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Strongly Religiously Influenced Application

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Sacred Heart, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. Sacred Heart

    Sacred Heart

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    Greetings friends,

    I plan on applying to medical school next application cycle in 2013. I have underwent some great changes in my life: initially being slightly religious, then completely abandoning religion, and recently in the past few years, having turning back to the faith.

    A large reason for my change of heart is a miracle which I experienced. I was healed physically in this occurrence. I plan on including this, if not highly detailed, with at least a description in my personal statement. The occurrence and following events are indeed my most meaningful experiences.

    I understand the great potential for the miracle to seem unbelievable and false to many who would read about it. I anticipate many to scoff at my application and challenge the veracity of my life's events, as I likely would have done years ago to someone whose application entailed a similar experience. There is no medical explanation for my healing, and I am 100% confident it was of divine intervention. As a former atheist--nay, an anti-theist at that--I can imagine the disbelief after reading such a personal statement.

    I am set on including my most meaningful experiences into whatever I write, as I will not lie. To the extent of which I describe my life's vicissitudes, however, I am unsure of.

    My question is: What would your opinions be on reading such an anecdote? I understand there are religiously affiliated schools such as Loma Linda, however, I wonder at the reactions of admissions committees at more liberal schools?

    Thank-you!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  2. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog

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    Yeah, that's probably not a great idea. You're going to describe how a miracle cured you? What does that have to do with being a doctor? Are you going to perform miraculous healings for your patients?

    At what point in medical school or residency do you learn faith healing?

    Given your post number = 1, I am calling troll.
  3. PreMedOrDead

    PreMedOrDead I'm sure you'll get in...

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    :bang:


    ...



    :rofl:


    ...


    :rofl:


    ...

    Please, everyone, feed the troll.
    :corny:
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  4. sinombre

    sinombre withoutaname Gold Donor

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    For the love of god, I hope this post is fake. There was no medical explanation for just about anything a few hundred years ago.

    http://nejm200.nejm.org/timeline/
  5. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Lifetime Donor Gold Donor

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  6. Oxygen206

    Oxygen206

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    well....are you gonna tell us what it is??
  7. xoxx

    xoxx

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    prepare to flush thousands down the drain for US med school apps, or stock up on sunscreen.
  8. Sacred Heart

    Sacred Heart

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    I'm not going to describe how a miracle cured me. No, I do not plan on performing miraculous healings for my patients.

    You are quite right; it has little to being a doctor or matching into a residency. The given events, have, however, largely impacted my personal life and thus my personal statement and most meaningful experiences. If you refer back to my original post, I am wondering at it's impact on my application through my essays.

    I know my post count is one. I have frequented SDN over the past years many times and find the forums a valuable resource. Until now, I have had no reason to create an account.

    I also understand the troll comments. Like I said earlier, I probably would have done the same thing years ago. I am not trying to get into a religious battle or debate the existence of God in this thread.

    So, again I ask, how would admissions view essays with such occurrences in them.
  9. JABWS

    JABWS

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    Sacred Heart...lmao

    Edit: I'm still laughing looking at that pic below.
  10. xoxx

    xoxx

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    We are all trying to tell you that it sounds like a bad idea and admissions would look at it negatively regardless of how much it changed you as a person. It is not what they would like to hear. Act like a politician, sell yourself, even if its not 100% you.

    Also, your essentially giving room for one of the admissions members to not like you because of your strong religious beliefs.
    You could be the best potential doctor in the world, but if you come to the interview and tell them non stop that you "hate the color orange" on of the admission members could love the color orange and reject you because of that...potentially.. Give them what they want/need to hear.
  11. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    Why would a god cure you and not everyone else who is sick?
  12. JABWS

    JABWS

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    On a serious note, most, if not all, admission committees will view your piety extremely favorably. Apply very, very broadly. Remember, God is on your side, there's no reason to fear.
  13. xoxx

    xoxx

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    and the religious debate begins :D:D
    A very valid question I must add...
  14. PreMedOrDead

    PreMedOrDead I'm sure you'll get in...

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    They would act just like we are. If this isn't a joke, it ought to be.
  15. wolfie77

    wolfie77

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    I would mayyyyybe have gone along with this were it not for the Jesus icon...... A little over the top my friend. And it has revealed you to be a troll.
  16. Ironmandoc

    Ironmandoc

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    You are a stupid troll but I can't resist.

    Forget medical school and become a faith healer. Lots of sheeple will drink your kook-aid and follow you to Guyana...
  17. SaintJude

    SaintJude

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    I used to read a lot of applications for entry in to a college scholars program. It struck me how popular religion was as a topic for personal statement--especially among atheists!!---although we never solicited views from applicants regarding their religious views. Even if you are, if you are familiar with Saint Bernadette, you know what ridicule she had to undergo for her experiences. Same things is happening even today (as you can see from even this thread)

    The best app is unique enough that only you could be able to write them, but general enough that everyone can relate to them.

    I will certainly talk about my faith in God in my interview face-to-face. If the school doesn't like it, then that's not a place I need to be. Perhaps reserve it for then?

    P.s. And even if you are a troll, I still think this may help those who are actually in your situation in the future. Stay well.
  18. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog

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    I am not trying to debate if miracles occur with you. And I just told you, it wouldn't look good. Your personal stories are supposed to enforce why you want to go into medicine. Miracles are directly opposed to medical care, only going to hinder your case.
  19. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog

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    Talking about your faith is probably fine, miracles is crossing the line imo.
  20. ElCapone

    ElCapone Mafioso In Training

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    Sacrilege!!! (not really)
  21. Sacred Heart

    Sacred Heart

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    I created my account, wanted an icon, and could think of no better icon to use. But I have removed the icon so as to not deter people from this page.

    Again, my experiences are related to my personal life. They are my most meaningful experiences; they are not what I will be focusing on in my personal statement, though I had hoped to include them. Would you not agree that some people's most profound personal experiences would relate to entering into medicine? I knew that many people would focus their posts at my reference of the miracle which occurred. This happening is not the crux of my essays but instead what initiated my embracing of the faith. Even today if I learned something which eliminated the possibility of the miracle from being of divine intervention, my faith would not change at all. The miracle is minute in the grand scheme.

    I would not want to alienate anyone. It is an excellent point you bring up regarding wanting people to relate to my experiences. I will have to take this into account when writing me essays. No fear, I am not a troll. Many miracles and works of God are happening throughout the world, and I am not a lone exception. I am indeed familiar with St. Bernadette and her experiences. I admire your confidence in being able to talk about your faith with anyone 1-on-1. I completely understand many of the views people have towards religiosity, especially from having been in scientific fields for quite some time. Countless times have I received incredulous looks in response to talking about my faith. Oh yeah, one more thing, the patron of lost cases has been a great help in many of my circumstances :)


    From the responses here, I feel it is in my best interest to leave my experiences vague. It is a shame, in my opinion, to do so, but I will do what I must. I anticipate many responses with "troll-posts" so a mod could close this thread if need be.

    Thanks everyone for the responses!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  22. plumazul

    plumazul It's revisit season!! Gold Donor

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    A perpetual cosmic lottery?
  23. GNE24

    GNE24

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    Don't be ashamed of who you are, period. I think you will be more respected if you share who you really are, rather than using the same approach thousands of other pre-meds use when applying. Medical schools don't discriminate when it comes to civil liberties, and in my opinion, I think a more diverse class is what they will always look for.
  24. dally1025

    dally1025

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    If I was reading a very religious personal statements I'd throw it in the trash. In medicine you have to deal with people from all walks of life and I would question your ability to relate to others from different backgrounds. There are certain times when discussing religion is perfectly acceptable (end of life discussions) but it's not in your personal statement. You've only got a brief time period to make an impression and you don't want people to wonder if you thought you were applying for seminary. Stick to medicine in a medical school personal statement and don't talk about anything controversial (religion, politics, etc).
  25. SaintJude

    SaintJude

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    It's how you relate it. Everyone who knows love knows God, because God is love. And those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides them. The issue is that, as the Bible says, no one have ever seen God. And in this society, we are all about what we can see--even when what we can see doesn't tell all our reality.
    We call people beautiful, even if they have ugly personality!

