How to write a “Thank You” email after a medical school interview?

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A “Thank You” email after a medical school interview is a simple gesture but has a long-standing and permanent effect. Many students are faced with the dilemma whether to send a “Thank You” note after the interview. Well, a warm gesture that can help you stand out amongst other students, it is not a common practice. But, it is a practice everyone should adopt wherever feasible. It is an opportunity, to explicitly express your interest in the said program. Most medical schools appreciate the gesture of a “Thank You” email after an interview as an expression of gratitude. It is also an endearing expression of your final declaration of your interest in joining the institution.

Do keep in mind that a “Thank You” note by itself does not necessarily increase your chances of candidacy, nevertheless it is a smart move to connect with the interviewer again.

To whom is the letter addressed to ?

A “Thank You” email after a medical school interview should be sent to all the members of the interview panel or even a senior student that you have interacted with. A note can be sent to the Dean of the medical college as well, expressing your gratefulness.

Should the letter be an email or handwritten?

While handwritten letters have a charm of their own, they run the risk of being misplaced. In today’s digitized world, when everyone has access to emails it is recommended to send the “Thank You” note via an email. Email communications are more formal and professional and more secure as compared to handwritten notes. It also gives an opportunity to the interviewer to respond to your note if he so desires. It is also more certain that the “Thank You” note will be delivered to the right individual, thanks to electronic media.

Things to remember when writing a “Thank You” email after a medical school interview

1)A respectful greeting:

Start your letter with a respectful greeting. The interviewer may decide to be casual during the actual interview but it is always a good idea to be formal in any written correspondence. For example, start the letter with, “Dear Dr. Sen”. Do double check the name and spelling, you surely don’t want to go wrong with that.

2)A show of Gratitude:

Always include reasons for the display of gratitude without being overly dramatic. Be clear and precise in stating your point. A mention of the quality of the interview process and the questions posed qualifies as a reason to be thankful for. Thanking the panel for their valuable time spent in assessing the abilities of the candidate would also be proper. If written well, with honesty, the reader will acknowledge the compliments. Here are some examples:

o I am writing to you to thank you for our invaluable conversation on 22nd November.

o I am writing to you to express my gratitude for the interview session on 25th November.

3)Remember to mention important talking points:

Instead of being vague in the “Thank You” email, it augurs well to remember and pen down the important talking points from during the interview itself. Since there is bound to be more than one candidate in any interview process, bringing up singular talking points helps put a face to the interview. This helps the interviewer recollect the interview better during evaluation and comparison with other candidates. This also adds credence to the thank you note and makes it sound a lot more genuine.

For example:

o I very much appreciate the way you explained about the opportunities and possibilities available for the students.

o I was overwhelmed by your kindness to show me the clinical laboratory of the campus.

o I am most impressed with the unparalleled opportunities that the institution provides in the field of Medical Science.

4)Mention reasons of the positive impacts of the discussion

Specify the reasons of the positive impacts of the discussion. A new opportunity that you learnt or discovered about the school. A discussion about a book. Or a similar interest, like music, that you both shared. For instance, if the interviewer mentioned an interesting article, it would be nice to read it up and mention the same in the letter. This shows your keen interest and your sincerity as well.

For example:

o I read the article about “XYZ” that you had mentioned during our conversation. Needless to say, I found it extremely insightful.

o I listened to the latest percussion by Pandit Vishnu Maharaj. And I must say that it is one of the best compositions that I have heard in a long time.

5) Share any important news or update

Following up on any shared information or event is important since it conveys seriousness of the shared information. For example, during the course of the interview, you mention an event you are going to attend, then the outcome of that event could be shared. The event in question might be something that showcases a particular skill of the candidate or could be about a hobby of the candidate.

But, keep in mind that “Thank You” letters must be sent within a couple of days of the interview. If the event in question is supposed to happen more than a couple of days after the interview do not wait for it to conclude. “Thank you” notes should reach the interview panel while they still remember most of the interview. Also include this point only if you have any important message to share. It could be a scholarship or an award for excellence from your previous institution. Example:

o I am very happy to share that yesterday I was awarded the “Excellency award” by my graduate school.

o It gives me immense pleasure to share with you the news that I have won the inter-state competition for Guitar.

“Thank you” letters are not for the singular purpose of expressing gratitude for the opportunity to interview. It is also a platform to showcase why you as a candidate are eligible for the position you are interviewing for. So, keeping this in mind, any appreciation that you may have received, be it in academics or in a hobby or vocation is useful information to share.

6) Pitch for your strengths and qualities

While “Thank You” letters after a medical school interview are an opportunity to express your gratitude but remember they are also a medium to market yourself. You can mention in brief your traits that will give you an edge over the other candidates. Example:

o Through my integrity, hard-work and dedication, I hope to contribute and be a part of your dynamic institution.

7)Final gratitude

Conclude your letter with an extra polite final line and reinforce your gratitude. It might sound repetitive but do not hesitate to include a final line of gratification.

o Once again, I would like to thank you for your time. I look forward to being mentored by you and other esteemed professors of this renowned institution.

o I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude. It will be an honour to learn from you.

8) Where do you send the note?

Email addresses can be easily found on the website of the institutions. Many a time the interviewers share their business cards after the end of the interview. If you are still unable to source the email id, then you can send the email to the email id of the administrative office. They will forward the mail to the appropriate recipient.

An important opportunity a “Thank You” letter presents is the platform to express your gratitude. Not only this, it also provides a platform to express your desire to be part of the prestigious institution you are applying for. The interview panel would most likely comprise of educators and one thing educators love is students who want to learn more than anything. Though it is difficult to express this desire in writing there is no harm in attempting wholeheartedly and enthusiastically to do so.

If you are extremely sure of joining a particular institution, you can state your commitment in the “Thank You” note. All institutions value students who are focussed and committed to their goals and vision. Such a commitment can yield positive results. However, do not make that promise if you may choose some other institution.

Sending a “Thank You” email after medical school interview is not a mandatory process. It is completely optional. However, it does leave a lasting impression on the interview panel. Not every student sends an email or a note, so it makes a big difference in this highly competitive world.

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