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 Jani…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Jani: Hey all! I am Janice, but most people call me Jani, and I am born and raised in Puerto Rico, a small gem in the middle of the Caribbean. I went to our state university, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?
Jani: I go to school at Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico and I am currently in my second year.
Accepted: Why did you choose this program? How was it the best fit for you?
Jani: To be honest it was my only offer but I really liked their program over the other programs on the Island because of their curriculum (which then changed a little) and the fact that most of their students go to great residency programs in the States.
Accepted: What experiences have you had that led you to want to pursue a career in medicine?
Jani: I have always had an interest in science and medicine. My mom used to watch a lot of Discovery Health programs and I would be intrigued by what I saw. Furthermore, in 2009 I got the opportunity to go to a Leadership Forum on Medicine and we got to interact with students and residents. We also went to visit medical schools and hospitals, and that is when I knew this is what I was going to pursue.
Accepted: Do you have any ideas yet about what you’ll specialize in? What’s been your favorite rotation so far?
Jani: I have not started rotations but I have had the opportunity to shadow and interact with residents of internal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology. Also we have had shadowing with primary care physicians. From those experiences I have found a passion for women’s health and maternity medicine. So anyone who asks me, I answer that I want to be an OB/GYN, although I am open to other choices.
Accepted: In your blog you talk about how awful the second year of med school is. Why is that?
Jani: Second year is crazy hectic. There is almost double the material from first year and in my school we get a shorter second semester than most schools. In addition to that, our curriculum changed last year and we have tests every Monday (sometimes 2 tests per week) and there is very little time to do anything other than study. Also sometimes you get overwhelmed with all the material and feel like you are not learning as much and you would like or should.
Finally, to all of that craziness, add the fact that we need to prep for the first board exam and everything just doubles. So that is why I think second year is horrible – sorry for the mini rant.
Accepted: Can you tell us about some of your non-medical interests and hobbies?
Jani: I enjoy baking and going on road trips/trips with my husband and friends. I also love writing and reading but both of those have been on hold since med school started. Part of that is reason for starting this blog, reconnecting with myself and doing things I enjoy.
Accepted: Looking back at the med school admissions process, what would you say was your greatest challenge? How did you overcome it? How would you advise others who may be faced with a similar challenge?
Jani: This one took me a while to think about. My greatest challenge was my MCAT. Being from Puerto Rico, Spanish is our native language and in college 99% of our classes are in Spanish. Our regional scores are lower than those in the mainland and that poses a challenge when applying for medical school. I really wanted to go to school in the mainland but my score proved a challenge. I overcame that with my interviews. Whenever I went to an interview I gave it 100% and I tried to be as genuine as possible. I wanted to make sure my interview showed that I was dedicated and I had the skills needed to make it. So I tried to ace my interviews and show them who I am and what I am capable of.
Accepted: Tell us about your blog! Who is your target audience? How have you learned or benefited from the blogging experience?
Jani: My blog is my sanctuary, my place to reconnect with myself and write about things I love that I cannot do anywhere else. I have always loved fashion and beauty but because those things are not a priority in my path towards becoming a doctor they got pushed away and replaced by homework and studying. As the years went by something within me was missing and it was precisely that, nourishing my makeup and fashion addiction. I realized I can have both things, my smarts and my looks and I have decided to work for it. It not only makes me happy, it makes me feel confident and good about myself.
My target audience is any girl or woman aspiring to be in a professional position (doctor, lawyer, business, etc.) and wants to look and feel like a supermodel. It has not yet been a month of blogging, but I have learned that you can do anything you set your mind to do and most importantly be yourself, be honest. P.S. It also requires a lot of time so I am working on finding that balance.
You can follow Jani’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, My Life In Med School. Thank you Jani for sharing your story with us!
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