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, February 28, 2007


There's that feeling of knowing you let yourself down, knowing you could have done better, laying down to sleep and thinking that if you will it hard enough, you could go back in time and do things over(even though you have tried and failed for most of your life). sometimes even dream that it is that day again, that you're in that moment-the moment before the moment everything went downhill. The moment when you decided to go right instead of left and have to forever live with that part of your history forever.


It felt just like every other April morning, the snow was finally melting and spring was fighting its way out of its deep slumber. She was not deceived though, she knew old man winter was going to strike again before long. 5 wintry years had taught her indellible lessons. She walked down the familiar hill toward the familiar room. But this time the room was going to be serving another purpose. It was going to be the site of the 3 battles of a war. She tried to feel for the usual eye sting she got whenever she did not quite get those 7 hours. Slightly there, but certainly not as much as the first time. We can definately work with that. She made a mental account of the many sleepless nights that had led till today...hopefully they were enough. The room was now in sight and she took in the surroundings. They were going to be her home for the next few hours. Too many hours. She noticed her wide eyed counterparts...all chitter chattering in little hurdles, clutching their drug of choice. She had since learned that the best way to face this was cold turkey, better to be a little slow at first than have to fight the caffeine gitters for the next few hours. If only they knew what lay ahead. She did.

They all took their seats. The battle was about to begin. She glanced around one last time to see if there was anyone noticeably crumbling under pressure. It was a tough crew...everyone with their game face on. She mentally recited the rules of the battle along with the general...there had to be some points for remembering those-for being a real veteran. Battle 1 began. She recalled the pattern. Attack the weaker foes first in under 15 minutes and move on to conquer the tough ones. Today though the supposedly weaker foes seemed to have gained a new kind of strength, they weren't giving in easily. She knew the was 15 mins,leave them and proceed. Leave them and proceed. But the demons from her past wouldn't let her go.

"You have to do them, they're easy spoils, they're your chance"

"But I have to move on, there's bigger foes to conquer"

"But how do you know you will conquer the bigger foes, remember this has to be your last attempt at this war?"

20 minutes and counting...

"Ok I'll give it another try..."

30 minutes

She gave up, and moved on. But now she had eaten into the time for the rest of the battle. Her heart was pounding.

"Why didn't I just move on?"

She rushed through the rest of the battleground, slashing throats blindly with no time to verify the enemy was completely down. The more enemies she attacked, the higher the chance of her at least killing some.

Battle 1 was over. All the foes were down but she was positive they were not all out. Among all her past wars, battle 1 had never felt this way. This was bad. She was convinced her best bet was to surrender before the other 2 battles. Give up, walk home and roll back into bed.

Not in this lifetime...

Battle 2 started. But she never really concentrated, the wounds of the first battle were still hunting her.

"Why didn't I just move on"

"Why, Why...But it's now the past, must concentrate on this one"

The voices silenced themselves but not entirely. They relocated to her subconscious and the whole battle seemed to play out in slow motion. She was doing the conquering but she knew this wasn't the same either. Her mind wasn't right. She chugged along, the thoughts of ejecting herself mid battle creeped in again.


The final battle was her strong point. She had studied this enemy for most of her life and knew it like the back of her hand. By this time all the thoughts in her subconscious seemed to have been silenced. Everything went smoothly. There was even time to make sure each enemy was completely out. That had never happened in the last two wars. It was definately a good sign. She approached the general after the war. At this moment, the happenings of the earlier battles revived themselves. You might have one the final battle but what about the other two? She had one more chance to cancel the whole experience...erase it from time like it had never happened. Again the blatant answer was "NO!"

She walked would take 6 weeks to count the number of foes that she actually conquered. 6 long weeks. She stepped out into the open...the day always seemed different after a war. You felt like you had just faced death and lived to tell the story. The grasses looked a bit greener and the dirty melting snow a bit whiter. No matter the situation, this was going to be her last time in battle. 3 times was more than enough...whatever happens here on, HAPPENS.


Something did happen. The dreams began.

To be continued...

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Blogger Gramps said...


A friend taught me back as an undegrad never to finish an exam and go talking to classmates to compare answers. "You'll get a heart attack," he said. Besides, if you've missed it, you've missed it. You can't change it. I paid heed to it for life. It's not easy and one might have already made such mistakes but I've learnt to apply it to other areas in life.

And oh..., don't I love those exams where you get your results immediately...
6 whole weeks! Darn! How did you survive?

March 03, 2007 1:15 PM  
Blogger Bella Naija said...

Wow...tht was intense.
Conclusion please?

March 05, 2007 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Patrice said...

You are referring to your MCAT battles, or . . . ?

March 05, 2007 6:24 PM  
Blogger Cherub (former Bijouxoxo) said...

Abbey i guess u must be talking about the MCAT battle. Beautifully written. Oya continue ur post.

March 05, 2007 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helly A..........Auh you're past the one week mark. No fair. I told you when I got hooked to this thing, I expected not to have to wait so long. To Be continued is killing the fans. Where are you? Say something, anything. God Be praised, Have a Blessed weekend in HIM.

March 09, 2007 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Camel Milk said...

Are you related to that Nigerian novelist-premed dude that was featured in the newspapers recently ? Some too cool metaphorical writing skillz on display here :)

March 11, 2007 7:13 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

@camel milk: hmm a nigerian premed was in the news..must have missed that. Do you have a link? It must be something in the Nigerian water huh? Thanks :)

@patrice, cherub, bella: Yes it's the MCAT oh! and I have continued

@ gramps: good advice but its hard to do that. I'll try it when school starts again!

@Anonymous Aunt: i have obeyed!

March 11, 2007 11:54 PM  

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