Medical School Application Limbo: The Hold Letter

Medical School Application limbo: the hold letterThe process of applying to anything tends to be grueling but for students applying to medical school it seems to intensify. If you have been following my blog you might know that Conor is in the process of applying for medical school. It’s stressful and exhausting for him and I need to be as supportive as possible throughout this whole process. Okay so all the training my mom has put me through to be a good wife should totally come to use here right? It has but honestly this whole medschool thing is completely new territory and I find myself googling “how to support your premedschool husband/fiancĂ©/boyfriend” quite often. It’s difficult to know just how you should react to certain news and milestones in this process. Most of my my google searches have come up short, usually providing me with lists saying be supportive, don’t get frustrated with him, listen to him, be loving, etc etc. These are lousy lists and haven’t been helpful at all! What has been helpful though are the premedschool wives groups I’ve joined on Facebook and let me tell you, these ladies are fantastic. They know what you’re going through both in the process and emotionally as you handle your sig other as they’re going through the process.

Recently we found out that there are not just three outcomes to a medical school application; there are actually four. Accepted, Rejected, Waitlisted and Application on Hold. What the heck does that mean?! Application on hold? Well it turns out that this is essentially application limbo. You haven’t been accepted so you’re not waitlisted but you also are not rejected. They will also continue to review your application over and over again until they decide to make a final decision with you. From what I found out from other premedschool wives is that this is sometimes given out if you’ve applied late and are a above average applicant but they don’t want to do anything with you just yet because they’re either waiting for a late outstanding applicant or to see how their accepted applicants reply to their acceptances. This is what other premed wives and I have concluded while discussing this status of being on hold. We might be totally wrong but it seems fairly logical.

So what do you do if you get a hold letter? Do not freak out! It is not a rejection letter. Quite a few people I spoke to did get an acceptance following a hold letter. It may take days or it may take weeks or months but don’t lose hope. While you wait for schools to get back to you think about the areas where your application may not be strong. Is your gpa low, could you take another MCAT, was your application submitted way too late? If you ultimately get a rejection following a hold letter figure out what you can do to make that application stronger for a second cycle.

It’s only an end when you call it quits. If you truly believe that you were meant to go to medschool and become a doctor then do not call it quits until you are ready for the road to end. Like I said above, if you get a rejection look at your application honestly and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. It is not the end of the road if you get rejected. A second cycle of applications is not the end of the world. Do what you need to to get where you want to be.


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