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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ocean09, Jul 23, 2006.
What's the best advice that anyone has ever given to you?
"Think about taking a year-off"
- my pre-med advisor
I would have to say..."don't give up." At one point, I was on a bunch of waitlists, and had not heard back from two schools. I was totally giving up hope. FOr the sake of your sanity, keep an open mind, and expect the unexpected. You might just end up at a place you never in a million years thought you would, and be thrilled with it!!!
"Wear a condom"
-my older brother
Seriously thought, my med school buddy told me to make sure I finish my prereqs before entering junior year. Probably was the best advise I have gotten, since it allowed me to study for the mcat without having a heavy science load.
"If you want to do medicine, don't wait, best to do it now, when you're young and single."
You got to know the context in which this was given. My mentor was someone who wanted to do medicine but gave it up after she made some "stupid choices" (got married, pregnant and quit college). After realizing I still harbored an interest in medicine and I was waffling, she decided to give me a small 'push' in the right direction with that advice. She made herself as an example of regretting not going for medicine and bitter now at age 34. She mentioned that the only thing stopping her from doing the medical route was her two kids she has to help provide for and a mortgage. I realized medicine wasn't something that can 'wait for me' after ten years at the company. I quit and retook the MCAT (after letting my score expire). Will attend med school in less then one month.
"Committing to a career in medicine is like committing to having a child, just because you can, doesn't mean you should".
"Are you insane? You should become a PA."
Of course, I didn't listen, and now I'll be a million dollars in debt and into my 30s before my career starts. At least I'll be happy, though.
Your mentor's advice is indeed wise and not limited to those in pursuit of a medical career. Kids, and to a lesser degree marriage, generally put a damper on life in general.
"It ain't cheating on the AMCAS if you don't get caught."
"Don't apply to medical school until you're ready. If you want to go this year, you'll still want to go next year, if this decision is truly the right one for you."
Never vacuum in the nude.
Or perhaps, "learn from other people's mistakes".
Enjoy your life. Not everything in your life has to be science or medically related, explore your limits.
The best advice I was given was to NOT do a 7 year BA/MD program. They told me to enjoy undergrad, and take classes in things that interested me instead of what I thought would look good for med school. It was great advice because not only did I have tons of fun in college, I wrote my personal statement about why I feel a liberal undergrad prepared me better for med school
Are you serious?
Best advice: my husband telling me I'll never be a doctor. he knows I like proving people wrong. proof: my 32 hour natural labor meant to annoy the OB nurses who kept pushing meds on me
You guys can share an advice that has nothing to do with medicine also. For instance, a life lesson....
"Life is 1% what happens, 99% what you make of it."
"Don't just stand there, let's get to it. Strike a pose, there's nothing to it."
My mother used to tell me how stupid I looked in high school (looking back on it, I looked pretty frickin ridiculous. think Nine Inch Nails groupy a la 1996) and I would tell her she was cruel. but she would always say, you can't care what other people think of you, not even your own mother. i think we were both right. i'm now a rugged individualist with freudian issues....
"If you're not doing it because you don't want to do it, I respect you. But if you're not doing it because you're afraid of failing, that's just bull****."
Got me off of my ass.
Hits me deep down... deep down.
HA! Not saying anything about your plans or anything but I thought of you when I posted that.
LOL, that was hilarious.
Ironic... isn't it? Perhaps, my dear Anastasis, I shall have you to thank for my return to the pre-med world... perhaps! He he, then I'll be cursing your name many years down the line when I'm on call... again...
Just because an individual didn't go into medicine right out of college doesn't mean they won't/can't/shouldn't. But an individual who doesn't do things because its just not a good time, can't afford it, etc when they are single is going to find that it doesn't get any easier and is quite likely to never do it - or will have a much more difficult time when they do get to it.
i.e. my husband didn't go to college because he went into the military instead. Now, 4 years into our marriage and two kids later, I'm going to med school and its very likely he'll never go to school. In ten years he might go, but I'm guessing not- and his brother who dropped out for financial reasons two years ago and hasn't taken any classes since is getting married this weekend - I'm guessing he won't go back either. Not saying its not possible, but will be difficult at best.
I would just tell someone who is hesitant to do something because of financial reasons that it doesn't necessarily get any easier.
