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 Amanda…
We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? When did you graduate?
Amanda: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Biology, Society, and Environment!
Where are you currently going to medical school? What year are you?
Amanda: I am currently a fourth year at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
What motivated you to pursue a career in medicine?
Amanda: Growing up, I always found myself enjoying the more challenging classes. Medicine is a challenge every day because there is SO much to learn – so I think I had an inkling that I would end up in this field. The thing with college is, you have to kind of throw yourself into the pre-med route to finish your pre-requisites and major classes on time, so I knew as early as senior year of high school. I had several years where I questioned whether I wanted to commit to so many years of graduate school, so I decided to work a 9-5 research position after college. Within several months, I knew that I wasn’t working at my highest potential and I wanted to work with patients directly. I knew then that I wanted to pursue medical school!
Looking back at the application process, did you experience any hiccups along the way? How did you overcome them?
Amanda: Oh, absolutely!
• I delayed my MCAT several times because I never felt ready to take it.
• I took the MCAT twice because my score was just below average.
• I also didn’t know anything about osteopathic medicine until halfway through my first application cycle, so it was too late to apply.
• I took a year to research osteopathic schools and amp up my application and finally got accepted!
You have a blog and quite a large Instagram following at Coffee and Scrubs! What inspired you to share your medical school journey?
Amanda: My Instagram started out as a 365-day photo project. I used to do freelance photography before medical school and wanted to post pictures of my day, but I honestly didn’t want to clog up my personal Instagram feed. I know how annoying it can be to post so much that your family and friends start getting irritated. So, that’s how coffeeandscrubs was born! It was an anonymous account for the longest time and I had absolutely no intention of it blowing up and to this day, I still have no idea how I’ve amassed so many followers! I also blogged for so many years before medical school, so it was a natural progression to create my blog and help premeds and medical students with advice.
How do you manage to stay grounded through medical school? Can you share a few tips for those who are just starting out on their med school journey?
Amanda: Find yourself a great group of friends. Medical school is taxing mentally, emotionally, and physically. The classmates around you will be the only ones who know exactly what you’re going through at that very moment, so finding people to confide in is what kept me grounded. Working out, cooking, and running my Instagram were things that kept me very sane, too!
Lastly, is there anything you wish you would have known when you were an M1 that you’d like to share?
Amanda: I think I would tell my M1 self to give myself more leeway. Medical school is a marathon and consuming yourself with how many points you missed on a test is so little in the grand scheme of things. It can wear you down sometimes and I wish that I did more self-care. I think that I realized this about ¾ through first year and allowed myself to be more relatively relaxed the rest of medical school.
Thank you for the chance to be interviewed!
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