Get ready to read about Chris, or Student Doctor Thompson, an ex-Fortune 500 businessman who is now in his second year of med school. Student Doctor Thompson offers tips to med school applicants and med students on his YouTube channel Student Doctor Thompson. Thank you Student Doctor Thompson for sharing your story with us!
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite late night study snack?
Student Doctor Thompson: My name is Christopher Thompson, I’m 28 years old, and I was born and mostly raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I am married with two children, a 3-year-old boy, and a 10-month-old girl. Most of the rumors about the difficulties of having children in med school are untrue, at least in my case, thanks to my smokin’ hot wife who has put her career on hold to raise a family.
I originally graduated in 2009 with a degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University. I went on to work for a Fortune 500 company in sales. While it paid better than most of my friends’ jobs, I hated every day of my work life. I started thinking long and hard about medical school.
The timeline alone seemed so overwhelming that I hardly let myself consider it. Thanks to my little brother and his wife who coached me through the process, I took a chance and went for it. They are now both third year med students in Houston, TX.
As far as a late night study snack…I would have to say S’mores PopTarts. My addiction started as an undergrad and it’s still going.
Accepted: Do you think going straight to med school from college is preferable? Or is taking time off in between to work a valuable step?
Student Doctor Thompson: Because I went into business right out of college, it took me a lot longer to get to medical school compared to the majority of my classmates. I don’t necessarily consider it a bad thing though.
On the bright side, whatever you do before medical school, you can bring with you. I know several nurses, a high school teacher, a veteran, a lawyer, a chiropractor; all of them go to school with me. Each of these people brings unique experiences and knowledge that might help them in the future in one way or another.
If I were to do it all over again though, I think it would be nice to go straight through. I feel kind of old sometimes; my mind is not what it used to be.
Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year are you?
Student Doctor Thompson: I am a second year medical student at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO. A.T. Still is the founding school of Osteopathic medicine and awards the D.O. degree.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your YouTube channel? Why did you decide to start vlogging?
Student Doctor Thompson: Student Doctor Thompson is one of my favorite extracurricular activities in medical school. First off, I love YouTube. It has become my new Google. I have used it even more as a med student. I started my channel as a way to productively spend my down time. It has become an escape from the normal grind of medical school. I found that the advice other medical students offered on YouTube was really helpful and I wanted to contribute instead of just consume. Am I more qualified than the next kid to offer advice? Probably not, that’s why I think it helps me just as much or more as it helps others. It’s an opportunity for me to organize my thoughts, do research, and develop opinions.
Another reason why I started my channel was to get more involved in social media. I feel like building a reputation online is so important. Today, patients research their doctors online before they see them in person. Why not contribute to the positive information they have to find. Who knows, maybe residency directors are even looking at YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about potential residents. As @sdrthompson I have already made so many valuable friends on Twitter. These people may end up being my coworkers or supervisors someday.
Accepted: If you wanted our blog readers to view ONE video from your channel, which would it be?
Student Doctor Thompson: It is hard to direct you toward one video that will give you an overall picture of what I have tried to do. One that you might find helpful is http://youtu.be/KMiEj8wed9s where I talk about how to memorize in medical school.
Accepted: What do you think was the most difficult aspect of the med school application process for you? What steps did you take to overcome that challenge?
Student Doctor Thompson: One of the hardest things for me was the length of time it was going to take me before I even started med school. I am a nontraditional student, so I had to go back to school to do all of the pre-med classes, get volunteer and leadership opportunities, study for the MCAT…all of this without a guarantee that I would ever get into med school. The unknown was pretty intimidating.
Looking back, I see what it was that got me through the entire process, perseverance. Anyone who wants to become a doctor bad enough, who doesn’t consider quitting as an option, can do it. For some, the process is easier than for others. For me, I had to commit, I had to tell everyone I knew about my goal to become a doctor (I needed their support), I had to ignore the bad days and cherish the good days, I had to serve without reward, work without pay, I had to step into the darkness.
None of that would have been possible without a good support network; for me it was my wife and brother. As a first generation college grad, no one expected me to go anywhere, but here I am, still truckin’.
Accepted: What is your favorite class so far?
Student Doctor Thompson: I am interested in clinical stuff! Infectious Disease has been one of my favorite classes in second year because we are learning about the clinical manifestations of all of the microbiology we learned in first year. This summer I did a two week preceptorship in family medicine and if I had taken Infectious Disease, I would have been on fire with my diagnoses.
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