Get ready to read about MedSchoolApplicant, our first featured YouTube video blogger who posts humorous video tips and words of encouragement to the premed community. As a med school reapplicant, MedSchoolApplicant has learned what doesn’t work in the med school admissions process and is eager to teach others some important dos and don’ts of med school admissions. Check out MedSchoolApplicant’s YouTube channel here. Thank you MedSchoolApplicant for sharing your story with us!
Accepted: First, let’s get some basics: Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?
MedSchoolApplicant: I was born in Mississippi, but raised in Alabama. I’m a southern gal through and through, even down to my emotional love affair with college football. Both my parents graduated from the University of Alabama, so when it came time for me to make decisions about college, UA was the obvious choice. It was actually the only school I applied to, which in comparison is a terrible way to approach applying to medical school. I eventually earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology, meaning I know a little about a lot of things.
Trying to pick one favorite book is extremely difficult, so I’ll go with a series: Harry Potter. That may seem clichéd, but I grew up as those books were released. As crazy as it may sound, it was almost as if I was coming of age with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I’m not sure any series will be able to bewitch my imagination in the same way again (pun definitely intended).
Accepted: Can you tell us about your YouTube channel? When did you start video blogging? What have you gained from the experience? How do you hope others will use your videos?
MedSchoolApplicant: Sure! I have a YouTube channel called “MedSchoolApplicant” where I post humorous and informational videos about being premed and the process of applying to medical school. So far topics have ranged from “deciding to become a doctor” to “MCAT study tips,” and more videos are in the works!
I had been considering the idea of starting a video series for about a month before I posted the first video back in February. I say series rather than blog or vlog (video blog) because I’m not necessarily recounting my daily activities; I’m trying to offer advice and encouragement to my fellow premeds. However, things on the internet tend to evolve rather fast so who knows where this will all end up!
This experience has honestly helped renew my desire to pursue a career in medicine. I don’t have many friends who are interested in healthcare, much less medical school. Through YouTube, Twitter, and especially Tumblr, I’ve been able to connect with people who share the same passions as me. I’ve certainly been encouraged by the premed community and I hope I’m able to do the same.
The videos are meant to provide useful information in a humorous manner. It’s my hope that they’ll serve to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that we all suffer from, even if it’s only for a couple minutes. After all, laughter is the best medicine!
Accepted: If you were to recommend that applicants view ONE of your videos, which would it be? Why?
MedSchoolApplicant: Hands down it would be “Message to all Premeds.”
When I started the channel, I was mostly focused on creating humorous content. It’s tough to get people to find your content on YouTube without utilizing some form of social media. So I also created accounts on Twitter and Tumblr. Tumblr is great because it’s easy to search tags and find blogs, but you can also message other users.
As more and more people stumbled upon my blog, my inbox began to fill up with all sorts of messages. Many people just wanted practical advice on things like the MCAT. However, I also received a great deal of messages from people who felt extremely discouraged about their chances of getting accepted to medical school.
I quickly realized two things: 1) I need to find ways to use my humor to provide useful information and 2) a lot of people need encouragement and reassurance. So rather than typing out a long blog post, I decided to make a video addressing some of the common things that I believe plague premeds and alas “Message to all Premeds” was born.
All too often we let circumstances beyond our control dictate how we view ourselves, which is crazy when you think about it. Rather than constantly comparing our lives and circumstances to those of our classmates, friends, etc., we should simply focus on being the best version of ourselves. The journey to medical school is certainly tough, but I truly think some of the stress and anxiety will fade into the background if you can learn to believe in yourself first.
Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to? What has been the most challenging aspect of the admissions process so far?
MedSchoolApplicant: Well, I actually went through the application process last year. I knew going into it that my chances weren’t exceptionally great, but with all the variables that affect medical school admission I figured I would at least try!
Although I was unsuccessful in my first (but certainly not last) attempt to get into medical school, I learned so much through the process. I’m currently assessing my application and working to improve the weaker areas.
For me personally, the most challenging aspect has been trying not to fall prey to the idea that my entire identity is boiled down to two numbers: MCAT score and GPA. I completely understand why those numbers are an important gauge of an applicant’s ability to succeed in medical school. However, it’s tough to convey some of the more intangible aspects of my application without an interview. There are just things you simply cannot ascertain about another individual until you are sitting in a room with them. I have to remember, as I’m sure most premeds do as well, that while those numbers are important, they are indeed finite in their ability to express all the ways in which one would be a successful physician. As I mentioned before, all I can do is believe in myself, keep trudging along, and trust that eventually things will all work out.
Accepted: Where do you plan on applying to med school?
MedSchoolApplicant: EVERYWHERE! No, I’m kidding. Since I’m from the South, I plan on applying to schools all over the southeast as well as a few select schools in other regions. I’ve got significant ties to Texas so I’ll be applying to schools there too. As I learned from the first application cycle, the more the merrier!
Accepted: When you applied to med school last year, were you applying straight out of college?
MedSchoolApplicant: I had actually already graduated from college when I applied last year. I currently work full time in pediatric oncology clinical research and I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to find work in the healthcare field during this transitional season. Although I certainly wish I had been able to start medical school straight out of college, I’m beyond grateful for the experiences and many lessons I’ve gained from my time here.
Besides work, I do a good bit of traveling because I’m in my twenties and why not?! I’m also taking an improv class just for fun! I’m doing my best to take advantage of the spare time I have now because I know it will vanish into thin air once I start medical school.
Accepted: When did you decide you wanted to go into medicine? What were some of the experiences you had that led to that moment?
MedSchoolApplicant: I don’t know how many people are able to recall the moment when they knew they wanted to go into medicine, but I do. It was during my 8th grade biology class. We had been covering the different organ systems of the body when my teacher passed out an illustration of the circulatory system. I found myself completely riveted by the diagram because I realized I was looking at a picture of something happening inside my body at that very instant. And that was it. It didn’t take much, but that was the moment I knew I wanted to become a doctor. Naturally my reasons for wanting to pursue a career in medicine have matured as I have matured. However, that initial feeling of fascination and desire to learn more about the inner workings of the human body have continued to drive me to this day.
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