Next up in our series of featured med school bloggers is Danielle Jones, a fourth year med student at the Texas Tech School of Medicine and the author of the blog, Mind On Medicine. Enjoy reading Danielle’s views on life, medicine, and the future here in our interview and on her blog!
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?
Danielle: I grew up in the Texas Panhandle and went to college at Texas A&M in College Station, TX. I graduated in 2008 with a bachelor of science in Psychology and spent the next year working as an allergy technician doing allergy testing for patients.
Accepted: I see you applied to med school twice. What do you think went wrong the first time and how did you improve your candidacy for the second time around?
Danielle: I decided later than average in college that I wanted to go to medical school and really was unprepared the first time I applied. I wasn’t sure what the process entailed and didn’t understand the importance of getting your applications in early. I took the MCAT that year without having completed Physics 2 or any upper level Bios and really just didn’t put myself in a very competitive position.
The second time I applied I had taken more science classes, re-taken the MCAT and gotten a bit higher score, gained significantly more clinical experience through shadowing and my job as an allergy technician and received stronger letters of recommendation. Another huge improvement to my application was getting it turned in early – at least for the Texas application system this is HUGE and always one of my biggest pieces of advice to pre-meds.
Accepted: How many med schools did you apply to? Why did you choose the Texas Tech School of Medicine?
Danielle: I only applied to Texas medical schools, mostly because we’re on a separate application system and it just made things easier that way…I think that ended up being 8-10 schools. I was drawn to my current school mostly because of the atmosphere I encountered at interviews. The students seemed to truly enjoy both their program and their classmates. The camaraderie was obvious during my interviews and I just really enjoyed the fact that it seemed very laid back. Another huge point for me was the block curriculum. I liked that the students were in one class at a time, rather than having a full systems-based approach where each class covers a lot of different subjects on one system. I felt like I would thrive in the environment here.
Accepted: Has the program lived up to your expectations? Are there any surprises?
Danielle: Absolutely! I think the first and second year curriculum layout was pivotal in my success during pre-clinical years. The students and our camaraderie was exactly what I expected and the administration and staff is wholly supportive. Overall, I feel like I attend a school that truly cares about its students and does everything possible to decrease stress and increase learning.
Accepted: Have you chosen a specialty field yet? I see you completed a clerkship in surgery — what was that like?
Danielle: I will be applying to residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in September. I am so excited to embark on this new journey and can’t wait to see what lies ahead. My surgery rotation was…in a word…busy! It was very interesting and I learned a lot, but it’s definitely not the field for me. You can read more about my surgery rotation here.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience?
Danielle: The blog wasn’t initially started to document my experiences in medical school, but more as a way for me to document what was going on in my life and challenge myself to get back to something I loved – writing. This is why I still tend to blog more than some other medical bloggers about my personal life and I’m proud to share both sides of my journey. However, Mind On Med has definitely evolved into a great way for me to share my medical school experiences with others and encourage those who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine to go for it! I hope to convey a sense of work-life balance through the blog and I fully intend to eventually continue sharing with others my struggles (and hopefully triumphs!!) as a mother in medicine. I want to share my experiences with people who may be apprehensive to choose this career due to family concerns, which is one of the main worries I had when choosing this life for myself.
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