any time to do volunteer work either, and am hoping to use my present medical technician job as clinical exp in lieu of the volunteer work.
So in a nutshell, the lack of actual volunteer work and an uncertain MCAT score are my drawbacks. I’m confident that I will do well on the exam, but of course any number of things can go wrong, but I will be submitting the application before taking the exam. Does anyone think I should play it safe, see how I do on the MCAT, spend the next fall and spring doing research/volunteer work and decide if I should retake the April MCAT? Or should I take the risk and try for this year, which I’m eager to do, but not if a rejection will blacklist me from schools if I reapply.
Also, what if you get rejected from some schools, but the next time around apply to different schools? Will they see and/or be put off by your rejections?
Thanks in advance.

I have to disagree with the advisor that said your chances will be hurt. That is simply not true, UNLESS you don’t improve your application and if you apply with the exact same stuff the second time. Many, many people apply more than once.

I was talking with the dean of admissions at MCV in Richmond. She said the only reapplying will hurt you if you submit the same application to them. She said they ask you what you did differently from one year to the next and if you say nothing, they aren’t happy about that. She said they have rejected people 3 years in a row for submitting the same application, including the same personal statement. They have talked with these folks and told them something has to change but she said some people just don’t get it.

I would say apply this year if you think your GPA is good enough and everything else is in order and if you think your MCAT will be good enough as well. Have you taken any practice tests to see hwere you are in your MCAT prep? I would advise that to see if you have enough time to adequetly prepare.

I would see if you could get something in as a volunteer EC for your application. Have you tried your local nursing homes? You could help out or visit with the patients.

Good luck.

The only reason not to apply is if deep down you know that you are not competitive for this year. If you know that this is the case why waste the money? I would take the August MCAT IF you have adequately prepared and put time, spend some time volunteering if this is something you need, and just take your time to do it right the FIRST time. There is no point at least IMHO to apply when you know or think that you are half-stepping. I think that it is much better to wait a year to get all your things in order and then apply. If OTOH you are competitive and all you are lacking is your MCAT I would say go for it. No, applying and getting rejected should in no way keep you from getting accepted the next time IF your application improves. What is not productive and should be avoided is applying KNOWING that you are not competitive due to a lack of X or Y that can be remedied within one year.

Hi there,
The only way that a medical school knows that you have been rejected is if you tell them. There is no reason for you to do this unless it is a sentinel event in your personal statement. (I wouldn’t waste a personal statement re-hashing anything that is negative about your application. Folks on admissions committees are not stupid and know how to read transcripts and letters of recommendation).
If you re-apply to the same school withing a couple of years, you may be known especially if you were interviewed. If that is the case, you need to do something that improved your application. I know of one student who applied 5 times before getting accepted at the University of Colorado. He is now an orthopedic surgery resident.
Overall, re-application does not hurt your chances and in most cases, it shows that you are dedicated to becoming a physician. When does re-application hurt you? When you do nothing to change your application especially if told to do something like re-take MCAT or take more classes and you refuse.
Good luck!

Thanks to all for your input.
That premed advisor is known for being very pessimistic so I need to take what he says with a grain of salt.
I’m in the midst of physics/orgo finals now, so once I get my grades if they are good enough, will definitely shoot for this year.
Thanks again

As I just noted on the other re-app thread, I was rejected and re-applied. It didn’t hurt my chances one bit, in fact it earned me an acceptance!
Do contact the school that rejected you and see if you need to do something to strengthen your app. Some will do this by phone, some by appt., some only talk to you after you’ve filled out pages and pages of questions.
In my case, I was rejected only by the thinnest hair, and it just took a little determination to prove me over the hump and get accepted.


The only way that a medical school knows that you have been rejected is if you tell them.

Actually, if you reapply to the same school, they will know this because it will indicate this on the AMCAS application. (You are required, when you fill out the AMCAS application, to indicate if you applied to a school previously.) “New” schools to your list won’t know this however. But, if it’s been a couple of years since you’ve taken the MCAT, schools may suspect that you are a reapplicant. As long as your application improves from one application year to the next, being a reapp isn’t a problem. With >36k applicants and ~16k first year slots, you can imagine that there are many people who reapply.