I need to hear it from someone else.

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Cornell_Heather, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Cornell_Heather

    Cornell_Heather New Member

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    Alright.....I'm sure all of you have heard this tons of times before. But, I'm only a freshman in college. I attend the University of Alaska. I've wanted to go to medical school at the University of Washington for as long as I can remember. I love the medical field, everyone in my family is in the medical field. However, I'll be the first to actually be a doctor, they're all nurses and Physicians Assistants. But, all of a sudden, I'm not so sure. Now that I'm actually in school and I see how hard University Anatomy and Chemistry is, it's like I'm going crazy trying to keep myself focused. I know I can do it and make near a 4.0 with no problem, but I'm just not sure if I want to do this for so many years. I can't think of anything else I'd want to do.....but school will be my whole life for so many more years. Medicine is all I've ever wanted to do and it still is.
    So, I guess this is my question. Did any of you have these doubts? What kept you going? How do you stay focused when it seems like you've been pushing so hard for so long? How hard is it to maintain a good grade point average when you're actually in medical school? can I just expect to not have a social life for the next 10 years of my life or what? I've also heard that the competition is so fierce between med students that there's no kind of comradery. Anyway....if someone could just clue me in and maybe give me a few tips on how to keep myself focused. It gets hard to see the end of the rainbow when you've got so many years to go. Thanks everyone. Sorry to ask questions I'm sure you're tired of answering.
    Heather
     
  2. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
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    I can address some of your concerns, not all of them. First of all there is a lot of comaderiship at most, if not all medical schools. I'm sure that there is probably at least one jerk in every medical school who is out to get everybody, but as a whole, it's more like a trench mentality where you all realize that you are in the trench together so it makes life easier for everyone if you help each other. Ideally, the field of medicine is supposed to attract people who are helpful towards other people, I actually read on one school's homepage that they consider it their student's duty to be helpful to classmates because by helping their classmates they are helping their future patients. You can have a social life during college and during medical school, nobody puts their lives on complete hold throughout their training, people need to engage in other activities to remain sane. When your in medical school, your grade point average in medical school won't seem as important as your undergraduate grade point average because you pass=M.D., but you can worry about that after you get into medical school. You stay focused by realizing that this is what you want to do, try to take things day by day. With regards to the time committment, my high school chemistry teacher told me to realize that in 10 years, you will be 30 years old regardless of what you choose to do. So you can pursue medicine and be happily practicing medicine as a 30 year old, or you will still be 30 but might not be as happy doing whatever it is you are doing. Finally, I would recommend reading some medical school admissions books to make sure that you do everything that you need to do to get into medical school, now is the right time to be planning for what you need to do every year so that you can get in. Good luck.
     
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  3. jdub

    jdub Senior Member
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    uaa, eh? what's up with the seawolves losing to uaf last week anyhow?

    well, seeing how you just started college, you have a ways to go, but that is a good thing. it will give you a lot of time to mature as an individual and a student, and to really understand why you want to be a physician.

    i am assuming that you are pretty young and believe it or not, there is plenty of time to enjoy yourself and to do well in school (if you ski, alyeska and alpenglow are just going to be wonderful this year).

    as of right now, you really should concentrate on doing well in school and figuring out what college is about, don't focus so much on the big picture, it will just get overwhelming. if you want, go out and start volunteering in a hospital or with a program that you would enjoy.

    in a few years you will have to start thinking about the mcat, what schools to apply to and such, but you have time so don't think to hard about it. also, i highly recommend that you try and take a year or two off after undgrad to go abroad, it is a definite eye opener. i would not worry to much what it is like in med school yet either, you have at least three or four years before that will be really important.

    having doubts and lapses in concentration are very normal, i imagine that there are many students in med-school who are still wondering exactly what they are doing.

    the most important thing is that you enjoy each day and don't put your life on the side for that one day when you will be a doctor. if you really want it, you will find a way to make it happen.

    anyhow, just relax and enjoy the ride. best of luck.
     
  4. Toadkiller Dog

    Toadkiller Dog Senior Member
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    And now for the realistic response!

    But first, let me ask "jdub" if that is a reference to the infamous Professor Dr. J.W. Keller, the Organic chem teacher at UAF? We used to call him that in the labs....He was a fantastic teacher, though.

    Now on to the response--

    Heather: I just recently graduated from UAF, and am a 1st year med student (though not at UW). The first thing I have to say is that UA (Anch or FB) is an incredibly easy program. If you can't get good grades there, med school will be very difficult. I had a 4.0, and am struggling a bit here (mostly B's, 1 A so far).

    Second, even thought the sciences are better at UAF, the UW admission program heavily favors UAA folks, so I would stay there, get to know the pre-med advisors and the physicians in the area who work with the WAMI program. It is your best shot at getting in.

    Third, don't worry about the # of years. In every medical school there are a handful of older students (like me)who wished they had had the endurance to stick it out the first time around, and have now come back to medicine. The time literally flies.

    Fourth, the competition amongst students is quickly becoming a thing of the past. At my school, it is virtually nonexistant (one of the reasons I chose to come here). At UW, it is a little bit more, but I have two close friends who go there who say it is not a big deal unless you want to go into a prestigious specialty (which I hope to).


    Fifth, a social life in undergrad is easy. Once you get past the first year it will become increasingly easy. Just make sure you also keep up with your studies, and balance the social with the academic.
    In med school, it's a bit of a different matter. Having a social life is not impossible, but it ain't easy either. But you *must* schedule some social time or you will go crazy. I currently have 8 classes (yes, eight!), 5 of which are hardcore sciences, and all of which are as demanding as an upper-level undergrad class.

    And before I go, I'd just like to pipe up about one thing: Are you aware of the 5-year service commitment you must sign to the State of Alaska if you attend UW-SOM? Hope you like it there. Me, I chose freedom instead.
    ;)

    Ciao.
     
  5. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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