teddy bear doc

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Sorry if this is a little bit of a rant. It is a question, it's just hard to remove how irritated it makes me!

So I just had my "exit" counseling from my top choice (also the only school I even got offered to interview with :() after being rejected. They said, and I quote, "The committee was very impressed with your academic credentials and had no reservations whatsoever about your ability to handle the coursework." She then went on to say, "The problem was they weren't convinced of your commitment," and "you need to demonstrate with your actions that this is what you should be doing."

Here's the rant part: Ok, fine. I made some mistakes on my application, namely, I put things I thought were relevant and verifiable. Example: I did not put down "tutor" in my activities, even though I spend many hours each semester helping various classmates and teaching them difficult material, because I wasn't OFFICIALLY a tutor (ie. I did not keep hours and get paid, etc.) Yet in my interviews, I was asked why I did not include it (?!?!?). Anyway, the issue was, for them, that I wasn't "committed" enough. I guess I just don't understand how leaving a career field I was successful in and going back to school (when my son was only 18 mo old, no less) AFTER already having a degree to go study a completely unrelated field does not show commitment. I also made time to volunteer in a hospital and in the community, do shadowing, etc. I'm also a single mom more than half the time (husband is military), so that time was not easy to come by and usually came out of my sleep. It is frustrating because they always say they want quality experiences, not quantity. But apparently I did not have enough quantity of quality stuff for them.

Basically what I came away with was that maybe I was too well-rounded for them, though they didn't phrase it quite that way. It feels like they *say* they want unique people with varied life experiences, but if you are that person, they don't believe you are dedicated because you aren't 20 years old and graduating from college early with 18 publications, having framed your life since grade school with the goal of going to med school.

Here's the question part: how do you show that you ARE dedicated? I would love to go on a medical mission trip or something to prove my worth or something, but I can't! I have kids, a house, dogs, life in general, not to mention I can't afford it. She recommended becoming a CNA, which I am looking into, but it sort of seems like nothing will ever be enough....

Sorry for the long post, I just needed to tell someone who would understand (possibly).
 

Dr Optimistic

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How many hours and for how long did you volunteer in a hospital and shadow a doc?
 

NTF

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I'm sorry to hear that this application cycle didn't work out for you. This is indeed a frustrating process.

As far as proving that you're dedicated, it's hard to advise you w/o more information about your application. The fact that you only received one interview may indicate other deficits in your application you could improve. It could be a simple matter of how you framed your overall story in yoru application.

I do think that the CNA position is an excellent route to go. One I did myself.

Keep at it. The fact that you got an interview means that if you continue at it, you're likely to succeed if you persist.

Best of luck in the future. If you feel comfortable post some more details here or in the reapplicant forum and you're likely to get some more specific advice about how to improve.
 

kristieb1

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You sound like me in the future. I have a daughter, 5 months old. I'm mostly a single mom (husband is a trucker!) and I have a house, dogs etc so I can't go on mission trips, or study abroad. Volunteering will be harder because I'll have to make sure we can afford extra day care hours. No family nearby that can watch my baby regularly. I also have one Bachelor degree and will start work on the 2nd one starting this summer.

I hope I don't run into the same problems you are facing. I actually did take CNA classes, did my clinical hours, but chose not to take the licensing exam. Being a CNA is absolutely not for me.

It was bad for my back, bad for my knees, bad for my emotions (it's so depressing to watch old people just slowly die alone in the crappy nursing facilities I had to do my clinical hours at), and it's not challenging enough mentally for me.

I've had plenty of jobs as a caregiver, so please don't question my desire to care for others. I've worked for 4 years with children and adults with developmental disabilities. Some of that time was in group homes, or dorms. Other times it was in public and private schools. I've changed adult diapers, showered people and more.

But I did not like working in a nursing home lol.

I hope you are more successful in the future. I would also like to know how to properly convey a desire to be a physician. Everyone is basically supposed to say the same thing, "I want to be a doctor really bad," but we are supposed to say it in a completely unique way. Well I'm not that creative!! haha
 

teddy bear doc

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Thanks for the responses, guys, and sorry for ranting. I literally had gotten off the phone just a couple hours before I posted, so it was still really fresh. I volunteered in a hospital for about 6 months, shadowed 2 docs once a week for a couple months each, did some community stuff too. I listed a couple other things on my app too, but the problem was that I actually do a lot more than I put. I was trying to be relevant, which was a bad idea. And I wasn't as upset by the rejection as I was about the reason why. I would have understood if it was just, "you don't seem to be involved in many activities." Because on paper, it honestly didn't look like that much. I've learned my lesson for next year. It was more frustrating that they said they didn't believe I was dedicated. It stung, I guess, because I am really dedicated.

