Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
The first month...
Monday, September 11, 2006
Officially a Medical Student
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Soon you will be walking down these halls at the College of St. Scholastica! Let me know when people are coming for orientations and any questions you may have about that. If people post things you may even make some friends before school starts. Hope to hear from you! And congrats to all you graduates, I am sure you are enjoying it. Take care.
In the works...
Friday, April 28, 2006
The steps I have taken thus far...
- Today was the first day I decided to dedicate to studying for the MCATs and it felt like I was looking for a needle in a haystack. In some ways I think of it like an iceberg, that the amount you see is only a tiny fraction of the whole thing. I studied constantly for three hours reviewing practice lessons and taking practice test sessions (two to be exact) and when I finished I realized I was just scratching the surface. But it wasn’t that bad, and once I dove into it I felt like I was learning some good material. I have taken the MCAT before, and so I know I need to properly prepare for it this time. At the end of my study session I took a second to decide whether I was willing to spend my summer time studying to be successful, and finally I thought to myself that there is nothing I would rather be doing. So I am sure I will be back.
- I am participating in the Kaplan study course to help me prepare for the MCATs this August. Although at the time it seems like a lot of money to pay to study, I believe it will be a valuable tool to help me review information as well as provide me with an endless amount of practice materials. The classes meet a couple times a week to go over material and there is always “suggested” homework to be completed. The classes are a very brief and broad overview of the same undergrad subjects such as O-chem, physics, biology, and general chemistry. Some of the topics I know well and are fresh in my mind, but some of the material I have never even seen so the overview is nice for both of those. But I think the practice tests in the library are the most useful and I have been spending more and more time in the library practicing these. I have come to the realization that I can’t know everything on the test, probably not even half the stuff on the test, but learning to take the MCAT and approach problems has made me a much more successful test taker. Our first full length practice exam is this weekend so we will see how I do.
- Well, I just came out of the full length exam, and let me tell you that eight hours of testing is long. It is definitely mentally draining. I think I will take some time to relax, but I know the studying has been helping. There were a few questions on the test that I knew the answer because of the practice tests I had taken so that is good. Overall, I still feel overwhelmed with information but I feel I can handle it.
- I started filling out my AMCAS application today because when I was researching the process they said you shouldget it done really early and I don’t want to have to worry about it while I am preparing for the MCATs. But wow, another never-ending part of the medical school application process. The biographical information alone took me forever! And then you have to enter all of your transcript information and worst of all- the Personal Statement! A place to write about whatever, but in a limited space. I went to Dr. Cizadlo for help to get started. Lucky I did, as always, because he steered me to a good starting place. He told me to list out all the things in life that have brought me to this point of applying to medical school such as life experiences, personal qualities, and role models. So there is another step to get working on as well.
- Well the big day is coming of the MCAT and although I have spent countless hours in the library and in classrooms I still feel like there are lots of things I don’t know. At one point someone said you need to know a few things a lot and a little bit about everything. I have finished a few drafts for my personal statement as well but I will wait to finish that until after the MCAT. Wish me luck!
- The test is over, and all my friends were drilling me with questions, mainly, “How do you think you did?” Well, I have no idea! You sit there and take a test all day, and I know I got some right and I’m sure I got some wrong. I guess time will tell, but for now I need to finish my AMCAS application.
- I just interviewed for a job at Miller Dwan Medical Center here in Duluth, as a certified nurses assistant on the rehabilitation floor. I wanted at the hospital and have some medical basis so I could gain experience and continue to make sure this is the route I want to take.
- I just got my scores back from my MCAT and I was extremely nervous. They came out at midnight and you better believe I was at the computer checking every minute. All my studying seemed to pay off because I was extremely happy with my scores, but I knew I still had a long process ahead of me. I submitted my AMCAS application to the schools I had selected and waited to hear back.
- I have heard back from most of the schools requesting me to fill out secondary applications which are more specific to the individual schools. They are vastly different from one another though. UMD requires about 15 short essays, wheras Creighton has just one. Also, I had to ask for letters of recommendation from different individuals, but luckily being from a small school I had the opportunity to personally know some professors which made this step easy, but all in all the secondary applications are very time consuming.
- After completing my last secondary application I feel good about my chances of getting interviews to some med schools, but now it is a waiting game. This whole process is a hurry-up and wait deal, but you must jump through the hoops because every one else has to as well.
- Now after some time has passed I contacted all the school to make sure there isn’t anything else I can do on my application. Everyone is very nice and understanding, but assure me I have done all I can up to this point and that the respective admissions committees are working hard to get through the thousands of applications.
- I just decided to take a different job at Miller Dwan Medical Center to try my hand in something new. I liked the rehab floor and the people that I worked with but I want to learn a variety while I am there so I am switching to a different type of medicine. I am taking a job as a behavioral health technician in the Child/Adolescent Mental Health. I am excited about the change.
- Well I FINALLY heard back from a med school, and Creighton Universty has invited me for an interview in the next two weeks. I had to rearrange my work schedule to drive down to Omaha, NE but I am very excited. Its just good to know that things are happening.
- I just returned from my interview at Creighton in Omaha and it was a long drive. I think it went well, and I felt very well prepared. It was a very casual setting and the people I met down there were really nice. It was a little intimidating being in a room with 30 other interviewees from major universities such as Duke, Yale, MIT, and Notre Dame but it was a great experience.
- I just received a notice form UMD inviting me for an interview, which is really exciting because I think this is really where I want to go. At the same time I heard back from Creighton that I was accepted so that is GREAT news!
- I just finished my interview for UMD and I think it went great. I actually got to eat lunch at the med school with a few fellow St. Scholastica Alums so that was a cool thing too. I found out that every admissions process is different though, and even though I have a very strong application I will not be offered a spot until they finish interviewing all their applicants. So I continue to wait.
- Finally I just heard back from Minnesota Med school inviting me for an interview in the Twin Cities. It seems really late in the process, but I found out that they are still offering automatic acceptances so that is good news. Like I said before it seems like each school has their own admissions process.
- Just like my other interviews this one at Minnesota went well. I was amazed at the size of the campus and facilities that are there. They said it usually takes about a month to hear back on a decision.
- I just received a phone call today informing me that I have been accepted into the UMD med school. I was super excited to have this opportunity.
Following these experiences, I took classes to get my foot in the door and continue learning about the different aspects of medicine. After high school I chose to continue my education at St. Scholastica. Among other reasons, I really liked the community aspect as well as the great opportunity to take the career path I wanted.
While at St. Scholastica, I had the best four years of my life. I received a great education and met a ton of lifelong friends. I was a four year member of the St. Scholastica baseball team and was an All-American player and team captain. I was also very involved with on campus activities such as being a peer mentor, a peer advisor, campus tour guide, as well as being a member of clubs.
One club I was a part of was the Pre-Med club, which was comprised of students interested in pursuing professional careers in medicine. It not only helped me meet other people, who I had the majority of my classes with, but it also gave me valuable advice about the process of medical school preparation and admissions.
There are many aspects of the medical school admissions process, and without the help of the advisors and fellow students at CSS I would not have made it this point now. The process of fulfilling prerequisites, preparing and taking the MCAT( or Medical College Admissions Test), AMCAS application, and multiple interviews can be overwhelming but the support from St. Scholastica and the friends I made there have put me in position to achieve my dreams.