illadvised

2+ Year Member
May 15, 2018
2
18
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
*** Disclaimer: I write this essay in order to provide others with hope or at least to provide a temporary distraction. I benefited greatly from this site and the stories of others so I thought I would pay it forward. While I discuss many of my successes, I do this to show how it contrasts with my failures and to help stimulate my mental state at the time. I in no way mean to degrade anyone for their academic success. There is so much more to an individual than what can be gleaned off of paper. ***

The date is March 17th 2020. I have been working towards admission to an M.D. program for the last 6 years. After 2 gap years, 2 MCAT examinations, and one failed medical school application, I received the call that I was accepted into a US medical school program today. I received the news at 8:00 PM and it is now 4:00 AM and I am wide awake with feelings of excitement and nervousness.
I started undergrad in 2014 with a mind full of curiosity, excitement, and wonder. Being a first generation student I had no idea about the challenges of college or the competitiveness of medical school admissions. I had one objective when starting college; to do the best that I could. During my first semester I was unsure if I had what it takes to be successful. I remember calling my mom after my second biology exam which covered signal transduction and the auditory system laughing nervously and sweating profusely. At that point in my life, it was the hardest exam I had ever taken and I didn’t know if I would survive if the coursework became more challenging. In high-school I was a slacker; never taking notes and always doing the bare minimum for grades. I was able to get by due to possessing a decent memory and perhaps due to having a certain amount of intellect, but I quickly learned that this would not be sustainable in college. In order to adapt to college, I changed my habits, learned how to study, and became more disciplined. I ended up finishing my first year of college with a 3.96 GPA and was inducted into my university's honors college.
With the first year under my belt, I felt on top of the world. My family praised me for my grades as my mother had only completed school until the 9th grade and my dad was the first in his family to get a high-school diploma. In part due to the confidence gained by my parents' unconditional praise and support, I began to really contemplate the possibility of becoming a doctor. I began to research what metrics made applicants more competitive for medical school and I discovered sites like Student Doctor Network and Reddit. After much review, I started using commonsensical advice on making myself a competitive applicant. During this time I also had a realization. Without the internet I may never have had access to the knowledge I needed to adequately pursue a medical degree and I became very grateful that I was born in this period of time.
My second year was the time when I was able to experience the wonder that is organic chemistry. Feeling confident from acing my previous chemistry classes I rolled into this class hoping that the rumors about its difficulty were untrue. I quickly found that the rumors were in fact true when I failed a test for the first time in my life. This class became a significant obstacle which required more work than any other classes I had previously. In the end I passed with a solid and respectable B. Despite my best efforts and frequent audible commands to myself that I would get an A in organic chemistry II, I earned another respectable B.
Over the next two years of my undergraduate studies I was able to secure two years of teaching assistant experience, two years of research experience, two years of volunteer experience, and a year of medical scribing. I was awarded two grants for my research, wrote and defended an honors thesis, graduated with a 3.89 cumulative GPA, and was given a departmental award given only to one student per year. My confidence and ambition ran high with these achievements and I was naively confident in my ability to get into a medical school.
At this point I had not yet taken the MCAT but I was sure that with my previous success I would conquer this exam. This confidence soon deflated after getting a remarkable diagnostic score of 502. Despite months of (what I thought was adequate) preparation and a few improving MCAT practice scores I sat for the real exam. Shortly into the first block I realized how unprepared I was and had what I would describe as a mild panic attack. The rest of the exam was not much better. After 1 month of anxiety-ridden waiting I received the sweet score of 500. I immediately sat on my staircase and cried for the first time in years. With this my identity was fractured; I had never put in so much effort and failed at something before. This was— I thought—the first true failure of my life and there was no one to blame but myself. My confidence in my ability to do anything was diminished. I could not understand why I had done so poorly considering my success in college. I blamed things out of my control and things that would never result in me improving. Needless to say I did not rebound from this well. I swear there was a MCAT psychology and sociology concept relating to this. Oh yeah, it was self-efficacy and I guess that mine is poor. No wonder I failed the exam.
Despite my score I applied to in-state MD medical schools. I was fortunately unfortunate that I qualified for the Fee Assistance Program provided by the AAMC so I had no money to lose (not that there was any money to lose). My thought process was that if there was a true holistic review then maybe my MCAT would be overlooked. I thought that otherwise I was a great applicant and that any medical school would be lucky to have me. Alas, my naivety (and perhaps some arrogance?) strikes again as I fail to consider the harsh realities about medical admissions. While I actually received one interview I was quickly put in the alternate list and so the future I planned was looking bleak. A few months after being placed on the wait-list I began to worry about my future. Considering the timeline of the application cycle, I may not receive any update until it is time to apply for the following cycle and by then it would be too late to reapply as I am. I would have to start re-studying for the MCAT now.
I once again consulted forms such as SDN and reddit inquiring about the MCAT which prompted me to learn about learning theory, Anki, and other MCAT prep resources. After weeks of research, renewed determination, and a new plan I began to study for the MCAT exam once again. I used multiple sources of information, did content review, and used numerous practice materials. I studied for 2-6 hours every day for 5-6 months while still waiting to hear back from the wait-list. As the end of the cycle approached I knew my chances were diminishing so I retook the MCAT and improved my score by 10 points. I quickly submitted this new MCAT score only for them to reject me soon after. It was too late in the application cycle and all positions had been filled. I had failed once again.
It would take at least another year of my life before I would know if I could study medicine. With no back up plan this came as haunting news and once again I felt my confidence waning. Can I ever really be a medical doctor? Do I have what it takes? Am I wasting my time while I could be pursuing something else? These were all questions that consumed my thoughts and discouraged me. Despite my doubts I reapplied with the only changes in my application being the increase in my MCAT score and additional clinical hours (I continued being a medical scribe). Months went by with no changes and no interviews, in fact I had gotten an interview faster last cycle. Finally in December I received two interviews. It was not until March when I found out I had been placed on the alternate list for each school. Once again those thoughts of am I good enough popped into my mind. The fear that I might get rejected from medical school again was prominent. Just when my doubt seemed to consume me I received another call. I was invited for another medical school interview which would take place in 6 short days from that call. I interviewed and a few weeks later I was accepted into a US MD program. I am going to become a medical doctor.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 11 users