Also, I am applying a lot more intelligently this year. I got a monkey wrench thrown into my app plans mid-summer last year, and ended up applying to a few schools that don't basically accept anyone from out of state (like we're talking less than 1% is OOS), which I didn't know at the time. A couple of the other ones did take more OOS, but for my numbers were a little low for those places.

It'll be better this year, I know it will. I've learned a lot of lessons. But thanks for the responses, like I said. At least now I'm not the loser who posts a thread that didn't get any posts. :laugh:
 

mooshika

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Hey, don't beat your self up. We are playing their game, the ball is in their court once you do everything you know you are supposed to do, and we don't always get access to all of the rules, so we are at a distinct disadvantage most of the time. Not a game in Vegas I would feel comfortable putting money on.

You don't know if what you did or didnt do would have made any difference at all. In my opinion, what you heard is good news, because it is not hard to do something about. Sometimes people get feedback that are very difficult to adapt to, like "you are too short! or "raise you MCAT ten points" YOu get the gist. Already sent you an email.

Be really nice to yourself - go to a spa, get a massage - and write a gratitude list of at least five things sin your life you are truly grateful for and get things back in perspective. Something I need to do regularly. I am blessed with so much, and I am fairly ambitious and can get demanding about results sometimes and loose perspective.

Best,
Moo


Thanks for the responses, guys, and sorry for ranting. I literally had gotten off the phone just a couple hours before I posted, so it was still really fresh. I volunteered in a hospital for about 6 months, shadowed 2 docs once a week for a couple months each, did some community stuff too. I listed a couple other things on my app too, but the problem was that I actually do a lot more than I put. I was trying to be relevant, which was a bad idea. And I wasn't as upset by the rejection as I was about the reason why. I would have understood if it was just, "you don't seem to be involved in many activities." Because on paper, it honestly didn't look like that much. I've learned my lesson for next year. It was more frustrating that they said they didn't believe I was dedicated. It stung, I guess, because I am really dedicated.

Also, I am applying a lot more intelligently this year. I got a monkey wrench thrown into my app plans mid-summer last year, and ended up applying to a few schools that don't basically accept anyone from out of state (like we're talking less than 1% is OOS), which I didn't know at the time. A couple of the other ones did take more OOS, but for my numbers were a little low for those places.

It'll be better this year, I know it will. I've learned a lot of lessons. But thanks for the responses, like I said. At least now I'm not the loser who posts a thread that didn't get any posts. :laugh:
 

teddy bear doc

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That's total horse ****. You gave up a career while being the mother of a child on a total gamble, and they tell you you're not committed enough. This is the kind of subjective crap that makes me feel foolish about wanting to go to medical school.
THANK YOU!!! That's all I was really trying to say. You just said it with a lot more brevity :rolleyes:
 

ShyRem

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I know many people will tell you not to mention your children or family on your PS. I beg to differ. I did mention mine - in terms of doing homework (working out complex math proofs) on the bathroom wall in bubble bath soap, doing homework nights with my children and myself all around the dining room table doing our respective work, with reading chapters while stirring pots for dinner, studying late at night after everyone has gone to bed, knowing how parents feel with a sick child at home, etc. These things all came out. Now, I also have to say I had a freakin' ton of experience before my family, but once I went back to college again I really didn't have time for much else other than family and schoolwork.

You can always put something in about showing your children the value of hard work paying off and working towards a better life, how they all pitch in, you envy your single classmates who have time for trips to guatemala while you are trying to juggle trips to the pediatrician, exam schedules with a child home with roseola, etc. There are definitely ways to show your commitment, show your success even with all these other things taking your time... but you have to show them you haven't been eating bon bons while your single classmates are wiping you off the floor with their research, missions, hospital volunteerism, etc. Being a parent is hard work. Tell them about it.
 

njbmd

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It's fair game to mention anything in your application (PS and extracurriculars) that you did that you feel makes you a good applicant for medical school. You should be aware of how you spin things and the overall impression that your application leaves. In short, allow some folks to read the document and give some feedback especially with your personal statement.

For example, if you mentioned that your were busy taking care of your family as a reason for why you didn't do this or that as well as a person who didn't have those obligations, then that leaves an impression that you wouldn't want.

