The Selection Process

The Selection Process

Who determines my status?

Our Program Advisory Committee reviews the applicant files to determine if the applicant will be interviewed.  If an interview is granted it's scheduled either in person or via Skype video call. The interviewee receives three 20-30 minute interviews; two individual ones with a Medical School Admissions Committee member and the other with the Program Advisory Committee (panel interview).  Once the interviews are conducted, members of both committees will discuss the applicant's file and their interview summaries to determine if the applicant is accepted or not. The Program Advisory Committee currently consist of four members including Tonia D. Thomas, Program Director; Faye Jones, M.D., Assistant VP of Health Affairs and Diversity Initiatives; Jennifer Coffey, Assistant Director of Admissions; Sharon Gordon, Program Coordinator for the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) in addition to our interviewers from the  Medical School Admissions Committee.  Our applicants are notified of their status via e-mail. We do not give status information over the phone.

Keep in mind, our program is competitive due to having limited spots. Your applicant file is compared with the applicant pool and there may be some candidates who are more competitive in regards to their grades, standardized test score, exposure to medicine/health care or how well they interview. Re-applicants are considered.

Our primary goal as a committee is to select the best possible candidates to succeed in our program and to gain admission into medical school. Being denied from our program doesn't mean you should give up on your dream. There are other paths to your destination.  

Why didn't I get in?

After you've taken the time to apply to our program, turned in all your materials and were either invited to interview or not; you receive an electronic letter that states you have been denied admission. First you have to deal with the shock and disappointment of not being selected and then secondly you probably wonder, "Why didn't I get in?"

There are several factors that may have led to our decision.

Your Academic Performance

Grade Point Average and Transcript
We use your transcript as an indication of how well you'll perform academically.  If you've had difficulty with non-science courses or with some of the science courses you may have taken, it concerns us; especially if you've earned several C, D or F grades. An inconsistent undergraduate or graduate record, numerous withdrawals or transferring to several different colleges also raises concern. It makes us question how committed you may be to a strictly science curriculum and how successful you would be in those courses. Keep in mind that a 3.3. is the minimum GPA we're looking for and you're being compared to the applicant pool.

Standardized Tests
Having a low standardized test score also decreases your competitiveness; even if it was taken years ago. A lower standardized test score raises concern regarding how well you will do on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and future standardized exams in medical school.

Your Interest and Exposure to Medicine

We are seeking candidates with a genuine and proven interest in clinical medicine. When we read your personal statement or during your interview, we need to be convinced that you put some serious thought into this career change and that you believe this could be the right career for you. We are seeking applicants who have a heart for medicine, meaning a passion to practice and compassion for people. If we don't sense that or you have trouble conveying that, we may question if medicine is the right career choice and whether or not you will truly benefit from our program.

We are also seeking a proven interest in medicine. Applicants need to illustrate that they've had some exposure to medicine either from shadowing, volunteering in a health care facility, doing some career exploration by speaking with a physician or medical students or even caring for someone who has been ill.

Volunteering and Displaying Humanistic Qualities

We are seeking candidates who have compassion for others and are willing to serve.  This is illustrated by sacrificing your time and energy to volunteer with an organization, participate in an ongoing service project, paying it forward with random acts of kindness, donating blood regularly, etc.

Your Letters of Support

In addition to your personal statement, we take your recommendations very seriously. You want to pick people who can endorse you and that you've spoken with about your career interest. They should share the qualities that would make you a good physician and to reiterate why we should select you for this program.

Receipt of Your Application

Since we have rolling admission, the sooner you apply the better. If you wait until late in the cycle, it is possible that our spots have filled and getting selected for the wait list isn't guaranteed.  If materials arrive after the deadline, you can't be further considered for that cycle.

Your Interview

Sometimes what you convey on paper doesn't always shine in the interview. Most people are nervous during interviews and that is to be expected. Interviewing allows us to get to know the applicant better and allows us to dialogue and learn more about the applicant's academic performance, work ethic and career intentions. There are times that interviews can reveal more than their file states and may hinder their chances for being further considered for acceptance (e.g, not a genuine interest in medicine, disengaged or confrontational dialogue, etc.). The interview is your time to shine and illustrate that you're the right choice and can succeed in this program.  If you share areas of weakness, it is always good to have a plan of action to improve in those areas. For example, if you're a chronic procrastinator, you want to display that you're working on managing your time better by being proactive (e.g., scheduling your study time or working part-time instead of full-time, etc.).

How you compare overall to the applicant pool

Even if you meet the minimum requirements for our program, you are also compared with the general applicant pool.  You are competing with applicants who may have significantly surpassed the minimum requirements, have substantial volunteer experience, shadowing exposure and gave an excellent interview.  By our program having limited spots and assured admission to the University of Louisville School of Medicine; we are seeking students who illustrate that they can succeed academically in the classroom and on standardized test; know why they wish to pursue medicine and can provide substantial experiences to illustrate that interest and appear to be a good fit to the program.

"When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

Choosing to continue on the Pre-med Path

Being denied from our program doesn't mean that you should end your pre-med journey or not apply to our medical school in the future.  Please contact the U of L School of Medicine at 502-852-5193 or your medical school of interest to learn more about what they are seeking in a medical school applicant.  They have reviewed numerous medical school applications and can give you advice on what you can do to improve your chances for medical school.

If you will be continuing your pre-med education at the University of Louisville, please contact the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Center at 502-852-5502 to schedule an advising appointment with a pre-med advisor.  If you will be attending elsewhere, make finding a pre-health/pre-med advisor one of your first task.

Don't forget there are numerous health care fields to consider in addition to clinical medicine; pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, physical therapy, podiatry, physician assistant, public health and more!

Other Post-bac Programs

There are various kinds of post-bac programs. Some are for career changers while others focus on academic record enhancement,etc., such as MEDPREP. Please visit the postbac premed websites to see if there are other programs you may be eligible for or may be more beneficial for your pre-med journey.

We sincerely wish you the best in your academic and career pursuits!