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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


You are a surgeon, a trauma patient is brought in by ambulance and you are paged to the ER. An invasive surgery is needed to save the patient's life. For this surgery, like all others, there is a chance that you might be cut by your scalpel or pricked by a needle. All they know about your patient is that he is a gay, heroin addict. High risk to be HIV positive, no time to must start surgery remember the Hippocratic Oath you took..."First do no harm" but in this case do no harm to who? Yourself or the patient?

-Not operate?
-Why or why not?

What was the worst experience you've had at the doctor's? What were your expectations and what do you wish could be adjusted at your location's health care system? Health Insurance, etc. Please let me know the country you are posting from to put it in perspective.


I won't be posting for a week or so cus I want everyone to contribute...I mean everyone...Bijoux, Bella Naija, Naija Bloke, Aunty, Overwhelmed, Biodun, Camel Milk, Arturo, Anonymous, First timers....EVERYONE. If you have to think about it for a few days then come back, do so but your input is valued greatly, can't wait to hear your comments...

Forgot to add another interview on Monday Boston. So, so far:
6-interview invites
10-no news
When next you talk to GOD...say a little thank-you for me!! And thank-you for all the comforting comments and emails!

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Blogger Gramps said...

First, there are standard precautions doctors take before they enter surgery, so I would already have done that. Secondly, I already know the guy is HIV positive so I would be extra careful.

As you said, there's a chance that you might get a cut, but hey---you drive on the road (you could have an accident), you walk on the road (you could be hit by a car), you do all sorts of normal things where some bad things could still happen to you. 1n 1999, some students were sleeping in their hostels and cultists came and shot them to death. They died because they were in their beds (where they were supposed to be safe) and these victims were not cult members. If they had been out partying, they would still be alive.

You don't operate on the guy so you can remain safe, something else could kill you in that place you thought was safe.

Summary, do your job but take normal precautions and leave the rest to God.

November 08, 2006 11:50 AM  
Anonymous ogizzle said...

I would operate on the guy. One of my interests is even infectious diseases. Why? 'Cos my instinct even now, is to immediately rush to someone's rescue and think about the consequences later. The good news is that just like you have the 24hr abi 72hr abortion pill, there's something similar for HIV exposure in healthcare professionals. They treat you with the antivirals aggressively and it works 75% of the time. Even better? I got God on my side. I haven't had a negative healthcare experience that I can recall...but if there was something I could change it would be the wait time before you get to see the doctor and then how sometimes when you see them, they try to rush you out. Unless one is like me, with butt planted firmly on the exam table and a pre-written list of questions when necessary.

November 08, 2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger Biodun said...

I am thinking about it n will be back promise, I will thank God for you!

November 08, 2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

interesting responses so far...still waiting for more...

November 09, 2006 3:44 PM  
Blogger NaijaBloke said...

Will be back ..cos all am thinking right now is ass is wearing thick rubber gloves for that kind of surgery o ..LOL

I can actually count how many times I have been to the doctors cos I dont get sick easily ..dont ask cos I dont know why either.. even in Naija mumsy always force me to go ni o.

The one experience I wont forget was when I had to have a stitch put on and the hospital ran out of anestheisia and the doctor had to put the stitch in like that ..I was sitting down and the doctor was actually scared that I was going to punch him cos of the pain but funniest thing was nuthn happened and I refused to take the injection after cos I hate injections ..This was back in Naija sha

November 09, 2006 6:12 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said... thick rubber gloves. they are yet to invent gloves that are flexible enough to allow for good hand motion during surgery and at thesame time inpenetrable to needles and such.

Your anesthesia story reminded me of the time I needed to get stitches on my hand after my brother and I were trying to get into a room via the glass louvres. smart idea. Unlike your case though, there was anesthesia available the only problem was they needed to inject both sides of the wound to numb it before stitching. the other slight problem was the fact that the wound was on my palm so i had to watch them stick me with a 6 inch needle not just once, but twice. I was fine with being poked on my butt, at least i didn't get to see the needle but watching was a different story. It took them about an hr to get me settled enough and for them to convince me into letting them do it. after that, i didn't feel a thing. anesthesia is God's gift to medicine!

November 10, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Bijouxoxo said...

Abbey, i promise to be back, with a well thought out comment. Been super busy with school. Thank God it's Friday.

November 10, 2006 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Medstudent said...

