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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stability Issues

The rain drops inflicted their pain one after the other trying their best to not fall behind in the onslaught and the little one struggled. With every gust of the wind, "Snall-and-not-so-mighty" wondered if the proverbial camel's back was about to be broken...but then again there was the proverbial engine...she made it up the hill right? As she labored away mile after mile, trying to keep her feet grounded, the journey seemed to feel longer. She glanced back for a minute, apparently her new Master was in a hurry too, they had just met yesterday and she was already cracking the whip like there was no tomorrow..."Small-and-not-so-Mighty" hoped that was in no way true, because tomorrow, by hook or by crook, she wanted to be returned to her Madame, scrubbed till she was presentable and displayed until another paying customer was ready to loan her for a short time, today's arrangement wasn't going very smoothly.. .

Ok I don't know what picture you're getting with that story but that was as much drama as I had during my last interview trip and I had to share it with "Small-and-not-so-Mighty" aka the Ford Focus I was forced to rent for the trip. I'm not complaining though, the less drama the better, because I was expecting this interview to be pretty rough. Like I said earlier this was one of them notoriously ethics based interviews. But GOD came through and the only near ethical thing I was asked, I had already practiced earlier. The interviewer was also a nice fatherly-type guy which made the whole process very stress-free. We talked about both our research projects (mostly his, but that's OK, I tried to ask "intelligent" questions) and were having such a great conversation that he had to throw the question in as an after thought (Describe a bioethical situation you have encountered). It seemed he just threw it in to prevent the adcomms from bashing him about not going with the interview script. Now that I think of it something a bit interesting did happen the night before.

I got to stay with one of the MSI students for the night. I had initially planned to pick her brain that evening but let's just say she wasn't exactly your average host. After I arrived in the city along with my bags and baggages and a very turgid bladder, I had to sit in the car for about thirty minutes waiting for her to arrive from some event or something that she had only remembered she had to do the night before. Even after she let me in and I had baptised her bathroom (and a little bit of myself) with trace samples of my DNA , she showed me to the couch which would become my new haven for the night, packed her bags and told me she was off to study with some friends. Along with something in the line of not liking to study alone for "Histo", no they didn't have a test tomorrow and yes, she'll be back at about 2am, etc.

"Are you for freaking real?? Then why did you agree to host me if you knew you were going to abandon me as soon as I stepped foot in your apt?"

She left me wondering why I had picked her name from all the students on the list of hosts I had been sent. The thought of pulling up the list again and calling up the one or two Nigerians on there also crossed my mind. But was already 11pm and they had clearly stated they weren't going to be available that evening. I called a few of my buddies and expressed my dissatisfaction with the whole situation. I was going to go to bed feeling sorry for myself and all but I had to snap out of it.

Here I was with this nicely furnished, albeit tiny apartment to myself, no need to be polite to anyone, no need to pay an arm and a leg for a hotel in one of the most expensive cities in the US and I still had the audacity to complain. (Forgive your daughter Lord)! With my head now in the right place, I decided to explore my freedom. Said exploration and a growing hunger brought me to the kitchen at this point, and I was fixing myself something to eat when my curosity got the better of me. I saw this little "IKEAish" half dining table(more like "dining surface") hanging on her kitchen wall. Looked all nice and modern. I should have admired it and went along on my merry way but of course not! My bush self in all my amazement decided to pull it up and see how it looked unfolded. I'm like wow...pretty nice. Two people could eat comfortably off it from bar kind-of stools and when you were done, you just folded it back on the wall and had your free space again. It gave the apartment an even more contemporary feel. But it was while trying to fold the table back up that it suddenly decided to go on a limb and collapse on me...screws and all came tumbling off the wall.(I'm cracking up like crazy as I remember Karma had officially come right back to bite me in the butt for the slander I had committed against my gracious host. I could just imagine her walking in at this very moment to come pick up some book she forgot or something.

"OK we have to fix this quick...ABBEY you went to an engineering school you should be able to embark on a little do-it-yourself project"

Most of all, I didn't want to be "that premed that broke down her host's apt". After three or so tries, using my 60 dollar shoes (that were already showing signs of wear and tear, ALDO my behind, it might as well have been from Walmart) as a hammer and holding up the table with my head, I got the right nail precariously in the right place, all that mattered was that the table was sitting back in its place. Whatever happened when I left tomorrow was not my problem. (GOD pls let it hold-up till then!) I wisely took the disaster as a cue to call it a night before something else came tumbling down. And although I woke up every hour of the night, afraid that some little demon will come and switch of my alarm on me, or even worse change the setting from 6 AM to 6 PM, my rest was reasonable.

Now to the trip back and the Focus issues. The East Coast was starting to get left overs of whatever it was that made it snow in TEXAS the day before and it was raining and blowing like crazy. The Focus, like its Japanese second cousin, the Toyota Echo, is one of those tall and very light weight cars. From the little physics I know (that unfourtunately didn't come through for me on my two previous MCATS), this makes for a very unstable situation. I had gotten on the road at the middle of developing rush hour traffic, felt like I hadn't slept in a year, gotten tired of the traffic and proceeded to take a one and half hour nap in the car in front of some random deli store. Now that it was 6pm and I was finally alert and the road was somewhat free, Mother Nature decided to take her rebelling to another level. There were times I felt "Small-and-not-so-Mighty" was simply going to be blown off into the night under the angry wind, but thank GOD it didn't cus "What Every Driver Must Know" did not include anything about maneuvering a car in mid air. I managed to get her safely back to Madame Enterprise the next day without any new scratches...and as we speak, I'm bucking up for another journey, this time to the Midwest on Monday. (This is the one where I go see if Mr.Miyagi is real, let's keep our fingers crossed) At least someone else will be doing the maneuvering on that trip!

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Anonymous Camel Milk said...

LOOOOOL@hosting experience :) had me cracking up myself....

Man, this journey to Med Skool is chock-fulla memorable experiences.. Who said premeds were boring :) ?

You'sa coming along mighty nice, good Abby..How go your wards of tutordom ?

December 07, 2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

thats the same thing I'm asking lol..who said we're boring?!

but yeah the kids are doing well, just got back from tutoring them a few minutes ago. we're cranking things up quite a bit though, test day is drawing nigh.

December 07, 2006 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Patrice said...

I know that table. It is a wall-mounted gate leg, although I am sure Ikea refers to as Björnik or Flårsk or some other name only a Swede would recognize and be able to pronounce. The thought of you balancing the table on your head while using your shoe to hammer the nails back into the wall is just too funny.

December 09, 2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

lol...u scared me when you said you knew the table, I thought you were my host lol!!

December 09, 2006 4:05 PM  

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