    It's like Antoine de Saint Exupery says
    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye."

    Good luck!! Sacred Heart!!
  26. tiedyeddog

    tiedyeddog

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    My most profound personal experience could be eating the last oreo in the oreo package yesterday. Doesn't mean I should include that in application essays.
  27. dally1025

    dally1025

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    Just because you don't mention something doesn't mean you're ashamed of it, there's a time and a place. There will be people that do not agree with his religious ideals and will move on to the next application file. I'm sure a few folks would relate but doctors also come from varied backgrounds and you run a huge risk of alienating the reader. The admissions people are people after all and religion is a dicey topic. If you talk about it don't go into specifics and don't be preachy.
  28. Mattchiavelli

    Mattchiavelli

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    Eh put it in and see what happens. If you do get in somewhere at least you'll be amongst likeminded people and there won't be a large part of your life you have to feel like you need to hide in order to advance professionally. If it blocks you from getting in and it really is as big of a part of your life as you make it out to be, perhaps medicine wasn't for you.
  29. MedicinaeDoctor

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  30. BurghStudent

    BurghStudent lurker

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    Just to add this; aren't there medical schools that do have a religious or faith-based philosophy that might be receptive to people of the OP's nature? Creighton, Loyola, Loma Linda and Georgetown come to mind.
  31. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    I... uh...

    I'm not 100% sure what I just read...
  32. I like meowmix

    I like meowmix

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    Honestly, if I were reading it, I'd be pretty dubious though of course other people may not look at it that way...
  33. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

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    Loma Linda is the only one that's particularly religious (and their related code of conduct is the reason I'm not applying there). But Loyola, SLU, GTown, Creighton and several others I'm sure are Jesuit, which is Catholic, but not really religious. The Jesuits place a great emphasis on education and scholarly work.
  34. U Wot M8

    U Wot M8 Senior Member Gold Donor

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    If miracles are real then god is pretty much the biggest troll ever, healing some and letting the rest die.
  35. TheMightySmiter

    TheMightySmiter

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    The Jesuit schools are much more service-oriented than religion-oriented. I interviewed at three of the four Jesuit medical schools and was accepted to two of them. I can tell you that while they are absolutely looking for applicants who have a strong interest in community service, they are probably not looking for applicants who are vocally motivated by a "divine miracle".
  36. xXIDaShizIXx

    xXIDaShizIXx Psy.D. Candidate

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    As long as they stay in Guyana. :D
  37. kpcrew

    kpcrew Gold Donor

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  38. kevin17ym

    kevin17ym

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    Allopathic/Osteopathic Medicine is definitely not faith-based practice but a sight-based practice. Definitely not the place to go to learn how to faith-cure people.
    But yea, I have been told by many people that putting in religious stuff in the personal statement will definitely not look too good overall. If I were you and you are CERTAIN that God wants you to be a doctor and you are CERTAIN that He wants you to share your testimony to the admissions committee, than you should CERTAINLY obey His commands and be CERTAIN(more than believe) that you will get into a medical school. It's only logical that way. If you think you have to share your testimonies to the admissions committees but you don't know for sure that you're going to get in, then just do your thing, don't worry about the result. Live in freedom. You don't NEED to go to a medical school but if you NEED to share your testimony, then do what you NEED to do. Vice versa if your needs are the other way around. Don't feel like you NEED to feel CERTAIN about anything. It is natural to be uncertain about the future. Don't FORCE certainty into yourself. If you're not certain, then yea I would DEFINITELY go with the "sell your self" technique. Hide the miracle part, maybe talk about your faith if you REALLY want, not too much. Or play safe and go with a variation of "I want to help people" personal statement. lol
    Don't be discouraged! There are still many people who are skeptical about believing that all of reality must be discover-able by 5 human senses!
  39. JABWS