Well, you have no choice, you have to do the surgery, you can't decline to operate on a patient, based on an hypothetical risk. When you get into medical school, you will have a class on HIPPA and health training, because if your school is in a big city, you will be exposed to TB,and Hepatitis B (risk is even higher than HIV). Every year, you pray that during orientation when you get a PPD, you haven't seroconverted, like some other students in your class, and have to go on TB medication for 9 months, with regular check ups, because the medication is toxic to the liver. I guess this is just a long way of saying you have no choice, in medicine you are exposed to risks everyday, and just pray that God protects you.

November 11, 2006 5:02 AM  
Anonymous medstudent said...

worst doctor experience:

After being involved in an accident in nigeria, on a trip back to lagos, we were rushed to an hospital in Ogun state, as blood was dripping down my face, the doctor, was more interested in the gist of how the accident happened, than treating me, after my parents pointed this out to him, he refused to treat, and had to be begged to come back to look at my injuries.

He was so mad, he didn't even wash the sand from my head, before suturing the wounds, thank God I had no complications, unforunately, the other girl, he sutured her hand with the window glass still in, and her hand started to decay from the inside.

Men, typing this really points out, how lucky I was.

November 11, 2006 5:08 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

yeah back home the doctors are so concerned about these things because i think they have to file police reports and such but looks like they usually do it at the detriment of the patient!

i can't believe that doctor stitched the girl up with the glass piece still in her arm?! so did they have to amputate her arm? those are the times one wishes we had malpractice suits in nigeria.

November 11, 2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous miu corp friend said...

If I was a doctor I would be prepared to operate. It's all part of the job. Even if he was HIV positive it doesn't disqualify from being operated on I should think.

btw interesting name - "miu corp". :)

November 12, 2006 12:38 PM  
Anonymous med student said...

luckily we were transferred to a private hospital in lagos, it was there that the glass was discovered, they had to do an emergency operation, they were able to save the hand, but it was mishappen.

Yes, they tend to ask for imformation at the patient's expense. A very close family friend died, after he was robbed, and taken to an hospital, they refused to treat, without a police report saying he was the victim and not the robber. They allowed a man to die, even though common sense should have told them that he couldn't have been the robber, He was in his 60's

November 13, 2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@ medstudent...thank GOD everything turned out OKish with the girl at least they didn't leave her to bleed like the older man!

@miu corp friend...hmmm you work at miu corp too lol? a bunch of my friends and I back then Greekified the letters of the company's name and "miu" was one of the letters lol, that's how i came up with the name. like they say...joblessness is a disease. thanks for stopping by.

November 13, 2006 12:54 PM  
Blogger Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

The selfish and probably more human side of me says nah… they should find someone else to do the surgery (and I’d probably go with this if there is an option)… but chances are there might not be… and there’s all the damn integrity/ethical stuff to consider. In the real world I guess I’d just have to suck it up, put on those gloves, do the job and just pray really hard for the best!!!... that selfish side will still wonder if I could get Dr. Marshall to take that risk instead(lol)… and then there’s hope that he’s not really hiv positive…

hope ur interviews go excellent sweetie and have a great week

November 13, 2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Bella Naija said...

I would operate definitely..
Hospitals have very strict standard to avoid infections from patients....I'll pray for God's protection definitely...
but I would operate!

Good luck with all your interviews!

November 13, 2006 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Oworu said...

i wud definitely operate on the patient cuz (1) Its my job to (2) Whatever precautions i shd av taken wd be taken b4 operating and (3) As Gramps said, you get all sorts of cuts everyday "cut no be new thing" I was once scared out of my life when someone told me if i did not get a Tetanus Injection on my toe, i wud have to cut it off when it got infected to the highest and this was just a year ago too. I am also sure u remember a particular injury that i had back in the day. I stop here.......

November 14, 2006 12:40 AM  
Anonymous Patrice said...

Suppose the patient was neither gay nor a heroin addict, would any doctor hesitate to treat him? Probably not, yet the patient may very will be HIV positive or infected with any one or more of a number of other deadly communicable diseases that you don't know about. Not everybody fits the stereotype. So, my answer to the question is that I would operate with reasonable proper precautions on the gay heroin addict, just as I would on any other patient whose medical history there is not time to take.

November 17, 2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

To answer your question, probably not. And yes not everyone fits the stereotype but the probability of a risk hits you more when the person is of relatively high risk.

November 17, 2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger samip dattani said...

i would definately operate.. with the standard precautions duely observed.. common the guy will DIE if he's doesn't undergo surgery,...

November 17, 2006 4:01 PM  
Blogger samip dattani said...

..i'am a fifth year med student from mumbai, india

November 17, 2006 4:02 PM  

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