Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
PM333

Is It Insane To Turn Down Your Only Medical School Offer?

Recommended Posts

Recently applied to medical schools (not many because of poor MCAT). the more i think about it, the more I regret not being able to apply to more. I interviewed at two schools but I know that my application, aside from MCAT would have allowed me to have more interviews and possibly a bigger variety of schools to choose from at the end of the day. 

If I do get into a school this year, is it unheard off to decline the offer in favor of taking a year off to apply the following year. It's just so upsetting that MCAT is holding me back from my full range of schools to choose from. 

 

I have yet to hear back from any schools but I just feel really down on myself. I don't want to be picky and take a year off but also don't want to be forced to go to a school that might not be the best fit for me (eg. a three year program where I don't think I'll be able to have my best shot at the specialty of my choosing) 

 

Does anyone feel the same way or have any advice to offer? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's pretty unheard of :) Mostly because you have no idea if the schools will change something in the future to make life just that much more difficult down the line (who knows - like cutting enrolment levels for instance)

 

I do understand the motivation though - just be extremely careful here. I have seen more than one disaster occur from doing something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently applied to medical schools (not many because of poor MCAT). the more i think about it, the more I regret not being able to apply to more. I interviewed at two schools but I know that my application, aside from MCAT would have allowed me to have more interviews and possibly a bigger variety of schools to choose from at the end of the day. 

 

If I do get into a school this year, is it unheard off to decline the offer in favor of taking a year off to apply the following year. It's just so upsetting that MCAT is holding me back from my full range of schools to choose from. 

 

I have yet to hear back from any schools but I just feel really down on myself. I don't want to be picky and take a year off but also don't want to be forced to go to a school that might not be the best fit for me (eg. a three year program where I don't think I'll be able to have my best shot at the specialty of my choosing) 

 

Does anyone feel the same way or have any advice to offer? 

 

I don't think this should deter you from choosing that program. If you already have a firm idea of what specialty you want to apply to the 3 year program still offer plenty of elective opportunities and looking at CaRMS data historically 3 year schools (Mac or Calgary) has not had difficulty matching people into competitive specialties.

 

Bottom line 3 year school is hard on people who are indecisive or change their mind late, but if I were in your situation I would actually find the 3 year program more attractive because it would allow me to reach my goal faster and get started on the clinical aspect of my desired specialty from day 1.

 

FYI there are actually similar programs at NYU for people who already know what specialty they want and the school is only 3 years because they can trim down a lot of unnecessary things unrelated to your desired area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is I don't know yet. I might want something more competitive but I feel like the fourth year programs might give me a better knowledge base for that. 

 

 

Accept and defer for a year if you absolutely have to. Otherwise it's like winning the lottery and throwing out the ticket because the next jackpot is bigger and hoping you win that one.

If I defer, I've heard that I'm not allowed to apply to other schools in the meantime. Is this accurate? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall, results depend much more on the student than on which school they attended. I won't say that the school has no role, but it is something that the motivated student can address (just search for prior threads from 3-year program students as to whether they feel they were disadvantaged in any way for competitive specialties).

 

Luck / fluctuating yearly competitiveness probably has a much greater effect than the school... how would you feel if you had sat out a year, and then not gained admission to medical school again? Easier to defer matching to do extra training or enrichment once you are in medical school. You will just have to do more work earlier on to figure out which specialty you want (which a 4-year student should do in any case). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you refuse an acceptance for a so-called better shot next year, you are a fool as you may never be accepted anywhere again whether you realize it or not. The best possible medical school for you to attend is the one that accepted you. 

 

Overall, results depend much more on the student than on which school they attended. I won't say that the school has no role, but it is something that the motivated student can address (just search for prior threads from 3-year program students as to whether they feel they were disadvantaged in any way for competitive specialties).

 

Luck / fluctuating yearly competitiveness probably has a much greater effect than the school... how would you feel if you had sat out a year, and then not gained admission to medical school again? Easier to defer matching to do extra training or enrichment once you are in medical school. You will just have to do more work earlier on to figure out which specialty you want (which a 4-year student should do in any case). 

 

 

Do you say this because you anticipate that schools will change their requirements in future years? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, because the competition for medical school admissions is so intense, that every year numerous qualified applicants are turned away. It often comes down to decimal points in the admissions scoring - a slight variance in the grading of one's sketch, or interview scoring may move someone dozens of spots up and down in the ranking, meaning the difference between admit or waitlist (or never getting off the waitlist). Just look at previous threads where people have applied with essentially the same stats and activities and received an interview one year but not the next from the same school. There is no guarantee that success one year will mean success the next. The requirements are just that, minimum requirements to apply, and are not an indicator of the threshold to be accepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I agree. I was never considering a change in requirements. A few years ago a member on this forum was accepted into a Canadian medical school, and decided to decline and take a year off in the belief that he would be accepted the next year. This never happened and he was very bitter as he expected based upon his acceptance that he had a ticket into medical school whenever he wished. The applicant pool changes every year, it is increasingly competitive and an acceptance is a gift from above that is rejected at extreme peril that you may never ever be accepted anywhere again. Excellent candidates are routinely rejected every year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turning down an offer would be a little rash - it would be better to really negotiate hard for a deferral even in the most exceptional circumstances.  In this case, not only is there the uncertainty of future acceptances (who knows what can happen to criteria and evaluations) but there is at least two more  years before residency.  I'm sure you're not the first person to want specialty X at a three year school, so with planning ahead it should be possible to get that specialty.  If you want to reassure yourself that is possible, here is a list of specialties by school of graduation from CaRMS:

 

http://www.carms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Table_27_Match_Results_of_CMGs_by_School_of_Residency_Discipline_English.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently applied to medical schools (not many because of poor MCAT). the more i think about it, the more I regret not being able to apply to more. I interviewed at two schools but I know that my application, aside from MCAT would have allowed me to have more interviews and possibly a bigger variety of schools to choose from at the end of the day. 

