Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When did you decide to apply to med school?

I know for a lot of people, this decision is a process that occurs over years. For me, I guess it was.

But probably the real moment it crystallized was when I took the MCATs and got a decent score and realized at that moment there was nothing else I really wanted to do. I applied to med school because I could and no other exciting options presented itself.

I hope somebody has a better story than that...


  1. Sounds an awful lot like how I ended up in law school, and then practicing law for the last ten years.

  2. At some point the words "I want to go to med school" came out of my mouth when planning my undergrad classes, and then I was pretty much on autopilot. Prior to that I hadn't even really considered it, and I had no idea what I wanted to be.

  3. I was set to study law, with a scholarship and everything, when I read "28 Stories of AIDS in Africa" and was so inspired that I decided to apply to med. This was literally two days before the application closing dates, and so I applied at the only school in South Africa that allowed online applications at the time.
    I still finalized my law school admission process, but when a got the acceptance letter to med a few months later, I decided that I couldn't say no.
    I can't say I haven't doubted the decision a few times, but I think I'm finally happy with it.

  4. I knew I wanted to be a doctor since age 14; did not consider much else.
    In undergrad, I did consider MPH as an alternative if I didn't get into med school

  5. I feel like I could have written this post. except I wouldn't have used "crystallized". maybe "clicked".

    I liked your book. Although it made me seriously contemplate what the hell i'm doing.

  6. my mom wouldn't let me do a phd in chemistry

  7. In high school I wanted to be a doctor, but somewhere in undergrad I decided I was sick of school. I figured I would go make money (with my BS in Bio - ha ha ha ha ha) and live life. Six years later, while I had a rewarding job, I was spending 60 hours a week doing something that didn't entirely suit me. I knew that God had given me certain abilities and talents and I wasn't even using them. One night at dinner my SIL (who started out pre-dentistry and ended up SAHM)joked that I could still go to medical school. And I thought, You know, at this point in life I COULD go back to school! I did some internet research, took a refresher course & the MCAT, applied to med school (only one! Who does that??) and here I am as an attending. Meant to be!

  8. Not a better story, but as I struggle with everyone, and I mean everyone, around me saying:

    "Ad2b, your face lights up when you talk about your biochem, and ochem, and premed courses... why are you not taking the MCAT???"

    or the head of HR at the company where I'm contracting talks with me about whatever, then asks why there and why that contract, and I speak of my former med school dreams and premed courses finished in 2012, and he says:

    "Ad2b, your face lights up. Are you sure the points in your life don't take you off this path and put you toward med school???"

    and then, I click Kaplan and MCAT testing.

    and I ponder.

    and I wonder.

    And then I click your blog, and my eyes water.

    I'm 49, carry a 3.78 through premed and ...

    Thank you.

  9. My experience was this when contemplating what to do with my life:

    Mother: "Why don't you become a nurse?"
    Me: "Nurse? Naw, I'd rather be a doctor."

    Graduating in May 2014, MD.

  10. AD2B,

    Go for it! I'm 40, and after 20 years of x-ray/CT teching, I decided to go back to school...for an MBA, thinking I'd move up to the C-suite. 3 weeks from graduation, I realized that I didn't want to work in a hospital unless I could interact with patients. Applied to med school 1 year later, and am now an M2. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

    1. Thank you, Jason.

      Waiting for 2014 MCAT dates to be released; and thinking.

      Med school at 50? hmmm

  11. My mom has joking called me Dr. since shortly after my youngest sisters were born, so I was probably around 10 or 11. I didn't think to question it.

    And so I applied. And got rejected everywhere, so I had a bit of an identity crisis. I thought about being a lab technologist, a dietician, a PA... and then I decided I probably wouldn't be happy doing anything besides medicine, so I applied again and graduate next year.

  12. I was finishing college and realized that I liked teaching, computers and medicine (at least the idea of it).

    I got a job teaching at an international school for a year, and realized that being a teacher, at least at the high school and junior high school level in a country where I don't speak the language, isn't for me.

    Then I got a job as a system administrator. I had fun, but after 3 years, I was good at my job, and not interested enough to work hard enough to become great at my job. I also didn't want to progress into management. So I applied to medical school, since I'd done teaching and done computers and wasn't enough in love with either of them.

    I got rejected everywhere but my first choice school, and wait-listed at my first choice school. I wrote them a "love you" letter about how I love love loved that school and I would definitely go there if they'd just take me off the wait list.

    I got in, gave my boss notice, and that was about 15 years ago. Still seeing patients, and quite happy to be doing so.

  13. I decided when I was 14 (one of my cousin's was born premature and she had a genetic condition) after being exposed to frequent hospital visits I was very comfortable with the environment. After I graduated from college I applied 3yrs in a row, took MCAT three times and after numerous rejections I wasn't going to give up, I knew God had a plan for me, I closed my eyes and kept trying. I was finally accepted to medical school, found a husband in my class and I am currently applying for ophtho :) I will be graduating May 2014. God is good :)

  14. I met my husband in our pharmacy class. Med school was always a dream of his, but pharmacy seemed like a good option at the time. After years of me loving what I do and him not being satisfied by anything other than medicine, he is finally in med school. And he is as happy as he can be even through all the challenges of moving and taking care of an infant. Sometimes it's a fire that never goes out that finally guides us to what we were meant to do. God is good, indeed!

