Profile Questions and Answers
|Why medicine? What is your story?||Several years ago, I became interested in EMS. Eventually, I decided to take the EMT-Basic class and volunteer for my local squad. EMS quickly became my passion. I soon started working part-time for a full-time 911 System, in addition to my full time job. I also took the EMT-Intermediate class.
After a couple of years of EMS, and becoming increasingly unhappy with my full-time career of teaching, I began investigating medical careers. Initially, I planned to pursue certification as an EMT-Paramedic. For various reasons, that didn't work out. I also considered nursing school.
One day I made an off-the-cuff comment about how if I could do college over again, I would do what was needed to get into medical school. My boyfriend (now husband), took me seriously and encouraged me to investigate what it would take.||read other replies on this topic|
|Are you in any special circumstances? Anything unique?||I am one of the older students in my class. There are 7 or 8 students (out of a class of 210) who are older than me. I am also one of several students in my class who are pursuing medicine as a second career. I taught high school Spanish for 10 years before deciding to try for medical school.
I recently decided to pursue a dual MD/MPH degree. So, I will be doing a MPH in Clinical Investigation over the next year instead of 3rd year clinicals. I will start Med 3 next July and will now graduate in 2010 instead of 2009.||read other replies on this topic|
|What was the hardest part in preparing for med school?||For me, the hardest part was quitting my job and going back to school full-time. I also had to get over my math and science phobia, since those were the courses I needed to take for medical school.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you work while going through pre-med?||I worked part-time as an EMT about 20 hours a week for a private ambulance service. I also tutored Spanish a couple hours a week. My husband and I also lived on the family farm, and I spent a couple of hours a day (on average) doing chores and helping around the farm.||read other replies on this topic|
|What did you do for MCAT preparation?||I didn't do much actual MCAT prep. I finished organic chemistry (summer) on a Monday, and took the MCAT on that Saturday. I spent a little bit of time going through the Kaplan book and did one full length AAMC practice test from the website. I think I was able to get away with so little prep because I had taken all of the pre-reqs in the 12 months prior to the test.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you shadow physicians?||I didn't do any formal shadowing. Through my varous EMS jobs, I had the opportunity to talk with physicians in different Emergency Departments.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you volunteer?||I didn't really do any volunteering during the year prior to applying, because my school and work schedule didn't allow me a lot of extra time. Before going back to school, I volunteered for my local fire department (a couple of hours a week) and my local EMS squad (on call 40+ hours a week). I also volunteered with my local Friends of the Library.||read other replies on this topic|
|What clinical exposure did you have?||My clinical experience was all EMS related. I had about 6 years of EMS experience (emergency and non-emergency transports) prior to applying.||read other replies on this topic|
|What did you do for research?||No research experience.||read other replies on this topic|
|Do you have any leadership experience?||I served as Captain for the EMS squad and held several different offices for different organizations that I was a part of.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the personal statement?||Avoid cliches. Also - don't get discouraged if you read some of the books out there on "How to Write a Personal Statement". Don't embellish on your experiences too much. Telling a story is fine, but don't be overly dramatic. Be prepared to be asked about your personal statement at interviews.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the secondary applications?||Get them in AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!! A common mistake people make is not getting their applications in as early as they can (I'm guilty of this as well). With rolling admissions, it is to your benefit to be complete early.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the interview?||Arrive early. Be yourself. Research the school by checking out their website and the Interview Feedback on SDN. Even if you don't have questions about the school, have some handy to ask your interviewer. Be prepared to discuss ethical issues. Keep in mind that, in most cases, they are not looking for a specific answer. They are looking to see that you can express and back up your opinion clearly. Try not and be too "absolute" as it may be preferable to demonstrate that you are open to discussion and other viewpoints.||read other replies on this topic|
|Describe your pre-med schedule, typical day and week||First quarter: about 8 hours of class and 4 hours of lab per week (Gen Chem w/lab and Trig).
Second quarter: 16 hours of class and 12 hours of lab per week (Gen Chem II w/lab, Bio I w/lab, Pre-calc, Physics I w/lab)
Third quarter: 16 hours of class and 16 hours of lab per week (Gen Chem III w/lab, Bio II w/lab, Calculus, Physics II w/lab)
Summer: HELL!!! Organic Chemistry lecture 9 - 12 M-F, and lab 1-5 M,W,Th for 8 weeks.
Fourth quarter: 12 hours of class, 7 hours of lab per week (Physics III w/lab, Biochem, Microbiology w/lab)||read other replies on this topic|
|Did you do any other extracurricular activities?||During my pre-med stint, I didn't do a lot of extra-curriculars. As a teacher, I advised and coached numerous activities.||read other replies on this topic|
|How did you choose your med school?||Ohio State and MUO were probably my two top choices after interviewing. Ohio State won out due to location (being able to live with my husband).||read other replies on this topic|
|Did you take any extra coursework in preparation for med school?||Biochemistry and Microbiology were really my only "extra" courses.||read other replies on this topic|
|Any open-ended advice?||SHADOW!! I was asked at every interview about shadowing and how I knew what a physician's job and life was like. Also, your volunteering doesn't have to be medically related if you have other clinical and/or research experience. Volunteer for something that you truly enjoy, not for thing that you think will "look good".||read other replies on this topic|