Writing a Letter of Interest or Intent in Medical School

September 13, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Writing a Letter of Interest or Intent in Medical School

What Is the Difference Between A Letter of Intent And A Letter of Interest?

The process of applying to medical school can take a long time. Even after each application has been delivered to the respective institutions, the work will not be finished. As students wait for interview invitations, prepare for interviews, or continue waiting for the final decision after interviews, they are subjected to an increasing amount of pressure. Both letters share a very similar format and contents, yet their primary objectives couldn’t be more different from one another. Now, what is the difference between a letter of intent and a letter of interest?

Young woman writing in a desk.

The procedure calls for a significant amount of patience. Nevertheless, this does not imply that you have no control over the situation. During this waiting period, many students decide to put their best effort into extracurricular activities to tip the scales in their favor. Another way is by composing a letter of interest or intent in medical school.

Letter of Intent for Medical School

How it works: Your letter of intent should clearly state that you want to attend a particular medical school because you believe you would fit in well with its program, academic environment, student body, culture, etc. You must also explain what you could offer the school if accepted.

Goals: You must let the medical school know that it is without a doubt your top option and that you will unquestionably accept their offer of admission.

How many schools should receive it: One. Because you can only have one top option for a school.

Why medical institutions value it: Schools want to increase their “yield” since it affects their standing, exclusivity, and prestige. The “yield” is the proportion of admitted students who enroll. Schools will therefore favor the applicant who has expressly shown a strong desire to enroll in their program if admitted when deciding between two otherwise equal prospects. This desire is shown through a letter of interest or intent in medical school.

When to submit: Whether you’ve been put on the waitlist or haven’t heard anything yet, a month has passed since your interview. If more than two months have gone since your initial letter of intent and you have significant updates to communicate, you may send a second one.

What ought to be in it:

  • An acknowledgment of your gratitude for their consideration of your application
  • A summary of what you particularly value about their institution
  • Any updates since your last communication with them
  • Evidence of alignment between your updates and experiences and the distinctive services provided by the school
  • What you will bring to the school in terms of the student population, curriculum, and initiatives
  • A clear declaration that you would attend if accepted
  • A second thank you for taking the time to review your application.

Letter of Interest for Medical School

How it works: Both the letter of interest or intent in medical school demonstrate your excitement for the curriculum, facilities, and atmosphere of a medical school. You should also emphasize how you will contribute to and fit in with the student body.

Goals: To let medical schools know that you would be very interested in attending if you were accepted.

How many schools should receive it: You should send it to as many colleges as you still have an interest in.

Young woman using a laptop while sitting.

Why medical institutions value it: Prospective students wish to attend medical schools. If you submit your secondary application and go a long period without hearing from the medical school, they might conclude you’re not as interested in their program as you are in others.

Additionally, many of your rivals will go above and above to connect with you and share their enthusiasm for various initiatives. It doesn’t harm to keep oneself in the thoughts of adcoms, even though schools won’t be as convinced that you’ll assist them to optimize their yield as they would be by a letter of intent.

When to submit: There are two instances that, presuming you have a relevant update to impart, call for a letter of interest:

  1. You haven’t heard back from the school six weeks after submitting your secondary.
  2. A month following your interview, regardless of whether you were added to the waitlist or received no word.

If at least two months have passed since your initial letter and you have important changes to share, you are permitted to send a second post-interview letter of interest. To put it another way, avoid writing only for the sake of writing since you run the risk of offending the admission committee.

What ought to be in it:

  • An expression of gratitude for their consideration of your application
  • A focus on the aspects of their program that you value most
  • Updates since your last correspondence, a comparison of your updates and what they have to offer
  • Statement about your continued interest in their program
  • The second expression of gratitude for their consideration.

How To Write A Letter of Interest For Medical School?

How to write a letter of interest for medical school? A letter of interest is made up of a few crucial elements. It’s crucial to maintain the letter professional while stating your reasons for wanting to join the school, why they should want to accept you, what you believe you can uniquely offer the student body, and any pertinent updates. Keep your letter of interest to one page or less. It should be succinct.

1. Customize Your Letters For Each School.

You must take the time necessary to customize each letter to the program you’re writing to because you might write numerous letters of interest and use a template. The admissions committees are trained to recognize a generic letter because they get hundreds of letters of interest each year.

Make sure you thoroughly investigate the offers of each program so that you can be precise about the contribution you will make to the student body, curriculum, extracurriculars, or initiatives.

Unidentified person writing in a paper.

To avoid sounding generic, your letter must be clear and specific. Describe the aspects of your background, available research opportunities, school values, etc. that make you a suitable fit. Considering that you are aware of your motivation for enrolling in the program, this shouldn’t pose a substantial issue.

2. Provide Updates on Important Achievements.

Don’t be embarrassed to show off your achievements. The time since you submitted your primary and secondary applications or attended the school interview is not the time to act modest or minimize everything you have accomplished. Have you received any recent academic awards? Or you were selected to serve on a committee? Have you written a noteworthy article?

If your application has any weaknesses, list all of the ways you have addressed them. Then, highlight your successes. Have you volunteered more recently? Enrolled in yet another extracurricular endeavor? Spent more time researching? Mention any accomplishments you have made you a more desirable candidate for the position.

3. Make The Most of the Chance To Stand Out

Consider using the letter of interest as a chance to set yourself apart from the competition since it might be your only chance to get in touch with your top institutions before they make a choice. Be confident in who you are and don’t be shy about expressing how eager you are to attend the program. Let your passion shine through. Admissions committees want to see your enthusiasm, eagerness, and dedication.

Make the most of your individuality. Put a humorous spin on the letter if you’re funny; just remember to keep the jokes clean and avoid any self-deprecating humor. Being modest at this time is unnecessary. Find a story that will make you stand out, just like you did with your personal statement.

Before they decide how to proceed with your medical education, this can be your last opportunity to present yourself to your preferred schools. Save the last-ditch efforts for your letter of interest or intent in medical school, however, you might want to mention it in your letter of interest if you’ve received offers from other colleges. Draw attention to the fact that, despite being admitted to other colleges, you are still more interested in enrolling in their particular program.

4. Thoroughly Review and Edit.

While sending a letter of interest can increase your chances of being accepted, sending one that is badly written, informal, and full of spelling and punctuation errors is a definite way to get it rejected. Please carefully proofread your letters of interest. Use editing tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor, but don’t rely only on them because spelling and grammar checkers lack a human’s contextual awareness.

Young man studying in front of his laptop.


Keep an eye out for any general language that doesn’t convey something novel or beneficial or that doesn’t directly connect to the program you’re reviewing. Ask close friends, relatives, or mentors to read your letters, and make sure they realize that they should be as critical as they can be since the admissions committee will undoubtedly be.

How Long Is A Letter Of Intent?

It’s important to learn about “How long is a letter of intent?” A medical school letter of intent can be compared to a resume in that it should be as brief, on one page, and highlight your interests. Similar to a résumé, a letter of intent contains information that makes you stand out from the competition. You can speak more effectively and save the admissions committee’s time by choosing your words carefully.

Three things make up a strong letter of intent.

  1. Be clear about which program is your top option and that you would be happy to attend if accepted. If you’ve already been accepted, mention it without naming anyone because it would be inappropriate.
  1. Describe your interest in the program. There should be no secondary application for a letter of intent. Talk about what you learned throughout the interview day, the people you encountered, and how enrolling in that school’s program will help you reach your professional objectives.

Think of a specific doctor you’d like to collaborate with on research projects over the summer after your first year of medical school, for instance. Or explain how you would be able to develop the skills necessary to become a capable doctor by working in the university’s free clinic.

  1. Describe how you can help the program. For instance, if you have research experience, explain how you would be able to use the tools available at the institution to work on an effective project. If you have expertise in leadership roles, such as in student government, discuss how you can help your colleagues have a better medical school experience.

As you might expect, the letter of intent generally combines your motivation for applying to the school with your strengths. You can also provide any developments, such as new publications, that have happened since you submitted your application. By doing this, you can demonstrate to the school that you made use of the interview season.

Your last opportunity to demonstrate your commitment may be through either a letter of interest or intent in medical school. Thus, you should make sure the letter is clear, concise, and grammatically error-free.

How Do You Get Off The Med School Waitlist?

Waitlisted candidates for medical school may feel helpless and as though their only option is to wait to learn whether they will be admitted or not, but this isn’t always the case. Although the final decision ultimately lies with the admissions committee, waitlisted candidates still can increase their chances of being removed from the waitlist and being accepted.

So, how do you get off the med school waitlist? The most crucial thing you can do to remove your name from the waitlist is to show that you are still interested in and committed to the school.

College consultant taking to two people.

You can accomplish this by communicating with the school and sending them any additional materials they should take into account when evaluating your application. Be sure to read and abide by each school’s policy on contacting the admissions committee by phone or email before you start composing any paperwork to send. Some institutions may not allow updated letters, extra documents, or letters of intent, while many do.

The following four actions will assist you in moving up the waitlist:

1. Submit a letter of interest or intent in medical school.

A letter of intent informs the admissions panel that your top choice is their university and that, should you be accepted, you will attend them entirely. On the other hand, a letter of interest will show the school how excited you are to attend their institution. The letter of interest or intent in medical school are both essential because they help schools calculate their numbers of available positions and future enrollment. In addition, schools want to fill their open positions with qualified candidates.

2. Provide pertinent updates.

Another excellent technique to show the admissions committee that you haven’t forgotten about them and are still driven and passionate about being accepted to their school is by sending an update letter. Let the admissions committee know straight away if you’ve done something remarkable between submitting your initial application and finishing your interview. They may take into account this additional information while evaluating your application.

The admissions committee should be contacted about any new information that would be fantastic to have, such as more letters of recommendation, publications, experiences, better grades, and test results. The number of documents you may send to some schools may be limited, but others, like the Georgetown Medical School, accept as many letters of interest as you like up until orientation day.

3. Exhibit commitment.

You should utilize your time on the waitlist to visit the school and go to any open houses in addition to emailing the admissions committee updated information. You get the chance to interact with students and potential members of the admissions committee whenever you are on campus for an event. When appropriate, introduce yourself, and be cordial and respectful to everyone you meet. Your continued interest in the program and commitment to enroll in their medical school is demonstrated by your participation in these events.

4. Maintain the accuracy of your contact details.

To get off the queue, your phone number and email address must be current and accurate. After the end of April, medical schools are permitted to give less notice, but they must still give applicants at least two weeks to accept offers of admission.

The length of time students have to react to an offer of admission is up to the institution, but the admissions committee may give them only a few days. You might easily miss this opportunity if your contact information was outdated or if you weren’t regularly monitoring your email.

In general, the application procedure for medical school may seem never-ending. Even after the submission of all required application materials, the task is not finished. It makes sense that a lot of applicants could feel restless and their anxiety kicking in. The process of writing these letters allows applicants to experience being in control.

It’s impossible to predict how much a letter of intent or interest in medical school will influence a choice, but it never hurts to try. You must take these letters carefully because a dishonest or careless letter could harm your chances.

AdmissionSight has been assisting both undergraduate and graduate students in admission to the school of their choice. We have programs that could assist you in writing a letter of interest or intent in medical school. Feel free to set up an appointment with AdmissionSight experts for your initial consultation.


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