As I write this, I am currently waiting for my MCAT scores to be posted and my med school application to be verified. Every day, I emotionally migrate between dread and denial. I imagine logging in and seeing a seven in verbal, my most dreaded section.
I think about all the years of dreaming, working, and telling others about my aspirations of becoming a physician, and how all my experience hinges on this moment in time. I hope that in writing this blog I can manage my own doubts and dilemmas while informing readers about the application process, current politics and research occurring in the field, in addition to answering any questions you may have.
In order to help you gain insight into your writer, I will tell you my story. I currently attend Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, where I matriculated after leaving my small hometown of Las Vegas, NV. I am what the application world calls a “traditional student.”
I’m a young, 21-going-on-45-year-old woman with an above-average GPA and a résumé that checks every requirement box on the pre-med student check-list. This includes hundreds of hours of inorganic chemistry research, which has culminated in a recently submitted publication, serving as a chemistry teaching assistant for three years, interning with private practices, volunteering in the emergency department, volunteering with children at the Boys and Girls Club, and working with children with mental and physical challenges at a summer day camp, in addition to traveling abroad on medical mission trips, shadowing many physicians, and founding the pre-med and pre-dental club at my university.
On top of that, I have traveled to Machu Picchu and have run half and full marathons. Initially, I hoped these accomplishments would be the icing on my cupcake of an application; however, I feel as though they are more like pillars buttressing my medical school dreams. I have learned that one can do everything in their power to check every box, yet doubt is still ever present as I wait to find out whether I have succeeded or whether my MCAT score will come crashing down like a guillotine.
Although my intention to become a doctor has not wavered, I have evolved along the way. As a consequence of these experiences, I have begun to see the compassion and care required of great physicians. I may not know the specialty I want to pursue, but I do know the image I want to have among my patients. I truly believe in Maya Angelou’s statement: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Hopefully, they won’t forget what I will say – that’s probably important – but you get my point. I hope to dedicate my life to helping others feel better, and I would like to extend that support and care to you.
Every week, I will share my progress on my applications and provide reflections on my journey toward medical school thus far. I would also like to answer any questions you, readers, have about me, the application process, or science. I am neither a search engine nor an all-knowing, powerful pre-med god; nevertheless, I have aided and witnessed many students go through this process previously and have dedicated my life to becoming a doctor. I will also add some news articles at the end of my posts that may be interesting to you, as I have found that other bloggers who have done this aided my attempts to get my feet wet with medical knowledge.
Thank you for joining me on this portion of my journey, and I look forward to sharing it with you.
An article pertinent to many college students: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/07/02/197994339/federal-rule-extends-subsidies-for-college-students
Recent delay in portions of ObamaCare: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/07/02/obama-delay-health-care-law/2484623/
Background on ObamaCare, a nice starting point: http://useconomy.about.com/od/healthcarereform/a/Obamacare-Explained.htm
Steps toward an artificial pancreas:
Nurse Practitioner vs. Doctor: