Although I am a bit removed from those premed years, I do remember what it’s like. The competition in the prerequisite classes, where people are always striving to get the best grade. The stress of tests and the MCAT, where you feel like you never seem to measure up. The seemingly endless list of requirements, including community service, medical experience, and research.
When I first started out in college, I know that I didn’t fully realize how the path would be a long journey. In fact, there were times when I thought this whole premed thing wasn’t for me. If it was a bad test grade, I thought it was a huge disgrace that was marring my overall academic record. When I wasn’t chosen for a specific experience that really spoke to me, I took that hard as well. The worst was when advisors and even family friends would doubt my desire and ability to get into medical school. Yet, I didn’t give up. If I was doing pretty poorly in a subject, I sought out peers who could explain it to me and even professional tutoring. If I didn’t get to do a specific experience, I would try again the following year and I would look into other similar opportunities. And for all those naysayers, their negativity fueled my persistence and I used that to motivate myself in my endeavors, knowing that I could prove to myself and others that I can and will be a physician.
The road to becoming a physician is a long journey and even though I do question if it’s worth it at times (especially during those times of fatigue and exhaustion), I know that I have the unique opportunity to work with people in both intimate and critical moments in their lives and I am so excited to be part of that trusting relationship with patients. I’m here to tell you that if this is really what you want to do in life and you can’t see yourself doing anything, you’ve got to have the grit and stamina to keep on climbing! Of course, take people’s advice into consideration and be real about your chances, but know yourself and if it doesn’t happen the first time, try, try again!