 

If I do get into a school this year, is it unheard off to decline the offer in favor of taking a year off to apply the following year. It's just so upsetting that MCAT is holding me back from my full range of schools to choose from. 

 

I have yet to hear back from any schools but I just feel really down on myself. I don't want to be picky and take a year off but also don't want to be forced to go to a school that might not be the best fit for me (eg. a three year program where I don't think I'll be able to have my best shot at the specialty of my choosing) 

 

Does anyone feel the same way or have any advice to offer? 

No, you don't turn down a canadian medical school acceptance.

 

If you wanted other schools, then you should have retaken the MCAT and waited to apply.

 

Real immature thing to do in the first place...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Accept and defer for a year if you absolutely have to. Otherwise it's like winning the lottery and throwing out the ticket because the next jackpot is bigger and hoping you win that one.

Except I don't think any school would allow you to do this - take up a seat and then re-apply to other schools? Thats very illogical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except I don't think any school would allow you to do this - take up a seat and then re-apply to other schools? Thats very illogical.

 

I'm not sure they could really stop you - might lose a big deposit though (and not help your reputation).  In this case, I'm not sure if the reasons would be convincing anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure they could really stop you - might lose a big deposit though (and not help your reputation).  In this case, I'm not sure if the reasons would be convincing anyways.

 

they could stop you by simply revoking your spot when you don't show up/pay the tuition etc. You need permission to hold over for a year - and they have no reason to give it, as there is simply no good reason in this case. They would simply ask the OP to reapply.

 

If they did do it then the school would have more work dealing with an extra student in the future etc, etc. Since the OP would be applying to other schools that means the original school really would permanently be out of a spot - loss of funding, and failure to met their numbers would result. I mean the sky won't fall but all in all the school really as no reason to go through that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they could stop you by simply revoking your spot when you don't show up/pay the tuition etc. You need permission to hold over for a year - and they have no reason to give it, as there is simply no good reason in this case. They would simply ask the OP to reapply.

 

If they did do it then the school would have more work dealing with an extra student in the future etc, etc. Since the OP would be applying to other schools that means the original school really would permanently be out of a spot - loss of funding, and failure to met their numbers would result. I mean the sky won't fall but all in all the school really as no reason to go through that.

 

Sorry! - I meant to specify assuming a deferral were granted.  Yes - those are valid points, but it does look like deferrals are granted in some cases (and they could always accept someone off of a waitlist - it would be relatively simple to have a procedure in place)..  To clarify, I'm not sure if this would be one of those cases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry! - I meant to specify assuming a deferral were granted.  Yes - those are valid points, but it does look like deferrals are granted in some cases (and they could always accept someone off of a waitlist - it would be relatively simple to have a procedure in place)..  To clarify, I'm not sure if this would be one of those cases.

 

It isn't one of those cases :) Usually deferrals are granted for health reasons or family emergencies etc. Basically on humanitarian grounds.

 

They can pull off of the waitlist (although to be clear that means the school likely will get a student lower down their ranking as by the time all of this is sorted out in theory at least top candidates would have picked other schools. Again this is not in the school's interests).  There are issues of funding though often (which means they often don't actually pull someone off the waitlist - at some schools the class is just down one and up the following year. Ha, this stuff can be surprisingly messy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would need to decide what's more important to you. 

 

A) being a doctor

B ) attending a specific med school. 

 

Turning it down for a higher MCAT score you haven't even gotten yet, assuming that it is the only reason why you didn't get other offers, is incredibly stupid an risky. You risk never going to med school and never being a doctor.

Sure, you may have better chances, but the key word there is chances. There is never a guarantee.  

 

Looking at your other posts, I'm guessing it's the 125 CARS? That is above the cutoffs for UofT, Dal, Queen's (it looks like), etc. So if that's what you meant, then there likely was another factor in why you didn't get interviews there. Which again, doesn't mean you have a poor application, but like everyone else has said, it's an absurdly competitive and unpredictable process. 

 

But, it's your choice. If the risk of not getting in ever again is fine with you, then that's a risk you're taking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would need to decide what's more important to you. 

 

A) being a doctor

B ) attending a specific med school. 

 

Turning it down for a higher MCAT score you haven't even gotten yet, assuming that it is the only reason why you didn't get other offers, is incredibly stupid an risky. You risk never going to med school and never being a doctor.

Sure, you may have better chances, but the key word there is chances. There is never a guarantee.  

 

Looking at your other posts, I'm guessing it's the 125 CARS? That is above the cutoffs for UofT, Dal, Queen's (it looks like), etc. So if that's what you meant, then there likely was another factor in why you didn't get interviews there. Which again, doesn't mean you have a poor application, but like everyone else has said, it's an absurdly competitive and unpredictable process. 

 

But, it's your choice. If the risk of not getting in ever again is fine with you, then that's a risk you're taking

I do understand that and I haven't thought seriously about turning down an offer (haven't even got any offers from either school). But my concern is I might not be able to be the type of doctor I want to in a third year program because I will have less time for electives so I guess it's not about being a doctor or which med but instead, being the type of doctor I want to be

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×