Sep 15, 2015
19
18
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I decided to make a thread for those of us who have been discouraged by advisors.

Today after sharing my post bacc plans with my current undergraduate marketing advisor his response was "Have you thought about an MBA? That would make the most sense to me!"

This is to say you are not alone in having your fair share of naysayers. Many people in life chose what would be the easier route and what would be the quickest route and often try to project that decision making process on you. Of course I will still be pursing medicine. I just cannot see myself in any other career feel with a lifetime of passion.

Feel free to share your advising stories, or any othe stories of naysayer and how you dealt with the discouragement. I think all of us here of going through similar things in some areas, and all the support we can get counts for something because there will be so many people who think we're insane for embarking on this journey.

 
Sep 27, 2014
386
195
Baltimore
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I decided to make a thread for those of us who have been discouraged by advisors.

Today after sharing my post bacc plans with my current undergraduate marketing advisor his response was "Have you thought about an MBA? That would make the most sense to me!"

This is to say you are not alone in having your fair share of naysayers. Many people in life chose what would be the easier route and what would be the quickest route and often try to project that decision making process on you. Of course I will still be pursing medicine. I just cannot see myself in any other career feel with a lifetime of passion.

Feel free to share your advising stories, or any othe stories of naysayer and how you dealt with the discouragement. I think all of us here of going through similar things in some areas, and all the support we can get counts for something because there will be so many people who think we're insane for embarking on this journey.

One of the mottos sported by the New England Patriots: "Ignore the noise. Do your job." (Maybe "do whatever you can to gain an edge, if that includes cheating" is another one of their slogans, but that does not apply here!) :)

As long as you have a great supporting cast, do your job, keep your eye on achieving whatever goals you have in mind --- you will reach the finish line.
 
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LingoLaine

10+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2008
508
80
Colorado
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Attending Physician
after sharing my post bacc plans with my current undergraduate marketing advisor
I guess I don't understand why a pre-med student is bothering with an undergraduate marketing advisor in the first place?
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,610
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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I have found more than enough evidence from SDNers that most pre-med advisors have the brains of a flea.

You'll find good advice here.

Never mind the hyper-neuroticism and angst. There are good, altruistic people here.



I decided to make a thread for those of us who have been discouraged by advisors.

Today after sharing my post bacc plans with my current undergraduate marketing advisor his response was "Have you thought about an MBA? That would make the most sense to me!"

This is to say you are not alone in having your fair share of naysayers. Many people in life chose what would be the easier route and what would be the quickest route and often try to project that decision making process on you. Of course I will still be pursing medicine. I just cannot see myself in any other career feel with a lifetime of passion.

Feel free to share your advising stories, or any othe stories of naysayer and how you dealt with the discouragement. I think all of us here of going through similar things in some areas, and all the support we can get counts for something because there will be so many people who think we're insane for embarking on this journey.

 
Oct 22, 2014
69
77
Status
Pre-Medical
If an advisor somewhere discourages you from pursuing a medical career, and even after this discouragement, you still are motivated to pursue a medical career, then I would consider that pretty good evidence that you should pursue that medical career, and write run-on sentences too.
 
OP
N
Sep 15, 2015
19
18
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am still finishing up my marketing degree and was talking with him about delaying graduation to fit in a couple science classes.
 
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Ad2b

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2014
2,875
2,687
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Pre-Medical
Motto of my blog: Some People Dream. Some People Do. Most often, the naysayers are the former, not the latter. Go be you. :)
 
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Sep 15, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I feel like the MBA would compliment a medical career. If I can, I know I will.

But that's just me. I imagine the post bacc plan you have is a good one for your situation.
 
Apr 17, 2015
7
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Im sure since he only deals with business students that would be his recommendation. I don't think he is being unsupportive, just directing you in the only way he knows how. I would go visit the premed advisor you have on campus and get their opinion. I have a business degree and am finishing up my biochemistry degree before applying to med school so I have been on both sides. I know if I had asked my advisor for my B.S. degree if I should pursue a biochem degree for med school after my business degree they would look at me like I was crazy. Only you completely understand your dreams so look in the right places for the support you need to pursue them.
 

wagonwheel23

10+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2009
673
1,262
Status
Medical Student
How well does this adviser know you? Does he know what gets you excited? Does he know your history? What you don't like? What experiences have shaped your life? What you dream about?

Unless this person understands you on a deep level (and even if they did, still approach advice with skepticism), they are relatively clueless, albeit trying to be helpful.

Also, I LOVE the inspirational quote. I needed that today!
 
Oct 27, 2013
4,212
1,359
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Premed advisors are mostly useless people, they actually are not there to help you but to break you down and there only to encourage people who will make their school look good. Mine did not like idea of me applying to Osteopathic medical schools after I was unable to get into MD schools saying they were an "alternate pathway", when I reported to her that I was accepted to several Osteopathic schools and was attending one, she even refused to even put my data in her list of accepted students citing she only lists students admitted to MD schools. Elitist snob.
 

FumblyBumbly

5+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2013
123
238
Secret Snoke Hideout
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I got really lucky. Given that it's my informal post-bacc school and that I'm really different from the normal students she sees (several years out of undergrad, career-changer, ****ty gpa), I'm really surprised she didn't run away screaming. Though she hasn't been nearly as helpful as sdn (sorry, Mrs. G...), she's been really encouraging despite her knowledge of my gpa. I've mostly used the advice on sdn to plan my comeback and structure my application to hit all the necessary points but once I got all of my **** together, she was really helpful when I was submitting my application.

It's a nice change of pace because I had professors in my undergrad straight out laugh at me when I told them I wanted to apply to med school. One professor told me that he had several undergrads in his lab that had 4.0s and were applying to med school. That has nothing to do with me! **** you, Professor S., I just wanted to know if you had my graded midterm. You were the one to ask about my plans!

Just thought I'd provide one differing account. I think it's at least worth one visit to see if your advisor winds up being the exception to the rule!
 
Last edited:
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Aug 14, 2015
12
4
California
Status
Pre-Medical
True Story: My undergraduate advisor discouraged me from applying to UC schools and instead tried to direct me to apply to "more reasonable" schools in California. That really hurt me considering I was only considering 2 UC schools and thought it was reasonable. Then on the same breath asked me why I was considering medical school and if I had "done the research and was aware of the challenges and that I should be "more reasonable" with my decisions"

I don't blame her, but at the same time its kind of disheartening.

At the end of the day "do you" do what you have to do to achieve your goals. Facebook is deadly because you see your peers at various levels of success and its kind of disheartening to consider starting a 2 year post bac when your classmate in highschool is already a year deep into DO school.
 

heartsink

5+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2013
203
129
Status
My road to medicine began with this very first hurdle.

I was in college planning to go into clinical psychology grad school. I had the stats and experience to be competitive and my mentor, a cognitive psychologist and researcher at my college, had been grooming me for the application process for several years.

After the first round of apps for grad school finished and I talked to him about my dwindling interest in grad school and my growing interest in medicine. His initial response was something to the effect of "I've met premed students. They're a different kind of animal because medical school is not for everyone and you don't strike me as the type of student who would fit the premed lifestyle."

I was pretty disappointed in what I perceived as my mentors lack of faith in me. I told him outwardly that I'd give it more thought, and I did. I committed myself to this goal when I had sufficiently understood what kind of commitment I was making.

What's sad is I tried to reach out to my old mentor for the first time since then (~2 years) but got no reply. Hopefully I didn't burn that bridge, but no matter what, I'm going to finish this path.
 

New_Slang

Future MD c/o 2020
May 17, 2014
198
236
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
My original undergrad advisor was terrible. I ended up leaving the pre-med program after just 2 semesters because I felt I had no support and was not supported in the process. I had other interests and other profs interested in me, so I went another direction.

My post-bacc advisor was fantastic - she was totally behind me from day 1 and was like "Preach your story, you'll be great." I'm glad I trusted her.
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,551
65,168
4th Dimension
The premed advisors at my school refused to even talk to me without jumping through a bunch of hoops, said I wouldn't stand a chance if I didnt have X and Y and Z arbitrary BS. Just dodged them entirely and got into med school anyway.
 
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Jul 17, 2015
42
114
Status
Medical Student
True Story: My undergraduate advisor discouraged me from applying to UC schools and instead tried to direct me to apply to "more reasonable" schools in California. That really hurt me considering I was only considering 2 UC schools and thought it was reasonable. Then on the same breath asked me why I was considering medical school and if I had "done the research and was aware of the challenges and that I should be "more reasonable" with my decisions"

I don't blame her, but at the same time its kind of disheartening.

At the end of the day "do you" do what you have to do to achieve your goals. Facebook is deadly because you see your peers at various levels of success and its kind of disheartening to consider starting a 2 year post bac when your classmate in highschool is already a year deep into DO school.
This was basically my story. I attended a UC and, my sophomore year, my adviser basically told me that I did not have the grades to get into medical school and that I needed to change my career goals. I left her office and never looked back. I decided to still pursue a medical degree but to do it my way. Three years later, I stayed true to my passions, worked my butt off and graduated with honors and a double minor in Chicano/a Studies and Art Studio. My grades and my scores are still not going to win any awards, but from that day forward, I filled my undergraduate career with an incredible amount of life experiences, both medically and non-medically related, that have been more rewarding that a 4.0 ever will be.

So we will see! She might be right - I still only have two II but I'm praying time will change that. I can't lie, when/if I get my first acceptance, part of me will be extra-excited because I proved to myself that anything is possible, even when you have all odds against you. :) Three cheers to all of you who continued fighting for the dream despite it all.
 
OP
N
Sep 15, 2015
19
18
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thank you all for sharing your stories with me. We are all doing a wonderful job encouraging one another. I'm sure this happens all too often. This post was not necessarily made to bash advisors. It was to highlight that you are not alone in similar situations. The drop of your heart and the pit in your stomach when someone says such things can be enough to change some peoples mind and I never want to see that happen. I think the biggest discrepancy is that those who truly want to be physicians, will do anything to become one; while those who don't, will never understand what that feeling truly feels like. This is why others won't always be on board with your decisions but that's life. Keep pushing. I wish all of you success in your endeavors.
 

gmbz

"Flight 22 is off to Honolulu"
5+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2012
207
196
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I could think up a million different inspirational adages that come to mind, but I will share some of the most meaningful.

1. The path of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

2. Those with goals, are in control

And the final isn't really a short quote, but it really hits the nail on the head!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt
 
Jan 28, 2015
256
214
The Land
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Premed advisors are mostly useless people, they actually are not there to help you but to break you down and there only to encourage people who will make their school look good. Mine did not like idea of me applying to Osteopathic medical schools after I was unable to get into MD schools saying they were an "alternate pathway", when I reported to her that I was accepted to several Osteopathic schools and was attending one, she even refused to even put my data in her list of accepted students citing she only lists students admitted to MD schools. Elitist snob.
That's really messed up :eek:
 
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wholeheartedly

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And she has a Phd from Princeton, so you can't really call her a moron in the traditional sense, but she has the attitude that many academic elitists have towards DOs.

Bet if she was critically ill, she'd hush up and take care from whoever was there to provide it...
 
Oct 27, 2013
4,212
1,359
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Resident [Any Field]
Bet if she was critically ill, she'd hush up and take care from whoever was there to provide it...
The problem is that the city where she lives has plenty of physicians, and she has excellent health insurance, so she will never have to worry about finding a doctor. The attitude of rich people in this country can be quite something.
 
May 22, 2013
18
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Love the quote. I must put this one on my "Remember why you are doing this" board. But I don't think his advice was negative. He is a marketing advisor so, I would expect him to say something like that. Now, if that were a Medical school advisor, then I would understand.
 
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Oct 8, 2015
42
13
Status
Pre-Medical
Just spoke with my advisor yesterday about applying to med school, and when I told her that I plan on applying to allopathic schools after DIY post bacc to repair GPA, she shamed me for my low GPA (even though my school is notorious for STEM grade deflation) and ushered me to the DO path.

She refused to answer any of my questions properly and scared me into taking my third gap year before applying to both MD and DO schools. My theory is that these advisors try to make the schools look better by discouraging the applicants who are, in her words, "weaker."
 
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Oct 27, 2013
4,212
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Just spoke with my advisor yesterday about applying to med school, and when I told her that I plan on applying to allopathic schools after DIY post bacc to repair GPA, she shamed me for my low GPA (even though my school is notorious for STEM grade deflation) and ushered me to the DO path.

She refused to answer any of my questions properly and scared me into taking my third gap year before applying to both MD and DO schools. My theory is that these advisors try to make the schools look better by discouraging the applicants who are, in her words, "weaker."
I had the opposite experience with my advisor, she was willfully ignorant of Osteopathic schools, she knew they existed to train physicians, but from her Ivory Tower they were second tier. She discouraged me from applying to DO schools, if I listened to her I would not be a physician today.

The unfortunate reality is that many undergraduate advisors are detached from reality. It would help if these people got a job where they are accountable to real world standards, but that is not the case.

A lot of the more prestigious schools love to boast about their "acceptance rate" of their undergraduate students to medical school. They are able to pull this off because they discourage weaker applicants from applying to school. They give their premeds a false sense of security that because they went to a certain school, they have a better chance of getting into medical school and succeeding. What really matter is your GPA, MCAT, Personal Statement, ECs, and other factors, not what school you attended.
 

wholeheartedly

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image.jpeg
 
Feb 27, 2017
5
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
How well does this adviser know you? Does he know what gets you excited? Does he know your history? What you don't like? What experiences have shaped your life? What you dream about?

Unless this person understands you on a deep level (and even if they did, still approach advice with skepticism), they are relatively clueless, albeit trying to be helpful.

Also, I LOVE the inspirational quote. I needed that today!

Just dropped by to holler at your Tycho avatar.
 
Feb 27, 2017
5
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
New here- but been on this roll for a little bit. A couple of years ago, an advisor sat me down to let me know that my grades are fantastic, but my morality will be threatened in the pursuit of American medicine (she's from an Eastern European country). I was so taken aback, I actually agreed with her- then walked away and realized advisors are not oracles.[/QUOTE]