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

Monday, February 19, 2007

The News in (not-so) Brief

Soo umm yeah...Hope everyone had a nice Val's day. As for me, it confirmed my theory that I am skilled at picking the worst days of the year to travel. Trying to get to my last interview was a nightmare. Almost all flights were delayed out of NY and many of them eventually got cancelled. My flight was to leave at 4:30 but got delayed till 7pm instead. It was currently 3pm. I took it calmly...never mind the fact that I woke up bright and early and skipped work all in an effort to get to NY on time. But the we'll-just-wait-and-see spirit died out quickly when flight after flight was getting announced as cancelled every minute. I started getting nervous and decided to call the school to find out if my interview would be rescheduled in the VERY LIKELY event that my flight got cancelled. They were nice about it (seeing as their airport itself shut down a few days before) and let me know that there were other available dates. Cool! But even if I got another date how did I know I would be able to reschedule another flight for the right time in the middle of all this mess! The biggest motivating factor though was my $133.80 that was currently dangling dangerously close to the drain.

As my bank account and the hours of labor it would take for me to make that money back flashed before my eyes, I quickly threw my half eaten lo-mein noodles down the trash and carried my bag and baggages to the front desk. Another flight to my destination that was supposed to have left about 3hrs earlier was currently boarding so I figured I better try to get my behind on it. As the ladies(dunno their official titles) punched away at their keyboard creating magic seats for people, I waited in line trying to think of a convincing story as to why I needed to get on this flight by any means necessary. Just in case having an interview that might determine the rest of my life, or the fact that the longer I stayed at the airport the more time I had to feed my unhealthy addiction for airport spending wasn't enough. Luckily though, I didn't even have to give any reason. They worked their magic, I got on and enjoyed every ear-popping-chewing-gum-not-helping minute of it!

Coming back was just as rigorous though and I did not get home till about 4am the next morning...four hours before I had to feign allertness at work. But all in all, the interview was great and I got free and much needed lunch bag(at least that's what I'm using the bag for). And for now, I'm done with interviews.(Dear GOD, Surprises are very welcome, please).

The week also had another little happening. My student got the scores of her test back. I spoke to her while on the bus to the airport after my interview, we were trying to schedule our next meeting and work out minor details(they are taking another test in MAY). We finished talking, we hung up and then it clicked to me that she was to receive her test scores back that day. The fact that it was not the first thing she blurted out over the phone only pointed to one thing-that she did not do well. Or if I wanted to be a Pollyanna about it, that the scores just did not come out that day. I nervously called her back and as I expected, Pollyanna died a quick and painful death. She had a little above a 600/800 on the test. Now that is by no means a bad score, and it was a significant improvement(150+ points) but it is definitely not what she wanted(700+/800). I felt so bad for her because I knew her parents were going to be extremely disappointed in her...which she confirmed later. I'm sorry to stereotype but I feel Asian parents tend to be a bit too hard on their seriously, I know African parents are hardcore and the only professions they know are Medicine and Engineering, but I have to give the Asians the award. They expect their kids to have perfect grades and simultaneously be the best at the countless extra-curriculars they do. At least African parents don't care about extra-currics, musical talent or any other skill they cannot explain to their friends in one word!

Long story short I was/am a bit down about the whole thing and my confidence has fallen way down. Even at our last session I was second guessing everything I said and wondering if they were going to call me later to fire me. As much as I think it's not completely my fault(remember I said they changed the exam timing on me) I still can't help but put some blame on myself. Oh well, life goes on and she will probably be taking the exam again later, maybe we'll have more time then! So needless to say I've been preparing like crazy for our future sessions and just trying to make sure I'm doing everything within my power(this whole thing was supposed to be a casual extra money affair but I'm quickly become emotionally attached-it's beginning to sound like a one night stand gone bad right?) top it all, I get a decision about my admission from one of my top choices at the end of this week! If I remember correctly, after interviewing, there's a 50% chance of an acceptance, 10% rejection and 40% waitlist. I'm trying not to think about it but currently failing hopelessly in that avenue!!

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Blogger Biodun said...

I am first!

February 20, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Biodun said...

You will receive good news in Jesus name, God will surprise u greatly! I know a thing or two about spending $$ @ d airport, I cant resist.
I am so sorry for the girl n all, I hope she does better next time :)

February 20, 2007 12:26 PM  
Blogger Bella Naija said...

Good Luck Abbey!
Let us know when the decision comes through.
I have so many of those doubting moments but I pray and listen to some music (for real) and it really helps.
Have u heard that 'Aye Ole' song by Infiniti?
Its really done wonders for me. Hola at me if u want me to email it.
Ciao girl

February 20, 2007 5:19 PM  
Blogger Gramps said...

My mum used always said "Trust in the Lord completely and lean not on your own understanding". As I will always say - "you will get into the best school for you."

I think you need to compile some of your entries and get it acrosss to those who are thinking of a career (highschool people or what?). That way, they know what is involved in different careers. WOuld really be a nice guide.

February 23, 2007 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gramps your mum's saying come directly from Proverbs 3:5-6. Amen to that.

February 26, 2007 7:44 AM  

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