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!

My Photo
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

Saturday, December 16, 2006


OK this is my attempt to start a new post and pretend like I just posted one up yesterday. Work with me OK? (I've been bad...very bad, but that's OK cus I know you forgive me, no?)

My interview on Monday went well. So well that I just want to throw caution to the wind and broadcast the name of the school on here. I'm in love! I'm in love!! I want to shout it on the roof tops. But anyways, let's step away from this Broadway production for a minute and talk about interview day.

The journey was a bit long and stressful. I used every means of transportation known to man except water and "rent-a-ghost" teleports. Even after getting to the interview city, it took about 2 hours to get a cab from the train station to my host's apartment. Didn't remember that part about the city last summer. My host was also great and at least spent sometime with me, she had her own stuff to do but at least she answered my questions. The whole host thing is just hit-or-miss, cus there's really no way to know who's who from a list of names and emails. As usual I didn't get much sleep that night. I dreamt about all the worst case scenarios...missing the interview altogether, forgetting my suit back on the East Coast, getting a run in my panty-hose while trying to put them on, and many other takes from the "Oh S#!t, I'm Soooo Totally Screwed" collection. But I guess I'm getting used to that bit of the whole process now.

The interview day was packed full with numerous tours of the schools high tech facilites, etc. Then in the afternoon was the interview. One of my interviewers was actually a Nigerian Doctor so that was pretty cool. Well I didn't officially know this till towards the end of the interview...but immediately I heard him talk I had it narrowed down to Nigeria or Ghana. So I say it's pretty cool that he's a Nigerian but that does have its pros and cons. Like you can't just randomly say you used to live on a tree in the middle of a jungle back home and you had to fight through a herd of hyenas, pythons and such to get to school everyday, how many people gave up but you stayed strong, then show the interviewer a few playground scars and let them know that you got it from trying to save a complete stranger from the hyenas. Cool stuff like that. I had to scrutinize everything I said. The one time I vaguely mentioned anything about Nigeria was here:

Interviewer - So of all your jobs, which one do you think contributed most to who you've become today.

Me - Ironically, my job in the cafeteria. I learnt how to deal people(employees and customers), how to motivate people to perform in a team and most of all how to be a leader. Back home a woman is expected to be subservient and in the background...

(He looks up from his paper at this point, I'm thinking, oh snap I'm in for it, but too late you might as well finish) it was very different for me to actually be in a position of considerable authority. It taught me to be assertive and confident.

Interviewer - No! No! No! I don't agree with you, the next generation of women in Nigeria are very independent and anything but subservient.

(Oh my goodness, a Nigerian Male Feminist?! He must be a mutant. What to say? What to say?!)

Me - Well you're right, the NEXT generation of women are independent. But the generation of women we saw growing up are not of this generation. Only few of our mothers and aunts were independent. And even those that were, were called all kinds of names.

(Geez why did I get myself into this conversation?)

Interviewer - (Nodding) Well yes, yes you're right about that.

At this point he moved on to the next question. (Whew!). This was the only time in our close to 1 hr conversation that he actually gave me instant feedback. For the rest of the interview, no smile, no frown nothing. I really thought I was screwing up but I kept smiling at him as I answered his questions. I felt stupid but that was the only thing I could do to prevent my worry from showing. It wasn't till the end of the interview that he went back to some of my answers and discussed them like he agreed with them. I guess he's just one of those straight business type guys. We ended up chatting for like 15 minutes after he had finished going through the list of questions he had for me. Apparently, he had gone back to one of the teaching hospitals in Lagos, and tried to hook them up with some free useful equipment but they all ended up turning him down claiming he felt he was better than them because he was based in the U.S. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth, and then counting how many teeth it had. Then I told him about the embarassing ABC 20/20 documentary on Nigerian Scammers (thanks to Miss Adaure for the link). Unfortunately (or fortunately?) he was on call all weekend and didn't get a chance to watch it. About how countries don't give visas to male Nigerians anymore because even if they come here with good motives, they tend to stray into some mischief or the other... Pretty much some banal yet painful truths about Nigeria's situation. Before we parted he told me to not stress out about the whole process, that some schools will reject me but I will be surprised at how many will give me an acceptance. Very encouraging words.

While I was back in the library waiting for my second interviewer, he passed by and told me I had left my hand bag in the interview! how could I do that? I look like the surgeon that would leave a dirty rag in my patient's chest...or maybe I'm just overthinking stuff.


Interview day got done at about 4pm. I had to be at the airport by 6:30pm and it was a 45 minute train ride away. But there was also another important mission I had to accomplish. One of the other cool premeds I interviewed with gave me a ride to KYDU campus. I had to look for Dr.K.

I had "borrowed" a piece of African art from my roommate for this sole purpose and even though I was crunched for time, I really didn't want to haul the piece back home. It took me about 30 minutes to find his office. I had forgotten how complex of a matrix KYDU med school was. I stopped by at some office to ask for directions. After a lot of hand waving right and left, and a lot of clueless nods from my end, I tried to find his office again. Unfortunately, I made about 3 complete circles, tried to sneak across the office that gave me directions all three times so they didn't know I was still completely lost, I'm sure the knew I was passing though, the loud wheels of my hand luggage probably gave me away each time. I eventually asked another person for help and found his office.

He wasn't in there so I assumed he was in his lab. The time at this point is 5pm. I walk in there and ask the new guy there for Dr.K, he was around the corner. I walked around and there he was...doing his science. He was really surprised to see me which was a good thing. And all he could do was stare and ask what I was doing there. I had to wait for about ten minutes in the hallway for him to finish what he was doing. As I waited, I overheard him telling the new student in the lab that I was the student from last summer he was talking about. The poor guy probably hated me by now cus I'm sure good ole Dr.K had talked his ear out about how I was now in Ivy League Que, etc. It's a right of passage.

We eventually went into his office, he told me about how his research was going, I told him all the mushy stuff he had taught me about life, about how I used to be so angry at him, how everything was coming in handy at work presently etc. We just pretty much laughed about the whole thing. He also really liked the piece I gave him, apparently he was into art. That was good cus I really wasn't sure. Eventually it was time to go, I had to be at the station at 5:30. We walked out of his office. I felt like a guy on a date lol. Should I make the first move, give that hug. Naaaahhh...that's way too much contact, we'll just shake hands and call it a day. We said "OK" like ten times and finally I was turning around to leave when I saw his outstretched arms and it wasn't for a handshake. Ahhhh thank GOD!

I made it to the airport at 6:26pm. 4 minutes before check-in for my flight closed.


<< Back to Latest Post


Blogger Biodun said...

Glad to know that interview went well, wow it sounds so nerve recking, interviews always r anyways! Take care!

December 18, 2006 10:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Back to Latest Post