PRE-MED PERSPECTIVE: Gamble
I’ve always had a particular distaste for gambling. You throw away precious resources on the slight chance that you might get a return. When we began our primary applications in May, I was baffled that my husband wanted to apply to 30 schools, about half for D.O. school and about half M.D. school. I couldn’t understand why in the world we should pay for 30 applications if we would only end up going to one school anyways. We met with our university’s medical school adviser and she told us the break down worked like this….If you send out about 30 primaries, you should get back about 15-20 secondaries, after that you will typically get 4-5 interview invitations, and finally end up with 1-2 acceptances.
I remember my jaw flapping open. All of those applications just for 1 or 2 possibilities? Immediately I jumped onto Facebook and joined a bunch of pre-med wives forums, I read articles of personal experiences, and more. Through my research I slowly came to realize that the entire application process is just a huge gamble. I saw perfect 4.0 students with thousands of hours of service and an excellent MCAT scores not get into a single med school. Other times I saw mediocre students that had horrible MCAT scores and extremely low GPAs get accepted right away. The spread was so broad, there seemed to be no order in the process at all which made it incredibly frustrating.
So what was our system? Well, we broke down each school to the core. There was no sense in applying to a medical school if you honestly couldn’t see yourself living in that town. Do you really think you’ll be able to focus on the most stressful part of your educational journey if you don’t even like where you’re going to be for the next 4 years? Your home should be a place of sanctuary, not a comparable environment to the displeasure associated with the surrounding area.
Second, don’t take rejection letters personally. In the beginning, I felt genuinely offended that some schools would reject us. How dare they reject us? He has everything you require and more! was something that I thought frequently. Eventually, we received interview offers which gave a big glimmer of hope in a process that often seems really bleak.
Third, accept all advice with a grain of salt…even mine! Haha. If there is anything I have learned in this process, is it’s just a big, huge gamble and you should do what feels best for you and your family.
And finally….don’t lose hope. You and your partner will be so stressed out there is no reason to let extra negativity drag you down. After a few heavy rejections rolled in, we decided to go see a movie, or mini golf, or anything at all just to take our mind off of it and keep in perspective that there is so much goodin life outside of this process. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
After months we finally recieved our first acceptance and felt so relieved! It was so nice to have a light at the end of the tunnel but don’t forget to find joy within the journey, not just the destination or the process can be a whole lot less joyful.
Mistress to the Medicine