My 1st Day Of Med School Is Almost Here! (Did I Make A Mistake?)

MCAT-med-schoolHello my aspiring doctors! It’s a big day in my world. I just looked at a calendar and realized that I will be starting medical school in less than two months. More precisely, my first day of orientation is in 53 days. I have 53 days until I start what I anticipate to be some of the most intense, challenging and hopefully fun years of my life.

Given that I have known that I wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old -back-up plan was to be a waitress or ballerina- in theory, I should be 100% prepared to actually begin medical school. However, I find myself worrying about the future. What if they let me into medical school on accident? I spent 6+ years  (three admissions cycles) applying to medical schools and telling AMCAS and admissions committees that I’m smart enough and capable enough to become a doctor. Now, I find that I wonder if I just finally fooled medical schools into believing me.

Now, you may wonder why I am blogging about this today. I wanted to share my doubts and uncertainties with you all because I know that they are doubts and uncertainties that you may face some day. As pre-med students, you focus on the goal of getting into medical school. You tell everyone that you’re going to medical school and you’re going to become a doctor. No one ever tells you what you should do once you get in or how you should approach actually going to school.

Sidenote- I seem to be in this glorious middle-ground where I can tell everyone that I have been accepted to medical school and they are instantly impressed, but I haven’t actually done any work yet. I like to tell people that medical school is great so far!

That said, as I continue to blog, I hope to chat with all of you about what going to medical school is actually like. From the MCAT, to admissions, to first year and beyond, I want you to feel free to ask me questions! So, in you are curious about something, leave your questions in the comments section. What do you want to know about life 53 days before medical school orientation?

Happy studying!
  • Adelle

    Good luck! I hope you choose to have some fun! I’m guessing you might even read ahead on medical school books. It’d be cool if you did both.

    • Emily Hause

      Thanks Adelle! I’m teaching MCAT all summer so I’m pretty up on the basic sciences, but I might grab an anatomy book to start casually prepping. I’m definitely having fun throughout the month of July!

  • Katie

    Hi congrats on getting into med school and never giving up on your dream! I am taking the mcat in aug, and then will start applying. I was wondering what’s the best advice you would give on the admission process to someone just starting (it seems very overwhelming)? Also, do you remember any specific interview questions you were asked? Thanks :) I really enjoyed reading your article.

    • Emily Hause

      Hi Katie!

      Thanks for the congrats :-)

      The best advice I can give is that you need to remember that applying to medical school is a marathon, not a sprint. It can be an exhausting, overwhelming and expensive process. You need to make sure that you’re still having fun and living your life.

      The other piece of advice I would give is that you can’t get your self-esteem too wrapped up in the process. Not getting into medical school doesn’t mean you are a failure who is terrible at life, it means that you need to try again.

      Specific interview questions I had- Why do you want to go to medical school at this university? Why do you want to be a doctor? What experiences have you had that have prepared you for medical school? What are your hobbies? I will try and think of others and maybe write a blog post to answer this question!
      I’m glad you liked the article Katie. Good luck on your med school admissions!
      Emily

  • Sam

    Congratulations on getting to medical school. How does it feel to finally reach your destination? How long did should one study for MCAT and is it really that hard?

    • Emily Hause

      Hi Sam!

      Thanks for the congrats! It feels wonderful to reach my destination, but really surreal. You can check out Pat’s blog to see exactly how long you should spend studying for the MCAT-

      http://www.medschoolpulse.com/2013/01/28/mcat-re-booted-study-schedule/

      The MCAT is challenging due to the amount of material and the critical thinking, but the difficulty level really varies by person. Some people struggle more than others.

      Thanks for posting and good luck on your med school journey!

  • Sarah!

    Emily!!

    You are awesome!!! You are the best SIP Teacher ever!!!

    • Emily Hause

      Thanks Sarah! You’re a wonderful student! :-)

  • Edith

    Hello Emily, I love this article!! I’ve been reading everything you post since I read this article, you are very enthusiastic. Congratulations on getting into a medical school! so I wanted to ask you, how did you decide that you wanted to go to medical school?

    • Emily Hause

      Hi Edith,
      I’m glad that you like it! I’m also excited to hear that my enthusiasm manages to leak out through the internet. I’m very enthusiastic about the MCAT and medical school in general. Thanks for the congrats!

      I knew that I wanted to be a doctor when I was little, but after volunteering in clinics and shadowing physicians at a clinic in an under-served area of Minneapolis, I knew for sure that that was what I wanted to do. It was challenging because I was rejected multiple times, but I knew in my heart being a physician was my calling.

      Thanks for reading and posting!
      Emily

      • Edith Castro

        Thank you for answering to my post, and for posting articles. Thanks to you I’ve been getting really excited about the MCAT too, even though I still have a lot to go through. By the way, what medical school will you be attending, if you don’t mind me asking?
        So you always knew? that is so great. I am sure it was challenging, you should feel very proud of you because despite those rejections, you made it. :) The reason why I asked is because sometimes I think if I am making the right decision.

        • Emily Hause

          Hi Edith,
          I will be attending the University of Colorado in Denver. I have often wondered if I am making the right decision so I definitely understand how you feel. It’s a hard road especially if you’re not 100% certain that being a doctor is right for you. My suggestion is to get into a clinic however possible and see if spending time around physicians and seeing what their daily life is like really suits you. Get lots of exposure to help you know for certain. Good luck on your MCAT!

          • Edith

            Congratulations again! and thank you for the advice everything you say helps me so much. Thank you for wishing my luck, I still have a lot to go but thank you. I will definitely take Kaplan courses.

  • Stephanie Guarin

    Hi Emily congrats! The feelings you are experiencing right now must be amazing and its a mixture of feelings I desire to feel as well. Can I ask you for some advice?

    I just graduated high school in very good terms (Senior class pres, ranking 19 out of 500, 3.9 gpa, E.R volunteer) However Im about to start college as pre-med with bio major and I would just like to know what exactly should I do during these years so I don’t waste time?

    I know the typical high GPA recommendations but I would like to get more than that from an experienced and successful med student like you.

    Thank you and I would appreciate the advice a lot! Congrats once again!

    • Emily Hause

      Hi Stephanie,

      I would love to help you out with some advice! During your undergraduate years you have a ton of room for exploring cool opportunities as well as having time to become the best medical school applicant you can be! I’m super excited for you!

      First up, make sure that you’re taking all of the required classes. In 2015, the MCAT will have a new psychology/sociology section, so be sure that your coursework will reflect these new requirements in addition to the standard Biology, Chemistry, Gen Chem, Physics etc.

      Secondly, get tons of experience in the medical field however you can. That could be through shadowing, volunteering, working (for example as a scribe) or any way you can get experience with real medicine. That said, lots of people will tell you that you have to go on a medical mission trip to get into medical school. I actually volunteered in a local high-need clinic which I found to be way more rewarding since I developed long-term relationships and less expensive than a medical mission trip.

      Thirdly, be a cool person. Do things that you love and that make you happy. In my medical school interviews I had more interviewers ask me about my running and dancing than my volunteer shadowing experience. Admissions people are used to hearing about everyone’s medical experience so they will often ask you about unique parts of your application. Go cool places. Do fun things and enjoy your undergrad years. You will be a happy person and have interesting things to discuss in your essays and interviews.

      Does that help? If you have more questions or need more advice, definitely let me know. I would love to help!
      Emily

" "