When I first met my husband at college, he said he was a Biology major. I thought he was going to be a science teacher or something. Once we actually talked about our future dreams, my soon to be husband shared he was on the road to medical school and asked if I was willing to go along for the ride. Of course I said, yes! But little did I know how complicated the process really was. We attended forums, school fairs, individual colleges presentations, and emailed countless people. However there was one common thread that drove us crazy: Everyone was so VAGUE! I wanted someone ‘in the loop’. I wanted clear, specific answers. Quite honestly, I wanted a guarantee. The hardest part about the whole process was learning how to let go of my black and white perspective of the world, to learn to accept the gray area. Why couldn’t someone just tell us? If I did x, y, and z why did I not have a guarantee of getting what I wanted? At first I thought schools were being purposefully ambiguous, or other people we spoke to were safeguarding their own tips and tricks. Truth is, no one has all the answers in one convenient portal. We learned slowly to take all the information we’ve learned with a grain of salt. Shoot high, but also keep realistic expectations. Learn as much as you can from multiple perspectives and let yourself be the one in the know how!
For us, we made a big list and made note of each school we were interested in. We had other friends just apply to their home state schools. Others created massive excel spreadsheets. Find your system, and stick with it. Nothing pains me more than hearing from other pre-med wives that they aren’t really involved in the whole process and they just let their spouses do all that. Med school is a LONG time and your spouse needs your support! Plus, if you really don’t want to go to a particular state now is the time to voice that instead of later, ha! I found that no matter how stressful the process got, I could always find solace in the information I had or it would show me where I still had holes in my information.
The blog is one awesome source of information and encouragement. So ask questions, be adventurous, and don’t forget to find joy in the journey!
Mistress to the Medicine