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 07, 2007


I am gradually becoming the person I never wanted to be: A "Once-A-Week" blogger. It's not that I don't have ideas, it's more a matter of time, so please bear with me. And to make matters worse I'm about to pull out stuff from the back corners of my know-the place where you lock up stuff you don't want to deal with until it miraculously unlocks itself and you have to step back and ask for answers.

So open up your mind, and work with me:

It must have been sometime in December last year, I was standing in front of some random white board in a random conference room trying to creatively convey to my student why sponges(phylum:Porifera) are considered animals and at the same time why they are less complex than say... earthworms(phylum:Annelida), an organism that evolved later in time. I remember cramming all the Pteridophytas et al (American Pronunciation:teree-DAW-fta, Nigerian Pronunciation: TE-REE-DOH-FAAIGHTA. Back then, we probably figured if we were going to have to memorize weird latin words, we might as well emphasize every single painful syllable it had lol) in high school and regurgitating them mindlessly on exams and eventually, in college using theories of evolution to explain how we came to being from some random one celled organism that existed eons ago. But I had blocked my mind and sequestered these concepts to an obscure part of my brain, it wasn't my opinion, it was that of the crazy scientists. But here I was now imparting this crazy scientist knowledge on some one else, but with a little caveat to save face-"at least that's how THEY say it works, I personally don't believe it but just learn it for your exam"

After that random tutoring session, I remember thinking of myself as a hypocrite. I grew up believing beautiful stories of Adam, Eve and the Garden of Eden. How GOD created the world in seven days, etc and all throughout my short career as a science student, I put pen to paper numerous times and boldly attested otherwise. For the first time though, I let the "church" part of my brain talk to the "science" part. I laid all my guards down and after the brief but awkward silence that two strangers thrown together in a room experience, the ever liberal scientific side asked the conservative "church" side..."WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?"

Thus began an ongoing "re"concilliation process. I have tried to think logically of a way GOD could be involved in evolution. Where logic fails, prayer fills the void. Is it not possible that GOD could have created a self-maintaining system that HE did not have to micromanage? You know, like creating the first microbe and setting the wheels in motion for a process that would lead to the development of the most complex of HIS organisms-US. The evidence is really compelling. Why else will scientists be able to test new drugs on mice, monkeys et al and just add on a few tweaks here and there to make it useful in humans. And of course the closer "related" the organisms are to man in evolutionary time, the less tweaking is needed (usually). And if you look at any random genetic code, certain proteins have been conserved(remained similar/the same) from organisms like roundworms all the way to humans.

One compelling point I got from a Christian Scientist whose opinion I respect, was this challenge. Why do we think 7 days is literally SEVEN DAYS. It could be the equivalent of SEVEN EONS right? Didn't GOD tell Abraham he would soon become the father of many nations only for the events to happen more than 20 years later? Also even the creation story acknowledged the land was first separated from the waters, then sea animals were created and then the land animals. This strongly supports scientists theory that the evolution of higher animals, started with the fish(water), then the frogs(amphibians-both land and water dwellers), the reptiles(sole land dwellers), birds, then mammals.

Yet another compelling theory is that of Natural Selection. The only reason a disease such as sickle cell still exists today(as opposed to all carriers dying off to prevent transmission of such a chronic disease to their offspring) is because carriers of the S hemoglobin have been selected for over time. The maintenance of this potentially problematic S-hemoglobin in the gene pool was advantageous because it offered some kind of resistance to malaria-a disease which is very prevalent in areas where most of the carriers descended from.

I did not delve into some kind of thesis research to get info for this post because I didn't want it to sound any more like a boring science article than it already does, but these are the points that stand out for me in trying to unite these two schools of thought. I also tried to avoid mainstream technicalities like CREATIONISM,etc, we don't all have to fit in a category do we? I feel the need to figure out what exactly I believe in because simply put,
- I don't enjoy teaching people things I don't believe
- There is significant evidence supporting each side of this argument and trying to hold on to a belief system without using it to explain practical things in life is of no use to me.