Hmmmhhh. I went to college after I completed my four year enlistment in the Marine Corps. Now I'm applying to medical school after six years as a submarine officer.
Yes - I'm a non trad student, so obviously many people do it. The "judgements" I've made I make because I know the people involved. My husband did what he did because he's not exactly motivated to go to school. For instance - after 4 years at his current job (an opthalmic technician) and talking about getting certified, which would give him quite a raise, he has still never done it. He talks about wanting to go to school, but seems to have no serious dream or desire to do it. Nor does he have any dream of what he wants to do for a career the rest of his life.
By the time I get done with residency, he will be nearly 35. I don't think he'll want to start undergrad at 35, especially because he knows he doesn't have to work if he doesn't want to.
So maybe I've made to generalized of a statement.
If a person's true reason for putting something off is cuz they don't want to work hard or make sacrifices right now, it won't get any easier as a person ages and responsibilities increase. Is that better?
I can't argue with you on that point!
i was objecting to the statement kids and marriage put a damper on life. i think marriage and family ARE life, the very opposite of a damper. i could never have made it as a pre-med before my kids were born. they motivate me and make me a better person. johnny depp has said similar things in interviews. so it must be common...
It definitely depends on the person.
For me, being married has been an amazing support system. I have grown to be more confident and more mature. So there is more good than bad there. Being married hasn't been a damper, so to speak.
I could imagine that being in a bad relationship (married or otherwise) would hurt someone and put a damper on their life.
I agree with the statement that there is no perfect time for things--buying a house, having a baby, getting married--if you're ready, go for it. Things aren't going to get easier (well certainly not guaranteed to get easier!) with time.
Best Pre-Med advice I got:
"Take August MCAT after sophomore year... use AAMC exams & Examkrackers"
"Don't try to be superman and take a ridiculous courseload - rigor doesn't make up for low grades"
"Apply early" (Didn't really follow this one too closely)
"Don't party too hard"
"Don't be a competitive d-bag."
Well this is kind of a scenario but it was good motivation.
I went into my premed advisor's office and told him I was going to be a doctor. He looked up my transcript and saw I was just comming off a 3.0 freshman year that included a D my first semester and told me science and later medicine might be too difficult for me and I might have to choose another career. I told him I was sure I wanted to be a doctor and he told me to make all A's and then we could talk about it. Since then I've made one B in over two years, and I am happy to say he is excited about my possibility as an applicant as am I .
I'm the same way. However, when my father told me I was a failure at life he wasn't doing it to motivate me. Regardless, it still helped my focus when I started to slack while studying for MCATs.
And even more reason why Walt Disney is awesome:
"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."
"Maybe if you didn't spend more time at the movies than studying for your MCAT, you would see a score improvement"...i decided to cut down movie time and hit the books and so far it's working
I'm not sure about the best advice, but the worst advice was definetly:
"It doeesn't matter which med school you go to, they're all the same"
"You really don't need to do research in college"
From my amazing research professor and former ADCOM member:
"There's 5000 or more applications. Two hundred spots. You think we actually look through each and every application? You think we care that much? It's a job and we have to chug through it because we also have deadlines. The means picking one application over another is often arbitrary. Someone may have a grudge against yellow shoes that day because their child got their new shoes dirty. You may, just by chance, have mentioned yellow shoes in your personal statement. And so we decide we don't like you. And that's the end of that."
Meaning: don't take things so personally.
best advice i didn't listen to
"don't takeo chem physics, biochem at the same time
does this mean that we should appeal a rejection from a school we really want to go to?
"Never date a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body." - Movie: Teen Wolf
I would say, yes- but only if it's your absolute top choice and you've recieved a secondary from them. My friend appealed a post-secondary rejection from UCLA (after the bulk of the interview season was over) and he got interviewed (although most acceptances had gone out). He got in after the interview.
I don't think my mentor was trying to say that I should do everything I want to do before my life is over when I have kids and family. I think my mentor was trying to tell me that I shouldn't put off med school if that's what I want to do with my life, because once kids and mortgages come, it becomes much harder to do it. She used herself as an example of someone who had a chance at med school but didn't go through with it, and now, even though she wants to, she feels she is constrained by her kids and her mortgage.
It's nice to hear that your kids motivated you to become premed, but I think children will make med school even more stressful and expensive than already is. That isn't to say that you should not go med school if you have a family, but that it's best to do school while single and without dependents.
