Usually when I look back on an experience, I have had, it will be completely clouded by overwhelmingly positive or negative thoughts and sometimes it is hard to separate the positive from the negative. So for me, thinking back to my journey to medical school all I can think about are the positive thoughts because the final result was positive… that I got into medical school. But this is not true at all, my journey to medical school was rough. I do not mean small tiny obstacles coming my way, I mean large boulders at every turn. So you are probably thinking then how did I get in with all those boulders?

The Low

There is a pretty easy medical school in my home state that gives preference to in state students. My MCAT and GPA were both higher than the average for the school and I felt like I was a great match for the school. I really thought that I would get an interview and I was anxiously waiting to hear from them about an interview. When I finally heard from them, I received a straight up rejection letter. And this rejection letter was not at the end of the season when I had gotten other interviews or acceptances, this was the first piece of correspondence I had received from any medical school whatsoever. And this was in late October, after I had just submitted all of my applications. I was completely devastated and that was the first time during the application cycle when I felt like I had lost hope in my own abilities to get into medical school. I definitely remember moping around for a week but then I decided that I did not want to let one misfortune bring me down so I decided to apply to a couple more schools that had October 31st deadlines.

The High

One of the schools that I was applying to right before the October 31st deadline required about 8-9 mini essays (about 1-2 paragraphs each). I worked really hard on each essay and put in a lot of creative thought into each of the essays and submitted my application. Because I had experienced the setback earlier I decided I wanted to work even harder and I did. Surprisingly, just three to four weeks later I heard back from the school with 8-9 mini essays for an interview. I was really surprised because I was applying for one of the special MD programs at the school which only accepts about 30 students into the program. I ended up doing pretty well at the interview and was offered a spot in the medical school class about 2 months after my interview. The point of this story is to tell you that we all have different obstacles that we must face in order to get to the place we want to be. And make sure you do not let those obstacles define you but rather how you overcame those obstacles to be your defining feature.

The Low/High

I got a couple of interviews all at once toward the beginning of the interview season and then I did not hear back from anywhere at all. I went on my interviews and came back and continued to wait for more interviews but no more came. I felt really anxious because I only had a couple of interviews and the end of interview season was approaching. I still remember my nerves getting worse and worse but then finally I got a call back from a school with an acceptance letter. It was one of the most satisfying calls of my life to hear that someone else believed in my desire to pursue medicine. Moral of the story, never give up on your dreams no matter what they may be.