Okay, so maybe there isn’t a direct correlation in that title but I’ve been swamped in medical school secondary applications and it is all I can think about. Not to worry, I’ll squeeze in a tie somewhere.
So we’ve heard for quite some time now, that the doctors of the future will be selected on a different (more comprehensive) basis than they used to be. We’ve seen these changes being made in the revised MCAT exam that will officially debut in 2015. I was lucky to take a trial version sans writing portion. And I have to say, change doesn’t necessarily mean easier. The holistic approach to applicant selection is also seen with the diminishing number of schools screening primary applications. Or maybe, guaranteed secondary application fees were too good to pass up. The point is, admissions committees are realizing that in order to keep up with the constant diversification of the American population, future doctors need to be equipped with open minds, stronger interpersonal skills, and rich backgrounds of their own.
Pre-application cycle, I was so confident I had something special. Nowadays, after combing through studentdoctor.net forums and perusing thesaurus.com for synonyms to “unique”, I am more confused and lost than ever. Having access to helpful resources like the MSAR has at times, made me even more anxious and paranoid about rejection. An applicant’s chance of matriculation to medical school is roughly <1—5%. Because of course, you would only want the cream of the crop to be treating the one thing we value most, human life. So at this point I’m wondering, am I truly worthy? Do I measure up?
Not to go on some defensive streak, but every activity I’ve been involved with for the last several years has been deliberate and intentional. I don’t think any other age group outside of 18-24 says YOLO more often to justify some silly or outrageous activity. But instead of partaking in the same craziness, I studied, volunteered, and sought out more opportunities to carve out a possible career in medicine. I did it because I enjoy interacting with people, love integrating biology and humanity, and am continually inspired by humans in this line of work. And because I think YOLO sounds stupid. So when I joined Check Your Boobies, I saw something in the works that I knew had potential. I saw promise in its educational component and the intimate, yet casual learning environment offered by a Check Your Boobies party. That’s not something I see everyday in the clinical environment, but it is something I can see myself implementing as a future doctor.
I’ve been with Check Your Boobies for less than a year now but when it came down to selecting 3 meaningful activities out of 15 on my primary application, I knew CYB was one. It was so easy to describe that it had provided me a perspective of how people share knowledge to empower each other. It starts with a small gathering of women and men who open up about a topic that rarely gets discussed beyond the color pink. Then, they tell more of their friends and family what they’ve learned. I witness the outreach grow exponentially. And I get to continually measure this outreach everyday through one of my favorite distractions, social media. My experience has been insightful, to say the least, into how we deal with medical issues outside of the clinical space.
Whew, just venting on this post has cleared up some of the fog and I feel rejuvenated to tackle another secondary. Trying to stand out in a sea of thousands equally as driven and even smarter is tough. Thank you for bearing with me through this post. Regardless of whether or not I am accepted to a school, I am so proud of my involvement with CYB. I couldn’t have asked for a better internship and look forward to growing with this organization. I’ll check back with a more appropriate post soon! Until then…
For more on the evolutions taking place with medical school admissions, read Dr. Kozel’s article in the NYT.