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
64,561
99,299
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
*** Disclaimer: I write this essay in order to provide others with hope or at least to provide a temporary distraction. I benefited greatly from this site and the stories of others so I thought I would pay it forward. While I discuss many of my successes, I do this to show how it contrasts with my failures and to help stimulate my mental state at the time. I in no way mean to degrade anyone for their academic success. There is so much more to an individual than what can be gleaned off of paper. ***

The date is March 17th 2020. I have been working towards admission to an M.D. program for the last 6 years. After 2 gap years, 2 MCAT examinations, and one failed medical school application, I received the call that I was accepted into a US medical school program today. I received the news at 8:00 PM and it is now 4:00 AM and I am wide awake with feelings of excitement and nervousness.
I started undergrad in 2014 with a mind full of curiosity, excitement, and wonder. Being a first generation student I had no idea about the challenges of college or the competitiveness of medical school admissions. I had one objective when starting college; to do the best that I could. During my first semester I was unsure if I had what it takes to be successful. I remember calling my mom after my second biology exam which covered signal transduction and the auditory system laughing nervously and sweating profusely. At that point in my life, it was the hardest exam I had ever taken and I didn’t know if I would survive if the coursework became more challenging. In high-school I was a slacker; never taking notes and always doing the bare minimum for grades. I was able to get by due to possessing a decent memory and perhaps due to having a certain amount of intellect, but I quickly learned that this would not be sustainable in college. In order to adapt to college, I changed my habits, learned how to study, and became more disciplined. I ended up finishing my first year of college with a 3.96 GPA and was inducted into my university's honors college.
With the first year under my belt, I felt on top of the world. My family praised me for my grades as my mother had only completed school until the 9th grade and my dad was the first in his family to get a high-school diploma. In part due to the confidence gained by my parents' unconditional praise and support, I began to really contemplate the possibility of becoming a doctor. I began to research what metrics made applicants more competitive for medical school and I discovered sites like Student Doctor Network and Reddit. After much review, I started using commonsensical advice on making myself a competitive applicant. During this time I also had a realization. Without the internet I may never have had access to the knowledge I needed to adequately pursue a medical degree and I became very grateful that I was born in this period of time.
My second year was the time when I was able to experience the wonder that is organic chemistry. Feeling confident from acing my previous chemistry classes I rolled into this class hoping that the rumors about its difficulty were untrue. I quickly found that the rumors were in fact true when I failed a test for the first time in my life. This class became a significant obstacle which required more work than any other classes I had previously. In the end I passed with a solid and respectable B. Despite my best efforts and frequent audible commands to myself that I would get an A in organic chemistry II, I earned another respectable B.
Over the next two years of my undergraduate studies I was able to secure two years of teaching assistant experience, two years of research experience, two years of volunteer experience, and a year of medical scribing. I was awarded two grants for my research, wrote and defended an honors thesis, graduated with a 3.89 cumulative GPA, and was given a departmental award given only to one student per year. My confidence and ambition ran high with these achievements and I was naively confident in my ability to get into a medical school.
At this point I had not yet taken the MCAT but I was sure that with my previous success I would conquer this exam. This confidence soon deflated after getting a remarkable diagnostic score of 502. Despite months of (what I thought was adequate) preparation and a few improving MCAT practice scores I sat for the real exam. Shortly into the first block I realized how unprepared I was and had what I would describe as a mild panic attack. The rest of the exam was not much better. After 1 month of anxiety-ridden waiting I received the sweet score of 500. I immediately sat on my staircase and cried for the first time in years. With this my identity was fractured; I had never put in so much effort and failed at something before. This was— I thought—the first true failure of my life and there was no one to blame but myself. My confidence in my ability to do anything was diminished. I could not understand why I had done so poorly considering my success in college. I blamed things out of my control and things that would never result in me improving. Needless to say I did not rebound from this well. I swear there was a MCAT psychology and sociology concept relating to this. Oh yeah, it was self-efficacy and I guess that mine is poor. No wonder I failed the exam.
Despite my score I applied to in-state MD medical schools. I was fortunately unfortunate that I qualified for the Fee Assistance Program provided by the AAMC so I had no money to lose (not that there was any money to lose). My thought process was that if there was a true holistic review then maybe my MCAT would be overlooked. I thought that otherwise I was a great applicant and that any medical school would be lucky to have me. Alas, my naivety (and perhaps some arrogance?) strikes again as I fail to consider the harsh realities about medical admissions. While I actually received one interview I was quickly put in the alternate list and so the future I planned was looking bleak. A few months after being placed on the wait-list I began to worry about my future. Considering the timeline of the application cycle, I may not receive any update until it is time to apply for the following cycle and by then it would be too late to reapply as I am. I would have to start re-studying for the MCAT now.
I once again consulted forms such as SDN and reddit inquiring about the MCAT which prompted me to learn about learning theory, Anki, and other MCAT prep resources. After weeks of research, renewed determination, and a new plan I began to study for the MCAT exam once again. I used multiple sources of information, did content review, and used numerous practice materials. I studied for 2-6 hours every day for 5-6 months while still waiting to hear back from the wait-list. As the end of the cycle approached I knew my chances were diminishing so I retook the MCAT and improved my score by 10 points. I quickly submitted this new MCAT score only for them to reject me soon after. It was too late in the application cycle and all positions had been filled. I had failed once again.
It would take at least another year of my life before I would know if I could study medicine. With no back up plan this came as haunting news and once again I felt my confidence waning. Can I ever really be a medical doctor? Do I have what it takes? Am I wasting my time while I could be pursuing something else? These were all questions that consumed my thoughts and discouraged me. Despite my doubts I reapplied with the only changes in my application being the increase in my MCAT score and additional clinical hours (I continued being a medical scribe). Months went by with no changes and no interviews, in fact I had gotten an interview faster last cycle. Finally in December I received two interviews. It was not until March when I found out I had been placed on the alternate list for each school. Once again those thoughts of am I good enough popped into my mind. The fear that I might get rejected from medical school again was prominent. Just when my doubt seemed to consume me I received another call. I was invited for another medical school interview which would take place in 6 short days from that call. I interviewed and a few weeks later I was accepted into a US MD program. I am going to become a medical doctor.
:love::love::love::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::love::love::love::luck::luck::luck::hardy::hardy::hardy::highfive::highfive::highfive::soexcited::soexcited::soexcited::clap::clap::clap::=|:-)::=|:-)::=|:-)::woot::woot::woot::claps::claps::claps::hello::hello::hello::banana::banana::banana:

Now go read this!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Aug 15, 2019
153
207
:love::soexcited:I swear, after I have read your post I felt that it was me who got into med school. Very proud of you OP, congrats you deserved it
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads