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The Student Doctor Network

This is just a little advert for The Student Doctor Network website. Lots of info for students. The time I do spend on that website, I am visiting the forums.

There is a section for Premed, for Medical Students, for residents, etc. But you are free to browse all the sections and check out how things are going and even ask questions.

Lots of good info. Though like any website with user-submitted content, read it with a grain of salt…

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GUIDE: Shadowing and Volunteering

Peter Pan and his shadow had a somewhat antagonistic relationship. It made me want to have a shadow like that. Looked fun. Just don’t have an antagonistic relationship with the doctor you end up shadowing. I never got a chance to do it, but “they” say you should. In theory its a great thing to do. It will give you the chance to see firsthand what it is like to work in a hospital as a doctor. So try to shadow the specialty you’re interested in.

Now on to volunteering at a hospital. For some reason ADCOMS absolutely love this. I’ve heard that it shows your desire, compassion, and other qualities they are looking for. It also gives you exposure to hospital life. Most people end up volunteering at the
emergency room because that’s where the action is. I guess that’s fine.

As you volunteer think about what you see. You might think that volunteering is the most useless way to spend your afternoon because all you do is sit around waiting to change the bed sheets. But at least think about the things you see and hear. When I had my interview with Loma Linda, I was asked about my volunteering experience. The interviewer wanted to know what lesson I took away from my experience.

Again, shadowing and volunteering are good in that they give you some exposure to hospital life. But take advantage of the proximity to doctors. Talk to them about medicine. Ask them for advice. Ask them how they chose their specialty. Most doctors are eager to talk to young people who are hoping to one day become doctors as well.

Related Post: More on Shadowing (Not a serious post)

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GUIDE: Thinking about Medicine?

So you’re in college. Your whole future is ahead of you and now you’re thinking about becoming a physician. You’re probably really gung ho about it and want to run to the Records office and officially declare yourself “Pre-Med,” right? Well that’s fine. But there are things you should know.

The quest for the M.D. initials after your name begins with college. Every single class and grade will be up for review by the Admissions Committee (ADCOMS) of the medical school you apply to. Talk about pressure, right? So make sure that you do your best even when you think the class is a waste-of-time-general-study class. It does show up. But everyone should choose the major that they enjoy. DO NOT choose Biology if you’re not interested in studying about plant and animals. If you’re interested in business than pick that. If you’re a thinker, be a philosophy major. If you’re good in math, think about Mathematics, Physics, or Engineering. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BIOLOGY MAJOR TO GET ACCEPTED INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL. Actually, one book I did read (which is maybe ten years old) claims that the ratio of those accepted to those who applied is highest for philosophy majors.

Getting into a medical school is not easy. You must stand apart from all the applicants — and your undergraduate grades are probably the first criteria ADCOMS will look at (unless you’re like the Dean of Medicine’s son or daughter). For those non-geniuses out there, you might have to sacrifice nights where you wanted to hang out with friends to study for a test.

My point is that you need to be sure that Medicine is something you wish to pursue. Be persistent. As an engineering major, I saw lots of people declare themselves engineering majors during my Freshman year. Before the first quarter ended the mass exodus had already begun and by the end of the year almost 1/3 had switched to business. I see the
same thing with people who declare “pre-med.”

Someone once said this about working hard to become a doctor: “You do it because underneath the surface of a young person who loves life and fun there is a compassion to reach others. Medicine is something you can envision yourself doing. You can picture yourself in that respected white coat and you hear the sacred calling of the profession.”

Some view Medicine as just a career choice. Some view it as a calling. I think the way you view it will have huge impact on the success you have in getting into Medical School, in excelling in Medical School, in being a physician, and in the happiness and satisfaction you feel as a physician.

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January-May: The Missing Months

So as I wrote in the last post, there is a huge gap where I posted nothing. Basically I got caught up in school work — at least that’s the good answer to give.

But there wasn’t much going on as far as medical school was involved. But in the next couple weeks I’ll post about what did happen.

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Ooops

Well I notice that I have not written in here since December 15, 2005. Well ay back then, during fall quarter I got really lazy. So I only completed one application. It ended up being the one for Loma Linda University.

Anways, I received a letter dated December 17 that I had been accepted the Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

So, there you have it. I am officially accepted into medical school.

Oh the joy.

Second thoughts?

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Fall Quarter Finals

Today is the first day of finals for fall quarter. Most of the deadlines for supplementary applications have come and gone. At this point I have only completed one application — the one for Loma Linda University. Conventional wisdom says to apply to more than one school, and not to put all your eggs in one basket. Am I nervous? Definitely. I only have one application in for medical school. It’s a hit or miss thing. Maybe I should have sent in more.

Anwyas, I should get back to studying for these final exams… Spanish final in about 40 minutes….

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MCAT Scores & LLU Interview

Last week was a pretty big week for me as far as premed related things. On Thursday I had an interview with . I have had many ask how the interview went, but I am never really sure. They ask if I felt good about it. My answer is simply that I don’t know. I think I was pretty emotionless after leaving the interview. I suspect it was because I was thinking ahead to the MCAT scores.

Thursday night at 9 pm (PST) the scores were posted. Am I happy with my score? Well they say that if you score above a 30 that you’re competitive. So I suppose I am happy with my numerical score; I’m really disappointed in my essays though.

During the summer, when I was taking the Kaplan course, I did very well on all the essays that I had graded. So when I got the MCAT result I was very surprissed about what I got. Thought about asking for a re-score but it’ll take about 4 months. By that time it’s probably too late; most of the applications I send in will already have been discussed and considered.

Oh well…

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