This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Monique…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Monique: I’m from Houston, TX. I graduated Cum Laude from the University of Houston Honors College where I majored in biology and minored in Medicine & Society.
Accepted: Can you share three fun facts about yourself?
1. I absolutely love Netflix.
2. Despite my height (I’m 5’ 0”), my favorite sport is basketball.
3. Admittedly, I have a really bad sweet tooth.
Accepted: What medical school do you currently attend? What year are you?
Monique: Currently, I am a second year osteopathic medical student at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Accepted: What were the key factors when you decided to attend WCUCOM?
Monique: Honestly, I fell in love with the school from the moment I set foot on the campus to interview. The staff was extremely welcoming, the professors were amiable and honest, and the medical students were friendly and extremely helpful to us interviewees.
Accepted: What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?
Monique: When I was about 6 years old, my mom, a PT, would bring me to the nursing home she used to work at to help her with her patients. I would throw exercise balls to the patients and follow behind them with a wheelchair. It brought me pure joy to see the patients getting better physically before my very eyes. That’s when I fell in love with medicine and knew I had to pursue a career as a health professional.
Accepted: Any ideas yet on what specialty you’d like to go into? Favorites so far?
Monique: I definitely would like to go into pediatrics and sub-specialize in either neonatology or dermatology. I haven’t gone on clinical rotations yet, but my heart is set on pediatrics.
Accepted: For those who are just starting out on their application journey, what are your top 3 tips for taking the MCAT?
Monique: I’ve done several pretty popular videos on my YouTube channel about taking the MCAT (be sure to check those out!), but my top 3 tips/things that I wish I had done differently are:
1. Study for the MCAT as if you’re only going to take it once. I took the MCAT 3 times, and I highly discourage anyone from doing that unless if you have ample time in between your last exam and your next exam to prepare. My highest exam score ended up being my initial score.
2. If you decide to purchase an MCAT prep course, stick to the schedule they give you (ex: homework, when to take practice exams, etc.) and follow it to the T. I failed to do that when I was preparing for the MCAT, and if I could go back, I would have changed that.
3. If you’re a student and preparing to take the MCAT (like I was), I advise that you take about 3 months (a summer break is perfect) to prepare for it in advance without any other obligations. For example, I worked 24 hours a week during the summer I was studying for the MCAT. If I could do it again, I would have opted to not work at all and just focused on preparing for my exam.
Accepted: Looking back at your application process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How would you advise other applicants who may be experiencing similar challenges?
Monique: My greatest challenge in regards to the application process was doing the applications themselves (both primary and secondary applications). I applied to about 47 medical schools, so you can just imagine how many times I had to type out the exact same information repeatedly. I would advise applicants to set realistic goals for themselves to help motivate them to finish their applications early. For example, I told myself that I needed to finish all my secondary applications before the new year and that helped me tremendously to keep the ball rolling.
Accepted: Any last words of wisdom?
Monique: If you know that you’re giving 110% of your effort, focus on yourself and not your peers. Do not compare yourself to others. I know it’s easier said than done, especially if one is pursuing a career in medicine. However, if you don’t surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
You can follow Monique’s journey by checking out her YouTube channel, friending her on Facebook, following her on Instagram (@aDashofMo), Twitter (@aDashofMo) and Snapchat (aDashofMo). Thank you for sharing your story with us Monique – we wish you the best of luck!
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