We’d like to introduce you to our next blogger, PreMedCamel, a college senior who plans on jumping right into the med school action next year. You can read about PreMedCamel’s adventures here and at the blog, PreMed Camel. Thank you PreMedCamel and we wish you lots of luck!
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? What and where did you study (or are you studying) as an undergrad? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
PreMedCamel: I’ve lived my entire life between New York and Connecticut. In college I’m majoring in Biochemistry and I haven’t decided on my favorite ice cream flavor yet, but it’s either moose tracks or cookies n’ cream!
Accepted: What stage are you up to in the med school application process?
PreMedCamel: I have submitted my primary and secondaries to all of my medical schools. I already have 2 interviews!
Accepted: What has been the most challenging aspect of applying to med school so far? What did you do to overcome that obstacle?
PreMedCamel: I think the most challenging part of being a pre-med was finding the right kind of volunteer activity where I could help others, gain clinical experience and have a lot of fun. It’s important to compact those 3 ideas into one experience because, as a pre-med and biochemistry major, I never had much time to spare.
I was finally able to find the perfect experience during last summer where I went abroad to India. There I worked with a small NGO focused in health. It was eye-opening, a ton of fun and gave me the opportunity to really make a difference. My advice to pre-meds: take advantage of your vacations and don’t just pick any volunteer opportunity. Do what you’ll really love and you’ll get so much more out of it.
Accepted: Where are you applying to med school? Do you have a dream school?
PreMedCamel: I’m applying to a total of 19 schools, which, to me, is overwhelming. I had a lot of trouble trying to find reasons to cut down my list, but it’s really difficult when all you have is a few web pages to go by. My schools are mainly in the Northeast, with a few scattered across the country. My dream school is somewhere with a strong, easy-access research program and large and hands-on learning. I want to be out in the clinics ASAP! My state school, UConn, definitely has the best of both worlds while keeping me close to home.
Accepted: Do you plan on attending med school straight out of college? What do you think the advantages are of heading straight to med school?
PreMedCamel: Yeah, I’m jumping right in after college. I think the main advantages are that I don’t lose my drive by taking excess time off, I’m one year closer to being a doctor and doing what I love, and I don’t have to gamble finding a job I may or may not like. Finding a job alone these days is fiercely competitive. Finding one that I will enjoy and will be willing to take me for just a year – it’s hard to find. Sometimes I wish I took the year off to join a health NGO for a year. The things you learn and the ways you grow as a person are tremendously valuable and something you’ll remember for a lifetime. However, I wasn’t ready to take on that route and I’m too excited for medical school to wait!
Accepted: Can you share some of the experiences you’ve had that have made it clear in your mind that med school is the right move for you (like clinical experience, volunteer work, etc.)?
PreMedCamel: I became interested in the medical field shortly after I arrived at college because of the countless pre-meds I befriended. The following summer, I took the time to volunteer in a local emergency department. Immediately, I loved it. I felt at home wandering the halls of the hospital, speaking to patients on their experiences, interacting with the technicians, nurses and doctors. I recall several occasions I would talk to a patient for nearly a half hour as they waited for a hospital room or further care. From then on, I continued to find more volunteer opportunities in my hospital throughout the school year. Doing this not only confirmed my interest in health, it also motivated me, reminding me of what lies past the textbooks and exams.
Accepted: Any tips for our readers?
PreMedCamel: Though it’s widely known that pre-meds have a laundry list of classes and activities to complete, don’t just check off the boxes. Take initiative in your community, be a leader of your peers, and most importantly, do what you love. It’s not about collecting hours; it’s about growing up, seeing the world and finding yourself.
Accepted: One more question – why pre-med CAMEL? Also, can you tell us a bit more about your blog?
PreMedCamel: Why not camels?! Unlike other animals, they take up a difficult life strutting across the brutal desert, moving steadily but surely, surviving against all odds. Maybe it’s corny, but that’s a life pre-medical students choose. We take up a hard path and strenuous lifestyle. Difficulty is a constant that we must endure for over a decade of training. But we do it nonetheless.
As for my blog – for a couple years I thought about starting up a site where I could post my experiences and tips for other pre-medical students. I often find that accurate information on the path to medical school is hard to find, especially all in one place. It’s my goal to make this blog into a sort of handbook for pre-meds: what to do, when to do it and how to go about it.
For instance, I knew for years that I needed shadowing hours, but because I had no family or friend connections to doctors I had trouble finding anyone to shadow even after contacting many hospitals and offices. This is a common problem I hear amongst my friends on studentdoctor as well. Finally, I figured out that I had to be persistent, calling doctors’ offices once a week or even every few days until they would finally take me in. It’s not that the doctors are trying to ignore us, it’s just that they’re busy people. These are small but vital things I want to share with premeds.
Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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