Next up in our series of featured med school bloggers is Amira, a med school applicant and blogger at An Amiracan Story. Enjoy Amira’s thoughtful answers and use them to help you make your way through the med school admissions process.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, where did you go to school and when did you graduate; and what prior degrees do you hold?
Amira: My family is originally from Ethiopia, but I was born and spent the first few years of my life in Sudan before we made it to Houston, now over 21 years ago. I graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in Biology in 2006.
Accepted: When do you plan on applying to med school? At what stage of the application process are you up to now?
Amira: I plan on applying to medical school next year, meaning in the 2013-2014 cycle. I’ll soon begin studying for the MCAT and hopefully take it in January. I initially planned on applying this year and had my entire application package from my personal statement to recommendation letters prepared (minus my MCAT), but due to unforeseen circumstances, I decided it was best to postpone applying.
Accepted: Do you view your position as a non-traditional applicant as an asset or a liability?
Amira: I firmly believe being a non-traditional student is an asset. Personally, the very reasons I’m considered a non-traditional student account for my strengths in not only the person I’ve become and future medical student I will be, but ultimately in the type of physician I will develop into.
Accepted: Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine at this stage in your life?
Amira: Becoming a physician has always been one of my life goals. The thing about life is that you can’t predict in which order your goals are met, so it wasn’t so much that I decided to pursue medicine at this point in my life as it was an overdue step to accomplish towards the career I have always intended on.
Accepted: Do you know which med schools you’d like to apply to/attend?
Amira: I plan to apply to all medical schools in Texas and several out of state as well. Attending a school in Texas, specially either of the two here in Houston or the two just outside of Houston would make childcare arrangements a little easier as both my family and my husband’s family live here. Ultimately, I don’t have a strong preference either way because I find there to be significant pros to both staying close to home and moving away.
Accepted: How are you managing the juggling act of being a parent and being a pre-med student?
Amira: Time management and discipline! They’re the secret to not only crossing off things on my To Do list, but making room for fun with my family. I had my son during my junior year in undergrad and then my daughter shortly after beginning my post-bacc studies, so being a student-mom has become easier over the last three years. Actually, being a student-mom has made me a stronger student and all around more disciplined and well-rounded person, so I’m looking forward to the unique challenge of being a medical student-mom.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experiences?
Amira; I didn’t start blogging with the intention of writing about my experience, but to write as a creative outlet. I’ve always been passionate about writing; much of my childhood and early adolescence are recorded in journals and with the popularity of blogs taking hold, it felt like a natural move forward. My blog eventually transformed into a virtual record of my life as a student-mom-wife. I’m proud of my blog and my writing and hope that it not only serves as a timeline in the progression of my life, but to inspire others who have similar dreams as well.
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