Should you write a thank you note after your medical school interview? Yes! It’s common courtesy to thank interviewers for taking time out of their very busy schedules to read your application and interview you. Most medical schools appreciate receiving thank you letters from applicants as a gesture of their appreciation for having the opportunity to visit the school and share their story. As the former director of both the Goucher and Johns Hopkins Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Programs, I routinely received thank you notes following interviews I conducted with applicants. Some were eloquently expressed and helped advance an applicant’s candidacy while others were such a poor reflection of the applicant that they caused harm. So be mindful of how you express yourself in your thank you letter and be sure to include the right content.
Here are some tips regarding medical school interview thank you letters:
- Follow any instructions set forth by the school in question. The vast majority of schools welcome thank you notes but a few schools state unequivocally that they do not want to receive notes from applicants.
- Be relatively brief. This is not an opportunity to restate your life story.
- Stick to three paragraphs, no more. The thank you note should do the following:
- Thank the interviewer for his/her consideration and time; express your appreciation and convey what you enjoyed about the visit.
- Reiterate a topic that was discussed in the interview, thereby reminding the very busy interviewer of your conversation.
- State your interest in the school (and why) and what you would contribute to it; thank the interviewer again in the closing words.
The medical school interview thank you note should express gratitude but it is also an opportunity to make it clear why you’re interested in a particular school. Remember that schools want students who are excited to be there—show both your appreciation and your enthusiasm in your note.
In regard to whether the note should be hand written or sent via email, either is acceptable. What’s important is the sentiment expressed, and sending the note quickly (within 1-2 days) to help convey your excitement and enthusiasm for the school, along with your appreciation for being interviewed.
If you have questions about thank you notes feel free to email me at email@example.com.
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consulting