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Forget getting into a top medical school, you might have trouble getting into ANY medical school.

By Ben Feuer

Blame it on the economy, kiddos.  With more and more career paths looking like potential dead ends, the allure of the seemingly eternal growth and profitability of a career in medicine is drawing in more students every year.  According to the Star Tribune, only 42 percent of students applying to medical school were accepted ANYWHERE, a ten year low.

So what can you do to stand out and be a competitive applicant to your target medical school?

1.  Retake your MCAT.  If you don't have a 31 or higher, it might be a good idea to shake up your study habits and take another crack at the test.  As this chart shows, the median scores are very high throughout the top 100 or so schools, and while you can't do anything to make your GPA more competitive, you can improve your MCAT with study and practice.

2.  Make your Secondaries Count.  It's a well-known myth of medical school applications that the rolling admissions mean that getting your application in early is the ONLY important thing.  While it may help you in certain situations, it is much less important than taking an extra week to polish all the rough edges.

3.  Take a Gap Year.  Didn't make the cut at your school of choice?  All is not lost.  Go out and bolster your work and volunteering experience, retake tests if necessary, rethink your goals and try again next year!

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