  15. After being good in humanities my whole academic life (including humanities related BA and humanities related MA) and ignoring sciences all this time, I realized that I don't really enjoy what I am naturally sort-of good at. I don't want to explore the 'human nature' or whatever, staring at books all day as a day job. I always thought that 'in a different life' I would be a doctor (seemed like a tangibly meaningful, intellectually challenging, and respectable profession). And then I thought: actually, why can I not be a doctor in this life? It's not like I have a few spare lives waiting for me.
    So I started taking pre-med classes and will be applying to med schools in June. Fingers crossed!

    PS. I'm still not terrific at sciences but I discovered that it really is more about how hard you work rather than how naturally good at it you are. Yep, great discovery of the year.

  16. I'm in the process of going through my first round of applications. Parents have pushed me to do nursing for years but after doing an internship in a hospital I knew it wasn't for me but I knew I still wanted to be in health care.

    I'm doing my masters right now researching obesity in children in our local community. After meeting with hundreds of families and going through this experience my decision to medicine became quite easy. I feel like this is what I'm born to do.

    I see it as an opportunity to do even more afterwards. I can do research, travel as a physician, open a clinic....possibilities are just endless! Plus it's one occupation that won't be going anywhere anytime soon :)

  17. I was a PhD microbiologist. I honestly never considered a career in medicine until I had a complicated pregnancy. I applied to med school in hormone induced fog of new motherhood. A year later I was a med student. My son is 5 now and in kindergarten while I'm a family med intern catching babies and doing primary care. Love it!

    1. Good for you choosing primary care! I don't know how it was for you, but my med school was geared more toward specialties, so when I said I was interested in family medicine I would often get "the look" that said, "...because you're too STUPID to make it in a REAL field?" No, I just really like primary care! And ideally I think some pretty bright people should be out there where you have to have such a broad knowledge base.

  18. originally was going for med school then I discovered the PA profession while in college (which is actually medicine unlike what anon said in a previous comment) after doing some job shadowing of both docs and PA's and talking to countless #'s of both I decided PA was the right choice for me, I never met a PA who regretted that route but have met too many docs who say they wouldn't go to med school again if given the choice and wish they did PA!

    I just graduated!!

  19. I'm an Indian dude, and being a physician is the most prestigious profession there is in our culture, so becoming a physician brings great honor to both the MD and his family.

    Well, I was always a kinda smart and driven dude, so I decided that medicine would be cool (mostly for that reason), and in 3 years I'll be an MD!

  20. The summer before entering my final year of secondary school. I had to be thinking about my future, and I never was one to be thinking that far ahead.
    I mean, I knew I couldn't be a pilot because I don't have perfect in=depth vision....

    There was no way I could choose a profession that would be only for my own gain. I prayed about it. In the end; this is what I had the talent for, so it just made sense.

    And then I regretted not resitting some exams because I needed to get my average up!!

  21. I decided to apply to medical school when I was five, and was so excited to go to the doctor for my check-up. Now an M2 and haven't regretted it yet :)

  22. I was 3 months old sitting in my father's office as the departmental head at a major university hospital, looking at my grandfather and great-grandfathers prominent pictures on the wall in the hallway outside, and I realized that life as a CEO making 10k a day was not what I was meant to do. I was born for something greater. Just 20 short years later (K-2 is for the huddled masses) I finished up writing my 43Q MCAT and hopped right on the plane to Africa. As I cradled the heads of several little Africa babies in my hands, I realized my true calling: pediatric plastadermaneurosurgery. I chose Johns Hopkins over Harvard (Boston has too many hippies) and here I am six years later, a PGY2, training in plastaorthodermasurgery (you never really know what you want as an MS1!). I could't be more proud of myself.

  23. I'd finished my first two terms as a grad student in math, and realized that I wanted to do something more "applied". I liked all the puzzles and the abstract rigorous thinking, but little enough of the work was either social or - I thought - particularly relevant to the "real" world. I started getting into applied math and modelling in epidemiology, and happened to meet a physician at a workshop. That definitely served to push me toward medicine, and I arranged to make up the prereqs I lacked and write the MCAT. I wasn't ready to apply for another year, but I became pretty set on my plan.

    And it worked out. In retrospect, I should have applied to the handful of schools that didn't require the MCAT and potentially gotten in a year earlier, but my life would be kinda different as a result.

  24. When I was born, my mother decided that I was going to be a doctor.

    Yeah, not very glamorous.

    I've regretted / doubted / pondered the decision many times through medschool, and still wonder if it was the right choice.

    I still don't know if this was truly my decision (I know it wasn't) and if I'm happy with it (because it wasn't MY decision).

    I'm not UNhappy. And I don't dislike it. And I think I'm actually pretty good at it. And if I were given a choice, I probably would have ended up on this path anyway, even if it took a couple extra years of "soul-searching".

    But the decision was pretty much made for me at my birth.