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, January 31, 2007

Little Victories

Thanks for all your comments on the last post...seems more people will support going for the scholarship regardless of rank etc. Actually, everyone but the premeds seem to support this notion. I thought about it some more and talked to a few people about it. One comment that stuck with me the most was similar to Folu's.

What I was told was that it probably all depends on what you eventually want to do with the MD degree. If you just want to be a doctor, then your school doesn't matter, so go anywhere but if you're planning to go into research/academia or a competitive specialty, then you might be better of going to a school with a good reputation.

But then, what if you're trying to leave your options open...aaarrgghhhh

Unto more exciting and less confusing current issues; some of my hustling and glorified boot-licking has come through. The same school that put me on a pre-interview hold during my "week from hell", that I eventually sent a letter and other "look-at-me-I-really-am-smart" documents finally gave me an interview last week. It's ironic because I remember writing another one of the update letters for yet another school a day or two before this and as I was about to send it, I stared at it for a few minutes and asked GOD if any of this extra, seemingly unnecessary labor was even worth the stress and time. And the same week, the answer came. So one more interview is on the horizon.

And the interview is in the exact same city as my last one. I thought about it for a minute and was about to fuss and complain about paying for two tickets instead of one...but thought otherwise. If there's anything this process has taught me, and my bank account, it's that Dreams aren't cheap these days!

In similar news, I took another update letter to the admissions office here. I had been to their office like two times before this and all I was told was to either go home and wait, or from the last time, if you really want to go to school here, write us a letter. So I obediently wrote one and decided to take a few minutes off work to hand deliver it myself. I addressed it to the dean of admissions and figured I'd probably just drop it off with someone in his office. No chance I was going to meet him. When I got to the office, I spoke to a very nice lady and casually asked her if the dean was around. Expecting the ususal "No", I simultaneously motioned the letter at her to deliver for me when she smiled and told me he was in his office. It was lunch hour so I was in no way expecting this lucky break. Thank GOD I didn't wear my tattered jeans that morning, I only took them off as an afterthought!! As she went to notify him I quickly did a breath check, said a quick prayer and prepared myself for an impromptu interview(scene of Will Smith in the cab with one of the stock brokers and his rubik's cube from the Pursuit of Happiness playing in my head at this point). After greeting and everything, I spent way too long apologizing for not making an appointment and just barging into his office while he continued to stare at his computer and talk to me about some problem he was having with whatever he was doing on it. Shoot, this would be a good time to miraculously solve whatever the problem was (lol) or worse yet embarass myself. The right side of my brain placed that all too mischievous left one in check and probably for a good reason this time. I just waited as he continued to punch keys here and there.

He finally fixed whatever was wrong and looked up while offering me a seat and we got talking. He pulled up my application online, asked me a few questions about my hometown, how I got to the US, how I got to their school etc. It really was a mini-interview...he also took my letter and stuck a post-it on it mentioning that I stopped by his office in person. And that was ten minutes to present my case was over. I didn't even bother mulling over every word I uttered like I do for other interviews, ok I did it just a bit but not as much. I just walked back to work singing some african style praise and worship songs in my head. Too excited. I don't know if I'll get a call/email for an official interview but I'm just going to keep hoping and praying.

Hope the news inspires someone to get off their behind and do something about whatever it is they want...cus your miracle can find you but sometimes it kinda has to know you want it too!

Meanwhile, I need to find a dry cleaner for my one-in-town...I told y'all I wasn't ready to hang it up yet, and now we're going to be off on another journey soon. Hmm that dry cleaner better have some skills because if anything happens to the only suit I've ever had in my life...

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Anonymous Folu said...

Awww I feel honored to see my name mentioned in your post :) I hope you get into Y lol.

February 01, 2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Gramps said...

There is a story that two guys had their hearts broken. One of them commited suicide, the other wrote a best-selling novel out of it, became a millionaire and later found true love. YOu will GET into the PERFECT SCHOOL FOR YOU. In the end, you may ask, why did I have to go through all this stress? Well, you have the answer above. You will also be in a better position to advise others, cos you've been through it yourself.

Someone once said, it is the process and individual steps that God blesses - and that's what you've been doing - taking those steps one at a time including going personally to drop that letter.

February 02, 2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Everyone Loves a Naija Girl said...

I love you're blog. I'm looking to get into medical school too. Good luck with everything. I'm sure you'd make a great doctor.

February 04, 2007 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Oworu said...

Hey its me again!! Sorry I have not been posting comments in a while. Trust me, I have been reading your blog and I always had something to say but for some reason which funnily did not hapen today, my "ARCHAIC" PC would not let me post anything. In general, all I can say is keep driving on. At least u are getting up and going...some people are too lazy to do that. Spend the money!!!Buy the tickets!!! DRYCLEAN THE SUIT TWICE!!!!It will all lead to one thing and one thing only....SUCCESS. A lot of people put post it notes on documents, i know and trust me..for some reason they always go back to the post it notes for some reason and also for the dean, its not everyday someone walks into his office looking for admission. A few years back when I wanted to go to school here, You won't believe I walked into a school with my ssce and SAT scores and walked out with an I-20. Anything is possible. Also, don't forget to pray...very important too. Don't know how many times you've heard this but it won't hurt to say it again....success is yours!!!

February 04, 2007 9:17 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@folu: i'm honored you consider it an honor :). thanks.

@gramps: faithful one, the bright side of all this is really that other people can some how learn from it.

@everyone loves a...: thanks for stopping by and thanks for the link from ur blog, i will surely reciprocate. good luck with the med school process, shoot me an email if you have any q's abt classes, extra curriculars, etc, will love to help

@oworu: long time oh...good to see you back. God crowns my effort like he did yours.

February 05, 2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger The Angry Medic said...

That's weird, I tried leaving a comment on the previous post but Blogger ate it up. So here goes...

I'm a medic at Cambridge University, England. It's one of the oldest and most respected universities in the world. I was elated when I got in, and since then have been enjoying the benefits of being attached to such a glorious name. People pay attention when I speak. I have more friends. My name appears in print easier. Patients look up to me with admiration when I see them, confident in my ability to do no wrong.

But I am not happy. Being in Cambridge means taking the traditional path through medicine. It means I get to sit in lecture theatres and have obscure biochemistry trivia shovelled down my throat whilst my counterparts in other universities get to go to hospital and see patients. It means that rather than feel like a student doctor, I feel like a science ultrageek.

You seem pretty confident in what you want to do. So for what it's worth, I'm just dropping by to tell you that you're right that in the end, it doesn't matter where you go to, as long as you're happy there, and that you feel fulfilled. The comment in the last post about "the cream eventually rising to the top" is also true. If you're good, you're good, no matter where you go to school.

I really enjoy your posts. Consider yourself blogrolled! Hope you don't mind the heading I'm giving you :P

February 06, 2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

hey Angry Medic, thanks for stopping by. Blogger does have a mind of its own pretty often.

As per your Cambridge experience I can so see that happening, and many of these prestigious schools are so stuck in their ways that they won't listen to students suggestions about a better curriculum "it has worked for 200+ years so why change it now?"

Oh well...this is one of those debates that could go on forever so I'll just stop here. Thanks for the comment again.

February 06, 2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Bella Naija said...

wha is the boy scounts motto again (or is it brownies) - be prepared
I'm glad u got to talk to the dean!
Hopefully something good comes out of it.
God is working, the blessings are on their way.

February 09, 2007 2:50 PM  

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