How Do You Write an Update Letter to a Medical School?

Applying to medical school is a rigorous, lengthy journey. After submitting primary and secondary applications and completing an interview, a vital step is often underlooked: the update letter. This document aims to communicate your continued interest and highlight any new professional accomplishments since your application.

It’s an effective way to maintain your communication with admission committees while awaiting their final decision.

The Purpose of an Update Letter

The update letter is a multifaceted tool that is meant to serve several functions:

  • Remind medical schools about your interest and existence
  • Share any new, relevant professional achievements since submitting your application
  • Create clear and concise connections between your latest activities and the medical school’s mission
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When to Send an Update Letter

In general, it is appropriate to send an update letter to medical schools under the following circumstances:

  • You have already interviewed at the school
  • You have been waitlisted by the school
  • You have not yet received a rejection from the school

Remember, however, it’s crucial to check each school’s policy as not all accept additional correspondence or update letters.

How to Write an Effective Update Letter

When writing your update letter, keep in mind:

  • Include new and recent professional developments not previously mentioned in your application
  • Ensure your updates align with the medical school’s mission
  • Maintain a tone that is gracious, professional, and humble
  • Personalize your letter: address the medical school by name and the admissions committee if possible
  • Keep it short — no more than one page. Update letters supplement your application, not overshadow it

Moreover, avoid rehashing the same details already included in your application. The update letter should instead shed light on your continued growth and recent achievements.

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Avoid Common Pitfalls

  • Avoid sending an update letter too soon after submitting your application; give the committee sufficient time to review your initial documents
  • Steer clear of casual language and vagueness as maintaining professionalism is critical
  • Do not be boastful or exaggerate your activities; instead, balance your accomplishments with humility
  • Avoid focusing too much on personal hobbies unless directly related to the medical school’s mission or your professional development

How Often Should You Send Update Letters?

Restrict your update letters to a maximum of three per application cycle. Remember that each letter must contain significant new information or achievements. Too frequent letters may create an impression of pestering rather than persistence.

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An effective update letter can reinforce your interest, showcase your recent accomplishments, and even prompt the admission committee to review your medical school application more closely. It can serve as a dynamic tool portraying both your commitment to a medical career and your alignment with your selected institution’s values. So, while waiting for an admission decision, use this opportunity to consolidate your position and stay connected to your dream school.

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