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 Jackie Olive…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where are you currently attending school?
Jackie: I grew up in Altadena, a small region of Los Angeles County about 30 minutes northeast of Downtown. The hiking trails around my backyard are incredible! I currently live in Houston and study Biological Sciences and Policy Studies at Rice University.
Accepted: When and where are you starting med school?
Jackie: I am thrilled to begin medical school in August 2017 at Baylor College of Medicine, right across the street from Rice!
Accepted: How did the application process go for you? Did you experience any challenges along the way?
Jackie: My medical school application process was untraditional and took place while I was still in high school at Polytechnic in Pasadena, CA. I am currently a student in the Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program. I felt that I could commit to the field early in high school, so this joint-degree path seemed like the best fit for me. I applied to several similar programs, all of which required additional applications and interviews. It was most nerve-wracking to sit in front of a panel and make my case for medical school acceptance as a 17-year-old. It was very challenging to keep up with my schoolwork while flying out of state for interviews. Now that I am in college, I think it has been most difficult to budget my time wisely and to build the necessary study skills for medical school.
Accepted: What are some of your most rewarding extracurricular activities? How have those activities shaped your passion for medicine?
Jackie: I spent a couple years volunteering through Rice Global Medical Brigades, helping to lead a medical and public health brigade to Nicaragua. In addition to building triage and medical Spanish skills, it was very valuable to learn about healthcare delivery in under-resourced international settings. Since freshman year, I have been interning at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, studying various health policy issues, learning how to communicate these ideas to a wider audience, and even living in D.C. for a summer. More recently, I have been pursuing research in cardiac regeneration at Baylor, an experience that has encouraged me to remain in academic medicine. This summer, I had a glimpse into my dream career through the DeBakey Summer Surgery Program (highly recommend!). This program fully immersed me into surgical cases, the lifestyle, and the continuity of patient care. I am so grateful to all of my mentors who made these awesome experiences a reality!
Accepted: You have a blog called See, Do, Teach by Jackie O.! What can readers find on your blog? What made you want to start chronicling your journey to med school?
Jackie: I created my blog just before I graduated from high school after listening to Poly alumnus and dermatologist Dr. Saeed Jaffer speak at a luncheon. He taught me the phrase “see one, do one, teach one,” and I thought that this philosophy was inspiring and relevant to every aspect of life. I created an outlet to share my experiences, opinions, and any helpful insights as I began to learn more about nuances within medicine. I mostly write about my specific interests in medicine, including surgery and health policy, but also write as I develop my perspective on how to be a better person, and thus a better physician in the future.
Accepted: Which resources did you use to prep for the MCAT? Did you feel prepared on test day?
Jackie: I actually didn’t have to take the MCAT, although the requirements have changed for the Rice/Baylor program since I matriculated. Several programs throughout the country are like mine and do not require the MCAT for conditional acceptance into medical school. I do have to maintain a certain GPA in my science coursework and overall though.
Accepted: Lastly, what is one of your favorite inspirational quotes to live by?
Jackie: I am privileged to have met Dr. Denton Cooley, one of my role models, before he passed away. He told me, “I’ve found I’m luckier when I work harder.” This statement could not be more true. If you put in the time and effort, the world works in your favor to help you achieve your goals. My dad has always coached me to be prepared because “luck” occurs when preparation meets opportunity.
You can follow Jackie’s story by checking out her blog and by following her on Twitter (@jackiekolive) and Instagram (@jackiekolive). Thank you Jackie for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck!
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