How to turn down an interview invite

December 21, 2007 at 8:07 pm (Applying to med school)

As December winds down, the interview season for medical schools is in full swing. Although your semester is over, the admissions committees are working furiously to try to build next year’s class. Since you are a reader of this blog I expect that you’re smart enough to have gotten multiple interview invites. I also don’t doubt that you have several acceptances at this point, too. Many of the invitations for Spring interviews will come from schools that are part of your backup plan.

Instead of spending another $500 on airfare and hotel accommodations, you’ve realized at this point where you’re willing to go to and where you’re not willing to attend. Therefore, you need to let schools down gently when you alert them that you won’t be interviewing there during the next semester. Your goal is to be cordial to these medical schools so that you keep an open relationship with them. Since you’ll have to decline their invitation in writing, I suggest you use the following template:

Dear Admissions Committee,

After a thorough consideration of your university, I have decided not to attend your institute. With over 120 medical schools, the competition was fierce this year. In the end, I had to select the school that would most closely match my goals for residency. This letter is not meant to say that you can’t turn out great physicians. It’s just to say that I got accepted to a better school. And by “better” I mean higher ranked school.

Good luck in your admissions process. I’m sure that with your stats, you’ll find someone willing to go there.

Soon-to-be M.D.



  1. Dana said,

    Fabulous! Even if I’m not smart enough to have had a whole slew of interviews yet (one. just one.), I like it.

  2. Clarissa said,

    Very succinct. How do you write a dear John/Janna letter?

  3. halfmd said,

    As in firing someone? Just make the letter short and to the point. I also try to avoid apologies and negative words.

    Dear Mr. X,

    Thank you for your previous employment. However, I have no need for you services any more. Please turn in your keys/cards/whatever I loaned you by Tuesday to my office.

  4. Sandy said,

    I actually thought this was badly written. Very immature and unprofessional…especially the second half.

    The letter should express regret, the fact that the decision was made after careful deliberation, and to offer best wishes and appreciation. Not some rambling section on how you don’t mean to say that they aren’t good…just that someone else was better.

  5. R said,

    This is the worst advice ever. Rude and cocky. Get over yourself. How about a simple, “Thank you for the opportunity to Interciew at your excellent school. However I will be declining the invitation as I have been accepted to anther school.” And by the way, what kind of moron chooses a school just based on the ranking? You are the sort of cocky person who becomes the kind of doctor I loathe. Cheers.

  6. Elaine said,

    I’m assuming this was satire. If so, quite funny. Some people even take “The Duffel Blog” seriously…

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