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Making mistakes to learn where I belong

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by OperaOmnia, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. OperaOmnia

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    I come to you all from a small cubicle in southern PA to ask for an assessment of my situation. I've been on a long road with many curves that has lead me to a state of regret. For roughly 6 years I knew I wanted to become a doctor. I worked through college and did my best to learn the ins and outs of being a doctor. I graduated from college and managed to obtain a position as an intraoperative Neuromonitoring technologist at a hospital, where I got to work with neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons everyday. Everything was great. The only thing I needed to do is take my MCAT and apply. A little while after I started at the hospital I found I wasn't studying nearly enough as I should to prepare for the exam so I got cold feet and cancelled my reservation to take the MCAT. It was the first time I really doubted my goal of becoming a doctor.

    Maybe it was reactionary, but I started to look for other jobs not in the medical field. Fast forward a month, and I was still being drawn towards becoming a doctor. I loved the idea of applying medical knowledge to help people heal. The job at the hospital was stressful but still enjoyable. I once again signed up to take the MCAT with a new drive to study and get it out of the way.

    That time I studied much harder than the time before but still was doubting myself. After 2 months of studying I gave up again and cancelled my MCAT. I thought, "well, I guess I'm not cut out for being a doctor. I should find a different job." So, I moved back home and started working a sales job at a local company.

    I have been doing this for almost two months and I have to say, I had it good before. I'm still drawn towards medicine and now, again, I'm thinking I should still try to become a doctor. At the least I should take the MCAT to see how I do (after I study). It wouldn't be hard for me to get my Neuromonitoring job back, so that is still an option. I have all my letters of recommendation ready. The only thing I need is a finished personal statement and my MCAT score. This indecision and doubt I'm feeling is crippling me. I need to get back to the state of mind and drive I had when I started college.

    Do you fine people think I've messed up my application too much by leaving the hospital? Will they see that I have backed out on taking the MCAT too many times and be concerned I'm not committed. I also have to explain taking a non medical job to the admission committee which, again, might make them concerned about my commitment to medicine.

    Has the ship sailed or do you think I'm still able to get back on track and get an accepted letter next fall?

    Thank you for your feedback.
     
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  3. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
    2+ Year Member

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    1) If you did not sit for the MCAT, no one will ever know (besides the AAMC who gobbled up all that money. :coldfeet: )
    2) Get your job back because admission is not going to happen for you by 2016 matriculation. It's much too late in the cycle for you to take the MCAT and write a PS. You would have to be signed up for a late August MCAT and submit your full application by mid-September. I take it that your MCAT is not ready to be taken in 3 weeks, so that's out. Get out of sales ASAP if it is not as enjoyable. It's okay for admissions, but from what you're saying it's basically a waste of your life.
    3) If you don't actually want your hospital job back, find something else to feed yourself. It actually doesn't matter. People know you have to pay the bills, there is no "commitment issue" here.
    4) Do some other sort of activity on the side (most reasonably weekend/evening volunteering of some sort) if you can afford to. If not, there is plenty of space on your applications to explain your situation.
    5) If your grades, LORs, and other extracurriculars are all set, use this upcoming academic year to vet your interest in medicine and see if you can see yourself in the shoes of the physicians you meet and work with. If so, just don't flake on the MCAT again.

    This is definitely possible and you have nothing working against you lol. You're just a standard guy who had some trouble figuring out why medicine, which is fine. After you get your MCAT score, come back here and give us a rundown of your app and then people can make school recommendations and so forth. Good luck!
     
  4. DokterMom

    5+ Year Member

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    What was your undergrad GPA? And how were your MCAT practice scores? Are your fears of failing grounded in reality? Or just self-doubt? (Or are you more scared of succeeding?)

    So far, you've been scared to make that jump. But your fear is actually causing the same result (NOT going to med school) as your worst case scenario (not getting in). Give yourself the chance so if it isn't meant to be, you won't have to live with the regret of never having really tried. That's one soul-eroding regret.
     
    Ad2b likes this.
  5. Snow Ninja

    2+ Year Member

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    OP--get your Neuromonitoring job back, take a step back, and breathe. I feel like this is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy more than anything. Make yourself a study schedule for the MCAT in the evenings and ADHERE to it. I worked in a similar capacity as you and studied in the evenings for 8 weeks. Discipline is key. And as avgn said, no one knows whether or not you cancelled besides AAMC. In fact, I wish I cancelled my first MCAT. I studied for less than two weeks and was probably too confident; I think cancelling rather than taking a receiving a mediocre score is a positive.

    The road to medicine is full of bumps. You won't be tested just here. Medical school isn't easy, steps aren't easy, and residency/fellowships sure as hell aren't easy. You need to find that determination and drive in yourself, and sincerely believe you should be a physician--NO second guessing.

    Let's also be realistic here--you need to tell us your undergrad GPA/ECs to gauge the viability of your application. I believe in you OP! ;)
     
  6. gannicus89

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    It's perfectly normal to doubt yourself throughout this process. I registered for the MCAT a few times and cancelled. And I'm glad I did. I just wasn't prepared to sacrifice all of my time and energy towards learning all of the material. I think you should stay where you are and just focus on studying for the MCAT. Don't spend more than 3 months preparing, especially since you've gone through some review before. Set a goal for yourself, prepare well, and walk into the situation knowing you tried your hardest. Right now, the only thing that matters is that you do well on the MCAT. If this is really what you want, and it seems like it is, it will work out. You just need to be ready to commit yourself to it.

    Also... never forget that it's JUST a test. True, it means a lot and can shape where you go...but it really is just a test that most people in the world either haven't heard of or don't give a crap about. Don't let an inanimate thing rule your life. That's irrational ;)
     
  7. OperaOmnia

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    Sorry for the delay. I was finally been released from my cubicle and have the time to respond to your well thought out comments.

    Here are the answers to your questions DokterMom:
    cGPA: 3.54
    sGPA 3.4
    Average MCAT 2015 scor: 505
    I would say I'm more afraid of failing and have a lot of self doubt which prevents me from studying effectively, leading to even more self doubt and, ultimately, skipping out on taking the MCAT.

    I thought that I was doomed for taking the MCAT and getting back into medicine but thanks to you all I think those thoughts may be misplaced. I just need to figure out if I should try to get back into medicine now, or focus on taking the MCAT like gannicus89 suggests... Thoughts?
     
  8. NotASerialKiller

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    Everyone is allowed to make mistakes! Except premeds.

    Good luck on your path!
     
  9. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    That whole paragraph is going to be stackied on my blog (with credit of course). OP, you are not the only one who has signed up for, given money to AAMC, only to change your date, withdraw from the cycle completely only to wonder.

    "Should I?"

    If you have not been studying for the MCAT, I would not take it this cycle. But my hope for you is that you get the MCAT done and out of the way, so next year, on June 1, you can hit the little roundish rectangle button that says, "SUBMIT" and be on your way to finding out.

    For the next year, take a few classes. Get a job you like. You don't have to love it, just put food on the table, savings away for next year and enjoy. The year will pass quickly.

    But as DockterMom said, the regret of NOT trying? Soul eroding. I know. I've been regretting for almost 25 years. Not anymore :) Don't be me!!
     
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