How do you guys stay positive

  • I don't

    Votes: 17 37.0%
  • I try to ignore it the best I can

    Votes: 29 63.0%

  • Total voters
    46

Sugarplum94

2+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2017
37
5
Hey Everyone,
Okay, I am sure almost everyone has been through this boat, if you haven't good for you and hopefully you never sail this ship, but my question is very simple, how do you deal with the competition around you? It seems like almost everyone wants to get into medical school, and the competition is extremely high, we all know that. I also know that some people try to decrease the competition by putting others down, or try to over exaggerate their MCAT scores or grades, to direct their friends to the DO route, because it helps them in the long run. I have met many like that, and although now I am not as worried as I was before, because I won't be taking the traditional route anyway, but I did notice a lot of inferiority complex, self-doubts and depression amongst many pre-meds, medical students, and doctors as well, and there is no support group or any sign of positive motivation for a lot of premeds, including advisors who basically try to do the same so that the best 4.0 students with perfect scores get in medical schools and those who may fail to make the mark are told to find something else. I want to know how you all deal with this extreme competition, and how do you guys try to be positive and not self-doubt when you see your peers doing way better than you, or you don't match your own expectations sometimes?
NOTE: Please be kind, I don't want answers like, "Well if you aren't 4.0 you shouldn't become a doctor," or "Well if you get discouraged you shouldn't be in this field.' Most of us have been through this, and I feel like staying positive and encouraging others helps us encourage ourselves.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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The only person you should be competing with is yourself.

90% of all pre-meds never make it to med school.

People lie, so don't believe it when some ignorant pre-med tells you something.

Do what you love, and love what you do.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
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You aren't directly competing with anyone but yourself. The people around you are not your competition. It is not a zero sum game. Just relax.
 
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Optimist Prime

2+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2015
395
286
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I'm just a competitive person in almost every aspect of life. That's not to say I put people down or do anything of that nature, but its the competitiveness that makes it fun for me. There's different ways people can be competitive though because for me its not a competition to beat everyone else, but its more of a competition to beat certain aspects of the application. Take the MCAT for example I don't see it as trying to beat everyone else that's taking it. I see it as trying to beat the test and get the goal score I'm looking for. Use the competition to push yourself to be better not to push everyone else to be worse.
 

Symphonies

2+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2016
161
96
Southwest, USA
Status
Pre-Dental
Try your best to ignore others-- those who usually talk the most are usually the least successful/are the ones who never get accepted. If you're like me who really can't ignore those who put you down, use those words as a motivator to work even harder. Don't let people like that get to you!
 
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Flying Penguin

One pomodoro at a time
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2017
369
578
GO BLUE!
Hey Everyone,
Okay, I am sure almost everyone has been through this boat, if you haven't good for you and hopefully you never sail this ship, but my question is very simple, how do you deal with the competition around you? It seems like almost everyone wants to get into medical school, and the competition is extremely high, we all know that. I also know that some people try to decrease the competition by putting others down, or try to over exaggerate their MCAT scores or grades, to direct their friends to the DO route, because it helps them in the long run. I have met many like that, and although now I am not as worried as I was before, because I won't be taking the traditional route anyway, but I did notice a lot of inferiority complex, self-doubts and depression amongst many pre-meds, medical students, and doctors as well, and there is no support group or any sign of positive motivation for a lot of premeds, including advisors who basically try to do the same so that the best 4.0 students with perfect scores get in medical schools and those who may fail to make the mark are told to find something else. I want to know how you all deal with this extreme competition, and how do you guys try to be positive and not self-doubt when you see your peers doing way better than you, or you don't match your own expectations sometimes?
NOTE: Please be kind, I don't want answers like, "Well if you aren't 4.0 you shouldn't become a doctor," or "Well if you get discouraged you shouldn't be in this field.' Most of us have been through this, and I feel like staying positive and encouraging others helps us encourage ourselves.
I have met lots of premeds like those you mentioned. How do I deal with them? I just don't befriend them. You have to be selective about who to spend time with. This process is already stressful enough; no reason to make it more stressful by subjecting yourself to all that negativity. Get out of the stress bubble. Find supportive friends.
 

