Dealing with Failure as a Pre-Med Student

Pre-medical,Pre-medical Blog
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This post is written by Kayla.
Kayla is an MD/MBA student at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and Chapman Graduate School of Business. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Clinical Embryology from the University of Oxford. Kayla is interested in pursuing pediatrics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, painting, and spending time with friends and family! 

Dealing with failure is hard. You tried your best, and it didn’t work out. You might feel discouraged and lost, but don’t give up. You can overcome this! 

Give yourself compassion

Failure happens to everybody. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. The Beatles were turned down by almost every record label. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times. But now, they are legends! There is no success without failure. 

So, give yourself compassion and kindness. Pat yourself on the back for doing the best that you could. Even if you feel like you didn’t actually do the best that you could, appreciate the effort that you did put in. One small step is better than none. Remind yourself of all of your strengths and all of the great things that you have done! 

It can be especially hard to deal with failure in a competitive pre-med environment where you feel like you are always being compared to others. Remember that everybody is different, and you don’t know what others are going through. You are unique, and your journey will develop in its own way. 


When dealing with failure, it is important to reflect on the situation. It hurts to have to think about your failure again, but don’t beat yourself up. No amount of stress and pain can undo the past. You can only move forward in the present and future. 

Think about why the situation happened and how you would do things differently next time.

Don’t dwell on factors that you cannot control. Think of this as an area of opportunity or growth. 

As a pre-med student, you are at the very beginning of your educational career. It might actually be better that you are dealing with this now. You’ll be more knowledgeable and prepared for the future. 

Ask for help 

Talk about your situation and feelings with people that you trust, such as family or friends. They can help you to reflect, and you may realize that the situation is not as bad as you think. You can also ask mentors, advisors, or peers for advice on how they were able to overcome and move forward. 

Take a break

Sometimes, you just need a break to gain clarity. Work on something that you know that you are good at. Find a way to treat yourself or destress. Whether it is trying that new dessert shop or taking a walk outside, just do something that normally makes you happy and proud of yourself. 

Keep going

Overcoming failure is hard because you might not know what you’re doing. Believe in yourself. Remember that it is good for you to learn and grow. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Hopefully, it doesn’t take you 10,000 times, but you will find a way that works. Trust that everything will be okay. You will overcome this!

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