Getting into Medical School, aka Holy of Holies (the F-1 version)

My adventures as an international student trying to get into a US medical school as a prestigious MSI student!

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Location: East Coast, United States

I am a 22 yr old Foreign lady trying to get into an American med school. The journey has been "rough" to say the least. So join the band wagon and let's see if they think I'm good enough to become a doctor. I hope my story encourages someone, maybe you. Not necessarily to become a doctor, but just to follow your dream. Leave your comments as you read...I thrive on feedback. And if this is your first time here, catch up on what you missed, cus every post IS important...well almost all. So forget that board meeting(at your own risk) or skip that class (again at your own risk) and lose yourself in my archives. REMEMBER: "If it aint ROUGH, it aint RIGHT" - Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons Guard

Monday, September 11, 2006


Mellonophobia. I was in the New York area this weekend and like all my other visits; I had to resist temptation after temptation to yield to my addictions: Forever21 and the hundred and one no name shoe stores on 34th street. But these were not the only battles I had in the big apple. At this point in my life, when I am in the process of investing thousands of dollars into a future career, one tends to wonder, what if I put in all this and I end up hating medicine? What if I am really supposed to be a lawyer or something completely different? What if, what if. If only I could get a little thumbs up or thumbs down from the supernatural. A little nudge on to the right path. For this of course the answer was easy. I could easily walk into one of the Original Miss Cleo type corners, pay some weird looking lady a small amount and let her tell me what was really in store for me. Don’t tell me you guys have never considered this? But assuming she tells you what really lies ahead, what fun will it be if you found out you were going to die in ten years, or you were never going to be successful no matter what you did? What will you live for when you already know it’s going to end up in nothing good? So since most of us really don’t know what lies ahead, once in a while we go through brief phases of Mellonophobia.

But the future always seems to work its self out. And even if the ending is not a happy one, you learn to live with your decision. Take the story of a good friend of mine. We’ll call him “the engineer”.

We graduated together a few months ago, he with a masters and me with a bachelors. After numerous interviews, he got an offer from a relatively small company that he really wasn’t too happy about. He felt he was underpaid and overqualified for the job. To make matters worse, it was in one of the most expensive cities in the state. What could a brother do? He accepted the offer and started work. Thing was the company was in the process of merging with another larger one so things were kind of wishy-washy. About 6 weeks into the job, his company found some obscure excuse and terminated his employment. Note they did not LAY HIM OFF, because that would have entailed them paying him a certain amount for him to fend for himself while he looked for another job. They FIRED him, straight up, no benefits, no nothing, just a smudge on his record. You can be sure my guy was mellonophobic in every sense of it at this point. Tried to sue but was told the company had a right to fire whoever, whenever. Just like that, he became an engineer, with a masters, making your lunch sandwiches. He started applying again, and more interviews came pouring in. Even after he told his interviewers the story, most of them sympathized with him rather than kick him out for his bad record. The VP of one of the companies actually told him about how he went through exactly the same thing on his first job. Now “the engineer” has more than one offer to choose from and at better locations than his previous. Last time I spoke to him, he told me the best thing that ever happened to him was getting fired. You don’t hear that often now, do you?

So this one had a happy ending. This next one left me with mixed feelings. It’s about a lady that I have become close to over the years. We’ll call her “Aunty Dearest”

Back in her 20's (probably in the mid to late 1970's) her fiancée (Uncle Ola) left Nigeria to come to the United States for school. There was no email then and international phone calls were pretty expensive, in case you were wondering :) She worked in a small company as a typist back then and they both looked forward to receiving each other’s letters. But of course the vultures would not let Aunty Dearest be. Numerous guys from all works of life tried to win her over despite the fact she boldly announced to them she was engaged. They laughed at her every time she told them Uncle Ola was overseas. They told her he dumped her the minute he stepped foot in the US. With good reason too. There were numerous examples of people that had abandoned their partners when they left the country. But she held on. One particularly persistent one was this very successful business man. He promised her the world, a house of her own, a benz, the whole nine yards. But she knew her heart was not there. Uncle Ola was a student and could not give her all these things but that was who she wanted. The Hollywood version of this story would end up with her marrying Uncle Ola, them living happily ever after and even becoming richer than the business man. But this is the real world, and aint no fairy tales here.

