A Medical Journal

My name is Will and I got a 45R on the MCAT. I currently have a 4.0 undergrad, 4.0 master’s GPA, and a 4.0 in my PhD GPA. In my free time I raise 2 abandoned children, volunteer 15 hours a week in a hospital, and spend every summer in South Africa working medical missions. Am I competitive for med school?

I found this sarcastic bit on the Student Doctor Network forums. It was under a topic in which the author invited guesses on whether he was competitive for medical school. I especially chuckled at the part that talks about raising two abandoned children in his free time. That always gets me.

For the future, I’ve decided to include a medical perspective to my blog. It’ll document anything pertaining to my admission to medical school while I am in college. Then when I am studying at medical school (( This would be huge, and hopefully it will be at Yale’s School of Medicine.)) I’ll document my studies and exposures there. Hopefully it will be an exciting course of events. I know I’ll be enticed. After all, this is what I want to do with my life.

This summer, before moving into Marquette University, I wanted to shadow my family doctor for a few days. I never proceeded to contact him or his office about that. Part of the reason was because I was lazy, but I think a larger part of the reason was because I only had about a two week window to fit it in. But now in thinking about it, I think I could have squeezed in a shadow visit, and I was only too lazy to work to squeeze one in.

Then let me provide an abstract on how I prepared for my medical career in high school:

  1. Attended a Medical Explorers meeting in which an anesthesiologist spoke.
  2. Applied to volunteer at the local hospital. Spoke to the coordinator and picked up required papers and received a required shot at the local hospital. Called the coordinator and left three messages ((The messages were never returned.)) that I had completed the required shot at the local hospital. Never heard from the local hospital. Went back about a month later to check back with the coordinator, but she wasn’t in the office, so I didn’t want to volunteer anymore at the local hospital.
  3. Spent many hours reading about the medical journey and life of doctors online through networks, blogs, and advice websites. Examples: Student Doctor Network, Best Premed, Med School Ready, Jeffrey MD, Missionary Doc in the Making, Vitum Medicinus, websites of my prospective medical schools (dominantly the Yale SOM website).
  4. Built a strong core in my sciences during high school — particularly in chemistry: Two years of chemistry (mainly inorganic — regular and AP), one year of organic chemistry, one year of honors physics, ((Worst class of my life, yet I still appreciate it. My teacher was incredibly smart, but I don’t think her style worked with me.)) and two years of biology (honors and AP).
  5. Applied for a leadership conference that concentrated on the medical professions, but did not follow through because of cost.

Now, I need to work on my clinical experience. I literally have none, and the bulk of the blame can be loaded onto my local hospital. I should have been more persistent ((As if calling three times isn’t enough.)), but seriously — it is very uncomfortable to leave three messages and not receive an answer from any of them. It’s like asking the girl you like to the prom — three times — and then being rejected — three times. Marquette is in an urban area, and I’m almost positive there will be opulent opportunities for me to volunteer and gain experience. I want to put an emphasis on any research I can do while in undergrad, too. Yale is very research oriented, and I’m almost positive that a significant amount of research is required to be admitted. And oh baby, I want to be admitted.

So research experience, and volunteer/clinical experience. I feel those are the two things I really need for to finish my medical school applications. There is, of course, the MCAT, but that can be taken care of with a strong work ethic. The same goes for the undergraduate GPA. ((I never wanted a 4.0 in high school, but I want one so bad now. There are two reasons why: 1) It’s college, and most of my studies will be directed towards theology. I love theology, and when you love something you love spending time in/with it. 2) Medical schools are known to look at the undergraduate GPA as part of the admissions process; sometimes a certain GPA is used to screen out the first wave of applicants. Therefore, in light and anticipation of Yale’s SOM being selective and using the GPA screening, I want to earn a 4.0 GPA.)) Most medical schools like to see that you are a rounded individual and have asserted or held leadership positions. This is what I’m planning to do in college outside of academia: Orchestra, Big Brothers Big Sisters, an intramural sport, Intervarsity or some other religious organization. I’m sure there will be other things too, but I feel that if I stick to what I mentioned in that list, I should be in decent standing with most medical schools. I am learning, though, that being decent isn’t chill with most pre-meds.

That’s all for now. I’ll be taking biology and chemistry this fall, and then hopefully following up with biology and chemistry in the fall too. That’ll be two courses down for most medical school pre-requisites. ((Two years of chemistry (inorganic and organic), a year of biology, a year of physics, and a year of calculus is recommended.)) This is going to be a fabulous ride like the rollercoaster — of love. Yeah, baby.

One more thing: I don’t want to be a cocky, brown-nosing, grade sucking pre-med; I want to transcend the pre-med stereotype. I want to work and earn what I worked for — and I know I am so capable of working for a 4.0. That’s my fire to aspire for perfection, baby. Yeah.

  1. Tikaniu said:

    I’m taking biology this year… but personally I like physics more. Maybe. I took a simpler version of biology in 7th grade, and it was just okay for me. I know that if you’re in the medical area you need biology, but still… I hope I at least get a good teacher.

    Sorry about that hospital. I wouldn’t even have had enough nerve to call twice. But seriously, that was pretty rude of them not to call back.

  2. I came across your blog through JeffreyMD. I’ve read a few of your entries already and seeing that you want to attend Yale SOM, I do have a few questions to ask. I don’t see any other way to contact you so I thought I’d just leave a comment. Also, something interesting to share, I recently stumbled upon theyaledoc.wordpress.com although I am unsure of how often it is updated.

    • Nate said:

      Thanks for the link! Awesome find! Go ahead and ask questions as comments if you’d like. I’m curious to read your blog.

  3. My Advice to Anyone who has it all “planned out” – what activities they will do, what grade they will get, etc

    Take things one step at a time. The journey is long and there will be surprised and unexpected happenings on the way there. Be flexible and persistent and make sure you have time to explore new options.

    You might just miss that special someone because you studied too much. Don’t let your life be ruled by this need for admission.

    • Nate said:

      Advice well taken! This particular entry portrays a stricter approach than the one I’m actually taking. I’m trying to stay as laid back as I can about pursuing medical school, but not too laid back. I appreciate your blog, by the way!

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