I remember reading and re-reading my AMCAS application repeatedly, to the point where I could practically recite my essays word for word. I revisited the day I clicked the submit button, officially tossing my name in o the pool of applicants like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Finally, I was another step closer to fulfilling my dream of entering medicine. A couple weeks after submitting, I saw my first set of secondary applications begin to trickle in, proof that the AMCAS (and money) did not go for granted. With equal dedication, I filled out the secondaries trying my best to capture and articulate the void in medicine and science I hoped to fill. For weeks to come, I checked my email — frantically — every hour or so for any sign of life in the form of an AMCAS header. Then it came. I would be interviewing at Case Western Reserve University’s, Medical Scientists Training Program.
As the days drew nearer, my excitement grew exponentially. The night before traveling to this first interview of mine, I realized that I owned only one dress (*Editor’s note: Readers, take this moment to dash to your closets, fling the doors open, and count how many business-appropriate shirts you have — YES, do it right now lol). With my band of supporters and fashion gurus (aka close friends, and my twinnier, fashion-savvy brother), I headed out to my local Ross in search of the “affordable” million-dollar shirt. That night, sleep was like a game of cat and mouse — I chased it all night; I couldn’t stop thinking that tomorrow I would fly across the country to meet and visit what could potentially be where I would learn to become a doctor.
The anticipation and nerves ran high. I arrived at the hotel, still restless, and checked into my room where my fellow interviewee was settling in. What I quickly realized is that my feelings of anticipation and anxiety were the norm among all the interviewees. For most of us, this would be our first interview. I think I struggled with a bit of imposter syndrome, contemplating whether my invitation was some mistake or oversight, and that they would pull me aside mid-interview to explain that I wasn’t supposed to be there. Now in hindsight, it’s important to recognize that at that point, you’ve showcased what you represent, your dreams, and your values. You’re there because they saw something in you. All you can do is be yourself, because that’s exactly why they invited you.
To be continued…