Profile Questions and Answers
|Why medicine? What is your story?||I started my first year of college as a art/photography major, and enjoyed the work. I hated science. Still, I felt that cliche sense of emptiness with school, that I couldn't figure out what or why I would do anything with the degree I was working towards. I switched colleges for personal reasons, and after a month or two decided to persue medicine. The final spark came from a really bad medical computer game, but it had always been in the back of my mind...I was already somewhat involved in Emergency Medical Services; my dad had been an EMT for nearly 25 years. After taking additional science courses and spending more time in EMS, I decided that this was where I wanted to be.
Since then I have (and still do) strongly debate with myself whether I'd be happier in medical school or as a paramedic on the streets, but I think that this will provide me with more of a challenge and be more rewarding to myself and the people I treat in the end.||read other replies on this topic|
|Are you in any special circumstances? Anything unique?||I'm a chewy abnormal center with a sweet normal shell.||read other replies on this topic|
|What was the hardest part in preparing for med school?||Mostly getting the motivation to get all the applications/essays/forms finished in good time. Also, the overall stress of "wondering" about what will happen was a pain in the rear, especially while trying to finish undergrad.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you work while going through pre-med?||I worked part time for my home-town volunteer emergency medical services as an EMT, mostly during the summer and vacations. Throughout the school year I worked weekends with a private ambulance service as an EMT, doing 911 calls and interfacility transport. I was also a tutor at the UWGB writing center for a few hours a week.||read other replies on this topic|
|What did you do for MCAT preparation?||My preparation for the MCAT was minimal. I purchased the Examkrackers MCAT kit, but only went through about 5% of it. Overall I probably spent about 5 hours TOTAL studying/preparing for the MCAT. I didn't do any practice exams.
My lack of prep was mostly because I'm a procrasinator, and the actual MCAT came before my motivation did. Had I prepared more, I'm sure I would have done better. But I'm a minimalist like that. Side note: I actually sold the Examkrackers books on eBay USED for more than I paid NEW. Shop around, folks.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you shadow physicians?||I shadowed an internal medicine MD several times throughout undergrad, and also spent some time shadowing in the emergency department.||read other replies on this topic|
|How much did you volunteer?||I volunteered with my hometown EMS service mostly during the summer, but occasionally during the school year on weekends or during other vacations.||read other replies on this topic|
|What clinical exposure did you have?||I have been a rural emergency medical technician-basic since 2002 and an I.V. tech since 2004. With both ambulance services that I worked for, I was usually the primary prehospital care provider for patients, making the medical decisions and actions necessary for those patients' well being.||read other replies on this topic|
|What did you do for research?||None. Can't stand research. The thought of using a microscope or test tubes on a daily basis makes me want to vomit. VOMIT!!!!||read other replies on this topic|
|Do you have any leadership experience?||Only unofficially, being in charge of EMS crews on 911 calls.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the personal statement?||That's a personal question you must ask yourself, by looking deep inside.
Practically speaking, have other people look it over..preferally a writing center/tutor at your school. Don't rush it. And start it well in advance, as that is what delayed my initial AMCAS about a month more than I would have preferred.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the secondary applications?||Stay on top of those mothers. Feel free to re-use essays, just make sure you change the name of the school if you use it in the essay. I'm sure UConn would be thrilled to hear that you can think of no better place to study medicine than Tulane.||read other replies on this topic|
|What suggestions do you have for the interview?||Again, be yourself. I think one of the most important things in making a good impression is a firm handshake with a genuine smile while looking the interviewer in the eyes. Maintain eye contact, even if it makes you very uncomfortable. I'm not a huge fan of sustained eye contact, but I forced myself to lock eyes and probably came off as a little creepy, but I was 2 for 2 with my interviews, so take that for what it's worth.
If an interviewer becomes very conversational, asking random nonmedical stuff, don't feel the need to relate your answers to medicine. Just have a good conversation.
AND SMILE, DAMMIT!!!!||read other replies on this topic|
|Describe your pre-med schedule, typical day and week||Pretty variable, but I was usually in class from 9 or 10am until 2pm, occasionally 5pm on days with lab. Studied usually no more than a couple hours a day, and that's pushing it.||read other replies on this topic|
|Did you do any other extracurricular activities?||Team-based improvisational comedy at ComedyCity Green Bay...performing comedy in front of large audiences.
Occasional photographer/digital artist
I taught a semester-long principles of biology lab (TA), doing all the setup/lecturing/cleanup/grading stuff that goes along with it.
Randomly breaking out into song (i didn't list that on AMCAS)||read other replies on this topic|
|How did you choose your med school?||The overall atmosphere at MCW, plus the nicer hospital facilities nearby, gave me a very good impression. I chose MCW or Madison mostly because I thought MCW would be a better place to prepare for emergency medicine. Also, I did not like the thought of being shipped all over the state for 3rd and 4th year rotations through Madison. I also thought the general aspects of living (location, commuting, food, people) was better in the Milwaukee/Wauwatosa area.||read other replies on this topic|
|Did you take any extra coursework in preparation for med school?||Since I took all the basica pre-reqs through my biology major and chemistry minor (big mistake on the chem minor), I pretty much had everything I needed. However, I did go above and beyond by taking classes in immunology, biochemistry, physiology lab, and neurobiology, and thus far they have all proven to be very helpful. Still, don't go overboard on science classes...take some courses that interest you and will be fun. I took Latin, electronic imaging, etc.||read other replies on this topic|
|Any open-ended advice?||Don't lose yourself by trying to meet some other standards. Meet the general requirements, but beyond that, make standards for yourself.
Learn to remain calm and accept failure and success equally. There's no point in getting worked up over something you can't change. Just learn to make the best of it.
And don't give in to hate. That leads to the Dark Side.||read other replies on this topic|