Day 2: Planning Ahead
Students pursuing entrance into the medical field undoubtedly have several worries. One often feels like he or she is the only one with these particular sentiments; however, these are more common than expected. The pathway to medical or dental school can seem intimidating, and students wonder how they will tackle the colossal list of expectations while still handling their current classes. Students worry if their grade point averages and entrance exam scores will suffice.
I had the exact same worries. I found it helpful to start trying to fulfill the lists of requirements early on rather than waiting and being in panic mode when it came time to fill out the applications. Volunteering over the span of my undergraduate years helped relieve the last minute rush to fulfill admission factors. Another aid was my participation in summer enrichment programs. The programs offered MCAT preparation courses during the summer. It can be difficult to find a set amount of time to study for the MCAT during the academic year, so these programs put me in a position where I could fully dedicate time to MCAT preparation. Moreover, I used the money from my summer programs and research to help fund my testing and application costs.
Another worry that students face is wondering if they actually know the MCAT material. I often found myself just taking tests to pass and earn a good grade rather than actually taking the time out to fully understand the material. It helps if you conceptualize the material from the core classes while taking that class and try to actually KNOW it. This will help make MCAT review just that…a REVIEW. It will help ease the panic of trying to learn everything at the last minute just for the MCAT.
Another concern is the lack of physicians, nurses, or dentists in their reach who can give students insight into their respective fields. A tip that I received was to ask your college professors if they know anyone – you never know who is in their network. They just may know of someone who can help you. All of these worries are widespread to students aiming to enter the medical profession, so one must remember that he or she is not alone and it is natural to have these feelings. However, one must remember that if your goals are synchronous with your determination and willpower, you will get there and one day it will be YOU looking back and telling YOUR STORY to someone else aiming to be in your shoes.