    JABWS

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    That sounds painful.
  40. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

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  41. NightGod

    NightGod

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    Latest results I've heard say that 85% of scientists don't believe in a personal god. I don't know the breakdown for doctors in that mix, but it seems crazy to me to alienate that many people with something that they would likely consider to be foolish naivete, at best, and a possible sign of mental illness, at worst. Other than maybe Loma Linda, my gut says a personal statement mentioning miraculous healing would be a depth charge of the largest kind on a med school app. It seems to me that you, at least on some level, recognize this fact, as evidenced by the existence of this thread in the first place.
  42. LockDoc

    LockDoc

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    I congratulate the OP on being one of the fellow chosen. I myself determined that after drinking copious amounts of alcohol and waking up WITHOUT a hangover one morning that God bestowed a small miracle on me. Although small, this miracle showed me that not only is there a God (before I was a skeptic) but that I am one of his chosen ones. I feel a pity that others that woke up with a hangover that morning where not given this small but significant gift. All I can say is that it was God's plan that I did not suffer that morning. Additionally I agree that even if I found out that there was some "scientific" reason for my miracle, it would not sway any current beliefs. So glad god let me know he picked me for his team. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

    EDIT: Additionally I would like to point out that recent studies have shown that homeopathic remedies are 4x more effective when blessed by a priest.
  43. kevin17ym

    kevin17ym

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    75% of doctors believe in miracles, 72% say religion provides a reliable and necessary guide to life. 55% said that they have seen treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous. I think he wants to be a doctor not a scientist. Sorry I don't have statistics of religion of admission committee, which would be more useful.
    85% of scientists don't believe in a PERSONAL god. Most of them, I would imagine would believe in some form of "supernatural" (Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature). If they believe in Big Bang, they believe in supernatural. Makes sense. God is not really discover-able by 5 senses or is it a consistent phenomenon (like "heat travels up") of sort that it can be put into a scientific law. No "reason" to believe in a PERSONAL god as a scientist, who's job is to discover things by observing nature of consistent findings/results.
    Any statistics on how many scientists believe that a personal god is an impossible phenomenon? I want to make sure if they have any evidence that ALL things that are real must be discover-able by humans. Naive to just believe THAT I think. I trust the scientists with all my mind, body and soul about discoveries of tangible things in this universe, I don't know about non-tangible things. Besides, I don't think most scientists research on the existence of a personal god. I think they're probably looking for a cure for cancer or teaching organic chemistry or something like that lol. Isn't it better to look for evidence in people who actually do something closely related to miracles than people who sit in their labs (with due respect) and look for cure for cancer or teach organic chemistry in a classroom? Either "everybody(55% of doctors) lies" or there really is something to be discovered instead of dismissing many of those accounts to be "unfair therefore not true" (doesn't make sense).
    JUST A THOUGHT MAN CALM DOWN. lol :)
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  44. Tildy

    Tildy 10 yrs old, feels like 70 Moderator SDN Advisor

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    First, there is no problem with an applicant who has a strong religious belief and believes that G-d provides miracles, in ancient times and today.

    In terms of using your faith as a REASON for becoming a physician, one should be cautious. In general, it is best to not necessarily indicate that one was "called" to be a doctor, but to indicate simply that you believe that being a religious person is part of what motivates you to medicine as a career. You will almost certainly not be asked further about it.

    Now, in this case, if you wish to share your story, then you should do so in basic terms and not provide unneeded details or emphasis on religion as your basis for medicine. Indicate that you were ill, you got better and that you have faith that your improvement involved not just medicine, but also a Higher power.

    In my opinion, this will neither help nor hurt your application for most readers of it, although of course there may be a few who find the story remarkably good or bad. You should emphasize that you are not going to be a physician solely based on your illness and recovery and that you strongly believe in using medicines to treat people. Otherwise, why go to medical school?

    Those who believe that physicians may not or should not believe in miracles are entitled to their opinion. I do not share that perspective. However, you should express your faith in ways that capture your commitment to modern medicine.