Dandine

7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2012
320
154
Status
Medical Student
For me as a pre-med it was the realization that doubt is normal and there will be always people who are better than me. Those things are out of my control and as a result not where I should be spending my efforts on changing. But what I could potentially do well in, I would make sure I absolutely did everything I could to blow them out of the water (no pun intended). Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for me I realized that pretty late as a pre-med, but better late than never.

EDIT: Emphasis on "blowing what I could do well out of the water"
 
Last edited:

Pagan FutureDoc

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
1,042
1,451
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MD/PhD Student
I've never felt I was competing with anyone for a place in medical school. I was trying to put together the best package I possibly could and take my chances with that. Unless you need your classmates and other premeds to drive you forward I'd forget they are even there and focus on metrics, experiences, and narrative.
 
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S

Sugarplum94

2+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2017
37
5
Wow thank you guys for such positive replies, I understand the whole competing with yourself, that's the best way to go about it, and I love how everyone is just so positive here, but there are times for me personally, where I definitely have doubts and see others doing better than me, or are steps ahead of me like taking the traditional route, and coming from an Asian society, where if you are unconventional you are looked down upon, really doesn't help, but I guess I am learning. Thank you all for being so positive :) <3
 

Kingsmen2018

2+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2017
835
1,160
Honestly, theres two ways I go about this.

1. Tell myself to do the best I can and improve every day

2. Embrace the competition, use it as motivation. But not by being a jerk, or by sabotaging others. Just by wanting to be the best.


*2 is sometimes easier for me because Im just a super competitive person
 
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CrunchyPeanutButter

ACCEPTED MD - Class of 2022
2+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2017
283
250
26
Π
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I just never told anyone I was a pre- med and did my own thing.
Didn't have anyone telling me any scores/misleading advice and they didn't know mine either


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
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Pharaoh95

2+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2016
626
926
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Having personally had "gunners" target me multiple times during my 4 years as an undergrad, I just learned to keep to myself about academics. I never share my test scores/MCAT/extracurriculars or anything related to pre-med with other fellow pre-meds, with the exception of a few, close friends. People just can't help but feel inadequate when they find out you out-performed them vastly on exams or have done some extracurricular that they haven't or whatever, and they will either inadvertently loathe you for it or target you with malicious intent.

In regards to my frame of mind regarding the competition, frankly, I just don't care. I have too much to worry about in my own life that I don't have the time to ponder "what-ifs" or compare myself to others.
 
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Gilakend

7+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,527
2,690
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Medical Student
Premeds are the worst kind of people. Honestly just ignore it. If anyone asks me about something, I just tell them. It doesn't matter to me if someone did better on this or worse on that or is doing something different than me. You should be busy enough (or have enough outside of school activities i.e hanging out with friends, hobbies, relaxing) that what another student thinks is the last thing on your mind. Most of my friends are engineering or business majors. They might have no idea how much stuff premeds have to do, but they don't care either. And that's what makes it great. My family doesn't even really know I'm premed let along random classmates.
 

DPTinthemaking15

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2016
669
573
Status
Medical Student
Like others have said above, you should be competing against yourself. A medical student gave me this quote, "Everyone has their own lane, maintain yours... there's less traffic and no speed limit."

Now, to explain an amusing story of a gunner. My sophomore year I transferred to a university and my best friend knew I was starting chemistry. She gave my number to her friend, who was taking the same chemistry class. The spawn of satan and I ended up sitting next to one another in class. Little did I know, she was the student everyone avoided. I constantly heard statements like, if you have less than a 3.8 you don't deserve a spot in medical school, I was born for this, etc... Two years later she is still applying to medical school and decided to pursue other career options. Life lesson: Some students talk big, but they are trying to cope with the same issues we are all facing.

Keep your head up! I trust you will become a great physician. Good luck!
 

DBC03

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
2,432
2,978
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www.thegracefuldwelling.com
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Honestly, I am so glad I wasn't premed in college. I did a lot of really meaningful activities over the past fifteen years that shaped who I am today and had nothing to do with trying to prepare the best application for medical school. Of course, now I am completely not competitive for medical school, but I might still get in somewhere. Keep your head up and you can make it through.

One thing I've found that has been helpful is that I honestly want everyone around me to succeed. I am tutoring a few students right now and nothing would make me happier than finding out they all got into medical school, even if I don't. This comes to me naturally and has never been something I've had to work at. But I think it might help people who feel like they are drowning in the competition. Find something you enjoy that you are good at and focus on that. Then cheer everyone on around you and you will feel less overwhelmed!
 
8

863168

I too am afraid of where the world is heading when someone named Sugarplum94 begins to harbor sordid feelings of the future. Do I need to ask? What happened to your twin sister Glumplum49? What dark times we live in.
 
May 29, 2017
190
97
Status
Pre-Medical
Take with your blade and duke others out...Just kidding.
To be honest, there's no the method you want, and the most traditional answer is already given by Goro anyway.
Competition is there and you can really do nothing about that.
 

blackroses

2+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2014
586
875
Status
Pre-Medical
The best advice I ever got: Don't tell anyone you're a premed. Seriously. There were a tiny handful of people who knew I was a premed when I was in college and it was wonderful not to have to deal with stupid questions, terrible advice, or snarky/backstabbing people.
 
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Dox4lyfe

2+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2017
602
482
Hey Everyone,
Okay, I am sure almost everyone has been through this boat, if you haven't good for you and hopefully you never sail this ship, but my question is very simple, how do you deal with the competition around you? It seems like almost everyone wants to get into medical school, and the competition is extremely high, we all know that. I also know that some people try to decrease the competition by putting others down, or try to over exaggerate their MCAT scores or grades, to direct their friends to the DO route, because it helps them in the long run. I have met many like that, and although now I am not as worried as I was before, because I won't be taking the traditional route anyway, but I did notice a lot of inferiority complex, self-doubts and depression amongst many pre-meds, medical students, and doctors as well, and there is no support group or any sign of positive motivation for a lot of premeds, including advisors who basically try to do the same so that the best 4.0 students with perfect scores get in medical schools and those who may fail to make the mark are told to find something else. I want to know how you all deal with this extreme competition, and how do you guys try to be positive and not self-doubt when you see your peers doing way better than you, or you don't match your own expectations sometimes?
NOTE: Please be kind, I don't want answers like, "Well if you aren't 4.0 you shouldn't become a doctor," or "Well if you get discouraged you shouldn't be in this field.' Most of us have been through this, and I feel like staying positive and encouraging others helps us encourage ourselves.
What do I do with the brutal premed competition on campus? I work hard and beat it.
 
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Sugarplum94

2+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2017
37
5
I too am afraid of where the world is heading when someone named Sugarplum94 begins to harbor sordid feelings of the future. Do I need to ask? What happened to your twin sister Glumplum49? What dark times we live in.
I don't know why this made me laugh out loud, my professor thinks I've finally gone mad but no it's just that I live in a very Asian community where everyone knows everyone and like I was never aiming to become a doctor, like 90% of the people I know, because of my own insecurities, situations and tbh I thought the only thing I can don in my life was do a 9-5 job with little meaning, or value, at least to me, because I was never the top 20 or even the 30% of my class, I did was what needed to be done and my situation at home turned drastic when I entered college it was around my 2nd or my third year where I really did decide I wanted to be a doctor but because of various reasons I have made average/below average grades, they are getting better but all my peers from my town have graduated and when they see me, or when their parents see mine, they talk like their sons/daughters have reached the moon by starting the MCAT process. And while I do know my situations have really put me in a tough position but I can't help but think how low of myself, and this is not just a rare occasion thing, but a bi weekly thing But I guess I gotta soldier on. Lol but thank you all this really lifted me up, knowing that I am not the only one who faces this.
 
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jorjorswens

5+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2013
263
143
Status
Medical Student
Make friends that don't stress you out but friends that do well in classes. Premeds are a mixed breed and honestly a few good friends and advice can make the difference between a B+ and an A. Some friends give you study tips and resources.

Not everyone is evil or competitive.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

PiggyPug6

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2015
95
118
Status
Medical Student
Having supportive friends is key! It honestly helps if those friends are in different fields. I lost most of my pre-Med friends after they saw that them doubting me didn't dull my shine. My best friends to this day are a law student, a business major, a guy who works for the government, and two who are studying international affairs. They never felt the need to be competitive with me, because we all wanted different things. The only thing we had in common was the want for all of us to succeed. It was glorious.
 

On_The_Way_Up

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2015
821
910
Status
Medical Student
I roundhouse kick them
 

ChymeofPassion

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
1,193
2,926
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Read Mindset
 

cossackdoc

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
26
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey Everyone,
Okay, I am sure almost everyone has been through this boat, if you haven't good for you and hopefully you never sail this ship, but my question is very simple, how do you deal with the competition around you? It seems like almost everyone wants to get into medical school, and the competition is extremely high, we all know that. I also know that some people try to decrease the competition by putting others down, or try to over exaggerate their MCAT scores or grades, to direct their friends to the DO route, because it helps them in the long run. I have met many like that, and although now I am not as worried as I was before, because I won't be taking the traditional route anyway, but I did notice a lot of inferiority complex, self-doubts and depression amongst many pre-meds, medical students, and doctors as well, and there is no support group or any sign of positive motivation for a lot of premeds, including advisors who basically try to do the same so that the best 4.0 students with perfect scores get in medical schools and those who may fail to make the mark are told to find something else. I want to know how you all deal with this extreme competition, and how do you guys try to be positive and not self-doubt when you see your peers doing way better than you, or you don't match your own expectations sometimes?
NOTE: Please be kind, I don't want answers like, "Well if you aren't 4.0 you shouldn't become a doctor," or "Well if you get discouraged you shouldn't be in this field.' Most of us have been through this, and I feel like staying positive and encouraging others helps us encourage ourselves.
You certainly raise a reasonable question, and it sounds like some self-doubt has perhaps seeped into your mind. Seems like for you, and really for everyone who is considering the medical route, it's a given that there are going to be folks all across a spectrum of abilities and motivations. You already know what the acceptable package looks like, at least in a broad way. You have already encountered deceit, obfuscation, posturing, etc...from your potential "competitors", but it seems it would be important to remember 3 things:

1. Your competitors don't get to decide who gets accepted; in large part, it is the sum total of your efforts, uniqueness, and overall qualifications that will be the determining factor. Therefore, why give others that completely unwarranted influence over you?
2. If you are truly resolute in your desire/goal to become a physician, you might practice a degree of mindfulness about your career choice; doing so should provide the necessary ballast to counter any negative thoughts.
3. If part of your wavering confidence is d/t less-than-stellar performance on your part, it might be useful to objectively dis-aggregate sub-optimal academic performance; doing so might enable you to zero in on faulty study/prep habits so "peers aren't doing way better than you." At the very least, such objective analyses will help you feel you are in control, which in itself will likely reduce your trepidation. Also, it seems like a recounting of your experiences in this regard would make for a very engaging and memorable interview experience.

Hope this helps; keep your head up, and good luck!
 

rmalia

2+ Year Member
May 30, 2016
19
12
You certainly raise a reasonable question, and it sounds like some self-doubt has perhaps seeped into your mind. Seems like for you, and really for everyone who is considering the medical route, it's a given that there are going to be folks all across a spectrum of abilities and motivations. You already know what the acceptable package looks like, at least in a broad way. You have already encountered deceit, obfuscation, posturing, etc...from your potential "competitors", but it seems it would be important to remember 3 things:

1. Your competitors don't get to decide who gets accepted; in large part, it is the sum total of your efforts, uniqueness, and overall qualifications that will be the determining factor. Therefore, why give others that completely unwarranted influence over you?
2. If you are truly resolute in your desire/goal to become a physician, you might practice a degree of mindfulness about your career choice; doing so should provide the necessary ballast to counter any negative thoughts.
3. If part of your wavering confidence is d/t less-than-stellar performance on your part, it might be useful to objectively dis-aggregate sub-optimal academic performance; doing so might enable you to zero in on faulty study/prep habits so "peers aren't doing way better than you." At the very least, such objective analyses will help you feel you are in control, which in itself will likely reduce your trepidation. Also, it seems like a recounting of your experiences in this regard would make for a very engaging and memorable interview experience.

Hope this helps; keep your head up, and good luck!
I think you've given some excellent advice; it's a great idea to just stay self-contained, trust those who have proven trustworthy, and go for it!
 
Aug 2, 2017
27
6
Status
Pre-Medical
One thing that's been helpful to me is joining a pre-health related club on campus that has a non-competitive environment. It's a twofer because you find friends you can work on schoolwork with while also learning about resources and advice for your desired field. Whatever you choose to do, just know that those who are acting unnecessarily competitive are only hurting themselves. One person is not going to make the difference between whether or not they get into medical school.
 

Skydive Fox

Head Pilot, Star Fox Command
2+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2016
274
356
Status
Medical Student
F***king slay the competition, of course.

Ha, jk. I mostly kept to myself in undergrad and did my own thing. No need to get involved with the toxicity of competitive premeds. Keep your head low and you do you, dude. Life'll be so much better that way.
 

DPTinthemaking15

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2016
669
573
Status
Medical Student
This is perfect.
As someone who had a rough start to college, I vividly remember feeling inadequate around other students who would boast about their 3.9 GPAs and stellar ECs. Years later at graduation, I flipped through the commencement program and noticed that I graduated ahead of many of those same people. I'm certainly not a rockstar applicant (actually, slightly below average) but this just goes to show that (1) people lie and you shouldn't be worried about how they are doing and (2) great performance early in undergrad is not always maintained. Hard work will get you to the finish line.
SAME! A little hard work goes a long way.
 

Isoval

I'm marginally higher on the totem pole.
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2017
1,472
2,351
Texas
Status
Medical Student
I kill them and I eat them.
 

Doctor Dream

Eating the 5 pancakes
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2014
951
800
Dreamland
Status
Medical Student
Hey Everyone,
Okay, I am sure almost everyone has been through this boat, if you haven't good for you and hopefully you never sail this ship, but my question is very simple, how do you deal with the competition around you? It seems like almost everyone wants to get into medical school, and the competition is extremely high, we all know that. I also know that some people try to decrease the competition by putting others down, or try to over exaggerate their MCAT scores or grades, to direct their friends to the DO route, because it helps them in the long run. I have met many like that, and although now I am not as worried as I was before, because I won't be taking the traditional route anyway, but I did notice a lot of inferiority complex, self-doubts and depression amongst many pre-meds, medical students, and doctors as well, and there is no support group or any sign of positive motivation for a lot of premeds, including advisors who basically try to do the same so that the best 4.0 students with perfect scores get in medical schools and those who may fail to make the mark are told to find something else. I want to know how you all deal with this extreme competition, and how do you guys try to be positive and not self-doubt when you see your peers doing way better than you, or you don't match your own expectations sometimes?
NOTE: Please be kind, I don't want answers like, "Well if you aren't 4.0 you shouldn't become a doctor," or "Well if you get discouraged you shouldn't be in this field.' Most of us have been through this, and I feel like staying positive and encouraging others helps us encourage ourselves.
A lot of people have given some great advice, I just want to say that the competition doesn't suddenly end once med school starts. You're going to be surrounded by extremely bright people who are going to outperform you in many ways. It's easy to feel inadequate, but don't compare yourself to others. It's a great lesson to get you through both the pre-med rat race and life in general. You seem like a bright person, keep doing your thing and you'll come out on top.
 

Doctor Dream

Eating the 5 pancakes
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2014
951
800
Dreamland
Status
Medical Student
F***king slay the competition, of course.

Ha, jk. I mostly kept to myself in undergrad and did my own thing. No need to get involved with the toxicity of competitive premeds. Keep your head low and you do you, dude. Life'll be so much better that way.
"Never give up, trust your instincts" definitely applies to this
 
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