Next up in our series of featured med school bloggers is Medaholic, who recently finished med school and has begun his residency. Enjoy Medaholic’s thoughtful answers and use them to help you make your way through the med school and residency 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?
Medaholic: I’m a newly graduated Canadian medical student and I will be starting my residency in Internal Medicine come July 1st. I’ve studied in several places across Canada, and prior to medical school I was studying physical sciences in undergrad. I’m been an anonymous blogger since 2008, so I won’t diverge specific details about location and training. But other than medical school and blogging, I like to run, stay fit, play music, travel and read.
Accepted: Is med school anything like you had expected it to be?
Medaholic: It was definitely scary coming into medical school but eventually it wasn’t as daunting as it first appeared. I think one of the reasons is because med school was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I met some good friends who made the whole process more enjoyable and bearable. Clerkship year was definitely a shocker, but you learn to handle it. Overall, it turned out way better than I thought it would be.
Accepted: How many programs did you apply to? How did you choose your current program?
Medaholic: I applied to a few programs, mainly whichever school was I was eligible for. I did receive some rejections and applied more than once. In the end, I had one acceptance in hand so I decided to go to that medical school. Things work out in the end, just keep your mind open to new possibilities.
Accepted: What courses or experiences or people motivated you to go into medicine?
Medaholic: I wrote a blog post titled “When I knew I wanted to do Medicine” that explains a bit of my motivations. Definitely having a family member that was a physician was a huge influence. Later on in high school, I really enjoyed working with others, especially helping them in tangible ways. I found I enjoyed counseling, teaching and close interactions and patient doctor relationships are really special in medicine.
Accepted: Looking back, is there anything you’d do different in the med school application process?
Medaholic: Applying for med school seems like such a long time ago, but if I had to redo it, I would perhaps be more open minded about more schools. I kind of stumbled into my medical school by luck but it turned out to be the best choice for me looking back. Be open minded about the process. Listen to what others are doing but critically evaluate it yourself. Also, I would try to avoid being tunnel visioned into seeing medical school as the be all end all. There’s more to life than getting into professional school. Enjoy the journey along the way, take time to hang out with friends and family, and don’t let getting into medical school throw the rest of your life out of balance.
Accepted: Can you share some residency application tips? (And congrats on your match!)
Medaholic: Start early, especially getting reference letters and writing that personal statement! Find a mentor or coach who can guide you through it. When picking references, choose someone who cares about your career and wants to see you succeed. Ask previous classes and residents about what each program is looking for. Getting into residency is a lot of who you know and how much you’ve impressed them.
Accepted: Why did you decide to start blogging and what have you gained from the experience?
Medaholic: I decided to blog back in 2008 to first share my experiences of getting into medical school. Since then, the blog has changed around a bit, and now I cover a whole slew of topics including pre-med advice, medical school admissions, surviving clerkship, matching into residency, and what a career in medicine is really like. Over the last few years, I have learned to really write first for myself and then secondly for the readers. Don’t let traffic and advertising revenue blind you to what makes a blog great. It’s also very important to maintain patient privacy on your blog and to remember that everything that gets posted online is a digital record for everyone to see. I’m excited to see where the next four years will bring for medaholic.com, especially during residency.
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