This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com 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 BurntOrangeScrubs…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you? Where are you from?
BurntOrangeScrubs: I’m originally from Texas, but spent a lot of time growing up in beautiful Seattle, WA.
Accepted: Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
BurntOrangeScrubs: I was a neurobiology major at the University of Texas at Austin. I fell in love with the brain because of its complexity, plasticity, and the fact that it is an electric organ.
Accepted: What’s your favorite non-school book?
BurntOrangeScrubs: It’s hard for me to choose just one, but George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is gripping, wrenching, and an amazing adventure with incredibly deep lore.
Accepted: Congratulations on matching! What stood out to you as the most important parts of the residency application process?
BurntOrangeScrubs: The most critical thing is being an active learner– researching what a program has to offer you based on their website, contact with residents and program directors, and questions asked during your interview day.
You have to be able to handle everything when you graduate residency, so it’s best to see as much as possible during your training as a resident.
Accepted: If you could give residency applicants three tips, what would they be?
1. Meet with your program director and keep in touch. They know programs very well and are a priceless source of advice.
2. Build professional working relationships with potential letter of recommendation writers. Go above and beyond your duties as a medical student. Your hard work will be noticed.
3. Cast a wide net when you apply. Many interviewing medical students from all over the country believed there was a “regional bias” among programs when selecting people to interview. It seemed like the west coast programs were hard to get an interview from if you didn’t rotate with them or had ties to a certain city/state.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience?
BurntOrangeScrubs: Medical training is such a physically and emotionally draining experience with frequent challenges and victories. I blog to help give people insight to the field, vent emotionally, and connect with readers from all backgrounds. I also do it to help me more vividly remember situations that will stick with me and my patients for life.
There’s something so powerful about being trusted with the lives of people who come to you in their weakest state. Seeing how the psychological aspect of illness affects patients and their families lends itself to much reflection.
Accepted: What have you gained from the experience?
BurntOrangeScrubs: Blogging has helped me cope with the stress and sorrow I’ve felt working in the hospital as well as with the strain it has placed on my relationships. I feel like my readers have gained more insight about medical training and I feel happy reaching that goal. Writing is extremely cathartic. Blogging about my non-medicine life has been fun as well. It definitely helps me feel more balanced.
Accepted: What do you hope others will learn from your blog?
BurntOrangeScrubs: I hope many people will learn that medicine isn’t glorious and it that it takes a lot of sacrifice to be not only be “book smart,” but to deliver good care, especially when you’ve been taking care of patients for 48 hours straight. I also hope people will learn that there is a lot humor and happiness in medicine as well as in the coping with illness.
Most importantly, I hope every reader gets inspired to connect with people from all walks of life and that they find themselves discovering how to open their hearts even more.
Like many others in my field, I’ve cared for the rich, the poor, the highly educated and the illiterate. I’ve learned that we’re not so different from each other, and that showing others compassion and kindness is a truly elevating experience.
Thank you for this opportunity! I am always available to discuss more about medical training!
You can follow this blogger’s journey at Burntorangescrubs. Thank you BurntOrangeScrubs for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck!