My Path: Danielle Johnson
On the Georgia State University stop during our second tour, we met college student Danielle Johnson. Although she initially didn’t know that T4D would be on her campus, she happened to “stumble in” at the right time and place. Danielle continued to maintain a consistent relationship with one of our mentors afterwards. What was once a stumble is now a stride as she can boast successful acceptance into medical school! We catch up with Danielle as she leaves her college days behind and looks toward her future as Student Doctor Johnson.
Location: Atlanta, Ga
High School: Grayson High School
Undergraduate: Georgia State University
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus
When did you decide you wanted to go to medical school?
My decision to pursue medicine wasn’t quick or definitive but more an exercise in trial and error. I knew I loved the sciences and naturally medicine became an option. In college, I tried a lot of science classes and took part in everything from environmental sciences to molecular biology. It wasn’t until I began to work in an emergency department did I realize that I enjoyed the science of medicine, and how applying that knowledge could improve people’s health. Throughout my trial and error I realized that medicine was exciting and invoked a sense of passion in me that was absent in my other classes and activities.
How did your family/significant other react in your decision?
My family members were elated, and still are to this day! They have supported me from my initial decision to be a physician and all the adversity that comes with choosing this path. My success is their success.
Did you do any enrichment programs or shadowing during college?
Yes, I did. My sophomore year, I joined an organization that gave me exposure in opportunities like networking, shadowing, leadership and volunteering. I also began working in an emergency room as a scribe which gave me the best exposure to medicine and confirmed that medicine was the path for me. If you can find an opportunity to scribe – do it!
Did you use MCAT preparation?
I enrolled in the Examcrackers preparatory class in combination with my school work load during the semester. I would advise against this. Consider taking a prep class during the summer, where you can focus more on the material and go in as much depth as needed. Examcrackers was a great class to ensure I reviewed all material that could be possibly be brought up on the MCAT.
How did you choose what medical schools to apply to?
I prefer to have my family near, so I wanted to stay as close to home as possible. The southeast region was ideal for me. Other categories I looked at included the performance of medical students on their board exams, and what kind of resources were available to help them study.
How many letter of recommendations did you ask for/use?
I obtained five letters of recommendation, and would send different combinations of letters of recommendations to different schools.
What is the best advice you can give those applying to medical school?
Prepare, plan and execute everything early! Time is always best when it’s on your side and working in your favor. Also pray! Getting into medical school is the most consistent thing I have prayed for in many years.
Describe the feeling when you found out you go accepted into medical school?
Well everyone says they would send a prayer of thankfulness, cry, jump around and laugh in pure relief. In actuality, all those things happened to me! It was a very memorable moment.
How did you hear about Tour for Diversity?
I actually didn’t hear from anyone, I stumbled across the events while they were on campus and spoke to one of the mentors. When they told me their mission of increasing minority interest and knowledge in medicine as a career path, I responded “Where have you guys been all my life,” took a seat and attempted to absorb all the information.
What was your most memorable moment from the day?
My most memorable moment was watching the mock-interview presentation. It felt very real and helped me realize that I needed to do a lot more preparation in getting my point across during stressful time.