    Maimonides was a physician.
  45. WorldChanger36

    WorldChanger36

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    Religiously motivated personal statement are VERY common. That being said if your religious motivation gives you a unique experience in the medical realm it would be fine.

    Now address the bolded part. That fact that you are unwilling to share your religious experience just points to the BS of the whole thing. Now don't get me wrong I am an agnostic theist so I do believe in "God(s)" yours just sounds like crap. I also find it odd that you would believe you have a personal relationship with a being you have never met. I also find it odd that you believe this being acted on your behalf to heal you. Why would this being do that? Also 1 Peter 15 states that you must be ready to make an account for the hope that is in you... If you believe you were healed by God and this is why you came to believe you have an obligation to tell us and everybody that ask about that healing. You can do it in a PM if you want. I won't attack you, but I will point out flaws in your understanding if I see them.

    Now on the second bolded part if you present this to an adcom they will be freaked out and worry that you will become some kind of nutzo faith healer. I is better to talk about how it motivated you towards careing, love, compassion and the desire to heal.

    Good luck to you and be careful what you post on here. It is troll season and stuff like this with your low post count will get you a troll label every time.
  46. kpcrew

    kpcrew Gold Donor

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    "miracles" LOL
    it's as if the laws of physics don't exist or something
  47. WorldChanger36

    WorldChanger36

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    There could be some place out there where they don't. Like God's Casa.... and between platform 9 and 3 quarters....

    Gosh....
  48. Starlightembers

    Starlightembers

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    Indeed. While, on a human level, I respect others' rights to follow the faith of their choosing and appreciate the various religions as culturally interesting, the idea of miracles always troubled and, if I were being honest, disturbed me. As, even if I/we were to accept they were real [without evidence, of course], they contradict the Judea-Christian claim that God loves, protects and cares for everyone, equally and without discrimination. It expresses the image of a God that is selective in who he cares about, loves and aids; it expresses the image of a God who, on average, seems to favor those living functional, first world lives and not those, no matter their location, suffering from severe abuse, neglect, tragedy, starvation, epidemic disease and an insurmountable amount of loss; if you accept the words of those who claim that these miracles only occur to those with faith, it lays blame on those who have been victimized and shows the image of a God who punishes those who have never even been informed of his existence; and it shows the image of a god who will, essentially, only 'show' himself or act every now again, seemingly to prove he exists. Why would anyone want to follow such a God?

    I have had wonderful things occur in my life, some of them even seeming miracle-like in that they occurred at just the moment that I needed it to occur. Yet, I have also known countless who have not been so fortunate, including some of the most devout Christians I have ever known, and have suffered greatly, even died, as a consequence. In fact, if anything, I know more with that experience than with mine. My 'miracles' are not miracles at all -- they are a combination of coincidences and a group of wonderful people who genuinely cared about myself and those like me.

    It's not about persecuting those of faith; it's about fighting and caring for all humans, not just God's chosen.

    OP, the goal of your personal statement is to answer the question, Why Medicine? If your miracle does not aid in answering that question, there is no reason to include it; it is irrelevant to the topic assigned to you to write about. Ultimately, with most adcoms, it could only hurt you. It will not be seen favorably.
  49. Yoseph101

    Yoseph101

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    Pre-Medical
    What's with the intolerance on this board? Not everybody's bible needs to be the pages of Nature and not everybody's faith needs to be relegated only to placebo-controlled, double blind tested medicine. Many people benefit from religion. I've certainly met alcoholics, addicts and paupers who have benefited far more from going to their local church then they ever did going to their local medicaid factory.

    You can believe in a God and you can believe in evidence-based medicine. I don't see why those two ideas need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I think people who believe in both benefit the most (on a personal level).

    @ the OP write what you think will be best for you, just try to imbue your PS with subtly and a tone that doesn't alienate the admission committee's. Talk about how you feel as though your faith has inspired you to pursue medicine, but also bring in other reasons
  50. kpcrew

    kpcrew Gold Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,990
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    yo dawg i herd you like beliefs

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