“Aunty Dearest” and “Uncle Ola” did get married, had beautiful children but have never been what you will consider wealthy. And I mean they’ve had some REALLY rough patches. I wonder if sometimes she thinks about what would have happened if she had married her business man. Of course she could have grown to love him and at the same time never worry about money. But if she had married him, there would also be times she would wonder if she might have been better of with “Uncle Ola”. A Perfect Catch 22.

So whether or not you are feeling a bit mellonophobic today, scared to fly because of the risk of never making it back to land, scared to invest in those stocks because you have no clue if there’s going to be another Great Depression tomorrow, scared because you have some terminal disease and you are not sure if tomorrow will be D-day, or just scared of life’s surprises, try to learn from your past failures, learn to accept the consequences of the decisions you make, hold on to what/who you believe in and let go of the things you have no control over. Most of all think of your life as an interesting story and look forward to the next chapter tomorrow will bring. Don’t let Miss Cleo kill the surprise.

Easier said than done…I’m working on it too. Meanwhile, back to them applications.

OK so don’t go using Mellonophobia in your essays cus I just made it up, but it’s not completely meaningless. “Mellon” is the Greek word for “future” and of course “phobia” means “fear”…Mellonophobia, Fear of the Future.

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Blogger NaijaBloke said...

Nice post.I feel u on the issue,cos I have noticed a lot of ppl r scared of moving from a job just because they think of job security.I think that way as well,but I am trying to actually get myself out of that mentality cos I know I can do better than where I am now.

Anyway have a nice day.

September 11, 2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

yes...sometimes you just have to jump and by faith land on solid ground. But you have to make sure your "jumps" are well thought out. You can't go jumping from a boat on the atlantic ocean and hope you make it on solid ground, cus that won't be happening.

Good luck oh!

September 11, 2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Bijouxoxo said...

Chei! I would've chopped seriously. I was about to use mellonophobia on my friend. Anyways, i feel u onthis post. But like u stated, it ain't always easy. I've thought about visiting Miss Cleo and the likes, but i'd never do that, not in a million years to come.

You're not the only one that has those feelings, my dear sister. Just last week or so, i was thinking to myself that what if i begin to hate medicine sef, after investing so much time, money and effort into it. Once those thots start creepin ginto my mind, i banish them fast, 'cos i believe that's the devil at work.

September 11, 2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Interesting blog.
Talk about uncertainty..Life is all about risks, I must agree..
these days.. im just going with the flow jare,come what may..Mellonophobia results in worrying too much which is not good at all..

September 11, 2006 9:14 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@bijoux: don't take it as the devil's work all the time, sometimes one really might just be on the wrong path even though its hard to admit. But I guess even if I find out medicine is not for me, I will be finishing med school by any means necessary before pursuing anything else.

@lee: thanks for stopping by. going with the flow is the only thing we can really do, cus worrying has not been shown as a therapy for "mellonophobia" ;)

September 11, 2006 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh mfufu is doing great! You have to gist me next time we talk. I don't know about mellonophobia but i still think i'm gonna get an MBA, a JD, a PhD and maybe even that CPA I was originally planning to do. I wonder how long all that will take?

September 12, 2006 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Oworu said...

Believe me, I have actually never thought of visiting Aunt whatever but now that i have just read about it, it does not wanna leave my mind but the fact is that even if it is true(the future the Aunty predicts), it takes all the fun out of it. Like you said, imagine knowing you were gonna die in 10 yrs...thats not funny at all. Imagine if you were to get married in that same 10 years, which one wud come first. Heck, I am afraid of both so right now, i don't even want them to come, not even in the next 11 years. HEY!! Nobody knows what the future holds. Hold on to that and keep driving forward.

Don't want it to be too long again. Hope you go the paper?

September 13, 2006 7:50 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

yeah very true, somethings are better left unknown. and that papaer, dang! I forgot how naija profs can be...all the words they know, they put it in one paper. Even the abstract was hell to read!

September 13, 2006 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Oworu said...

even the words they don't know!!!

September 16, 2006 1:25 AM  

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