This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Madison…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Madison: I’m from the great city of Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated from The Ohio State University majoring in biochemistry and minoring in women’s gender and sexuality studies.
Accepted: Where are you currently attending medical school? What year are you?
Madison: I currently attend a MD program in the Midwest US! I just finished up my first year of school, so I’m now officially an MS2.
Accepted: How has your first year treated you? Is there anything you wish you would have known that you’d like to share with future first year students?
Madison: My first year of medical school was such a great experience. It was very challenging at times but also very rewarding and fulfilling. I believe my gap year helped me to appreciate the whole med school experience even more. I wish that I would have known to prioritize my health a little sooner in the school year. At the beginning, it seemed impossible to step away from the books for even 15 minutes. I’d like for future first years to know that studying 24/7 is not healthy. There are many more benefits from taking the time out of studying to work out and eat healthy.
Accepted: What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?
Madison: I was motivated to pursue a career in medicine for a few different reasons. I was attracted to the stability of becoming a physician, a job that will always be in need. I also always thrived in math and science and was fascinated by learning how things worked. I loved being a puzzle solver and as a doctor, you are truly solving the puzzle that is the patient. In college, I learned that I like to fight for the little guy or the underrepresented. I believe a career in medicine enables me to help others that need it in a very unique and rewarding way.
Accepted: How was the application process for you? What was your greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Madison: The application process was very draining for me. I actually applied to medical school twice! The greatest challenge I faced was just believing in myself. It’s so easy to be discouraged by a rejection letter or a waitlist. I overcame this challenge by reminding myself that getting into medical school is the absolute hardest part of becoming a doctor and that I was deserving no matter what a piece of paper told me. I also had an amazing support system at home that encouraged me every step of the way.
Accepted: What did you do differently the second time around that helped you gain acceptance? How did you make yourself a more competitive applicant?
Madison: My second time applying to medical school, I did many things differently. For one, I completely changed my personal statement. This step is crucial when reapplying because if your statement didn’t work the first time, it definitely won’t work the second. Also, you change during an application cycle and it is important to reflect this change within your personal statement. Secondly, I added more meaningful activities to my application. During my time off, I got a job in the healthcare field as a nurse aid, and could speak about my new patient care experience. I also volunteered at my church and taught 8th grade PSR to two classes. The third thing I did to make myself a more competitive applicant was be a more confident person. My first time applying, I always felt like I was “lucky” to receive an interview invite rather than deserving. This mindset hindered my performance during interviews. Second time around, I became more confident and truly believed that I was a qualified and deserving candidate.
Accepted: You have a blog called Omg M.D. to Be! What made you want to start sharing your journey with others?
Madison: I’ve followed so many medical Instagram accounts and was always inspired by their openness and honesty about their journey into medicine. I didn’t see much of a representation of reapplicants and thought that I could contribute to the Instagram community by adding my perspective. I wanted to remind reapplicants and premeds that although the journey is tough, there is a bright side after getting accepted!
Accepted: Lastly, what are your future plans in medicine? Do you have any ideas about what specialty you’d like to go into?
Madison: My future plans in medicine are always changing. I’ve always wanted to work with the underserved in an inner-city population but as to what specialty, I’m totally unsure! The first semester of med school, I was extremely interested in emergency medicine. Although I’m still interested in EM, my interests have shifted towards OB/GYN and internal medicine. If you ask me next week, however, my answers may change.
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