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 MedStud…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
MedStud: I’m from Charlotte, NC and I went to North Carolina State University for undergrad, where I was a double major in Biochemistry and Microbiology (sounds more intense than it was, I promise! There was a lot of overlap between the two majors).
Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?
MedStud: I’m a first year medical student at a big state school in NC.
Accepted: Why did you choose this program? How was it the best fit for you?
MedStud: I chose this school because it has a great national recognition and I had really great interactions with the students and faculty every time I was there. I also like the new curriculum that they have – it’s a shortened preclinical curriculum so I will be doing rotations a half a year earlier than otherwise. It’s also pass/fail, which meant that my work-life balance would be pretty good – which it is!
Accepted: Can you share a few tips with our readers about how to choose a med school?
MedStud: I think any accredited medical school across the nation will give you a good medical education. The difference really lies in what YOU want out of your experience – do you want a rural health focus? Urban? A little bit of both? Can you see yourself potentially doing a combined degree program (MD/MBA or MD/MPH)? The biggest determining factor for me was my work-life balance. I did not want to be all consumed by medical school, so I asked current medical students what their everyday life is like and I was happy with what they said! Keep in mind that if you’re choosing between medical schools, you really can’t go wrong – you’ve made it!
Accepted: In your blog you talk about the challenges you faced applying to med school with a lower-than-average MCAT. Can you talk more about how you got into med school despite your lower score?
MedStud: So my MCAT score was definitely lower than it should’ve been. I did however have a 4.0 GPA, which probably helped. But most important was my clinical experience and my letters of recommendation, I think. I was a home healthcare aide (don’t need any certifications for this!) and I got direct one-on-one patient contact for about a year. I was really able to speak to the fact that I want to do medicine and I had experiences/stories to back that up.
As for my letters, I got very close to a few professors during my undergrad years and they wrote incredible letters for me, vouching for me as a person and future doctor!
Accepted: Can you talk about your everyday life in med school?
MedStud: So my day starts at 6am – I get up, make breakfast, take the bus to school which starts at 8am. From 8am-12pm, we have either lectures or small groups or labs so I’m occupied in the morning. In the afternoon, I take an hour off for lunch and then study/work through the material that was presented that morning until 4 or 5. Then, I go home and hit the gym, cook, and relax with friends! If an exam is coming up, I can use my evening to catch up or do some extra review but in general, that’s how my days go! It was important to me to be able to have that time in the evening to myself, so it’s worked out really well so far.
Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?
MedStud: Our curriculum is in blocks, so every 4 or 6 weeks we have a new body system we’re working on. Personally, I like cardiology the best so far, but I know it’s not what I want to practice in the end, so we’ll see!
Accepted: We’d love to hear more about your blog. Who is your target audience? How have you learned or benefited from the blogging experience?
MedStud: My blog is definitely up and coming – I think I have a unique outlook on the medical school application process and would love to help anyone out there! I remember that when I went through the process, I didn’t have many friends in pre-med, so I was quite lonely through it all. I didn’t have mentors or people I knew who were in medical school already either, so I think the process was harder than it needed to be. So I’m just here in case there are people out there that are in my shoes!
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