If you mentioned that you were able to juggle family, tutoring and other things while maintaining your grades and a high degree of scholarship, then you have a positive that shows strong multi-tasking skills. I can assure you that these types of things are discussed in committee meetings.

If you were given feed back that your didn't show enough commitment to medicine, then you should ask what specifically gave that impression since that was not your aim in submitting an application to medical school. You state that you are well-rounded, then, what made you come off as being less than committed to medicine?

You can rant about "subjective crap" and other things but when all is said and done, it's up to you to clearly articulate your thoughts and items in your application. It's a paper representation of you (since we don't have you in front of us to question as to meaning). You have to make sure that the document shows you in the most impressive and pellucid manner. Since I read literally hundreds of applications every year, I would say that more than a few of them are not well-written and certainly do not convey what the author "intended" or they would not have put those things in their application.

Clearly, you wouldn't be ranting if your application had been successful. Now, it's up to you to make it so as plenty of people who have children make it into medical school every year. Instead of complaining about the "system", get busy and make your application state why you would be a good physician and an asset to a medical school class.
 

wagmanager

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It's fair game to mention anything in your application (PS and extracurriculars) that you did that you feel makes you a good applicant for medical school. You should be aware of how you spin things and the overall impression that your application leaves. In short, allow some folks to read the document and give some feedback especially with your personal statement.

For example, if you mentioned that your were busy taking care of your family as a reason for why you didn't do this or that as well as a person who didn't have those obligations, then that leaves an impression that you wouldn't want.

If you mentioned that you were able to juggle family, tutoring and other things while maintaining your grades and a high degree of scholarship, then you have a positive that shows strong multi-tasking skills. I can assure you that these types of things are discussed in committee meetings.

If you were given feed back that your didn't show enough commitment to medicine, then you should ask what specifically gave that impression since that was not your aim in submitting an application to medical school. You state that you are well-rounded, then, what made you come off as being less than committed to medicine?

You can rant about "subjective crap" and other things but when all is said and done, it's up to you to clearly articulate your thoughts and items in your application. It's a paper representation of you (since we don't have you in front of us to question as to meaning). You have to make sure that the document shows you in the most impressive and pellucid manner. Since I read literally hundreds of applications every year, I would say that more than a few of them are not well-written and certainly do not convey what the author "intended" or they would not have put those things in their application.

Clearly, you wouldn't be ranting if your application had been successful. Now, it's up to you to make it so as plenty of people who have children make it into medical school every year. Instead of complaining about the "system", get busy and make your application state why you would be a good physician and an asset to a medical school class.
Well said, but I do understand the OP's frustration.Any tips on how to convey that commitment.I would have thought that in my case for instance, going back to school at my age(which is quite up there) with 3 kids would show commitment enough.
 

teddy bear doc

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Well said, but I do understand the OP's frustration.Any tips on how to convey that commitment.I would have thought that in my case for instance, going back to school at my age(which is quite up there) with 3 kids would show commitment enough.
Yes, well said indeed. As I said earlier, I did make (probably many) mistakes in my application. I recognize what they are and fully own up to them. njbmd was right in saying that I probably didn't convey what I intended very well, and it is also true that I was not successful this year. That is frustrating, but will eventually be okay (when I get in next year :)). However, none of that makes any of the "crap" any less subjective. Parenting, especially single-parenting, is really hard and sucks up the majority of my time, but I can't exactly put "child-rearing" as an EC. I imagine that from an admissions perspective, that looks like a huge cop-out. A lot of it is, I expect, a matter of painting everything in a very positive light and talking oneself up. So far, I have been more successful in doing that this year.

I know a lot of people get into med school with kids. Next year, I will be one of them. I just wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this and, to be frank, I needed an outlet to vent that frustration in a place where it wouldn't drive those around me crazy. They hear it too much already. :laugh:
 

ArkansasRanger

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Well said, but I do understand the OP's frustration.Any tips on how to convey that commitment.I would have thought that in my case for instance, going back to school at my age(which is quite up there) with 3 kids would show commitment enough.
I would think anyone giving up a full-time job, particularly a good one, would be deemed as being committed. Heck, I've got it made with my job. I even get a free house (not a small one) and utilities out of the deal. Try to tell me I'm not committed. Geez. I'd probably get escorted out.
 

wagmanager

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haha, you're right. giving up a well paying job should show that.I would be giving up one too. No house in the deal but still a very good paying job. I'm not choosing medical school for want of something better to do.