In fact, I've spoken with quite a few people who've gone to school with kids, and while they, like you, have said their children motivate them to do well so as to better provide for them, they also caution me to finish my education before starting a family because it is an added burden and expense. However, I may end up having kids during residency anyway because of my age when I graduate from med school (31). I know it will be doubly hard, but we all make the best decisions with what we are given.
one piece of advice that stands out:
"You can major in anything you want, and still be able to become a doctor."
When I was thinking about giving up my dream a well-known man by the name of Carl Weathers gave me a little piece of advice. He said to me, Tobias. Dreams are worth fighting for. Now are you going to be a fighter or are you going to be a doctor? If it werent for Carl Weathers I would have given up my dream to become an actor and gotten my medical license back. Thank you Carl, you are a man among mice
"Don't rely on any man." from my mother, who is still married to my father
"ain't nothing to it but to do it"
This is almost exactly what I was going to type. My dad always gave me this advice throughout college and I always found myself contemplating my life until the advice eventually sunk in. He often said it is not whether I pass or fail or what not, but as long as I tried my best and didn't play it safe due to fear of failure.
Another piece of advice my dad gave me deals with my constant worry over debt and money issues. This is going to be long but maybe someone will read it:
A few months ago I dropped my original major (a BSN which would of took another year) and took a Liberal Arts degree as I had more than enough credits to do so. I told my dad I wanted to do post-bac at Georgetown to fulfill my pre-med requirements. After I got accepted and the loan papers started to come into play, I got really frightened as I looked at the papers and it estimated that I needed to take out a loan around $31,000 (something like that? I'm sure it was higher) a year for the two years I was in the program (this would account for the tuition, food, travelling, rent, etc which is very high in DC). I freaked out as I already am in some debt from undergrad, now I will be more in debt for post bac, and I haven't even taken into account medical school if I get in. I immediately called up a local college that was decent but not nearly as good as G'town to see if I could do a post bac there. It turned out I could still enroll and it would only cost me about $4000 a year and I'd save on rent/food/etc because I could live with my parents. I was incredibly excited and I called my dad to tell him of my plans, needless to say he was very upset. He told me that I could not be scared of debt and that it is attitudes like mine that prevent people from taking chances and fulfilling their potential. That is not to say there is something wrong with going to a local college to save money, but my reason for doing so was wrong- I was scared of debt and afraid I wouldn't succeed. He told me that since I got my undergrad from a good university, I should go to an even better one when continuing my education as it is a step up I should be taking, not a step down. He went on to say that debt is inevitable and that if I want to play it safe and not take risks to go ahead and enroll in the local college, but that type of attitude/mentality will spread into my work, my education, my hobbies... my life. Needless to say, I am entering Georgetown in the Fall.
Best advice was from pre-med advisor: Don't major in Chemistry or Bio just because you think it'll look good to a med school. Major in something you enjoy and get good grades. That'll look good to a med school.
I got my BA in Spanish, and with all the electives that liberal arts has, got more applicable chemistry and Bio than someone who majored in either.
Got into my first choice, too. The interviewers said that having a Spanish degree made my app stand out from the other 95% who were hard science.
best advice? haha, here it is, my conversation with a radiologist i shadowed for a half a year.
Him: "WHAT! you want to be a doctor? WHY!? are you insane? stay away from it as far as possible.."
Me: " O... it's that bad?"
Him: "YeAH!! okay, take a look at these pathetic people there in the conference room (pointing at a bunch first/second year residents workign for him) do you think they have a life?"
after ten minutes....
Me: *dejected* "so, say if you are my age and know what you know about medicine right now, would you do it again and be a doctor?"
Him: "Hell yeah! what else you think im supposed to do!"
Me: " "
Him*pat me on the shoulder*: "well, it surely ain't easy, just don't give up half way or youll be in more debt than Michael Jackson."
Hell of a guy!!
"Everyone will throw all sorts of advice at you. Sometimes it will be conflicting advice. Take from it what works for you."
in other words: take everything with a grain of salt.
Advice I give other pre-meds after going throught he application cycle:
GET CLINICAL/RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
good grades, and good MCAT scores will only get you so far
My mom always tells me that sometimes you just have to jump through the flaming hoops if the reward is worth it in the end.
I also live by the Muppets quote that is in my signature.