So I guess the whole point of this hoobla is: Think logically and open-mindedly for a second, step out of your cosy belief system and if you can, tell me what you believe about this? Do you think the evolution of life could have been initiated on its own, without any higher power's intervention? Or do you think all the evidence aside, scientists just make these things up? No don't google anything, no research just your raw thoughts...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You asked for RAW. In the beginning, GOD! We all growing up in America and other parts of the world by their standards have to study evolution. I know a cognitive psychologist who considers herself a “Christian” who believes in evolution. However, GOD and evolution don’t go hand in hand. God also said a day is like a thousand years to him. Psalm 90:4 2nd Peter 3:8. However, when he made the heavens and the earth, he was quite literal. That’s why he said he rested on the Seventh day. That’s why when his son Jesus came to die, he went in the grave on Friday, and God rested on the Sabbath (Saturday) and rose again on the 1st day (Sunday). God is a very literal God, and we who believe in him must realize that it’s a ploy of the enemy to deceive us in the last days. Study the books of Daniel and Revelation and the look around the world, Science is finally agreeing with God, and nothing is happening now that wasn’t already predicted from GOD! Science is finally agreeing with God that non animal eating is best for the body and long life. The original diet of nuts and grains. Science is finally agreeing with God that a cheerful heart is like a medicine, so they bring dogs, in and even have people pray for their patients now. God is the final, be not deceived God is not mocked. You said raw, so this is off of my head. And realize, a 24 hour day is man made, not God made. God said from evening to evening is one day. In other words, God counts the going down of the sun from one day to the going down of the sun to the next day as one day. Man came up with their 24 hour day. That’s why they can go back and have day light savings time. God doesn’t see it that way.

February 07, 2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Oge E. said...

after "TE-REE-DOH-FAAIGHTA" I couldn't stop laughing to read the rest so sorry, I'll have to return when I'm "sober". It's your fault for being so funny! BTW notice how the "...FAAIGHTA" always sounded like a fight? LOL

February 07, 2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Fope said...

Hmnn... I remember laughing about how ridiculous evolution sounded when we did it in QC. But I took a neuroscience class last semester that made me think about it seriously. Like you said we are closely related to all these organisms but could it be that we were created by the same source and so some components are the same? If you are going to develop a complex product but you already have bits and pieces in other simpler products, won't you just use them? The level of detail in a single neuron is amazing. And somehow it doesn't make sense to me that such delicate balances (intra and extra cellular ionic concentrations for example) evolved by accident. Things like growth factors, specialization of cells, how we go from a single cell to an organism in my opinion are too good to be accidental. I mean I don't get how everything in the universe lined up right eons ago to form the first living organism or why the earth just happened to have the right conditions to support life... my 2 cents.

February 08, 2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger The Angry Medic said...

Ditto Oge E...that pronunciation thing had me in stitches!

And hey, there's nothing wrong with once-a-week blogging. Means you have a life, you know.

February 09, 2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Jedidiah said...

Ok Abbey, I have just been coming reading your blog and the comments and taking my exit but you know what this blog just touched my heart I have to leave a comment. Forget this thing about evolution because to me (and if even one else agrees) it the devil's plot to confuse everyone so that they don't believe that God really exists. Look at the life of Charles Darwin before he died (which one is he again the father of genetics right? Help me because this Biology thing will constantly be a bore to me). He became born-again and confessed that yes there is indeed an undisputable evidence that God is the one that made the whole world and its inhabitants. And I agree with anonymous that a day is like a thousand years to God (it's in the Bible). Besides when God recreated the heavens and the earth (because Genesis Chapter 1 is a recreation will explain later) it didn't come to pass immediately but came into existence in Genesis Chapter 2 (Note: Read the Bible). That is the power of the spoken (Rhema) word. SO all these things that people are quarrelling over and disturbing their live over is a lie. The only thing that makes sense is what the Lord has said in His word. No wonder I just left that whole Biology bizness and went into better things. So all in all, don't trouble yourself about it and the issue of reconcilling the 2 subjects. All that matters is what God has said about how He created His world, what He said about you and what He said He is going to do because His promise, He keeps. I will be waiting for this reply ASAP.
PS: If you are wondering who it is, we used to be roommates in the bundees (neighbors to Mr Santa Claus). I hope you can crack this one.

February 11, 2007 7:33 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

thanks for the comments seems most people that chose to discuss the issue all have the same stand on it. Oh well...what else can I say...

February 11, 2007 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally had the time to really read all the stuf on your blog...u really are crazy!!!....u re a very good writer too! very interesting stuff..(yep..its me,your first guess)

April 20, 2007 12:26 PM  

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