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 Michelle…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you currently going to school? What year are you?
Michelle: Hi! My name is Michelle. I recently graduated from the University of South Florida with my Bachelor’s degree and will begin medical school at an allopathic medical school in Florida this fall.
Accepted: When did you apply to medical school? How did the process go?
Michelle: I applied to medical school during the 2016-2017 cycle and was fortunate to be accepted at my top choice medical school. I am very excited to start in a few months!
Accepted: Can you tell us about your MCAT experience? How did you prepare?
Michelle: I found that successfully studying for the MCAT was not about taking a certain prep course, putting in a certain number of hours, or using a certain method. Successfully studying for the MCAT means finding the strategy that works best for your learning style and sticking to it, even when other people are using different strategies. For me, as a student with financial restrictions, this meant using Examkrackers books to study general concepts, watching free Khan Academy videos to explain concepts I was having trouble grasping, and using the AAMC section banks and practice tests to figure out what areas needed the most attention. There are so many free and inexpensive MCAT resources available, so don’t feel like you need to spend thousands of dollars on a prep course to succeed – I didn’t! You will make it over this obstacle, even if it takes a few tries and lots of perseverance to do so!
Accepted: What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?
Michelle: While there are many things that have motivated me to pursue a career in medicine, I think my interest in medicine blossomed when I began taking care of a close relative when I was younger. My relative was living with a blood disease and going through treatment, and at seven years old I was giving injections and stepping up as a caretaker. Since then, I have interacted with many amazing medical professionals who continue to remind me of all of the reasons I fell in love with the medical field in the first place. I hope to be an advocate for my patients and have been fortunate to have many role models who fill those shoes for their patients. In my opinion, a career in medicine is a perfect way to spend your life serving others while pushing yourself to be a lifelong learner.
Accepted: How was the application process for you? Did you experience any challenges?
Michelle: The application process taught me a lot about myself. I applied to both MD and DO schools (AMCAS and AACOMAS), which gave me the opportunity to find the school that is a perfect fit for me. Throughout the application process, I found myself reflecting on the type of physician – and ultimately the type of person – I wish to be. I was able to spend the time learning about the core values of the schools I applied to so I could make the best decision about where I fit in. I am so happy I looked beyond name and ranking to find somewhere I really belong. I encourage anyone currently in the application process to do the same!
Accepted: Lastly, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Any ideas as to what specialty you think you’d like to go into?
Michelle: In 10 years, I see myself married with children, pursuing a career related to women’s health. I am interested in obstetrics and gynecology, but my mind is open to all the possibilities out there. As an incoming first year medical student, I know there is a lot I haven’t experienced yet so I am keeping an open mind.
You can continue following Michelle’s story by checking out her blog whitecoatwisdom, following her on Instagram (@whitecoatwisdom) or Facebook. Thank you Michelle for sharing your story with us, we wish you much success!
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