Get ready to read about Chantelle, a med school fashionista who writes about her various passions – med school, fashion, beauty, home décor, and more – on her blog, Belle Chantelle. Thank you Chantelle for sharing your story with us!
Accepted: First some basics: Where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any other degrees?
Chantelle: I’m from Toronto, a super amazing city in Canada (I’m biased). I did a double major in Human Biology & Art History, with a minor in French. I completed my H.BSc at the University of Toronto. I also completed an M.Sc in Biomedical Sciences (course-based) in Illinois, before starting medical school.
Accepted: What year of med school are you up to now?
Chantelle: I’m starting my second year this August! Mentally preparing for that dreading little exam called Step 1 in 11 months.
Accepted: I know you want to stay anonymous about your med school, but can you still tell us what it was about your program that attracted you to it? Why did you choose this program?
Chantelle: I chose my M.D. program because I ended up falling in love with the small-community feel of the school while doing my Masters. I came from a university that used to have 500-1000+ students in my class, and I really felt little connection to the school and faculty due to its size. My M.D. program also locationally split in a way where I complete the first two years of medicine outside the city (aka. NO DISTRACTIONS), and the last two years in downtown Chicago (closer to the hospitals). I also chose my medical school because Chicago is only a one hour flight from Toronto, hence I can go home a bit more frequently than if I had chosen LA or Texas!
Accepted: How many med schools did you apply to?
Chantelle: I actually only applied to one. My Masters program was affiliated with the medical school I currently attend. I was planning on doing a year of research after obtaining my M.Sc. so I could apply to schools in Canada with my graduate grades (graduates are put into a different pool when applying to Canadian schools), but I ended up doing well in my Masters program and getting an offer from my current school. Shaved a year off!
Accepted: What is your favorite class so far?
Chantelle: I definitely enjoyed Neuroscience the most. I think it’s a sign!
Accepted: What has been your biggest challenge in med school? How did you work (or how are you working) on approaching and overcoming that challenge?
Chantelle: My biggest challenge thus far has been my own anxiety. It’s definitely linked to my incessant need to do very well in everything, and sometimes it’s just impossible meet my expectations with the workload we have in medicine. I’ve been tackling this issue by avoiding “talkers” – medical students that either brag about their grades (be it truth or lie), or students that have verbal panic attacks over course material/residency. They are definitely anxiety triggers for me, and it is wise that I avoid this group as best I can.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your audience? What have you gained from the experience?
Chantelle: My blog started off as a little fashion hub back when I was 19, but it grew to encompass many of my other loves: beauty, home decor, personal photography, and academic tips. My audience is mainly females, ages 12-30, who adore the same things I do.
My blog has helped me create a virtual home for my curiosities beyond medicine, and allowed me to explore these venues either through collaborations, or attending interesting events. However, my favourite experience to date has been the e-mail correspondence I have with young girls looking to get into medicine. I am so proud of them and love sharing my advice!
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